Visitors have the chance to experience Hearst Castle for free on Monday, June 4, to mark completion of remodeling at the state historical monument’s Visitor Center.
Tickets to the Castle’s “Experience Tour” usually cost $24 for adults and $12 for children. The 45,300 square-foot center will be ready for the public by Memorial Day, according to officials, and an official reopening is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 2. Aramark — the concessionaire that sells food, gifts, educational materials and more at the center — and the Department of Parks and Recreation will host the event. Aramark paid the full remodeling cost of almost to $5 million, about $1 million up from prior estimates. It holds a 15-year lease on the facility. A limited number of free tour tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at 8 a.m. June 4 at the Visitor Center, 7 miles north of Cambria on Highway 1. The tour includes viewing of “Hearst Castle, Building the Dream” on the large-format screen in the National Geographic Theater at Hearst Castle. — Kathe Tanner