Hearst Castle (Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument), William Randolph Hearst's estate, is an amazing place to see. It's about four hours north of L.A. and a really beautiful drive up the coast. They are open daily for tours and reservations are recommended. Twenty-eight years in the making, the castle is phenomenal. The newspaper and magazine man really knew how to live it up. Not only is the sheer size of the place (115 rooms in the Main House--"Casa Grande") impressive, but the priceless art each room holds shows the lavish lifestyle Hearst experienced. The pool area, shown above (and also featured in the film Spartacus), is only the beginning. There is Tour 1, the Experience Tour, for first-timers, and then four additional detail tours best suited for returning visitors.
San Luis Obispo (about three hours north of L.A.) is a convenient place to stay the night on the way up or back from San Simeon.
In downtown Los Angeles, years ago, we met while working as editorial assistants at the Los Angeles Times. Today, we're still young, thirsty female journalists, on various paths of life (Chau in Silver Lake and Leslie in Brooklyn), here to deliver our best finds from this city and beyond, via the BEAT of young los angeles. Get comfortable and stay a while. Check back often!