Travel Leisure

Explore These Majestic Castles On Your Next Domestic Vacation

For most millennials, childhood fairy tales didn’t come without a majestic castle. Whether there was a princess hidden inside or a scary dragon, castles were one of the foundations of imagination. 

While stories always made castles sound like the fixings of a faraway land, America is home to many amazing fortresses. Across the US, castles can be found tucked away in the hills and right in plain sight. They come in many sizes and shapes. Some are relatively new while others have been around since before the pilgrims landed on Plymouth. Here are a few majestic castles to explore on your next American vacation.

Montezuma Castle – Arizona

Photo credit: Strange Happenings

Located in Camp Verde, Montezuma Castle is a national monument that preserves ancient Native American culture. The castle was formerly a cliff dwelling for indigenous people, with 20 rooms standing six stories high. In 1906, the site became an official monument, along with the surrounding area that makes up Montezuma Castle National Monument. Travelers can pay $10 to enter the park for a day and explore both the castle and the Montezuma Well. This spot is great to visit all year round in the sunny Arizona heat. 

Squire’s – Ohio

Next time you’re in Cleveland, be sure to explore the lantern-lit grounds of Squire’s Castle. Inspired by German and English baronial architecture, Squire’s sits in North Chagrin Reservation and is a must-see in the area. This gatehouse-style castle was built by an Englishman around 1890. It was initially built as a home for the grounds’ caretaker. However, the main house was never built. Thus, it became Squire’s Castle. 

Hearst Castle – California

Photo credit: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen

A historic, west coast fortress, Hearst Castle has a history linked to literature, art, and creativity. Construction on the vast estate began in 1865 when George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of land in San Simeon. Upon his and his wife’s deaths, his son, media typhoon William Randolph Hearst, inherited the property and continued to expand the grounds. A plethora of lavish gardens and artwork can be found throughout the property. It has been converted into a museum that travelers come from all around to visit.

Castle In The Clouds – New Hampshire

Castle In The Clouds is a stunning 1913 mansion in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. The property was built as a 16-room arts and crafts mansion. It’s incredibly expansive. With a six-car garage, a boathouse, a man-made lake, a greenhouse, and a golf course, this building has a modern edge unseen in more historic structures. The home was designed to merge into the natural surroundings and it’s a great place to visit to see how architecture and earth coexist in harmony. 

Bannerman – New York

Bannerman's Castle
Photo credit: Tone Rivera

On an island near New York once rumored to be haunted, Bannerman Castle is a majestic sight to see when on the east coast. The building was built by a Scottish ammunition dealer who immigrated to Brooklyn. He purchased the island to build his fortress. Today, the grounds are home to an array of activities for tourists and locals. In addition to exploring the structural wonder, visitors can enjoy kayak tours, movie nights, live theatrical performances and more. 

Bishop’s Palace – Texas

Galveston is often overlooked for flashier Texas cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston. However, the beachfront town is lovely to visit and has a lot to offer when visiting the southwest. Bishop’s Palace is a Galveston castle where guests can take a self-guided tour of the grounds. Upon entering underneath the front staircase, guests will marvel at the Victorian-style mansion’s charm and Western grace. 

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