Five Ghost Towns You Can Visit Right Now


Ghost towns are sprinkled across the country — the last remains of previously thriving towns. The remnants include both towns in a state of total ruin to well-maintained sites, kept frozen in time by state parks departments or historical societies. Either way, visiting a ghost town is a great way to get a glimpse into our past. If you're looking for an unusually quirky vacation idea, why not add a visit to a ghost town to your itinerary? A quick search will point you in the right direction; there's probably one close to home. To get you started, check out these five popular ghost towns you may want to visit.

Jan Klaver/Wikimedia Commons

Bodie, California

The remnants of what was once a mining town in the late 1800s, the ghost town of Bodie, California has been maintained by the California State Parks System since 1962. It is now a historic park where visitors can tour approximately 100 of the town's original structures. For instance, visitors can see a church, cemetery, numerous homes, a bank, school and railroad depot. The town has also been used by the movie industry as a film location.


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Rhyolite, Nevada

This former booming mining town once boasted a population of over 10,000 residents in the early 1900s, but unfortunately the town didn't survive the financial crisis of 1907. Today, most of the remains are ruins of some of the concrete structures built by hopeful founders, including a bank, church and school.


Catie Rhodes/Flickr

Cahawba, Alabama

As an Alabama native, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about the little ghost of Cahawba. Cahawba was the actually the first capital of Alabama in the early 1800s. It was a thriving antebellum town until after the Civil War. Today Cahawba is an impressive archaeological site where both serious historians and inquiring minds can view the ruins of this ghost town. The site is maintained by The Alabama Historical Commission.



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Ashcroft, Colorado

If you're headed to Aspen to hit the slopes, you may want to take a detour to the ghost town of Ashcroft. Today only a handful of buildings remain in what was once a mining town. It is maintained by the Aspen Historical Society and is on the Register of Historic Places. You can take self-guided tours during the fall, winter and spring months, with guided tours taking place each summer. Some of the remaining buildings include a saloon and a post office.



JF/Flickr

Garnet, Montana

Like a lot of ghost towns, Garnet was once home to gold miners and their families who moved there beginning in the early 1800s. By the 1940s, most of the families had abandoned their homes and Garnet, became a ghost town. Today, the remaining structures are quickly decaying. You can visit any time, however, access during the winter months is limited. At the visitor's center, there's a gift shop and they also host an annual Garnet Appreciation Day in June. There's food, music, tours of the buildings and you can even pan for gold. The Garnet Preservation Association and the Bureau of Land Management jointly work to maintain the history of this once great mining town.

Myra Faye Turner was born with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. She writes from the Big Easy, where she's lived since 1983 - a time when Ronald Reagan was president, McDonald's first introduced the McNugget and Sally Ride became the first female astronaut in space. Don't forget to visit her website and follow her antics on Twitter.

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