10 Beautiful American Castles

  • Castello di Amorosa - Napa Valley, Calif.

    If you've ever wanted to sip wine inside a castle, here's your chance. Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley has been producing award-winning wines since 2007, all within a recreated 13th century Tuscan-style castle. Tastings and tours are available 364 days per year (closed on Christmas), so you can drink like royalty no matter the season.

    Photo courtesy of Jan Smith

  • Fonthill Castle - Doylestown, Pa.

    Fonthill Castle, built between 1908 and 1912 by Henry Chapman Mercer, exhibits medieval, Gothic and Byzantine architectural styles. While it was originally built as Mercer's home and as a place to house his tile and print collection, it now houses the Mercer Museum.

    Photo courtesy of Kathryn

  • Boldt Castle - Thousand Islands, N.Y

    Perched on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in New York's Thousand Islands region, Boldt Castle is one of the most extravagant Gilded Age mansions in the country. Built by millionaire George C. Boldt for his wife who tragically died before it was completed, the castle has 120 rooms, many of which are open to the public.

    Photo courtesy of Elenarts/iStock

  • Belvedere Castle - New York

    Smack dab in the center of Manhattan is not exactly where you'd expect to find a castle, but that's exactly where Belvedere Castle is located - right in the heart of Central Park. Built in 1865 as a novelty lookout point in the park, the castle now houses National Weather Service offices, but visitors can still enjoy the views from its upper floors.

    Photo courtesy of Songquan Deng/iStock

  • 'Iolani Palace - Honolulu, Hawaii

    If we're being perfectly honest, America's castles are really castle-like mansions, except for one ... 'Iolani Palace. Located in Honolulu, the beautiful Florentine-style palace served as the home of the Hawaiian Kingdom's last two monarchs, making it the only official state residence of royalty in the Untied States. Visitors can tour the throne room and private quarters to see what life was like for Hawaii's kings and queens.

    Photo courtesy of jewhyte/iStock

  • Thornewood Castle - Lakewood, Wash.

    In 1907, founder of the Port of Tacoma Chester Thorne purchased a rather over-the-top gift for his bride Anna, a centuries-old Elizabethan manor which he had dismantled and shipped over from England as building materials for what would become Thornewood Castle. Today, Thornewood Castle houses an inn, where travelers can live like royalty, at least for a night.

    Photo courtesy of Joe Mabel

  • Hearst Castle - San Simeon, Calif.

    California's Hearst Castle is the realization of William Randolph Hearst's dream of creating "La Cuesta Encantada," or "The Enchanted Hill." The 165-room estate was completed in 1947 and features beautiful gardens, terraces, pools and walkways, as well as a collection of some 25,000 artifacts, all now open to the public.

    Photo courtesy of Evan Meyer/iStock

  • Biltmore Estate - Asheville, N.C.

    While the grand Biltmore Estate never donned the name "castle," the former mansion of George Washington Vanderbilt is the largest privately owned home in the nation, with 250 rooms. So big is this place that it even has its own winery. Equally impressive and castle-worthy are the estate's manicured gardens, particularly in springtime.

    Photo courtesy of Biltmore Estate

  • Cinderella Castle - Orlando, Fla.

    Every little girl who dreams of being a princess likely pictures living in something along the lines of Cinderella Castle in Orlando. While this particular American castle is no more than a Disney-made theme park attraction, it has its roots in reality, as it was styled with elements of real-life European castles, like Fontainebleau and Versailles.

    Photo courtesy of Theodore Lee

  • Smithsonian Castle - Washington

    The president may not get to live in a castle, but there is one in Washington. It's the Smithsonian Castle, home of the Smithsonian Information Center and administrative headquarters. Built in 1885 from predominantly red sandstone, the building was originally the home of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, and it's the oldest building on the National Mall.

    Photo courtesy of Medioimages/Photodisc