Though America doesn’t technically have royalty and castles like Europe does, those distinctions get thrown out the window in regards to uber-wealthy families like the Hearsts.
The Hearst Castle is located just inland from the Pacific Ocean along California’s majestic central coast. It was built in the early decades of the 20th century as an opulent vacation retreat for media mogul William Randolph Hearst and his family.
The castle and grounds are unlike anything you’ll find in the states. They’re located in a state park north of San Simeon and west of Paso Robles.
Featuring stunning architecture that’s reminiscent of what you’d expect to find in Spain and Italy, for more than five decades, it’s been owned and managed by the state of California as a National Historic Landmark.
Below are 10 of the best tours of this American icon.
1. Wine and Hearst Castle Small Group Tour
When it comes to art, scenery, and award-winning wine, there’s really no beating California.
That being said, it’s also home to one of the west coast’s most impressive ‘castles.’
For those who prefer touring in intimate groups and enjoying the local atmosphere in style, this small group wine and castle tour would be a great fit.
Prepare to be awed, wowed, and flabbergasted as you tour the home and grounds with a professional guide who’ll impart fascinating tidbits of family history, and insights into the lives of the well-heeled in eras past.
The tour also includes time for independent exploration, wine tastings at area vineyards, a gourmet lunch, and time to shop at antique stores too.
It’ll be a nine-hour day, so wear comfy shoes and bring a few bucks for lunch, as the cost isn’t included in the tour.
2. Hearst Castle and Central Coast Tour
For lovers of history and culture, no trip to California’s central coast would be complete without a visit to the Hearst Castle.
World-renowned for its impressive architecture, priceless art, and unparalleled luxury, it’s really in a class of its own.
This castle and central coast combo tour can last from between 5 ½ and 7 ½ hours depending on the wishes and interests of participants.
Like many similar tours, it includes lunch, wine tastings, and round-trip transportation to and from your hotel in nearby Cambria.
It’s also accessible for those who use a wheelchair, but arrangements for disabled visitors must be made in advance.
Previous guests have noted that it’s wise to wear layers, as the weather can change quickly.
3. Hearst Castle, Central Coast and Wine Train Tour from Los Angeles to San Francisco
With its abundance of natural beauty, historic attractions, and top-notch food, wine, and art, visitors to the Golden State could spend weeks between Los Angeles and San Francisco and never get bored.
Add stops at the Hearst Castle, celebrated wineries, and conveyance by train, and you’ve got all the elements of a truly remarkable experience.
The train combo tour begins in Los Angeles, lasts three days, and winds up in San Francisco.
The Hearst Castle is the tour’s centerpiece. Guests will experience its majesty up close and personally with a professional guide while getting a unique historic overview.
The tour includes two nights in beautiful Paso Robles, multiple wine tastings, and free time to explore the galleries, shops, and restaurants in nearby Cambria on the coast.
4. From LA – 5-Day Wild West Tour
Few tours combine the wonders of the Wild West and the stunning extravagance of the country’s wealthy elite, but this 5-day tour from Los Angeles does just that.
It’s a perfect fit for those who like to mix things up and get the most bang for their hard-earned travel dollars. You’ll stop in Vegas, Big Sur, and San Francisco hotspots like the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown.
Of course, the Hearst Castle is one of the tour’s highlights. It is usually one of the most memorable experiences of many guests’ trips.
The castle’s lavishness is the stuff of legend, and for most average folk, it’s about as close as they’ll ever get to living the high life.
Click the link below for a full list of included and excluded items.
5. Central Coast Hearst Castle and Wine Train Tour – San Francisco to Los Angeles
Whether you prefer traveling north to south or vice versa, you’ll likely find the perfect tour option that’ll allow you to see California like never before.
This unique 3-day tour is one of the most efficient ways to experience some of the state’s most impressive attractions and towns and includes a guided tour of the Hearst Castle.
Satisfied tour guests consistently rank it as amazing value. They also claim there’s really no more romantic way to take in all the wonder than by train.
