There are various beach towns in Florida that are worth a day trip in the United States.
But do you know that you can add something extra this year to your trip?
Let’s travel to Florida this year. Yes, you read that right!
Hands up who wants to stop at majestic castles in Florida just exactly what you see on your Laptop Netflix screen.
You will witness breathtaking magical castles with fascinating history, full-blown fantasy, royalty, unforgettable stories, and amazing craftsmanship.
Walking around the corners of history where kings, queens, princesses, dukes, and grand duchess had a lot of dreams is not only fascinating but spine-tingling.
To your good luck, these Florida castles will be a quick addition to your Florida trip itinerary. Feel like king and queen!
Welcome to these top 10 castles in Florida that look like they are plucked right out of an artist’s mind. If you want to be whisked away to some colorful village, or magical land, all set in fairy destinations, check out these unique castles in Florida.
1. Castle Otttis, St Augustine
A visit to Castle Otttis seems like you are in a fairytale fortress evoking the atmosphere of overwhelming space of horror and dread.
The structure was designed by a team of historians from the Catholic Diocese of northeast Florida, Ottis Sadler and Rusty Ickes, inspired by an ancient Irish castle.
The turrets of the enclosed castle Ottis rise above the trees over 50 feet tall, distinctly echoing a majestic feeling.
The castle has 88 window openings that tend to be windowless or glassless, this allows sun, breeze, and rain to enter and air to play around freely.
Inside the castle, the exquisite woodwork made from old southern heart-pine soaring ramparts, and cypress wood is an example of beautiful art.
The adorning interiors and beautiful pieces of art evoke natural mystics, spiritual, and religious experiences among visitors.
Castle Otttis is a magical Castle in Florida that is open for tourists but only after a prior appointment.
- Castle Otttis, St Augustine opens rarely to the public, therefore, make time once it’s open and visit here.
- Schools and community groups can make the appointment and visit here
- Intimate wedding ceremonies are allowed
2. Solomon’s Castle, Rural Ona
A visit to Solomon’s Castle seems like you are in the land of delightful fairyland. It feels like you are in the Land of Oz, beyond the rain and behind the moon.
The castle is tucked in the woods and is a symbol of an American artist, Howard Solomon who turned their dream into a reality of building an eccentric masterpiece.
Solomon’s Castle was his art studio and home but unfortunately, in 2016 he passed leaving his creative work for his family to run.
His towering three stories high creation building designed with painting, metal sculpture, and artistic work is one of the most well-known in America.
The silver metal printing glass, 90 stained glass windows, view from the top of the turret, and eclectic exterior and interior are infused with a sense of creativity.
Remember, to book a lunch date at the boat in Moat Restaurant within the premises to enjoy the aura of medieval Europe. This operates from a 60-foot boat and a lighthouse.
- Closed on Mondays and through August and September
- Solomon’s Castle tour opened from Tuesday through Saturdays
- $18 for children, senior citizens, and students
3. Whitehall Mansion, Palm Beach
A visit to Whitehall Mansion, 100,000 square foot Gilded Age mansion is the dream of every Floridian. It is the home of Henry Flagler, Florida’s railroad magnet.
The bold and magnificent structure made, New York Herald described Whitehall as “More wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world”
The castle has 75 rooms featuring gorgeous ornaments that reflect interweaving corridors, the grand architectural style of neoclassical Beaux-Arts.
The open and rambling courtyard emphasizes light and shadows created by sunken structural elements making it look like the Mediterranean palaces of Spain and Italy.
Whitehall Mansion, Palm Beach is one of the unique castles in Florida with ancient murals on the ceilings and heavy gilding everywhere.
- Open from Monday through Saturday from 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
- Tour is for $18 and the children get an extra discount.
4. Castillo de San Marcos, St, Augustine
Well, Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and largest masonry fort constructed on the shore of Matanzas Bay between the years 1672 and 1695.
However, the shape of Castillo de San Marcos looks like a castle. It was built by Spanish armies as a system of defense against Florida and the Atlantic trade route.
It is one of the historical forts made up of mortar and coquina stone and retains very few original wooden works, artifacts, and things that narrate the tales of times.
At each corner, there is a star-shaped column with weaponized points respecting the history and life of the Spanish military.
Castillo de San Marcos, St Augustine has a name for conducting a 3D Digital Documentation Project that enlightens students about the history of the land and the world.
It sits just next to Two Florida State Parks hence, you can take a self-guided tour. I would recommend opting for a self guided tour to understand more about each weapon.
5. Villa Zorayada, St Augustine
Villa Zorayada, St Augustine is one of those castles in Florida that has the power to ignite cozy heartfelt emotions, with sizzling romance among all visitors.
It was built in 1883 by Franklin W.Smith, a Bostonian millionaire using concrete and crushed coquina shells which are now famous museums in St. Augustine.
The architecture is inspired by the monumental Alhambra Palace in Spain and the covered walkways and walls are replicas of the Alhambra palace of Andalusia.
The sun-filled garden, detailed alabaster stained glass, historical art collections, hand-pierced brass lamps, wooden panels, and 2,400-year-old Sacred Cat rug are highlights of Villa Zorayada.
Smith was inspired by the Moorish Spanish style, hence reviving it with different cultures and building Villa Zorayada.
