California, Travel
Comments 135

Hearst Castle

Day 6!

We’re almost to the end of my photos from the trip. Hope you enjoyed looking through the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them. :)

Jay and I drove to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif., Wednesday morning for a tour. The castle, also known as “La Cuesta Encantada” (Enchanted hill) was built by William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951), newspaper magnate and publisher.

The estate is more than 90,000 square feet. There are a total of 56 bedrooms, 41 fireplaces and 61 bathrooms including the three guest houses and the main house.

Pictured above on the left is a sitting area in the assembly room in the main house, Casa Grande. Hearst and his architect Julia Morgan worked on the castle from 1919 to 1947. When Hearst died in 1951, the Hearst corporation donated the property to the state and it is now maintained as a California state park and art museum.

The dining room was massive. Hearst was a “ceiling collector” and would buy centuries-old ceilings that dictated the size of the rooms.

The outdoor Neptune pool holds 345,000 gallons. Hearst actually tore down and rebuilt this pool three times during construction because he couldn’t make up his mind on a size.

Casa Grande is 60,645 square feet. Hearst hosted many notable figures of his time like Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant and Winston Churchill.

I have to give it to him – he picked a nice location with great views to build his cozy cabin.

The 10-feet-deep indoor Roman Pool is tiled from top to bottom and is 1,665 square feet. This was probably the most impressive room we got to see!

We really enjoyed our tour of the castle, and we were even allowed to explore the castle grounds afterward for as long as we liked. We heard that this had not been allowed in the last 30 years. (You had to buy a separate gardens tour if you wanted to have a look.)

After the castle, Jay and I jumped in our trusty car and continued south on CA-Hwy 1 toward Santa Barbara, a three-hour drive away.

We got to see a little of “wine country” during the drive.

We stopped at Old Mission Santa Barbara, also known as the “Queen of the Missions.” The mission was established in 1786 and was the 10th of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans.

Factoid: It’s the only California mission to have twin bell towers.

After the mission, we walked along Stearns Wharf, the west coast’s oldest continuously operating wooden pier.

I love the mountain backdrop.

*UPDATE: Aug. 29, 2011*
Today my blog post was freshly pressed. What a huge compliment from the WordPress team! A big  thank you  goes to them and to all those who stopped by and commented – I am stunned and grateful. Thank you again.

135 Comments

  1. Jeff says

    Roman Pool photo is sweet. Doesn’t even look real. Stearns Wharf collage is money.

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  2. margaret says

    Well if that doesnt make you want to up and take leave to the west I dont know what would.

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  3. Very cool. When I went there I also thought that the Roman pool was the best. I think it should be noted that the structure was built “for” William Randolph Hearst and the architect was Julia Morgan.

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  4. My best friend just visited Hearst Castle..she said it was amazing, but she didn’t take many photos of it…so glad you did!! Thanks so much for sharing and Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! :)

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  5. It was approximatedly ten years ago that I was blessed in also visiting the Hearst Castle. From the history that I have studied on this exceptional man in history, who owned this castle, what you see today, is only one-tenth of its former glory in its furntiure and contents. In my mind, without a doubt, the Hearst Castle is truly one of ten, of the most beautiful places in the world.

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  6. Your photos are beautiful! My husband and I are going to Cambria to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary next month and I’m looking forward to going to see the Hearst Castle while we’re there. This post got me extra excited! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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  7. Beautiful! When my husband and I lived in CA we visited Hearst Castle a couple of times. It was all I could do to stop myself from running and jumping into that huge pool.
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed

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  8. Pingback: Hearst Castle (via phoblography) « chairman0fthebored

  9. Cool! You are on Freshly pressed! Hearst castle & ur photos are beautiful! I live in bay area, we visit big sur often. Camping this weekend to cover a larger area there and visit the castle too.

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  10. First off: “Phoblography”?!?! Brilliant!

    Also, your pix are gorgeous, and I think you may have inspired me to visit. I’ve never been to Hearst Castle, though I only live a few hours away. It looks incredible…

    :)

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    • Thanks, Mikalee! I also refer to myself as a phlogger (photo blogger). :) If you have the chance, you should def. visit! Especially since they’re letting folks roam the grounds for free. It was truly beautiful and a sight to see.

