13 Extraordinary Mansions in the United States

There are many stunning mansions in the United States, whether the homes of famous artists and authors or wealthy businessmen. These homes feature incredible architectural details, impressive grounds, and luxurious amenities. America is brimming with gorgeous mansions, and these 12 will inspire you and fill you with awe as you marvel at their beauty.

#1 Vanderbilt Mansion: Hyde Park, New York

Vanderbilt Mansion - Mansions in the United States
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Designed by the famous architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, this impressive mansion features 211 acres that the National Park Service currently owns. Designed in the Beaux-Arts architectural style, it offers glimpses of influences from the American Renaissance throughout the interior. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1940, and its valuation is over $30 million.

Of all the mansions in the United States, that Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park is associated with one of the most influential names in the business of the 1800s, Vanderbilt’s. The Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, New York, bears the name of a dominant 1800s business figure, Cornelius Vanderbilt. The magnate amassed his wealth through shipping and railroads. This estate symbolizes his success and the Gilded Age of America. The mansion showcases the opulence of the era and the Vanderbilt family’s power. Thus, it remains a significant landmark in U.S. history.

#2 The Winchester House: San Jose, California

 Mansions in the United States
The original uploader was Gentgeen at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Also called the Mystery House, this sprawling mansion was designed by Sarah Winchester, the widow of the famous founder of Winchester rifles, William Winchester. This is impressive, but the ghost of Sarah’s husband haunts it. With its maze-like design, this mansion is full of dead-end, twisting hallways, secret panels, and staircases that lead to nowhere. Today, the estate is famous as a popular place for tourists to explore.

The Winchester House in San Jose, California, is a renowned architectural wonder. Its design, inspired by Sarah’s belief in ghosts, includes 160 rooms, secret passageways, and staircases leading nowhere. The house is now a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors with its eerie beauty and fascinating history. The Winchester Mystery House continues to mystify architects and historians alike.

#3 Meyer May House: Grand Rapids, Michigan

 Mansions in the United States
WMrapids, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Meyer May House, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a notable example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s pioneering Prairie School architecture. Built in 1908 for local businessman Meyer May, Steelcase, a furniture company, has meticulously restored the house. It’s now open to the public for tours, offering an immersive experience into early 20th-century design. The house showcases Wright’s emphasis on harmony between design and environment. It remains a significant historical and architectural landmark within the city. The estate is complete with original furnishings and exquisite reproductions. Experience a rare opportunity to visit a Prairie house designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

#4 Mark Twain House: Hartford, Connecticut

Mark Twain House -  Mansions in the United States
MakemakeCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This incredible mansion was home to the famous American author Mark Twain (also known as Samuel Langhorne Clements). Designed in the American High Gothic style, it features 35,000 square feet of living space. The house is currently priced at $16.3 million and includes a museum dedicated to the author. Admission to the museum is available by guided tour only, but it provides a fantastic glimpse into the famous author’s life.

#5 Cranbrook House: Bloomfield, Michigan

This stunning Art Deco mansion was designed in the late 1920s and is located at the heart of the Cranbrook Academy of Art. The Saarinen House was the home and studio of famed Finnish American designer Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook’s first resident architect. The striking interior has been impeccably restored and features original furnishings and textures. There are also pieces of early furniture designs made by Eero Saarinen’s son. Tours of the home are available by reservation. If you’re a fan of art and architecture, this is one mansion you can’t miss.

#6 Ca’ d’Zan Ringling Mansion: Sarasota, Florida

Ca' D'Zan in Sarasota Florida
Ca’ D’Zan in Sarasota Florida – Thumbwind Publications

This gorgeous Mediterranean Revival home was the residence of the famous circus owner John Ringling and his wife, Mable. Designed by architect Dwight James Baum in 1924, the house was built by a Sarasota developer named Owen Burns. At 36,000 square feet, you can imagine how much work was required to move into such a large home and how much the utilities must cost.

