Travel Tales: Hearst Castle

Being that I’ll be visiting Europe in just over a month I wanted to take a moment to focus on a state side travel destination. Hearst Castle isn’t most people’s first thought when thinking of California travel. No, it’s not Disneyland or Napa Valley, but Hearst Castle has a unique charm that everyone needs to experience at least once in their lifetime. 
Back in June 2010, my mother and I visited La Cuesta Encantada aka Hearst Castle. We took the long drive up from Orange County to San Simeon. A total of 6 hours of driving, and that was just on the way there. But 300 miles later it was worth it. Hearst Castle is an unbelievably enchanting place to visit. 
“William Randolph Hearst started to build a fabulous estate on his ranchland overlooking the village of San Simeon in 1919. He called the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” – Spanish for The Enchanted Hill. By 1947, the hilltop complex included a twin-towered main building, three sumptuous guesthouses, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools.”
hearst 022
The estate has 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. From what I recall we took the Grand Rooms and the Upstairs Suites tours. To be honest, our guide on the first tour was lackluster and didn’t really engage me as a visitor. So much so that I actually thought it was a waste of a trip. I’m the kind of person that can look at a beautiful place/thing and pretty much respond with ‘eh’, until I actually know something about it. Without details I’m just not as interested. And this tour guide lacked a lot of details, so much so that I could have probably given the tour. And that’s the whole point of a tour guide, it’s someone there to inform you about the tour. However, all was redeemed by the second tour guide who was bustling with facts and tales of the castle. I wish I could remember her name cause I’d totally give her a shout out here.
But hey, check out the photos for yourself…

“The intensely decorated indoor Roman Pool is the perfect place to stop and relax. Modeled after ancient Roman baths, this meticulously detailed, majestic pool is tiled from ceiling to floor, and features marble copies of eight ancient Greek and Roman deities and athletes.”

“This imposing library, intended for Mr. Hearst’s guests, houses more than 4,000 books, and also showcases one of the Castle’s most treasured collections: 150 ancient Greek vases, all more than two thousand years old. At 80 feet in length and filled with precious objects, the Library makes a grand statement.”
 At the time of this posting the ticket prices are Adult: $25.00, Child: $12.00 per tour. If you’re going to go all the way to San Simeon you should at least do two tours would be my advice. This way you can get a good feel of the castle. 
Your Friend, Elle

Leave a Reply