Glen Eyrie Castle, Colorado

For 30 years, I've been fascinated with Glen Eyrie, a magnificent old estate with a castle on a hill, set against a dramatic canyon wall backdrop here in Colorado Springs.

General William Jackson Palmer, a Civil War hero and railroad magnate who founded Colorado Springs, originally built a 22-room wooden house for his wife at Glen Eyrie, or "Valley of the Eagle's Nest." But after she died in 1894, he transformed the house into an imposing 67-room stone castle.

Now a Christian retreat and conference center, Glen Eyrie offers daily teas and tours (reservations are required for both), as well as overnight stays. Guestrooms include private baths and range from former servant's quarters to a grand honeymoon suite in a tower overlooking the valley.

Colorado Springs is where I-25 meets U.S. Highway 24, 70 miles south of Denver. Glen Eyrie ( 3820 N. 30th St.) offers 90-minute tours at 1 p.m. daily; admission is $5 for adults ($3 for tea guests) and $3 for children ages 6-12.Room rates vary by season and accommodation and range from $50 to $170 a night for double occupancy. Guests must be at least 18 years old, and no alcohol is allowed. To learn more, call 1-800-944-4536.

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