Hearst Castle to introduce self-guided tour

December 18, 2009

imagesHearst Castle officials have announced a new self-guided tour of castle grounds, designed to allow visitors to explore the estate’s fabled gardens and Neptune Pool at their own pace. Starting in mid-March, special sunset tours will be introduced on Friday and Saturday afternoons only. Plans call for the self-guided tours to expand to seven days a week in summer and run through September.

Under guidelines issued by District Superintendent Nick Franco, the new tour will begin at 4 p.m., after the regularly guided tours have ended for the day. Guides will be on hand to answer questions, but visitors will have complete access to the gardens, walkways and the Neptune Pool, including 60 sculptures and 150 pieces of art — not to mention one of the most breathtaking views on the Central Coast.

“The new tour allows visitors to experience the gardens at their own leisure,” said Franco. “Both first time and returning guests can now enjoy the gardens as the guests of William Randolph Hearst did.”

Ticket prices for the new Gardens and Vistas tour are $24 for adults and $12 for children, ages 6 through 17. Ticket prices also include admission to the National Geographic Theatre for the screening of the Hearst biography movie. Reservations are already being accepted at http://www.hearstcastle.com.

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Too bad about incorrect information regarding the “popular” evening tours. Evening tours are scheduled for the Fall of 2010, so they have not been replaced. The availability to see the hilltop estate gardens and view the magnificent vistas will be an awesome treat.

Of course the other side of this is that this replaces the famous and very popular evening tours that were cancelled because they actually made money for the state, Lets hope this is a sucess but without access to the main house or the roman pool it seems unlikely that many couples will want to spend 50 bucks to smell the roses.