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  11. Some great travel photos! Out of interest what lens or lenses did you take? I always take the wrong lens on a trip but you seem to have had a good mix.

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    • Hi, Liam, thanks for the compliment! I brought my 18-105mm and 50mm lenses with me on this trip. I used my zoom lens the majority of the time. If I could do it again, I would just pack my zoom lens. And if it were a perfect world, I’d also have a wide angle lens too. :) Hope that helps!

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  12. clarissadale says

    I visited Hearst Castle with my family a few years back and it was beautiful! So great to see it again as we managed to lose half the photos!

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  13. The Hearst Castle is amazing! Who ever heard of collecting ceilings? You have to have money to do that. I guess the Orson Welles wasn’t exagerating too much in the film “Citizen Kane”.

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  14. Wow! Not a movie out there that’s done the place justice – your photos those… did I say, “Wow!”

    Also, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

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  15. I saw Hearst castle for the first time just a month ago when I went to visit my grandfather in Arroyo Grande. Your beautiful photography captures it wonderfully. Thank you for sharing!

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  16. Wow beautiful photos! I loved Hearst Castle when we went, so ridiculously extravagant!! But I never knew it was called la cuesta encantada, thanks for the info. Apparently it’s illegal to jump in the pool and you get a massive fine!

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  17. Pingback: Hearst Castle (via phoblography) | Gealachs Blogg

  18. Hi, thanks for posting the pics. I’m from SB and did not know it was the “west coast’s oldest continuously operating wooden pier.”

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  19. I live in Hearst Castle wine country, and I just had to take a peek at your shots. You do the area justice! Thanks for the exposure.

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  20. Ahh what lovely pictures, especially of the Hearst Castle! I was supposed to go there during a bus trip across So Cal, but we somehow missed it.

    I love castles!

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  21. Pingback: Don´t forget The Enchanted Hill… « Best trip ever

  22. I love wine country and California. And personally, if it was up to me, I’d made the west coast and CA Hwy 1 a wonder of the world… well, a wonder of North America anyway. Beautiful photos and congrats on the fp!

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  23. Pingback: Hearst Castle « Arthur: the Art Zine

  24. Pingback: Visit the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California | Masters At Travel Blog

  25. researchingparis says

    What a beautiful collection of photographs – especially touching because they are of my hometown (I’m from Morro Bay originally), and it isn’t often that I come across images from that corner of the world here in Paris. Bravo! And congratulations on Freshly Pressed :)

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  26. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I visited San Simeon in the early 60’s. Glad to see it still looks great! I’ve been planning to revisit it with my wife. Thanks for the tour!

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  27. Beautiful photography! Very colorful and lively. It looks like you had a wonderful time and have seen and learned a good amount. I’ve always wanted to check out California. Some day, some day.

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  28. Hearst Castle has been on my list for years but I have yet to make the journey. Thank you for giving me a beautiful glimpse of the property….I can’t wait to see it in person!

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  29. Miss Tuggy says

    I love this place! I was there eight years ago, when I was dubiously old enough to properly enjoy it, but I thought the pools rocked. Great pictures.

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  30. I love the pictures of the wharf! I absolutely miss the beach since I returned to Indiana for college. Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures of home! :)

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  31. những tấm hình của bạn thật đẹp tôi rất thích , cảm ơn sự chia sẽ của bạn, nó la những dấn ấn đẹp

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  32. Jessica says

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed! Your photos are amazing, wow… I thought places like this only appeared in movies!

    Great job! :)

    Like

  33. fiona says

    the insdie of castle looks GREAT! (usually only nice outside…my experience, lol)

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  34. It is unbelievable to think that there is something this beautiful in America! Simply gorgeous. My jaw was on the floor the whole time I was looking at these photos.

