Hearst Castle Temporarily Suspends Tours Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020


Northern California’s Julia Morgan quietly broke barriers and overcame obstacles. She was the first certified female architect in California and the first American woman to head her own architectural office, leading her to become one of America’s preeminent architects.  Her designs would grace private homes, college campuses, women’s clubs, religious houses, YWCAs, and, most famously, William Randolph Hearst’s legendary San Simeon estate.   The Julia Morgan tour takes an in-depth look at the life and career of this extraordinary woman. View rarely-seen areas of Hearst Castle that highlight her gift for design, and photographic displays of architectural drawings, family photos, and personal items that reveal the person she was.

TOUR RESERVATION CHANGE AND CANCELLATION POLICY

Reservations can be made, changed or canceled online at ReserveCalifornia.com or by calling 1-800-444-4445.

There is an $8.00 per ticket registration fee to reserve tickets.

Changes to tour date or time can be made in advance for a service fee of $8.00 per ticket.

Canceled reservations will be assessed a $7.00 cancellation fee.

Physical Requirements

The Julia Morgan Tour is two hours long and includes approximately 750+ steps, both up and down. For those who have difficulty walking or standing for lengths of time, we recommend Accessibly Designed Tours.

Visit the Grounds

The Gardens
1
Assembly Room
2
Refectory
3
Roman Pool
4
Main Library
5
Doge’s Suite
6
Celestial Suite
7
The Kitchen
8
Hidden Terrace
9
  • 1 The Gardens

    After the guided portion of your tour concludes, explore the expansive garden grounds that surround “La Cuesta Encantada”—Hearst’s Spanish name for The Enchanted Hill. Look for native plants, rare flowers and lush foliage that have been at the Castle since Mr. Hearst resided here.

  • 2 Assembly Room

    Gather in the grand social room on the ground floor of Casa Grande just as W. R. Hearst’s guests did decades ago for cocktails, conversation, and to meet their host. Admire the magnificent room’s walnut paneling,  Renaissance and Baroque tapestries and masterpieces of neoclassical sculpture.

  • 3 Refectory

    Mr. Hearst and architect Julia Morgan named the dining room after the word for a monastery’s dining hall. Its high windows, bright silk banners, and gleaming silver candlesticks convey the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, but the mustard and ketchup bottles show that Mr. Hearst liked to keep things informal at his ranch.

  • 4 Roman Pool

    Located where you board the bus to return to the Visitor Center, the intensely decorated indoor Roman Pool is the perfect place to stop and relax. Modeled after ancient Roman baths, this meticulously detailed, majestic pool is tiled from ceiling to floor, and features marble copies of eight ancient Greek and Roman deities and athletes.

  • 5 Main Library

    This imposing library, intended for Mr. Hearst’s guests, houses more than 4,000 books, and also showcases one of the Castle’s most treasured collections: 150 ancient Greek vases, all more than two thousand years old. At 80 feet in length and filled with precious objects, the Library makes a grand statement.

  • 6 Doge’s Suite

    Step into the richly decorated Doge’s Suite—which was inspired by the ornate chambers of Venice’s famed Doge’s Palace. Admire the magnificent painted antique ceiling, marble balcony and mountain views that welcomed guests here decades ago.

  • 7 Celestial Suite

    Located on the fourth floor, in the base of the bell towers, the two tower bedrooms and a common sitting room were created out of once-empty space. These rooms were first used in 1932. Much like the guests who stayed there then, today’s, visitors bask in the golden glow of sunlight as it filters into the South Celestial Bedroom and are treated to spectacular ocean views from the sitting room, the highest point within Casa Grande.

  • 8 The Kitchen

    Explore the enormous kitchen where all meals were prepared for Mr. Hearst and his vacationing guests. The kitchen itself is full of practical devices—including stock pots, industrial-sized mixers, and early refrigerators—which stand today just as they did decades ago. Admire the Monel countertops, a metal alloy of nickel and copper with trace amounts of iron, manganese, carbon and silicon.

  • 9 Hidden Terrace

    This location, once called the White Oak Terrace, was covered up in 1929 when it proved to be out of step with the rest of the project. Instead of tearing it down, it was simply covered up with a larger more expansive terrace and staircase above. The so nicknamed “hidden terrace” wasn’t discovered until 1975 when State Park staff did some exploratory work under a palm tree.