Majestic Hearst Castle Story and Must-See
California Top Attractions
Hearst Castle, also called La Casa Grande (“The Big House”), main residence of an estate in San Simeon, California, that originally belonged to William Randolph Hearst. The Mediterranean Revival mansion was designed by Julia Morgan in 1919–47 and is known for its opulence.
The Grand Rooms Tour is 60 minutes long and includes approximately 159 steps, both up and down, and 2/3-mile walk. An Accessibly Designed Grand Rooms Tour is also available for those who may have difficulty standing and walking for extended periods of time. It is wheelchair accessible.
Discover legendary and majestic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, a historic monument that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Brief history: In 1947, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s dream came true when renowned architect, Julia Morgan, designed Hearst Castle: 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, beautiful terraces, amazing pools, and walkways, a masterpiece of architecture built to Hearst’s specifications to showcase his legendary art collection.
Imagine what it was like to be a guest in one of the castle’s notable rooms with breathtaking views of California’s pristine Central Coast and the Pacific Ocean. Admire the stunning mansion within the castle, called La Casa Grande, with its authentic Roman and Renaissance art, the castle’s guest villas: Casa Del Sol, Casa Del Monte, and Casa Del Mar; as well as the Neptune and Roman indoor and outdoor pools.
The castle offers many daily, guided tours, and you can choose to explore ancient art, sculptures, furniture, relics, and more. In his lifetime, Hearst amassed a collection that rivals many museums today, and used almost every square inch of the hilltop California estate to showcase it.
Hearst Castle’s unique atmosphere, extravagance, and lavish lifestyle was shared with many famous people., including Charlie Chaplin, Marion Davies, Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, Dolores Del Rio, Clark Gable, Gary Grant, Joan Crawford, Calvin Coolidge, President Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.
Pickup your tickets at the castle’s visitor center, and the shuttle will take you up to the Castle where a state park guide will lead your tour, depending on the tour of your choice. Please review the tour options and let us know if you need a recommendation. We suggest first-time visitors select Tour #1. Each tour lasts about 45 minutes and includes complimentary tickets to the 40 minute “Building the Dream” IMAX movie, screened at the visitor center.
For wine connoisseurs, we recommend visiting Paso Robles’ premium wineries and enjoy a relaxing tasting experience outdoors, with sweeping views of Paso Robles and the outlying areas. Afterward, your tour guide will drive you back to San Francisco via Highway 101 leaving San Luis Obispo County and heading north to San Francisco via Salinas’ agricultural valley.
You may also modify the order of this tour, to start or end in Paso Robles or Hearst Castle. Your guide will ensure you are comfortable and satisfied with this unique and custom tour package.