Hollywood celebrities, business tycoons, and political heavyweights of the 1920s and 1930s were all entertained by William Randolph Hearst at Hearst Castle, an opulent 165-room hilltop hideaway above the California coastline in San Simeon. Hearst was not one to live the simple life, and his home overflows with unbelievable treasures and priceless art from all over the world. He spent millions building his estate and, in its heyday, he entertained lavishly.
Hearst's heirs presented this grandiose Shangri-la and its treasures to the state in 1958 for public exhibition. Some of the home's many rooms can be viewed in the five different tours offered to visitors. First-timers should opt for Tour One through the gardens and into the cavernous main entry hall. Other parts of the mansion, including the billiard room, the dining hall with its king-size trestle table and bannerlike flags, the private theater, and the indoor Roman Pool lined with actual gold-leaf glass mosaic tiles, are a part of this tour. Nighttime tours include a living-history program, when the castle comes alive with docents dressed in elegant 1930s clothing playing poker in the sitting rooms or lounging about in the ornate library.
Hearst Castle Information
Address: 750 Hear St. Castle Rd., San Simeon, CA
Telephone: 805/927-2020, 800/444-4445
Hours of Operation: 8:20 a.m. - 3:20 p.m., daily
Admission: $24 adults; $12 kids
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