Colorado is a popular tourist destination in the U.S, bringing droves of visitors year-round to see the impressive mountain landscapes and river canyons. What some people don’t know, however, is that Colorado is dotted with awe-inspiring castles that will make you feel like you’re living in a fantasy world. This post covers a few of Colorado’s best castles for a novel way to spend your vacation time.
Castles Near Colorado Springs
Table of Contents
At the foot of the Rocky Mountains, this city is a popular destination for first-time Colorado visitors, thanks to incredible views and fun hiking trails. Below are two castles in Colorado Springs that are sure to charm you.
Glen Eyrie Castle
If you’re looking for a magical location, look no further than Glen Eyrie Castle. The castle’s great hall is over 2000 square feet, not to mention the 17 guest rooms and seven meeting rooms. The castle grounds (over 700 acres) provide the perfect backdrop for a retreat from your 9-5.
This one-of-a-kind castle boasts 19th-century stone mouldings, numerous fireplaces, and historical grandeur you won’t soon forget. Spend a romantic afternoon enjoying high tea, or take a guided tour of the castle’s many Victorian-style rooms.
There are some delightful places to stay in Colorado Springs, which is just 20 minutes from Glen Eyrie Castle by car. Check these Airbnbs in Colorado from Jones Around the World for some of the coolest accommodation options.
Like something out of a Jane Austen novel, Miramont Castle’s Victorian architecture and picturesque gardens offer the perfect setting for an afternoon away from the city. Visitors can also enjoy high tea in the Queen’s Parlour Tea Room, a gorgeous glass-encased sunroom with an excellent view of the Rocky Mountains.
Miramont also hosts historical art exhibitions – the most recent instalment being an exhibit of vintage fire department antiques. The tours here are self-guided, making for a relaxing afternoon activity. Roam through the castle on your own time and soak in the atmosphere of an era gone by.
This castle in Colorado Springs is about 17 minutes from the city centre by car, and there are several unique ways to travel to the Rocky Mountains from there.
More Must-See Colorado Castles
For something outside of Colorado Springs, you can visit the castles listed below. Colorado Springs is around 2 hours from Ice Castle, 90 minutes’ drive from Bishop Castle and Westminster Castle, 60 minutes from Cherokee Ranch, and 3 hours from Cano’s Castle.
Dillon, Colorado, is home to the winter wonderland known as the ice castles. This spectacular art installation is the result of thousands of individual icicles, placed carefully by a group of dedicated artists who work on-site for over six weeks. As the project progresses, the giant ice sculpture grows, reaching a height of about 40-60 feet!
You can buy tickets on the Colorado Ice Castles website and explore the gorgeous lit caves for a mere $20 per person. This is bound to be one of your most memorable Colorado experiences with vaulted ice towers, breathtaking ice sculptures, and LED-lit tunnels.
This fanciful monument is a true escape from the ordinary, with iron catwalks and bridges encircling the castle’s striking stone towers. A culmination of 60 years of work, Bishop Castle is the brainchild of Jim Bishop, who envisioned a unique getaway in the Colorado forest.
A great thing about this spot is that it’s always open to the public, and entrance is free, making it the perfect option for budget-conscious travellers.
This story-book castle has its own dragon – and you’ve got to see it to believe it. Bishop constructed a stainless steel dragon as an art installation to add to the castle’s existing decor. Today, this spectacular steel creature can be seen guarding the grounds from the height of the castle.
Just 20 minutes from Denver, Westminster Castle is a beloved historical landmark and a gorgeous place to visit. Also known as “The Big Red Castle,” this lavish building made of red sandstone offers an unforgettable view of the Front Range.
No tours are operating currently, but you’ll see a fabulous view of the 175-foot tower if you drive past Westminster Castle. The Victorian-Gothic design paired with the mountain vistas in the background made this castle a remarkable destination – even for a drive-by visit.
Cherokee Ranch and Castle
One of Colorado’s most visually interesting gems, Cherokee Ranch and Castle is a breathtaking amalgamation of culture and history. Located on over 3000 acres of forest, artists get the chance to use this 15th-century Scottish castle as a “living gallery.” For just $20, you can access the grounds with your easel in hand and draw inspiration from the impeccable Colorado views.
There are also beautiful paintings, sculptures, and antiques inside the castle for you to peruse. You can take a look at the castle’s historical fine art collection on one of their guided tours.
If you thought Bishop Castle was quirky, wait till you lay your eyes on the peculiar Cano’s Castle. This wacky citadel is a perpetual experiment by the owner and creator, Donald Cano Espinoza, who has been adding to the castle’s outlandish exterior for over 30 years.
Espinoza collects discarded metal and aluminium scraps like beer cans and bicycle reflectors, then meticulously flattens them out and attaches them to the castle.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to tour the inside, but Cano’s Castle is tall enough to give you an excellent roadside view. If you hover for a few minutes, Espinoza himself may wander out and chat with you! He’s been known to strike up a conversation with curious guests.
Final Thoughts on the Stunning Castles of Colorado
Whether you’re touring the grounds or merely driving or strolling by, the castles in Colorado offer a unique activity for travellers. Shake things up a bit and visit some of the historical and outlandish castles in this list for an unforgettable experience.