Hearst Castle day trip from Pebble Beach

Old Jun 7th, 2010, 03:36 PM
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Hearst Castle day trip from Pebble Beach

We will be spending a week on one of the homes located right on Pebble Beach Golf Club and are interested in taking a day trip to Hearst Castle. I believe we are interested in Tour 1, but the self guided tour looks interesting also. Could you help me with the length of the tours? Also, posts speak of beautiful stops along the way. Where would you suggest we stop. Since we will be going just for the day, it sounds as if we may want to stop more on the way back. Thanks
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 06:09 PM
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I don't think Hearst Castle has any self-guided tours.
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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Stop here on the way back for a bite to eat and to enjoy the views. http://www.nepenthebigsur.com/

Choose a tour that includes the outdoor pool.
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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>>

I still remember it from when I was 12 (which I assure you was a LOOONG time ago!)
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 06:46 PM
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Apparently there is now a new "Gardens and Vistas" self-guided tour at Hearst Castle. However, you are not allowed inside the buildings except on a guided tour.

http://www.hearstcastle.org/content/...lf-guided-tour

If you're going to drive all the way down to Hearst Castle, you should take one of the guided tours of the interior.


You are wise to schedule your other stops on your way back since it's no picnic to drive that curving road in the dark.

There are two places worth stopping: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to hike a short trail among the coast redwoods. The other stop would be Point Lobos State Reserve for an ocean view. You can spend more time at Point Lobos since it is just a couple of miles south of Carmel.

On your return, ask for directions to the "Carmel Gate", which will take you into the Pebble Beach area without having to detour to one of the other gates. (From Highway 1, turn onto Ocean Avenue in Carmel, go to the very last street on the right, which is San Antonio, turn right on San Antonio which curves a bit and it should take you to the gate. From the gate, keep going uphill until you get to the 17-mile Drive, then turn LEFT to go to the Pebble Beach Lodge.)

Sounds like a wonderful week!
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Thank you so much for your advice. Do you think it is too long of a drive for a day trip from Pebble Beach? I have read anywhere from 2-3 hours down Route 1. Don't know how long via highway.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Every guided tour includes the 2 pools (the outdoor Neptune pool and the indoor Roman mosaic pool).
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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yk, that was not the case when I was there.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 04:40 PM
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it is almost exactly 100 miles and would easily take 2.5 hours w/o any stops. If you do it, get down there in the morning and then take your time coming back. Because even w/ just short stops for photo ops and maybe driving into a park or two - the drive easily takes 4 or 5 hours.

Only you can decide if that much driving is doable. It is one of the best drives on Earth --but you can't take it fast.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 06:53 PM
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According to Hearst Castle website, Tours 1 through 4 visit both pools: http://www.hearstcastle.com/content/hearst-castle-tours

Neptune Pool and Roman Pool
All of the Hearst Castle tours are highlighted by stops at each of Hearst's two swimming pools -- the Neptune Pool and the Roman Pool.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 06:58 PM
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LOL, yk!

joycap, I've done it in one day. Actually, it was a group of us traveling in two cars. We left Monterey in the morning, stopped at Nepenthe on the way down for a bite to eat, stopped at various overlooks on the way, enjoyed the tour of the Hearst Castle, and then back to Monterey for dinner. The highlight for many of us was the outdoor pool. Years (as in over a decade) later, I ran across one of the daughters who went along on the trip. The second thing she talked about (after we greeted each other) was commenting on the outdoor pool. Okay. The mermen at the outdoor pool

It was a long day, but a great day. It was our "free day" during a weeklong conference and we really wanted to get out and see a lot.
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 08:07 PM
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One thing you might wish to consider is that if you are returning in the dark, there is no reason to go back on the 1. You can easily cut over on the 46 to the 101 North (and then go through Spreckles to the 68 back to Monterey)to speed up your trip... you will save at least 30 minutes, if not more and you can still have a late dinner in Monterey.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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I would rather do this: take the 101 down, do the tour in the morning, then a leisurely drive back up the 1 to Monterey, stopping along the way. Then no rush, no worry about getting to the tour in time.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 09:04 AM
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I'd follow krgystn's plan. It is really the best way to squeeze both San Simeon and some coast/scenery time. Dash down 101 early in the AM (still a long drive) and then after a morning tour you have the bulk of the afternoon/early evening to make it back to Pebble Beach. Plan on about 4.5-5 hours for the drive back if you want to do any exploring/stops.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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I like the plan to drive down on Hwy 101 and back on Hwy 1. Makes a lot of sense.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Me too!
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Perfect! I just thought it was silly to spend all that time on the road for no real reason...lol.
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Old Jun 10th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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A good idea if you are NOT the driver.It is many hours of high concentration driving with bad results if you get tired.
Who is ever is driving won't be able to enjoy the Hearst Castle tour because they will be thinking of the return drive to Pebble Beach.
Maybe share the driving chores.
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 05:39 AM
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We took Tour 1 which lasts 2 hours. That gave us a ticket good for a movie which was excellent and well worth watching. We were signed up for a 9:30 AM tour (purchased online) and probably did not leave until about 1 PM. We liked it so much that we plan to do it again next year and take another tour. You ride up to the Castle on one of their buses and that alone takes 15 minutes each way. There are no self-guided tours. It is an awesome sight to see!
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 10:09 AM
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"driving chores" I love driving, so I don't see it as a chore at all, but I do agree that sharing the driving is a good idea. Other wise the driver won't have as much opportunity to ogle the scenery. I don't think the anticipation of driving Big Sur will cause the driver(s) to not enjoy Hearst Castle though.
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