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  35. Dear friend, please excuse me as i am not trying to offend you @ all and it’s nice for you have had the funds and the time and the partner to go in vacation with. As a Romanian person with deep studies in also Architecture, all i can tell you about this castle is i love both of its pools, the garden and the territory outside(the land and geography).
    As an advice from me, Romania is poor contrary to it had been very rich up to the recent past, its architecture and green and blue places are ruined and also permitted to be used by people to consider themselves to be ‘equal with the rest’ and have the rights, so on. But let me tell you something: in normal times, there are little places with a real monarchic architecture, in the world. And you can definitely find it in Romania, both in the cities of it and outside the Capital. Regards!

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  36. Grahame Hall says

    Such unashamed opulence! If Hearst we alive today he’d probably make just as large a fortune in new media! Thanks for sharing this stunning place with us, and congrats on the FP!!

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  37. Okay, those photos were absolutely breathtaking! Now you’re making me want to fly all the way to Hearst Castle!

    Thanks for sharing! :)

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  38. Great photos of Hearst Castle and the Santa Barbara Mission. I visited Hearst Castle some ten years ago and was blown away by the place. Amazing that it was his home! I mean, to wake up and have to make the difficult decision of which pool to swim in? Now THAT’S tough!

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  39. Wow. You’re so lucky! When I visited Hearst Castle a few years back, we weren’t allowed to explore anywhere alone… nor were we allowed to take photographs.

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  40. I saw the Castle in the TV series” amercas castles” It’s amazing. I thoroughly love looking through other peoples homes! Thanks for the post.

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  41. Pingback: Hearst Castle (via phoblography) | Apartments i Like

  42. The Sherpa Guide says

    Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos! I had drove to the castle on a little road trip about 2 years back and was too late for the tour, you captured the castle beautifully.

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  43. Lovely photographs! A friend of mine worked at Hearst Castle for several years…..there was a party once a year for employees and they were allowed to swim in the Neptune Pool! It’s been a fantasy ever since to swim in that amazing pool……

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  44. odorunara says

    I love how you can see which rooms (dining room and picture 4) were used as the basis of the sets for Citizen Kane. Thanks for the photo tour!

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  45. Terrific collection of photos. I was born and raised in California and have fond memories of visiting these same places. The indoor pool is unforgettable. Santa Barbara is perhaps my favorite area of all, a place one of my old professors called “God’s Country.”

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  46. I think there is something about the sky and the light in San Simeon – I was there years ago and my photos (with a cheap camera) came out looking so gorgeous, I was stunned.
    This was nicely done. I like the way you did the layout of the photos.

    Like

  47. Congrats on being FP’d! These are beautiful photographs. We were there a couple of years ago and the pool wasn’t filled. It is an amazing place! Thanks for sharing~

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  48. Photos are always evaluated by workmanship of photographer
    not only by monuments.You have done justice with your work.
    And your work speaks.Beautiful and neat work. Thanks for presentation.

    Like

  49. Pingback: Hearst Castle « Lyconpedia – The Mini encyclopedia

  50. nexi says

    Stunning post! Interested to see the Roman Pool, I just posted on the real Roman bathhouse at Caerleon in Wales.

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  51. Pingback: Hearst Castle (via phoblography) | Ado Feck

  52. Pingback: 100 places I want to go #1: Hearst Castle « Shhh… Mommy's Blogging…

  53. Pingback: The estate is still known as “America’s Castle” « Lake Massawippi Lodge

  54. Hello dear!
    I have added a link to your blog from mine as I was in the heart castle too just last week.
    I thought people will have a better idea how the castle is if they see your pics.

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  55. Ahhhhhmazing photos. We are looking forward to seeing the Castle next month and now having seen your photos, we are really excited! Thank you!

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  56. Pingback: Baltimore: Camden Yards « phoblography

  57. Pingback: Ten Questions (plus one!) for Phoblography | The Daily Post

  58. Pingback: FIVE MAJOR HISTORICAL LANDMARKS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA « Travel Around The World

  59. Hearst Castle is absolutely amazing. I am also a lucky one who has visited this gorgeous attraction just before my Boston new york Washington tour. It is one of the world’s famous Castles. The architectural designed of this building is very unique and present awesome look.

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  60. Pingback: My Blog

  61. I have just one word (even if i’m not sure it’s a word). It’s WOW!!!
    I love the photos with the reflections and the first photo is wonderful!!!

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