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Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Kent. UK
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Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Hi 

I wanted a bit of advice on tour times for Hearst castle.

I plan to go on a Saturday early June  from San Luis obispa but after the tour I intend to drive to Monterey. I'm just curious to know what would be the latest sensible time to book the tour for, to enable us to see all the sights of the the big sur in daylight hours.

Thanks in advance

San Francisco...
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1. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Driving along the coast line is slow and imho the slower the better as you can enjoy the scenery. It is about 3 or so hours for the 100 miles or so to Monterey at the average speed without stops but if you want to stop for lunch for hikes, for photos you can do the math and see it does take time and you could easily add 3-4 hours with lunch so you can do the math.

June is when the sun sets late, but I would never drive that part after dusk with all the winding roads so please leave early and enjoy this part of CA which is stunning

Kent. UK
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2. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Thanks for that Belomiser. I'll get us booked onto an early tour.

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

I am not a morning person, but this is a day that I would bite the bullet and get an early start - book the earliest tour that you can so that you will have plenty of time for Big Sur.

I don't think that driving through Big Sur after dark is a problem from a safety perspective - as long as you are comfortable on curvy roads - it is dark, but that's what headlights are for. BUT - it would be a shame to miss any of the fabulous scenery, so definitely get to Monterey/Carmel before dusk.

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Tours at Hearst last approx. 45 minutes now. You definitely want to be on the highway heading north no later than 1 pm. The later in the day it gets, the worse the sun will be in your eyes. It isn't just driving the Big Sur coast at dusk/dark you have to worry about. It's no fun with the sun in your eyes, either. Don't take a tour any later than 11:30 am. That gives you an hour and a half for the tour and a walk around the grounds afterwards.

Edited: 26 April 2012, 00:45
Kent. UK
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5. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Thanks Kibblesmom

I've just checked and there's loads of availability before 10am, so will book one of those.

Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Awesome!

Do you need a list of things to see/do along the Big Sur coast?

Edited: 26 April 2012, 01:58
Kent. UK
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54 reviews
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7. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Yes please. At present the only thing I have on the drive is a possible stop at nepenthe Resturant for the view and was gonna just stop at what ever interested us

Kent. UK
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8. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Thanks November_moon.

Totalally relate to the not being a morning person thing lol.

Have booked the 9am tour. It's gonna be a shock to the system.

Grover Beach...
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9. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Alrighty then!

Here's a list in order from Hearst Castle:

Elephant seal rookery 4 miles north of Hearst Castle

Ragged Point (Commercial property at the beginning of elevated roadway with awesome views of Big Sur coastline from the back of the grounds)

Salmon Creek Trail ( Short hike up to a waterfall. Salmon Creek is approx. 4 miles north of Ragged Point in one of Highway 1's famous hairpin turns)

Lucia (Not much there, save a lousy restaurant and inn, but the views from the south end of the parking lot are breathtaking)

Big Creek Bridge (Double arch bridge crossing a gorge, but best place to pull over is when you see it as you round a corner and see it at a distance)

McWay Falls @ Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (Famous ribbon waterfall that drops to an inaccessible beach. A MUST see!)

Nepenthe (8 miles north of McWay Falls. You'll need to cross over the southbound lane to enter the property)

Pfeiffer Beach

Bixby Bridge

Point Lobos State Reserve (A MUST see. Needs at least 2 hours, but well worth it)

Kent. UK
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10. Re: Advice on Hearst Castle tour times

Wow thanks. All the places on the list sound amazing. Can all that be done in 6 hours?