Got your heart set on seeing some fairytale palaces this summer? No need to book a flight to Bavaria, Michigan has plenty of cute and quirky castles to explore. From Bavarian palaces to French chateaux, here are some of the best castles in Michigan.
Where are the best castles in Massachusetts?
Formerly known as Castle Station, this impressive castle is over a century old. William Martin Aiken, who helped design the US treasure, built the French-inspired chateau in 1898. Unlike many other French-inspired chateaux across the United States, Aiken picked France as his inspiration for a reason too. Some of the region’s first settlers were French fur traders and trappers, and building something that wouldn’t look out of place in the Loire Valley seemed like a fitting way to remember that. These days it’s home to a fascinating museum, with a permanent display that includes a 1914 Saginaw cycle car and an exhibit dedicated to lumbering.
Set on the banks of the Shiawassee River, this charming little castle was inspired by a Norman chateau. James Curwood, the American adventure novelist, built the castle in 1923. For five years he used it as his writing studio. When he died in 1927, he bestowed the chateau to the City of Owosso, which transformed it into a museum. These days you can explore grounds and rooms from Tuesdays to Saturdays between April and December. Keep an eye on the castle’s calendar of events though, there’s usually something going on, like the Curwood Festival in June which celebrates the life and works of the author.
Built in 1895 by one of Kalamazoo’s most successful businessmen, Frank Henderson, Henderson Castle is a Queen Ann-style mansion sitting on three-acres of manicured gardens. If you’re looking to sleep like a king (or queen) in Michigan, this is probably your best bet. Ranked as one of the top historic inns in Michigan by AAA, the hotel features heated marbled floors, crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows and ten sumptuous suites. Did we mention the sauna, steam room and rootop hot tub?
Albert Loeb built this castle in 1918 as a model farm to showcase the impressive sorts of livestock his company, Roebuck and Company, had on offer. These days there’s little in the way of farmland animals though, it’s now one of the region’s most popular wedding venues. Between opulent interiors, sweeping grounds and purpose-built garden railway, it’s hard to imagine a more scenic setting to get hitched in.
Ok, we hear you, maybe technically a tower shouldn’t count as a castle, but would you just look at it? Those bells… the arched windows… the Art Deco details.. Completed in 1928, John W. Beaumont designed the gothic-style tower as a “meeting or trusting place for students”. These days its one of the university’s best-loved landmarks.
Rising an impressive 200-ft high, Castle Rock isn’t your typical castle. The ancient lookout is one of the oldest lookout points in the region. Known by the Ojibwa Trib as Pontiac’s Lookout, Clarence Eby first opened Castle Rock for tourists in 1929. Visitors have been flocking here for those incredible views ever since. On a clear day, you can see out for 20 miles to Mackinac Island, Lake Lake Huron, downtown St. Ignace, and the surrounding wilderness.
Possibly the most unusual castle in the whole of the United States, Bavarian Inn Castle Shops looks like it’s been plucked straight out of Hansel and Gretal. It’s considerably younger than most Bavarian castles though, built in 1950 by the Zehnder family. William and his wife Dorothy opened it up as an Inn initially, working side by side to build up the restaurant’s reputation. These days it dishes up authentic German flavours, as well as some great Insta-opps in the shape of Bavarian costumes and entertainment. Guests can choose from a range of rooms featuring flat screen televisions, whirlpool tubs and Free WiFi for surprisingly un-royal prices. There’s a doll and toy shop, ‘Royal Gift Shop’, candy corner and traditional bakery onsite too.