22 Gorgeous U.S. Castles That Are Fit for a Fairy Tale

Most likely, when you see castles, you’re thinking about medieval Europe. But you may locate magnificent buildings appropriate for a king or queen without leaving the country.

These stunning pieces of art were produced by architects, builders, and visionaries all around the United States. They honor older European structures and, in certain cases, even include components from them. The stunning structures may be found all across the nation, from an island in Upstate New York to the Pacific Coast of California.

We wouldn’t be remiss if we didn’t include these palaces and mansions because they have such a regal appearance and atmosphere, even though we didn’t include a few places with the term “castle” in their names. These 22 American castles are among the most exquisite.

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

Hearst Castle on Hilltop, San Simeon, California

In 1919, newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst started constructing his home. Hearst Castle, formerly called “La Cuesta Encantada” (Spanish for “The Enchanted Hill”), has 165 rooms, an illustrious art collection, and intricately tiled pools. However, the property’s 123 acres of gardens and views of the Pacific Ocean are its greatest gem. It is a well-liked destination that lives up to the hype because to its convenient position off the Pacific Coast Highway.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Groups of tourists arrive on the estate grounds at Biltmore House during Biltmore Blooms in Asheville, North Carolina

Travelers from all over the world visit this former French chateau-style mansion in North Carolina, which was constructed for George Washington Vanderbilt II. The 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate has 22 miles of trails, a spa, winery, restaurants, and stores in addition to three lodging options: The Inn, the Village Hotel, and the Cottages.

Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

The 44 chambers of Fonthill Castle, adorned with intricately designed ceramic tiles and prints, are a haven for enthusiasts of decorative arts. The 1908–1912 concrete castle served as the residence of Henry Chapman Mercer, an anthropologist, researcher, and archaeologist. Currently, guests can take an hour-long building tour and see both the Mercer Museum’s permanent and changing exhibits.

Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay, New York

Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River, Thousand Islands, New York

Boldt Castle, which is located on Heart Island in the St. Lawrence River close to the border between the United States and Canada, is difficult to top in terms of both location and awe factor. The castle, which dates back to the early 1900s, was meant to serve as a summer hideaway for rich hotelier George C. Boldt and his spouse, but she passed away before it could be finished. Boldt was so devastated that he stopped work and never came back to the island, abandoning the castle for over 70 years. After assuming ownership of the area in 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority started rehabilitating the buildings, which are currently accessible to the public from mid-May through early-October.

Singer Castle, Chippewa Bay, New York

Another early 20th-century property on the St. Lawrence River is Singer Castle, which is situated on Dark Island. Frederick Bourne was the vacation residence of the former head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The granite construction was sculpted by Italian stonemasons. Today, guests can explore its several chambers, hidden hallways, and well-kept grounds when they arrive by boat.

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers, built 1895 as a summer estate by the Vanderbilt family, one of the famous Newport Mansions on Rhode Island, United States

One of the most extravagant of Newport’s many magnificent Gilded Age summer houses is The Breakers. Completed in 1895, the Italian Renaissance-style palace was commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk offers views of the castle-like structure above Easton Bay, but history buffs can also peruse the National Historic Landmark’s elaborate rooms and gardens. Take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about the intricate subterranean network that keeps the enormous home lit, heated, and maintained.

Iolani Palace, Honolulu, Hawaii

Constructed between 1879 and 1882, the former royal home of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rulers now narrates the tale of lavish balls, hula dances, and Queen Liliuokalani’s downfall and incarceration. To understand more about the intricate history of the Hawaiian monarchy, guests can choose to explore the restored first and second floors on their own or participate in a guided tour.

Bishop’s Palace, Galveston, Texas

The famous Bishop's Palace was built by Colonel Walter Gresham and architect Nicholas Clayton; the extravagantly decorated house is a Victorian adaptation of the classic Renaissance style.

Bishop’s Palace, sometimes referred to as Gresham’s Castle, is a striking Victorian-style home spanning more than 19,000 square feet. The National Historic Landmark offers an exciting self-guided tour that takes visitors into every room of the building, including the attic and basement.

Gillette Castle, East Haddam, Connecticut

The medieval-style Gillette Castle, with its colorful stone and woodwork, entices architecture fans. It was built on a previous private estate. Between 1914 and 1919, actor William Hooker Gillette—best known for his roles as Sherlock Holmes on stage and screen—conceived the franchise. Today, it is situated inside a 184-acre state park bearing its name, which boasts breathtaking paths, picnic spaces, and vistas of the Connecticut River.

