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Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

Kitchener
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Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

We will be visiting Hearst Castle. Plan to take one of the main tours and we will check out the visitor center, gardens, etc. How long should we plan for that approximately? Really appreciate the guidance.

Grover Beach...
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1. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

At least 2 1/2 hours if you plan to watch the film "Building the Dream" in addition to the tour, gardens, etc.

Kitchener
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2. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

Thanks Kibblesmom, I assumes at least 3 hours or 4, so that makes sense.

Can you tell me, is it reasonable to drive from Paso Robles to Hearst Castle? We are planning to stay there for some wine tasting.

Newberg, Oregon
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3. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

Very reasonable to drive from PR to Hearst Castle. Our last visit to the Castle we drove from our Worldmark resort just north of Monterey (leaving about 7 a.m.) via Hwy 1, did two tours, then had lunch around 2 at Hoppe's Garden Bistro in Cayucos (great food and wine list). After lunch visited 2 wineries (Linne Calodo and Turley) along Hwy 46 going to Paso Robles, returned to the Monterey area on Hwy 101, back at WM in time to grill some steaks around 8 p.m. A full day with lots of driving, but definitely do=able.

Edited: 19 June 2013, 02:33
Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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4. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

The drive from Paso Robles to Hearst Castle is approx. a 45 minute drive, so, yes, quite reasonable.

Kitchener
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5. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

Thank you, then we will stay in Paso overnight and drive to Hearst in the morning. Thanks so much.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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6. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

We (my sister and me) were just there a couple of weeks ago. We arrived around 12:30p, did the 12:45p movie "Building the Dream"' and a short visit of the museum at the visitor center . . . and then the 2pm Grand Rooms tour. Afterwards wandered the grounds some, and then a short stop at the visitor center (bottom of the hill) for a pretzel (YUCK!) and soda. I think it was close to 5pm when we left.

Based on our experience, I'd say 4 hours minimum . . . add more time if you are shoppers (we aren't).

Edited: 19 June 2013, 04:36
Houston, TX
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7. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

The film lasts 40 minutes. First showing of the day is at 8:15; starts every 45 minutes after that. When you buy your ticket (and you can and should do this online to make sure you get the time you want), the time on the ticket is when the bus leaves the visitor center for the 15 minute narrated ride up the hill to the castle. When you get off the bus your guide meets you immediately and the tour begins right away. Tours last 45 minutes (except where specified, such as the Friday night tours) and you are with the guide the whole time. After the tour is over you may walk around the gardens, spend a bit more time viewing the pools, and then it's back on the bus for the 15 minute ride back down to the visitor center. There are some exhibits and a gift shop at the visitor center, as well as a snack bar and some other light refreshments if you choose.

On our recent visit we spent about 2.5 hours. We had booked the Upstairs Suites tour (we came back another evening for the Friday night tour) at 10:00 am; arrived in time to see the exhibits and the 9:00am movie beforehand. Afterwards we went to nearby Sebastian's for lunch. A very pleasant morning.

Hearst used to have a zoo on the grounds, and there are still some zebras roaming the property. On our way back to our hotel and afternoon plans in Cambria, we spotted four of them standing on the property very near the fence along the highway--not your usual tourist sight!

Edited: 19 June 2013, 15:40
8. Re: Hearst Castle, how long to plan?

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