Hearst Castle, San Simeon

Must see · Castle · Historic Site
It took William Randolph Hearst, the famed newspaper magnate, nearly three decades to complete Hearst Castle, one of the largest houses in the United States. Architect Julia Morgan envisioned the house with 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, tennis courts, movie theaters, an airfield, and the world's largest private zoo. Part of a state park since 1958, the house Hearst called his "Enchanted Hill" now offers public tours, attracting visitors with its considerable collection of art and antiques. The estate's focal point is an outdoor swimming pool, rebuilt three times to suit its owner's tastes. The centerpiece of the pool, which offers expansive vistas of the mountains and the ocean, is the facade of an ancient Roman temple Hearst imported from Europe. Add Hearst Castle to your San Simeon travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our San Simeon tour planner.
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Hearst Castle reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,808 reviews
  • Spectacular Castle set high on a hill in San Simeon. This place is loaded with artwork, statues, carvings, botanical gardens and historic memorabilia of all kinds. Guides will lead you around the...  more »
  • Interesting architecture, colorful history, the guided tour really helped and our teens seemed to enjoy it as well.  more »
  • On all our trips to the West Coast a visit to Hearst Castle was down for a visit since our first trip in 2005. Finally we made it and it is more impressive than all I have read about the elaborate...  more »
  • Unlike anything I've seen on the West Coast. I felt like I was back in Italy. The Grand Rooms tour was fantastic. We went with small children in mid Aug and the weather was great! You park and get shuttled in. It's not stroller friendly. You have to walk up stairs. Bring water. No food or gum is allowed. And be prepared to keep your paws off! Its tempting, especially for little hands. Some of the architecture is 300 or 400 years old. The ceiling in one room was from the 1400s. I highly recommend staying until closing to get your money's worth.
  • This place is amazing. The architecture and styling are high end and stunning. They've kept much of the original work and it still looks amazing. The outdoor pool was my favorite feature. I just wanted to jump in and swim in it all day! The rooms of the big house were so interesting. There is so much to see and to talk about that I could not possibly do the place justice with mere words. Just go. Check it out. Take a couple of tours. We did. And made a day of it. Thoroughly enjoyed this trip!
  • Very beautiful estate! Lots of parking (free). Tours are well priced for what you get. Can tour the main house, guest house, cottages and kitchens. The guides are very knowledgeable and will answer any questions you have. The tour was very descriptive also which was appreciated. After the tour you are able to walk around the estate and take pictures of the gorgeous views and the amazing outdoor and indoor pool (the indoor one is an absolute dream). The detail put into the inside of the house and guest houses was amazing. The ceilings alone were incredible! Would 100% recommend.
  • I love this place because it is very beautiful and there's all kinds of artwork from all over the world, it is very large 165000 square feet I believe roughly. Definitely a sight to see, many citrus trees and all types of different shrubbery. Very beautiful place to go for the art enthusiast trying to get out and soak in a variety of different pieces of artwork.
  • This place is lovely and a bit of history. If you are a fan of art from many centuries, this is a great place. We did the Grand Rooms tour. The amazing thing is that it's set up as if it's lived in. Sadly, nothing can be touched. Obviously, no touching art or decor, but literally, no touching the marble edge of a fountain, no sitting on a solid marble bench built around a garden. It's challenging if you are physically challenged. Be prepared that there are many many stairs and often there is no rail, so it could prove challenging for some. It was nice enough to make me want to do other tours. Each tour guide makes up their own schmeal so the info could change. The gentlemen doing the tour behind ours and the gardeners I met were all so nice, fun, and created a good atmosphere. The older ladies were had were a bit grouchy and not at all happy I brought a (frankly, well behaved) child. Hint: exposing him to art early is why Hearst collected art later and getting kids to appreciate art now can mean future donors...

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