5 incredible stops in the United States worth checking out
USA Travel

There are a lot of reasons to travel. Some people like to see the sights while others like to go shopping. And still more just want to relax on the beach. Those are all good reasons to hit the road but some people want to check out a ghost town.

Checking out cool abandoned places is definitely a huge reason people travel. Spots like Luxor, Egypt have been making good business out of it for a long time. While the ghost towns of the United States aren’t as luxurious, they’re no less intriguing.

Bodie, CA is a ghost town near Yosemite

Bodie, California, Ghost Town

BRIDGEPORT, CA – APRIL 16: Abandoned buildings maintained with a degree of “arrested decay” are all that remain in this ghost town located in the isolated hills east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range as viewed on April 16, 2021, near Bridgeport, California. Bodie State Historic Park is a genuine California gold-mining ghost town where visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

The National Park system in the United States is regarded by many as the best in the world. When you experience Yellowstone National Park or Arches National Park, it’s hard to argue. While Yosemite National Park is one of the best in the country, there’s something else nearby worth stopping by.

Bodie, California is part of Bodie State Historic Park. At one point, the gold rush reputedly brought 10,000 residents to the community. Now, it’s in a state of arrested decay that preserves the original state of this former wild town of gunfights, opium dens, and more.

Santa Claus, AZ has that creepy Christmas spirit

Arizona, Ghost Town

MESA, AZ – AUGUST 20: Dead saguaro cacti are seen in a landscape that burned in the Bush Fire, following a series of strong storms on August 20, 2021 northeast of Mesa, Arizona. The unexpectedly heavy monsoon rainstorms brought some relief to the drought-stricken region but also destructive flash floods and lightning. Thousands of iconic saguaro cacti were killed when the Bush Fire swepted across nearly 200,000 acres of desert habitat in 2020. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Christmas is a time of year that a lot of people get into. Not everyone celebrates the holiday but the spirit of gift-giving can be fun to get into, nonetheless. That being said, throwing a Christmas-themed ghost town into the mix kind of changes the vibe a bit.

Apparently, Santa Claus, Arizona was created as a real estate marketing gimmick. The whole town is themed to the festive time of year. And it worked to an extent. These days, the town is slowly crumbling away. You can check it out but no one is maintaining it. Also, it’s apparently overrun with rattlesnakes, so watch where you step.

Bannack, MT was a rough town in its day

A good ghost town conjures up a lot of images, from the paranormal to the historic. Both are certainly true of Bannack, Montana. This former gold rush boomtown has had more than its fair share of ghost sightings over the years. But the historical value of this place cannot be understated in the least.

This was the site of Montana’s first major gold discovery in the mid-1800s. Bannack State Park was established to protect the region and preserve its historical value. It’s definitely a well-maintained area with a lot of services. But it’s also a great slice of the Old West.

Centralia, PA isn’t a complete ghost town

Centralia, Pennsylvania, Ghost Town

Lamar Mervine, the Mayor (and one of the few remaining residents) of Centralia, Pennsylvania, 13th March 2000. The town, situated in the deep mining area of Pennsylvania, was evacuated in 1962 due to fierce underground fires, which can still be seen burning. Many like Mr. Mervine have lived for decades with the noxious fumes. (Photo by Michael Brennan/Getty Images)

When it comes to ghost towns in the United States, a running theme seems to be former mining towns. It’s a boom or bust industry, so it’s no surprise that it would create a few abandoned sites. At the same time, some have a much more interesting history to them.

Centralia, Pennsylvania was a bustling mining town. Then, a mine fire started that’s been burning for 50 years and is estimated to go for up to another 250. Despite repeated eviction notices and the government pulling most services out, there are still a few people living there.

Kennecott, AK is a testament to the boom times of copper mines

Copper mining was a huge industry in many parts of the United States for a long time. A lot of factors have contributed to the decline of the practice across the country. And nowhere is that more evident than in Kennecott, Arkansas.

This was an incredibly active mining community for years until hard times in the industry essentially shuttered it. Now, it’s a park known as Kennecott Mines National Historic Landmark. It’s historical, educational, and fun, all in one trip.

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