One of the most iconic historic houses in the United States, Mount Vernon was the home of America's first president, George Washington. Located in Virginia, this beautiful estate offers visitors a glimpse into the life and times of the founding father. From the meticulously landscaped gardens to the stunning views of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon is a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Designed and built by Thomas Jefferson, Monticello showcases the brilliance and ingenuity of America's third president. Situated in Charlottesville, Virginia, this neoclassical masterpiece is filled with Jefferson's personal artifacts and offers guided tours that delve into the rich history of the house and its owner.
Perched high atop a hill in San Simeon, California, Hearst Castle is an architectural marvel and a true testament to the opulence of the Gilded Age. Built by media magnate William Randolph Hearst, this lavish house boasts 165 rooms, exquisite gardens, and an impressive art collection. A visit to Hearst Castle is like stepping back in time to an era of grandeur and extravagance.
A living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia allows visitors to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and experiences of the 18th century. With over 300 restored and reconstructed buildings, including historic houses, taverns, and shops, this vibrant destination offers a unique glimpse into America's colonial past.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, the Biltmore Estate is a magnificent French Renaissance château that once belonged to the Vanderbilt family. With its grand architecture, sprawling gardens, and extensive collection of art and antiques, the Biltmore Estate is a true marvel. Visitors can explore the house, stroll through the gardens, and even taste exquisite wines produced on the estate's vineyard.
Mt. Rushmore National Memorial
Though not a traditional "house," Mt. Rushmore is an iconic American landmark that deserves a spot on this list. Carved into the granite face of the Black Hills in South Dakota, this larger-than-life sculpture features the faces of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. A visit to Mt. Rushmore offers a unique blend of history, artistry, and natural beauty.
Formerly the home of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, Montpelier is nestled in the rolling hills of Orange, Virginia. This historic house has been meticulously restored to its original 19th-century splendor and offers guided tours that explore the life and legacy of Madison. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful gardens and scenic walking trails that surround the property.
Old Salem Museums & Gardens
A living history museum in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Old Salem takes visitors on a journey to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. With its stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, and meticulously restored Moravian buildings, this immersive experience allows visitors to learn about the daily lives of the early settlers. From historic houses to skilled craftsmen, Old Salem is a hidden gem for history buffs.
As one of Newport, Rhode Island's many Gilded Age mansions, The Breakers stands out for its sheer grandeur and opulence. Built by the Vanderbilt family, this Italian Renaissance-style villa overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and features breathtaking interior design and sprawling gardens. A tour through The Breakers offers a fascinating glimpse into the extravagant lifestyles of America's elite during the late 19th century.
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the Alamo is a historic Spanish mission-turned-fortress that played a significant role in the Texas Revolution. Although not a traditional house, the Alamo is a symbol of courage and determination in the face of adversity. Visitors can explore the chapel, view artifacts from the battle, and learn about the brave men who fought for Texas' independence.
Meadow Brook Hall
Situated in Rochester, Michigan, Meadow Brook Hall is the fourth-largest historic house museum in the United States. Built by Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile pioneer John Dodge, this Tudor Revival-style mansion boasts an impressive 110 rooms and 88,000 square feet of living space. With its stunning architecture and meticulously preserved interiors, Meadow Brook Hall is a true architectural gem.
Winchester Mystery House
Located in San Jose, California, the Winchester Mystery House is a peculiar and fascinating historic house that defies explanation. Built by Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester, this labyrinthine mansion features mysterious hallways, secret passages, and staircases that lead to nowhere. A visit to the Winchester Mystery House is an eerie and enchanting experience.