Hearst Castle Tour

Drive Dates: Thursday and Saturday, April 4 & 6, 2019

Total Drive Distance: 300 miles (round trip)

Estimated total tour duration: 8 hours


Hearst Castle is both a National and a California Historic Landmark. Designed by architect Julia Morgan, it was a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst from 1919 to 1947. The estate consisted of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways – an American castle that was destined to become one of the world’s greatest showplaces for Hearst’s art collection and antiques. It has been open to the public since 1958.


We’ll take a drive through the St. Ynez Valley and transition to the US-101 North, to San Luis Obispo. Then enjoy a beautiful drive along CA-1 where we’ll have magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline driving past Morro Bay and Cambria to San Simeon.


When we arrive at Hearst Castle, we’ll regroup outside the Visitor Center and take a short bus ride up to the Hearst Castle where we’ll tour the grand social rooms of Casa Grande to experience what it was like to be a guest at this hilltop retreat. On this Grand Room tour you’ll get to see the Assembly Room, Refectory, Billiard Room, Theater, Gardens, Neptune Pool and Roman Pool. The “Grand Rooms Tour” is one hour in length and includes approximately 159 steps, both up and down, a 2/3-mile walk.  After the tour, the bus will return to the Visitor Center where we’ll enjoy a delicious Santa Maria Barbecue lunch on their patio. 

 7:00 AM

 Meet Time

 7:45 – 10:15 AM

 Drive to Hearst Castle

 11:00 AM – 12:25 PM

 Hearst Castle Grand Room Tour

 12:30 – 1:45 PM

 Lunch at Hearst Castle

 1:45 PM

 Return drive back to Hilton Santa Barbara


The tour officially ends after lunch. For those who wish to return to the Hilton together, the tour leaders will depart for the hotel shortly after lunch.


Hearst Castle site: http://hearstcastle.org/tour-hearst-castle/


Other Local InterestsElephant Seals

Head just a few miles north of Hearst Castle to meet some of the Central Coast’s most famous residents: the 17,000 elephant seals that migrate to the Piedras Blancas Rookery every year. 



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