Seeking a luxe royal experience but can’t get to Europe to see Medieval castles?
Believe it or not, Texas is a great state-side alternative.
The second largest state in the U.S. has a lot to offer to those curious about history, uncovering mystery, and enjoying a life of splendor like a true royal family member.
Keep reading to learn about Texas’s best castles, including palace-like private residences now open to the public, hunting lodges ready for your next party, and even a few castle-inspired surprises for your next majestic getaway or Texas road trip.
Saddle up your steed as you’ll be ready to go on a royal tour to palace inspired places across Texas.
Think you’ll never be royal?
Hey! Want to learn more about the great state of Texas? Check out our other guides:
- 15 Best Hotels in Texas for a Memorable Stay
- 31 Best Camping Spots in Texas
- 17+ Best Lakes in Texas
- 13+ Most Gorgeous Waterfalls in Texas
- 19 Unique Texas AirBnBs
- 21 Best Things to do in Texas
- 13 Best Botanical Gardens in Texas for Nature Lovers
- 21 Charming & Romantic Getaways in Texas for Couples
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1. Bishop’s Palace
Let’s start in south Texas an hour from Houston in Galveston (one of the best beach towns in Texas), where residential palaces line the streets of the East End Historic District.
Take a walk around this historic neighborhood which sits just a few blocks away from the Gulf of Mexico.
Start at Bishop’s Palace, or Gresham House after its original owner.
This Texas sized residence is a stunning famous landmark built in 1887.
The building is now owned and maintained by the Galveston Historical Foundation, representing one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in the country.
Purchase $15 tickets (under 5 are free) for a self-guided tour of the property.
Join the basement to attic tour on Saturday’s, for a VIP view of the gulf from Mrs. Gresham’s studio.
While the building is open daily 10:00 – 5:00, visitors should arrive no later than 4pm.
2. Trube Castle
Down the street stands another stately Victorian home called Trube Castle.
Offering a unique glimpse of life in the 1890’s, the estate is Danish-inspired, with 32 stained glass windows, 7,000 square feet and 21 rooms – with the best view of the gulf from the observation deck.
Formerly a bed and breakfast but now privately owned, the three-story structure can only be viewed from the outside.
Its original owner was a businessman from Denmark who married a Texas heiress.
This is certainly a home fit for a Danish king and Texas queen.
3. Landes-McDonough House
Last, don’t skip the Landes-McDonough House, just a short walk away.
You won’t miss this stunning castle-like building with its terra cotta brick exterior, ironwork, and Romanesque accents.
Originally constructed in 1888 by a Confederate veteran, it provided a safe house for 200+ people during a destructive hurricane in 1900.
The East End Historic District is full of other Golden Age buildings like these and is definitely worth a stroll to see some of Texas’s best castles.
4. Schlitterbahn Water Park & Resort
Moving a bit farther north, Schlitterbahn Water Park & Resort in New Braunfels is a summer destination for families with a castle shaped greeting and a fantastic day trip in TX!
Open year round for fun, Schlitterbahn is a must-do destination with river rides, pools, waterslides, and adventures for all ages.
The park is broken up into four sections featuring signature attractions, each with a swim-up bar, not-so lazy river, a children’s area and free trams to take you all over the park.
Reference the handy map which explains the unique Ride Rating system, helpful when planning your schedule with people of various thrillseeker levels.
Make the most of your time with a Blast Pass to blast past long lines with a virtual reservation to your favorite rides.
Use the extra time for shopping, enjoying themed food and drinks in your private ca-BAHN-a or planning your evening back at one of the seven onsite luxury accommodations.
5. Capt Charles Schreiner House
Next, travel to Kerrville for the palatial residence of Capt. Charles Schreiner, a true lone star hero, a descendant of French royalty, who served in the Texas Rangers, then as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War.
Later in life he was a wealthy businessman starting the general store, then expanding into other areas of business including banking, ranching and even opening the first wool and mohair warehouse in the state.
The mansion was built in 1879 with the elaborate wraparound porch added in 1895 to the already distinctive limestone facade, the first in Kerr County.
There are six bedrooms filling two stories, with lots of European elements like arches throughout the facade and pink granite columns imported from Italy.