Bishop Castle, Rye, Colorado

Bishop's Castle in San Isabel National Forest near Pueblo Colorado

Constructed by a single man, Jim Bishop, Bishop Castle boasts of rooftop walkways and a fire-breathing dragon, making it a worthwhile roadside destination in Colorado. It also has stunning views of the adjacent San Isabel National Forest and no admission fee.

Castle in the Clouds, Moultonborough, New Hampshire

Built in 1913 by shoe industry tycoon Tom Plant and his spouse, the Lucknow Estate is home to a 16-room mansion designed in the Arts and Crafts style. The property did not receive its present name, the Castle in the Clouds, until the 1950s when it was made public. Currently, guests can explore the historic house and eat lunch at the Carriage House Restaurant from late May to late October. Hikers can explore more than 28 miles of trails year-round, and the mansion and restaurant are open for certain winter events.

Bannerman Castle, Beacon, New York

View of Bannerman Castle from the river, Pollepel Island, Hudson Highlands, New York.

This imitation castle was constructed in the early 1900s on an island in the Hudson River by Scottish-born merchant Frank Bannerman. After being completely destroyed by fire in 1969, guests can now reserve ferry, kayak, or canoe rides at this dramatic ruin. Additionally, you can buy tickets for on-site performances, movie evenings, or musical events to help maintain Bannerman Castle.

Belvedere Castle, New York City

Central Park landscape and Belvedere Castle with New York City skyline between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan in the United States of America aerial view. Autumn landscape with orange fall foliage

This Central Park gaffe feels a little out of place against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, but that just makes it more legendary. Built on Vista Rock, the second-highest natural point in Central Park, the Belvedere Castle offers vistas over the park that are nearly as alluring as the castle itself. To get even higher up, ascend the steep steps inside the tower.

Marble House, Newport, Rhode Island

The Marble House, one of the first centers of high society in Rhode Island, was constructed between 1888 and 1892. Inspired by the Petit Trianon château at Versailles, this Gilded Age home (previously owned by William Vanderbilt) boasts an astounding 500,000 cubic feet of imported marble. Though its portico facing the temple is beautiful, its elaborate apartments are much more striking. Make an appointment for brunch or afternoon tea at the estate’s Chinese tea house, which is open seasonally and used to be the site of Alva Vanderbilt’s women’s suffrage rallies, to make the most out of your stay.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

The exterior of Castello di Amorosa, a medieval inspired Tuscan style winery and castle located in California wine country.

One California winery’s proprietors took their ties to the wine industry—and their Italian heritage—very seriously, and they constructed a medieval-style Tuscan castle on their property. Have a dream of enjoying a glass of wine from the top of a castle? This is where you belong.

Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown, New York

Lyndhurst Manor, Blue Sky and Trees in Autumn Colors (Foliage) in Tarrytown, Hudson Valley, New York.

Despite not having the word “castle” in its name, Lyndhurst will not let people who are dying to experience a castle feel let down. The Gothic Revival Lyndhurst Mansion, also known as the Jay Gould estate, is situated on a 67-acre park beside the Hudson River. You can purchase passes to explore the grounds or attend events like sunset jazz concerts and theater plays. The property provides tours of its ornate first and second floors, servant rooms, and planted gardens.

Thornewood Castle, Lakewood, Washington

Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington

Book a stay at Thornewood Castle if you’ve always wanted to escape to an English castle. It was constructed using bricks from a disassembled 15th-century home that was imported from the UK. The lakefront, Gothic Tudor-style mansion had an appearance in Rose Red, a television series by Stephen King, and offers guestrooms and suites for anyone wishing to spend the night in an eerie yet exquisite home.

Joslyn Castle, Omaha, Nebraska

The 35-room Joslyn Castle was constructed in less than a year by an affluent Omaha couple, which is remarkable given the elaborate details (think stained glass, complex mosaics, and carved wood) used throughout. The 5.5-acre estate and grounds, which include a garden with changing floral displays, are open for tours today.

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Hammond Castle on the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts

Constructed between 1926 and 1929, Hammond Castle is a medieval-style building situated right off the untamed Atlantic Coast. The castle is home to the laboratory of John Hays Hammond, Jr., a scientist and inventor who filled his residence with his inventions, including a massive pipe organ that was made possible by his 19 pipe organ technology patents. This is perhaps the most notable feature of the castle.

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