Hearst Castle Tour

I was very excited to see this castle. I’ve seen the signs that point to its directions. A lot of people I know have been here. It seems like a must-go-to place in California. It is glamorized, romanticized. It is deceivingly grand. Certainly majestic. All the attentions to its originator and its architectural wonders are definitely warranted. There are four tours – Grand Rooms, Upstairs Suites, Cottages and Kitchen, and Garden Tour. Prices range from $25 – $36.

My Part 1 post of Hearst Castle 


Architecturally, to me, Hearst Castle is a reminisce to La Giralda of Seville, Spain.

One very intriguing areas of the framework design are these little angels that look as if they’re holding up, supporting the structures.



I admire the castle designs and its arts individually. As a whole, if you look and analyze closely, there are many areas that quite indecorous and mismatching from each other.


Knights, angels, religious figures, European faces, dog-like creatures, etc. can be seen in one view.



These lamps are scattered all throughout the castle grounds.


Let’s go inside…

This Grand Rooms tour took us to the social rooms that hosted many guests who visited Hearst Castle. Most of which are movie actors like Cary Grant and Charlie Chaplin, some political figures like Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Bob Hope, and Calvin Coolidge, and other notable famous celebrities and personalities like Howard Hughes.


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Everything is decorated. There are larger-than-life tapestries that I would love to take home. 🙂 You can see the couch there. You drop one tiny crumb and you won’t find a trace of it from all the graphic patterns. There are artworks. Each I like on their own. Altogether, in my opinion, looks congested, overdone, and mismatching. Maybe if we could stay in one room longer and not in rush to actually sink things in, I probably would admire it better. No, we were in and out of the rooms like children running during a fire drill. With so much to seeyou and I both will do just fine observing all of it in pictures.


I was stunned by the ceilings …


They’re my favorite part.


William Hearst was actually a ceiling collector…


I can’t imagine how much of a factor these ceiling frames played on dictating the size of the rooms.




The Grand Tour ends with the theater presenting a screening portion of historic castle footages.  10384929_10152517807048578_4181608735975609940_n


In all honesty I have a mixed bag opinion about Hearst Castle. I didn’t like the mismatching arts and designs. I didn’t like that the tours are very very rushed. It might just well be all the talk about richness and glamours that are clouding my judgment. Maybe it is just because it really is grand … in a good and bad sense. It certainly is majestic, and is enveloped with so many fascinating back stories. One thing though, with all the stimulants here- the gardens, the rooms, the Enchanted Hill, the histories and back stories, the artworks, etc, I wouldn’t say that a trip to The Hearst Castle is a waste.

Photo overload, I know.

Last Calls…



William Hearst wanted other people to see and appreciate European arts without going to Europe. If you do get the opportunity to see The Hearst Castle, I recommend to appreciate its arts … individually. 😉



Categories: California

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53 replies »

    • Very nice first comment. Thanks Eric. Many times traveling is not about the destination. A good chunk of it is experience too. 😉 I’m indeed priviledged to have witnessed this majestic destination.

    • That I think is a large part of it. He bought so mwny artworks and crowded the castle with it. No theme, pattern, or perhaps even concrete vision.

  1. Nice pictures. When I was a tour guide I visited Hearst Castle on a regular basis…. it was hot up there…. I was a big fan of the two pools!!! The indoor marble pool is something I would love to have in my house. Glad you liked the visit overall………..

    • Oh my gravy! I criticized Hearst Castle and here is a former tour guide commenting. I’m so busted. 😆 At least I mentioned about the pools on my first post of Hearst Castle, and agreed on my admiration of it. 🙂

      • Do provide the link on your post with the pools please. Being a swimmer I always enjoy pools…. even the fancy ones that he had built on the property. Did you see any animals on the bus ride up? It was interesting that he had a zoo of sorts as well on the grounds.

        And I’ll agree – he went a bit over the top.. but it’s nice to see it all preserved like that so many years later.

  2. Great write up…what an immaculate place, all those photos ooze wealth, a little Gatsby type of feeling. It would be nice to take the tour to try to capture what it must have been like to have walked those rooms in its heyday. Fascinating life no doubt. Your comments about the mix-matched art is kind of funny, as when you have so much money perhaps you just buy everything and throw it together 🙂 Thanks for the intro (especially for the day when I build my own castle!!!!). Cheers.

  3. I like to think that he really had FUN with his art. Having ‘sexy’ 1930′s sculptures next to the originals is a laugh. Rather than the cold slightly creepy perfection of Getty’s collections.

    • Getty collected arts that are matching. He was on point with most of what he got. In a critical or physical sense, he does have one up against Hearst. William Hearst collected arts more years so everything was all mixed. In a deeper way, one great thing with William Hearst is that he presented what he wanted, and not think about critical receptions from art experts. Thanks for an awesome comment, Trevor. “slightly creepy perfection” I don’t know about that but 😆

  4. That is one thing I do not enjoy about tours is that they rush you. Do they give you the option of wandering through the castle at your own pace?

