Located on the hilltop of Enchanted Rock, the magnificent Hearst Castle is California’s most famous monument to wealth and ambition, offering breathtaking views across California’s Central Coast and the Pacific Ocean.

The castle was designed by architect Julia Morgan for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst between 1991 and 1947, who spent his last years at the castle. The estate has 165 rooms and acres of flowery gardens, pools, terraces and walkways. The property has even hosted the most renowned Hollywood stars, politicians and historic figures.

Its elegant interior design, inspired by Renaissance and Baroque architecture contributes to the magical appearance of the hilltop retreat. The impressive Neptune pool is one of the castles highlights, decorated with Neptune and Nereid statues, overlooking the ocean, mountains and the main house. The majestic Roman indoor pool overwhelms with mosaic tiled patterns in intense and golden shimmering colours and statues of Roman gods, goddesses and heroes.

Nowadays the castle is one of the world's greatest showpieces for ancient art and impresses with loads of history. Three different guided tours through Hearst Castle can be attended daily, nevertheless it is recommended to book tickets in advance as the tours tend to get booked up. A bus from the Visitor Centre will bring you up the enchanted rock.

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Ollie is our 'Hearst Castle' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.