One of the coolest ways to spend time off is taking castle vacations. Castle vacations can be as long or as short as you have time for, and you can go thoroughly exotic or close to home. Read on for three great places for castle vacations that you should consider when you next need some time away.

Castle Vacations Close to Home

If you don’t have the time and money to go across the world, you can take a vacation to see a few castles in the United States. Though not so old and historic as their European counterparts, there are several castles built in the 19th and early 20th century in America that were inspired by European castles. A lot of them are open to the public, and some of them also have amazing gardens or spectacular art collections that make them worth a visit.

Boldt CastleBannerman Castle

Head over to Pollepel Island, also in New York, to see the Bannerman Castle, built in 1901 by a Scottish immigrant who settled in Brooklyn to produce firearms.

Other Castle Options

There are also castles in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, where immigrants from Europe came and brought their castle-building cultures with them. But there are even some castles to be seen in California!

Take a Tour of England’s Castles

Of course, if you want to really see the best castles and have the greatest experience with castle vacations you’re going to have to go across the pond. England has some fabulous castles you shouldn’t miss:

Windsor Castle

This is the official royal residence and more than 900 years old.

Hampton Court

Hampton Court castle was once occupied by King Henry VIII, famous for his many wives. The Haunted Gallery is where Henry’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, was dragged back into the castle after attempting to escape.

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle is also 900 years old and only about 30 miles from the center of London. It was the official home of King Henry VIII and was eventually purchased in 1926 by an American, Lady Olive Bailllie.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle in Cornwall is built over the spot where King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are purported to have met, and the castle was built 800 years ago by the Earl of Cornwall.

Historic and Beautiful Ireland

For the ultimate in castle vacations, you can’t possibly do better than Ireland. The problem with the castle tour of Ireland is knowing where to start and where to stop because there’s so much to be seen. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe at just over 32,500 square miles. It boasts 3,000 miles of coastline, and there are hundreds of castles to be seen. If you have limited time, plan your vacation package around a couple of these excellent examples:

Rock of Cashel

This may just be the most recognizable castle in all of Ireland. According to legend, the devil took a bite from the mountain nearby and broke his tooth in the process. This caused him to drop the bit of rock had bitten off, and the Rock of Cashel was built on top of it. This is the traditional seat of the King of Munster.

King John’s Castle

King John’s Castle sits on Kings Island. It was built by King John of England in 1200 A.D., but he never came to visit. The castle was placed under siege many times over the centuries, but thankfully the main turrets and outer walls survived. It was open to the public in 2013 and is well worth the cost of admission to see.

Ross Castle

Ross Castle is just outside Killarney and was built in the late 1400s as the primary stronghold of the O’Donoghue Ross clan chieftains. It’s an amazing castle to tour with plenty of ghost stories to go along with it.

Wherever you go on your nexxt vacation, consider taking in some of the amazing castles of America, England, and especially Ireland.

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