The Most Insane Houses You Have to See Before You Die
It's time to take a trip, both back in time and outside of your city limits. These seven historic North American homes feature legends packed with unbelievable detail and allure that you'll just have to feel, hear, and see to believe. Book your next residential and architectural adventure now.
BiltmorePhoto Courtesy: Biltmore
All it took was a quick visit to Asheville, North Carolina, in 1888 for George Vanderbilt to decide that this would be the home of his country estate. Nearly 130 years later, Biltmore is a celebrated 250-room home with more than 4 acres of floor space. Bring your family and tour the home, walk the grounds, and enjoy activities such as fishing, picnicking, and bike riding through the official estate Outdoor Adventure Center. (Photo courtesy: Biltmore)
Fonthill CastlePhoto by Nic Barlow, courtesy Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle
Ground broke on this Doylestown, Pennsylvania, castle in 1908 under the direction and ownership of Henry Chapman Mercer, and served as both a home and unofficial museum for Mercer's collection of Moravian tiles. Dubbed the concrete Castle for the New World, it now lives on as an official museum of Mercer and his world-renowned collections. Keep an eye out on the official Fonthill Castle website for new exhibition openings, festivals, tours, park walks, and more. (photo by Nic Barlow, courtesy Mercer Museum & Fonthill Castle)
Poplar ForestPhoto courtesy: Poplar Forest, John Henley, Richmond, VA
When you think "home" and "Thomas Jefferson," Monticello might come to mind first, but it's not his only estate. Nestled among native Virginian greener, and practically a stone's throw from the Blue Ridge Mountains is Jefferson's Poplar Forest. As you drive up the gravel path toward the restored villa located in Forest, Virginia, it's easy to get lost in time. Visit the property, take a tour of the architectural marvel, and be prepared to discover more than you ever have about our third president, including his exceptionally creative and curious mind. (Photo courtesy: Poplar Forest, John Henley, Richmond, VA)
Hearst CastlePhoto Courtesy: Hearst Castle/CA State Parks/V. Garagliano. All Rights Reserved.
Don't forget to plan a day at Hearst Castle next time you take a trip to the central coast of California. Located above the village of San Simeon, La Cuesta Encantada -- Spanish for "The Enchanted Hill" -- is a treat for all who step foot on any of its 127 acres. Whether you enjoy a peek at the castle's rolling gardens, pools, guest homes, or main towered building, you're sure to find endless details to wonder over. Make sure to visit the Gothic Study in the private suite. (Photo courtesy: Hearst Castle/CA State Parks/V. Garagliano. All Rights Reserved.)
Stranahan House MuseumPhoto Courtesy: Dave Mills and Stranahan House Museum
Measuring its gradual growth by the mounting success of its savvy businessman owner, Frank Stranahan, this Fort Lauderdale, Florida, building went from a simple trading post and community hall in 1901, to the plumbed and renovated residence of Frank and his wife, Ivy. Today, the Stranahan home is a historic house museum and plays host to thousands of visitors and students every year. The River Ghost Tour is a must-experience during your family visit. (Photo courtesy of Dave Mills and Stranahan House Museum)
Drayton HallPhoto Courtesy: Drayton Hall and Ron Blunt
Drayton Hall, completed in 1742 in Charleston, South Carolina, serves today as both a National Historic Trust site and a testament to the grandeur of American Palladian architecture. When you visit, make sure to save time to visit the African American cemetery, which is one of the oldest documented sites of its kind in the nation. (Photo Courtesy: Drayton Hall and Ron Blunt)
The Myrtles PlantationPhoto courtesy The Myrtles Plantation and Tara Marie Photography
Featuring an intriguing history rife with haunting detail, this St. Francisville, Louisiana, plantation is perfect for those looking to get lost in a bit of 18th-century mystery. The home features an impressive array of restored rooms, ironwork, hand-painted stained glass, and on-site attractions like a restaurant and general store. Don't forget to take a close look at the Chloe postcard while you're there, and make your own guess about the ghostly apparition seen leaning in place against the wall. (Photo courtesy The Myrtles Plantation and Tara Marie Photography)