Today, it is home to the Hill Country Museum, part of Schreiner’s University.
It can be rented out for private affairs, or buy a ticket to tour on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am – 2pm.
6. Greystone Castle
If you enjoy watching the traditional English countryside hunts on shows like Downton Abbey and Bridgerton then you’ll love Greystone Castle.
An hour north of Fort Worth, visitors experience a royal retreat in the middle of a sprawling Texas ranch.
It’s a true hunter’s paradise where guests are out for the day with golf carts instead of horses, following retrievers as they collect game, and return to the castle’s dining hall for post-hunt refreshments and cigars next to the oak paneled bar.
For those less experienced you can request a guide and practice safely at onsite practice ranges.
Not into sports?
Take your family, friends ,or colleagues to the site for special events like weddings, bachelor/ette parties, or family reunions.
The facility caters to all groups!
The grounds are most beautiful at dawn or dusk, peering out from the turrets overlooking beautiful grounds where you can see Texas wildlife, even the occasional water buffalo!
7. Spa Castle
Just 25 minutes north of Dallas is the Spa Castle, an all-inclusive alternate destination for those seeking a Las Vegas like experience in the lone star state.
Relax with traditional services like massages, body scrubs, facials, or try something new like an aquabody massage or chromotherapy sauna room that looks like a rainbow lit disco!
Book the wall to ceiling gold infrared sauna room to feel like a princess.
Soak outside in the Mystic Pool grotto, or feel rejuvenated with jets around the indoor and outdoor pools to maximize the Texas sunshine.
Think this is just a destination for your adult friends?
Spa Castle has kid friendly pools and the O2 Game Zone with video gaming stations and a theater.
Open all year with packages for special occasions like the holidays, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and more.
Insiders note the three-drink max rule but give the sushi a regal rating.
8. Elisabet Ney Museum
The Elisabet Ney Museum is another castle in Austin (one of the best places to visit in Texas!)
Purchased by the German sculptor Elisabet Ney in 1882, the castle shaped property suited her eclectic style.
Turning it into her art studio, Miss Ney produced sculptures of prominent Texans including Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston.
She was also a portrait artist known for capturing European royals such as King Ludwig II of Bavaria.
As an early supporter of the women’s movement in Texas, and a civil rights, education and arts advocate, her studio became a gathering place known for stimulating conversations in politics and the arts.
Since Ney’s passing in 1907, friends preserved the castle and now honor her legacy through a program of engaging public events and exhibitions.
Tour the museum Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm.
Check the calendar for special community events on weekends.
9. Shelby County Courthouse
The Shelby County Courthouse is one of the best castles in Texas.
Today you can tour it as a visitor center.
It was designed and built by an Irish architect, J.J.E. Gibson, inspired by castles he had seen in Ireland as a child.
Gibson used over 2 million bricks to construct the outside, including the 12 prominent red towers.
Inside there are unique features including ornate fireplaces in the bathrooms and an escape hatch right next to the judge’s bench.
Beware of the birds!
Apparently, the building has a history of attacks from winged intruders coming in through the windows, which the architect designed to be shuttered in summertime to keep the inside cooler than the scorching Texas heat.
Notice the outside clock which was non-functioning for several years.
It draws a bit of controversy as the original one-of-a-kind was removed by a judge without permission by the historical society, replaced by the current one with the interesting eagle (some argue buzzard) sculpture.
Don’t mess with Texas!
10. Whiting Castle
Now onto a haunted castle best viewed from a distance.
On Lake Worth stands the remnants of the Whiting Castle, abandoned and lying in ruin.
It has a storied past with locals speculating it was a casino with underground tunnels leading to the boat docks.
Then in the 1860’s a farmer was due to marry a woman found dead in Lake Worth on their wedding day, with her sister marrying in her place.
Last, in the 1930’s a fire and reported suicide of a young man made the castle an even curiouser place.
In happier days, General Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Stewart lived onsite while filming Strategic Air Command at a nearby airfield.
As it is now privately owned, you can only view the beautiful remains of the castle from across the lake with its 6,500 square feet and stone farmhouse add-on.
Go on a hike to see this one from a distance.
