An All-American … Castle?

New York, travelThe U.S. isn’t known for our historical castles — maybe because we don’t have any. Perhaps the closest we’ve got to offer is Oheka Castle on Long Island, NY, which was built as a private residence in the early 1900s. I spent a few days there at a company meeting and thought it was so beautiful that I snapped a few photos while I was supposed to be focusing on my upcoming presentation. Since we all know I have an enormous public speaking phobia, it wasn’t a rough decision to play hooky — at least for a few minutes!

Oheka Castle (Oheka is pronounced oh-hee-ka) is now used for weddings and special events, but when it was built, it was the second-largest private residence in the country. The sprawling estate can now be seen on the show Royal Pains, which I spotted recently while flipping channels! I couldn’t think of a better setting for the fictional home of the show’s mysterious and eccentric “Boris.”

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The view from my bedroom window. I felt like I was in a real castle!

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My cozy, old-fashioned room.

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My bathtub, which I soaked in after an especially long day with coworkers.

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Taking a stroll in the gardens, where numerous weddings have surely taken place. It was gorgeous there on the second day, after the sun came out.

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After a few days on the Oheka Castle grounds, we were escorted out in style — in a party limo. I figured my coworkers would murder me if I posted photos of them, but that this shot of everyone’s reflection in the ceiling mirror would be ok!

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Oheka Castle does many weddings, and after a weekend there, I can see why! The grounds are gorgeous, and there is plenty of space for all of your guests to stay. To book, click here: Oheka

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. Great pictures! I would also add that Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is probably the next closest thing to a “castle” that we Americans can stake a claim to.

  2. Ohhh good one! I bet there are so many in the south. All the materials on Oheka tout it being “second largest” — I wonder which is the biggest out there?

  3. Looks gorgeous and yes totally looks like the Biltmore! Love that tub.

  4. I need to go there! Whenever I’m in NC, I head straight to the beach.

  5. Fun Abby! Looks like a great place!

    Wikipedia says the Biltmore is the biggest privately owned estate in America. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biltmore_Estate

  6. No way! I love it. My first three commenters solved that mystery pretty quickly!!

  7. That first picture reminds me of Peles Castle just outside of Brasov, Romania. How beautiful!! And, Abby, hilarious the justification for posting a reflection. Love it. And the tub. Mmmm. At least you got some pretty during work.

  8. Not that any of them read my blog haha. I love that picture! And a whole lot less boring than the pictures of all of us working…

  9. Lucky you getting to stay in a place like that! Didn’t know about Oheka Castle. It reminds me of Filoli House and Gardens in Woodside, California. You can’t stay overnight at Filoli, but it’s a beautiful place to visit.

  10. California estates are so pretty — I can only imagine the grounds at Filoli!

  11. Nice castle. I think American “castles” look more inviting than some of the old European ones – although the European castles were fortresses, not just homes. The two American structures that come to my mind are the Dupont’s Winterthur in Delaware and the Hearst Castle in California (this one actually looks like a castle). The Dupont place looks more like a large English country house.

  12. Never thought about castles in America, maybe because there were not royal dynasties like in Europe and usually castles are linked to them. A little out of context would have been building Versailles, but for sure there is the space for such residences!

  13. The only real castle I can think of in the U.S. is the one from my home state of Hawaii – Iolani Palace – where actual royalty once lived. Other than royalty, I’m not sure what would define a castle otherwise. Certainly the U.S. have many big, beautiful homes – and maybe those are our casltes in this country.

  14. That bed looks so comfy and inviting – what a beautiful house! You live the hard life, don’t you? 😉

  15. Don — how did I forget Hearts Castle?! A media junkie like me…

    Angela — that was my question exactly. Could a rich person in the US really build a big estate and call it a “castle”?

    Sherry — you always have all the answers! I love that we do have one where royalty lived. And you’re right. Maybe the rest of these are “our” castles!

  16. That bedroom gives me the creeps for some reason. Probably because is looks kinda like a spooky doll house. The castle though is admittedly cool… 🙂

  17. Haha then I won’t tell you that the light outside my room was out, and it did feel spooky!!

  18. It really does look like a castle and sure beats staying at a 3 star hotel!

  19. It’s sad that the U.S. doesn’t have more real castles! We need more cool buildings and crazy old history. I always thought monuments and places I’d seen in NYC and Philadelphia were super old…until I went to Europe. Then my definition of old got redefined 🙂

    This castle looks pretty cool though! It’s a start, hahaha!

  20. I hope you weren’t there too recently. A building built in the early 1900’s doesn’t seem like an ideal place to weather a hurricane. The party limo, on the other hand…

  21. I definitely beat the hurricane!

  22. I didn’t know we had any castles in the US. Not too bad for a work meeting.

  23. Interesting. Rather than a castle, it looks more like a palace in one of the small European countries, I think… like Luxembourg. Hearst castle is the only one I’ve visited (and heard about) in the USA.

  24. Looks great – and it seems the yes, it’s a castle 🙂

  25. Just the thought of a castle in US is a funny thing…

  26. Cool! I’ve heard of weddings being held there but none that I was invited to.

    Maybe Hearst Castle is the biggest?

    I think you’d enjoy touring Newport’s mansions, as I did… They’re not called castles, though they’d rival any so-called castle 🙂

  27. I loved your post on Newport — I totally want to go!!

  28. Ooh that tub looks AMAZING!

  29. It was!!

  30. I missed this post when you first published it, but I am glad I found it now! I have never heard of this place, which surprised me because I lived in CT as a child and visited the big estates in RI, etc. Oheka looks like a real castle! What a fun place to stay.

  31. I agree!Oheka Castle is one of the most beautiful place here in Long Island. I know!’coz I been there. ^_^

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