Betty & Kevin's Out West Adventure travel blog

View of Hearst Castle looking up from the road

The main house - front door

A portion of the gardens

Outdoor Pool

View from the house, looking down at the ocean

Main Dining Room

Dining Table with ketchup and paper napkins

Indoor Swimming Pool

Our first stop today was downtown Paso. We wandered around, browsed a few shops and had lunch at a small bistro overlooking the downtown park. I can't emphasize enough for you how quaint and quiet this town is.

After lunch we headed up HWY 1 to San Simeon where Hearst Castle is located. This is a large castle-like house that was built by William Randolph Hearst in the early 20th century. He didn't start building it until he was 57 years old and construction went on for 28 years. He ran into some financial difficulty and never actually finished it. His family ultimately donated it to the State of California and it became a state park. What is really interesting is that the house is not so much a home, as it is a museum. It is literally "stuffed" with antiquities and art objects that Hearst acquired throughout his lifetime and it almost seems that the house was built to house the objects, rather than as a place of residence. It is very interesting to compare it to Biltmore Estate, which also has a lot of antiques and art, but was clearly much more a home for the Vanderbilts.

Hearst was a self-made man (although his father had money, too) and was looked down on by much of the back-east society. He seemed to delight in "playing up" his roughness, too. Note in one of the pictures, the ketchup on the table. It is said he ate it on everything. The napkins were paper napkins, too! A lot of his friends were movie stars and other newly-rich individuals, rather than society people.

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