11. Magic Fun House Castle
Ending with a fun one, the Magic Fun House Castle!
Plan your visit during Halloween, when the spooktacular activities are at their most enchanting.
Located in Rowlett, the cartoon-esque structure has several buildings and towers with magical displays and artifacts found inside.
One visitor described it as a scaled down version of an enchanting theme park, which sounds like one of the most fun castles in Texas!
Enjoy daily tours, a spooky art gallery, magical musical theater, and a magic store.
Meet the castle’s most famous host, Wizard Wayne.
He’s quite the character – or is he many characters?
It’s a great place for birthday parties and for anyone who appreciates a good magic trick.
Open every day except Monday, there are after hours events for older crowds.
What a way to end your tour of the best castles in Texas!
12. Newman’s Castle
Seated proudly on the outskirts of Bellville, TX, you’ll find Newman’s Castle.
Mike Newman, the owner of this grand medieval-themed castle, has opened his unique home for tours 6 days a week.
This fun tour is perfect for families with young children!
You’ll walk across an impressive 3,000 pound drawbridge to get past the perimeter wall and into this grand castle.
Included in your ticket is a sandwich lunch, and some fresh baked goods from Newman’s Bakery!
Remember to call ahead to schedule your tour.
Please note that some parts of this tour may not be accessible for guests with limited mobility.
13. Falkenstein Castle
Falkenstein Castle is easily one of the most beautiful, grandiose castles in Texas.
At 14,000 square feet, the word “impressive” only begins to describe this Bavarian-inspired castle in Burnet, TX.
Many couples have enjoyed a fairytale wedding at the castle, which was designed with inspiration from Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany – the same castle that inspired the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland!
Currently, Falkenstein Castle is closed for public tours and drive-up traffic.
But if you’ve got a few thousand bucks to spare, you can rent the castle for a one-of-a-kind experience on Airbnb!
Falkenstein Castle requires a minimum of two nights to book on Airbnb, at $2,550 per night.
14. Cottonland Castle
Cottonland Castle in Waco, TX was recently purchased and renovated by Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV fame.
First constructed in 1913, the castle was in a frightful state when the Gaines family took it on as a renovation project.
Now, it’s been resurrected to a new, beautiful life, and set to be shown on HGTV in the second season of Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.
Tours of the castle are currently available at $50 per ticket – but hurry! The tours will only run through the end of October 2022!
15. The Castle at Rockwall
The Castle at Rockwall is a beautiful event venue, specializing in weddings, quinceañeras, corporate parties, and more!
Located just 30 miles northeast of Dallas, this stunning castle sits on 10 acres of land.
The two large towers on either side of the castle create a stunning symmetry, and the green grounds of the estate make for a picturesque backdrop at any event.
While the Castle at Rockwall doesn’t have public tours throughout the year, you can follow their Facebook page to be the first to know when they’re hosting a Free Open Tour!
16. Medieval Times Dallas
Don’t just admire the castle – step back in time with a night to remember from the Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament!
Located in Dallas, Medieval Times offers a truly unique dinner experience, where you’ll watch a medieval jousting tournament as you enjoy a four-course feast!
The food is served without utensils, just like in times of old. (Silverware is available upon request, if needed.)
Tickets start at $68.95 for adults and $38.95 for children 12 and under, and include your meal.
Kids will especially enjoy the Knighting Ceremony, available for an additional $25 per ticket, which includes a keepsake scroll and a special announcement during the show!
17. Pignataro Castle
Santa Fe, TX is home to the hauntingly elegant Pignataro Castle, situated right off of Highway 6.
While the castle is private property and not currently available for tours, it’s worth a drive up to the gate just to get a peek at this beautiful home.
The stone fence is adorned with greenery, with two rearing horse statues in front of the gate.
Peering through, you’ll see more statues closer to the castle, shrouded amongst trees that give the estate a beautifully haunting aesthetic.
Remember to be respectful of the property’s owners and not get too close to the gate!
18. Lambermont Events
Downtown San Antonio already has a lot to offer, from its gorgeous River Walk, to the Historic Market Square, to the stunning San Fernando Cathedral.
Lambermont Events and the castle that houses this beautiful venue is just icing on the cake!
