Guest post by Jim Allen, Director of Marketing, Hearst Castle
For the past 23 years, I have been fortunate to enjoy the holiday season and decorations at Hearst Castle from an insider viewpoint. As I made my way up the familiar winding hilltop road this past week, I was just as excited as the very first time I traveled the very same route many years ago. The extraordinary Christmas displays at Hearst Castle are something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
People often ask my advice on which tour I recommend for the holiday season. The Grand Rooms Tour is a great way to see the house during the holidays as that tour includes the most lavishly decorated rooms. You will be able to tour the Assembly Room, Refectory,and the Morning Room. In my personal opinion, you really can’t go wrong when selecting a tour to see Christmastime at the Castle as there are decorations throughout the entire estate.
What happens behind the scenes at the castle? Well, decorating such a large house takes a great deal of time and a lot of very talented people. The Hearst Castle staff usually begins working to prepare for the holidays around the second week of November. Decorations remain up until around the 2nd of January.There is a small window of time to participate in this magical experience and you do not want to miss an opportunity to see the Castle in its full holiday glory!
A bit of history: Mr. Hearst absolutely loved the Christmas season and decorated Hearst Castle in a grand and elaborate fashion. We continuing Mr. Hearst’s tradition and the halls of Hearst Castle are decked with 10 Christmas trees, including two 18’ trees in the Assembly Room, scores of lights, poinsettias, wreaths, and a whopping 700 feet of garland. Breathtaking is an understatement and we encourage you to visit during the month of December.
Please note: Hearst Castle doesn’t offer Christmas-specific tours per se, the entire castle is festive and is reminiscent of how Mr. Hearst would have preferred. Hearst Castle is closed on December 25.
Jim Allen is the Director of Marketing at Hearst Castle where he feels privileged to be part of the team that preserves and interprets the many facets of the history of Hearst Castle and the life of William Randolph Hearst.