39 Famous People's Homes You Can Visit
East Hampton, NY
In 1945, renowned abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock moved into a house on Long Island, where he lived and worked on his color-spattered artworks until his death in 1956. Now a national historic landmark, the 19th century house was made into a museum in 1988, and for $5 admission, visitors can view Pollock's record collection, personal library, and floorboards that still show evidence of his work.
Though born in Wisconsin, artist Georgia O'Keeffe based her work on the natural scenery of New Mexico and made her home at Ghost Ranch in the town of Abiquiu, some 60 miles northwest of Santa Fe. Starting at $35 per person, visitors can arrange tours of the isolated homestead to learn about O'Keeffe's life and see some of the Southwest landscapes that inspired her work.
Prouts Neck, ME
Considered one of America's most accomplished painters, Winslow Homer made his home and painted many of his marine landscapes on the Atlantic coast town of Prouts Neck, Maine. Built by famed Portland architect John Calvin Stevens, Homer's 1,500-square-foot residence is now open as a national landmark containing some of his works, personal photos, and furniture preserved from his lifetime.
Oak Park, IL
When Frank Lloyd Wright built his first home in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1889 at the age of 22, he was just experimenting with the architectural Prairie style that would come to define his career. Guided tours starting at $18 per adult highlight the architectural innovations in Wright's former home and studio, as well as in the neighborhood around them.
Fittingly enough, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home is now home to the Taliesin School of Architecture, as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Mimicking its desert surroundings, the home was one of Wright's most personal designs. On guided tours, guests can view his private quarters and garden room, and for a little more, see how the property lights up in the evening.
Iconic country singer and Man in Black Johnny Cash was raised in Dyess Colony, an agricultural resettlement community for 500 poor families created as part of FDR's New Deal. Cash's modest boyhood home and other features of the colony have been restored for visitors in recent years, with $10 tours giving an overview on colony life in the '30s and how Cash's upbringing influenced his music.
Also known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," Margaret Brown was an American philanthropist around the turn of the century most famous for surviving and aiding in the evacuation of the "Titanic." Saved from demolition in 1970, her home on Denver's Capitol Hill still stands as a relic of the era's architectural styles and socialite culture, available to tour at $12 per adult.
Author and humorist Mark Twain wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and other famous works while living in this 11,500-square-foot Gothic Revival-style home. Parts were converted to apartments for decades, but restoration began in 1963 when the house was designated a national historic landmark. Guided tours cost $12 and take visitors through the gardens, carriage house, and 25 rooms all containing the most modern innovations of 1874.
Key West, FL
From 1931 to 1939, his most prolific period as an author, Ernest Hemingway lived in a Spanish Colonial-style house, featuring an in-ground swimming pool and the author's collection of antique Spanish furniture. Today, guests can pay $14 for a half-hour guided tour and visit with the stunning property's current residents -- an adorable brood of 40 to 50 six-toed cats.
Oak Park, IL
Though not as flashy as his Key West estate, Ernest Hemingway's Birthplace Home Museum offers a window into the author's early life in Oak Park, where he was born and spent the first six years of his life in his family's Queen Anne home, the first on its block to have electricity. The home has been preserved to look as it did back at the turn of the century, with tours reflecting the impact Hemingway's origins in Oak Park had on his later life and work.
Amelia Earhart was a renowned traveler, but she considered her home to be in Atchison, at the wood-frame childhood home where she spent more of her life than anywhere else. First built in 1861, the Gothic Revival cottage remains as a museum and National Historic Site educating visitors about the life and accomplishments of the famed female aviator.
U.S. Speaker of the House and Secretary of State Henry Clay lived on his Kentucky plantation, called Ashland, for more than 40 years, devoting his time to farming and horse breeding between political appointments. Complete with onsite gardens, walking trails, and a Civil War monument, his 18-room mansion is now free for the public to tour on their own, or with a guide for $12.
After upending transportation around the world with his affordable Model T, Henry Ford and his wife sought refuge from the public eye at their Fair Lane estate. The home blends architectural styles and includes unique features like an indoor pool, hydroelectric dam, skating house, a bowling alley, and Ford's personal garage and laboratory. The house is currently undergoing restoration, but the 1,300-acre grounds are free to explore.
