Hearst Castle: A Castle Above the Clouds

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California.

On a vacation with family to California last summer, we made sure that during our drive along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway in California that we visited the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. The castle is commonly called in Spanish, La Cuesta Encantada, The Enchanted Hill, as it was built on the top of the hill among 250,000 acres owned by the Hearst Family in San Simeon.

In 1865, George Hearst, a wealthy miner purchased 40,000 acres of ranchland in San Simeon. The family was simple then and usually just camped out on their ranch. When his son, William Randolph Hearst inherited the vast land from his parents, the ranch has grown to 250,000 acres. Originally known as Camp Hill because the wilderness offered the family a vast land to camp on. William went to establish his corporate empire in Publishing and Newspapers, got tired of the camp life and decided to built comfortable accommodations for his family. William Hearst commissioned Julia Morgan in 1919 to built Hearst Castle, one of the grandest American Homes in the West Coast. In 1972, most of the vast land and the Castle were donated by the Hearst Family to the California Parks Reserve. 

Facade of the Hearst Castle represented a mix of Italian, Baroque and Gothic Style.
 Even the Middle roof is Swiss style like a Swiss Chalet. The two towers were inspired by Moorish Towers.

The Smoking Room on the left and the Main Drawing Room on the right. Both rooms are full of works of Art including paintings, tapestries, Marble statues and silver candelabras, all collected by William Randolph Hearst. These rooms are left as is. Even the Persian carpets have an alarm the sounds when stepped on.

The Dining Room with their vast collection of tapestries.

The Billiard Room on the left and the Dining Room on the right. 

The Gardens.

One of my favourite flowers, Hydrangeas. 

The garden is full of statues and many different kinds of flowers and plants.

A Mediterranean Villa Guest House surrounded by a garden of roses.

The Neptune Swimming Pool.

Indoor Swimming Pool.

The tiles were made with golden tiles that even reflected in my camera. 

View Above the Clouds.

Even the Castle was built higher than the clouds here hovering over the Pacific Ocean.

The vast track of land owned by Hearst family and donated to the California Parks Reserve. The winding road that leads to the Castle. The Hearst family owned the whole town of San Simeon, except the Pacific Ocean.

Have a wonderful summer weekend!

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  1. This castle looks so impressive! If I hadn't known the location, I would have guessed that it was somewhere in Europe. The pool looks magnificent. Thanks for sharing; if I ever get the chance, I will visit.

  2. Hi Pamela! What a place! Would love to visit it right now, as well as California! You took such amazing photos, the Castle is great but most of all I fell in love with the gardens, so stunning!:) Have a lovely weekend dear, kisses! xo

  3. I really love Hydrangeas too, but for me with everything on the south and west side it s almost impossible to have them. Pictures are really beautiful!

  4. That castle is so beautiful and full of details. Love the vast collection of tapestries and also the Neptune pool!

  5. Pamela, you are simply amazing! I knew of the Hearst family and all they did, but I did not know about this castle. HaHaHa So bad!!! It's so hard to believe it's in California! It looks International. It is absolutely gorgeous. The details are amazing. I love the gardens and sculptures. They are so lush and the outdoor Neptune swimming pool just took my breath away. Great pictures doll. You captured everything.

  6. This is such an exquisite castle, something you would expect to see in Europe and not the US. Do you perhaps if the family had European roots? It is so wonderfully designed and the gardens are beautiful

  7. What a gorgeous place! So lucky you were able to see it in person! Lovely post!!


  8. What a fabulous castle! I am truly in love with it! I hope to visit it sometime!

  9. Isn't this place amazing? I loved the ketchup bottles on the table. Hysterical. Beautiful photos, Pamela.

  10. OMG the gardens and pool are among the most amazing I have ever seen! If I had such a garden my life would be perfect :D

  11. Remarkable! Lucky you to have seen it in person. b

  12. Amazing place! Baci Lucy

  13. I actually watched a documentary on this place on netflix. THe parties they used to have there is amazing.

  14. Love Hearst Castle. So glad you got to visit there as it's a bit off the beaten track...I'm due for another visit there. Isn't the pool amazing? I always wanted to sneak a dip in it. I heard the workers get to have a pool party there once a year! Great photos as well!

    Hope you are having a great summer Pam! Thanks for all your kind notes when I was away...Just catching up on all my reading now!


  15. amazing photos!
    wish i could be there
    style frontier

  16. Hi Pamela, thanks so much for taking the time to visit and comment, I am always happy to hear from you :)

  17. It's so grand, I remember going as a little girl and being so excited to see the inside swimming grottos. I'm glad you had a chance to visit it when you were here.

    xo Mary Jo

  18. WOW!! This castle is absolutely stunning and the views are gorgeous. I'm planning atrip to California and would love to encompass this!


  19. amazing place!

  20. beautiful photos
    Have a nice day.Thanks for stopping by on my blog, come see me on Inside Me

  21. So beutifull place! I like it!

  22. Breathtakingly beautiful and the castle has a real European look too. The gardens are amazing and hydrangeas are one of my favourite flowers too.

  23. Absolutely stunning, the house, the gardens and those pools. I'd happily get a job there just to get an invite to the annual pool party. I am quite jealous that you got to visit Hearst Castle Pamela. We did the very same route over a week stopping here and there along the way but our planning did not allow enough time and we had to drive right on by. I was a real sulky Susan for a few minutes as we drove past if I remember correctly folding my arms and doing a not fair face:)


I enjoy reading your wonderful comments. Thank you for visiting here.

Pamela lives in Toronto, Canada, currently working in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Chic Delights blog has evolved into an on-line magazine about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (