14 Gorgeous U.S. Castles That Are Fit for a Fairy Tale

You don't have to travel far to feel like you've stepped into a fairytale. Here are 14 beautiful castles in the U.S.

Groups of tourists arrive on the estate grounds at Biltmore House during Biltmore Blooms in Asheville, North Carolina
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Chances are when you think of castles, you think of medieval Europe, but you don't have to travel abroad to set foot in structures that look like they're straight out of a fairytale. Architects, builders, and dreamers across the United States have created gorgeous works of art that pay homage to — and in some cases, use materials from — ancient European buildings. These beautiful castles are found all over the country — from a 165-room castle overlooking California's Pacific Coast to a castle estate on an island in upstate New York. And while we included a couple structures that don't have the word "castle" in the name, these palaces and mansions have such a castle-like look and feel that we'd be remiss not to include them.

Here are 14 beautiful castles in the United States.

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

Hearst Castle on Hilltop, San Simeon, California
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Inside the Hearst Castle, you'll find 165 rooms, a legendary art collection, and elaborately tiled pools, but the castle's most notable treasure is its 123 acres of gardens and Pacific Ocean views. The castle's location right off the Pacific Coast Highway makes it a popular stop that lives up to the hype.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

Groups of tourists arrive on the estate grounds at Biltmore House during Biltmore Blooms in Asheville, North Carolina
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What was once a French Châteauesque-style home built for George Washington Vanderbilt is now a destination for tourists from around the globe who come to gape at the stunning exterior, explore inside the castle-like interior, and hike and bike on the estate's 8,000 acres.

Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay, New York

Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the Saint Lawrence River, Thousand Islands, New York
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When it comes to location and awe-factor, it's hard to top Boldt Castle, which sits on Heart Island near the U.S.-Canada border. Everything from the gardens to the Alster Tower are elaborate and photo-worthy, but, of course, the island's six-story castle is the real showstopper.

The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

The Breakers, built 1895 as a summer estate by the Vanderbilt family, one of the famous Newport Mansions on Rhode Island, United States
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Thanks to the Vanderbilt family, Americans have another castle-like building to explore. Known simply as The Breakers, this Newport mansion is found near the Rhode Island coast just off the city's stunning "cliff walk."

Bishop's Palace, Galveston, Texas

The famous Bishop's Palace was built by Colonel Walter Gresham and architect Nicholas Clayton; the extravagantly decorated house is a Victorian adaptation of the classic Renaissance style.
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Bishop's Palace, also known as Gresham's Castle, is an eye-catching Victorian-style house that's over 19,000 square feet in size. Visitors can embark on a thrilling self-guided tour through the National Historic Landmark — from its basement to its attic and everywhere in between.

Bishop Castle, Rye, Colorado

Bishop's Castle in San Isabel National Forest near Pueblo Colorado
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With exterior walkways along the roof and a fire-breathing dragon, this castle (which was made entirely by one man, Jim Bishop) is a roadside attraction that's well worth the stop. Plus, there's no entry fee and great Colorado views.

Bannerman Castle, Beacon, New York

View of Bannerman Castle from the river, Pollepel Island, Hudson Highlands, New York.
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This castle, which sits on an island in the Hudson River, welcomes visitors who come by ferry, kayak, or canoe to see the historic property. To support the continued stabilization of Bannerman Castle, you can drop by for a movie night, show, or musical event on the castle grounds.

Belvedere Castle, New York, New York

Central Park landscape and Belvedere Castle with New York City skyline between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan in the United States of America aerial view. Autumn landscape with orange fall foliage
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With the Manhattan skyline in the background, this Central Park castle feels slightly out of place, which only makes it that much more iconic. The Belvedere Castle is built upon the second-highest natural point in Central Park — Vista Rock — making the city views almost as enticing as the castle itself.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

The exterior of Castello di Amorosa, a medieval inspired Tuscan style winery and castle located in California wine country.
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The owners of one California winery took their connection to the wine world (and Italian heritage) seriously, building a medieval-style Tuscan castle on their estate. Dream of sipping a glass of wine from a castle perch? This is your spot.

Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown, New York

Lyndhurst Manor, Blue Sky and Trees in Autumn Colors (Foliage) in Tarrytown, Hudson Valley, New York.
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Lyndhurst may not have "castle" in its name, but it won't disappoint those with their heart set on a castle experience. The Lyndhurst Mansion, which is also known as the Jay Gould estate, is a Gothic Revival building set on a 67-acre park along the Hudson River.

Thornewood Castle, Lakewood, Washington

Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington
Ed Coumou/Courtesy of Thornewood Castle

If you have your heart set on a European-style castle, head to Thornewood Castle, which was built from the brick of a dismantled 15th-century house imported from England. The building itself has a Tudor-Gothic look, but it had enough of a castle vibe to play a role in Stephen King's film, "Rose Red."

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Hammond Castle on the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts
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Set just off the wild Atlantic Coast is Hammond Castle, a monstrous structure built between 1926 and 1929. Perhaps most notably, the castle houses the laboratory of John Hays Hammond, Jr., an inventor and scientist who filled his home with his creations — including a gigantic pipe organ that relied on his 19 pipe organ technology patents.

Smithsonian Castle, Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian Castle, Smithsonian Institution in the Evening, Washington DC.
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There's a lot to see on the National Mall, but don't miss the Smithsonian Castle, which sits between the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol. The Gothic Revival-style castle was completed in 1855 and houses the Smithsonian Institution's administrative offices and information center.

Grey Towers Castle, Glenside, Pennsylvania

Grey Towers Castle at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania
Courtesy of Arcadia University

Arcadia University campus is home to this castle, which was modeled after the Alnwick Castle in England. Lucky freshmen even get to sleep on the third floor of Grey Towers Castle, while the lower floors host lectures, book readings, and conferences.

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