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Monday, November 16, 2009


Magnet #633 - Hearst Castle

So one of the classic movies that I've never been able to love is Citizen Kane. Mind you, I probably need to see it again by myself, but to be honest, I'm ok if it makes me the crazy one for not liking it.

Even so, that totally didn't stop me from making a special stop at the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument...commonly known as Hearst Castle, during my Woman on her Own Roadtrip several years ago. It was every bit as impressive as the movie, and the website, and the docus make it seem to be.

From the shuttle bus tour that takes you up there, to your choice of several tours to take once you get there, the place is just impressive. And beautiful.

You have to actually see it firsthand to believe it. I've done the east coast Biltmore, and I'm hard-pressed to choose which estate is more impressive. I'm thinking the Biltmore, just because well, it is the Vanderbilts, and because I just love the architecture of the Biltmore house. But, Hearst definitely gives the Vanderbilts a run for their money. Heh.

I love how Hearst Castle is not just one castle, but a whole compound of little houses. If by little, you mean the 8-bedroom house, the 6-bedroom house, the 4-bedroom house, and the so-big it's called Casa Grande, 38-bedroom house. 38. Rooms to sleep in. Plus? There's 61 one bathrooms on the whole estate! You could use a different bathroom for two months straight! Whoa.

And check out this guest list. I'm always enamoured of old-school Hollywood, and the thought of all of them hanging out here together is just fascinating to me. I love that they had their glitz and glamour out in the middle of nowhere atop a mountain. Awesome.

The art collection's to die for, the architecture is borrowed from all of Randolph Hearst's travels abroad, and the pools are kinda cool as well.

Definitely stop for a visit - the side trip's worth it. Apparently, I must go back - about four years ago, they built their superbig Visitors Center. Yes, I had to look up when that was, because the new website's pretty expansive, and they have virtual tours of the compound, but also the Visitors Center.

Dudes. they have virtual tours of the center. And the little shop! Not one cam, not two. But three their little shop alone!!! Nice.

You can even see the magnets they have on sale. How cool. Seriously.

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