19 Castles In The US That You've Got To Check Out
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19 Castles In The US That You've Got To Check Out


19 Castles In The US That You've Got To Check Out
Virginia Stiles Photography

If you're anything like me, you have a serious case of the Travel Bug, but you're also a broke college student that can't afford to travel abroad on a whim. Lucky for us, there are a ton of really incredible places to visit in the United States, more specifically, there are a ton of really incredible castles to visit. You read that right, castles aren't confined to Europe, and there are some really beautiful ones all over the country.

1. Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY

Look familiar? The Oheka Castle was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for the Gatsby mansion. This beautiful castle definitely hosted its fair share of parties in the roaring 20s since the patron of the arts, Otto Hermann Kahn, commissioned the two famous architects, Delano and Aldrich, to design him the perfect manor to host his infamous parties in 1919.

If you're interested in checking this gorgeous Long Island gem out, you're in for a treat because the castle is now a luxury hotel. If you're short on cash and can't afford to live like Gatsby for a weekend, you can choose the cheaper option and just book a tour.

2. Buhl Mansion and Castle in Mercer County, PA

This gorgeous castle was originally home to the Buhl Family, who owned Sharon Iron Works. Frank H. Buhl hired the accomplished Youngstown architect to design his Richardsonian Romanesque mansion in 1891.

Before Buhl's retirement, his company the Buhl Steel Company merged into the United States Steel Corporation and Buhl was dubbed "The Father of the Industrial Shenango Valley."

Today, you can visit the castle, which has been renovated and turned into the Buhl Mansion Guesthouse and Spa.

3. Atalaya Castle in Huntington Beach State Park, SC

In 1927, Archer Huntington, the son of one of the country's original robber barons, built this castle for his wife, Anna, who had been diagnosed with Tuberculosis because he wanted her to spend the winter down south instead of in the bitter cold of New York City.

Since Archer was a Spanish historian, he designed the house in Mediterranean Moorish architecture, and named the estate, Atalaya, which means "watchtower." Anna was a famous sculptor and the castle now houses her collection.

If you're dying to check out this massive mansion in Huntington Beach State Park, you should visit at the end of September when it hosts the Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival.

4. Cook Castle in Fort Payne, AL

Country singer, Jeff Cook from the band, ALABAMA, designed and built this castle in 1984 on top of Lookout Mountain in Fort Payne, AL. Although the castle was originally named "Excalibur," since it was reminiscent of Arthurian legend, the locals always called it "Cook Castle," and eventually Jeff and his wife, Lisa started calling it that too.

Today Cook Castle specializes in special events like weddings and bridal showers.

5. Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, CA

This castle has a pretty unique background, but that makes it all the more special. Alfred Loving Tubbs made a fortune off of the rope business in the gold rush, so in 1882 he purchased 254 acres in the Napa Valley and built himself a castle. This isn't just any castle, though. Chateau Montelena is actually the seventh largest winery in the Napa Valley.

An interesting feature of this property is the beautiful Chinese gardens. In 1958, Tubbs sold the castle to a Chinese electrical engineer, Yort Wing Frank, and his wife, who transformed the landscape into a picturesque Chinese garden.

In 1968, Lee and Helen Paschich bought the castle and turned it back into a winery. If you want to experience Chateau Montelena for yourself, you're in luck because they offer wine tastings and winery tours.

6. Melrose Castle in Casanova, VA

This historic home was built between 1854 and 1860, but relatively little information is available on it. The Murray family built this castle and named it Melrose because they were from Melrose, Scotland.

During the Civil War, it was occupied by both Union and Confederate armies. Some people believe that this castle is haunted and the home was abandoned for many years and it's faced a series of foreclosures.

In 2015 it went on the market for 2.2 million dollars. Unfortunately, this castle is now privately owned, so it's pretty much impossible to visit unless you're tight with the millionaires that live there.

7. The Brewmaster's Castle in Washington, DC

In 1892, the German immigrant and DC's most successful brewer, Christian Heurich, built this mansion, also known as the Heurich House, for his family with all the latest technology of the time.

The home had indoor plumbing, circulating hot water heat, central vacuum system, skylights, elevator, electric and pneumatic communication systems, and gas and electric lighting. The castle's most notable feature is that it is completely fireproof. On a side note, there are 15 fireplaces in this castle, and legend says that Heurich never used one of them.

