Hearst Castle Will Finally Reopen After Closing 2 Years Ago

The 127-acre estate will welcome back guests for the first time since March 2020.

Abbie Warnock-Matthews/Shutterstock

California's famed Hearst Castle, which sits above the Pacific Coast Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, will finally reopen its opulent gates back to the public again after closing down two years prior due to the pandemic.

The 127-acre estate erected by media mogul William Randolph Hearst and designed by architect Julia Morgan will welcome back guests beginning May 11. The attraction has remained closed since the original COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020.

"Hearst Castle is a state treasure and we are thrilled to reopen this wonder to the public to enjoy in a safe and responsible manner," California State Parks director Armando Quintero said in a statement.

The castle is situated atop La Cuesta Encantada (also known as The Enchanted Hill) in San Luis Obispo County's San Simeon and appears as if it's straight out of a Disney movie. 

"They say that the Hearst Castle is a jewel in San Luis Obispo County's already dazzling crown, and I couldn't agree more, and Hearst Castle is not only a fascinating place to visit, it serves as a backbone to the North County's economy," State Senator John Laird said in the release. "So, I couldn't be happier about its reopening, with a safer and more rewarding experience for residents and tourists alike. I want to thank State Parks for their diligent work in getting the Castle reopened. The spirits of William Randolph Hearst and castle architect Julia Morgan are surely joyous today." 

While the California State Parks had plans to reopen Hearst Castle sooner, a massive storm ripped through the area in early 2021, causing 20 inches of rain and significant damage to nearby roads, which only delayed the reopening further. 

"We are confident that these once-in-a-lifetime repairs and improvements to the road facility will serve countless generations to come," Quintero added. 

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.