13 Unique Castles in the United States Worth Visiting

Biltmore Estate - Asheville North Carolina

Did you know there are over 145 castles in the United States? Some of those castles were built for the rich and famous. While others were fortresses manufactured for defense against foreign enemies. But we’re going to spotlight 13 unique castles in the United States that have such incredible back stories of why they exist. Their noble grandeur is an integral part of America’s history. And we think are truly worth the visit.

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Mountaindale Cabins & RV Resort – Colorado

AOL - Mountaindale RV Resort

If the mountains are calling your name, Colorado Springs is a great place to visit. If you’re traveling with your RV; albeit motorhome, fifth wheel, travel trailer or camper, we found a cool little campground that may just lure you to stay; Mountaindale RV Resort. But don’t let their description ‘resort’ fool you. Here’s why…

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Haggard’s RV Park – COLORADO

Campground/RV Park: Haggard’s RV Campground
Location: 7910 W Hwy 50, Pueblo West, CO  81007    (719) 547-2101

Website: www.haggardsrvcampground.com

Date(s) Stayed: 9/9/15 – 9/21/15
Length of Stay: 2 weeks
Site #: E8 (Pull-Through)
Cost per night (with taxes): $297/week.  $27-37/week
Discount Used:  10% Good Sam
Connections: 50 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  3.5

My Motorcycle Ride Adventure to Bishop Castle – Colorado

Back in 2016, while we were parked at the Air Force Academy, Dan was called out for a family emergency in Pennsylvania. Our campground neighbors made certain I didn’t have to be alone the whole time.  It was then that I met another motorcycle riding couple, Vicki and Rex in the sight behind ours.

During a morning coffee conversation, Vicki asked if I knew of any good roads or day-rides (they had a trike).  I had told them about a cool trip to Bishop Castle, a hand-built medieval castle in Wetmore, Colorado that our son took us to see years prior. I told her the route to get there was outstanding, especially riding motorcycles.

Austin heard me talking about it and googled it on his phone as I described it.   We all then made plans to ride out the following day with Austin riding on the back of her trike as her navigator.

Getting there…

The next morning, we coffee-d up, ate breakfast and rode out. The ride out was gorgeous as was the day!  Surprisingly, not much traffic for being a weekend.  Getting there was simple.

We rode out the gate of the Air Force Academy south on I-25 to CO 115 to Florence, onto CO 67, turning right on Hwy 96 in Wetmore.  We saw signs directing us to the castle; turning left onto CO 165.  It was about a 90 minute ride out to Bishop Castle.

 

Once we got there, the site was a little busy but nothing to be worried about when it came to capturing some good photos.

Admission was free, although donations were greatly appreciated.  There was also a gift shop that helped finance Mr. Bishop’s ongoing build.  It’s open most of the time.

About Bishop Castle…

There is nothing architecturally ‘perfect’ about the castle. Its completely constructed by the hands of Mr. Bishop.  I’m willing to bet there were no official blueprints.  If you’re into the whole Harry Potter thing, this is the place for you!  The stonework, iron work and blacksmithing was done all onsite; there is even a room where all of his tools and shop are on the ground level.


Every year since 1969, Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress in the middle of nowhere. Bishop called it “a monument to hardworking people” and “America’s biggest, one-man, physical project. I always wanted a castle. Every man wants a castle,” Bishop said.

It hasn’t been easy for his masterpiece build. For most of those 40 years Bishop was engaged in a running battle with Washington bureaucrats over the rocks that he used, which came from the San Isabel National Forest that surrounds the castle property. Bishop felt that they were his for the taking, the government wanted to charge him per truckload.
Another bone of contention that stuck in Bishop’s craw belonged to the Colorado state Chamber of Commerce, which refused to list Bishop Castle as an attraction in its official tourism guides.”
These individual panes below were handcrafted as memorials and wedding memories for friends and family
This cool dragon’s head breathes fire from the fireplace; blowing smoke from his mouth outside.

 

This was looking up from the main entertainment room. The ceiling was glass with fancy scroll metal work.
Visitors could climb all the way to the top, winding through interior stone stairs and hand-forged iron and steel grid exterior walkways around the top.  I had climbed it before years prior, so I stayed below in the main room to wait for them and take photos. Vicki made it about a third of the way up however, came down after feeling a little uneasy about going all the way up. On the other hand, Austin was investigating every inch and climbing everything that could.
Austin, Vicki and I posing for a picture for a great memory of newfound friends!
After Austin climbed every inch of stone and metal, we had to get back back to the Academy as he had a curfew. As beautiful as our ride was getting there, it was even better coming home as we were able to ride with the beautiful Colorado sunset to our backs.
So, if you’re in the Colorado Springs or Pueblo, Colorado area, definitely put this on your list of places to visit in Colorado regardless of your ride…or drive!
To read about the story behind Bishop’s Castle, click on the link.

Other places we visited while in Colorado…

A Ride Up To Cripple Creek, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

 

 

Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground – COLORADO

CAMPGROUND REVIEW

Campground/RV Park: Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground (Golden)
Location: 15200 W 6th Ave. Frontage Road, Golden, CO  80401
                (303) 271-6600
Date(s) Stayed: 8/15/15 – 8/20/15
Length of Stay: 5 days
Site #: 1 (Back In)
Cost per night (with taxes): $40/day
Discount Used:  None
Connections: 50 amp Electric/Water and Dump Station
Stars:  2
Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground managed by the Jefferson County Fairgrounds has 40 RV sites.  The Campground was easy to get to off of US-6.
Sites 1-18 are on pavement; first section are back ins (50amps) and second section are parallels (30amps); it was a weird configuration.  Sites 19-40 are gravel pull-throughs (not level).  Since we were in site #1, we can’t speak for reviewing or giving knowledge of the gravel sites.  The back-in sites back up to a small hill; most take their dogs back there to unwind and do their business (and not clean it up!).
Being a Toyhauler, we could not unload our toys from the back which was not an issue for us; we hadn’t planned on it anyways.  Picnic tables were present at each site in the back (we moved ours to our awning/door side because we were so long and we had more room).  The bath houses were very clean and had ‘codes’ so no one from outside the campground could use them.
There is a nice covered pavillion with lots of picnic tables with a children’s playground to the right after the entrance check-in building (which was directly across from the front of our rig).  There is a bit of highway noise but that wasn’t an issue for us as we were out playing tourist.
Reservations highly recommended (by us) with thorough explanation of your size and needs.  They assigned us in site #1 which was fine except if the parking spots directly in front of our rig were taken.  Spaces were TIGHT; literally, slides touching which made it difficult for privacy and walking around your rig.
While parked, we toured and visited Rocky Mountain National Park, Breckenridge, Frisco, and Golden.  Lots to see and do in this location.

In our experience and opinion, Jefferson County Fairgrounds Campground was overpriced for what it was.  This is not a long-term campground’/park; only good for a couple/few overnights.  This was the only place with vacancy for our 44′ big rig toyhauler 5th wheel.  Though accessibility to I-25/US-6 was great, no sewer connections (except for dump station which was not big rig friendly), layout of the park, spaces between sites, maneuverability, and no sewer earned only 2 stars.

Would we stay here again?  As a last resort.