Saturday, May 24, 2008

Visiting the Hearst Castle

I've lived in California most of my life. I've been to almost all of California's tourist attractions except two. I've never been to Alcatraz.


If you ever get the chance; pull over the next time you're heading north out of L.A. and visit the Castle of William Randolph Hearst. It's a beautiful example of not knowing what to do with all of your money. I only say this because I couldn't imagine living in this place. It is sort of a European Castle that was decorated in Spanish missionary art. It is also known that Hearst spent most of his time in the little house at the foot of the Castle.

But it wasn't only a castle, but a wild game preserve as well. He even had a zoo like exhibit for his pet "Bears". The grounds are still occupied by cows (which are raised for slaughter) as well as deer, vultures, and other critters endemic to California. I have to admit, it is one place I would love to throw a party. The pools (both of them) are just unbelievable. I've got pics that I'll post.

The drive up highway 1 or the PCH as it's called, is quite punishing. I would recommend that you rent a small sports car if you make the trip by land. Don't be fooled by the stretch of highway 1 from SF to Monterey or the stretch from L.A. to San Simione. There's about a 100 miles of Bavarian hairpins between San Simione and Carmel.

But I believe there is nothing like the Castle in America, not even Graceland. It was interesting to note that Hearst not only owned the Castle but he also owned the "Waldorf Astoria" in New York. The castle is now owned by the state of California. So after you've been burned out on Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, Knott's Berry farm and Paramount's Great America, pull over and take the 2 hour tour of pure decadence. You'll be glad you did.

Ace out........


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