Hearst Castle was the home and resort of one of America's true tycoons, visited often by Hollywood stars of the era, and inspiration for Orson Welles' great, controversial film "Citizen Kane." It features tons of paintings, tapestries and other treasures from European castles, two astounding swimming pools, meticulously kept gardens, panoramic views, and Julia Morgan's ingenious design itself. It's an "Enchanted Hill" you won't forget.
From San Francisco or even San Jose, it takes 4 to 5 hours to drive to Hearst Castle via the serpentine Pacific Coast Highway or a straighter but less scenic, mostly inland route. In order to make the trip worthwhile, we only offer an overnight tour where we leave early the first day, stop for lunch in Carmel or Big Sur, then arrive at the Castle's Visitors' Center in time for a mid-afternoon or evening tour. Quaint Cambria is nearby so we suggest lodging there overnight to enjoy its excellent restaurants, brewpubs and galleries.
On the second morning you'll probably want to take a second, different tour at the Castle. We lunch back in Cambria or in a town along the coast. If it's winter, we may come across a large colony of elephant seals hauled up on shore...the females to breed and rest, the dominant males to defend their harems against invaders. We can stop again in Monterey, Carmel or Santa Cruz for dinner, or proceed back to The City, arriving late in the evening. Or combine this tour with a third day visiting the Monterey Peninsula for a truly unforgettable experience. What will it Cost? Our fee for this tour is $1,700 (for 1-5 people and their luggage) plus lodging, because we stay overnight near the Castle. In addition there is an entrance fee for each tour of the Castle, and you pay for all your meals and snacks. Please note that if you are being referred by a Travel Agent, s/he may add a commission (fee for finding and making arrangements with us) to your total.