Visiting Hearst Castle
Two moto-vloggers passionate about traveling and the open road.
Day 2 of our father-daughter roadtrip up the California Coast and it was time to show the ladies some amazing history that we've shown the wives on previous trips...Hearst Castle! The property was shut down for quite some time so we've never gotten the chance to capture it on the channel until this trip. After a great breakfast at Linn's Diner in Cambria, we headed north to San Simeon to check out the property!
"Hearst Castle, known formally as La Cuesta Encantada (Spanish for "The Enchanted Hill"), is a historic estate in San Simeon, located on the Central Coast of California. Conceived by William Randolph Hearst, the publishing tycoon, and his architect Julia Morgan, the castle was built between 1919 and 1947. Today, Hearst Castle is a museum open to the public as a California State Park and registered as a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark."
After a scenic 15 minute bus ride up top the top of the property, we arrived just below the Neptune Terrace which is best known for its 345,000 gallon pool, ornate sculptures and fountains, and incredible views of the Santa Lucia Mountain range. "Designed by architect Julia Morgan, the Neptune Pool with terrace elements was started in 1924. Albert Solon and Frank Schemmel of Solon and Schemmel Tile Company came to Hearst Castle to perform the tile work. The Neptune Pool was built and rebuilt three times, each version a larger size. After the 1926 and 1934 redesigns and re-buildings, it was finally deemed completed by William Randolph Hearst in 1936."
After walking across the terrace, we arrived at La Casa Grande to begin the inside tour. Upon entering, it was difficult to comprehend how large a 68,500 square foot house actually is, but we soon found out! Inspired by various periods of Spanish Architecture, the house is comprised of 38 bedrooms, 14 sitting rooms, 42 bathrooms, a theater, library, and a massive collection of artifacts from all over the world spread throughout.
From the details in every ceiling to the incredible art and seemingly endless staircases along the way, it sure was a sight to see! One could easily spend weeks learning the history in one single room of the castle let alone the entire property, and that's what makes the tour so interesting!
After the tour, we made it back down to the bikes and grabbed lunch nearby at Cavalier Coastal Kitchen in San Simeon before making our way north. After recent flooding, Pacific Coast Highway was shut down at Ragged Point, so we figured we'd at least make it that far to check things out before returning to Cambria. While the road was indeed closed, we explored the foggy coastline then enjoyed a nice 16 mile cruise back down to Moonstone Beach with a stop to show the girls the famous San Simeon Elephant Seals. Just south of the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, this cove is home to as many as 17,000 elephant seals throughout the year and makes for a great stop in the area whether you want to learn about local marine wildlife or just do some seal watching!
Next stop...dinner! Our favorite joint in town for a meal along the coast is the Sea Chest Oyster Bar. While there's usually quite the long line before opening time, we enjoyed some drinks by the outdoor fire pit and after an hour we got sat in one of the best seats in the house right as the sun began to set...now that was some perfect timing! We had some laughs, shared some stories, and reflected on the good times had so far, and we still had some good times coming the following day!
These are memories that last a lifetime and we hope y'all enjoyed coming along for the ride!
See you down the road..