If you've never heard of Hearst Castle or the Hearst name, you've undoubtedly read a newspaper or magazine from this publishing giant (Cosmo, Redbook, O, Esquire).
William Randolph Hearst had this place built on 127 acres and it took almost 28 years to complete the 165-room estate, complete with beautiful gardens, pools, terraces, and walkways.
There's a few different tours you can choose from, depending on how much time you have, as well as the time of year. We chose Tour 1, which included the 19-room guest cottage, the Esplanade and Gardens, the main house, and all tours include the indoor and outdoor pool.
The indoor pool, the Roman Pool, is lined with Venetian Glass and *gold* and is located beneath the private tennis courts. The pool's roof was always leaking because the pounding from the tennis playing above.
The outdoor pool, the Neptune Pool, is absolutely gorgeous! The view is spectacular; the house is built on a mountain so you can see for miles.
Hearst used to have wild game roaming the property -- like his own private zoo-type safari when he lived there. They also had traditional farm animals like chickens and cows that they would raise for food.
It's been awhile since I've been so the details are kind of fuzzy, but this is definitely a place worth visiting. It's beautiful! They have tours for the disabled, as well as many different foreign language tours. Strollers are not permitted, so parents of small children may not be too happy with all the stairs. Call ahead for more information and special requirements.