William Randolph Hearst’s castle; Hearst Castle is a great diversion when visiting the central coast. The castle shows a taste of the life of William Randolf Hearst and his eclectic collecting passion. This magnificent estate of 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways commands an impressive view of the Pacific Ocean as well as the hills and dales of the Santa Lucia mountain range.
It took over thirty years for William Randolph Hearst to develop his ranch into what is Hearst Castle today.
Today, Hearst Castle is a State Historical Monument and one of the most popular visitor destinations in California. It rests 1600 feet up in the Santa Lucia mountains above San Simeon, California, which is the nearest town to The Enchanted Hill. Back then San Simeon was the staging ground for the materials to build the castle; predicated upon its serviceable pier. Today it is a strip town with a couple restaurants, shops and mostly affordable lodging.
Hearst’s magnificent estate ‘La Cuesta Encantada” (The Enchanted Hill) is open for tours daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.
National Geographic Theater
The National Geographic Theater also known as the Hearst Castle movie theater; is located at the castle Visitor Center. It is quite an accomplishment. It boasts a five story tall screen. At roughly ten feet per story that would measure fifty feet tall. The theater boasts seven channel surround sound and seats 422 people. The stadium style seating arrangement is something in and of its self. One will have no problem seeing the screen no matter who may sit in front oneself.
The National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle offers a forty minute documentary that details the life and times of William Randolph Hearst, Jr. as well as other educational and nature films such as “Mysteries of Egypt”, “Lewis and Clark” and “Dolphins”.