18 Magnificent Castles in Michigan to Visit
Did you know there are dozens of castles in Michigan? Many of them are not well known and are often a hidden surprise (and some aren’t actual “castles” but bear the name nonetheless), and you could make a trip to explore a wide range of these locations.
While not all of the castles in Michigan are accessible, and many are on private property, some are the perfect experience for those looking to explore the really cool history, architecture, and buildings throughout the state.
Here are the best castles in Michigan that we recommend exploring!
Beaumont Tower | East Lansing
Located in East Lansing, Beaumont Tower was designed by Donaldson and Meier and constructed in 1928. A true collegiate gothic architecture style makes this fantastic castle a must-see.
Beaumont Tower is located on the campus of Michigan State University. The structure reaches 104 feet high at the site of College Hall, which was the first building on the campus.
Canterbury Castle | Lake Orion
Canterbury Castle is more of a true castle in terms of how it looks and feels. It’s located in Canterbury Village in Orion and is a historical landmark full of fantastic experiences.
Today, the building is used as a wedding venue and banquet center. Quite luxurious inside and out, it has beautiful architecture that creates a fantastic backdrop for photos.
Castle Farms | Charlevoix
Built in 1918, Castle Farms (previously Castle VanHaver) was originally a model dairy farm that showcased state-of-the-art farm equipment, but the property has changed owners three times since then. It has been an artists’ mecca, a rock concert venue, and it is now a premier wedding venue and historic tourist destination.
Castle Farms has some of the most incredible formal and fun gardens to explore with walking paths and the largest outdoor model railroad. There is also a wine-tasting room, a 12-foot-tall dragon, and an enchanted forest! Tours of the castle include a history video about the property throughout the years and tram rides in the summer.
Castle Museum of Saginaw County History | Saginaw
Once known as Castle Station, Castle Museum of Saginaw County History is just that — a museum that pays homage to the area’s history. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The property was once the Saginaw Post Office. It was designed by William Martin Aiken and built in 1898 as a federal post office building. Today, it is filled with an archeology exhibit, a 1914 Saginaw cyclecar, and a lumbering exhibit.
Castle Rock | St. Ignace
Though it is not a true castle itself, Castle Rock certainly looks like one. It is also considered one of the oldest lookout points in the city and was once called Pontiacs Lookout by the Ojibwa Tribe.
The lookout point is quite noticeable from downtown St. Ignace. It’s quite impressive because it rises 195 feet above the water. You can walk up a path to it, from which you’ll get one of the best views in the region.
Cook Law Quadrangle | Ann Arbor
Located on the University of Michigan campus is the Cook Law Quadrangle, a beautiful space with stunning lawns and paved paths, along with some pretty impressive neo-Gothic buildings.
It was built throughout the early to mid-1900s and is comprised of four buildings — the Lawyers Club, the John P. Cook Dormitory, the Legal Research Building, and Hutchins Hall. While it’s not available for general public tours, tours are available to those intending to attend the university.
Curwood Castle | Owosso
For those who want to tour a castle that has been turned into a museum, a trip to Owosso to Curwood Castle is in order. It is a small castle built by James Oliver Curwood and opened in 1922.
Owosso Michigan itself is an impressive area because it is home to numerous historic homes and buildings, some of the most impressive in the region. The castle served as the author’s writing studio, and Hoddy House, also located on the property, was the family home.
The Castle Lofts | Detroit
A historical landmark in Detroit, The Castle Lofts is no longer available for tours. While the outside is truly an impressive experience, the interior has been converted into a range of loft-style apartments. A drive-by is well worth the experience, though.
Grand Army of the Republic Building | Detroit
The Grand Army of the Republic Building in Detroit Michigan is an excellent choice for those who want to see architectural beauty. This property has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It was designed by Julius Hess and construction began in 1899 as a meeting space for the Grand Army of the Republic, which was founded for veterans of the Civil War Union Army. However, the group vacated the building by 1930, and it was used by the women’s group G.A.R. Memorial Association until 1973.
The building has a Richardsonian Romanesque style to it and originally included 13 shops along with a bank, office space, and an auditorium. The Castle Hall in the G.A.R. Building currently serves as a wedding venue.
Although the G.A.R. Building is no longer available for tours and has gone through numerous ownership changes, it stands as a Civil War Memorial, and just walking around it along Detroit’s streets is an impressive experience in itself.
The Henderson Castle | Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo is home to The Henderson Castle, which is now a full-service restaurant and bed and breakfast. The castle was established in 1895 and has long been the home of various secret societies and was the home to the Henderson family at the turn of the century
Though The Henderson Castle has undergone numerous renovations over the years, it maintains its castle-like design and features.
Helmer Castle | Jackson
Helmer Castle is no longer what it once was, an impressive castle-like home in Jackson. It was designed in the 1920s after Max Helmer, a noted violinist, toured Europe and wanted to bring back the feel of the castles there.
When it was built, this six-story Medieval stone castle was an impressive addition to the community. It was intended to provide seclusion and privacy, and each of the first five levels consisted of a bedroom with its own fireplace. Today, Helmer Castle is an event hall.
Meadow Brook Hall | Rochester
Located in Rochester, Meadow Brook Hall is a Tudor revival-style mansion built from 1926 to 1929 for Matilda Dodge Wilson of the Dodge automaker family. You can take a tour of this impressive space, as well as host a wedding or other event here.
This property, which is a national historic landmark, is on the Oakland University campus. Its grand design and details pay homage to the incredible woman Ms. Wilson was. And, when it was built, no expense was spared, which is why it cost $4 million.
Newberry Hall | Ann Arbor
Built as the home of the Students’ Christian Association on the campus of the University of Michigan, Newberry Hall is a fabulous castle worthy of exploration. Dating from 1890, it has a Romanesque style.
The hall has been used for classroom space and even for a museum over the years. Today, it is home to the Bentley Historical Library. The stone exterior remains in excellent condition for its age.
Old Main | Detroit
Another stunning campus building is Old Main, which is a part of Wayne State University. It was first opened in 1896 and has a Queen Anne style of architecture along with a Romanesque Revival style.
Old Main was originally built as a high school for the community before it became a core component of the college campus. It was built by Malcomson & Higgenbotham, a large builder of schools of the time.
Penniman Castle | Battle Creek
Penniman Castle is a single-family home that was built in 1906. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was built to look like a European castle. The Penniman family remained in the home until 1910, after which it remained vacant for some time before being purchased by Glenn M. Hayes.
The Castle | Holland
The Castle in Holland Michigan sits on the waterfront in Castle Park. Though it is not accessible, it is said that this was the inspiration for The Emerald City from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” It was owned by a German family for some time and remains privately owned today.
Hoyt Main Library | Saginaw
The Hoyt Main Library was built by Eric Pinchet in the 19th century. It was a Richardson Romanesque library noted for its many genealogical records for the middle region of the state.
The original building was commissioned by Jesse Hoyt, who gave the city $100,000 to build a library. Over the years, additions were added to it, making it even more impressively beautiful.
Discover More Castles in Michigan
If you are looking for other locations to explore, there are a number of other “castles” in Michigan that could be well worth the experience. Check out these additional recommendations:
- Castle Shops at Bavarian Inn Restaurant | Frankenmuth
- Miners Castle | Munising (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore)
- Victoria Hill | Oakland Township (outskirts of Metro Detroit)
- Wisconsin Cheese Castle | Michigan Center (near Jackson)
For those who want to explore castles in Michigan, be sure to do a bit of research to determine if the location is available. Many of these locations are privately owned, but they may still be worth driving past to just to see the beautiful architecture that grants them the name of “Michigan castle”.