12 Castles You Can Visit Without a Passport

by Colleen Stinchcombe
Nov 11, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Castles are some of the coolest types of architecture out there, especially for people who haven’t grown up around them. In places like the U.K., it’s not rare to have castles in a major city center, but in the U.S., you don’t expect to see one at all.

But there are more castles in the U.S. than you might imagine. Sure, they never housed kings and queens (though their owners may have lived like royalty), but they often have everything you love: towers, ballrooms and gorgeous landscape. Some of them are museums, but a few of them, if you’re feeling rather royal, you can stay in as a guest.

And these castles? They’re all over the place — Ohio, Kentucky, California, even Arizona. They all look remarkably different, from faux-ancient and foreboding to fairylike kingdoms. Put away your passport. Check out these gorgeous U.S. castles and where to find them.

1 /12: Belvedere Castle, New York

1/12 :Belvedere Castle, New York

One of the five visitor centers at Central Park in New York City, Belvedere Castle was built in 1869.

2 /12: Bishop Castle, Colorado

2/12 :Bishop Castle, Colorado

Built by hand by Colorado local Jim Bishop, Bishop Castle boasts a grand ballroom, bridges and towers that offer sweeping views.

3 /12: Curwood Castle, Michigan

3/12 :Curwood Castle, Michigan

A replica Norman château, Curwood Castle is set on the banks of Shiawassee River and is a museum.

4 /12: Biltmore House, North Carolina

4/12 :Biltmore House, North Carolina

Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II and completed in 1895, Biltmore is the largest privately owned house in the U.S.

5 /12: Bancroft Tower, Massachusetts

5/12 :Bancroft Tower, Massachusetts

Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, the top of this feudal-style castle gives a 360-degree view of the city.

6 /12: Boldt Castle, New York

6/12 :Boldt Castle, New York

Built near Alexandria Bay, New York, the castle can only be reached by boat during the summer season.

7 /12: Oheka Castle, New York

7/12 :Oheka Castle, New York

Sitting on top of the highest point in Long Island, New York, Oheka Castle is open for guests, with 32 rooms and suites.

8 /12: Loveland Castle, Ohio

8/12 :Loveland Castle, Ohio

Located on the banks of Miami River, this Ohio castle was built in the 1920s and eventually completed by the local Boy Scout troupe. It’s now a museum.

9 /12: Hearst Castle, California

9/12 :Hearst Castle, California

Filled with Greek, Egyptian and Roman antiques, the Hearst Castle is both a historic museum and a California state park.

10 /12: The Castle Post, Kentucky

10/12 :The Castle Post, Kentucky

An abandoned roadside attraction for years and now a boutique hotel and farm-to-table restaurant, the castle has only recently been completed, though construction began in 1969.

11 /12: Hammond Castle, Massachusetts

11/12 :Hammond Castle, Massachusetts

Originally built as a private residence, the Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is now a museum where guests can take themselves on a self-guided tour.

12 /12: Tovrea Castle, Arizona

12/12 :Tovrea Castle, Arizona

You don’t expect to see castles surrounded by saguaro cactus, but that’s exactly the case for Tovrea Castle in Phoenix, Arizona. Built in 1902, the castle is visible from the freeway and regularly open for visitors.