Despite its ever-changing monikers—over the years, the castle has been called Hearst Castle, La Cuesta Encantada ("The Enchanted Hill"), and The Ranch—the impressive acreage and architectural scale of this property has endured. The 90,000-square-foot estate, the dream and life's project of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, comprises the Mediterranean-style Casa Grande and three guest houses, which sit on a 127-acre landscape complete with gardens, pools, and even a private zoo.
Endless Acres: 14 of the Biggest Properties in America
While the average lot size of a home in the United States is about one-fifth of an acre, some super-size abodes boast ginormous backyards that span 50 acres or more. Don't believe it? Click through to see 14 of the biggest properties in the country, ranging from colossal cabins to extravagant European-inspired estates.
Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California (127 acres)1/14
7 Fox Hunt Rd. in Barrington, Illinois (70.66 acres)2/14
Despite its nickname of "Hidden Pond," this jaw-droppingly enormous estate in the exclusive Barrington Hills residential village isn't hiding from anyone. The 30,000-square-foot abode with 8 bedrooms and 14 baths gets a boost of aesthetic appeal from its 70-acre lot adorned with manicured hedges and elegant stone edging.
Zillow Digs home in Barrington, IL
12011 S.W. 220th St. in Vashon, Washington (525 acres)3/14
A single parcel of land wasn't enough to contain this 6,500-square-foot abode, its 12,000-square-foot car showroom, and its 2,200-square-foot landing strip—which is why the property spans a whopping 47 parcels totaling 525 acres. The grounds of the five-bedroom, five-bathroom luxury home feature eight miles of bridle paths and hiking trails, scenic bridges, and tranquil waterfalls. With more than 3,000 trees and hundreds of species of flowers and shrubs, the estate is an ecosystem unto itself.
Zillow Digs home in Vashon, WA
125 Rooney Circle in Aspen, Colorado (82 acres)4/14
Cabin fever is unlikely to set in at the 41,318-square-foot Elk Mountain Lodge. Spanning four land parcels on 82 verdant acres, the rustic retreat offers plenty of room for outdoor enthusiasts to hike, fish the two trout ponds, or take in views of scenic Castle Creek Valley. Those who prefer to stay within the cushy confines of four walls will love the 14,987-square-foot rustic main house and three adjacent single-family dwellings.
Zillow Digs home in Aspen, CO
3872 Route 44 in Millbrook, New York (438.63 acres)5/14
Built in 1927 for the daughter of famed industrialist Andrew Carnegie, the renovated Migdale Castle still boasts luxuries befitting billionaire tastes. The 34,549-square-foot interior has 10 bedrooms and 17 baths, and the mansion stands on a generous 438 acres that encompass a tennis court and cabana, an organic garden, and placid ponds, all overlooking the scenic Catskill Mountains.
Zillow Digs home in Millbrook, NY
2500 E. Valley Rd. in Santa Barbara, California (237.82 acres)6/14
For more than 100 years, one single family has enjoyed this 29,483-square-foot residence. Now, the owners are ready to pass the architectural wonders of Rancho San Carlos on to a buyer with equally refined tastes. Built in 1831 by noted California architect Reginald Johnson, the Monterey Colonial-style estate comfortably accommodates a main house, 10 cottages, bountiful orchards, and an equestrian facility on its 237 acres. Should residents grow weary of the luxurious landscape, 30 rooms await them indoors, including 12 bedrooms and 11.5 baths that stand ready to host a small army of guests.
Zillow Digs home in Santa Barbara, CA
Villa Vizcaya in Miami, Florida (180 acres)7/14
If you're exploring the tranquil lagoon of Biscayne Bay, it's hard to miss this imposing structure, the former home of industrialist James Deering. Dubbed "Villa Vizcaya" after the northern Spanish province of Vizcaya, the deluxe estate integrates elements of Mediterranean Revival architectural throughout its 38,000-square-foot main house, from a spotless stucco facade to a radiant red-tiled roof. The main house and formal garden now sit on 50 acres, although the property extended to 180 acres before a portion was sold off.
wikimedia.org via Ebyabe
2010 Gcr #14N in Kremmling, Colorado (350 acres)8/14
Passersby won't spy this postcard-worthy property from the main road, thanks to its hidden location on a private 350-acre lot within the Grand River Ranch community. The main house is connected by bridges to a master suite on one side and a guesthouse on the other, which together create a 24,000-square-foot mansion that could host a small town within its walls. The tranquil waterfalls and streams that fill the grounds offer ample natural splendor, while the nearby Rocky Mountains spoil residents with even more breathtaking beauty.
Zillow Digs home in Kremmling, CO
Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina (8,000 acres)9/14
The Biltmore Estate sits on 8,000 acres of lush landscape, but the mansion’s grandeur extends far beyond its seemingly endless gardens. Thanks to the expansive vision of George Washington Vanderbilt III and his architect Richard Morris Hunt, the Chateauesque-style mansion could accommodate four football fields within its 178,926-square-foot interior. Visitors to the estate will discover 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, an Italian formal garden, an outdoor tearoom, and lavish decor and amenities that imbue the property with pomp and pageantry.
506 N. Hill Rd. in Stowe, Vermont (85.62 acres)10/14
Residents of this mountaintop dwelling don't need a country club membership to hit the golf course; they can tee off every day at the miniature putting green built right on the grounds. Of course, with close to 90 acres at their disposal, the owners can take up plenty of other hobbies as well, including tennis at the lighted court, gardening in the fenced orchard, or shooting at the on-site range. For more creative pursuits , a photographer's studio and art gallery lie inside the 8,150-square-foot residence.
Zillow Digs home in Stowe, VT
7010 El Camino del Norte in Rancho Santa Fe, California (61.24 acres)11/14
Redwood, glass, and marble join forces to achieve this architectural masterpiece in Rancho Santa Fe. The 8,148-square-foot Del Dios Ranch has 61 private acres to its name, giving residents a sprawling hilltop observation area overlooking San Diego County.
Zillow Digs home in Santa Fe, CA
Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio (70 acres)12/14
The Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens was built in the early 20th century for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company founder F. A. Seiberling. The 64,500-square-foot Tudor Revival estate as well as the surrounding 70 acres and a collection of contrasting gardens reflects the titanic presence of the home's former resident. The property is now a house museum and National Historic Landmark, open to visitors eager to experience its opulence and learn about its past.
wikimedia.org via Brandon Bisel
25 Lower Cross Rd. in Greenwich, Connecticut (80 acres)13/14
The 8,038 square feet that make up this decadent 7-bedroom, 10-bathroom dwelling strike an imposing figure in Greenwich. But even more than the staggering dimensions of the abode, the limitless lawn commands attention . Surrounded by 80 acres planted with dense foliage, the stately home affords residents a daily panorama of green as far as the eye can see.
Zillow Digs home in Greenwich, CT
5501 W. Hamilton Rd. S. in Fort Wayne, Indiana (50 acres)14/14
The 38,000-square-foot interior of this extravagant four-story estate is so monumental that it houses two elevators. The palatial property is ensconced within a 50-acre lot featuring an equestrian facility, lake, walking bridge, and picture-perfect gardens.
Zillow Digs home in Fort Wayne, IN
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