Hearst Castle is one of California’s most popular attractions and a place that I always enjoy visiting. I have done the Grand Rooms Tour a few times, and you can read about that here, but on my most recent trip, I decided to try the upstairs tour. Honestly, it was probably even better than the Grand Rooms Tour (though if you have never been that it still a better first tour). Also, the Neptune Pool is open again after years of being closed, so just that alone is a reason to visit this fun spot; here is all the information on the Upstairs Suites Tour.
- Tickets $25 each
- Many tours daily but book in advance for busy summer weekends.
- Plan on at least 3-4 hours but more likely a half day, especially if you haven’t been before.
- This information was from my visit in 2019
- Read about the Hearst Castle Grand Rooms Tour here
Hearst Castle is located on Highway 1, about 15 minutes from the town of Cambria. You can’t drive to the castle itself, so you have to drive to the visitor center, then buy a ticket and get on the bus to get shuttled up to the castle.
Here is a video I made on this tour.
The tour starts like all the other tours do with a 15 minute bus ride up to the castle. On the trip, you get to hear Alex Trebek talk about the castle and its history. Once you get there, your tour guide will meet you to begin the 45 minute tour.
The tour went quickly through the gardens and the Neptune Pool, when it is over, you have as long as you would like to see them. We came back and spent time at the Neptune Pool after the tour, and it was awesome to see it finally filled.
The tour started outside then immediately went around to a side door, which let us into the spiral staircase that took us up to the second floor.
The second floor is where many of the guest suites were, and we spent a decent amount of time walking through this area of the castle and learning about the guests who stayed here and the amenities.
Some walkways provided amazing views of the castle from vantage points I hadn’t seen before.
The last stop on the second floor was at the library, which had a large fireplace and lots of art, seating areas, and books.
From here, we headed up to the third floor, which is where Mr. Hearst and Marion Davies stayed.
We also got to see his bedroom, which was smaller then I anticipated but still really unique.
Next, we moved to Marion Davies bedroom, located across the hall from his.
This floor also had the most amazing room on the tour, Mr. Hearst’s personal study. The room was massive with art, books, and a large table.
There was even a picture of Mr. Hearst at the end, which is a total power move.
From here, we headed into the two top column rooms, right under the bell towers. These rooms were immaculate with gold everything, and patios that provided views of the grounds.
It was said that the rooms were very loud when the bells went off though, so they might not be a nice to stay.
After that, the tour was over, and we headed down the staircase and back out of the house. It was an exciting way to learn more about the castle’s unique history and a great tour that I highly recommend.
After it’s over, you can walk the grounds as much as you would like before heading to the Roman Pool to catch the shuttle back to the visitor center.
If you are looking for another fun tour, then definitely consider the Upstairs Suites. Amie and I had a blast on it, and I can’t wait to take a few of the other tours at Hearst Castle that I haven’t done as well. Let me know what you think in the comments.