North Platte, NE
Bison hunter, showman, and Old West icon Buffalo Bill used the earnings from his Wild West Show to build his Victorian ranch on 1,400 acres. Today, that's been whittled down to a 16-acre historical park, containing the home filled with period appropriate furnishings and Buffalo Bill memorabilia, plus the barn containing his collection of antique carriages. Admission and state park permit together cost $10 for adults.
Robert Frost lived in this prototypically New England farmhouse from 1900 to 1911, and later attributed many of his most famous poems to memories from this period. Today the timeless home runs tours, poetry readings, and displays on the author's life and work. Admission is $4 for New Hampshire residents and $5 for others.
George Vanderbilt is mostly famous for belonging to the prominent Vanderbilt family, which amassed a shipping and railway empire in the 19th century and for using his family's wealth to build the nation's largest privately owned home ever, the Biltmore Estate. With 250 rooms and 4 acres of indoor space, it takes a good six to eight hours to fully explore the home, plus its lush gardens, onsite restaurants, and winery. Buy visitors' tickets more than a week in advance to save $10 on admission.
Future president Theodore Roosevelt divided his time in the 1880s between New York and his 1½-story Maltese Cross cabin in North Dakota, where he learned to hunt bison and indulge his passions as an outdoorsman. The cabin has been preserved but moved to Theodore Roosevelt National Park with its original Ponderosa pine logs and antique furnishings.
Graceland was a cattle farm before it became the home of early rock 'n' roller and "Hound Dog" singer Elvis Presley in 1957. Since his death, the 13.8-acre estate has become a museum and the second-most visited house in the nation, after the White House, celebrating The King's life story and showcasing the opulence in which he spent his later years. Tours of the mansion alone start at $40.
Salt Lake City
One of Mormonism's most significant early leaders and Utah's first governor, Brigham Young had several official residences built in Salt Lake City to accommodate his many wives and children. Built in 1854 from sandstone and adobe, the stately Beehive House is now a museum within the larger complex of Brigham Young Historic Park, open to the public for free half-hour guided tours.
Mount Vernon, VA
Like many aristocratic Virginians, the nation's first president took great pride in his plantation house Mount Vernon along the Potomac River, building it in stages between 1758 and 1778. Washington himself welcomed the public to view his home and gardens, so the tradition continues today, with the interiors restored to their former appearance and regular reenactments occurring onsite. Buy visitors' tickets online for $18.
Perhaps even more famous than Mount Vernon is Thomas Jefferson's Monticello plantation, originally 5,000 acres and designed by Jefferson himself over decades. Onsite is Jefferson's burial place, plus numerous specialized outbuildings for housing slaves, breeding new crops, making nails, and more. Visitors can explore the grounds and tour parts of the in-house museum and educational institution for $26.
Paisley Park was Prince's home and recording studio in life, but the late pop star also opened its doors to the public for parties on occasion. The modernist, 65,000-square-foot complex in Minnesota began hosting tours organized by Graceland Holdings in 2016, showcasing Prince's concert wardrobes, personal artifacts, and the studios where he recorded and mixed his biggest hits. Seventy-minute, general admission tours cost $38.50.
After his childhood in New Orleans, jazz legend Louis Armstrong lived for nearly 30 years in a working-class neighborhood of Queens. The brick house he and his wife renovated to suit their tastes now operates as a museum with archives of Armstrong's writings, books, and memorabilia made available alongside tours of Satchmo's bedroom and personal den.
Palm Springs, CA
Elizabeth Taylor was born in England, but like many mid-century Hollywood elites, she kept a desert vacation home in Palm Springs, complete with a pool, waterfalls, and her own collection of artwork. This home hasn't been made into a museum, however, but rather a vacation rental still containing some of her old possessions, available for nearly $500 per night.
No, acclaimed actor Denzel Washington and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page never lived together, but both lived at different times in the same Malibu mansion (as did "Airwolf" star Jan Michael Vincent), with panoramic views overlooking the ocean and sandy beaches. There isn't much celebrity memorabilia to be found here, just a pristine Malibu getaway available to rent for $500 a night.
"Age of Innocence" author Edith Wharton was no stranger to the wealthy New York aristocracy her novels scathingly depicted, and she designed, with great architectural care, what she considered her "first real home," The Mount, in the Berkshires of Massachusetts in 1902. The estate is now a historic house museum running standard and ghost tours (starting at $20) from May through October.
