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9 Storybook Castles in North Carolina Hiding in Plain Sight

Aerial view of Biltmore Estate

From King Arthur and Camelot to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White, who hasn’t been inspired by storybook castles? Authors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, Andrew Lang, and Charles Perrault have lulled us to sleep with tales of towers, turrets, keeps, and drawbridges, along with the princesses, knights, and enchanted creatures who inhabit them!

If you can’t get to castles in the Netherlands, castles in Austria, or any other fairytale castles in a faraway land, pack the carriage and steer toward storybook castles in North Carolina! We’ve compiled a collection of castles across the Tar Heel State to get started.

Whether you’re royalty or not, you can visit, stay, or even hold court over your own fairytale wedding at these beautiful castles. We can’t guarantee the singing mice, talking frogs, and fairy godmothers, but each of these North Carolina castles is straight from the pages of fiction!

Three of these castles even invite you to spend the night. You can book a stay at Graylyn, Smithmore, and Murphy Castles

Storybook Castles in North Carolina

1. Biltmore

Aerial view of Biltmore Estate
Konstantin L /

Address: 1 Lodge Street, Ashville, North Carolina 28803

Modeled after Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, England, the Biltmore Estate is known as America’s Castle. The property features French Renaissance architecture and Victorian-era design elements like turrets, gargoyles, and carved statues of Joan of Arc and St. Louis.

Built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt, the Gilded Age mansion is the largest (178,926 square feet, in case you were wondering) privately-owned home in the U.S. It was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead (of NYC’s Central Park fame) designed the lavish gardens.

Explore rooms filled with antique furnishings, art, and ornate accents. Located nearby, Vanderbilt Village offers shops, restaurants, and the Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate.

Combine your Biltmore visit with a self-guided driving tour along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a French Broad River kayak tour, a culinary tour of the best restaurants in Asheville, or other things to do in Asheville. Asheville is also within an hour-and-a-half drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and resorts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

2. Castle McCulloch

Address: 3925 Kivett Drive, Jamestown, North Carolina 27282

Castle McCulloch’s history gives us the Rumpelstiltskin vibes. While gold…

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