Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.
STOP 1: BANNERMAN CASTLE // BEACON, NEW YORK
59 miles from New York City
Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.
STOP 2. GILLETTE CASTLE STATE PARK // EAST HADDAM, CONNECTICUT
116 miles from Beacon, New York
STOP 3. BELCOURT CASTLE // NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut
STOP 4. HAMMOND CASTLE MUSEUM // GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS
111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island
STOP 5. BOLDT CASTLE // ALEXANDRIA BAY, THOUSAND ISLANDS, NEW YORK
430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts
STOP 6. FONTHILL CASTLE // DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York
This article was originally published on MentalFloss.