Hearst Castle will reopen to visitors May 11. Here’s what you can expect
After two years of closure, Hearst Castle will reopen its doors to the public.
The COVID-19 pandemic paired with reconstruction on the castle’s access road have kept the state historical monument shuttered since March 2020.
But now, with a planned reopening date of May 11, visitors will be able to schedule tours of the castle once again.
“We’re excited — plain and simple. This is a jewel of California and of the State Parks system,” said State Parks San Luis Obispo Coast District Superintendent Dan Falat.
Falat said more than two miles of the castle road will boast much needed improvements upon reopening.
“We also had some severe storm events which unfortunately created some damage to the upper portions of our road which leads from the visitor center to the castle," Falat said. "Since July of 2021, we have had crews working on that road to repair it.”
The access road channels up to 850,000 visitors to the castle each year. Over a ten-month construction period, the asphalt was resurfaced, new concrete retaining walls were installed and the water culverts were replaced and enlarged to withstand storms.
The project is in its last phase now with an estimated total cost of nearly $14 million.
Falat said other projects at Hearst Castle, like the carillon bell restoration, will continue alongside visitors.
“We have begun work on assessing the roof at the Roman pool, some other artifacts, some other parts of the collection,” Falat said.
He said masks will be required on the bus to and from the castle, per state safety requirements.
To celebrate the castle’s reopening, a new tour will be offered called The Julia Morgan Tour. Morgan was one of the castle’s architects and the tour will focus on her life and some rarely-seen areas of the castle.
General tickets to the castle start at $30 and tour reservations are strongly recommended. Starting March 31, reservations can be made online at hearstcastle.org or by calling (800) 444-4445.