Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas at a castle

Want to see how the rich and famous decked the halls, circa the 1930s? Check out San Simeon's Hearst Castle for the Holidays. The historic estate, designed by famed architect Julia Morgan, features 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, and pools (Cary Grant once swam here). This year marks Hearst San Simeon State Historic Monument's 50th anniversary as part of the California State Parks system, and there's no more festive time to visit than now.

Publisher William Randolph Hearst was famous for entertaining on a grand scale, and if you tour during December you'll get a glimpse of his style, as the Refectory, Morning Room, and Assembly Room are swathed in hand-made garlands, clouds of pointsettias, and 18-foot Christmas trees fully decorated in traditional ornaments. See it all on The Experience Tour ($20/ $10 ages 6-17). Book ahead, as holiday tours are limited.

For lodging and dining options in nearby San Simeon and Cambria, click on SLO County's website.

1 comment:

Tina Luster said...

How funny! My husband and I went for Thanksgiving. We were at the Castle when the noon bells chimed. They are chiming every day in honor of the 50th anniversary.

It's such a great place to visit and explore another lifestyle!

COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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