Ca' d'Zan gateway
Ca’ d’Zan gateway – Thumbwind Publications

The grounds of the Ca’ d’Zan are entered through a gatehouse on Bay Shore Road, one-third of a mile east of the main house. The opulent gatehouse doubled as an apartment for the Ringlings groundskeeper. A long driveway stretches from the gatehouse to the mansion, where it terminates in a large circle.

Ca' d'Zan walkway with zodiac mosaic
Ca’ d’Zan walkway with zodiac mosaic

In front of the Ca’ d’Zan is a lush green lawn divided by a walkway lined with Royal Palms. Embedded within the walkway is a star-shaped mosaic made of terracotta tiles depicting the zodiac signs.

Burial site for the Ringlings
Burial site for the Ringlings

Mable also built a smaller and less formal garden to the north of the home. Flowerbeds and pathways around a big urn in the middle. The garden was utilized as a source of flowers for home-decorating arrangements. Behind the garden is a graveyard where John and Mable and John’s sister Ida Ringling North are now buried.

Bayside view of Ca' d'Zan
Bayside view of Ca’ d’Zan

As of 2013, the mansion had a value of $21 million and is now owned by Florida State University. One can tour the grounds for only $5. It’s an inexpensive way to see one of the grand mansions in the United States. The grounds and interior are exceptionally opulent and feature details inspired by the Ringling’s love of Europe and Italian architecture.

#7 Highlands Ranch Mansion: Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Highlands Ranch Mansion
Arnold Thallheimer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1962, this stunning mansion is one of Colorado’s most uniquely designed structures. It features 27,000 square feet with over 14 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. Today, the estate is owned and operated by the Highlands Ranch Metro District and has a value of over $13 million. It’s located within a 250-acre park and is open to tourists and visitors. You can also rent the ranch for special events such as weddings, celebrations, and business meetings. It’s also available for guided tours, community events, and educational programs.

#8 Biltmore Estate: Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estate Ashville, NC - Thumbwind
Biltmore Estate Ashville, NC – Thumbwind

Biltmore Estate is perhaps one of the most beloved and awe-inspiring mansions in the United States and is located in the Blue Ridge Mountain region of North Carolina. This breathtaking mansion has 8,000 acres of meticulously cared-for grounds and stunning landscaping. The mansion itself has 250 rooms and was completed in 1895. Tourists from all over the world come to visit Biltmore Estate to marvel at its luxurious design and breathtaking details. Biltmore is one of the biggest mansions in the US. It also played a top-secret role during World War II. There’s plenty to explore, including an award-winning winery, a glass Conservatory, incredible art exhibits, and natural trails.

#9 Edsel and Eleanor Ford House: Grosse Point Shores, Michigan

Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate, Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI, USA
Photo Courtesy – Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

This beautiful mansion was home to one of the most prominent families in America: Edsel and Eleanor Ford, who moved into the home in 1928. The Fords were industry leaders and were a nationally renowned family that owned more than one home. Southeast Michigan was always their favorite place, and they built this home along the beautiful shores of Lake St. Clair.

Photo Courtesy – Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

This impressive home is where they raised their four children. The estate is open to visitors and features original, elegant décor and a selection of fine art. Designed by architect Albert Kahn, this mansion was inspired by English cottages that the Fords loved.

Photo Courtesy – Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

The Fords’ Main Residence offers tours and explores the 87 acres of lakeside grounds and gardens. The house is open for self-guided tours and guided tours that take you behind the scenes into the secret spaces at Ford House. In addition, the grounds and gardens are available for walks—more information with specific hours and special events at the Ford House website.

Dining at the Ford Residence

Photo Courtesy – Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

Guests may also dine at the home’s cafes, the Continental & Speedster.

