You've probably seen posts of eerie, abandoned places around the U.S., but have you ever considered going to check them out? This isn't exactly an activity for the faint of heart, as the tales of desolation, ruin, and even haunting are enough to drive most people away! If you're not shy about experiencing the past in a whole different way, you really have to check out these abandoned places to explore in the U.S.! It can be a fun, informative, and oftentimes sobering experience, but is almost always worth it! Visiting these places also makes for a great RV road trip, so let Motorhomes 2 Go get you started!
Alcatraz - San Francisco, California
Perhaps one of the most visited abandoned places in the U.S., Alcatraz is one of the most interesting and accessible of all the abandoned places to visit on this list! Having been home to notorious criminals like Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly, there were 14 escape attempts and it held approximately 1,545 prisoners during its 29 years of operation. Alcatraz is rich in fascinating history! Head to San Francisco and take the official tour of this incredibly preserved penitentiary, which has been granted national park status
City Methodist Church - Gary, Indiana
As a symbol of the depressing decline of the once-bustling town of Gary, Indiana, the City Methodist Church is a beautiful but crumbling structure. It's just one example of how many of the lovely city buildings are now sorely decaying. The towering arches, enormous stunning stained-glass windows, and breathtaking sanctuary have the feel of a European cathedral. It is now overgrown with ivy and plants, and the roof is crumbling in many areas, but you can visit this church that once had as many as 3,000 members, with a permit for photography from the city of Gary. The photos will be gorgeous and sad at the same time, as a statement of a town that has seen more fruitful times.
For those of you who have ever seen a Western movie, you'll know the appeal that Old West towns have! Bodie, California, is one of the most interesting ghost towns in the West, and has even been made into a historic state park! Like most ghost towns, the gold rush spurred the creation of this town, and left it behind in the dust just as quickly as it was built. It was home to as many as 10,000 people in its heyday, but with the decline of the gold rush, the town fell to all but abandonment. Many of the 100 remaining buildings are still full of original artifacts that give this town the creepy feeling that all of its inhabitants just suddenly disappeared. Head to Bodie State Historic Park
and take the tour, see the eerie abandoned buildings, and get a firsthand glimpse at American history!
Six Flags - New Orleans, Louisiana
Hurricanes do not allow exceptions to their path of destruction, and unfortunately the wrath of Hurricane Katrina showed no mercy on Six Flags New Orleans. Unfortunately, you can't explore inside the park, as the company that owns it doesn't want any photos taken of the current state of the park. And for all you daredevil rule breakers out there, chances are pretty high that if you try to sneak in, you'll get busted by the cops. With that being said, it's not exactly an abandoned park that you should go out of your way to visit, but if you're already in New Orleans, drive out that way and you'll be able to see the skeletons of the once thrilling roller coasters and thrill rides, just don't expect to see that little old Six Flags guy dancing at the front gates. All jokes aside, it's a sobering reminder of the catastrophic effects of disastrous Hurricane Katrina.
New York State Pavilion - Corona, New York
As a leftover relic of the 1964-1965 World's Fair, the New York State Pavilion is an impressive sight! Nestled in the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, this concrete structure has seen some wear and weathering throughout the years, but recent plans for restoration have been set in motion to return this lovely landmark to its former glory! With three towering observation decks and other wonderful spaces that once featured a theater, roller rink, and a concert venue that have seen the likes of the Grateful Dead and Santana, you may think it looks kind of familiar. It was featured or used for the conceptualization of The Wiz
, Men in Black
, and Iron Man 2
! Although this structure is almost always off limits to the general public, the renewed efforts to restore the New York State Pavilion are aiming to bring purpose back to this treasure from the past so that visitors may once again enjoy its unique charm! If you'd like to donate or help in restoration efforts, click here
You didn't think we'd leave out our great home state from this list, did you? Although there are tons of awesome abandoned places to visit, we've picked a couple amazing ones that we think are worth your while!
Michigan Central Station - Detroit
The last train left Michigan Central Station in 1988, but this building still stands in all its beautiful glory! It's taken on more of a creepy, forlorn look over the years, but if you're out exploring Detroit, you really have to stop by and take a look! Since the station is now private property, you'll have to get a look from the street or nearby Roosevelt Park, but the outside is certainly photo worthy. Look up pictures of the interior of the station, which has fallen victim to decay and vandalism, but remains absolutely beautiful and eternally impressive. It speaks volumes of the downfall of the once-great Motor City, as do the several other incredible abandoned buildings around the city that you should check out! The owners of the buildings replaced all the windows in 2015 and it is rumored that other renovations have taken place, but it's unclear what the future holds for Michigan Central Station.
Traverse City State Hospital
If you love history, have a penchant for the paranormal, and are just looking for any excuse to visit beautiful Traverse City, stop by the former Traverse City State Hospital for a tour! Although there are several creepy abandoned mental hospitals across the country, this is one you can visit right here in your home state! Although this building is being transformed into an admittedly lovely shopping, dining, and livings commons with breweries, wineries, restaurants, boutiques, and so much more, the past still remains on part of the campus, so you can take an official tour
! You'll learn a lot about the history of this former asylum, see some of the original structures, and you can tour where patients once dwelled. If you dare take a twilight tour, you may even encounter one of the purported lingering spirits in the especially creepy underground steam tunnel! Ready to get out there and explore bygone eras? Don't let anything hold you back! In fact, here at Motorhomes 2 Go, we have exactly what you need to take the ultimate road trip to see all these abandoned places! From comfy and easy class C motorhomes to monstrous, beautiful luxury coaches, there's something here for every adventurer! We have a fantastic in-house financing department that will find the lowest monthly rates for your budget, and in combination with our already low wholesale prices, you'll save thousands that you can put toward gas money to check out these eerie spots! Do you feel like we left any noteworthy abandoned places off our list? Urban explorers, we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment to share your most interesting, creepy, or memorable experiences in abandoned places!