America is full of history and the most prominent display is that of architecture of homes and estates. In this modern time you can still find beautiful homes that represent each era of our history that are captured in the time they were built. Visiting these mansions open up a wide array of cultural history and learning about the past. You will not regret adding these historical homes to your must-visit list!
Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
The Biltmore House is a French Renaissance château built for George Washington Vanderbilt II starting in 1889 and finishing in 1895. Once completed it boasted an amazing 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces! The floors of America’s largest homes span an astonishing 4 acres. If you’d like to visit this impressive home you will be transported back in time to see three floors of the mansion as well as displays, vintage clothing and furniture.
Learn more: Visit the Biltmore Estate
Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon, Virginia
A must-visit home is that of our founding father President George Washington. It was built in 1735 and is located in Mount Vernon, Virginia. One façade of the home is Georgian, the other Neoclassical; the home features a Palladian (or Venetian) window which is one of the homes most distinct features and Adam-style dining room date to the Federal period during its last addition. Tour the home, learn about each room in this historic home, explore the expansive grounds, gardens and learn about this time in American history.
Learn more: mountvernon.org
Hamilton House, South Berwick, Maine
Visit this historic Georgian home that is circa 1787 in South Berwick, Maine. The John Hamilton House is a historic Georgian National Historic Landmark and has been mostly preserved in its original form. It is located on a bluff overlooking Salmon River and was built by shipping merchant Jonathan Hamilton. It boasts hand painted wallpaper which can be found in the dining room and south parlor circa 1900. Now guided museum tours are available and operated June through October.
Learn more: historicnewengland.org/property/hamilton-house/
Kykuit, The Rockefeller Estate, Sleepy Hollow, New York
This Colonial Revival home was built in 1913 for John D. Rockefeller and his family. It served as the family home for over four generations. On the daily tours of Kykuit, you can see the main floor of the house which has 18th century style furniture and Asian ceramics. The grounds contain fountains, pavilions, and grandsons Nelson Rockefeller’s collection of large-scale sculptures, including works by Louise Nevelson, David Smith, Pablo Picasso, and Henry Moore. The mansion is a National Historic Landmark and one should be a must-visit on your list.
Learn more: Visit the Kykuit Rockefeller Estate
The Breakers Mansion, Newport, Rhode Island
The Breakers is the most visited attraction in Rhode Island. The gilded age mansion in the Italian Renaissance style and was built for Cornelius Vanderbilt II as a Summer home which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The Vandebilt’s grandchildren lived on the third floor of the home in the Summer until 2018 which is curently closed to visitors. Be sure to visit the nearby carriage house and stable which is just as impressive as the home.
Learn more: Visit The Breakers Mansion
Bishop’s Palace (a.k.a. Gresham House), Galveston, Texas
This Victorian castle is one of a kind home and will for sure a memorable place to visit. Architectural historians consider the Bishop’s Palace one of the finest examples of a Victorian residence in the country which was built in 1892. It has a grand interior, stained-glass windows, marble columns, 14 foot ceilings and an octagonal mahogany stairwell that is 40 feet tall with stained-glass on five sides of it! One of the fireplaces is even lined with silver! This castle is classified as a Victorian home however, it is more specifically identified as Chateausque given the complex combination of materials and the roof system. Ready to visit? There are self-guided tours daily and a basement to attic tour held on Saturdays.
Learn more: Book at Tour at Bishop’s Palace