Mansions, Castles and Estates, Oh My!

From West to East, and North to South, we’ve discovered some of the most opulent mansions in the US and Canada that you can tour as part of your vacation.

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills CA
A colossal home built in 1927 for the then-astronomical sum of over three million dollars, the Greystone Mansion belonged to Ned Doheny, son of the most successful oil producer of the time. The Doheny family occupied the fifty-five-room Mansion for some years until the mysterious murder of Ned, a crime unsolved to this day, left the Mansion empty. Passed from owner to owner for several decades, the Greystone Mansion was finally purchased by the City of Beverly Hills for use as a public park.

The home itself is only open to the public for musical and theatrical performances, though visitors do have access to the formal gardens, pool, and inner courtyard, and the eighteen acres of romantic park lands are always open for strolling and picnicking. The Mansion offers High Teas on the terrace, which include live classical music and a rare tour of the Mansion’s first floor. In summer, visitors can enjoy performances of the Beverly Hills Symphony in the courtyard.

EwingEwing Mansion, Dallas TX
The Southfork Ranch was where the Ewings lived and where hundreds of thousands of viewers visited each week to stay current with the exciting lives of these characters. The ranch’s wonderful facilities are now open to tours and special events and offer over 63,000 square feet of indoor event space, ten ballrooms, and acres of sprawling Texas ranch land for special events, guided tours and private parties. In addition to the Dallas history, Southfork Ranch has beautiful surroundings, wonderful attractions, and plenty to do for all.

For Dallas fans, visiting the ranch and the famous Ewing mansion is a thrill. And the ‘Dallas Legends’ exhibit gives you the chance to experience first-hand some of the memorable moments from the show, with memorabilia like Lucy’s wedding dress, the gun that shot J.R. and video clips of interviews with the stars. Take a relaxed guided tour (offered daily), and see J.R.’s bedroom, Jock’s Lincoln Continental, Miss Ellie’s Deli, or shop in the two themed stores to purchase a variety of collectibles.

So whether you are a Dallas fan looking to re-live some great TV moments, or an event coordinator looking for that perfect location, Southfork is the place to be! You won’t want to miss this absolutely beautiful spot on your trip to the area.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville NCBiltmore
Biltmore Estate is known as ‘America’s Largest Home’ and was built in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, this estate features a 175,000 square foot mansion, gardens, restaurants, shops, and more. Total acreage of the property totaled 125,000 acres originally.

One of the highlights of Biltmore is the many gardens on site, which were designed by landscaper Frederick Law Olmstead. Different gardens include the Esplanade, Italian Garden, Walled Garden, Conservatory, and the Azalea Garden. Each season dictates what is seen in each garden.

Also located on the Biltmore Estate is the Biltmore Winery. Guests can tour the winery and sample some of the wines and shop in the wine shop. Guests can also have a refreshing snack and drink at the Wine Bar.

Biltmore offers several on-site dining options. The Stable Cafe, Courtyard Market, Bake Shop, Ice Cream Parlor, the Bistro, and the Arbor Grill are all locations where guests can get snacks, lunch, or dinner. Shopping options available on Biltmore include a Christmas store, a book shop, confectionery, and a toy shop.

Casa LomaCasa Loma, Toronto ON
When you visit Casa Loma, Canada’s Majestic Castle,  you return to a period of time where elegance and splendor could be viewed in every aspect of a residence.
This medieval castle, originally owned by Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, is perched atop a hill overlooking scenic Toronto. The interior facade showcases a combination of workmanship and exquisite décor. The walls and floors are made from such fine woods as oak, mahogany, and walnut as well as the finest Italian marble. The timeless period furnishings include original pieces of Pellatt furniture. The outdoor gardens are a riveting collection of colorful annuals, perennials, and flowering shrubs set in artistic display.
There are other intriguing elements to the castle, like the 800-foot long tunnel some 18 feet underground that connects the castle to stables, bookshelves that turn to reveal secret passageways, and many rooms and interior areas that were never completed due to Sir Henry’s financial decline. Casa Loma is certainly a magnificent attempt of one man to pay homage to the castles and knights of days gone by.

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