Travel Thursdays: 23 Castles You Might Not Expect to Find Hiding in the U.S.

by Sarah McCosham

Today we are going to look at the section for Formal Castles. This is part two of the series. Part 1 was posted on March 2nd, 2023.

Formal Castles In The US

While America doesn’t have a royal family, per se, you’ll still find a handful of formal castles in the US that have provided a setting for royal happenings as well as homes to our country’s very own royal dynasties.

  1. Hearst Castle-San Simeon, California

On the California coast, there is a real-life castle in San Simeon that commands attention. Once the residence of the business tycoon, Hearst Castle is now a historic house museum, California State Park, and listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The estate of California media mogul William Randolph Hearst, the eponymous castle was built between 1919 and 1947 on 40,000 acres purchased by Hearst’s father, businessman, and politician George Hearst.

On a tour of the property, you’ll see Heart’s incredible collection of artifacts from around the world (including real Egyptian and Roman sarcophagi and white marble Greek statues), as well opulent artwork, the remains of the old on-site zoo, the iconic, outdoor Neptune Pool, and the equally as impressive indoor Roman Pool, which is lined with blue glass and gold leaf mosaic tiles. A place of pure fantasy, Hearst Castle is the epitome of old Hollywood glamour, an iconic destination that’s truly bucket-list worthy.

Address: Hearst Castle, 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA, 93452

Access: Open for tours, and advanced registration is recommended but not required

Where to Stay Nearby: Check into this gorgeous garden cottage that’s right next to the beach!

Hearst Castle, 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452, USA

2. The Biltmore Estate – Ashville, North Carolina


Easily the most famous castle in the United States, the Biltmore Estate is a place of pure magic. Built by George Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895, this 178,926-square-foot mansion is located on 8,000 acres of pristine property just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. As the largest privately-owned home in America, it’s a place of stunning scenery, lush gardens, ornate architecture, and historic relevance.

While the house itself is a major attraction (the Biltmore draws over a million visitors each year), the massive and meticulously kept gardens on the estate are heavenly and only enhance the home’s stunning beauty. The Biltmore is more than just a castle; it’s an entire kingdom:

Address: Asheville, NC

Access: Admission varies by season and can be reserved through the Biltmore website.

Where to Stay Nearby: Stay On the Biltmore estate; there are numerous accommodations offered here that will give you the full royal treatment.

Biltmore Estate Drive, Biltmore Estate Dr, Asheville, NC, USA

3. Iolani Palace – Hawaii

gregobagel/iStock via Getty Images Plus
  • Address: 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI, 96813
  • Access: Tour options vary based on the day of the week and the time. Tickets sales are online only.
  • Where To Stay Nearby: Check out this Hawaiian Dream Vacation VRBO located minutes from the palace.

The one true royal dwelling on this list, Iolani Palace is Hawaii’s official royal residence and a place of majesty and beauty. The extraordinary edifice was built in 1882 in downtown Honolulu by King Kalakaua as a means of strengthening the then-Kingdom of Hawaii’s global clout and prestige. When the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by the U.S., Iolani Palace served as the capitol building until it underwent extensive renovation, reopening as a museum in 1978.

Taking design inspiration from European palaces, Iolani is said to be the sole example of American Florentine style (a mix of Italian Renaissance and Hawaiian architectural styles) and is the only official royal residence on U.S. soil. It is a beloved cultural center in Hawaii, and you’ll definitely want to tour this pristine palace while you’re there:

Iolani Palace, 364 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA

#Castles, #UnitedStates, #UnitedStatesCastles, #HawaiiCastle, #CaliforniaCastle, #NorthCarolinaCastle, #Hawaii, #NorthCarolina, #California, #Travel, #TravelThursdays, #Awareness, #HistoricalFacts, #OnlyInYourState

Part 1: (Historical Castles)

Published by VintageDava

Follow me on Twitter at #Davagirl

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