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History of the Hearst Castle Tour

HearstCastle There are approximately 5,000 historic house museums in the U.S., and Hearst Castle is one of the largest of them. It also has some of the most refined guided tours. The estate, now ran by California State Parks and once home to William Randolph Hearst, prides itself in keeping up the appearance of a residential home. Also known as “The Enchanted Hill”, Hearst Castle gives visitors an inside look at how William Hearst and his family lived, their lifestyle, and the architecture and gardens they were surrounded by at the Castle. The tours given at this magnificent site are led by only the best after having gone through guide training and realized to have excellent interpretive experience. Origin of the Tours In 1952, UC Berkley President Sproul suggested that the Hearst ranch should be given to the Division of Beaches and Parks as a monument. The trial tours started in September of that same year and after two years, were cut down to one hour plus the bus trip up and down San Simeon. In 1957, the official name of the mansion and estate became the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument after it was donated to the People of the State of California by the Hearst Corporation. Tours departed daily at 1 p.m. on a first come first served basis. Only one tour was available at that time; today there are three different daytime tours that explore different areas. The Evening Tour After the public expressed interest in viewing the estate at night, the evening tour was developed, and first started in April of 1989. The idea is to recreate a typical evening at Hearst Castle in the 1930s. Guides play the part and share an accurate history, focused on the social side of things. This tour is held on most Friday and Saturday nights in the spring and fall. Take a Tour Take a tour to explore this rich and wonderful place. The Castle is open all year round with three distinct tours during the day and the seasonal Evening Tour. To check out more and to reserve times and tickets visit  

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