Hearst Castle 1: The Gardens and Pools

A few weeks ago my parents came to visit, we packed up the car and road-tripped up north. First stop: Hearst Castle. Their entire visit is going to be broken down into a series of posts, because this is an excellent itinerary for anyone who has parents coming to visit so I have to share it.

If you’ve ever been to Hearst Castle, you know it’s a giant disneyland for photographers. Everywhere you turn, it’s another photo-taking opportunity. You start at the visitor’s center at the bottom of the hill. Once you get tour tickets (they offer 3 types of tours) you can take the bus up to the mansion. It’s a 10 minute ride narrated by Alex Trebeck. Once up there, you immediately take your tour and when that finishes you are free to explore the grounds. If you take an early morning tour, you can spend the rest of the day laying out by the pool.

Such beautiful architecture.

High on the mountain overlooking the ocean, this site is where William Hearst once camped as a boy.

Beautiful gardens, so well manicured, around every corner.

Above is the Neptune pool. How gorgeous is that? They have lounge seats all around the pool that they let visitors layout on. It’s the only chance to really feel what it would have been like to stay at the mansion in its heyday. While laying there, you can picture Clark Gable playing Marco-Polo with Charlie Chaplin.

Above is the Casa Grande exterior. This building is the largest, with 3 other guest houses on the property.

This is the Roman Pool. I remember seeing images of this as a kid and was awed getting to see it in person. It’s really something special.

When you’re ready to leave, you can catch one of the many buses on a constant loop to the castle. The ride down is full of great views. This is where William had his zoo. Occationally you can still catch a glimpse of animals. We got to see zebra!

Next up, Hearst Castle: The Casa Grande Tour.

2 thoughts on “Hearst Castle 1: The Gardens and Pools

  1. Pingback: Hearst Castle 3: Upstairs Tour | LifeAbsorbed

  2. Pingback: Hearst Castle 4: Guest House + Kitchen | LifeAbsorbed

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