Think you need to hop a flight to Europe to see some truly awe inspiring castles? Well not so fast! There are actually at least a dozen amazing castles dotted all around America that are absolutely worth a visit on your next vacation or road trip.
What makes these castles so fascinating, besides the obvious of course, is the great storied history of these castles. Many were built in the 1800s and early 1900s by very rich industrialists and some were even pre-built in Europe and sailed over to America by boat.
Each castle has it’s own story, but the good news is the vast majority of these are open to the public for visits and tours. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Perhaps the most famous castle in the United States, the wealthy newspaper and magazine Hearst family wanted something in the California countryside for family gatherings. Almost 80,000 square feet later, Hearst Castle wasn’t completed until the mid 1900s. The grounds and castle are now a state park of California, so feel free to stop by and visit.
Another famous castle, modeled after a French chateau and tucked into the hills of Asheville, North Carolina is The Biltmore. Built by the very famous and wealthy Vanderbilt family it has over 250 rooms! What’s more amazing is it is still privately owned, but the owners still allow for multiple tours a day through the buildings and the beautiful estate.
The only true royal palace in America is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Built in the late 1870s this palace was the home of the last King and Queen of the Kingdom of Hawaii, before it became claimed as American territory. The ‘Iolani Palace is now run by a non for profit group that offers a museum and tours as well as special celebrations on the King and Queen’s birthdays.
This castle is home to a true love story. George Boldt commissioned this castle to be built as a tribute to his wife, though sadly she died just before the Boldt Castle was finished. So overcome with sadness George ordered the building to cease and left the castle to become ruins. In the 1950s New York state paid to restore the castle and the island it sits upon. Now visitors can take self guided tours of the castle and island.
This Mediterranean style home was built to replicate the grand castles surrounding the hills of Venice by famous circus magnate John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers. Located in Sarasota, Florida the Ca’ D’Zan has been cited as an example of one of the very last of the mansions built during the Gilded Age. Visitors can tour the castle, grounds and art museum.
Any favorites of yours we missed? Have you had the chance to tour any of these American castles? Let us know what you think in the comments!