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When you think of castles, your imagination may jump straight to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (the inspiration for the Disney castle), Windsor Castle in the UK, or even the Palace of Versailles — but you don’t have to travel across the pond to experience the opulence and wonder associated with castles. There are several studded across the United States! From kooky fairytale homes in coastal Alabama to a palatial California estate, we have rounded up some of the most magnificent properties you won’t believe are right here in the USA.

10 American Castles You’ve Got to See to Believe

Boldt Castle
Upstate New York

This dreamy six-story castle perched on Heart Island in the U.S. Thousand Islands was George Boldt’s gift to his beloved wife, Louise. The Gilded Age summer home was built in 1900 and left incomplete and deserted by Boldt after the sudden death of his wife in 1904. The castle has since been gloriously restored and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Upstate New York.

Boldt Castle

There are six impressive structures to explore on Heart Island: the Castle, the Power House, the Alster Tower, the Hennery, the Arch, and a stone gazebo. Image: G. Lamar | Flickr Creative Commons

Biltmore Estate
Asheville, North Carolina

America’s largest home and the crown jewel of North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate was a collaborative effort between George Vanderbilt, architect Richard Morris Hunt, and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (who also designed a little place called Central Park). Completed in 1895, the home sits on more than 8,000 acres (four are indoor floor space), with 35 bedrooms, 45 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. It’s worth the pricey ticket to visit, and be sure to check out the historic winery and vineyards while you’re there!

48 hours asheville

One of the coolest things about The Biltmore is being able to explore the downstairs, where the workers lived and operated the massive estate. It feels as if the rooms have been left untouched since their inception. Image: Biltmore

Hearst Castle
San Simeon, California

Publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst and architect Julia Morgan constructed Hearst Castle in the early 20th century, and Hearst threw many lavish, star-studded parties there in the 20s and 30s. Originally called “La Cuesta Encantada” (The Enchanted Hill), San Simeon, and “The Ranch,” as Hearst himself called it, the castle is located on the Central Coast of California. Largely isolated, the structure is perched above valleys.

Hearst Castle California

Just a few hours north of Los Angeles, this is a castle to discover once it is open to the public again! Image: Trey Ratcliff | Flickr Creative Commons

Hearst Castle California

Neptune Pool at Hearst Castle looks like the perfect venue for some raucous Roaring Twenties affairs. Image: Kay Gaensler | Flickr Creative Commons

Storybook Castles
Fairhope, Alabama

Did you know that coastal Alabama is home to a magical alcove of fairytale castles? Craig Sheldon recycled, reused, and repurposed everything he could salvage to add to his family’s home shortly after World War II. The Sheldon Family Castle enchanted Sheldon’s daughter, Pagan, whose husband, Dean Mosher, wanted to continue building the castles. The Moshers have kept adding to this living art form that inspires all who visit.

Fairhope Storybook Castle

Tours inside the private residence are currently on hold, but anyone is welcome to visit the exterior. Image: Wander Home

RELATED: 3 Small Towns in Alabama to Explore ASAP

Highlands Castle
Bolton Landing, New York

John Lavender made a vow to his three-year-old son, Jason, that he would build him a castle one day. Once Jason was old enough, he helped his father create the spectacular series of three castles that they now run as a hotel. It took more than 40 years and 1,000 tons of local granite to build Highland Castle, and visitors return time and again for the unmatched views, regal amenities, and surrounding lake activities.

Highlands Castle

These tucked-away mountain castles and suites are mere minutes from Lake George, beaches, restaurants, shopping, trails, boat rentals, and more! Image: Highlands Castle

The Kentucky Castle
Versailles, Kentucky

Stay, dine, and relax like queens and kings at The Kentucky Castle, voted “Most Beautiful Hotel in Kentucky” by Architectural Digest. Ogle at the architectural triumphs throughout the property, dine at their cozy farm-to-table restaurant, Castle Farms, relax by the pool, book a spa treatment, and explore the grounds. You won’t believe you’re in the South. (This is also a popular destination for weddings!)

Kentucky Castle

Learn more about all the events and happenings at The Kentucky Castle here. Image: The Kentucky Castle

Ha Ha Tonka
Camdenton, Missouri

Sad history seeps through the ruin of a turn-of-the-century stone castle overlooking gorgeous views of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring in Missouri. Wealthy Kansas City businessman Robert Snyder began building in 1905 with plans of creating a magnificent European-style castle on his 5,000 acres of land, complete with his very own lake. He even brought stonemasons over from Europe to perfect the style, but unfortunately, Snyder was killed just a year later in one of the state’s first car accidents.

Snyder’s sons continued work on the building and completed the castle by 1920, when one of the sons moved in until the family’s money ran out. Poverty and depression drove him from the castle, and it was opened as a hotel and lodge until 1942 when a fire utterly destroyed the entire building.

Ha Ha Tonka Missouri

A visit to Ha Ha Tonka State Park will lead you through the ruins and to some of the most coveted views in The Ozarks. Image:

Bannerman Castle
Beacon, New York

Born in Scotland and raised in Brooklyn, Entrepreneur Francis Bannerman stockpiled and sold surplus military goods from a young age and needed a place to store them. In 1900, he bought the previously uninhabited (and allegedly haunted) Pollopel Island and built storerooms, an arsenal, and a grand castle inspired by the Scottish and Moorish castles. There were docks, turrets, a moat, and landscaping that Bannerman took on. Unfortunately, the project was never quite finished. Bannerman’s death in 1918, a massive explosion in 1920, a huge fire in 1969, and years of decline left the structure a skeleton by the 1990s.

Bannerman Castle

While Pollepel Island and the castle itself are remote, they’re open for tours and events throughout summer and fall. Image: Garrett Ziegler | Flickr Creative Commons

RELATED: 6 Weird and Wonderful Airbnbs in the South

Castello di Amorosa
Napa Valley, California

After decades of researching and studying medieval castles throughout Europe, Dario Sattui began building Castello di Amorosa in 1993. The 12th-century Tuscan-style castle is eight levels and 121,000 square feet of 107 rooms, 8,000 tons of hand-squared stones, a network of caves, an entirely hand-painted Great Hall, a drawbridge, moat, and one of the most impressive wine barrel rooms in the country. Visitors can enjoy a tour and taste world-class Napa Valley wines as they explore the curious grounds.

Castello Di Amorosa Castle

Castello di Amorosa produces about 15,000 cases of Napa Valley’s best wines sold only at the winery. Image: Keith Cuddeback | Flickr Creative Commons

Solomon’s Castle
Ona, Florida

Tucked away in the lush Florida woodlands is internationally renowned artist Howard Soloman’s dream come to life. A visit to Solomon’s Castle may be the most unique experience of your life. Explore Soloman’s home, galleries, and workshop filled with wacky sculptures, stained glass, and a huge collection of art. Don’t leave without grabbing a bite at the Boat in the Moat Restaurant, housed in a 60-foot replica of a 16th-century Portuguese Galleon.

Solomon's Castle Florida

One of the wackiest castles you can visit in the United States! Image: BucketLetsTravel

While it was the English judge, Sir Edward Coke, who first said that “a man’s home is his castle,” there are certainly many to explore right here in the United States — no passport required.


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