San Simeon Travel Blog› entry 5 of 11 › view all entries
Today was our day to visit Hearst's Castle. We both had wanted to visit the legendary mansion of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The mansion, perched on a hill, is the inspiration for Xanadu in the film Citizen Kane (of course, Hearst is the inspiration for Charles Foster Kane).
The mansion became a state park in the 1950s after Hearst's death. A long drive leads onto the property. We parked at the bottom of the hill by the visitor center where a state parks tram takes visitors the rest of the way up the hill to the entrance.
Heart's Castle contains 165 rooms and is built in an eclectic mix of Spanish, Moorish, and Mediterranean styles.
I've read that Hearst family members continue to have access to the property. Patty Hearst said in an interview that she would watch tour groups from the Neptune Pool. No family members spotted this day, though. (Or maybe they were hiding nearby?)