Hearst Castle

http://www.hearstcastle.org

"…Miss Morgan, we are tired of camping out in tents at the ranch in San Simeon, I would like to build a little something…"

This statement from William Randolph Hearst to renowned architect, Julia Morgan, is what started it all in 1919. By 1947, Mr. Hearst had created an estate boasting 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways.

This legendary California manor sits at 1,600 feet above sea level; often just resting on the coastal fog. Hearst Castle® presents guests with a choice of five different guided tours, including daytime and evening opportunities.


The museum shop and gift shop offer a collection of books as well as home furnishings reflective of the time period. With reproductions of classic Castle art pieces, the museum shop encourages guests to take home a piece of the Hearst Castle® experience. In addition, the National Geographic Theater at the Visitor's Center offers a five-story screen theater with regular showings of the film, Hearst Castle: Building the Dream . Experience all this and more at "The Gateway to Hearst Castle®".

Hearst Castle® is one of the largest of approximately 5,000 historic house museums in the U.S., with one of the most sophisticated guided tour programs in the country. Once the home of William Randolph Hearst, California State Parks strives to keep the estate looking like a private residence.


The tours take the visitor back through time exploring the life of William Randolph Hearst and his family, the art collection, architecture, gardens and history of the Castle. Formal guide training is an integral aspect of Hearst Castle®. Castle tour guides are initially trained a total of 168 hours with additional in-service training and ongoing independent study between tours, resulting in a high quality interpretive experience for all who visit "The Enchanted Hill."

The mansion was donated to the State of California in December of 1957 by the Hearst Corporation. Dedication ceremonies for the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument were held June 2, 1958 at the old visitor's center. Following the ceremonies, tours opened to the public at 1:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets were $2 for adults and $1 for children. There was only one tour, now called Tour 1: The Experience Tour, and its route was similar to today's; covering the first floor rooms of Casa Grande and one of the three guesthouses.

In the summer of 1964, the State introduced Tour 2 to provide viewing and explanation of the upper rooms of Casa Grande. In June 1968 Tour 3 was added, and in 1982 Tour 4. The accessibly-designed tour began in 1974. This tour covers the ground floor of the main house, the gardens and pools, and the main level of one guesthouse, Casa del Mar.

Over the years the public indicated an interest in touring the estate at night. In response, a pilot program for an Evening Tour was developed and presented for the first time on April 21, 1989. The interpretive objective of this program is to recreate an evening at Hearst Castle in the 1930's, with a general emphasis on the social history of 1930-1935 and, more specifically, on Hearst employees and former guests. Volunteers in the Living History Program, dressed in period clothing, provide representation illustrating the social history discussed on the tour.

Escorted by an experienced guide, tour Hearst Castle® and personally witness the brilliance and wonder of this historical manor.

Physical Requirements | Bus Route | Discount Information | Tour Pricing

The Experience Tour - The perfect Introduction to the Castle
Tour 1: Be a part of Hearst Castle's® most popular tour! The Experience Tour is highly recommended to first time visitors looking for an introductory overview of the Castle with the giant-screen, 40 minute companion film, Hearst Castle: Building the Dream, presented by National Geographic Theater. This tour takes you through the Esplanade and Gardens, Casa del Sol, and Casa Grande. For more information click here.

Advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

Additional Tours

Tour 2: The Casa Grande Tour gives guests a closer look at the main house's upper floors, Mr. Hearst's private suite, the library and kitchen. For more information, click here.

Tour 3: The Casa Grande North Tour explores the Castle's North Wing, guest rooms, and the 10-room guest house known as Casa del Monte. For more information, click here.

Tour 4: The Garden Tour features the extravagant gardens and grounds, the largest guest house, the wine cellar with at 7,000 bottle capacity, and the Hidden Terrace. For more information, click here.

Tour 5: The Evening Tour highlights tours one, two, and four. This tour allows guests to experience the Castle as one of Mr. Hearst's own visitors with members of the Living History Program. Tour reservations are highly recommended, please reserve online or call (800) 444-4445. For more information, click here.

*All tour routes are subject to change without notice due to safety and/or operational needs.
**If you have any access needs please call 1-866-712-2286 for your reservation.

