Lifestyle & Leisure

5 Ghost Towns You Need to Visit

The United States has a fascinating history, and you can see a glimpse into its past throughout the country. Ghost towns are sprinkled all over as reminders of times past. If you love history and slightly spooky road trips, consider these five ghost towns for your next vacation destination.

Bodie, California

The Gold Rush brought thousands westward in the 1800s. Bodie, California, was settled in the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1859 and had a population of around 10,000 people. Once the gold ran out, the city slowly became deserted.

All that’s left today are old buildings, some still containing furniture, shards of China dishes, nails, and bottles. Visitors may not remove anything from the area. In the 1940s, the Cain family owned much of the land in Bodie and hired caretakers for the buildings so that they wouldn’t be destroyed by vandals, and the town was later designated a National Historical Landmark and Historic Park.

Jump into that new Chevrolet for sale you bought, or into your old van, or whatever you have, and check out this amazing ghost town.

Rhyolite, Nevada

Rhyolite is close to Death Valley National Park in the state of Nevada. It was a mining town during the early 1900s. In less than 20 years, the city was already heading downhill and quickly became a ghost town.

This is a unique experience among ghost towns. They had a three-story bank, a house made from beer bottles, and even a stock exchange there.

Jerome, Arizona

This ghost town sits on Mingus Mountain, and it was once known as the “Wickedest Town in the West”. It produced gold, silver, and copper in its mines and had more than 15,000 people living there in the early 1900s. The mines operated up until the 1950s, after which people slowly left the town.

It has now become a popular tourist destination, especially for artists. It is full of galleries and museums, as well as lovely views of the Verde Valley.

Bannack, Montana

Bannack is a well-preserved town from the 1800s. It was founded in 1862 and was home to gold prospectors. It is now a National Historic Landmark and contains more than 60 original buildings and structures. It’s slightly eerie and perfect for anyone who loves history.

It has a Masonic lodge, schoolhouse, hotel, church, homes, and cemetery, all of which are in excellent state and entertain tourists from all over the US.

Centralia, Pennsylvania

This city is slightly different from most US ghost towns because it began to become abandoned in the 1960s. There is a coal mine fire underneath the town, which causes toxic gases and instability in the ground. It has been burning for decades now, and it is now a haunting shell of what it once was. Homes are abandoned and steam rises from cracks in the earth, almost like a movie.

Safely Traveling to Ghost Towns

Always check your vehicle’s fluids before going on a road trip and pack enough food and water to last for a couple of days in case of emergency. Some ghost towns are in the desert or remote areas, so it’s always best to be prepared. Once ready, head out and get a first-hand look at American history by visiting one of these ghost towns.