If you're dying to explore this German wonder, you can tour the castle museum or even host an event in the gardens.

8. Kimberly Crest House and Gardens in Redlands, CA

This beautiful Victorian chateau was built by Cornelia Hill in 1897 in Redlands, CA. The home was designed by the firm, Dennis and Farwell, but the inspiration came from a French chateau Cornelia Hill saw while on a vacation in France.

John Alfred and Helen Cheney Kimberly purchased the estate in 1905 and added the Mediterranean gardens to the property. Their daughter, Mary Kimberly-Shirk, inherited the castle after their death, and she donated the house to the "people of Redlands." She later founded the Mary Kimberly-Shirk Foundation, a non-profit organization in Redlands, and it currently owns the estate.

You can visit this charming castle and tour its museum, or book an event in the gardens.

9. Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs, CO

This enormous castle is tucked away in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, so between the gorgeous view of The Garden of the Gods and the stunning Tudor architecture, this castle is a real treat. In 1871, William Jackson Palmer , the engineer behind the Union Pacific Railroad, philanthropist, and founder of Colorado Springs, built a massive castle on an 800-acre estate for his wife, Mary, whom he called Queen.

The castle itself has 17 guest rooms, a 220 square-foot Castle Great Hall that holds 240 people, two dining rooms, another hall, called King James Hall, which holds 180 people, library and music rooms, and much more.

Today the castle is owned by The Navigators, and if you're dying to see this masterpiece, you've got a lot of options. The castle is open to the public seven days a week from 9-4, and tours are also available every day. Glen Eyrie is now a conference center, so The Navigators host tons of retreats and conferences each year. You can also book the castle for an event.

10. Castle Otttis in Vilano Beach, FL

This castle looks like something straight out of 10th century Ireland, but believe it or not, Castle Otttis was actually built between 1984 and 1991 in Florida by Rusty Ickes with the help of historians. Ickes wanted to build a structure that replicated Irish abbeys in the early Christian church. The castle is actually as authentic as it possibly could be in Vilano Beach, FL because it doesn't have heat, plumbing, or electricity. In 1992 the American Institute of Architects awarded Ickes for "the creation of a new national landmark."

If you want to get an Irish experience without actually traveling to Ireland, Castle Otttis is just the place you need to go. Castle Otttis is privately owned, however, it is known for hosting charity events and weddings.

11. Mugdock Castle in Sullivans Island, SC

This unique castle has a long and fascinating history. The land that Mugdock is built on was historically significant before the castle even existed. The Mugdock Castle is actually of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter, so the first American victory in the Revolutionary War happened here as well as the Battle of Fort Sumter in the Civil War.

Mugdock Castle was originally supposed to be The Chapel of The Holy Cross to replace Grace Church, which was built in 1819 and destroyed in the Civil War. When Fort Moultrie expanded, The Chapel of the Holy Cross became the church on base. In 2002, Vince Graham purchased the property and changed it into Mugdock Castle, named after his ancestor's stronghold in 14th century Glasglow, Scotland. The castle is now a symbol of peace in an area that experienced so much war.

You can check out this historical landmark by visiting or renting a room on the property. The estate offers a wide range of activities from surfing to hunting.

12. Rhodes Hall in Atlanta, Georgia

This popular Atlanta landmark, nicknamed " Castle on Peachtree ," was built in 1904. The original owner of this castle was Amos Rhodes, the founder of Rhodes Furniture. He and his wife, Amanda, called their castle "Le Reve," which translates to "The Dream." Today it is a museum and home to the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and it can be rented for weddings and other events.

13. Villa Vizcaya in Miami, FL

Villa Vizcaya is located in the historic Coconut Grove area of Miami, and it was built between 1914 and 1922. James Deering, the owner of Deering Harvester Company in Illinois, was one of the wealthiest men in the country by the end of the 19th century, and when his doctor told him to move to a warmer climate, he decided to build himself an Italian Villa.

This gorgeous estate has a lot of amazing features. It's located right on Biscayne Bay and even has a terrace that descends into the water. The center of the house has a beautiful courtroom that used to have an open ceiling. A Subtropical forest surrounds the villa and gardens, adding to the overall beauty of the estate. In addition, Villa Vizcaya's gardens are some of the most elaborate gardens in the United States. The landscape architect, Diago Saurez, drew inspiration from Venetian and Roman gardens.

