What do you get when you cross a Tim Burton film and a Dr. Suess book? Bishop Castle in Colorado. This whimsical palace features a grand ballroom, towers, bridges, a fire-breathing dragon, and endless views. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Nestled in the San Isabel National Forest, Bishop Castle was built by one man named Jim Bishop. 

You and your friends can plan a summer or fall road trip here to see it for yourselves up-close. 

Since it's an open construction site, the owner has put up several signs for visitors to read before wandering through the estate, so tread carefully. Plus, it's free to stroll through too. 

Why not throw on your most fabulous attire and get lost in the castle like a real queen or king? 

Throughout the home, you'll encounter windows with beautiful stained glass and elaborate designs on the vaulted ceilings. It's like a work of art right in the middle of the mountains.

Spiraled stairways adorn the exterior of the home, that if explored, will take you to the top for some unbelievable forest views. 

When you first see the castle, you might wonder why there's a dragon's head at the very top.

The palace's website goes into great detail on how the steel "dragon chimney" came to be. It sits 80-feet in the air, right above the Grand Ballroom. 

If you're up for it, you can tread up to the third floor and pretend you've saved the kingdom from the mighty creature minus the sword fighting. 

You can visit year-round; however, the website says that the weekends are the best time to wander through the corridors. 

On the weekends through summer, the dragon chimney gets fired up and becomes a real-life 'fire-breather.'

If you didn't think fairytales were real, this castle might change your mind. It's one of the state's best-kept secrets. 

Bishop Castle

Price: Free

Address: 12705 State Highway 165, Rye, CO

Why you need to go: You can explore a stone castle with a dragon-shaped chimney.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a site, respect the environment.

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