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.

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Will, Kate B and Alexandra are here to help give you the inside track.

Key Stats

Best Time To Visit

Feb - Sep

Flight from London London

11:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -8 hrs

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.


Where to stay

Cliffside sunset

Post Ranch Inn

This cliff hanger luxury hotel - it literally does hang over the cliffs - is one of the few places to stay along the Big Sur (of this standard anyway), meaning guests can explore uninterrupted to their hearts content.

Four Seasons Santa Barbara

Four Seasons Santa Barbara

The Four Seasons group acquired this Spanish-style 1920's hacienda during the Reagan era and restored the 22-acre property to make the most of its historic charm.

The pool at El Encanto, luxury hotel in Big Sur

Belmond El Encanto

Dating back to the 1920’s, El Encanto has been meticulously restored by Belmond, and aims to capture the romance and glamour of that era.

The poolside at Pebble Beach Resort, luxury hotel in San Francisco

Pebble Beach Resort

Famous for its four extraordinary golf courses (that have hosted the US Open five times) as well as incredible facilities and settings.

Roof terrace at Canary Hotel, luxury hotel in Santa Barbara

Canary Hotel

Canary Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, complete with roof top pool and just a short bike ride from the beach.

Sunset at Anderson Inn, luxury hotel in Morro Bay, Big Sur

Anderson Inn

For guests looking for understated luxury, look no further - The Anderson Inn is a family run contemporary boutique hotel, and nothing says quintessential seaside home stay than the hotel’s stunning spot on the waterfront in Morro Bay.

Big Sur Spa Suite

Ventana Inn & Spa

Sat atop a hill overlooking the rugged Big Sur coastline, the Ventana Inn & Spa is a luxurious adult’s only retreat set within 243 acres of forest, meadows and gardens.

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel Valley Ranch

A short drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea and the lovely Monterey Peninsula sits the Carmel Valley Ranch, a luxurious place to stay along the California coast, surrounded by 500 acres of country estate.

Start creating your tailored trip today

Will, Kate B and Alexandra are our Highway One, the California Coast Road Trip experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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