Tag Archives: Hearst Castle

Why Stay at the Bridge Street Inn for 3 Nights?

Overnight guest receive 20% off a 3 night reservation. 

Entire Bridge Street Inn rental and cottage rental guests receive 15% off a 3 night reservation. 

Why stay 3 nights?  

Day 1:  Hearst Castle is located 8 miles North of the Inn.   The Castle offers multiple daily tours.  Across from the castle is the William Randolph Hearst Memorial Beach.  A popular beach, this protected cove offers visitors pier fishing, kayak/paddleboard, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and an eucalyptus forest to explore. A short walk from the beach is Sebastian’s General Store.  Inside you can enjoy a causual-chic grass fed Hearst burger and the Hearst Ranch Winery wine bar. 

Day 2:  23 miles North of the Inn is Salmon Creek Falls. This is your opportunity to explore the southern part of Big Sur.  Between Cambria and Salmon Creek Falls are many unpopulated beaches with no cell phone reception.  One of my favorites is San Carpoforo Beach.  Salmon Creek Falls, Ragged Point Fire Road trail and Buckeye Camp trail system offers amazing picnic spots like at Estrella Camp, swimming holes, and hiking.  Just south of Salmon Creeks Falls is Ragged Point.  A perfect stop to enjoy a cup of coffee with amazing views.  Also between Cambria and the falls are the most interesting critters called Elephant Seals.  Well worth a stop.

Day 3:  No drive day.  Explore the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.  Catch the trail a few blocks from the Inn.  Hike all the way to the ocean.  Take a book, postcards, and journal to Moonstone Beach.   Enjoy Cambria’s many restaurants, coffee shops, galleries and yoga studios.

Bicycle Rentals and Bicycle Adventure in Cambria, CA

bicycle surfer bsi

Despite Cambria’s amazing surf no one rents surfboards.

Not everyone gets ready for vacation by strapping their queen size bed on top of their mini van or buckles  their cherry tomato plant into the front seat of their Honda.  The good folks in Cambria realize  you can’t bring all your worldly possessions on vacation.  Fortunately the Bridge Street Inn offers queen size beds and it’s within walking distance of a grocery store that sells cherry tomatoes.  Beginning this month Cambria offers a new service to the visiting guest, BICYCLE RENTALS.

Cambrian resident Dan along with Wally’s Bicycle Rentals offer a free delivery service anywhere in Cambria. Renting a bicycle is simple.  The Bridge Street Inn guest  calls Dan the night before their bike ride.  In the morning Dan will drop off the bicycle at the Bridge Street Inn tuned,  lubed and ready for that day’s adventure.  Bicycle rates vary according to how many days and hours rented.



Bicycle ride with ocean views.

Santa Rosa Creek bicycle Cambria

Bicycle ride with mountain views.

For the bicycle rider who loves leisurely rides that involve world class scenery and local culture Cambria’s location will amaze.

Santa Rosa Creek Road for the Skilled

Santa Rosa Creek starts in Cambria and meanders through the farm and ranch land of the Santa Lucia Mountains.  The one lane windy road ends near the top of the highway 46 pass.  Old Creek Road picks up on the other side of 46.  Follow the road into Cayucos then take Highway 1 back to Cambria.  This 42.2 mile loop is not for the laid back beach cruiser cyclist.  Click here for loop details.


Linn's Fruit Bin Farmstore bicycle

Bicycle riders with shorts that snug their buns super tight always go faster.  However normal shorts can help the cyclist slow down to smell the roses.

The  carefree Santa Rosa Creek adventure does not involve walking your bicycle or wearing padded shorts.  The first 5 miles of Santa Rose Creek Road takes a cyclist through rolling farm/ranch land along a tree lined single lane road.   Besides  the beautiful natural landscape there’s plenty of cows, goats, sheep, pigs, raptors, horses, old farm houses, and barns to look at.  Be careful a good looking pig can prove as distracting as texting.

Linn's Fruit Bin Farmstore

Linn’s Original Farmstore is 5 miles up the road.  Linn’s offers individual fruit pies and drinks.  Linn’s will only serve their pies on disposable wear.  This problem is easily solved by bringing a small camping plate and fork.  The farmstore provides shade trees and tables.  A perfect place to play cribbage.

Stolo Family Winery

Chet the friendly goat

On the way back into town stop by Stolo Family Winery and Tasting Room.  This is the last stop before Cambria.  It’s located only a couple miles out of town.   Despite not having bike racks I felt comfortable leaning my bicycle against the building.  A tasting costs $5.  The tasting room has a wonderful open feel.  Near the entrance facing west there are several chairs and tables, an ideal spot to soak up some sun rays, write a poem and watch the sunset.  The Stolo family is a nontraditional family.  No, two women do not head this family nor two kissing cousins.  Instead,  two members of the Stolo family are goats.  Chet and Betty are fun to pet while drinking wine.

cambria to hearst castle by bicycle

The Hearst Experience

Many parts of Highway 1 from Carmel to Big Sur are shoulderless, steep and narrow.  A bicycle rider should not pedal through Big Sur if they pedal erratically, curse god when they break a sweat or do not have the mental capacity to handle near death scrapes with inexperienced RV renters.   However the ease of the 7 mile stretch of Highway 1 between Cambria and the Hearst Castle might be the section of PCH pavement for you.