- Open from Monday through Saturday, from 10. 00 am – 4.00 pm
- During Christmas, the rooms are brightened up and every corner sparkle with festive charms
6. Hogwarts Castle, Orlando
Enter into the wizarding world of Harry Potter, Hogwarts Castle. Moreover, this was designed for Potterheads at the village of Hogsmeade theme park.
If you sense the dementors, just take out your wand and say loudly ”Petrificus Totalus” just like Harry did when saving Sirius. You can feel the sparks of magic!
As you step inside the castle, it reminds you of when Draco told Hermione “Shut up, you filthy little mud-blood”- and Harry under his invisible cloak defending him.
You can taste the deliciousness of sweets in the wizarding world that Harry loved. You should come at Christmas when the rooftops are covered with faux snow.
The walls have living portraits of Dumbledore and Severus and even the relics of Harry potter. The magical rides are the most breathtaking in the wizarding world.
Even if you have no idea who Harry is, come to Hogwarts Castle, the ride, artifacts, and interior are worth visiting.
7. Cinderella Castle, Orlando
Experience the majestic fairy tale and the iconic castle in Florida, Cinderella Castle which welcomes people of all nationalities and ages with love and magic.
Cinderella Castle is one of the majestic castles in Florida and is a masterpiece of the magical kingdom of the Disney brand.
The gorgeous spires, beautifully ornate, turret, tranquil moat, and the whole 189-foot tall Castle is a pose that offers a ton of fun to every visitor.
The view of spiral staircases, tall towers, and turrets reminds you of the gorgeous Pena Palace at Sintra, one of my favorites in Portugal.
The view of the exquisitely handcrafted glass mosaics narrates the famous folktale with several versions of Cinderella’s life starting from an ordinary girl to a princess.
The best part of the castle is it is made up of steel, cement, fiberglass, bricks, and plasters making you wonder why our houses do not look like fairy tales.
The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique gives you a unique experience of knowing more about the transformation from ordinary girls to princesses!
The grand day needs to end with a meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table where you will be served food like princes.
8. Castle Warden, St. Augustine
Ripley is proud to take you on a tour to Castle Warden, St. Augustine, the most haunted place in Florida.
Ripley’s Believe it or not, a reality television show– outcaste a scary investigation with EMF meters and has made it one of the must-visit castles in Florida.
Castle Warden was built in 1887 as a winter home for William Warden inspired by the Moorish style. However, in the 1940s the castle was renovated as a hotel.
In the 1950s, Robert S Ripley wanted to buy the property however, he died and later it was purchased by his heirs and transformed into Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum.
The incarnation of Castle Warden since 1887 is the very reason you should come here to enjoy the charming beauty and witness the world’s first “odditorium”.
9. Coral Castle, Homestead
Where your imagination ends, nature’s innovation and creativity begin. Coral Castle, Homestead is the most unique castle in Florida as no one knows who created it. This is truly a hidden gem in Florida that you shouldn’t miss.
During the 1920s, there was an old man named Edward Leedskalnin who always dreamt of developing his own little stone house.
Well, he turned his dream into reality with 1000 tons of coral stone without any soul help. How did he do that without a machine or a soul?
Don’t you want to witness such a magical rock garden with your own eyes? What do you think, did he have supernatural powers or it was magic of nature?
The bougainvillea trees, gigantic rock walls, and romantic atmosphere with a 9-ton gate that operates with the touch of a finger are all unforgettable sights to behold.
10. Loews Don Cesar Hotel, St. Petersburg
In the time of the Jazz Age during 1928, Loews Don Cesar Hotel was born and has been home to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Al Capone and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It was given the nickname “The Pink Lady” or “Pink Castle” due to its gorgeous painted-color walls that glow brightly in the sun.
Don Cesar was influenced by Moorish and Mediterranean styles and hence builds a castle with red clay tile roofs, soaring arches, and open balconies.
The architecture of the building makes you feel that you are in a Hollywood set of fairy tales. Furthermore, Loews Don Cesar Hotel was featured on Food Network.
In 1928, Loews Don Cesar was a hotel; in the 1940s it became an army hotel, and now again it is a luxury hotel.
The view of the pool and sea makes Loews Don Cesar one of the must-visit castles in Florida.
And, a visit to these above 10castles in Florida is a must to enjoy the enchanting medieval time. Now that you know about the magical castles, when are you planning to spend the sunset and witness the magic?
FAQs – Castles in Florida
1. Are there any real castles in Florida?
A: Yes, Coral Castle is the real made up of oolite limestone created during 1887-1951 by Edward Leedskalnin. It is made up of large stones which are weighing several tons.
2. What is the largest castle in the United States?
A: Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina is the most elegant, largest and most grandeur castle in the United States. It sits in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville on an 8,000-acre estate.
3. Why is the Castillo de San Marcos famous?
A: Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest and historical fort built between the years 1672 and 1695 for the protection of St. Augustine’s citizens from enemies.
4. Why is the Coral Castle so mysterious?
A: Coral Castle was built single handedly by Ed Leedskalnin without any assistance from any workers. It is believed that the position of Coral Castle on the Earth’s surface is in such a manner that it has the ability of magnetism. Therefore, this helped him to build it without anyone’s help.