Evening tours at Hearst Castle start again Saturday

Hearst Castle evening tours start up again Saturday. They are to run Fridays and Saturdays only through Dec. 9, then nightly through Dec. 30. The Castle is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

“Unlike our new daytime tours,” said John Fixler, ticket office supervisor, the nearly two-hour-long “evening tours are fully guided, from drop-off to loading back onto the bus.”

Daytime tours were modified in July. Those tours start with a guided portion but end with a free-flowing time of self-guided walkabout.

Since 1991 when new night lighting made the evening tours possible, docents in period costume have re-enacted what it’s like to be an invited guest of former Castle owner William Randolph Hearst.

Some tour takers also get into the spirit by dressing for the occasion in formal or period attire, Fixler said, adding that “The docents really love that.”

Evening-tour tickets are $36 for adults, $18 for children ages 5 to 12. Unlike daytime tours, viewing of the large-format movie, “Hearst Castle: Building the Dream” is not included in the ticket price, but is available for an additional $10.

For reservations, call (800) 444-4445 or go online to www.hearstcastle.com.