Conceived in 1919 by newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) and designed by architect Julia Morgan (1872-1957) Hearst Castle began as a hilltop retreat, and over the years the estate became a museum. Offered as a gift by Hearst Corporation in 1957, the deed of gift was recorded in 1958, when the estate was opened to the public.
Experience the 1920s and 30s grandeur that surrounded W. R. Hearst and his guests at La Cuesta Encantada—Spanish for “Enchanted Hill”—with guided Hearst Castle tours.
The Visitor Center: where your visit begins
Begin your journey at the Visitor Center. Although advance reservations are strongly recommended as there are times when tours sell out, you can purchase tickets to Hearst Castle at the Visitor Center, grab a bite to eat, explore the gift shops, learn about the history of the Castle, and watch the exclusive movie “Hearst Castle – Building the Dream” on a giant five-story screen—all before boarding your bus to the Enchanted Hill.
The Bus Ride: your journey to Hearst Castle
When your scheduled tour time arrives, board the bus at the Visitor Center to begin your five-mile journey to Hearst Castle. Narrated by Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, the scenic bus ride provides vistas of the natural beauty that surrounds this historic hilltop estate.
Tour Hearst Castle: relive history by walking through it
Four distinct guided Hearst Castle Tours are offered throughout the day. Each one explores a different part of this luxurious estate comprised of 165 rooms and more than 125 sprawling acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Additional tours include Accessibly Designed Tours, Group Tours and School Tours. The Evening Tour, Private Tour, Art of San Simeon Tour and Hearst and Hollywood Tour are also available seasonally.
The Grounds: visit the gardens and pools at your own pace
The outdoor Neptune Pool is currently empty due to restoration work in progress.
Already know which tour you want to take? View tour tickets and prices before you book them.