This summer, for the first time, Hearst Castle offered self-guided tours of  the garden and outdoor pool areas.   

 At last, an opportunity to wander about and enjoy the ambiance and scenery at your own pace.  The “tours” opened at ~5:15 in the afternoon and continued until a half hour  past sunset.

     I do hope they offer these  self-guided tours again next year- they allow for an entirely  different experience of Hearst Castle.  The tour guides- however- seemed to struggle with simply standing about .