Essential Travel Experience #43 – See an American Mansion

   Palaces in America are not quite as elaborate as European castles but they are, nevertheless, quite astounding. The home of Capitalism certainly engenders the amount of wealth necessary to construct a palatial residence. At any rate, there are many of these mansions in America, and some of them have become tourist attractions.

     In Rhode Island, my home state, the city of Newport was once the playground of the rich and famous. Their mansions line Bellevue Avenue. Many are now operated by the Newport Preservation Society and can be visited throughout the year. My favorites are the Breakers, once the “summer cottage” of Cornelius Vanderbilt

The Breakers, Newport

 and Rosecliff


  In nearby Connecticut, Gillette Castle was the home of an eccentric actor, and the house reveals some of his eccentricities

Gillette Castle

 Mark Twain lived in this house in Hartford.

Mark Twain House

Another elegant Connecticut house is found in Woodstock.

Roseland Cottage

 Saratoga Springs, in New York state, has numerous Victorian-style homes, but my favorite here is the Batcheller Mansion.

Batcheller Mansion, Saratoga

 Also in New York is Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home in Hyde Park.

FDR Home, Hyde Park

 In Pennsylvania, tourists flock to Fallingwater, a home built by Frank Lloyd Wright, in the southwestern part of the state.


 Of course, the two Presidential homes, Mount Vernon, belonging to George Washington

Mount Vernon

 and Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello,  both fit this category


 and, of course, the sitting President’s home and office, the White House

White House

 The front of the White House may be even better known.

White House, Washington

 The Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina, may be the most elegant palace in America and perhaps most resembles the classic palaces of Europe, such as Versailles.

Biltmore Estate

 In Charleston, South Carolina, the Magnolia Plantation is an exquisite reminder of the Ante-Bellum South.

Magnolia Plantation

 One of Florida’s most interesting residences is the Southernmost House, in Key West.

Southernmost House

 Miami showcases Villa Vizcaya

Villa Vizcaya

 On the West Coast, Hearst Castle admirably fits the bill, as the entrance, below, suggests.

Entrance to Hearst Castle

 The house itself is positively stunning.

Hearst Castle

 Finally, in Hawaii, the United States’ only royal residence is Iolani Palace, in Honolulu, once the home of Hawaiian kings.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii


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