Madonna Inn

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Driving south on HWY 1 we passed right by the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Why didn’t we stop? Hali has seen it and I was more interested in safari-like viewing of elephant seals at Piedras Blancas and Mr. Hearsts’ private herd of zebras on his Enchantment Hill. While a tour of the castle will set you back “from” $25 the latter viewing opportunities were FREE.


From Pismo Beach we could head back north and take the castle tour but why would we when the excessively colorful Madonna Inn is right down the road in San Luis Obispo? We could schedule a tour of the it’s fantasy-themed rooms though we opted for a picnic in the lavish gardens instead.

This hotel was built in 1958 and we decided on exploring the rich history behind every nook and cranny of this eclectic “Inn“. Throughout the building are leaded glass windows, hand forged brass statues, crafty woodwork, and even hand carved marble salvaged from the Hearst Castle. All of this adorned with an overload of pink and gold.


Madonna Inn Grand Ballroom

Beyond the garish ballroom with big boulder fireplaces are the guest rooms. Each room is fantasy themed and start at $199 a night. For the high rollers the Travelers Yacht might be suitable. The adventurer might prefer the Safari. I tried to book the Caveman for a night but it was occupied all week.

We didn’t take the room tour yet for 2 quarters you can buy a postcard in the the gift shop of the Madonna Inn’s 110 quarters. I chose these two…


Safari and Jungle Quarters

Which one would you like? Safari or Jungle?

The grand finale of this tour winds up in the men’s rest room. Hali said the women’s room was laden with pink and gold plush accents. This is what the men’s room offered~ a waterfall urinal. My most exhilarating tinkle ever…


Next Friday we will have the good fortune to see the Cal Poly Alumni Big Band in the Grand Ballroom…for FREE! Stay tuned…

About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.

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