We had some friends recommend this place a few times but we were a little nervous to go because it is essentially a day trip (4 hours from LA) and kind of expensive ($25 for admission, tour, and bus ride.) Fortunately, we were very impressed with our experience.
We didn’t buy tickets in advance because there were plenty available time slots the night before and we weren’t sure when we would arrive that morning. We left LA at around 545am and arrived around 10am. The soonest “Grand Rooms” tour was at 3pm (those time slots fill up fast!) so we went on the Upstairs Suites tour which was just as incredible! While we were waiting we watched their movie about the history of the mansion, how it was designed, and the type of lavish parties Mr. Hearst had there (pretty fascinating.)
They took us on a bus up to the Mansion and on the tour, and it was incredible! Our tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable about the history and all the rooms. It was so amazing walking through these intricately designed rooms and learning a little bit about the history. Although our tour was only 45 minutes, I felt like we hardly touched the surface! I would gladly go back and pay for the other tours!
Here are some tips and pictures of our trip.
- Is Hearst Castle worth the money? Absolutely! There is so much to see! Try to go in the morning because you’ll go on the tour and then they let you wander the beautiful grounds as long as you like. There is a movie included with admission which was pretty fascinating. (The food however, is not worth the money. It was fine but overpriced like you would expect at a theme park)
- Buy your tickets online if you want a tour at a specific time, they sell quickly the day of (especially the Grand Rooms Tour)
- You can see the pools and gardens with all tickets purchased (unfortunately the famous Neptune pool was under construction when we went) But the grounds are so beautiful!!
- Website: Hearst Castle