Washington State delivers cultural, historic, and outdoor recreational opportunities for locals and those visiting from other areas who wish to explore this vibrant region.
Besides the noteworthy landmarks and beauty spots, Washington State offers a chance to enjoy a fairy tale vacation in one of the state’s authentic castles.
Whether you’re looking for a castle for a uniquely special event, or you’re a fan of history, an architecture buff, or enjoy the spectacle and scale of a contemporary palace, come and explore the glories that these castles, halls, villas, and palaces have to offer, from the majestic to the amusing, from the intimate to the grand in scale.
- Here Are 11 Castles Worth Exploring in Washington State
- Alexander’s Castle, Port Townsend
- Manresa Castle, Port Townsend
- Sequim Lavender Castle, Sequiem
- Anacortes Castle, Anacortes
- Congdon Castle, Yakima
- Stadium High School, Tacoma
- Hoquiam’s Castle, Hoquiam
- The White Salmon River Castle, Husum
- Thornewood Castle, Lakewood
- Vercler Castle, Spokane
- Wardner’s Castle, Bellingham
- Frequently Asked Questions
Here Are 11 Castles Worth Exploring in Washington State
Alexander’s Castle, Port Townsend
Commanding a view of the Admiralty Bay, Battery Putnam, and Admiralty Inlet, Alexander’s Castle is a stirring site for romantics and fans of maritime history.
The castle is part of the Fort Worden State Park.
Constructed under the directives of the Reverend John Alexander, it was completed in 1882 and intended as a home for his fiance.
However, like the best-laid plans, so to speak, his betrothed took another lover, so Alexander lived in the castle alone before the federal government acquired the extraordinary castle in 1897, incorporating it as part of the Fort Worden compound.
The castle has been utilized as housing during military operations, an observation post, and a tailor shop.
Guests can enjoy overnight stays in Alexander’s Castle.
Manresa Castle, Port Townsend
Manresa Castle, also called the Eisenbeis Castle, was, at the time of its construction in 1892, the grandest private dwelling in town and home to Mayor Charles Eisenbeis.
Finely situated, the castle possesses views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and the palace’s aesthetic shows the influence of the Prussian architectural style.
Once Port Townsend’s largest private residence, it boasts more than 30 rooms.
Purchased by a Seattle attorney in 1925, it acquired new life as a vacation home for nuns, then as a training college for Jesuit priests.
The priests added additional sleeping quarters, a chapel, and an elevator and renamed the castle, Manresa Hall.
1968 marked its current status as Manresa Castle Hotel.
Want a taste of castle life? Manresa Castle Hotel’s dining and drinking establishments are open to the public.
Sequim Lavender Castle, Sequiem
When you paint the walls of a castle, it tends to create a statement piece.
When you venture onto North Blake Avenue in Sequim, near Carrie Blake Park and Sequim Botanical Gardens, you’ll come upon the Sequim Lavender Castle, complete with the lavender-hued exterior walls that earned the name.
The palace has been remodeled into vacation apartments, and guests can live the dream of a castle stay.
There’s also a castle-themed gatehouse.
Anacortes Castle, Anacortes
Possessing a wonderfully whimsical and noteworthy architectural landmark, the Anacortes Castle, in Anacortes, a small city on Fidalgo Island in Washington state, enjoys a different claim to fame.
What is wonderfully unique is it houses a pocket-sized castle, the size of a modest suburban dwelling, located on a simple residential street with typical detached homes.
This castle is intimate, adorable, and of a size with its neighbors.
It really is like any other of the neighboring dwellings — if the other dwellings were castles, that is.
Of this particular castle: Picture, if you will, a fortress, like a rook in a chess game constructed of large squares of gray stone, and enticing steps lead to the front door; the narrow windows make one think of archers.
The structure features square turrets, and the turrets are crenelated, which is what you really want in a properly designed castle because, as a tactile element in warfare, it facilitates the pouring of boiling oil on encroaching hordes.
Then, of course, one could join the Neighborhood Association, but where’s the fun in that?
Everyone wants a castle, but at the end of the day, what separates the doers and the dreamers?
Someone went out and did something about it; someone is living the dream, and that royally rocks!
Congdon Castle, Yakima
Here is a castle with 18 bedrooms and over 80 rooms, the exquisite Congdon Castle, constructed at the behest of industrialist Chester A. Congdon, a mining magnate, canal builder, and attorney between 1914 and 1915.
Unfortunately, however, Congdon died one year after the castle’s completion.
And the house has passed through generations of the Congdon family.
Today, privately owned, and respect for people’s privacy is paramount, but those visiting the region can view the marvelous stone construction from the road.
Stadium High School, Tacoma
If you saw the film 10 Things I Hate About You, you’re familiar with Stadium High School.
Initially, the construction of the gorgeous French-style chateau was intended as a luxury hotel.
However, financial problems hindered construction, and the building was left vacant.
Finally, the Tacoma School District bought the property in 1904, completed the structure, and the high school was inaugurated in 1906.
