Thursday, 11/3/2022 - Hearst Castle, Cambria, San Luis Obispo
Following an included breakfast we’ll enjoy a scenic ride along the coast north of Cambria to the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas. This location is one of only a few spots in the world where northern elephant seals can be seen in vast numbers. Although elephant seals spend most of their lives in the open ocean, they arrive at this rookery to give birth, breed, molt and rest from long migrations in the ocean in search of food. At William Randolph Hearst State Beach we can take a leisurely stroll along the pier in this protected cove. We’ll then visit Hearst Castle, the National Historic Landmark that sits above the clouds on top of “The Enchanted Hill.” This extraordinary temple to opulence and excess is an eye-popping extravaganza featuring a 165-room castle, terraced gardens, pools and a spectacular wraparound view of California’s Central Coast. Our visit here begins at the Visitor Center in the Heart Castle Theatre with Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, a film that features breathtaking original cinematography combined with vintage clips and stills from the 1920s and 30s allowing the construction and history of the Castle to come to life on a giant five-story screen. Experience what life was like as a guest of W. R. Hearst, see his personal collection of rare and ancient works of art and encounter the majesty and beauty of this historical treasure first-hand while on a docent-guided “Grand Rooms” tour through the main building including the Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Note the Grand Rooms tour includes a total of approximately 159 steps (both up and down) and 2/3-mile walk. If you require the Grand Rooms ADA tour (which has no stairs and limited availability), please advise us at the time of reservation. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon relaxing at the inn, taking a walk on the beach or browsing the charming shops, boutiques and galleries in Cambria’s quaint and historic village. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the oceanfront restaurants or take advantage of motorcoach transportation provided to downtown San Luis Obispo’s Farmers’ Market and street faire (weather permitting). Enjoy time at leisure strolling amongst four lively and historic blocks filled with just-picked produce for sale, local restaurants selling a variety of barbecued specialties and entertaining local performers.