Tour Contact Information

Tour Ticket Reservations (within U.S.) - 1-800-444-4445
Tour Ticket Reservations (outside U.S.) - 1-916-414-8400 xt. 4100
Tone Dialing for the Deaf (TDD) - 1-800-274-7275
Group Travel Professionals - 1-800-401-4775
Tour Gift Vouchers - 1-805-927-2070
Cancellation & Refund - 1-800-695-2269
School Curriculum Tours - 1-805-927-6811
Accessibly Designed Tours - 1-866-712-2286

The Center welcomes guests to the Gateway of Hearst Castle® and offers a flavor of the Castle's essence, including exhibit displays, viewing areas, shopping, dining, and a five-story theater.

A large parking lot at the Hearst Castle Visitors Center provides ample visitor parking. Located inside the Visitors Center are the Ticket Office windows where visitors may pick up previously reserved tickets or purchase tickets on-site. Just outside the doors, visitors board the Hearst Castle bus as they begin their five-mile journey of spectacular scenery to the historic hilltop estate of William Randolph Hearst.

The William Randolph Hearst exhibit located in the Visitor Center offers guests an insightful look into the Castle, its architect Julia Morgan, and its owner W.R. Hearst. Family histories, vintage photographs, and historical documents provide a more intimate look at Mr. Hearst's personal life. Beautiful works of art from his collection give a glimpse of the treasures seen on tour. A display dedicated to Mr. Hearst's career in media, publishing, and politics features an audio recording of a political address he made. A short video highlights the film career of Marion Davies.

Young visitors to the Castle can explore the exhibit with a free Treasure Hunt map provided at the desk inside the exhibit doors. A prize is awarded to participants.

Children and adults alike will enjoy the "touch gallery" - a display of tiles, marble, textiles, and other materials used in the art and architecture of the Castle that allows guests to experience the collection in a tactile way not allowed on tour.

This permanent exhibit is free to the public as a service of Hearst Castle San Simeon State Historical Monument.


The Gift Shop * Award-winning *

features a comprehensive collection of books, DVDs, audio tapes and other gifts and mementos to commemorate every visit to Hearst Castle®. The gift shop is also a premier source for literature and biographical information on the Castle, William Randolph Hearst and Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle®.

Visit our Online Retail store !

* The Hearst Castle Gift Shop won the Gold Award for Store Design/Redesign at the 57th Annual Retailer Excellence Awards in August 2008 .


The Museum Shop

offers guests the chance to take home a special memory of the Hearst Castle® experience. The shop features reproductions of Hearst Castle® art pieces, as well as gifts and home furnishings reflective of the time period décor in the Castle. Each piece comes with informative literature that details the item's architectural, historical and artistic significance.



Food & Beverages

are available at a variety of concessions including the Castle Café, offering burgers, sandwiches, pizza and more; a Snacks-To-Go area and an Espresso Bar. Guests can dine indoors or on the outdoor courtyard. Customized meals and box lunches are available for groups of 12 or more. To arrange box lunches or special meals for groups, please contact our catering specialist at 805.927.8601.


The National Geographic Theater

at the Visitor Center shows Hearst Castle-Building the Dream on a five-story screen. This original 40-minute large-format movie chronicles the design and construction of the Castle and includes vintage clips and stills of the castle from the 1920s and 1930s plus breathtaking aerial scenes of the Castle and the Pacific coastline.

The movie plays every 45 minutes daily (see schedule page in this folder for show times). The lobby of the Theater features a notable display of 17th-century tapestries from the Hearst collection. For more information, email Shane Wood at swood@ngtheater.com .


The Driver and Guide Lounge*

invites you to relax in comfort. It features a climate-controlled rest area with anti-gravity Shiatsu massage chairs and a clean and private workspace. Located inside the National Geographic Theater, the lounge also provides complimentary Internet access, hookups for laptops and an entertainment cabinet with DVD/VHS capabilities. For more information, email Shane Wood at swood@ngtheater.com .

Contact Info
Visitor Information/Tour Tickets: 800.444.4445
Group Sales: 800.401.4775

The National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle® Visitor Center is a five-story screen theater featuring the film Hearst Castle: Building the Dream - a truly amazing cinematic experience.

