""Grand Castle on the Coast"" Top 5 Page for this destination Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument by SteveOSF

The former mansion of publisher William Randolph Hearst, this lavish structure is filled with priceless artwork and antiques. It remains a monument to the opulence of the elite of the early half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the estate is fascinating. It has a lot to offer from architecture, art, and historical perspectives. The castle was in perpetual construction and change during the years Mr. Hearst occupied the mansion. Grand parties were hosted there by Mr. Hearst and Miss Marion Davies. It has spectacular pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, and countless guestrooms.

San Francisco born Julia Morgan was the architect for the mansion. She was one of the first women to graduate from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in civil engineering. She was also the first woman to graduate from the prestigious architectural school Ecole Nationale in Paris.

The castle grounds, but not all of the original estate, was donated to the State of California after Mr. Hearst's death. It has been dedicated as a State Historical Monument and is now administered by the park service. To see the castle and grounds, one must take a tour offered by the park service. Hearst Castle is a main attraction of the coastal town of San Simeon.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Spectacular!
  • Cons:Multiple tour tickets can get expensive.
  • In a nutshell:A visit to this Coastal Castle transforms you back in time, complete with wonderful art, architectural extravagance, and colorful characters.
  • Last visit to Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (19)

Comments (7)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    Would love to visit this American castle one of these days...thanks for sharing, Norman :)

  • risse73's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2008 at 9:54 AM

    It's charming around San Simeon, though I find the Hearst Castle as mysterious & spooky. I like the gardens a lot. Cheers!

  • July2's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    Thanks for visiting my snowy Toronto page. We visited Hearst Castle recently ... that indoor pool in just fabulous! Next time I'm taking the whole tour and/or the evening tour. ~ Louisa

  • Lhenne1's Profile Photo
    Apr 26, 2008 at 8:44 PM

    Hi Steve, great tour pictures! We went to Hearst Mansion a few months ago and took the Experience tour. Of the other tours, which was your favorite? We may be heading back down that way and I'm interested in trying one of the other ones. Thanks! ~Laura

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2008 at 8:55 AM

    Wow! Did you really get ALL the tours in during your stay in San Simeon? The Evening tour is one I really missed as it includes theatrical period costumes on the docents.

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2008 at 9:45 PM

    Thanks for the tips. We're looking at driving down in the next few months and your information sure helps. ~Joe

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2007 at 12:59 PM

    Great page and wow, that roman pool was so beautiful. Nice sunset photograph too. Happy Trials!


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