Hi babes! Finally getting around to writing about the next part of our California road trip. Spending the day at the Hearst Castle and San Simeon was ah-mazing! San Simeon is located about 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. It makes for a perfect stopping point on a road trip. The beaches at San Simeon were so beautiful and they are home to elephant seals. These creatures can get as large as 6,000 lbs. They were unbelievable! We spent some time taking pictures at the beach before making our way to the Hearst Castle and we went back again to watch the sunset.
In case you’ve never heard of the Hearst Castle, it’s a National and California Historical Landmark located in San Simeon. It was built and designed by William Randolph Hearst and Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947. The castle is actually made up of several mansions. The main house, Casa Grande, and several guest houses… Casa del Mar, Casa del Monte and Casa del Sol and altogether total more than 90,000 sq ft! Mr. Hearst spared no expense in the design, decor and architecture in this masterpiece. It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in the US, more like something you would see in Europe. Absolutely amazing! The only thing I was disappointed in during our visit was the Neptune pool was drained and emptied. We were told due to it leaking over the years and the major drought in California it was emptied and will not be filled again until sometime in 2017.
There are several tours you can take depending on what part of the castle you want to see. All tours sell out well in advance so make sure you buy your tickets as far in advance as you can. They can be booked up to 56 days in advance. Adult tickets start at $25 and children start at $12. You can book multiple tours in the same day if you want to see more than one part of the castle. Make sure to allow enough time in between your tours and allow time for the bus ride from the visitor center to the castle which is approximately 15 minutes. I can’t stress enough of the importance of booking your tickets in advance. If you wait until you get there, all tours will be sold out. Also make sure to allow a whole day at the Hearst Castle so you don’t feel rushed. There is so much to see and do and you want to give yourself enough time for everything. There are several food places to eat lunch before your tour and you will have plenty of time after your tour to walk around the gardens at your leisure. There is a movie theater as well where you can watch a 40 minute movie on the life of Mr. Hearst and his inspiration for the building of the castle. Plus a huge gift shop. If you’re ever in the area make sure to make the special trip to the Hearst Castle. You won’t be disappointed!