Built by actor William Gillette in 1919 to resemble a medieval German fortress, Gillette Castle (860-526-2336, www.ct.gov
, search for Gillette Castle) in East Haddam, Connecticut, is full of nooks, crannies, and gadgetry. Theres so much to see you might almost forget to take in the dramatic panorama of the Connecticut River below. After your tour, treat yourself to a fancy meal and more river views at Gelston House, just 10 minutes farther north (860-873-1411, www.gelstonhouse.com
). Gillette Castle is open through Columbus Day ($5 entrance fee), but the grounds are free and open year-round.