Is The Hearst Castle Worth Seeing?

Probably you came across Hearst Castle on social networks or noticed it when you typed the word “castles” on a google map. But is it worth visiting?

Hearst Castle
Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

The Hearst Castle is worth a trip for its stunning architecture and interior design as well as the 360 views of the surrounding area from its location, especially on a clear day. A Castle-Museum where you can get a guided tour or enjoy a walk among rooms full of art, outdoor and indoor pools and beautiful gardens.

This article is your quick guide for visiting Hearst Castle, one of the most popular destinations on California’s coast.

What is there to see at Hearst Castle?

Although the castles in the US are not as many and as old as the ones in Europe,surprisingly there are a few gorgeous ones that are well worth a day trip.

Hearst Castle is popular among tourists for its luxurious look inside and out, which usually you can find in European castles.

Exterior

Once in a lifetime, it’s worth giving a visit to the castle for its gorgeous gardens and beautiful architecture.

The whole site host;

  • Casa Grande ( main house) including the Refectory, the Billiard Room, the Theater, Library, Gothic Study, Beauty Salon, Butler’s Pantry, Kitchen, Staff Dining Room for a total of 115 rooms in Casa Grande.
  • Casa del Mar (guest house)
  • Casa de Sol  (guest house)
  • Casa del Monte  (guest house)
  • Neptun pool (outside pool)
  • Indoor Roman pool

In the picture below, you can see how the buildings are located.

As you arrive in front of the stairs of the Castle you already feel like in “The Great Gatsby” movie.

The Neptune Pool, which has been restored after many years not functioning, gives even more elegance to the whole site.

Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle
Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle, Picture by Karlnorling on Flirckr.com

William Hearst’s and his Architect Julia Morgan made an accent on the courtyard to keep guests spend time enjoying the outdoor activity as well as admiring the view from the castle.

Hearst's Castle, Casa Grande
Hearst’s Castle, Casa Grande, Picture by othree on Flirckr.com

Its facade holds two twin towers with 147 feet high structure, motifs that have been borrowed from an old church in Ronda, Spain.

Hearst Castle is an oasis for an Instagram person!

Interior 

Many tourists are returning to Hearst Castle over and over again for its Interior.

With an enormous amount of rooms full of art, tapestries collected from all over the world givest Hearst Cstles a Museum title.

Assembly Room 

Assembly Room is a massive 2500 square feet reception room where all the social events are used to start. A room with a tall ceiling decorated with Italian palazzo and the best Hearst tapestries that he had.

Assembly room in Casa Grande at Hearst Castle
Assembly room in Casa Grande at Hearst Castle, Picture by cultivar413 on Flirckr.com

Refectory 

The refectory was the only dining room in the castle, decorated in Gothic style and with a contrast of Renaissance.

Hearst Castle Refectory Room with big table in the middle
Hearst Castle Refectory Room,
Picture by faungg’s photos on Flirckr.com

The dining table in the middle of the room, which had been brought from an Italian monastery, could seat 22 people.

Library 

The library is on the second floor, exactly above the assembly room. With 16 century’s Spanish ceilings and with the best Italian fireplace in the castle and hosting about 5000 books can keep you there for hours admiring the beauty of it.

Cloisters and the Doge’s Suite

Here you will admire the blue silk and Dusch painted ceiling and Venetian loggia in Doge’s suite refashioned as a balcony.

Celestial suites

Celestial bedrooms with a connected shared sitting room and linked externally with a celestial bridge.

What is the best tour for Hearst Castle?

The best tour to choose is the “Grand Rooms” tour which is recommended for first-time visitors. A guided tour which is walking you through Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theatre.

You might be surprised, but there are 11 more tours to Hearst Castle. Check out the table below.

Here is a breakdown of what every tour offers:

UPSTAIRS SUITES TOUR

A 60 minutes tour highlights include Doge’s Suite, Library, The Gothic Suite, Duplex Bedrooms, Celestial Suite, Gardens, Neptune Pool and Roman Pool.

