San Simeon Journals

Castle in the Hills

A September 2003 trip to San Simeon by pkysjc

Visitor Center Photo, San Simeon, California More Photos
Quote: A visit to Hearst Castle, which is located in San Simeon, California, up on a hill overlooking the California coast.

Castle in the Hills

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Visitor Center Photo, San Simeon, California
The castle sits on a hill overlooking the rugged California coast line, which is absolutely beautiful. Coming from the San Francisco Bay area, we took our time and drove down Hwy 1, stopping in Big Sur to have lunch. It's a beautiful ride, but beware that the 99 miles from Monterey to San Simeon can take up to three hours plus on Hwy 1 due to the winding roads along the coast. Also, if you can, purchase your tickets ahead of time. After taking our leisurely drive down the coast, when we got there, we found out they were sold out. We were told by the ticket agent that this is very common. We ended up buying tickets for early the next day and spent the night in Morro Bay. The Castle...Read More

Fireside Inn


This was a DUMP! I was very disappointed. In fact, if it wasn't late in the day and we were not exhausted from driving, we would have continued looking. Under normal circumstances I would have been able to thoroughly research a place to stay, but since we were not able to get tickets for Hearst Castle on the same day, we got tickets for the next day and needed a place to stay for the night. The room was no better than a Motel 6; in fact I think Motel 6 is probably better. The towels were so thin that they scatched when you used them. There were stains in the carpet and I was scared to sleep on the sheets. The next morning, the room was so depressing, that we rose early and got the heck out of t...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 8, 2003

Fireside Inn
730 Morro Avenue
San Simeon, California 93442
(805) 772-2244

Donati Family Vineyard

Attraction | "Mastantuono Winery"

Donati Family Vineyard Photo, Templeton, California
We decided take a quicker route home by taking 46W to 101N. About half way before getting to 101 we noticed that vineyards were all around and decided to stop at a winery we were approaching named Mastantuono. Wine tasting was $2 for 5 tastes and included a souvenir glass. The wine was okay, but nothing to jump up and down about. The tasting room is moderate compared to some of the tasting rooms in Napa Valley. The pourers were very knowledgeable and a delight to talk to. We plan on returning to make a weekend of wine tasting in this region. We have gone to Napa many times, but never ventured into this region. It looks like it would be a fun and we will be able to include going to the beach al...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 8, 2003

Donati Family Vineyard
2720 Oak View Road
Templeton, CA 93465
(805) 238-0676