Say ‘castles’ and most people would usually think of Europe, but the USA is actually also home to many beautiful palaces, mansions and castles too! If you’re one of the many people who binge-watched Bridgerton, then maybe you find yourself yearning for a taste of elegant parties and grand estates. We might not be able to help you find your Duke of Hastings, but we sure can point you to some beautiful castles in the USA!
1. Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina
Built in the late 19th century by businessman George Vanderbilt, Biltmore Estate is a 250-room mansion in North Carolina. Today, Biltmore is still privately owned by the family, but is open to the public. Ycan experience life on the estate as a guest, either at the exclusive Cottages on Biltmore Estate, the four-star The Inn on Biltmore Estate, or at the more casual Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate. If you’re not staying as a guest, there are several day tours you can do of different parts of the house. You can even shop for a piece of Biltmore to bring home! Apart from their own vineyard and wine, the estate also has a line of home furnishings, bedding, bath and gourmet food items.
2. Lyndhurst Mansion – Tarrytown, New York
This Gothic Revival mansion is considered one of the most beautiful castles in USA. Sitting within a landscape park beside the Hudson River, the Lyndhurst Mansion is somber, romantic and gloomy all at once. It’s easy to imagine it as the setting for Count Dracula, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. After passing through noteworthy owners over the centuries, the mansion is now open to the public. You can either do a tour or just visit the grounds with a Daily Pass. Specialty landscape tours of varying levels of strenuousness are also available!
3. The Breakers – Newport, Rhode Island
Another residence once belonging to the Vanderbilt family, The Breakers is a Gilded Age mansion inspired by Italian Renaissance. Although it is now owned by The Preservation Society of Newport County, some members of the family still reside within the third floor, which is not open to the public. As Rhode Island’s most popular attraction, you should try to get there early in the day to avoid the crowds. The mansion tour is a self-guided one – simply download the Newport Mansions app before arriving and bring along a pair of earphones!
4. Oheka Castle, West Hills, New York
The second largest private home after the Biltmore Estate, Oheka Castle was built by financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn. Today, the castle is a historic hotel, with 32 rooms and suites. It is also a popular wedding venue for the rich and famous, as well as a backdrop for many Hollywood films, TV series and photoshoots. The estate also has a bar, restaurant, and offers mansion tours of the estate and gardens.
5. Bishop’s Palace – Galveston, Texas
Also known as Gresham’s Castle, Bishop’s Palace is an ornate Victorian-style house. Built between 1887 and 1893 for politician Walter Gresham, the mansion is made out of all stone and sturdy enough to withstand the great hurricane of 1900. The Gresham family provided shelter and let in survivors of the hurricane into the home. Now owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation, self-guided tours are available daily. Or, experience a rare look into areas that are usually off-limits with a Basement to Attic Tour.
6. Hearst Castle – San Simeon, California
Hearst Castle has a long history, taking decades to be built. It is widely considered to be Julia Morgan best-known creation as America’s first truly independent female architect. Conceived by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, the duo worked together for over twenty years. After Hearst’s death, the family gave the castle away to the State of California. Although it is now a major tourist attraction, the Hearst family still maintains a connection with the castle. It was closed for a day in August 2019 for the wedding of Amanda Hearst, Hearst’s great-granddaughter.