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Hearst Castle to reopen May 11

Ticket sales begin March 31
Hearst Castle without any visitors
Posted at 8:16 AM, Mar 24, 2022

After more than two years, people will soon be able to visit Hearst Castle once again.

State Parks announced Thursday that the historic landmark in San Simeon, closed since the start of the pandemic, will open on May 11.

Crews have been repairing a 2.25-mile stretch of the windy, narrow road that leads to the hilltop since it was damaged during a winter storm in 2021.

State Parks says the culvert failures and needed repairs to the road, a project with an estimated cost of $13.7 million, are what have kept Hearst Castle closed.

"Hearst Castle is a state treasure and we are thrilled to reopen this wonder to the public to enjoy in a safe and responsible manner,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “We are confident that these once-in-a-lifetime repairs and improvements to the road facility will serve countless generations to come.”

With castle tours on hold, the roughly 140 staff members on the hilltop shifted their efforts to some projects that were previously on the back burner, including restoring the bell system of Casa Grande, the castle's main house.

Once open, a new tour called The Julia Morgan Tour will help celebrate the reopening and delayed 100th anniversary of the castle’s construction.

“The tour takes an in-depth look at the life and career of this extraordinary woman, focusing on rarely seen areas of Hearst Castle that highlight her gift for design, and photographic displays of architectural drawings, family photos, and personal items.”

State Parks says the ticket pricing structure was revamped and is now more user friendly, with costs to visitors reduced by $3 to $6 per ticket.

Tour reservations will begin March 31 and are strongly recommended.

To make a reservation, click here or call (800) 444-4445.

State Parks says it is continuing to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines put into place by the California Department of Public Health and the San Luis Obispo County Public Department.

Hearst Castle attracts up to 850,000 guests annually, including approximately 22,000 bus trips per year.

In 2018-19, State Parks says the castle’s annual revenue was about $16 million.