California News

Apr 30, 2014 7:42 PM by Jeanette Trompeter

Hearst Castle offers new intimate tours for summer

Two new tour options will be available to locals and tourists paying a visit to Hearst Castle this summer. The new tours start tomorrow and will run through June 30th.

The tours are a guided tour of the garden and a semi-private special focus tour entitled "Hearst and Hollywood".

The Garden Tour shows you how transforming the rocky hillside of "The Enchanted Hill" into a lush garden was no easy feat. You'll spend an hour exploring the gardens of Hearst Castle while your tour guide tells the history, challenges, and changes faced by the groundskeepers of the Castle.

It begins with a look at the Hidden Terrace, an early set of stairs and terraces, which were ultimately covered up by later construction. The group then takes a look at the world famous Neptune Pool which is currently empty and awaiting repairs. After ascending the large staircase to see the 17 changing rooms, the tour winds around the gardens and guest houses following the Esplanade, a formal pathway perfectly suited for strolling. The formal landscaped areas can be found around the Esplanade where Mr. Hearst requested a "confusion and profusion of blooms." The walk along the Esplanade takes you all the way around the Main House, past the Tennis Courts and includes some of the best views of the surrounding ranch land. The tour concludes above the Neptune Pool, at which point you will be invited to continue exploring the gardens on your own, at your own pace.

Only 14 people at a time will be allowed on this tour. It will be offered twice a day at 10:00 a.m. and 2:40 p.m. Tickets are $25 per adult and $12 per child ages 5-12 years.

The Hearst and Hollywood tour focuses on the allure of the Castle and its owner for the actors and producers of Hollywood's Golden Era to the international pop stars of today. Hollywood royalty visiting the castle include Charlie Chaplin, Bette Davis, Cary Grant and Greta Garbo.

On this two-hour semi-private guided tour, your guide will focus on Hearst, Marion Davies and all things Hollywood. The expanded tour route includes areas from all five regular tour offerings. At the conclusion of the tour, visitors are able to stroll the gardens and terraces at their leisure and enjoy the views, just as Mr. Hearst's guests did during the Castle's Hollywood heyday.

This tour is limited to only 8 people at a time and will be offered once daily at noon. Tickets are $100 per person.

Reservations can be made by clicking here, or by calling 1-800-444-4445. Reservations are encouraged, because space is limited.

To become a "Friend of Hearst Castle" which allows discounted admission to special events at the castle and helps with the preservation of its art and architecture, click here.



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