This theater boasts an 50'x72' IWERKS screen - roughly the size of five conventional screens - delivering unforgettable, breathtaking images as extravagant as the Castle itself. The theater is equipped with seven-channel digital surround sound, which, along with the screen's powerfully realistic visual images, creates a sense of motion and interaction with the film. Don't miss out on the National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle®. Your experience will not be complete with out it!

General
Where is Hearst Castle?
How many people visit Hearst Castle each year?
How do I get to Hearst Castle?
What accommodations are available in the area?
What are the hours of operation for the tours at Hearst Castle?
Do you still operate tours in the rain?
Are you closed during any holidays?
Should I make reservations for my tour?
Can I make tour reservations online?
Do you offer any discounts for tours at Hearst Castle?
What is the cancellation policy for tour tickets?
What should I do if there are road closures?
Is photography allowed at Hearst Castle?
Are there Accessibly Designed Tours available?
Are service animals allowed on tours at Hearst Castle?
When are the Christmas Tours?
When do you begin decorating for the Christmas holidays?
On which tours can I see the most Christmas decorations?
When do the Christmas decorations come down?
On which tours can I see the most Christmas decorations?
Are strollers allowed on the tours?
Should I see the movie before or after my tour?
What is your tipping policy for the tour guide?
Can I bring my pet?
How much time should we allow between tours?
When we take multiple tours, do we ride back and forth to the Castle or remain on the hilltop between tours?
How can I help support Hearst Castle?
What is your donation policy for fundraising events?
Is Hearst Castle available for weddings or special events?
Are dogs allowed on the State beaches or campgrounds?

Where is Hearst Castle?

Hearst Castle® is located on the California Central Coast. Nestled in the hills at San Simeon, the Castle sits halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and is approximately a five hour drive from either of these metropolitan areas. Approximately 250 miles.

How many people visit Hearst Castle each year?

Hearst Castle is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year since it was opened to the public as part of the California State Park system in 1958.

Between June 1958 and June 2008, Hearst Castle has hosted 36,343,512 visitors on tours. The fiscal year runs from July 1st through June 30th and for the Fiscal Year 2007/2008 Hearst Castle had 673,449 visitors on tours.

How do I get to Hearst Castle?

There is a detailed map and driving directions on our maps and directions page. The mileage chart is approximate and driving times vary according to road conditions, traffic and weather.

What accommodations are available in the area?

Visit Friends of Hearst Castle's Travel Planning Website or one of our local area chambers for lodging and restaurants. Camping is also available.

What are the hours of operation for the tours at Hearst Castle?

Daytime tour hours vary depending on the season, but generally begin at 8:20 a.m. The last daytime tour generally departs at 3:20 p.m. These times can vary during the winter and summer with later start times in the winter and later ending times during the summer. The Evening Tour (Tour 5) start times vary according to sunset. For specific tour times, please check the reservation page to display the available times for the date when you plan to visit.

Do you still operate tours in the rain?

Yes, Hearst Castle is open daily except for the following holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. All tours include about 15 minutes or more outside, but the tour guide will try to limit that time when wet weather is present while walking to and from the buildings. There are no covered walkways when traveling from building to building. However, umbrellas are permitted.

If the Castle is closed due to inclement weather, tour tickets may be rescheduled for a different time or date at no additional charge. Refunds are determined on an indivudual basis. For questions about cancellations and/or refunds please call Reserve America at (800) 695-2269.

Are you closed during any holidays?

Hearst Castle is open for tours daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The Experience Tour, which includes Tour 1 and the National Geographic Theater companion movie, "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream," as well as Tours 2 and 3 are offered year-round. Tour 4 is offered April through October, and Tour 5 (Evening Tour) is offered March through May and September through December on selected evenings.

Should I make reservations for my tour?

Absolutely, tour reservations are required to guarantee the tour, date, and time desired. Please call (800) 444-4445. If you are calling from outside the U.S., please call 1-916-414-8400 ext. 4100 for ticket information. Or reserve now. Limited walk-up tickets will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Can I make tour reservations online?

Yes, tour reservations can be made online.

Do you offer any discounts for tours at Hearst Castle?