San Simeon, CA
Inspired by his travels to Europe, newspaper tycoon and "Citizen Kane" inspiration William Randolph Hearst built a castle for himself overlooking the central California coast. The 90,000-square-foot home is now a major tourist attraction in the area, and it's not hard to see why, between the world-famous art collection, coastal views, gardens, pools, and
Speaking of "Citizen Kane," Orson Welles wrote the film's script at this 3,000-square-foot Hollywood home above Sunset Boulevard, which was reportedly also owned and inhabited by celebrities spanning the years, such as Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and David Bowie. It was built in 1928 by Sidney Toler, who later became famous for playing Charlie Chan. These days, it goes for $945 a night on HomeAway.
Sleepy Hollow, NY
John D. Rockefeller Jr. -- not his father -- was the one largely responsible for the construction of Kykuit, home to four generations of the wealthy oil industry family before it became a historically preserved Hudson Valley landmark. Twenty-five dollar tours take visitors to the main rooms and grounds of the six-story house, encompassing a renowned collection of art, antique cars, and horse-drawn carriages.
Radical abolitionist John Brown organized his historic raid on the Harpers Ferry armory and other anti-slavery activities while living at a cabin owned by his sister in Kansas. The back room is said to have been used to harbor escaped slaves. The frontier-style home is preserved as a museum by the Kansas Historical Society offering group tours by appointment.
American literary icon Edgar Allan Poe penned some of his most famous works while living in an unassuming Baltimore rowhouse from 1833 to 1835. Now a national historic landmark, the home is well-preserved and contains a few of Poe's original furnishings like a telescope and writing desk.
Dating back to 1680, the oldest house in downtown Boston was once home to founding father and midnight-rider Paul Revere from 1770 to 1800. It's now one of the last 17th century dwellings in any American urban area. As a national historic landmark, the three-story structure is 90 percent original and provides insight into Revere's life as well as the standard living conditions of colonial times.
St. Joseph, MO
Famed outlaw Jesse James was shot with his back turned by fellow bank robber Robert Ford in 1881, while living with his family at a four-bedroom home in Missouri. Now, for $4 apiece, visitors can tour the historic property to see some of James' persona affects and a hole in the wall from where the bullet (allegedly) left his skull.
Rudyard Kipling wrote influential works like "The Jungle Book" and "The Seven Seas" while living at this shingle-style house he called Naulakha, a national historic landmark now available for rent. For nightly costs from $430 in the low season and $495 in the peak, up to eight guests can lounge in the well-preserved quarters Kipling designed himself, play on the state's first tennis court, or just ski and hike through the meadows.
Though not exactly a household name, as sole judge in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, Jonathan Corwin was at the center of one of the darkest periods in America's colonial history. His gloomy gray home is the only house remaining that belonged to a prominent figure in the trials, and it's been preserved with authentic floorboards and period-appropriate furniture for public tours. Tours run from May through November and cost $10.25 per adult, with special events around Halloween.
After making his fortune from the circus, John Ringling and his wife built their Venetian dream home in Florida, spending huge sums to furnish it with European artifacts and artworks spanning different historical eras. Called Ca d'Zan, or House of John, the mansion is now part of a historical site complex that also includes the Ringling Circus Museum and Ringling Art Museum.
Palm Springs, CA
Like Elizabeth Taylor, Bing Crosby also kept a vacation home in the desert now available for rent. The successful and influential crooner's former place in Palm Springs' Old Movie Colony is a Spanish-style villa with a pool, vaulted ceilings, wood-burning fireplaces, original tiled floors, and citrus trees. It costs upward of $700 per night on Airbnb.
The Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the only home Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln ever owned in the 17-year period preceding his presidency. It's free to visit and tour the 12-room Greek Revival home, as well as 12 other structures dating to the same time preserved in the surrounding four-block neighborhood, many highlighting tales of Lincoln's neighbors.
Warm Springs, GA
President Franklin D. Roosevelt first came to Warm Springs for polio treatment in 1924, but he liked the area (and its springs) so much he had a personal retreat built there, where he later died in 1945, three months into his fourth term. Almost immediately, Roosevelt's Little White House was opened as a museum that now charges $12 admission, with one of the top attractions being the "Unfinished Portrait" that was being painted of him when he died.
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