Paso Robles: Exploring Hearst Castle as a Family

IMG_1782• Arrive with children well rested and well fed or allow time to eat before the tour at the castle visitor center.

• Wear comfortable walking shoes and 'layer' as the weather can be unpredictable.

• The tour involves a guided portion lasting about 40-45 minutes while inside the historic buildings on the hilltop.  Afterwards, visitors are free to walk and explore at their leisure around the hilltop exteriors (walkways, pools, terraces, gardens, etc.). 

• While at the Visitor Center, people of all ages enjoy the 40 minute giant screen movie "Hearst Castle-Building the Dream" which is included in the admission for each of the daytime tours.

IMG_1836 Also at the visitor center is The William Randolph Hearst exhibit located in back gallery.  It offers guests an insightful look into the Castle, its architect Julia Morgan, and its owner W.R. Hearst. Family histories, vintage photographs, and historical documents provide a more intimate look at Mr. Hearst’s personal life.

• Young visitors to the Castle can explore the exhibit with a free Treasure Hunt map provided at the desk inside the exhibit doors.

• Children and adults alike will enjoy the “touch gallery” – a display of tiles, marble, textiles, and other materials used in the art and architecture of the Castle that allows guests to experience the collection in a tactile way not allowed on tour.

I was delighted to discover that the tours now allow exploration of the castle grounds.  Basically, you can stay at the hilltop estate as long as you desire (during operating hours) and take a bus back down to the visitor’s center at your leisure.  The girls were enthralled with the pools and gardens. 

The pathways allowed us to have magical adventures at our own pace and made for family pictures that I will cherish for a lifetime.  If you are planning a trip to Paso Robles, I highly recommend a jaunt over to Hearst Castle for the family adventure of a lifetime.  

Tina Swithin is the PR Coordinator and Blog Manager for where she writes Pairings in Paso and other blog-a-licious Paso Robles articles.  Follow the Paso Robles Insider to get the inside scoop on all the haps in Paso Robles Wine Country.