We do offer a 10% discount on the daytime tours for groups of 12 or more when purchasing tickets at the same time in advance. The only other discount that is available for Hearst Castle tours is the Distinguished Veteran Pass. For more information on these and other State Park discounts, please refer to the special discounts page.

What is the cancellation policy for tour tickets?

Subject to availability, visitors are permitted to make changes in the tour date and up to one hour before the start time of the tour. In the event that you change your tour date and/or time a change fee of $3.50 per ticket will be applied.

Cancellations can be made up to one hour before the start time of your tour. Please call 1-800-695-2269. Once the reservation is completed there is a $7.00 fee to cancel and a $3.50 non-refundable service fee per ticket. Refunds will not be issued for the movie only portion of an Experience Tour Package. For all other tours, refund of the movie only portion is subject to a $1.00 per ticket cancellation fee.

What should I do if there are road closures?

Highways 1, 101 and 46 can experience road closures during the rainy season (November-April) or due to fires during the dry season. Please check with Caltrans for current road conditions.

Is photography allowed at Hearst Castle?

While on tour, still and video photography are allowed for personal use only. Photography for personal enjoyment is encouraged. Flash photography and supportive equipment (tripods and monopods) are not allowed. However, photographs taken on-site may not be used for commercial purposes, nor may they be published in any medium or format without prior written permission from the State of California. All commercial rights to use photographs taken on the premises are reserved by the State of California unless expressly granted otherwise in writing. Please review our on-site photography guidelines and museum guidelines for film crews.

Are there Accessibly Designed Tours available?

Yes, we offer a tour for individuals who have difficulty climbing stairs, walking, or standing for a length of time. The Accessibly Designed Tour is a modified tour that utilizes ramps rather than stairs. There is a bus equipped to transport wheelchairs for this tour as well. Wheelchairs are also available at no charge for the tour. This tour (Tour 6) can also be reserved online for up to two people or by calling 1-866-712-2286.

Are service animals allowed on tours at Hearst Castle?

Yes, service animals are allowed on the public tours. An advance contact would be appreciated so that staff is aware and can be prepared. Visually impaired visitors can be offered a touching experience of some of the items on tour. For hearing impaired visitors, assistive listening devices are available. Please contact us ahead of time so that arrangements can be made.

When are the Christmas Tours?

Hearst Castle does not have a specific themed tour for Christmas. The main house and all three guest houses will be dorated for the holidays, so decorations may be seen on all of our tours.

When do you begin decorating for the Christmas holidays?

Decorating Hearst Castle is a process which takes time for the staff to complete. The curatorial staff usually begins the transformation in mid-November and the decorations remain in place throughout the month of December. The Christmas decorations and the trees are beautifully lit during all operating hours.

On which tours can I see the most Christmas decorations?

Tours that include the Assembly Room, the Refectory and the Morning Room display the most holiday decorations such as the Christmas trees. These rooms are shown on the Experience Tour (Tour 1) and the Evening Tour (Tour 5.) Living History docents dressed in period attire can be seen on the Evening Tours. The Experience Tour is less strenuous for those who do not wish to climb over 300 stairs.

When do the Christmas decorations come down?

Staff begins taking down the decorations on January 2nd. This process can take up to a week to complete.

On which tours can I see the most Christmas decorations?

Tours that include the Assembly Room, the Refectory and the Morning Room display the most holiday decorations such as the Christmas trees. These rooms are seen on the Experience Tour (Tour 1) and the Evening Tour (Tour 5.) Living History Docents dressed in period clothing appear on the Evening Tour. The Experience Tour is less strenuous for those who do not wish to climb over 300 stairs.

Are strollers allowed on the tours?

Due to the number of stairs, strollers are not permitted on the tours. However, child-carrier backpacks and front-packs are allowed. If you do not have one with you, you may borrow one from the Ranger's Office on a first come, first-served basis.

Should I see the movie before or after my tour?

The National Geographic Theater shows "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream" every 45 minutes starting at 8:15 a.m. You may view the movie whenever it is convenient for you during the day since there are no assigned times for the movie tickets. The theater holds approximately 400 visitors for each showing so seating is usually not a problem.

What is your tipping policy for the tour guide?

The tour guides are paid State employees and do not accept tips.

Can I bring my pet?