Hoquiam’s Castle, Hoquiam
Discover Hoquiam’s Castle, a magnificent castle perched on the Olympic Peninsula.
It was constructed under the command of millionaire Robert Lytle, and work on the house was completed in 1900.
The majestic house remained in the family until the late 1950s then remained unoccupied until 1968.
Then, in the 1970s, the Watson family restored the palace and operated it for years as Hoquim’s Castle B&B.
In 2004, the new owner generously let a haunted house be set up on the site to raise money for children’s activities.
Today, this castle, a private dwelling, is listed on the national historical site in its current incarnation.
The White Salmon River Castle, Husum
The White Salmon River Castle is a contemporary castle inspired by the design of a replica of a 14th-century European castle.
This lavish building was completed in 1988.
The castle is picturesquely situated on Fordyce Road by the White Salmon River and close to the Columbia River Gorge.
It rests on 26 acres of landscaped grounds and has been a premier event and wedding venue in the Husum area.
Thornewood Castle, Lakewood
In 1907, Chester Thorne, financier, and founder of the Port of Tacoma, bought the original manor overseas, shipping it, piece by piece, to his four acres at American Lake.
Re-assembled, Thornewood Castle is 27,000 square feet and possesses 54 rooms, including 22 bedrooms.
Thorne adorned his abode, with the aid of prominent architect Kirtland Kelsey Cutter, with awareness of every detail, from 16th-century stained glass to the sculpted fountains.
Guests can enjoy overnight stays, and Thornwood Castle is an outstanding events venue and distinguished local landmark.
Vercler Castle, Spokane
Vercler Castle was built in 1997 by Washingtonian welder Jeff Jensen.
Who tore down his original home in 1941 and rebuilt the site to his vision and values of needing more space and exhibiting a DIYT aesthetic style.
Now, Jensen is celebrated as “The Gaudi of Spokane.”
His home is a castle and a noteworthy drive-by attraction for fans who want a glimpse of the turrets, trellises, bridges, and gates adorning the facade.
Vercler Castle has several dramatic pointed turrets, red brick walls, picturesquely covered in ivy, and towering trees surrounding the grounds.
One noteworthy characteristic of the castle is rusted metalwork features, including iron girders, highlighting Jensen’s construction work with metal; Vercler Castle puts a DIY, scrappy, punk-as-a-safety-pin appeal on the concept of what a palace is and may be.
While the palace is private, and it’s imperative to respect others’ privacy; nonetheless, Vercler Castle castle is a popular attraction for visitors to take photographs from the street.
Vercler Castle is located just off the Pines exit from I-90, and the palace is easily seen from the road.
Wardner’s Castle, Bellingham
In 1890, businessman James F. Wardner began constructing his estate south of Sehome hill, known as Wardner’s Castle.
The enormous Victorian edifice of wooden construction includes a majestic tower.
The dwelling, designed by Kirtland Cutter, is three stories tall.
It possesses twenty-three rooms; seven fireplaces, colored stained glass windows, a solarium, a porte-cochere, and a library.
After living in the house for only one year, Wardner sold the property.
From 1983 to 1986, the building was known as Wardner’s castle museum.
Since then, the castle has enjoyed hosting several business ventures, including a Bed and Breakfast.
Wardner’s Castle has garnered a reputation as a haunted place.
Most stories revolve around a mural painted inside in 1984 by Laurie Ann Gospodinovich, a local artist, entitled the “Spirits of Wardner’s Castle.”
The mural shows the castle, black cats, Wardner, and a ship bound for Eliza Island.
There are many stories about ghostly sightings and mysterious activities at this castle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there castles in Washington state to stay in overnight?
Yes, there are castles where you can live out your fairy tale dream of slumbering and rising in a castle.
Consider options such as Manresa Castle Hotel, Alexander’s Castle, and Thornewood Castle.
Is there a haunted castle in Washington state?
Some would say perhaps yes: Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures filmed an episode at Manresa Castle in Port Townsend, Washington.
And the show’s crew found an abundance of phenomena of the unexplained kind, such as a chair that tips on its own, the sound of footsteps, and a door that swings open without cause.
The Manresa Castle episode explores the palace’s mysterious background as the site of multiple suicides.
While proof of the supernatural is up to the believer, the show was smitten with the castle, saying, “The castle reminded me of being in Europe.
It was just a truly mystical place and very, very cool. I loved it.”
Was Washington where the movie castle is set for Stephen King’s film, Rose Red?
Yes! Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington, to be exact.
Thornewood proved the perfect dramatic backdrop and atmospheric heart for the Rose Red film.
Is Thornewood Castle in Washington still standing?
Thornewood Castle is, indeed, standing tall and thriving.
The castle’s current proprietors have painstakingly restored the building, and it is an official historical site.
For those interested in sampling Thornewood’s amenities, the castle presents vacation rentals, rooms, and unique space for events, including weddings with a fairy tale flair and other special occasions.