The villa is open to the public today and you can tour the property, stop in at the gift shop, or grab a bite to eat in the cafe.

14. Castle Green in Pasadena, CA

In 1898 Castle Green was built by Col. George G. Green as an annex to the Hotel Green in Pasadena, CA, and part of the luxurious resort modeled after Moorish and Spanish architecture. Castle Green first opened to the public in 1899, and it was Pasadena's first fireproof building. Hotel Green soon became the social center of Pasadena, and it has even hosted presidents.

Today Castle Green has been turned into Condominiums, but you can still book an event at the castle. If you're not paying a pretty penny to have your wedding at the venue, checking out the castle is a little more complicated. It is only open to the public twice a year for the annual Christmas Tour and Summer Tour (the summer tour is already full this year), so if Castle Green is on your bucket list, you need to check the tour dates before you head off to explore.

15. Seaview Terrace in Newport, RI

In 1923, the millionaire, Edson Bradley, purchased an 1885 mansion in Newport, RI, and began to build onto the foundation, creating a monstrous French Chateau. The castle cost nearly 2 million dollars to construct, as rooms were imported intact from France, but when Bradley's daughter sold the estate in 1949, it only sold for eight thousand dollars.

In 1950 the castle became a girls' summer boarding school owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Waldo Emerson.

In 1974, the mansion was purchased by Martin and Millicent Carey and renamed the Carey Mansion and it actually served as a music conservatory until 2009. However, like Castle Green, if you want to visit this place, you're going to need to wait until Christmas time when they host their Christmas celebrations.

16. Searles Castle in Windham, NH

The woodworker and interior designer, Edward Searles hired the prominent architect, Henry Vaughan, to design Searles Castle, a 1/4-scale replica of the Tudor manor of Stanton Harcourt. The construction of the castle started in 1905 and finished in 1915 and cost over 1.2 million dollars to build.

When Searles died in 1920, he left the castle to his secretary, Arthur T. Walker, who then left the estate to his family. In 1930 the castle was sold to Frank Andrew in his wife, and they sold the castle to The Sisters of Mercy in 1952, and it was used as a novitiate. Since then it has also been used as a school.

The Searles Castle is now an event venue, and you can book weddings, birthday parties, receptions, bridal showers, and business seminars there.

17. Chateau Charmant in Fordland, MO

This castle looks like a picturesque 14th-century French chateau, and surprisingly, it was only built in 2003, and it's located in Missouri. Robert Palmer built this mansion for his wife, Bonnie, after he drew her a picture of a castle, and wrote, "I want to build you a castle" at the bottom of the drawing. Almost all of the work for the castle was done by the Palmer family themselves and apparently, it is believed to be the largest castle built by the smallest amount of people.

There are a lot of different opportunities to check out the castle for yourself if you are interested. Chateau Charmant offers different educational packages and tours that are all about the middle ages.

18. Rossdhu Gate in Chevy Chase, MD

This unusual castle in Chevy Chase Maryland was built by Clarence and Daisy Calhoun in 1927. They designed the castle to look like the original Calhoun family estate in Lod Lomond, Scottland. Rumor has it that the castle actually contained stone from the 11th-century ruins of Robert the Bruce set.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, the couple had to move into the gatehouse and sell her enormous castle. The structure that remains today is only the huge gatehouse, which is basically a castle by itself since the actual castle that the Calhouns resided in was completely destroyed for some crazy reason after the castle was auctioned off. We can only imagine how spectacular the full castle was if this is only the gatehouse!

Unfortunately, you can't actually visit this special house because it is privately owned.

19. Belvedere Castle in New York, NY

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of New York City, there's actually a huge castle right in Central Park. In 1865, Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould designed this gorgeous Victorian castle without any actual intended purpose. The castle just became an attraction in Central Park.

In 1919, the National Weather Service began using the castle's tower to determine wind speed and direction, and its still actually used for that purpose today.

Today the castle serves as the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, and people can visit it to see a huge collection of historical artifacts. You can visit this urban castle for yourself because it's open to the public from one to five Tuesday through Sunday.

All in all, if you're craving a fabulous adventure, there are at least 19 castles within the United States that are a great place to start.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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