Nestled between San Francisco and Los Angeles is one of America’s most famed castles: Hearst Castle. Beginning in 1865 as a ranch, William Randolph Hearst transformed the 250,000 acres of land into the Hearst Castle by 1947. Featuring 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens with pools, terraces and walkways, every inch of the property was designed with Hearst’s input and vision. The land housed an airport for guests to arrive to the estate, as well as a zoo that was once the world’s largest private zoo with bears and zebras. An expansive wine cellar was created during the Prohibition Era, and the property’s Neptune Pool is one of the most famous pools. Tours are available of the Grand Rooms, the Upstairs Suites and the Cottages & Kitchen. Evening, night, holiday and private tours are also available. Dining is available at the Visitors Center. The estate is open from 9 a.m. throughout the year, with the exception of major holidays. Children 5 and younger are free, kids ages 5 to 12 start at $12, and ages 13 and older are $25.