- 916-414-8400 ext. 4100
San Simeon, CA 93452
- In San Simeon at the south end of the Big Sur Coast
DescriptionLa Cuesta Encantada, "The Enchanted Hill" high above the ocean at San Simeon, was the creation of two extraordinary individuals, William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan. Their collaboration, which began in 1919 and continued for nearly 30 years, transformed an informal hilltop campsite into the world-famous Hearst Castle -- a magnificent 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens.
The main house itself, "La Casa Grande," is a grand setting for Hearst's collection of European antiques and art pieces. It was also a most fitting site for hosting the many influential guests who stayed at Hearst's 250,000-acre San Simeon ranch. Guests included President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin, and a diverse array of luminaries from show business and publishing industries.
Tours depart from the Visitor Center by bus at the time printed on the ticket. An audio tape program provides background information during the 15 minute, 5-mile trip to the Castle.
To start your tour, you will board a bus at the Visitor Center that takes you to the Castle at the top of the hill. At the end of each Tour, you must go back down to the Visitor Center on the bus, even if you have tickets for another tour. Allow at least 2 hours between tour starting times.
Since all the tours entail considerable walking and stair climbing, you should wear comfortable shoes. Although Tour 1 is considered the least strenuous, tours are not recommended for persons with crutches, walking aids, or medical problems such as heart conditions.
All tours include the Neptune Pool, a Greco-Roman outdoor pool, and the Roman Pool, an indoor pool lined with Venetian glass and gold.