Many memorable weddings, fundraisers, birthdays, and other events have taken place at the Lambermont Events castle, which is just north of downtown.
It was built in 1894 and stylized after castles that the owner, Edwin Terrell, had seen during his travels in Belgium and France.
While it is not open to the public, you can easily see the exterior of the castle from the residential street it sits on the corner of.
Or, check their Facebook page to find out when they host occasional public events!
19. The Old Jail at the Brown County Museum of History
If it weren’t for the bars on the windows, you’d find it hard to believe that the castle-like structure in Brownwood, TX used to be a jail!
Built in 1903, the four-story building is now part of the Brown County Museum of History.
You’ll enjoy a look into the history of the local area at the museum’s main building, and then travel across the street and back in time for an up-close look at prison life back in the early 20th century!
20. Pythian Home
Originally built in the early 1900s as a home for widows and orphans, the Pythian Home in Weatherford, TX continues its legacy to this day as a residential child care facility.
With approximately 164 acres to its name, the castle and grounds at the Pythian Home add a little magic to the lives of every child they serve.
But despite its primary function as a home for children, the castle’s auditorium is available to be rented for events like weddings, birthdays, and more.
Plus, they put on a FREE annual “Christmas at the Castle” event in December!
21. Parsons Castle
It doesn’t get much more idyllic than this!
Parsons Castle is an event venue seated right on Lake Whitney in Clifton, TX.
Though it only recently opened in 2018, this beautiful castle looks like it was magically transported right out of a classic fairytale.
With a moat and drawbridge, gorgeous balconies, and a 3,000 square foot ballroom, Parsons Castle has everything a castle needs – and the breathtaking backdrop of Lake Whitney only adds to its charm.
It isn’t open for public tours, but it’ll make the perfect setting for your wedding, birthday party, graduation, reunion, or photo shoot!
22. Moody Mansion
Step into history during a fascinating tour of Moody Mansion in Galveston, TX.
This historic house museum, built in 1895, has been restored to all its wonder and has attracted many visitors over the years.
Open 7 days a week, you’ll be wowed by the splendor of this castle-like home, which features ornate molding, wallpaper, rugs, furniture, and a vivid stained glass window by the staircase.
Take a self-guided tour for $15, or enjoy a guided, all-access tour on Friday or Saturday for $35.
Children 5 and under get in for free!
Looking for more Galveston fun?
Check out our full Galveston guide here!
23. Pemberton Castle
If you wander the residential streets of Pemberton Heights in Austin, TX, you just might come across a stunning sight!
Located on 1415 Wooldridge Drive, the Pemberton Castle, or Fisher-Gideon House as it is otherwise known, was built in 1926.
This limestone castle was once home to Samuel Gideon, Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, back in the 1930s.
If the vine-covered exterior makes you think the place looks haunted… it might well be!
It’s said that, many years ago, a newlywed couple stayed in the castle on their wedding night.
The story goes that the groom murdered the bride, who allegedly roams the castle early in the morning.
Unfortunately, this historical home is not available for tours, but you can (respectfully) walk past it on the street.
24. Nottingham Castle at the Sherwood Forest Faire
At the Sherwood Forest Faire, you don’t just get to see a big castle at the top of the hill – you get to fully immerse yourself in some medieval fun!
Just 35 miles east of Austin, in McDade, TX, this exciting festival hosts a ton of themed performances, plus games, artisan crafts, food, drinks, and more!
And, of course, there’s the castle!
Nottingham Castle, as it’s called, provides air conditioned relief from the summer heat – and it has rooms available to rent for the night!
No Faire? No problem!
Nottingham Castle is available for rent even in the off season!
25. Texas Capitol
While not technically a castle, the Renaissance-style architecture at the Texas Capitol in Austin is definitely worth a visit.
Constructed in 1888, this massive granite and marble building sits proudly atop a green hill.
You’ll be in awe of the size of it – it truly is Texas Big!
Take a free professionally-guided or self-guided tour of the Capitol, and don’t forget to stop and get a view of the ornate details of the building’s dome from the inside.
Or, stay outside and enjoy a scenic picnic in the park with the beautiful building in the background.