Advanced reservations are recommended. Face coverings are not currently required but strongly recommended.


For those fascinated by the trajectory of the Enchanted Hill, and W. R. Hearst’s unique collaboration with architect Julia Morgan, the Designing the Dream tour weaves through the nearly three decades of planning and construction that comprised the astounding estate’s history. The earliest years are viewed in Casa del Sol, a guest cottage from the very first stage of the project; the middle-years are represented by the iconic swimming pools so closely associated with the estate; and the final years are seen in the North Wing of Casa Grande, the very last phase to be realized. With an emphasis on both changing design and architectural styles of the time, and the tumultuous events in W.R. Hearst’s own life, this tour spans the entire history of Hearst Castle.

Reservations can be made, changed, or cancelled at ReserveCalifornia.com or by calling 1-800-444-4445. Changes to tour
date or time: no additional charge if made in advance. A non-refundable registration fee per ticket and a $7.00 per cart fee will be charged for cancellations.

Physical Requirements

The Designing the Dream tour is 75 minutes long and includes approximately 341 steps, both up and down, and 1.2 mile walk. For those who have difficulty walking or standing for lengths of time, we recommend Accessibly Designed Tours.



Visit the Grounds

Roman Pool
The Gardens
  • 1 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.

  • 2 The Gardens

    “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.