When it comes to castles, you don’t get much more historic than that, and being a regular visitor to Houston city, of course, I already know everything there is to know about each and every one of them.
This is good news for you, as it means I can pass on my expertise and give you a little glimpse of what each one has to offer so that you can select your perfect day trip to one of Houston’s most historic castles.
One of my favorite things to do with my family, and even by myself, is to visit the most historical sites wherever I am in the world. In fact, whenever I am traveling somewhere new, the first things that go onto my itinerary are places such as castles, museums, caves, or old buildings.
I think it’s so refreshing to take a step back in time, away from the mod-cons, and newly built-up cities, to look at the history behind the towns and the people that used to live there.
Most Historic Castles in Houston
You might not think of Houston as the first place to experience historical landmarks such as castles, but you’d be surprised to learn there are probably more than you think.
Now, don’t get me wrong, some of these locations might be more like historic mansions than dramatic stone buildings with turrets and moats. However, one or two of them are the picture-perfect castle you’re picturing, and even the ones that aren’t as just as fascinating, which you’ll find out very soon.
During this guide, I will tell you about my personal experiences at each place and the history surrounding the castles in and around Houston. I will tell you how far away from the city they are and what they have to offer in terms of tours, events, and even dining.
So, let’s investigate these magnificent and iconic castles in and around Houston.
1. Chateau Bellevue
|Location||708 San Antonio Street, Austin, TX 78701|
|Distance From Houston City||163 miles|
Chateau Bellevue was built in 1874 by Harvey and Catherine North. Harvey got this idea for this beautiful castle while taking his family traveling around Europe. This can be seen in the castle’s decor and architecture, which has French-inspired courtyards and impressive Romanesque arches.
Just two years after the castle was erected, it began to falter, forcing the couple to put it up for sale, and after five years on the market, it was bought by William Pendleton for just half of the price it cost to build.
In 1892, it was sold again and transformed into the castle that stands today, with its stained glass windows, ornate fireplaces, grand rooms, and limestone archways.
Although this is not necessarily a castle you would find where soldiers used to take a pitch in the turrets, the history behind it is equally as fascinating. Of course, I won’t give away anything more in that sense.
They often hold social events and pride themselves on educating the public about the history of their beautiful building.
This is also a popular destination for wedding parties, and other special ceremonies, with a spectacular ballroom, in-house catering, and utterly charming surroundings. Weddings here cost between $5000 and $9000 for 75 people, which includes your entire reception package.
Find More Amazing Wedding Venues: Unique Wedding Venues in and Near Houston
2. Bishops’ Palace
|Location||1402 Broadway Ave J, Galveston, TX 77550|
|Distance From Houston City||51 miles|
This unique, Victorian palace in Galveston was erected in 1892 and remains today as one of the most historical landmarks in Texas. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places with a national architectural significance.
If you ask anyone interested in this area, they will tell you that it’s one of America’s most remarkable Victorian buildings.
Moreover, if you want to experience the history of this spectacular building for yourself, then tours are available once a month throughout the year and will take you from the basement to the attic of the building.
This is a self-guided tour, and there is plenty of information dotted around the castle that tells you everything about the history of Bishop’s Palace, as well as an automated tour guide.
This spectacular building is usually off-limits to the general public, so the tour feels like a real privilege. During the tour, you will find out how and why the castle was built and the Colonel whom it was made for. Some sights you can expect to see are the magnificent Romanesque artworks and Sienna marble columns.
The tickets will cost you $35.00 per person, and I would advise getting them booked a while in advance to avoid missing out because this is a one-time-a-month tour; they often sell out quite quickly. Occasionally, they have other tours available, such as a moonlit walk through the building.
There is also a quaint souvenir shop in the basement where you can pick up some great gifts and mementos from your day.
Suppose you decide to visit Bishop’s Palace. In that case, I highly recommend afterward taking a drive or a stroll through the rest of the historic neighborhood, where you can see more of Galveston’s heritage and old buildings and grab something to eat and one of the nearby restaurants.
Check Out More Evening Activities: 12 Awesome Places to go in Houston at Night.
3. Newman’s Castle
|Location||504 E Main Street, Belniew, TX 77418|
|Distance From Houston City||68 miles|
In the intro, I mentioned that you might find a castle in this guide that is the epitome of what springs to mind when you hear the word castle: turrets, a moat, a keep, and a drawbridge. Well, you’ll be glad to know and probably surprised that there is one to find in Texas, and that’s this one.
This grand, medieval castle sits in a rural little town in the Lone Star state. However, it’s not a piece of Texas heritage, at least not yet. In fact, it was built in 2006 by a baker who had a dream. A dream that became a reality when he built himself this magnificent structure.
The fabulous home has a working drawbridge, towers, and a gator-filled moar, and the best bit, he invites visitors to take a look around and show off his achievements, as you would!
During your visit, you get the chance to explore the entire castle, starting with the bakery, before being led to the grand home, where you’ll be encouraged to get hands-on with the props and artifacts.
This is a family-friendly experience; kids can get involved with swordplay and even get knighted.
