The Enchanted Hill
Cambria remains very dear to our hearts as we owned vacation rentals in this part of California for many years. We became members of the Friends of the Hearst Castle and our homes were on their site as recommended places to stay.
Cambria has benefited greatly from the building of the Hearst Castle, “La Cuesta Encantada” (“The Enchanted Hill”) located 6 miles away in San Simeon, 2 hours south of Big Sur and 2.5 hours south from Carmel. This massive estate was built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst and designed by Julian Morgan between 1919 and 1947. During the Great Depression, many of the Cambria citizens found employment in the building activities. Cambria provided supplies, services, and accommodations for many who came to build the Castle, creating prosperity in Cambria in an otherwise not prosperous decade. Hearst died in 1951 and the corporation donated the property to the state of California, now a historical landmark. This iconic California property is known worldwide as “a Museum like no other” and boasts an average 750,000 visitors a year.
Julia Morgan, America’s first truly independent female architect, left a legacy of more than 700 buildings, many of which are now designated landmarks, in cities throughout California, as well as in Hawaii, Utah, and Illinois. Her work spanned five decades, and the total of her commissions was greater than any other major American architect, including Frank Lloyd Wright. Click here for more info.
Hearst Castle tours – don’t miss the zoo
If you visit the Cambria-San Simeon region, make sure to book one of the Hearst Castle tours which are always packed full of interesting history. Our favorite is the Holiday Tour! You won’t be disappointed. Make sure to visit the Hearst Theater which shows the building history. Hearst Castle has its own zoo collection of exotic animals, the zebras love to graze by in the pastures bordering the Highway 101 – a delight to travelers.
Recently, the 345,000 gallon Neptune Pool was recently refilled, having been drained in 2014 with cracks in it that caused it to leak 5,000 gallons per day.
Don’t miss the Winery
A rich photographic tour of William Randolph Hearst’s legendary California estate at San Simeon chronicles the history of Hearst Castle, the work of his Hearst’s architect, Julia Morgan, the art and architectural treasures of the estate, and anecdotes about life in the glamorous country house during its heyday. Click here for more info.