The Continental at Ford House, our lakeside dining option, is open Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Speedster is a quick-service dining cafe, and no reservation is necessary. This service is open on Tuesday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. and, Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

#10 Bayou Bend Home, Collection, and Garden: Houston, Texas

Bayou Bend Home,
National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records: Texas, 1964 – 2013

This sprawling mansion was built by philanthropist Irma Hogg and her brothers in the River Oaks area of Houston between the years 1927 and 1928. Inspired by 18th century Georgian and Spanish Creole architecture, it features 14 acres of stunning gardens that blend formal landscape design with natural woodlands. The property was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts by Hogg and is now home to an incredible museum that showcases a range of decorative arts and American paintings. The mansion, museum, and gardens are open to the public to explore.

#11 Hearst Castle: San Simeon, California

Once home to famous publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst, this sprawling castle is an exquisite mansion that overlooks the beautiful village of San Simeon in California. William Randolph Hearst purchased thousands of acres of land, with the estate now nestled among an incredible total of 250,000 acres. This stunning mansion consists of 165 rooms and features 123 acres of beautiful gardens, pools, terraces, and walkways that were all built to Heart’s specifications. The estate is also home to a legendary art collection.

#12 Fallingwater: Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania

lachrimae72, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps one of the most iconic mansions in the United States, Fallingwater, was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This unique home was created in 1935 and represents the union between art, humanity, and nature. The mansion was built to rise above a natural waterfall, and local artisans quarried native sandstone and other materials to complete its construction in 1939. In 1963, the home was donated and entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and the surrounding 469 acres of natural land. Today, people can visit Fallingwater to experience the unique details and impressive architecture with all of the original artwork and Wright-designed furnishings still intact. 

#13 Meadow Brook Hall – Rochester, Michigan

One of the grand mansions in the United States, Meadow Brook Hall’s estate, lies about 25 miles north of Detroit in the modern-day suburb of Rochester, Michigan. Meadow Brook Hall, an 88,000-square-foot, 110-room Tudor Revival palace, serves as the showpiece. In addition, the estate is nationally significant as a rare and well-preserved example of the early twentieth-century country house movement in the United States.

Matilda Rausch Dodge Wilson previously held the Meadow Brook Hall estate, encompassing around 1,400 acres at its peak. Initially, the estate was bordered by open farmland. To the west lies Oakland University, which was founded in 1957 as a result of a donation made by Matilda Wilson. The institution is located in the old estate’s western section.

Beginning in 1926, Matilda Wilson and her second husband, Alfred G. Wilson, developed and extended the property. Mrs. Wilson’s first husband, automotive manufacturer John F. Dodge, who acquired the original 320 acres in 1908, completed the work begun by the Wilsons. Dodge extended the original farmhouse, built a nine-hole golf course and clubhouse to the south of the farmhouse, and began planning-but did not complete-a big mansion, formal gardens, and the auxiliary structures required for a large country estate before his death in 1920. Following their marriage in 1925, the Wilsons established a large farming enterprise on the land, including an award-winning herd of cattle, stables, a dairy, a poultry group, and crop production.

Meadow Brook Hall, a Tudor Revival-style country mansion, was built between 1926 and 1929. William E. Kapp of Smith, Hinchman, and Grylls in Detroit, Michigan, designed the home. The landscape plan was created by landscape architect Arthur E. Davidson between 1928 and 1929; subsequent development and execution of the designed gardens and associated landscape took place over the next three decades under the direction of Mrs. Wilson, with assistance from her architect William Kapp. This country estate was one of the most elaborate in the country due to the vast country house, related formal gardens and landscaped landscape, different agricultural sections, and outlying pastures and woods.

Final Thoughts on Mansions in the United States

Whether you’re visiting one of these fantastic mansions to marvel at the architecture or learn some history, these homes will leave a lasting impression. Use this list to guide you to discover beautiful mansions near you. These impressive homes are guaranteed to inspire when or where they’re built. 

Annette Hinshaw

Annette Hinshaw is a retired retail business woman from Adrian, Michigan. She is currently freelancing and actively writing. Annette has a keen interest in geneology and she is involved in a project called MittenExpedition.

View all posts by Annette Hinshaw →

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