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5 Incredible California Castles

5 Incredible California Castles

The castles in California may have you rethinking what a castle is. 

You can see the castle that inspired Citizen Kane one day. Then at night, you can go on a paranormal tour of a castle that was a reform center.

What are some of the castles to know? We’ve got five incredible California castles for you.

Let’s explore!

Heart Castle California
California castles are a stunning sight to see.

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California

In 1919, publisher William Randolph Hearst inherited thousands of acres of land around San Simeon, California. He purchased even more land and developed the property.

Architect, Julia Morgan, designed Hearst Castle in the Mediterranean Revival style. The mansion covers 68,500 square feet and has a whopping 115 rooms with spectacular art and antiques displayed throughout.

The castle offers a range of tour options highlighting different parts of the building and architecture.

There are even three tours geared toward wheelchair users and those who can’t stand for very long. Guided tours take an hour, and the Visitor Center has several dining and coffee options. 

Movie Trivia: Hollywood based the story of Citizen Kane and his castle, “Xanadu,” on William R Hearst and Hearst Castle.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

This Tuscan-style castle is a working winery. Winemaker Dario Sattui dreamed of the property for decades, and in 1993, he finally built his California castle. What’s more, he used only methods and materials that would have been available 800 years prior. 

Tours are part of the various tasting packages and you’ll need to reserve your tour in advance.

The general admission package comes with two tickets for wine or non-alcoholic drinks. You must pay for them but are not required to use them. 

The general admission price (currently $55) includes self-guided access to two levels of the castle. Higher-priced packages include other areas of the property. Guided tours last about an hour. The grounds are ADA accessible and include elevators and ramps.

Though beautiful, Castello di Amorosa has many rules for visiting. For example, they only allow children in certain areas and strollers aren’t permitted anywhere. They don’t let people just drive up and look around, so please don’t.

Also, they may not hold your reservation if you’re more than 20 minutes late. Please look carefully over their policies, then start picking out your wine!

Preston Castle, Ione, California

Preston Castle has a somewhat eerie history, owing to its prior use as the Preston Youth Correctional Institute. 

It was built in the 1890s and has four floors, a basement, and a three-story annex. Self-guided tours are available, priced according to group size. You can book a private tour or rent the space for a photo shoot.

They also offer nighttime paranormal tours. The castle is on private property, so be mindful of that.

Unfortunately, the castle is not ADA-compliant.

Did You Know: California has a towing speed limit you need to follow! Find out how fast you can drive in California while towing here!

Rubel Castle, Glendora, California

Rubel Castle is unusual in that it’s an example of folk architecture. 

Michael Rubel built the castle on the site of an orange orchard and packing house. He formed it by hand using river rocks, recycled materials, and found assemblages. In fact, building the castle brought the community together as neighbors pitched in to help.

The finished castle has towers, a drawbridge, a working blacksmith’s studio, and, most curiously, a fake cemetery. Rubel made tombstones for imaginary people, who he mourned with wakes. 

Several celebrities have enjoyed visiting.

Dwight Eisenhower, Bob Hope, and Alfred Hitchcock were three who loved Rubel Castle.

Tours are by appointment only, and the adult rate is currently $20.

Children under eight are not allowed. In addition, the grounds are not ADA-accessible, and there are no benches for resting during tours.

Castle Green, Pasaedena, California

Castle Green first opened in 1899 as an annex to Hotel Green. Moorish, Spanish, and Victorian elements all converge in its design. 

The castle only opens twice a year, and they don’t post visiting policies. However, there’s a virtual tour online. You can rent the castle for weddings or other special events, though.

In addition, they renovated part of the castle into apartments said to be rented by “artistic eccentrics”.

It seems difficult to find openings there. 

Pro Tip: If fairytale like castles aren’t for you, maybe these 5 Creepy Ghost Towns in California will be more your style!

Unique Castle Experiences

These castles reflect California’s rich history. The different architectural styles show different points in Californians’ pasts.

From Hearst’s showy palace to Rubel’s repurposed recycling, California shows us there’s a castle for every king. 

Which castle would you most like to see? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Mike K says:

    Hearst Castle is a must see. Been there twice and have been on two of their different tours.