Reservations strongly encouraged

Includes tickets to “Building the Dream” at Hearst Castle Theater.

Check out the video below of Upstairs Suites Tour;

COTTAGES & KITCHEN TOUR

60 minutes guided tour include the Wine Cellar, House B (Casa del Monte), House A (Casa del Mar), The Kitchen, Gardens, Neptune Pool and Roman Pool

Reservations strongly encouraged

Includes ticket to “Building the Dream” at Hearst Castle Theater

DESIGNING THE DREAM TOUR

This is a 70 minute guided tour through Hearst Castle as well as its history and how the whole idea came to reality.

ART OF SAN SIMEON TOUR

This is a two hours guided tour focused on Hearst and how he acquired all the paintings, tapestries, sculptures, antiquities and other fascinating works of art.

In groups limited to eight participants, you will visit some rooms that are featured in the four standard daytime tours and continue to rooms in the Castle that have never before been included.

This is a limited eight-person tour and does not run all the time; please call for more information.

JULIA MORGAN TOUR

This is a two hours guided Tour an in-depth look at the life and career of this extraordinary woman Julia Morgan, and her dedication to the Hearst Castle.

This tour is offered seasonally; please refer to the website for more information.

EVENING TOUR

A 100 minutes guided tour which is offered seasonally and ran at night where you can enjoy the beauty of the castle at night.

This tour is offered seasonally; please refer to the website for more information.

HOLIDAY TWILIGHT TOUR

Discover why the holiday season was an exceptionally festive time for Mr Hearst and his guests. Share in the splendour as you wind your way through the grounds, Casa del Sol-guest house, and the grand social rooms of Casa Grande.

This special seasonal tour showcases incredible holiday decorations with numerous Christmas trees, including two towering trees.

For more information, please visit their website

And also tours designed for wheelchairs accessibility: 

  • ACCESSIBLY DESIGNED GRAND ROOMS TOUR
  • ACCESSIBLY DESIGNED EVENING TOUR
  • ACCESSIBLY DESIGNED HOLIDAY TWILIGHT TOUR

Hearst Castle and Opening Hours

Hearst Castle Tour times and hours vary by season, with most scheduled from 9:00 am. Last tour times of the day vary.  Hearst Castle is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

During the CoronaVirus Pandemic the castle has been closed, might be by the time you read the article the castle is up and running again.

Getting there

Hearst Castle Address 

750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452, United States

If you want to drive to the castle, it will take you around four hours from Los Angeles or San Francisco.

And you can take a train from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo and continue to the front door of Hearst Castle Visitor Center.

How long do you spend at Hearst Castle?

With guided tours, you will spend between 60 minutes and two hours, and then you are allowed to spend more time at the castle.

So it’s entirely up to you how much time you want to spend at the castle.

Accommodation Near the Hearst Castle 

Ragged Point Inn

One of the top-rated hotels and restaurants situated just 6km from Hearst Castle, the resort has an ocean view, and the food is exceptionally delicious considering the reviews it has on Booking.com.

Oceanpoint Ranch 

Another accommodation is 10km from Castle it’s recommended by the travellers, as a perfect stopover either you come to see the castle or on a road trip.

What is the value of Hearst Castle?

The exact cost of the castle is unknown, an estimate of expenditure on construction and furnishing the complex between 1919 and 1947 was “under $10,000,000.

And is also estimated the Hearst Castle is worth $700 million nowadays.

What is the oldest castle in the United States?

The oldest castle in the United States is Bacon’s Castle of 1665. This Jacobean brick house is located in Surry, VA, and was built by Arthur Allen. We have a full article in case you want some more information about Bacon’s castle.

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Mihail Ghelbur

I have been a castle lover since I remember myself, couldn't go past a castle without finding all I could about it. Now my goal is to visit every single one of them and share it with you! https://castletourist.com/about-mihail-ghelbur/

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