Castles are often associated with the classic fairytale notion. And whether it was Romeo and Juliet or Rapunzel that came to mind, the fact of the matter is is that no one ever really plans on spending time in a castle in any point of their adult life.
But lucky for those adults is the fact that castles are a dime a dozen across the globe, with each one beckoning the travelers with their actual drawbridges and skyscraping towers. Want to see for yourself? Check out these ten awe-inspiring castles that are located in North America.
10 10. Castle in the Clouds
This glorious mansion earns its name as it sits atop a mountain estate. Located in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, Castle in the Clouds is a 16-room local getaway that sits on a whopping 5,500 acres. A millionaire shoe manufacturer, Thomas Gustave Plant, had the castle built in 1913 and was used exclusively as a second home for his wife. The location was formerly known as “The Crow’s Nest” as it has a stunning view of Lake Winnipesaukee and the Ossipee Mountains. Plant called the place Lucknow, but today’s visitor refers to it as simply the castle in the clouds.
Nowadays, Castle in the Clouds is used as a historical restoration project that hosts a number of events during its season. From May 25th-October 27th, visitors can enjoy a night of music, indulge in solar gazing, or participate in guided hikes. They have an eloquent restaurant and even an ice cream shop for everyone’s delectable enjoyment.
9 9. Castello di Amorosa
This 13th-century Tuscan castle is located at the heart of Napa Valley where it serves as a wine-tasting hot spot. The castle has 107 rooms and sits on three acres of vineyard soil. Dario Sattui decided to build the castle to commemorate his ancestor, a vintner named Vittorio Sattui, who founded his own winery (St. Helena Wine Cellars) in 1885. Sattui started construction on Castello di Amorosa in 1994 until it stood in its grand finalized form fifteen years later in 2007.
The castle has the architectural authenticity of a medieval castle, including a moat and a drawbridge. Today, patrons come to the castle to learn how they make their wine and to do a bit of wine tasting in true Napa Valley spirit.
8 8. Boldt Castle
A proprietor to the esteemed Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, George C. Boldt, decided to build this grandiose home for his wife. Construction on what would soon become the Boldt Castle started in 1900 and was set to include 120 rooms, a drawbridge, an Italian garden, and the works for the millionaire’s love of his life. Sadly, his wife passed away just four years later in 1904 and a heartbroken Bodlt left the castle abandoned and unfinished.
Over seventy years later, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority obtained the rights to the property and set to finish it right away. Today, Boldt Castle offers exquisite boat tours to visiting guests, fairy tale adventures, and various other family-oriented activities. Visitors can also tour the Yacht House which holds the Boldt families luxurious yachts and houseboat.
7 7. Bishop's Palace
Covering almost 20,000 acres in Galveston, Texas, Bishop's Palace sits as a historical landmark. The mansion is made of all stone and has a Victorian-style facade. It was built between 1887 and 1893 for the Greshams and their nine children. In the 1900s, after a tremendous hurricane swept the town, the Greshams offered their home as solace to those who survived the tragic event.
Today, this castle is worth about 5.5 million U.S. dollars. Self-guided tours are available to guests every day, with proceeds going to the preservation of the estate. Guests can catch a glimpse of early 20th-century life by peaking into the rooms of the Gresham family, including Mrs. Gresham’s art studio, the library, and the conservatory.
6 6. The Camelback Castle
It might come as a surprise that castles are not a unique commodity in the state of Arizona. However, Copenhaver Castle— also know as Camelback Castle— is a rare find that not many are privy to. Tucked away in Camelback Mountain sits a 50-year-old castle that is homemade from the very rocks that surround it. It has 20 rooms, multiple balcony views, and even a waterfall in the middle of the living room. The 20,000 square-foot castle even has its own dungeon beneath its monstrous edifice.
Cambelback Castle was originally the home to an orthodontist by the name of Mort Copenhaver. He taught himself stonecutting and finished his home within years in the early 1970s. Copenhaver eventually lost his home a few years later and it is now owned by Texan real estate developer, Jerry Mitchell.
5 5. Berkeley Castle
Not to be confused with Berkley Castle in the U.K., Berkeley Castle sits on the hillside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. It is also referred to as the Samuel Taylor Suit Cottage as an homage to its original keeper. Colonel Samuel Taylor Suit had his house built as a luxurious getaway in 1885. However, Suit died in 1888, leaving the home to his widow.
The castle has twenty rooms and a grand ballroom which can now be rented out for special occasions. The owner of the castle recently passed away and is now for sale for $1.6 million.
4 4. Chateau Laroche
This historical European castle was erected in the 1920s by Harry D. Andrews. Andrews was a Boy Scout leader and a World War II veteran. He named the castle after a military hospital he stayed at in France during his time in the war. Its name means “Rock Castle” though locals now call it Loveland Castle from its location near Loveland, Ohio. After his death in 1981, Andrews left the castle to his boy scout troop.
Today, visitors can learn about the castle’s history and Andrews’ own hand in constructing the building. This castle is a perfect picnic area and plays hosts to numerous games and puzzles. Onlookers can revel at the stone architecture and periodic weaponry that is displayed throughout the castle.
3 3. Biltmore Estate
Perhaps more well-known than others on this list, the Biltmore Castle in North Carolina was completed in 1895. The French Renaissance Revival-style mansion was built for George Washington Vanderbilt II and is still privately owned by his family today. It is a Gilded Age mansion, comprised of a brick veneer and interior decor dating back to the 15th century.
The estate is now used as farmland as well as a 210-room inn. There are numerous restaurants and gift shops on the grounds, including a winery. Recently in 2010, the estate opened up Antler Hill Village which acts as a relaxing oasis for guests who visit the Biltmore Estate.
2 2. Dunham Castle
Locate in Wayne, Illinois, this French chateau was built for Mark Dunham in 1883. Dunham was the owner of a successful horse business, which gave way to his ability to procure this extravagant 2,000-acre property. The home was used to play host to several famous people, including Duke of Veragua and George Pullman. Since then, the castle has been taken over by several owners, one of which turned the home into four separate apartments for a time. It was restored to a single-family home in the late 1980s after the Armbrust family purchased the estate for $750,000.
The home is in a bit of a disarray today and is currently seeking renovation support so that the castle can more accurately preserve the history of the Dunham family.
1 Grey Court
Grey Court Castle (frequently referred to as Tenney Castle and located in Methuen, Massachusetts) was modeled after a grandiose French chateau in the 1890s. It was home to Charles H. Tenney, who made his name a successful hat dealer.
After much deterioration, most of the castle was taken down and restored into a historical park. The castle’s ruins still sit on the site, including the historical castle gatehouse which is protected by the National Register of Historic Places. One of the castle’s wings remains on the grounds as well as some fountains and archways.