When it comes to visiting the soaring towers and stone walls of picturesque castles, you might think you need to take a trip to Europe to see these magnificent structures, but before you book your flight you should take a look at these amazing American castles.[slideshow:1338]
Thought they may not be as old at their European counterparts, many American castles are still well worth a visit. Intricate decoration, exquisite architecture and unique stories from the fairly recent past make these castles and palaces stand-out destinations. Take a tour, sip some wine or stay overnight in some of these estates built for rich and famous Americans of the past.
From Hawaii to New York City, these incredible castles bring the term luxury to a whole new level. Straight out of a fairy tale, take a look at these 10 amazing castles you can visit in the U.S.
Iolani Palace—Honolulu, Hawaii
The only royal palace in the United States, Iolani was built for King Kalakua and Queen Kapi'olani from 1879 to 1882. This status symbol was the picture of luxury in Honolulu, elaborately decorated with Koa Wood and ebony furniture and outfitted with a throne room, grand hall and private suites. The royal lineage was short-lived, though, and the Queen was imprisoned in one of the rooms upstairs following the 1895 coup. To this day the palace still stands, though most of the furniture was sold off following the coup. Travelers can visit and tour this incredible piece of Hawaiian history from Monday to Saturday.
Boldt Castle—Heart Island, N.Y.
Built in the early 1900s at the request of millionaire hotel mogul George C. Boldt, the castle was meant to be a summer home and a gift for his beloved wife. After spending $2 million and hiring 300 of the most talented men to construct the castle, Boldt’s wife Louise died suddenly in 1904 and he immediately stopped construction on the nearly-finished castle. Boldt was inconsolable over her death and never resumed construction. It sat vacant for 73 years, vulnerable to the elements, until the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority (TIBA) invested millions to return the castle and grounds to its former glory. Now, visitors can tour the castle and weddings are regularly held on the grounds.