Beautiful Famous Historic Homes in North Carolina
The Tar Heel State of North Carolina is home to a number of beautiful famous historic homes including one of the most luxurious and spacious homes ever built in the United States that is a magnificent structure and extremely popular tourist attraction. Also included here is a stunning plantation home that is an excellent example of antebellum architecture, a palace that served as North Carolina's first capitol and even a castle.
Biltmore Estate in Asheville
The Biltmore Estate is located along US 25 just north of exit 50 or 50B off Interstate 40 in Asheville, North Carolina. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt in 1895 Biltmore is one of the grandest structures in the United States and the world. Containing 175,000 square feet spread out over 250 rooms Biltmore House was first opened to the public in 1930 and though it is still privately owned by Vanderbilt descendants it is a huge tourist attraction that gets over 1 million visitors per year. The Biltmore Estate has its own winery, 75 acres of formal gardens, a conservatory and is especially popular with visitors in the spring for its Festival of Flowers and at Christmas time for its Christmas at Biltmore celebrations. For more info call 800-543-2961.
Flat Top Manor in Blowing Rock
Flat Top Manor is located right along the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile-post 294 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Built by textile manufacturer Moses H. Cone and his wife Bertha in 1901 Flat Top Manor contains over 13,000 square feet and was built to emulate the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. The home is named for nearby Flat Top Mountain which was also owned by the Cone's. Flat Top Manor is run by the National Park Service and is free of charge and receives some 250,000 visitors every year. For more info call 800-295-7851.
Orton Plantation in Brunswick County
Image Source (Orton Plantation)
The Orton Plantation is located at 9149 Orton Road SE right along the Cape Fear River in Winnabow about 15 miles south of Wilmington in the extreme southeastern corner of North Carolina. The Orton Plantation dates back to 1735 and is an excellent example of antebellum architecture. The home has a rich history as it once attacked by Indians, served as military hospital and was once home to a colonial governor. Today the Orton Plantation house is still privately owned and not open to the public but the beautiful Orton Plantation Gardens and Luolas Chapel are open to the public and just the view of the outside of the Orton Plantation House is worth the trip. For more info call 910-371-6851.
Image Source (Luolas Chapel at Orton Plantation is open to public)
Tryon Palace and Gardens in New Bern
Tryon Palace and Gardens is located at the corner of George and Pollock Streets at 610 Pollock Street in New Bern in northeastern North Carolina. Tryon Palace was built in 1770 by British Governor William Tryon and the lavish home served as North Carolina's first capitol after the British fled the palace during the American Revolution. The original palace burned to the ground in 1798 but has been rebuilt today on the same site using the original architect drawings. Tryon Palace and its 14 acres of landscaped gardens are big tourist attractions today and tours are hosted by period costumed guides. For more info call 800-767-1560.
Image Source (Sculptures in Tryon Palace Gardens)
Gimghoul Castle in Chapel Hill
Gimghoul Castle is located at 705 Gimghoul Road which is just off Country Club Road on the University of North Carolina college campus in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Gimghoul Castle also known as Hippol Castle is home to the Order of Gimghoul which is a collegiate secret society based at the University of North Carolina. Gimghoul or Hippol Castle was built in 1924 at a reported cost of $50,000 and is owned today by the non-profit Order of Gimghoul. The inside of the castle is not open to the public but anybody who wants to visit the outside of the place can just go onto the University of North Carolina campus and see it.