To top it off, the part that was the cherry on top for me was that you get food as part of the tour. Lunch, cakes, and cookies, what more can you want from a castle tour, really?
One thing to be aware of is that owner (who will be dressed as a king, by the way) owns two extremely large Irish Wolfhounds, who are free to roam and approach visitors, so if you have a fear of dogs, or don’t want your pastries pinched, bear this in mind before your visit, lucky for me. I am a big dog lover, so if anything, this was a plus to my experience.
The good news is that this great day out for the whole family will only set you back $20.00.
Bonus Read: 8 Best French Bakeries in Houston, TX
4. Trube Castle
|Location||1627 Sealy Avenue, Galveston, TX 77550|
|Distance From Houston City||51 miles|
Also known as Trube House, this 1890s structure often gets forgotten when looking for castles around Houston. Mainly because they aren’t very up-to-date on social media or even a website. However, this is understandable because it remains a private residence, meaning you can’t book a tour or even take a sneak peek inside.
However, being the nerd I am, I have done a lot of research into Trube Castle. When I was told I couldn’t go and see something for myself, it piqued my interest to find out even more, plus I also wanted to share some of what I learned with others.
The castle was initially designed in 1890 by Alfred Muller. It was built for a man named John Clement. It was built in an improved gothic castle style and boasts over thirty rooms.
It boasts many features you would expect to find in this style of a castle, such as stained glass windows, columns, and balconies, and the thing I love the most is the sidewalk outside is made from black and white marble. Yes, actual marble. I guess this guy wanted to make a statement.
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5. Falkenstein Castle
|Location||7400 Park Rd. 4 S. Burnet, Texas, 78611|
|Distance From Houston City||228 miles|
This castle is not open for public tours and is around a three-and-a-half-mile drive out of Houston. However, this place is worth the drive, mainly because you can stay there overnight. Whether you’re hosting an event, such as a wedding, or want to book a few nights away in a unique and amazing setting, the castle grounds can be all yours. Amazing right?
The castle was built by a couple with a love and passion for castles. One in particular that they fell head over heels for was The Neuschwanstein Castle in North Germany. This was the castle that inspired Walt Disney to build Disney Land and the famous castle that stands in the parks today, and when you check out images of Neuschwanstein, you’ll see precisely why.
Although you might not be able to wander around here for a family day out, if you’re feeling extravagant, I highly suggest checking this castle out on Airbnb.
Of course, it doesn’t come cheap; it will cost you just shy of $1500 per night, with a minimum two-night stay. But it’s worth the money when you think that it will get you two nights in one of the most remarkable buildings in Texas and have you feeling like a King or Queen for a couple of nights.
During your stay, you will also be able to take advantage of a ping pong table, a heated jacuzzi tub (in the master bedroom), an Xbox with a choice of games, a basketball area, a dart board, and a pool table. The building also features views from the balconies, which look over three counties and two lakes. It has to be one of the best views you can ever get of Texas.
Outside, within the grounds, experience a 40,000-gallon fish pond with its own waterfall where you can hand-feed the fish. There is also a bubbling stream where you can perform a treasure hunt for crystals and other hidden gems.
This is also an excellent site for spotting wildlife. If you hang around long enough, you might be privileged to get a glimpse of creatures such as hawks, ringtail cats, and painted bunting.
Overall, if you’re looking for the experience of a lifetime, this castle in Texas needs to be added to your bucket list.
See Also: 7 Must-Visit Exhibits to Experience Some of The Finest Works of Art in Houston, TX
6. Old Red Museum Castle
|Location||100 South Houston Street, Dallas, TX 75202|
|Distance From Houston City||240 miles|
Another castle building located some drive out of Houston (around three hours) is the Old Red Museum. This building was originally the Dallas County Courthouse and is now set to return to its original use, overseeing court hearings and proceedings.
The old displays from the museum are going to be relocated to different points around the West End, meaning you’ll still be able to find out all about the heritage of the court, such as criminal records and the history of the building.
In the meantime, the big red castle is a great destination to head to if you’re in the area just to admire the castle-style building itself, with over 100 stained glass windows and unique architecture. It truly is a work of art.
While you may not be able to explore the entirety of the museum anymore, there is plenty more to do and see in the area, such as the Museum of Illusions and the Reunion Tower. You could also visit one of the many nearby restaurants, like Ziziki’s and the Sixth Floor Museum Cafe. You might as well make the most of your trip to Dallas, especially after a long drive from Houston.
Find Out More: A Complete Guide to The 5 Best Museums in Houston, TX
Although Texas doesn’t have the same to offer in terms of castles as other countries like Germany, Spain, and Scotland, it doesn’t mean there is nothing. Castles in Texas are basically anything that is structured like a traditional castle. This means there is actually plenty to choose from. I hope reading this guide has opened your mind to fascinating days out in and around Houston. If you want to find out more about what to do in the area, then you should check out 8 Amazing Lakes in & Near Houston for Swimming & Cabin Rental and Top 5 Places For Thrilling Skydiving Near Me in Houston, TX.