Hearst Castle

Cambria is home to one of America's greatest and grandest châteaus: Hearst Castle. Conceived by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Host, along with his architect, Julia Morgan, Hearst Castle is a stunning architectural and design feat. The opulent, gothic-inspired castle overlooks the Pacific Ocean 1,600 feet below.


Built over a period of 28 years from 1919 to 1947, Hearst Castle sits atop the Santa Lucia Mountains of California. An observation deck on the east side of the grounds features a wonderful vantage point of the sweeping vistas. If you can experience Hearst Castle at sunset, you'll enjoy the pinnacle of this famed viewpoint.




Several guided tours are offered daily, as well as wheelchair-accessible options allowing you to explore the 165 rooms, featuring mezzanine ceilings, Italian and Spanish art and antiques, and more than 125 sprawling acres of gardens, terraces, pools made of marble and gold, and walkways. During the holidays, visitors can enjoy the Holiday Twilight Tour, which showcases the castle's opulent Christmas decorations and beautifully manicured grounds. No matter which tour you book, be sure to allow plenty of time so you can make the most of your visit. Note, you can also book your tours 60 days in advance!


In addition to touring the grounds, take some time on your drive in to view the Hearst Castle zebras! Did you know Hearst Castle was once home to the world's largest private zoo?! Filled with more than 50 different species and hundreds of individual animals, it was quite the feat for its time. 


In the 1930's, the zoo was dismantled when Hearst experienced some financial setbacks. Today, however, when the weather is warm, you can still spot descendants of the original zebras roaming freely. Other animals still on the grounds include Rocky Mountain elk, tahr goats, llamas, white fallow deer, and several sheep. As you cruise down Highway 1 near San Simeon, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse!



Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452