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Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Palmer, Alaska
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Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

My family is heading to SLO at the beginning of June from Anaheim with Amtrak. We are staying at the Quality Suites, I booked a king suite. We are going with our two teens, before I was married years ago I went on a Hearst Castle tour, and have wanted to return ever since. My daughter is into Art & History, so I thought it would be perfect for that. I've looked into booking an all day tour with them, they would pick us up from the hotel, stop at a seal rookery (sp?) and then bring us to San Simeon for the Hearst Castle tour, then lunch, and lastly wine tour/shopping at Cambria. It's about $124/person, so it's not cheap, but it includes quite a bit, so I'm wondering if anyone has ever taken this tour and if so, how was it? I was wondering if we would be better off renting a car and doing it ourselves...thanks! ;)

Visalia, CA
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1. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Hearst Castle offers 5 different tours. The 4 daytime tours are $24 per person per tour and and the nighttime tour is $30 per person. For more information go to http://hearst.reserveamerica.com.

Basically it looks like you are paying $100 per person for lunch & transportation. P.S. It's an easy drive down Hwy 1.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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2. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

It would be more cost effective to rent a car and do this on your own. It's a lovely drive, easy to do and you can do/see a lot more than just Hearst Castle & the seals.

You could spend time in the quaint town of Cambria browsing their charming shops or hang out at Moonstone Beach. You can grab lunch wherever you want to, instead of wherever the tour company takes you. The Sebastian General Store on the other side of the highway across from Hearst Castle would be a nice choice, as would Moonstone Bar & Grill in Cambria overlooking the ocean. If you want a more affordable option, the Main Street Grill in Cambria has a nice menu with BBQ, sandwiches, salads, etc.

On the drive back to SLO, stop for a look of Morro Rock and perhaps drive the back roads back to SLO.

Palmer, Alaska
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3. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

I am reconsidering after realizing that the cost for all 4 of us would be almost $500, I'm going to price everything out separately and see what it would be, I am sure it would be a lot less than that...thank you for your perspective, I appreciate it! I'm assuming that there are national car companies that would have rentals available there in SLO that would either pick us up or we could get to easily?

Thanks again, Kelly ;)

Grover Beach...
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4. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Hi Kelly

Enterprise Rent-A-Car will pick you up and take you back to their office to get your paperwork filled out and get you on your way.

The number in SLO: (805) 545-9111

You may have to hire a cab to get back to your hotel, but SLO is pretty compact and shouldn't cost too much.

Palmer, Alaska
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5. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Thanks Kibblesmom, I went ahead and booked a premium car (my husband is 6'2" and my son is almost 6', and we need the space with my college age daughter and myself! So we are good to go! It says there may be additional charges for local tax, hopefully not too outrageous, it's already $64 as it is, but that's still cheaper than $500 with the tour! ;) Oh, and I found out that our son who is 15 will pay 1/2 price for the Hearst Castle tour, which is great! I think it will be nice to be on our own time/schedule, we will have more flexibility for sure! Thanks for the suggestion and information, can't wait until we go!!

Edited: 10:52 pm, February 08, 2011
Grover Beach...
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6. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

I have no doubt you will have a great time on the coast on your own. Have fun!

Canberra, Australia
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7. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Hi akmom61, I just read your post and thought I would post a quick reply.

My wife visited the USA more than 20 years ago and did an extensive bus tour of California that included a stop at Hearst Castle. It made a big impression and she has been keen to make a return visit (and show our 2 boys). After doing a lot of "googling" we decided on a very similar trip to your original post.

We are staying in Anaheim in early April and are then going to travel on Amtrak to Paso Robles, from there we are booked to do the Wine Wrangler tour to Hearst Castle. I know that this is a more expensive way of getting to Hearst Castle, but after trying to drive in the USA on a previous visit, we have decided that it's much safer to let someone else drive (my brain just couldn't adapt to driving on the RHS of the road).

Palmer, Alaska
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8. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

Hi Lesmira1960~first of all, you must be my age, judging by the yr listed after your name? ;)

After looking at schedules, etc. it really works better for us to go to San Luis Obispo rather than Paso Robles, we will get there sooner, and the return is much better time wise, instead of getting back to Anaheim at almost 11p, we will get there around dinnertime (6p) so it works much better. I have no doubt that you will throughly enjoy the Wine Wrangler tour, it sounds incredible, but seeing as we are Americans, and are used to driving on the same side of the road as everyone else, that shouldn't be a problem for us, not to mention, the area is a lot easier to drive than in more congested areas such as Los Angeles, etc. so I think we'll be ok. We are only renting a car for one day anyway. We're spending 2 nights at the hotel (I've already booked it, found a good deal!) the first day we get there, we will just hang out in the town itself and have dinner, and enjoy the downtown area, walking around. The next morning is when we will rent a car and drive up to Hearst Castle, part of the tour is they drive you up the hill to the Castle, so we just have to park our car and hop on their bus. I've been there before, but not for years, so it will be really fun to go again, I can't wait!! Enjoy your trip, sounds like a wonderful time!

Grover Beach...
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9. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

And I hope both of you have a great time on your individual trips. :-)

10. Re: Wine Wranglers Tour to Hearst Castle or rent car on our own?

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