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10 Amazing American Castles to See Now

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 22/10/2015

By Jason Heidemann for the Orbitz Travel Blog
Castles. They loom large in our imaginations either as the one-time residences of European kings and queens or as places where crowds gather and snap a selfie with Mickey (we're looking at you, Disney!). Yet there are castles all over the United States. They come in all shapes and sizes, have unique histories and many are open to the public. Here are 10 amazing American castles you have to see now, listed in no particular order.
Belvedere Castle: New York, New York
Surrounded by the mega rich, the Belvedere in Central Park is nevertheless the only castle of its kind on the island of Manhattan, and what a wonderful one it is at that. Constructed by Central Park landscapers Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, the park is now a visitor center overlooking the Great Lawn.
Belvedere © Provided by The Huffington Post Belvedere Biltmore Estate: Asheville, North Carolina
Downton Abbey enthusiasts would surely go gaga over the fascinating country home of George Vanderbilt. The residence provides a turn-of-the-century window into the lives of its rich inhabitants and the servants who tended to their every need. A visit to Asheville isn't complete without a tour of the home and gardens.
housefront12x8__large © Provided by The Huffington Post housefront12x8__large Photo credit: The Biltmore Company
Boldt Castle: Heart Island, New York
Tiny Heart Island, part of an island chain straddling the U.S. and Canadian border along the St. Lawrence River, houses this fairy tale castle planned by Waldorf-Astoria GM George Boldt as a present to his wife (whose sudden death halted construction). Daily tours are available; the home is accessible by boat.
Boldt © Provided by The Huffington Post Boldt

Related: 10 beautiful canal towns that aren't Venice.

Castello di Amorosa: Napa Valley, California
Spit, don't swallow at this Napa Valley winery created in the style of a 13th century Tuscan castle and open year around for wine tastings and tours. The castle was built by vintner Dario Sattui whose Sonoma County winery V. Sattui is among our very favorites. Ask to see the dungeon and torture chambers!
Amorosa © Provided by The Huffington Post Amorosa Castello di Amorosa
Gillette Castle: East Haddam, Connecticut
This stone fortress was built by stage actor William Gillette and is filled with oddities such as built-in couches, wood carvings and hidden mirrors. Gillette, best known for portraying Sherlock Holmes 1,300 times on onstage, died in 1937 and the home is now part of Gillette Castle State Park. It's open seasonally.
Gillette © Provided by The Huffington Post Gillette See all 10 Amazing America Castles on the Orbitz Travel Blog

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