photograph by Bruce Schwarz, Courtesy of Classical American Homes Preservation Trust and the Richard Hampton Jenrette Foundation


The Biltmore Estate
Certainly North Carolina’s most famous home, the mountain estate built by George Vanderbilt in 1895 has captured our imagination for more than a century.

(800) 411-3812

Smith-McDowell House Museum
Asheville’s first mansion, built circa 1840, is one of the city’s oldest surviving structures and was once home to mayors, friends of the Vanderbilts, and a Confederate major.

(828) 253-9231

Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Visit the historic boardinghouse and childhood home of author Thomas Wolfe. Roam the halls of “Dixieland,” as Wolfe referred to it in his novel Look Homeward, Angel.

(828) 253-8304



Banner House Museum
Samuel and Jane Banner, part of one of Banner Elk’s founding families, lived here. The house contains period heirlooms donated and loaned by area residents to highlight life in the mountains during the 1800s.

(828) 898-3634



Allison-Deaver House
The oldest standing frame house in western North Carolina, built in 1815, is open to visitors May through October, and tours may be scheduled by appointment.

(828) 884-5137



Alamance County Historical Museum
The former home of a pioneer in the Southern textile industry now features rotating exhibits of Native American artifacts, antique clothing, and more. A tour also includes outbuildings, a family cemetery, and gardens.

(336) 226-8254



John Wesley McElroy House
This house was headquarters for the Western North Carolina Home Guard during the Civil War.

(828) 678-9587



Historic Rosedale Plantation
See what life was like on an antebellum plantation by exploring this 15-room home, built in 1815.

(704) 335-0325



Somerset Place
Somerset was an active plantation for 80 years, and today offers a look at nine historic buildings.

(252) 797-4560



The Whalehead Club Historic House Museum
This restored 1920s-era mansion served as a lavish hunting retreat and winter vacation home. Today, it’s open February through December.

(252) 453-9040

The Whalehead Club in Corolla has been carefully restored to the way it looked when it first opened in 1925. photograph by Emily Chaplin



Duke Homestead
Learn about the beginnings of the Duke family’s tobacco manufacturing business after the Civil War.

(919) 627-6990

Stagville State Historic Site
Explore the remnants of one of the state’s largest plantation complexes.

(919) 620-0120



The Penelope Barker House
See the 18th-century home of Penelope Barker, the organizer of the Edenton Tea Party.

(252) 482-7800

The Cupola House
This house was built in 1758 by the land agent for one of King Charles II’s Lords Proprietors.

(252) 482-4686



1897 Poe House
Visit the home of Edgar Allan Poe, who, despite sharing a name with the famous poet, was a local businessman.

(910) 486-1330



Carl Sandburg Home
See Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Carl Sandburg’s former home, visit his wife Lilian’s goat farm, and hike five miles of trails on the property.

(828) 693-4178



Blandwood Mansion
Blandwood, built in 1795, was once the home of Gov. John Motley Morehead.

(336) 272-5003



Historic Johnson Farm
Built in 1876, this farmhouse also has weavers and fiber artists working on-site.

(828) 891-6585



Maple Grove
This Italianate-style farmhouse, built in 1883, features some original furnishings.

(828) 322-4731

The Harper House
The Harpers were the last of seven families to live in this Victorian home, built in 1887.

(828) 324-7294



Ayr Mount
This Federal-era plantation was built in 1815 by William Kirkland and named to honor his birthplace in Ayr, Scotland.

(212) 369-4460



Latta Plantation
Watch reenactments and get a taste of what life on a cotton plantation was like in the 19th century.

(704) 875-2312



Körner’s Folly
This 22-room house, built in 1880, has cast-plaster details, carved woodwork, and elaborate, hand-laid tile.

(336) 996-7922



Tryon Palace
North Carolina’s first permanent state capitol was built in the 1760s for Gov. William Tryon. It later burned down and was rebuilt; today, you can tour the re-created palace and gardens.

(800) 767-1560

The gardens at Tryon Palace in New Bern, designed by landscape architect Morley Jeffers Williams in the 1950s, represent the formal garden style of 18th-century Britain. photograph by Charles Harris


Foscue Plantation
This antebellum plantation features a house, cemetery, and garden.

(252) 224-1803


Haywood Hall House and Gardens
Built in 1799, Haywood features original furnishings and a doll collection.

(919) 832-8357

Joel Lane House
This 18th-century manor was once called “The Best House for 100 Miles.”

(919) 833-3431

Pope House
Built in 1901 by Dr. M.T. Pope, the Pope House is the last surviving building from the once-thriving “Third Ward” neighborhood. See a rare early example of an African-American residence, built with stylish workmanship.

(919) 996-2220


Dr. Josephus Hall House
Built in 1820 to serve as classrooms for the Salisbury Female Academy, the building later became a private home. See original furnishings, wallpaper, and a desk once used by former president Andrew Jackson.

(704) 636-2522



The Vance House Museum
This house served as headquarters for Gov. Zebulon Vance during his exile from the state capitol during the last months of the Civil War.

(704) 880-3067



Shelton House
Tour a Charleston-style farmhouse, built in 1875, and an early 20th-century Pennsylvania Dutch dairy barn. The property is open May through October.

(828) 452-1551



The Bellamy Mansion
Built in the 1860s for physician and planter John Dillard Bellamy and his family, this 10,000-square-foot mansion is one of the state’s best examples of antebellum architecture.

(910) 251-3700

Burgwin-Wright House
Built in 1771 for merchant, planter, and government official John Burgwin, this house is the only colonial-era structure in Wilmington open to the public. Take a tour to see the Georgian architecture and lovely gardens.

(910) 762-0570

Latimer House
Walk through 14 rooms and see more than 600 objects that exemplify upper-class life during the Victorian period.

(910) 762-0492


Historic Hope Plantation
Built in 1803 for Gov. David Stone, Historic Hope Plantation features a Palladian design with Neoclassical elements.

(252) 794-3140



Reynolda House
R.J. Reynolds and his wife, Katharine, built Reynolda in 1917, and it was home to two generations before it was transformed into an art museum. Today, 28 original buildings remain, along with formal gardens and a lake.

(888) 663-1149

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.