After Two Years of Pandemic, and a Flood, Hearst Castle is Reopening

The landmark castle will welcome guests again starting May 11 with a new tour and slightly cheaper ticket prices
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Hearst Castle—officially, the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument—will reopen for visitors on May 11, California State Parks officials announced Thursday.

The historic house, located in San Luis Obispo County, has been closed since 2020, first due to COVID, and then because rainstorms damaged the road leading to the house in early 2021. Now, the 10-month project to restore the road, at a cost of around $13.7 million, has been completed and the Castle is ready for visitors, KTLA reports.

“Hearst Castle is a state treasure and we are thrilled to reopen this wonder to the public to enjoy in a safe and responsible manner,” California State Parks Director Armando Quintero said in a statement. “We are confident that these once-in-a-lifetime repairs and improvements to the road facility will serve countless generations to come.”

Hearst Castle gets 860,000 visitors a year, according to the Los Angeles Times, with revenue totaling $16.2 million in 2019.

The estate, built by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst between 1919-1947 on his ranch land, features an ornate 115-bedroom mansion which houses a legendary art collection including Greek, Egyptian, and Roman pieces. There’s also the famed Neptune Pool, and the dramatically tiled indoor Roman Pool lined with statues. Outside, are eight acres of gardens and guesthouses.

Starting March 31, tour reservations can be made online at HearstCastle.org or by calling 800-444-4445. Choose from different tours, including the “Upstairs Suite Tour”—which allows you to explore the upper floors of Casa Grande, the official name of the main house.

A brand-new tour celebrates the Castle’s reopening and examines the life and career of Julia Morgan, an architect who worked with Hearst on the castle and was the first certified female architect in California.

Best of all, the prices have been restructured, which means visitors can expect to pay $3 to $6 less per ticket. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $15 for children.


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