Pets are not allowed on the tour routes. However, service animals are permitted on all tours. There are no kennels available on-site.

How much time should we allow between tours?

Allow at least two hours when planning your tour. Booking tours two hours apart provides you with a short 10-minute break at the Visitor Center before boarding the bus for your next tour.

When we take multiple tours, do we ride back and forth to the Castle or remain on the hilltop between tours?

Since there is no waiting area at the historic hilltop, visitors must ride the bus up and back down the hill between tours.

How can I help support Hearst Castle?

By joining Friends of Hearst Castle. This organization is a non-profit cooperating association affiliated with Hearst Castle. This association supports education and interpretive programs, as well as artifact conservation efforts at the historic estate. Through memberships, fundraising and special events, it helps to preserve this unique cultural resource for future generations.

What is your donation policy for fundraising events?

The organization requesting a donation must be a non-profit, non-religious affiliated organization. All inquiries should be submitted at least four weeks in advance by letter, email or fax including the 501(3)(c) number of the organization to the Museum Director of Hearst Castle at curator@hearstcastle.com or by fax to 1-800-927-2110.

Is Hearst Castle available for weddings or special events?

It is possible to host an event at Hearst Castle. All special events and weddings include an intepretive tour.

Are dogs allowed on the State beaches or campgrounds?

Dogs are allowed in most campgrounds and developed sites in state parks. Dogs must be on a leash no more than 6 feet in length and under the immediate control of a person per CCR T14-4312(e) Control of Animals. Rules and regulations are subject to change, including intermittent beach closures during migration or nesting seasons.

Service animals are always permitted on Hearst Castle tours.

Tour 1: The Experience Tour
What is the Experience Tour?
When is Tour 1 (The Experience Tour) offered?
What will I see on Tour 1 (The Experience Tour)?
What are the physical requirements for Tour 1 (the Experience Tour)?

What is the Experience Tour?

The Experience Tour is a combination package including Tour 1 and the National Geographic Theater companion movie, "Hearst Castle - Building the Dream." This tour is recommended for first-time visitors as it provides an excellent overview of the historic estate.

Tour 1 is one hour and fifteen minutes in length on the hilltop. There are also two fifteen-minute bus rides to the hilltop estate and back down to the Visitor Center. The entire tour time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

The National Geographic Theater movie is 40 minutes in length and can be seen either prior to or after your tour. Please check the movie schedule to coordinate with your tour.

When is Tour 1 (The Experience Tour) offered?

Tour 1 (The Experience Tour) is offered on a daily basis. The actual tour schedule depends on the season. Hearst Castle is closed only three days during the year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure the date, time and tour that you wish to take. Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance of your tour date.

What will I see on Tour 1 (The Experience Tour)?

Tour 1 (The Experience Tour) includes both the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. Visitors will go through a guest house (Casa del Sol) and visit the ground floor of the main house (Casa Grande.) Visitors tour guest rooms and the large rooms of the main house including the Assembly Room, the Refectory, the Morning Room, the Billiard Room and the movie theater. Visitors also walk through portions of the historic gardens along the tour route. More information can be found on the tour descriptions.

All tour routes are subject to change.

hat are the physical requirements for Tour 1 (the Experience Tour)?

Tour 1 (The Experience Tour) consists of approximately 170 stairs (up and down) and a 2/3 mile route to walk. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Weather can be changeable. For more information please visit the page on tour requirements.

Tour 2: Casa Grande Tour
When is Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour) offered?
What will I see on Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour)?
What are the physical requirements for Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour)?

When is Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour) offered?

Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour) is offered on a daily basis. The actual tour schedule depends on the season. Hearst Castle is closed only three days during the year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure the date, time and tour that you wish to take. Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance.

What will I see on Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour)?

Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour) includes both the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. Visitors will also walk through portions of the historic gardens along the tour route. This tour visits the upper floors of the main house (Casa Grande) including several guest suites, the Main Library, Mr. Hearst's private Gothic Suite and the tower bedrooms. The kitchen is also included on this tour. More information can be found on the tour page.

All tour routes are subject to change.

What are the physical requirements for Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour)?

Tour 2 (Casa Grande Tour) consists of approximately 404 stairs (up and down) and a 3/4 mile route to walk. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Weather can be changeable. For more information, please visit the page on tour requirements.