In addition to guided and free time at the castle, guests will have ample free time to explore nearby Cambria and Paso Robles, both of which are frequently ranked among the country’s trendiest destinations.
Much of the train route follows the coast, which is often referred to as America’s Riviera.
Oh, and there’s world-class wine and food too.
6. California Coast Day Tour from LA to Santa Barbara and Solvang
Want to experience the Hearst Castle? Santa Barbara? Only have a day?
Fear not, because there’s at least one option that lets you and your travel companions get it all done in record time.
This jam-packed one-day excursion gets underway in sunny LA and includes a professionally guided tour of the Hearst Castle.
It’s a world of priceless rugs, more priceless art, and enough glitz, glamour, and splendor to make a Saudi sheik blush.
It’s really not to be missed. You’ll also enjoy stops at Santa Barbara, where movie stars frolic on glistening white beaches, and the quaint Danish village of Solvang, which is full of old-world charm, traditional bakeries, and cool little shops and galleries.
Round-trip transportation, a professional guide, and admission fees are all included.
7. From San Luis Obispo – The Original Hearst Castle and Paso Robles Wine Country Tour
With a name like ‘The Original,’ it must be good, right?
According to satisfied customers, it’s better than good. The Original Hearst Castle and Paso Robles Wine Country Tour includes many of the state’s most incredible sights and attractions, one of which is the ever-spectacular Hearst Castle.
It’s a full-day tour that gets underway early, which is perfect, because it allows visitors to enjoy the castle while most tourists are just bellying-up to the breakfast buffet at their hotel.
The tour is limited to 13 people, so participants will enjoy more personal service than their big tour counterparts.
Additional activities include stops at two or three boutique wineries, and shopping and lunch in the fantastic seaside town of Cambria just down the road.
8. Hearst Castle, Paso Robles, Wine Country, and Sensorio 3-Day Tour
Weekend getaways are almost always a good idea, whether you’re visiting from out of state or just looking for a brief break from life’s hustle and bustle.
Though you’ll need to call in sick one day, this 3-day tour is perfect for those with abundant wanderlust and limited time.
Tour participants will get ample time to explore the one-of-a-kind Hearst Castle with a professional guide. Though the castle is the tour’s gem, it also includes Sensorio’s Field of Light, scenic drives along Pacific Coast Highway, and time to appreciate amazing wine in some pretty remarkable settings, too.
The tour includes transportation, two nights stay with breakfast in Paso Robles and tasting fees at local wineries.
9. Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles
For many visitors from other parts of the country, no place embodies the essence of California like LA.
You could stay within city limits for ages and never run out of things to do. But with unique attractions like the Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara so close, why not consider a day trip or two?
The Hearst Castle can pretty much be summed up in three words – palatial, magnificent, and unforgettable.
Yup, it’s that impressive. While on-site, it’ll be easy to get a unique glimpse or two into the lives of America’s bluebloods during the wild and roaring decades of the early 20th century.
The 12-hour tour also includes stops at Santa Barbara and historic Solvang, two of coastal California’s most unique and starkly different towns.
If you’d rather not stick out as a tourist, consider leaving the Mickey Mouse camera strap and fanny pack at the hotel.
10. 5-Day Tour from LA includes Santa Barbara, the Hearst Castle, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Las Vegas
For those who’ve ever sat and pondered whether it’s possible to take in sites like the Hearst Castle, Yosemite National Park, Hoover Dam, Monterey, Las Vegas, and San Francisco in a mere four days, there’s a clear answer.
Interested? If so, this 5-day whirlwind tour should be on your calendar.
The iconic Hearst Castle in all its glory is one of the tour’s perennial favorites.
It’s darn near impossible not to get swept away by its over-the-top combination of dramatic architecture, unspeakably expensive appointments, and picturesque gardens, but for many, it’s the home and family’s history that they find most alluring.
Tour guests will also enjoy a San Francisco Bay cruise, time at the Golden Gate Bridge, a boat trip around Alcatraz Island, and dining, shopping, and gambling on the Las Vegas strip.
There’s really too much to list, so click the link below to get a complete overview of stops, schedules, and what is and isn’t included.