Monday, February 16, 2009

San Francisco to Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle in San Simeon is definitely worth a visit. William Randolph Hearst's unfinished home is an architectural wonder and houses many priceless pieces of art. Five tours are offered of the estate. Tour 1 is suggested for first time visitors as it provides an overview of the castle and grounds. Tours 2 and 3 focus on different parts of the castle. Tour 4 takes you through the gardens and Tour 5 lets you experience the castle at night. I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance as tours frequently sell out.

Each year I get asked if I can do a day trip to Hearst Castle. The short answer is, "no"! San Simeon is halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The drive via the inland route from San Francisco takes about 5 hours. The scenic route through Big Sur along CA Route 1 takes about 6 hours. If you want to visit San Simeon from Los Angeles, the trip takes about 4.5 hours.

While a one-day tour from San Francisco is not really feasible. A round-trip, overnight tour via Big Sur would be a great way to spend two days. Or, if you are traveling to L.A. from San Francisco, take the scenic coastal route and overnight in San Simeon or nearby Cambria. Then take an early morning tour of Hearst Castle and continue on to Los Angeles. Alternatively, you could include a visit to Hearst Castle on a longer visit to California's Central Coast. In addition to Hearst Castle, you could visit Monterey and Carmel; Big Sur; wine country around Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, or Santa Barbara; the city of Santa Barbara, and other coastal communities.

If you would like to take a private tour that includes visits to Big Sur and Hearst Castle, please phone me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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