SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - One of California’s most popular tourist attractions, Hearst Castle, is set to reopen to the public this spring.
The world-renowned house museum will reopen on May 11, after being closed for two years following the COVID-19 pandemic and severe rainstorms that damaged the roads leading to the castle, the California Department of Parks and Recreation announced Thursday.
Over the past 10-months, the upper 2.25-mile portion of Hearst Castle Road was reconstructed. Old asphalt was removed and recycled, new concrete retaining walls were installed and some of the historic stone retaining walls were restored by hand, according to the state.
The total estimated cost of the project was $13.7 million.
The Hearst Castle access road sees up to 850,000 visitors per year, including 22,000 bus trips per year.
"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," said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. "We are confident that these once-in-a-lifetime repairs and improvements to the road facility will serve countless generations to come."
San Simeon, CA OCTOBER 6, 2020: The Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 in San Simeon, CA. (Francine Orr/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Hearst Castle contains 115 rooms, a guesthouses, two stunning pools, and 8 acres of cultivated gardens. The main house, "La Casa Grande," is home to Hearst's art collection and has hosted many influential guests, including President Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and Charlie Chaplin.
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