I visited the Hearst Castle in the summer of 2006. Right on the coast of San Simeon, California, it’s a spectacular building built by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Finished in 1947, the house became a hangout spot for some of the biggest celebrities of the day. As ever, I was fascinated by the architectural details. Having been built at a time when one could order antiquities out of catalogs, the gardens are filled with genuine ancient Egyptian statuary and other relics. The zoo that once graced the grounds is mostly gone, but there’s still a handful of animals roaming the property, if you’re lucky you might see a small zebra herd wandering around loose. Most tours are $25 and last about an hour, although there are some different options on the website. If you’re not sure, visit the free museum down the hill and decide then if you want to take the bus up to the house itself.