The United States might not have the historical gravitas that’s ubiquitous across the pond — but we don’t need it. Because we have something better: good, old-fashioned American imagination and ingenuity. Europe: we’ll see your Medieval castles and stony fortresses, and raise your expansive American chateaus complete with turrets, moats, drawbridges, and, yes, even a fire-breathing dragon.

All across the country, there are incredible American castles open for all to experience; some are hiding right in plain sight, while others are tucked away in the most unexpected places. Here are 23 castles you might not expect to find hiding in the U.S. — but you’ll be totally delighted that they are!

Historic Castles in the US

While the US doesn’t have the kind of historical clout as our brethren across the pond, history is still an important part of the American story. Today, you’ll find historic castles in the US you can visit, and they have compelling stories; true, blue American fairy tales.

Castles You Can Stay In

Dreaming of a royal getaway in the US? Book a night or two at one of these castles you can stay in, and get ready to be king or queen of your very own kingdom!

Formal Castles In The US

While America doesn’t have a royal family, per se, you’ll still find a handful of formal castles in the US that have provided a setting for royal happenings as well as homes to our country’s very own royal dynasties.

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Quirky Castles In The US

Castles made of recycled material? Real-life sand castles? Frozen castle kingdoms? If you’re into unique roadside attractions, definitely check out these quirky castles in the US:

Abandoned Castles In The US

There’s something inherently compelling about abandoned places; these sites offer breadcrumbs that lead to another time that feels wholly foreign to us now. There are several abandoned castles in the US; these royal residences have haunting and often bittersweet stories sure to capture your imagination.

So, there are some of the castles in the U.S. you can visit. You don’t have to travel to Europe to enjoy a royal experience. Our wondrous country is home to some truly magical and impressive feats of the human imagination, inviting all to marvel and be inspired. Because when it comes to imagining truly great things, that’s where Americans shine most of all.

For more enchanting places to add to your bucket list, be sure to check out these 16 places around the U.S. that are straight out of a fairy tale!

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More to Explore

Castles in the U.S.

How many castles are in the US?

While there is only one official, royal castle in the US (Iolani Palace), there are literally hundreds of beautiful châteaux, mansions, and palaces across the country. Many are castle-like buildings and homes; some are historic mansions that, while no true "royalty" ever lived in them, were home to some of the most influential families in the US, such as the Du Pont Family and the Hearsts.

What are some American castles you can stay in? 

The following are a couple of American castles you can stay in:

  • One of our favorite American castles you can stay in is located in humble Kentucky. The castle that sits on a hill in Versailles, Kentucky has long been a fixture in the area and it's been thrilling to watch it come to life over the past few years. Now called the Kentucky Castle, it is a premier boutique hotel, restaurant, spa, and event space that offers a wide range of experiences throughout the year. From rooftop workout classes to themed dinners, the Castle is now the king of creative events and experiences on its property. We are partial, however, to its overnight accommodations, which let you feel like real-life royalty for your stay!
  • Our favorite American "castle" to spend the night, however, is The Biltmore. America's real-life castle nestled in the idyllic hills of Asheville, North Carolina, is a place of stunning scenery, lush gardens, ornate architecture, and historic relevance. Attracting over a million visitors each year, the Biltmore is a must-visit destination for anyone with an appetite for wanderlust. And if you want to take your bucket-list experience of this bucket-list destination to the next level, opt to spend the night at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. With over 200 rooms adorned with antique furnishings, bespoke decor, and sumptuous extras, there's no other place in the country quite like this well-appointed inn. And the opportunity to see the sun rise over the kingdom built by American royalty? That's something you shouldn't pass up.

 

What are some unique castles in the US?

In terms of unique castles in America, there's nowhere quite as cool (pun intended) as the Ice Castles in Utah. Here are a few reasons why:

  • A winter wonderland comprised of ice castles and sculptures totaling 25 million pounds, this experience is truly extraordinary.
  • While this event now happens annually at a few locations across North America, the Ice Castles originated in Alpine, Utah, in the backyard of ice artist Brent Christensen, who created a frozen playland for his kids during one particularly long winter.
  • Christensen's ice caves and castles proved irresistible for the neighborhood kids, and he began to imagine bigger winter wonderlands -- which brings us to today's epic Ice Castle events.
  • Opening dates always depend on the weather, but the attraction is typically open from early January through early March.
  • Ice Castles is an awe-inspiring, must-see winter phenomenon that brings fairytales to life, complete with dazzling LED-lit sculptures, frozen thrones, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and fountains.