by Sarah McCosham
This is part three in the United States castle series. Today we are looking at Quirky Castles.
Quirky Castles In The US
Castles made of recycled material? Real-life sand castles? Frozen castle kingdoms? If you’re into unique roadside attractions, definitely check out these quirky castles in the US:
- Castello di Amorosa – Napa Valley, California
- Address: Castello di Amorosa, 4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA, 94515
- Access: Open to visitors with a tasting or tour reservation only.
- Where To Stay Nearby: Check out this luxury estate that’s fit for royalty!
Located in California’s resplendent Napa Valley is the only authentic 13th-century Italian Tuscan castle in the country. Castello di Amorosa officially opened to the public in 2007 after being constructed over a span of 13 years. This commanding castle is a real-life kingdom; its 136,000 square feet includes 107 rooms, 8,000 tons of stones, eight different levels, and an enormous wine-barrel room.
Castello di Amorosa even contains some truly medieval features, including a drawbridge, dungeon, and church. It’s a huge tourist attraction today, and definitely worth the splurge to tour its glorious grounds.
Castello di Amorosa, 4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
2. Kelley Castle – Tomahawk, Wisconsin
- Address: Kelley Castle, 2815 Rice Rd, Tomahawk, WI, 54487
- Access: Every fall during Tomahawk’s Fall Ride, the castle opens to the public for one weekend. When open, guests are allowed to tour the property, which is brimming with photo-ops so make sure to bring a camera.
- Where To Stay Nearby: Check into a luxury lake home at Lake Mohawksin.
One of Wisconsin’s most wondrous hidden gems, Kelley Castle is a vision. The three-story castle is the creation of Pete Kelley, who began bringing his royal dreams to life back in 1987, when he started clearing the land that’s now occupied by his namesake castle.
Construction on the castle itself began in 1994, but don’t assume it’s finished. The castle is a “life-long work in progress” that makes for a dynamic, ever-changing experience for visitors. Even better? This Wisconsin castle is surrounded by a moat that may or may not be guarded by a mythical creature or two.
Kelley Castle, 2815 Rice Rd, Tomahawk, WI 54487, USA
3. Bishop Castle – Rye, Colorado
- Address: Bishop Castle, 12705 CO-165, Rye, CO, 81069
- Access: Bishop Castle is always open and free to visit.
- Where To Stay Nearby: Nearby accommodations can be found on the Castle’s website.
Located in the tiny Pueblo County town of Rye is a place that stands as a fantastic testament to the power of the human imagination: Bishop Castle. This incredible 160-foot structure is billed as being an “inspiring castle built entirely by one man.” Visionary Jim Bishop has been constructing his kingdom since 1969 when he purchased the land for just $450.
To be clear, though, nothing about Bishop Castle feels homemade; Bishop’s attention to detail and craftsmanship are in a league all their own. With myriad spires and stairs, gorgeous stonework, and even a fire-breathing dragon, Bishop Castle is truly a modern masterpiece.
Bishop Castle, 12705 CO-165, Rye, CO 81069, USA
4. Irish Bayou Castle – New Orleans, Louisiana
- Address: 3262 Ridgeway Blvd New Orleans, LA, 70129
- Access: The castle is privately owned, but you are allowed to take pictures from the outside.
- Where To Stay Nearby: Accommodations abound in NOLA, including this colorful house in the French Quarter
Fisherman’s Castle, also known as Irish Bayou Castle, is a 942 square foot castle built on Irish Bayou between New Orleans and Slidell, Louisiana. Simon Villemarette created this stunning castle in anticipation for the New Orleans World’s Fair in 1981. It was a labor of love, and although it’s not open to the public, it can be admired from afar.
If you’re curious to take a closer look, check out this video c/o Erik Ford:
Irish Bayou, New Orleans, LA 70129, USA
5. Walt Disney World – Orlando, Florida
- Address: Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle, Orlando, FL, 32836
- Access: The castle is a must-visit attraction for all Walt Disney World guests.
- Where To Stay Nearby: Book one of several rentals at Walt Disney World. Or, if you’d prefer something quieter, check out this immaculate luxury home with shuttle service to nearby parks.
The most ubiquitous castle in the United States, the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World is an American icon.
Inspired by several European castles (primarily Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria and Craigievar Castle in Scotland), as well as the castle in the Disney film “Cinderella,” it took 19 months to build and opened to the public in July of 1971. This enchanting edifice is the symbol of Magic Kingdom, and one of the most popular photo ops in the country.
Pro tip: Visit at night for the fireworks show!
This is part three of the castles series.
Part 1 can be found here: Part 1 of the Castle Series: Historical Castles
Part 2 can be found here: Part 2 of the Castle Series: Formal Castles
#Awareness, #Castles, #UnitedStatesCastles, #UnitedStates, #Florida, #Louisiana, #Colorado, #Wisconsin, #California, #Travel, #TravelThursdays, #Unique, #InterestingFacts, #OnlyInYourState, #Staycation
Where: Beacon, NY
Take the Metro North train north from Grand Central and you will probably notice the ruins of this castle in the middle of the Hudson River. Francis Bannerman VI, a Scottish-born owner of a military surplus supply company, built his namesake castle in 1901 as a place to store his company’s cannons, munitions and other supplies.
It has been in ruins ever since a fire destroyed the castle’s interior in 1969, but the Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. provides walking tours of the island accessible by a tour boat or kayak for those curious to explore it.