While you may be under the impression that the only way you’ll ever get to see a castle in New York is to pick up a Harry Potter book or tune into a new season of Game of Thrones, you’re wrong! Scattered across New York, you can find some of the most beautiful and historic castles. While some of these castles have not stood the test of time, many are still being put to great use. Take a look!
1. Bannerman Castle, Fishkill
Bannerman Castle was built in the early 1900s and in its heyday it was used to store purchased surplus military equipment. Due to the fact that what's left of the castle is mostly in ruins, it is no longer open to the public.
2. Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay
In the early 1900s a man by the name of George Boldt began construction on what would be known as Boldt Castle. The castle itself was originally intended to be a gift for Gould's wife; sadly in 1904 she passed away and all work on the castle quickly came to a halt. In 1977 after years of being unkept, The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority obtained the island where Boldt Castle remained. After spending more than $15 million dollars on restorations, the island and castle are open to the public for a fee. If you ever decide to cross the waters and see this historic wonder, you'll find that many of the rooms have been left untouched showing visitors what the castle once was.
3. Beardslee Castle, Little Falls
Built in 1860 to resemble an Irish castle, the residence is now being used as a restaurant. Also, if you're reading this and are intrigued by paranormal activity, it is said by many that this castle is the home to several ghosts!
4. Oheka Castle, Huntington
Built in the early 1900s and originally containing over 120 rooms, Oheka is the second largest private home in the United States. Currently the site is home to a historic hotel that offers over 30 rooms. With such beautiful gardens it's easy to see how Oheka has served a place in pop culture. The Oheka Castle has hosted several celebrity weddings, music videos, charitable events and was also a source of inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
5. Singer Castle, Hammond
Built in 1896, this castle has since gone by many names. Formerly known as Dark Island and Jorstadt Castle, this historic landmark has been featured in the 2000 original film "The Skulls." Another fun fact? It was rumored that Michael Jackson once tried to purchase the castle!
6. Belvedere Castle, New York
Built in 1869 to provide wonderful views of Central Park, this hidden city gem has been featured many times in film. Belvedere Castle is one of the five visitors centers Central Park has to offer and also has a gift shop!
7. Olana Historic Site, Hudson
Longtime home to famous landscape artist Frederic E. Church, some of his most famous works of art were created here. This stunning and uniquely designed castle was bought by the state of New York and is open to the public! If you plan on visiting this site be sure to bring your headphones. Grammy Award-winning artist Marc Cohn wrote his song "Olana" about this castle!
8. Lyndhurst Mansion, Tarrytown
Built in the late 1830s, this Gothic-style mansion has been used as the filming location for several works of film. Donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961, it is open to the public.
9. Hempstead House, Sands Point
Built in the early 1900s and once owned by the US Navy, the deed to Hempstead House was handed over to New York in 1971. Constructed by the son of a famous railroad tycoon, this estate was once known to be quite lavish.
10. Castle Gould, Sands Point
Located on the property of the Hempstead House, Castle Gould was originally meant to be the main living quarters for Howard Gould. When Gould's wife was displeased with the castle's completion, he began constructing the Hempstead House. Castle Gould went on to be used as stables for the property.
11. Belhurst Castle, Geneva
Once a private residence and built in the late 1800s, Belhurst Castle resides on Seneca Lake. Formerly used as a speakeasy and casino during the days of Prohibition, the castle is now used as a hotel, spa and winery.
12. Reid Hall, Purchase
Currently located on the campus of Manhattanville College and built in 1892, this historic castle is a sight to see! Once imagined to be a potential shopping center, ultimately it was purchased from Manhattanville College in 1951.
13. Castle Rock, Garrison
Built in the late 1800s, Castle Rock was home to former Illinois Central Railroad president William Henry Osborn. While the actual home itself is not open publicly, almost all of the land surrounding Castle Rock is open to the public for hiking.
14. Ward's Castle, Rye
Built in the 1870s, this castle was one of the first buildings in the United States to be made of reinforced concrete. Once home to the Museum of Cartoon Art, this beautiful structure is now privately owned and no longer open to the public. One of the many beautiful sights you'll get to see from the tower pictured above? The Long Island Sound!
Next time you and your friends are looking to take an out of the ordinary day trip, keep these amazing places in mind!