Holidays at Hearst Castle

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Visitors to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have a rare opportunity to get a glimpse of the vast collection of art and antiquities amassed by William Randolph Hearst during the Hearst the Collector exhibition that runs through Feb. 1, 2009.  For those wanting to get an even greater appreciation of newspaper publisher, art collector and movie producer William Randolph Hearst, a visit to Hearst Castle in San Luis Obispo County is a must.

The historic estate, built by and designed by famed architect Julia Morgan, opened for public tours as part of the California State Parks system on June 2, 1958 and features 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools, and walkways.  Hearst Castle houses art treasures collected by Mr. Hearst from around the world – antique ceilings, Greek vases dating from 700 B.C., rare oriental carpets, and myriad works of European art.  Of the five tours offered at Hearst Castle, Tour #1 – The Experience Tour – provides a broad overview of the Castle and is particularly well-suited for first time visitors.  Tour highlights include the Esplanade and Gardens, Neptune Pool and Roman Pool, Casa del Sol, and Casa Grande. 

Before or after taking a tour of Hearst Castle, be sure to stop by the National Geographic Theater to view the large format movie – Hearst Castle – Building the Dream.

Special tour highlights coming up include:

        Hearst Castle for the Holidays.  Christmas was one of William Randolph Hearst’s favorite holidays.  San Simeon was an enchanting setting for entertaining on a grand scale, and invitations to Hearst Castle during the holidays were highly coveted.  During the month of December, The Assembly Room, The Refectory, and The Morning Room contain lavish decorations of hand-made garlands, brilliant red poinsettias, and two 18-foot Christmas trees fully decorated with lights and traditional ornaments. The Experience Tour during the daytime includes these rooms for viewing.  Reservations are highly recommended due to the limited availability.  The Experience Tour prices are $20 for adults and $10 for youth ages 6 through 17.

Hearst Castle is located in the hills at San Simeon in the heart of California’s Central Coast midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (approximately 250 miles), just off scenic Highway 1.  For Hearst Castle tour reservations call (800) 444-4445 or visit www.hearstcastle.com.  To help plan a Hearst Castle getaway to San Luis Obispo County, California’s Natural Escape, call the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Conference Bureau at (800) 634-1414 or visit www.SanLuisObispoCounty.com.

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