HISTORIC HOMES

Photos: America's Most Beautiful Home and Garden Tours

From Thomas Jefferson’s grand Virginia estate to Frank Lloyd Wright’s sleek Arizona compound, join us on a photo tour of our nation's most majestic historic homes and gardens.

  1. Set against North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, George Vanderbilt's 250-room chateau-style Biltmore Estate ranks as the largest private home in America.

    (msivyi / Dreamstime.com)
  2. Biltmore's 75 acres of formal and informal gardens—from a tree-specked shrub garden with meandering paths to a manicured Italian garden dotted with pools—were designed by master landscaper Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for creating New York City's Central Park.

    (Lynne Harty Photography / Alamy)
  3. Designed by Thomas Jefferson in the neoclassical style, Monticello sits on a mountaintop 70 miles northwest of Richmond in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    (Jennifer Russell / Dreamstime.com)
  4. From oval flowerbeds to winding paths, Jefferson designed every fruit, vegetable, and flower garden at Monticello over two centuries ago.

    (David Lyons / Alamy)
  5. Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and studio, Taliesin West, sits at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    (f 1.2 / Alamy)
  6. The grounds of Taliesin West include a sculpture garden filled with bronze statues and desert plants.

    (SuperStock / SuperStock)
  7. The 107-year-old Hildene in Manchester, Vermont, is a must-see for presidential-history buffs: After all, it was built by Robert Lincoln, the only son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive into adulthood.

    (Ed Fielding / Dreamstime.com)
  8. Hildene's gardens are notable for their multi-colored flowers, including more than 1,000 peony blooms planted to resemble a cathedral-style stained-glass window.

    (Ed Fielding / Dreamstime.com)
  9. Biscayne Bay glitters just beyond the 10 acres of European-inspired gardens and native forest at Miami's Vizcaya, an opulent, European-style villa built in 1916 as a winter home for agricultural industrialist James Deering.

    (Ivelisse Torres / Dreamstime.com)
  10. Vizcaya's real scene-stealer is the outdoor sculpture garden, which features artifacts like a Roman altar from the second century AD and the 290-year-old Sutri Fountain, imported from Italy especially by Deering.

    (Richard Goldberg / Dreamstime.com)
  11. Hollywood has made good use of the palatial, Charles II-style Old Westbury mansion on Long Island's Gold Coast: North By Northwest, The Age of Innocence, and Cruel Intentions were all shot here.

    (Jimmy Lopes / Dreamstime.com)
  12. Old Westbury was built between 1904 and 1906 for financier and lawyer John S. Phipps, with elements borrowed from classic British country estates and the medieval Battle Abbey.

    (Ambient Images Inc. / SuperStock)
  13. At Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, more than 80 plants (including California privet, yew, and English boxwood) have been clipped to resemble mammals, birds, and geometric shapes.

    (Radius / SuperStock)
  14. The grounds at Green Animals Topiary Garden include a white clapboard house that cotton manufacturer Thomas Brayton bought in 1872—a charmingly meager counterpoint to the ostentatious mansions of Newport, about 10 miles south of here.

    (Courtesy Green Animals Topiary)
  15. The Gilded-Age Naumkeag mansion in the Berkshires was completed in 1886 as a summer retreat for prominent New York attorney Joseph Choate and his family.

    (Ellen McKnight / Alamy)
  16. The 44-room Naumkeag sits among 10 acres of terraced gardens designed by America's first Modernist landscape architect, Fletcher Steele.

    (Yakoniva / Alamy)
  17. Built in 1923, Milwaukee's Villa Terrace was once owned by Lloyd Smith, president of the A.O. Smith Corporation.

    (age fotostock / SuperStock)
  18. Villa Terrace's grounds, which overlook Lake Michigan, are known for the Renaissance Garden, modeled after 16th-century Tuscany and restored in 2002.

    (Courtesy Villa Terrace)
  19. Husband-and-wife gold-mine owners built the Georgian-inspired, 36,000-square-foot Filoli between 1915 and 1917, about 30 miles south of San Francisco.

    (Courtesy Daderot/Wikimedia Commons)
  20. The 654-acre Filoli estate is known for its bonsai and magnolia collections, as well as the largest heirloom orchard in private hands in the United States.

    (GAP / SuperStock)
  21. A former slave plantation established in 1679, Charleston's Magnolia Plantation contains America’s oldest public gardens.

    (age fotostock / SuperStock)
  22. Today, the English-style gardens at Magnolia Plantation feature winding paths lined with native azaleas and antique camellias.

    (William Manning / Dreamstime.com)
  23. Located less than 15 minutes from downtown Philadelphia, the 45-acre Bartram's Garden's bucolic vibe belies its urban surroundings.

    (Joe Vogan / Alamy)
  24. Not only do the grounds of Bartram's Garden hold native species of ferns, wildflowers, and trees, including America's oldest gingko, but they're also home to the country's oldest living botanical garden, which botanist John Bartram started in 1728.

    (Courtesy kevinderrick/Flickr)
  25. The pink-bricked Hermann-Grima house was built in New Orleans in 1831 by a German-Jewish immigrant who made his fortune in cotton.

    (Courtesy Hermann-Grima)
  26. The grounds of the Hermann-Grima House include Versailles-inspired ornamental parterre filled with antique roses and citrus trees.

    (Kerri McCaffety)
  27. Historic Deepwood Estate is a multi-gabled, Queen Anne Victorian home built in Salem, Oregon, in 1894.

    (Kris Lockard)
  28. The gardens at Deepwood, which are surrounded by the Rita Steiner Nature Trail, are full of romantic touches: gazebos, ivy-covered arbors, and fleur-de-lis-adorned gates.

    (Ron Cooper)

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