Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California
La Cuesta Encantada, “The Enchanted Hill” high above the ocean at San Simeon, was the creation of two extraordinary individuals, William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan.
Their collaboration, which began in 1919 and continued for nearly 30 years, transformed an informal hilltop campsite into the world-famous Hearst Castle — a magnificent 115-room main house plus guesthouses, pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens.
The main house itself, “La Casa Grande,” is a grand setting for Hearst’s collection of European antiques and art pieces.
It was also a most fitting site for hosting the many influential guests who stayed at Hearst’s San Simeon ranch.
Guests included President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin, and a diverse array of luminaries from show business and publishing industries.
Hearst Castle is located on California Highway 1 near San Simeon, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. North of here start the famous Big Sur Coast, which is one of the most picturesque stretches of the California Highway 1.
Driving time from either city is four to six hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. Hearst Castle, CA Latitude/Longitude: 35.6852 / -121.1666
From Los Angeles — Take U.S. Highway 101 north to San Luis Obispo, then California Highway 1 north about 40 miles.
From San Francisco — Take U.S. Highway 101 south to California Highway 46 west to California Highway 1 and north about 13 miles.
If you plan to use Highway 1, be aware that it is not designed for freeway speeds and may be partly or completely closed during the rainy season.
Official Website: http://hearstcastle.org/