As far as my travels go, I last wrote about my drive down to Cambria where we stayed at the Fireside Inn. Aside from the awesome views and gorgeous hotel, we decided to stay in Cambria so we could have quick access to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. On our California travel, my family and I made a visit to the ever-so gorgeous Hearst Castle. It was magnificent, and even that is an understatement! The history behind this castle was so fun to listen to as we rode the shuttle up to the doors. The man who built Hearst Castle was a boy who grew up on the same hill, with hundreds of acres of ranchland. He loved this land so much that he wanted to add something magnificent to it that could be shared with friends and guests. The views are amazing, as this sits high on a hillside in Southern California.
My daughter has always said she wants to grow up to be a princess (well actually, a Singing Princess Artist), and we certainly got a feel for royalty and fame while touring Hearst Castle. Touring with the kids was a bit of a challenge because our guide really liked to talk, and it was tough for the kids to have to stand only in one area. There is a red carpet throughout the castle, which is where guests have to stay. You can’t roam the rooms or touch anything at all, to preserve the history and quality. To this I’d say, the tour may not be suitable for very young children. My husband and I loved it though! Everything within the castle is made of the utmost quality
I particularly loved the dining hall. This was set up for William Hearst to be able to come to a meal with all of his many guests. He was always having movie stars and friends and family come to visit the castle. An interesting fact: The dining hall in Harry Potter was actually modeled after this room in the castle, which Mr. Hearst actually called the refectory!
I could walk around the gardens and castle exterior for hours. The weather was perfect, the scenery was gorgeous, and the gardens were beautiful. The castle has all of these cottages around it, which all served as the Hearst family’s earlier residences. He just kept adding and building!
One thing to be aware of is that when you purchase tickets, it doesn’t mean you are going to tour the entire castle. Different tours will go through different rooms. I kind of wish I got to tour the kitchen, but that wasn’t part of the grand tour I was in.
The pools – oh the pools! Hearst castle has two pools; one indoor and one outdoors. The Neptune Pool (above) was HUGE! It really is a shame that nobody gets to swim in it now, because it is spectacular! The color of the water and the statues surrounding it makes it very enticing. I can just picture these huge weekend parties with movie stars and other famous people, all lounging around the pool and going for a dip.
The Roman pool is the indoor pool. What you can’t really see from the pictures is that to the right, there is a high dive. Then on each side of that, the waters go back behind there into another room. I would have loved to go back there! We had to really look closely to see where the stairs to the high dive are. Just a beautiful pool with intricate designs.
If you like to see beautiful works of art, and see how very rich people live, Hearst Castle is the way to go. I found it very fascinating to learn the history in their theatre room, with a video, and to see the beauty!