The one small hill allows the inexperienced bicycle rider to enjoy the couch up until the day of their adventure.  A bicycle rider with one hand on the handlebar and the other on their smart phone can update their Facebook and text while navigating the wide PCH shoulder. The zebra missed because of digital distractions, can be recaptured with a scenic postcard purchased  at the Hearst Castle gift shop.

sebastian's general store black bean burger

Mick Jagger with his big enough mouth would be intimidated by the size of these monstrous vegetable packed sandwiches.

On a serious note no matter what type of bicycle rider you are Sebastian’s General Store will amaze you with their large Hearst beef sandwiches piled with delicious veggies.  Also located in the general store is the Hearst Wine tasting room.

Digest your food and sleep off the wine at the W.R. Hearst Memorial State Beach.

cambria to cayucose by bicycle

45.7 miles of Bicycle fun between Cambria and Pismo Beach

The wind blows North to South along the PCH.  Cambria is the second to last stop for the RTA bus heading North.  A bicycle rider can pedal the 45.7 miles from Cambria to Pismo Beach with the wind at their back.  If a cyclist doesn’t want to pedal back to Cambria against the wind he or she can put their bicycle on the bus. RTA BUS SCHEDULE

The Weekend Boni’s Tacos Bicycle Picnic

bicycle outfit

“I say beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” Henry David Thoreau

Designing the Dream, the Hearst Castle Bicycle tour

hearst castle bicycle

Take advantage of the Bridge Street Inn’s unique location by hopping on a bicycle.

Worth the Climb: visiting Hearst Castle

If you have the opportunity to jump on the bike and head out along Highway One on the Hearst Experience, don’t just stop at the top of the hill and buy a postcard from the shop! You can also take advantage of a unique new tour of Hearst Castle, which runs from June 1 through Labor Day.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is offering the tour, called “Designing the Dream”, which will feature parts of the castle that have been closed to visitors for several years.

The man behind the vision

Hearst Castle was constructed by legendary newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who had a deep and lasting influence on American journalism. He was the owner and publisher of The San Francisco Examiner, and later The New York Journal. Hearst was also involved in politics, as a Democratic member of the Congress between 1903 and 1907. He made several unsuccessful attempts to become mayor and later governor of New York. His life story was the inspiration for the lead character of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.

“The Enchanted Hill”

In 1919, Hearst inherited more than 250,000 acres from his mother and father.  He started searching for ways to transform it into his dream estate, “La Cuesta Encantada”, which translated from Spanish means “The Enchanted Hill”. He realized his dream together with architect Julia Morgan. The San Simeon landmark has 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways. Hearst filled these spaces with his personal collection of ancient art, sculptures, furniture and relics.

In 1937, Hearst started to sell some of his collection due to challenges he was experiencing in the post-depression years. In 1937 alone, sales generated at least $11 million. A few years later, in 1941, a further 20,000 objects were put up for sale, including author Charles Dickens’ sideboard and Thomas Jefferson’s Bible. Incredibly, when the castle was donated to the State of California by the Hearst Corporation in 1957 – six years after its owner’s death – there were still enough items remaining for the whole house to be considered a museum.

Designing the Dream: the tour

The 90-minute castle tour will explore its evolution over several decades. Visitors will see the famous Neptune Pool, which offers magnificent views of the mountains and features an ancient Roman temple facade which was transported from Europe and reconstructed on site. The tour will also take in the estate gardens, the interior rooms of the “Casa del Sol” guest cottage and the North Wing of the “Casa Grande” (big house). The tour will show how styles changed dramatically between the start of construction in the 1920s and the end in the mid 1940s, although it is said that Hearst’s constant amendments and changes meant that the castle was never fully completed in his lifetime.

The tour will end with a behind the scenes visit to the estate’s Roman Pool and its dressing rooms. After that, visitors will be able to stroll around the grounds and enjoy the magnificent view, just as guests such as Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill did back in the castle’s heyday. The price is $30 for adults and $15 for children.

Cycling: the Best Buddies Challenge

Such is the power and significance of the landmark estate that it draws some one million visitors each year. This is in spite of the fact that its location is far from urban centers; some 250 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. The estate is located five miles inland in the Santa Lucia range, at an altitude of 1600 feet.

It has also inspired cyclists from near and far. The combination of the mesmerizing scenery along Highway One and the castle made it perhaps an irresistible choice to form part of the route of the “Hearst Castle ride”. The ride, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a fundraiser for Best Buddies, an international charity for the intellectually disabled. It gives riders the chance to enjoy 100 miles of spectacular views and uninterrupted roadway from the Monterey Peninsula to San Simeon.

Conditions on Highway One

With tourism to the castle and the importance of the Best Buddies ride on the national cycling calendar, the condition of the Highway One is naturally of paramount importance. In the build-up to the race, which will be held on September 7th this year, all eyes are on Californian road authority Caltrans because it recently sealed 20 miles of the road to the north of Cambria using “chip-seal”. Chip-seal is a type of sealant which uses larger stones and therefore produces a rougher, bumpier ride for cyclists. Concerns have been raised by cyclists and tourist officials alike, leading Caltrans to hire a specialist company to test different ways of fixing the problem. Authorities are confident they will resolve the issue; however, as with most events of this nature, there is always a certain amount of risk involved. Individuals as well as organizations should be advised to prepare for all contingencies.

Nonetheless, if the recommendations of cyclists from previous years are anything to go by, the party at Hearst Castle at the end of the Best Buddies ride is a fantastic finale to the event and not to be missed. It seems whatever your motivation for ascending the hill to Hearst Castle, the climb is always worth it.

Special thanks to Melissa Hathaway for contributing this article.