AN ICON BY TWILIGHT: A daytime tour of Hearst Castle? Magnificent. Extraordinary. To stand near the Neptune Pool and watch the sun play on the blue, blue water is an experience everyone should have once. Yeah, we're going brochure-y, but if you know the Neptune Pool, you know we're probably not going far enough in our effusiveness. But nighttime? At Hearst Castle? Ah. That's quite the different experience. The daytime crow has shuttled back down the hill. Shadows are deepening in all the nooks and pathways. And a small tour is gathering for a twilight look-around one of California's most iconic buildings. And, what's that? Just across the way? People in period tuxedos and gowns. It's the Hearst Castle Evening Tour, and it is on for a limited time.
COSTUMED PARTICIPANTS: The highlight of the Evening Tour, apart from the fact that you're inside the legendary building after hours, is that staff and volunteers do dress as Mr. Hearst's guests. It's meant to give you the feeling of being a guest yourself. Of course, you may not be in 1930s garb, what with your jeans and casual t-shirt, but you can pretend for a night. You'll wander through a guest house and the main house -- Casa del Mar -- and by the Neptune Pool. There are loads of other look-abouts, including a peek at the kitchen. The evening Tour is on Fridays and Saturdays through December, and then it'll start up again in the spring (actually, "most" Fridays and Saturdays, so check ahead). An adult ticket is $36.