    • The gardens and the pools, yes. The rooms, the quickest tour I’ve ever had. So rushed that, to be honest, I felt like my money was not worth it.

  5. I love Hearst Castle, and have toured it many many times, perhaps because the tour goes so fast that there’s no time to savor so many details. I don’t find it overdone, myself. To be in love with beautiful objects can become an addiction, as we can see in your beautiful photos. Looks like you had a very fine day for the tour. I once inquired about the availability of longer tours. They offered private tours that let you stroll about at a very slow pace, with your own guide, and you can bring a few friends too. But the cost was in the many hundreds of dollars. Oh well…

    • I was thinking about collecting and obsession as well. But that can’t be the excuse. I really have a mixed bag opinion about Hearst Castle. As much as I want to say it’s all great, I can’t help but be critical. There is just too much assortments, and they’re not arranged properly in my opinion. Take for instance the statues in the indoor theater. Those are fine because it’s isolated. The Egyptian art in the garden I find completely out of place. I saw a bust with a sort of a Roman figure on one side and on another side opposite to it is a dog-looking creature. It was a bit hard to take in. One admirable thing is that, yes, he showed us the arts that he, himself, appreciated.

  6. Forgot to mention… My favorite game when I visit museums and places like the Hearst Castle, is to say to my friend “If you can have just one item in this room, which would it be? Why?” It is amazing how this little game can refine one’s eye!

    • It’s really out of place in today’s sensibilities. Gaudy is a very good word for it, but in his day status and opulence signified social and political stature. Don’t forget how he made all that money! Lol! I think it is a gem that we are fortunate his family gave the state. It is at least a time capsule. And if that gorgeous property didn’t belong to the state can you imagine what would populate it? Now that’s a shudder!! Your photos are great!! We are going to be up that way again in September and I’m thinking of taking a different tour. I will just direct readers to your blog. I doubt my photos will begin to rival yours if I’m rushed!! 🙂

      • I gave him that. It was awesome for him to give his estate to the state. These arts are impressive individually. Definitely better not put those kind of arts into wastes. These rich-y historical places are money-makers! If they lower the price a bit, maybe I feel less gripe-y. Ahihihi. Huntington Library is $20, but it’s at least spacious. I think Gettys’ $15 and $10 is the way to do it. 😉 😀

    • I love castles in Europe! Some of the articles I found are air-quoting it as “castle”. Well actually, I consider it as one. 😉

  7. It is uniquely beautiful and artistic. The mismatch part adds up to its drama and all the history behind it. I guess the creative brain of the artist was just going overboard trying to fill in every space and details. I agree, the ceiling is fascinating so with appreciating the castle in a slower paced. In a tour, that may be impossible. Thanks for the adventure. Have a great Summer!

    • I like how you think, IT. I love the fact that I’ve been there and marvelled at its majesty, but it’s just hard for me not to be critical about it.

  8. Wow, did not know you can take inside pictures! The inside of Hearst is as grand as what we saw at the Biltmore but tastefully decorated. I was also mesmerized at the ceiling at the Biltmore, I think when you have money to waste, every inch of the house is decorated with something magnificent.

    At the Biltmore, the tours are self guided with a pamphlet in hand or an audio tour. We were not rush at all, there is plenty of time to explore and investigate every nook and cranny in that house. and we see everything in one price, house and garden and more!

    • Thank you Mona for justifying.
      I’ve been to tours similar to this that have a lot more freedom. I think the castle is just very decorated in such tight spaces that they are worried about visitors knocking things over. They have to provide constant and keen eye for every person in the room so they can’t do self guided tours. Then again, they can be strict with space but they don’t have to be strict with time. I think the tours are rushed in such overpriced admission(esp. comparing to others like Getty and Huntington). And then, you don’t get to see everything unless you cough up some more money. Something people need to consider when they decide to come here.

  9. If I didn’t check the write-up I would have thought this is a place in Transylvania in Rome. While I really like the vivid pictures, I can’t deny this somewhat creepy feeling about the ambiance of the place. It’s Filipino thing, I guess.

    California is one hell of a place when it comes to tourist destinations in the US I must say.

  10. Hello Rommel! I agree with you, the interiors look overdone. I’ve been wishing to visit the Hearst castle but know I’m not sure anymore. Does it worth it to have a so quickly tour? By watching the photo of the lamp, I guess the landscape view of the surroundings is the worth one. Isn’t it? Maybe I would visit only to enjoy that.
    Kind greetings,

    • If you decide to go there, you don’t have a choice at all… you have to purchase a tour to get to the top and see the castle. Hearst Castle is a California bucket list tourist destination.

  11. To quote Tim Gun, “That’s a lotta look.” My niece would call that style “Craptacular”..and it is. I’d love to see it. Thanks for sharing!

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