Hearst Castle

California : San Simeon : Hearst Castle

It's been a while since I've posted any photos from our vacation in California.
I've done a few posts, but haven't quite finished; I took a TON of photos.
Maybe it's the fabulous weather we are experiencing that's
making me reminiscent of our nine days back in April.
Either way, I would like to share the tour of Hearst Castle we took while in California.

Esplanade Vista
View from the Esplanade

"La Cuesta Encantada" or "The Enchanted Hill",
is perched atop the hills of San Simeon overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The palatial mansion was built by William Randolph Hearst,
and was designed by architect Julia Morgan.

The estate has 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 41 fireplaces,
19 sitting rooms, and 127 acres of gardens.....

Old School House w/ Hearst Castle in Background

It's a lot bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside......
just kidding......this is the old school house, you can see the castle in the background.

There are several different tours to choose from while visiting,
although Cody and I only took one. The first one actually.
The Experience tour is one recommended to first-time visitors.
It lasted approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Casa Del Sol

The beginning of the Hearst Castle Tour took us to
the promenade in front of Casa Del Sol.
It's an eighteen room guest house that faces the Pacific coastline.
Tour one allowed us to view 4 of the bedrooms, and 4 of the bathrooms.
But that came after this.......

The Neptune Pool.

The Greco-Roman style Temple front was bought in Europe and transported to the grounds.
I've read that, the Neptune pool was rebuilt 3 times before Mr. Hearst was satisfied.

Neptune Pool

Afterwards, we headed up to the Esplanade,
one of the most beautiful sections of the grounds.
It featured many marble sculptures, and flowers.

Esplanade with Casa Grande

Continuing on the tour, we were lead through a few rooms within Casa Del Sol.

Casa Del Sol

From the outside in, everything was lavishly decorated......
I am sure that I missed some details along the way.

Casa Del Sol Guest Room

From the ceiling to the floor, pure extravagance.

Casa Del Sol Guest Room

I stayed in the back for most of the tour,
since I was more interested in taking photos.
It was hard to do so surrounded by a group of people, but I managed.

Casa Grande

Casa Grande (the main house) and the three guest houses were
done in a Mediterranean Revival style.

Casa Grande

The towers of the main house are modeled after a 16th Century Spanish Cathedral.
This was the main stop of the tour taking us through five rooms of Casa Grande's ground floor.

The Assembly Room which is the largest of the four sitting rooms and once a gathering place for Hearst's guests, the Refectory which is the single dining room at Hearst Castle, the Morning Room which is a magnificent sitting room filled with Spanish antiques and Flemish tapestries, the Billiard Room which is a game room featuring two 1920's billiard tables and a Gothic "millle fleurs" tapestry, and the Theater which is the largest room in Casa Grande.

The Refectory

The end of the tour brought us to Casa Grande's indoor Roman Pool.
For me, this was definitely the highlight.

Indoor Roman Pool

The Roman Pool is decorated from ceiling to floor with 1″ square mosaic tiles. These glass tiles, called smalti, are either colored (mainly blue or orange) or are clear with fused 24 karat gold inside. The intense colors and shimmering gold of the tiles combine to create a breathtaking effect. The designs created by the tiles were developed by muralist Camille Solon.

Indoor Roman Pool

Still curious to see more, we loaded the bus to go back down to the the visitor center.
We could have paid another $24 to go on another tour, but decided not to.
Instead, we took advantage of the free ticket to see the movie
"Hearst Castle Building the Dream".

All in all, I'm really glad that we added the castle tour to our itinerary.
I would have been kicking myself later had we missed it.
To see more photos that I haven't shown here, check out this link.
Flickr Set

Sorry I wasn't more in depth, but it was enough work getting this together!
For more information about the history, check out this link.
Hearst Castle History

Hope you have all had an enchanting weekend!


  1. i was all set to jump
    in the Neptune pool
    and then i saw
    the blue loveliness
    of the Roman Pool...

    i am SO glad i don't live THERE!


    think how hard it would be
    to choose
    your morning swimming place!

    thanks ever~so for sharing
    the problems of others...

    i am going to go run through
    my back~yard sprinkler...

  2. So pretty!! I love your pics, as always. :)

  3. Wow...these are really amazing photos - and so professional looking! Sounds like a great time - would love to visit CA soon. What kind of camera do you have by the way? I'm in the market - please let me know!

  4. Oh I must join somepinkflowers in that Roman pool.
    That is just deee-vine.
    Wow, to think all that costs some bucks$$$

    Lucky you, capturing some amazing photos. Good one!!!

  5. Wow, I really enjoyed these pics! I wish I were there!

  6. These are such wonderful photos. I love the pool and the reflections. I have seen photos of this place before as a member of my camera club has visited here. The colours of tiling and the ceiling are so beautiful and you have captured it so well.
    PS: I send you the receipt it pretty easy to make.

  7. I wouldn't be caught dead in that run down place, lol yea right. Poverty stinks. Why wasn't I born wealthy instead of good looking, lol, Great photo's.

  8. This mega-opulence is so far removed from my own life that it feels surreal to me! Great photos!

  9. I simply must go there, what city is it in/near?

  10. Impressive... I like your new header too... nice change!

  11. That is AMAZING! I've always wanted to see the Hearst Castle and after going through your photos I feel like I've been there. They should hire you to be their official photographer! I can't imagine living in such splendor.

  12. Wow, what an incredible tour! Stunning photos.

  13. Oh, I hope you also had a chance to explore the charming little town of Cambria nearby! And did you see the elephant seal colony? We used to live a few hours from the Central Coast and miss it quite a bit!

  14. That was a breath-taking glimpse of a beautiful landmark. Thank you for going to the work of sharing with us. :)

  15. Excellent post great photos I want to you all the best!

  16. Oh my gosh!! These photos are breathtaking!!!

  17. Wow, can you imagine actually living in that?! It's beautiful, though, and your photos are amazing! Thanks for the tour. :)

  18. Wow what a place! I recently saw a special on Winston Churchill, he visited there in the 20s or 30s and hung out with Hearst and Charlie Chaplin. Apparently Winston was a faily accomplished painter. I could see from your great photos why he was inspiried by the place.

  19. I love that last pool photo! I'll have to get there someday. In the meantime, thanks for sharing! The castle is a bit too ornate for me, but those pools are gorgeous.

  20. I remember going to see this with my Dad and Grandparents when I was, oh, say 7. I remember being a little bored--we were going to an amusement park the next day, which I was way more excited about. But even still, I was way impressed with those pools!

  21. Amanazing! That Roman Pool!

    My favorite, however, is the ceiling in that first bedroom. What grand adventures those ornamental ceilings must have inspired.

  22. Oh thank you for this tour! Even though I grew up in California I never saw the Hearst Castle. I never knew it was so beautiful. Your photo's are great! Roxanne

  23. Wow! Beautiful Images! And thanks for dropping by over at the Matchbook a few weeks ago - I've been traveling, too, and am way behind on posting! But I love the Tennessee book you're working on, too . . . curious to see more!

  24. Beautifully captured! I love the crispness and perfect colours. Very nice!

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  26. This castle is so beautiful, and how fortunate to tour it, it was probably amazing to see, thank you for sharing your photos. Did the Hearst's ever live in it?