Unbeknownst to many, the United States has its own “collection” of castles and manors in many different states. Not all of them are royal family residences (after all, the U.S. does not have an existing monarchy.) However, quite a few of them were structures built by wealthy families from the 1880s until as recently as the 1920s. Most of the castles on this list have been turned into museums, local tourist spots, and event venues.

Castles and royal families are often associated with European countries. The United Kingdom, France, Span, Denmark, and Germany are just some nations with the oldest families that established the respective governments where the castles stand. These palaces are frequented for the beauty and the historical significance of the structures. Castles in the United States may not have the same long, storied history, nor did they serve the same purpose as the castles of Europe, but all of them have that distinctly American charm.

Here are the American castles to visit for a fairytale-style vacation:

10 Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California

The Hearst Castle is one of the major tourist spots on the west coast. It was built by the American media and publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Also known as La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill), Julia Morgan designed this castle as a residential place. Unfortunately, Hearst was unable to see through the completion of the castle. It is currently open to the public as a museum.

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9 Boldt Castle - Alexandria Bay, New York

Construction for the Boldt Castle in 1900 was commissioned by George C. Boldt of the storied Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York as a gift to his wife. Construction stopped before it was completed due to his wife’s untimely death. It was opened to the public in 1977. Visitors can take a day tour of the property. Visitors can access the castle by booking a Thousand Islands Boat Tour that will take them directly to the castle. Payment for the boat ride and admission into the castle is to be settled separately.

8 Hammond Castle - Gloucester, Massachusetts

The Hammond Castle was constructed in the 1920s by John Hammond, Jr. Construction took three years and was meant to be a place of residence. These days, it is a museum and a popular venue for weddings.

7 Castello di Amorosa - Calistoga, California

The 13th-century castles of Italy inspired Castello di Amorosa. It is one of the significant landmarks of Napa Valley and is within the estate of the winery. The castle has function rooms and wine tours. Out of the many wineries in Napa Valley, Castello Di Amorosa is one of the main attractions in any Napa Valley tour. It gives guests the feel of being in a medieval castle in Tuscany. Just like any old castle, it has an armory, moat, and drawbridge. Guests can enjoy the whole experience of learning about wine production while consuming the wines in the vineyard’s regular wine tastings.

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6 Biltmore Estate - Asheville, North Carolina

This castle was inspired by French Renaissance chateaus and had a total of 250 rooms. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1889 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate and The Breakers (another French chateau-style property in Rhode Island) are some of the remaining Vanderbilt-built properties. The property has a winery and vineyard and is open for tours and vacation stays.

5 Belvedere Castle -- Manhattan, New York

If you’ve ever wondered how big Central Park is, then you should know that it’s big enough to fit a castle, and then some! The Belvedere Castle is high in the heart of the Park and is used as a National Weather Station (NWS). The castle has a visitor center that is open to the public.

4 Lyndhurst Mansion - Tarrytown, New York

This castle offers views of the Hudson River. The architectural design is made in Gothic style. It was once owned by former New York City mayor William Paulding but later found its way to railroad tycoon Jay Gould’s portfolio. It was once his summer house. These days, it is open to the public. The castle can be rented for events and also has a museum.

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3 Fonthill Castle - Doylestown, Pennsylvania

The Fonthill Castle is the mansion where famous archeologist Henry Chapman Mercer once resided. Like a few other properties on this list, Fonthill Castle is a mansion. As an archeologist, Mercer acquired a collection of artifacts. Some of these are in the castle, while others are at the nearby Mercer Museum. The castle and museum are open for tours and events.

2 Castle in the Clouds (Lucknow Estate) - Moultonborough, New Hampshire

Also known as the Lucknow Estate, this 16-room mansion was built in 1913 for Olive Cornelia Dewey by her husband, millionaire Thomas Plant. It is located on a mountaintop, which offers views of the beautiful and peaceful Lake Winnipesaukee. The house was foreclosed but later ended up being acquired by the Castle Preservation Society. In 2018, it was included on the list of the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can take a tour of the castle, art gallery, café, and patio.

1 Iolani Palace - Honolulu, Hawaii

Unlike the other castles on this list, the Iolani Castle was an actual royal residence. Members of the royal family of Hawaii lived in this castle in the mid-1880s. This landmark is a must-visit for tourists as it represents the identity of the Hawaiian people. The Palace currently offers virtual tours on their website, but don’t miss this cultural landmark if you find yourself in Oahu.

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