9 Oldest Castles in America with Interesting Histories
Usually, images of ancient castles are often associated with distant European destinations or Asian mountain peaks. In fact, the USA also has many castles that will make you excited when visiting. Many of those castles are old enough to have a long and interesting story that you can explore. Let’s follow The Broad Life to the oldest castles in America and find out its interesting history!
Iolani Palace – Honolulu, Hawaii
The castle was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua. It was uninhabited for about a decade before the Island Kingdom abandoned its monarchy in 1893. It was the royal residence, preserved as the seat of government offices before being registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1962 to exist as the “mental and physical cultural center of Hawaii”. Coming here, you can choose from a guided tour of the palace or a private “Royal Legacy” booking experience for a group of 1-4 guests.
Hearst Castle – San Simeon, California
It was called “Enchanted Hill” long before Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle became a west coast attraction. In 1865, it was initially a 40,000-acre farmland that later evolved into a 250,000-acre campus. It consists of a 165-room estate, a 127-acre garden, and 2 swimming pools. Primarily, there is a museum-like castle with 25,000 works of architecture from Egyptian antiquities to Old Master European paintings, and carved ceilings from Renaissance Italy.
1892 Bishop’s Palace – Galveston, Texas
Also known as Gresham’s Castle, the palace was built in the Victorian style and decorated with royal furnishings such as stained-glass windows, silver fireplaces, and bronze sculptures. The original owner of the castle was Colonel Walter Gresham. The American Institute of Architects considered the 1892 Bishop’s Palace as one of the 100 most important buildings in the US. The place opens to self-guided tours at 10-17 pm daily and from the basement to the attic (limited space) every Saturday morning.
Joslyn Castle – Omaha, Nebraska
The castle follows the Scottish Baronial style with steps, stone pedestals, and small turrets. In 1903, the mansion was completed as a 35-room private home for George and Sarah Joslyn. Today, the preserved building is on the list of National Historic Landmarks under the administration of the state of Nebraska. In addition to public tours, you can also take part in private tours and events, from weddings to photography to dining.
The Kentucky Castle – Versailles, Kentucky
Dating back to 1969 with a long past of nearly 30 years left vacant due to construction problems and fire as well as some changes in ownership before the castle was completed as it is today. Now, the castle is a hotel with an area of 110 acres.
The Kentucky Castle is an ideal destination for your getaway. Additionally, there are many things to do and experience in Versailles, the castle’s area. Are you thinking the same as me? Let’s reserve a stay at The Kentucky Castle to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a real castle.
Loveland Castle – Loveland, Ohio
Also known as Château Laroche, Loveland Castle is built in the Medieval style. The construction began in June 1929. It took Andrews, the castle’s first owner, 50 years to build.
It’s now a museum on the banks of the Little Miami River north of Loveland, Ohio. You can take a tour at your own expense. The admission fee is $5.00 per person, kids 5 or under are free. Besides that, there are many things to do near Loveland Castle. You can experience picnics throughout the grounds. The area also has good restaurants and bars for you to enjoy.
Fonthill Castle – Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Chapman Mercer, an archaeologist, anthropologist, and ceramicist, built Fonthill Castle between 1908-1912. Actually, it was both home and a showplace for Mercer’s Moravian tile collection until his death. Fonthill Castle has an architectural style that blends medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine styles.
Mercer House is now Fonthill Museum where you can take a 35 minutes tour to learn more. The entrance fees are:
- Adult – $15.00.
- Student – $10.00.
- 65+ – $13.00.
- Children (6-17) – $8.00.
- Infant (0-5) – free.
Boldt Castle – Alexandria Bay, New York
George C. Boldt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, built Boldt Castle for his wife Louise. The construction began in 1900 till 1904. When Louise died suddenly, the project was left unfinished until the Thousand Islands Pier Authority bought it in 1977 and began restoration.
Located in a picturesque location on Heart Island, Boldt Castle is accessible only by boat, making it a day-trip attraction for both American and Canadian visitors. A tour of Boldt Castle takes about 75 minutes. The rates are $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children, and free for infants.
Biltmore Estate – Asheville, North Carolina
Biltmore is the largest house in the United States, privately owned since 1895. George Vanderbilt drew design inspiration from the French Renaissance to create this mansion that spans over 8,000 acres. In 1963, it was registered as a National Historic Landmark. It is also home to the Biltmore winery and hotel on the grounds. Moreover, Biltmore Estate, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the most idyllic places to experience hiking and spending time in nature.
How Are You Interesting In the 9 Oldest Castles in America?
Not only the appearance but also the stories behind those castles are the main attractions to the visitors. I hope this article will inspire you to do a trip to visit the American castles and learn more about them.
Furthermore, in this post, I put the castles in order so you can follow along and do a road trip from the west to the east coast of the United States. I know that a road trip in the USA is amazing. Finally, following this blog, are you ready to travel from Hawaii to North Carolina? Enjoy, and have a great journey!
The Broad Life introduces to you great, inspirational books for your wanderlust. They aren’t just simple travel, each book recounts the author’s journey to discover and learn many awesome things from new civilizations and places.
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I’ve seen some castles abroad but never here. I wish I’d have known there was one in Omaha when we visited that area!
I love these castles! Actually, I was going to buy a comprehensive architecture course to learn new things. I hope to see castles in Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania one day.
Ok, I have only heard of Biltmore so this is a GREAT list! Thanks for sharing
Well, haven’t been to any of these places. But looking at the pictures, I want to visit them.
Wow…there is a lot of history with these places! The Iolani Palace Hawaii looks just like the building the NCIS Hawaii crew makes do with, in the television show. It’s so pretty.
Oh wow! I had no idea about so many of these. Hearst and Biltmore were familiar, but the rest are new to me!
Angela Ricardo Bethea
I’ve always wanted to visit a real life castle on day. All of them look absolutely wonderful.
Yeah, I love Biltmore!!! And how about Oheka Castle? Have you been there?