Tour 3: Casa Grande North Tour
When is Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour) offered?
What will I see on Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour)?
What are the physical requirements for Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour)?

When is Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour) offered?

Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour) is offered on a daily basis. The actual tour schedule depends on the season. Hearst Castle is closed only three days during the year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure the date, time and tour that you wish to take. Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance.

What will I see on Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour)?

Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour) includes both the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. Visitors will also walk through portions of the historic gardens along the tour route. This tour visits a guest house (Casa del Monte) and the North Wing of the main house (Casa Grande.) This wing of the house was some of the last construction to the estate. Also included on this tour is a short movie describing the construction of the historic home. More information on this tour can be found on the tour page.

All tour routes are subject to change.

What are the physical requirements for Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour)?

Tour 3 (Casa Grande North Tour) consists of approximately 343 stairs (up and down) and a 3/4 mile route to walk. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Weather can be changeable. For more information, please visit the page on tour requirements.

Tour 4: Garden Tour
When is Tour 4 (Garden Tour) offered?
What will I see on Tour 4 (Garden Tour)?
What are the physical requirements for Tour 4 (Garden Tour)?

When is Tour 4 (Garden Tour) offered?

Tour 4 (Garden Tour) is offered seasonally from April 1st through October 31st each year. The actual start time of the tours vary depending on the time of the year. Reservations are strongly recommended to ensure the date, time and tour that you wish to take. Reservations can be made up to 120 days in advance.

What will I see on Tour 4 (Garden Tour)?

Tour 4 (Garden Tour) includes both the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. Visitors also view the Neptune Pool Dressing Rooms. This tour visits two floors of the largest guest house (Casa del Mar) where Mr. Hearst resided during his initial and final years of residence at the estate. Visitors experience the design of the gardens along the esplanade and experience the Hidden Terrace discovered beneath later construction. This tour also visits the Wine Cellar in the basement of the main house (Casa Grande.) More information can be found on the tour page.

All tour routes are subject to change.

What are the physical requirements for Tour 4 (Garden Tour)?

Tour 4 (Garden Tour) consists of approximately 240 stairs (up and down) and a 1 and 1/10 mile route to walk. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Weather can be changeable. For more information, please visit the page on tour requirements.

Tour 5: Evening Tour
When is Tour 5 (Evening Tour) offered?
What will I see on Tour 5 (Evening Tour)?
What are the physical requirements for Tour 5 (Evening Tour)?

When is Tour 5 (Evening Tour) offered?

Tour 5 (Evening Tour) is offered seasonally on most Friday and Saturday evenings from March through May and from September through December. There are also additional selected evenings during the week during holiday periods when the Evening Tours are scheduled. For the Fall/Winter 2008 season, Evening Tours are offered September 5th, 12th, 13th, 19th and 26th. For October they are offered on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, and 31st. In November they are offered on the 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th. In December they are offered on the following evenings: 5th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th.

Tour times vary during the year depending on sunset.

Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made up to 120 days in advance.

What will I see on Tour 5 (Evening Tour)?

Tour 5 (Evening Tour) is longer in duration than the daytime tours. It is an hour and 40 minutes in length and includes both the outdoor Neptune Pool and the indoor Roman Pool. The tour includes the top floor of the largest guest house (Casa del Mar) where William Randolph Hearst resided during the early construction years of the estate and during the last years when he resided at Hearst Castle. The tour also includes the large downstairs rooms of the main house (Casa Grande) including the Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater as well as several upstairs guest suites, the Main Library and Mr. Hearst's private Gothic Suite.

Living History Docents dressed in 1930s period attire provide an additional interpretive element depicting guests and staff along the tour route. More information can be found on this tour on the tour page.

All tour routes are subject to change.

What are the physical requirements for Tour 5 (Evening Tour)?

Tour 5 (Evening Tour) consists of approximately 308 stairs (up and down) and a 3/4 mile route to walk. The duration of the tour is 1 hour and 40 minutes with a considerable amount of standing. Visibility conditions include daylight, twilight and darkness with both exterior and interior artificial lighting, ranging from dim to very bright. Weather can be changeable. For more information, please visit the page on tour requirements.
 
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