|Photo from the Hearst Castel website.|
While enjoying an extended weekend in Cambria we took some time to go visit the world famous Hearst Castle. Oh what a magical place it is. On what was a beautiful California day in December (75deg) we ventured up the hill to the visitors center to start our adventure.
First off we headed for the ticket counter to get our wrist bands and tickets. Then we were off to watch a movie about some of the Hearst history via the movie 'Hearst Castle - Building the Dream'.
Don't miss the movie and don't sit too close to the screen. Also book ahead. We did just a couple days ahead of time and there were hundreds of tickets available for the regular tours and we were able to pick out tour time but by the time the big day had come almost everything was sold out.
William Randolph Hearst started building this fabulous estate on his ranchland in 1919. It overlooks the seaside village of San Simeon. He called the estate "La Cuesta Encantada" - Spanish for The Enchanted Hill.
After watching the movie, it was off to wait for our turn to get on our scheduled bus to take the 5 mile bus ride up the hill. The views going up the hill in all directions are spectacular. Not just the scenic California Coast but also the views as you approach the Castle. There is also a large population of wildlife to see. We recommend sitting on the right side of the bus for the ride up the hill. The view is spectacular no matter where you are sitting but the right side seems to produce the most picture opportunities.
At the drop off you start to get a feeling for just how big this amazing place is. Climbing the stairs and looking up at this impressive building is breathtaking.
As you start the tour (Grand Rooms Tour) you gather around the fountain in front of the Casa Grande as the tour guide tells of parties and famous guests that attended the Castle. You can almost feel the vibe from this time gone by. How amazing it must have been to be invited to stay at the Castle with Hearst.
As you enter the grand social room on the ground floor of Casa Grande just as William Randolph Hearst’s guests did decades ago for cocktails, conversation, and to meet their host, you experience the massive room with all its historic Renaissance and Baroque tapestries and masterpieces, just as if you were invited (without the libations).
Wandering through this amazing building it is hard not to be left in awe at all the amazing detail as well as the amazing grandeur.
The Neptune pool went through a number of remodels to make it bigger and even more impressive over the years.
Look, if you have been to Hearst Castle you know how amazing this place is and if you haven't yet been, put it on the bucket list as its a 'Must do'.
Happy Wine Adventures,