by Tom Bastek
Last updated: 1:24 PM ET, Sun March 29, 2015
Photos courtesy of respective properties
If you are a fan of "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones," or even just Cinderella, some of the latest TV shows and movies are all about castles, which means they are all about you. So why not take a trip this summer and explore one on your own. The great news is that there are a ton right here in the U.S. Here are five can't-miss castles:
Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California
Located on the central coast of California, Hearst Castle was designed and built between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst who died just four years after construction of completed. After four more years of red tape, the The California Park Commission opened it for tours in 1958. Today, they offer a slew of different tour options as well as six choices for dining at the visitor center. Prices and date availabilities vary.
Boldt Castle - Heart Island, New York
Started in 1900, Boldt Castle was originally built as a display of love for his wife by George C. Boldt, owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Four years later, when Boldt's wife passed away suddenly, all construction was stopped and he was never to return to the island again. In 1977, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority purchased the island and decided to renovate and display it for all future generations to enjoy. Open only seasonally from May till October, and approachable only by boat, you can tour the grounds, the castle, the Dove-Cote, the power house and the exterior of the Alster Tower.
Castello di Amorosa - Calistoga, California
If you are looking for something built a little more recently, than Castello di Amorosa is for you. Constructed in 2007, the 121,000 square-foot property was created using Old World techniques with 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. The best part of admission to the two story winery and castle is that it comes with five premium wine tastings as well!
Fonthill castle - Doylestown, Pennsylvania
Home to American archeologist and tile maker Henry Chapman Mercer, Fonthill was originally constructed between 1908 and 1912. The castle is able to be visited as well as the separate Mercer Museum which is dedicated to life in the 18th and 19th centuries. You may also visit the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, which is located on the property of the castle with the Mercer Museum just a mile away.
Oheka Castle - Huntington, New York
OK, Oheka is more of a mansion than a castle, but it is included here because of the white glove, $15,000 a night treatment that you can get here which is right out of Downton Abbey. Originally the country home of investment financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn and his family, Oheka served as partial inspiration for Gatsby's estate in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Here is the best part. You can get the "Ultimate Romantic Evening Package" which includes limo service from anywhere in the five boroughs and Long Island, accommodations, use of the ballroom for four hours, seven course dinner, white glove butler service, ballroom dance lesson, Dom Perignon Champagne, a string quartet, photographer with photos, a dozen red roses, massage for two, a gift from Tiffany's, and hot breakfast served to your room. Go live it up! The price: $15,000.
So whether you want to see how the one percent lived back in the day or you want to spend the money to live like them now, there is a chance right here in the states. Where are your favorite castles? Let me know in the comments below.
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