Title: 3 Days Trip to Hearst Castle and Danish Town Solvang
Preparation: 3 days trip, 2 nights in hotels Hearst Castle Address: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452 My husband and I spent hours to search for hotels or Inns, two weeks before Christmas. We were too late and almost everything we could find in Priceline was close to $300 for double beds room or even a king room. I recommend to plan months in advance in order to find good deals. To visit Hearst Castle, you have to book tour tickets online in advance. Its website recommended the grand room tour if it would be your first time visiting. Price: $25 /Adult + $8 (online processing) $12/ Children ( younger than 13 years old) + $8 Each tour lasts one hour and different tours have different prices. Please check their website.
General opinion: Hearst Castle is a good place to see. Danish Town in Solvang is a place for family.
Attractions and activities: Hearst Castle is on the top of a hill. Visitors need to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier than the booked tour hour. When you arrive at the Visitor Center, you need to go to the window to get your wrist band by showing your booked tickets in your email or print out hard copy, then go to the gate to prepare to get on to the bus. It takes the bus about 18 minutes to get to the Castle. The Castle is beautiful, and the view is spectacular. After the tour, you can walk around in the garden. You can stay for a few hours if you like. Note: no food or drinks allowed. After you are done visiting, you can go to the line right next to the indoor swimming pool and then board the bus to come back. After you come back to the Visitor Center, if you have time, you can go to the theater to watch a film about Hearst Castle's history, how it was built and used. Try find a seat in the back because the screen is very big compared to the theater's size. Danish Town Solvang is about 100 miles away from Hearst Castle. The town is mainly for tourists. There are many restaurants, shops, galleries, churches, etc.
Dining: In Solvang Danish Town it took us a while to search for a Chinese restaurant. Mandarin Touch(金壺酒家) is a good Chinese restaurant that is in the opposite of Solvang Park, the same street. Address 1635 Mission Dr. Solvang, CA 93463 We had a lunch combination there. The food is good but the size is moderate, an adult may need to order an extra bowl of rice to get full.
Commute: We've driven through Highway 1. The coastal view is gorgeous although you cannot drive very fast.
Lodge: We stayed in Fireside Inn that is a couple miles away from Hearst Castle. In front of the Hotel is the beach with ocean view. Free breakfast provided although it might not as high quality as what you expected. The price was around $280 because it was the Christmas winter break hot tourist season and we booked it only in advance of 2 weeks.
Things I wish I had known before: In Hearst Castle, it has visitor parking. It's not too crowded. In Solvang DanishTown, in the morning you should be able to find a parking space.