7 American Castles That Really Exist

The United States might not have Neuschwanstein Castle or Château de Chenonceau, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the running when it comes to touring estates with spellbinding views or exploring hallways brimming with art.

Castles conjure up a giddy child-like spirit within us, and what’s even more fascinating than the grandiose architecture are the stories behind the castle walls themselves. American history is dotted with interesting characters and their residences even more so, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of noteworthy estates that prove Europe isn’t the only continent with a hold on royalty.

Hearst Castle

Source: Travel Caffeine

WHERE: San Simeon, CA

YEAR BUILT: 1919

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Spring or fall (to avoid the summer crowds)

CAN YOU STAY THERE? No

FUN FACT: The dining hall inside of Hearst Castle was used as Hogwarts inspiration for the Harry Potter movies.

Biltmore Estate

Source: Asheville Habitat

WHERE: Asheville, North Carolina

YEAR BUILT: 1895

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Early November (to see the Christmas decor before the crowds)

CAN YOU STAY THERE? Technically, no, but there is an inn, hotel, and cottages for rent on the property.

FUN FACT: The indoor swimming pool is claimed to be haunted—the most haunted spot in the house, in fact.

Boldt Castle on Heart Island

Source: Blount Small Ship Adventures

WHERE: Alexandria Bay, NY

YEAR BUILT: 1900, but completed in the 1970s

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Fall (to take advantage of upstate New York’s foliage)

CAN YOU STAY THERE? No

FUN FACT: Owner George C. Boldt wanted to build a residence worthy of his own “princess” and wife, Louise. But when she unexpectedly passed away in 1904, Boldt was so distraught he ceased all construction on the property and never returned to it.

Grey Towers Castle

Source: Arcadia University

WHERE: Glenside, PA

YEAR BUILT: 1893 – 1898

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Summer (when campus is quieter)

CAN YOU STAY THERE? Yes, select freshman are able to live in dorms on the third floor.

FUN FACT: The dining room is said to mimic the style of Fontainebleau’s, Napoleon’s favorite of the French royal palaces.

Castello di Amorosa

Source: Jason Henry for the Wall Street Journal

WHERE: Calistoga, CA

YEAR BUILT: 2007

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Year round

CAN YOU STAY THERE? No

FUN FACT: Owner Dario Sattui is no stranger to Italian villas. After buying and restoring castles in Italy, he returned home to northern California to build Castello di Amorosa over the course of 14 years.

Castle in the Clouds

Source: It Just Comes Naturally Blog

WHERE: Moultonborough, NH

YEAR BUILT: 1913 – 1914

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: May – October (closed the remainder of the year)

CAN YOU STAY THERE? No

FUN FACT: Early 1900s apparel is kept in the estate’s closets, as if to reflect that owners Tom and Olive Plant just stepped out for the day. Central vacuuming, ammonia brine refrigeration, and intercom systems are also seen in the home, technological innovations of the time.

Iolani Palace

Source: Shin’s Park

WHERE: Honolulu, HI

YEAR BUILT: 1882

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO: Year round

CAN YOU STAY THERE? No

FUN FACT: The Iolani Palace in Honolulu is the only castle in America actually built for true royalty, King Kalakaua in 1882.

What American castles would you add to this list?