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Hearst Castle, San Simeon

Categories: Castles, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 4,800+ reviews on the web
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. Plan to see Hearst Castle and other attractions that appeal to you using our San Simeon vacation builder.
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  • Architecturally, this building is fascinating and like nothing else you can see anywhere. Hearst acquired entire castles, churches and ancient sculptures to adorn this home. We are not big fans of tou...  read more »
  • We started out the day by having a burger in Sam Simeon. The Hearst Beef Burgers were great and you could have a nice glass of wine from the onsite tasting room. We then journeyed down the road to the...  read more »
  • At the top of a hill with a view of the mountains but also the peaceful, this castle is rather unusual but very kitsch. The grounds are beautiful and the Roman pool inner bluffing. The tour is very interesting but also the film which lasts 45 minutes. It is best booked in advance on the site, there are 3 options, the "Great room" formula is really good and complete.
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  • Hearst Castle is an amazing testament to American extravagance. The buildings and grounds are amazing, and being able to able around on your own after a tour is important to be able to study and appreciate the beauty of this place.
  • My wife and I stopped here and I have to say that it was absolutely amazing. From the road up that teases you with views of the Castle as you get closer to seeing it in all of it's glory - Hearst Castle is an amazing place. We did 2 of the 3 tours while here. The upstairs bedrooms and the kitchen/guest houses. Both aspects were truly amazing. I believe the upstairs really gave you an idea of how over the top the entire experience here could be while the kitchen/guest houses gave you how much of a thought to detail Hearst had put into entertaining his guests. This is truly an iconic setting that shows off far too much how insanely wealthy people can go a little crazy with how they spend their money. No exaggeration either as Hearst was directly involved in all of the building and remodels until his death and constantly was making changes to the plans which could require entire foundations to have to be changed. A spectacle in every sense of the word and a great look into the world that the first true media mogul had built for himself.
  • Had a great time. The architecture is beautiful. They have the place run like a fine oiled machine. Buy tickets on line so when you arrive, you can just go and pick up your wrist bands. Parking is free, and leave enough time to watch the 40 minute movie about William Randolph Hearst's life. The docents are all sweet and knowledgable. Had a great time! We also, brought a picnic and ate after the tour. Not much to choose from when you're on a plant based diet. Hope they build some nice bathrooms soon. I refuse to go in the disgusting portables.
  • I would like to commend the guides employed by the castle. I went on the Grand Room and the Upstairs tours, and both were led by very knowledgeable and friendly guides, who were able to answer questions about the most minute details. As I walked around the grounds, I overhead other guides talking who seemed equally as professional. Even the docent stationed at the indoor pool volunteered information about the construction of the pool and its history. A positive experience.
  • Great landmark! Super amazing views, but there are lots of bugs outdoors so make sure you go clean. :) There are some misting water sprinklers to stand under outside the main castle, so definitely use them on a hot day. It gets warm since it is relatively high and inland. Main complaint is the pricey nature of the tours. Limited access is based on how much you pay and which tour you select. The "Grand Rooms" tour is pretty short, only about 30-45 mins... but you can take no-flash photos and vids. The tour guides are fairly knowledgeable, but STAY ON THE RED CARPET. The alarm will sound if you step off, and I've seen it first-hand when a foreign tourist thought it was not really going to happen. All in all, nice scenery, just wish I could have seen more of it (wordplay intended).
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