Road trips are always a great time. They can be a good idea if you want to take a vacation and see everything on the way. If you take a plane somewhere then you can't stop and enjoy all the things on the way to the destination. The saying goes "the journey is always more important than the destination", so why not consider a road trip for your next vacation? There are many places to road trip to in the United States. Whether you want to road trip to a big city like New York or road trip to the middle of nowhere to camp out, there are so many options.
Among these options, there are many abandoned places in the United States. Many of these abandoned places have a story to tell and most of them will probably be along your next road trip, so why not stop in and learn a bit from these places history. However, it can be hard to choose what a good place to visit is or not. Many abandoned places aren't well kept and can be illegal to even enter. This is why we've compiled a list of ten places worth the road trip and ten places you should probably stay away from for various reasons.
20 Worth It - Vulture Mine, Arizona
Vulture Mine doesn't sound like the most appealing place in the world, but you may be surprised at what it actually has to offer. If you are looking for a different type of tourist location then Vulture Mine is a great start. Vulture Mine offers tours through the abandoned mine that teach the history of the location. The area is eerie in its own right, but it is said to be one of the most haunted places in the United States so don't be surprised if you see a shadow on your tour of the mines. The mines were in operation until the 1940s until they shut down, and they have been abandoned since then.
19 Not Worth It - Santa Land, Arizona
Santa Land may sound like a great place to take your children to get into the Christmas Spirit, but make sure your being directed to Santa Land in the mall and not this Santa Land in Arizona. The once operating Santa workshop is now abandoned and closed down. The images of what remains of Santa Land will creep anyone out. When Santa Land was still in operation it was fairly popular as a place to enjoy Christmas any time of the year. However, now it is a place to take your kids if you want them to stop believing in Santa.
18 Worth It - Michigan Central Station
There are many abandoned places in Detroit that are worth visiting to get the rich history of the city. Detroit is filled with projects that were started but never finished due to different reasons like funding. Now they all remain abandoned no matter how far along they were. The Michigan Central Station is one of the best ones to visit in Detroit. The Michigan Central Station was being used as a rail depot in the early 1900s and it seems as if it was doing good financially. However, now the station is fully abandoned and sees a lot of vandalism. It isn't too late for the station as it is one of the abandoned buildings with the best chances of being recovered by the city.
17 Not Worth It - Ohio State Reformatory
The Ohio State Reformatory was where the film Shawshank Redemption was filmed for most of its prison scenes. If you are a fan of that film you may still want to reconsider visiting the location. The Ohio State Reformatory didn't have the best track record with keeping its insides clean. That is what lead to it becoming abandoned after a court ruling closed the jail back in 1990. Now the jail is sought out by paranormal investigators like ghost hunters. The Ghost Adventures show has an episode take place at the Reformatory if that gives you an idea of how creepy the place is.
16 Worth It - Six Flags New Orleans
An abandoned amusement park may seem like it should be on the 'not worth it' side of the list, but Six Flags over New Orleans is an exception. Due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the park has to close its doors due to an overwhelming amount of damage. Over a decade later the park is still abandoned and there doesn't seem to be any hope of it coming back into operation. However, that shouldn't stop you from going in to take a few pictures and wander around the desolate fun park. You may want to hurry as there are talks of changing the park into a shopping mall at some point.
15 Not Worth It - Willard Asylum, New York
New York doesn't seem like the type of place to have many 'not worth it' places on the list. However, when it comes to abandoned asylums it will always likely be not worth the trip. This is the case for Willard Asylum located in upstate New York. There have been a few exclusive tours through the building in which people took pictures of the inside. It is decrepit, to say the least. It is also known to have a slew of paranormal sightings and activities within its walls. Even if it is the middle of the day, this location can give you the creeps. It is best to stay away at all costs.
14 Worth It - Bodie, California
If you are a fan of westerns and the wild west, then you should definitely look into visiting Bodie located in California. Bodie is an old ghost town that used to operate as a mining town. “Bodie is an original mining town from the late 1800s. What’s left today stands in a state of “arrested decay” and is maintained by the California State Park's System, who took over the town in 1962 to make it a State Historic Park.” according to their official website. This means you can take tours of the site and learn more about its intriguing history.
13 Not Worth It - Holy Land USA Theme Park, Connecticut
A religious theme park even in operation may make some of us want to turn the other way. However, add the word abandoned into that equation and it makes it one of the least desirable locations in the United States. Holy Land is located in Waterbury, Connecticut and has been closed ever since the 1980s. The park would have seen some renovations but due to costs of those renovations, the owners had to close the doors on the park. In 2014 the owners of the land allowed people to walk through what remains of Holy Land. Even with that permission, it isn't worth the walkthrough.
12 Worth It - Bannerman Castle, New York
The Bannerman Castle stands on an island in the middle of the Hudson River. The Bannerman Castle was originally used as a depot to store weapons, but now it can be rented out to film movies. Films like Transformers: Dark of the Moon had scenes take place in the intriguing abandoned castle. Tours are held for the location most times of the year and it is worth checking out the inside of the castle and also the island itself. You can learn a lot from the inside, and if you are a fan of Transformers you can recreate the scenes that took place at the Bannerman Castle.
11 Not Worth It - Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel is a strange and paranormal place. Unless you are really into the paranormal, then we wouldn't recommend going near or staying at the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel was the place that the film adaptation of the book The Shining took place. The film is very popular and you can see different places in the film at the Stanley Hotel. However, beyond that, the place is said to actually be haunted. Be sure to stay away from 217 if you are planning on heading to the Stanley Hotel as that is the most haunted room in the hotel.
10 Worth It - Calico Ghost Town, California
Calico Ghost Town doesn't sound like a great place to bring children, however, according to Trip Advisor it is a great place for children. The old western style town is great for children to act like cowboys and cowgirls in the wild west. However, to parents, it seems like a huge tourist trap because most of the attractions in Calico Ghost Town cost money. There are several restaurants and gift shops to spend your money on. However, there is something to be learned at this ghost town such as its history and how it became abandoned in the first place.
9 Not Worth It - North Brother Island, New York
Once again an old abandoned hospital in New York makes it on the 'not worth it' side of the list. It is probably best to stay away from any abandoned place in New York from here on out. The North Brother Island is home to an eerie abandoned hospital that is said to be haunted. The hospital operated as a quarantine for patients with contagious diseases in the 1800s. After that, it reopened as a rehab center before quickly being closed down in the 1960s. Now the building remains abandoned and luckily it is hard to get to since it is on an island. Not that you should try and visit the building.
8 Worth It - Silver City, Idaho
The Silver City ghost town is one that shows a lot of Idaho's history. If you are in Idaho, it may be worth checking out if you are a history buff. KTVB had this to say about Silver City; "Anchored to a valley in the middle of the Owyhee Mountains, Silver City stands as an almost untouched testament to Idaho's prospecting past. The country was two years into the Civil War when silver was found embedded in War Eagle Mountain. That was the spring of 1863 and fortune-hunters found their way here in a hurry.” The town may seem a bit creepy at first, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are in Idaho.
7 Not Worth It - Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky
By now you probably know to stay away from abandoned asylums and hospitals. The Kentucky Sanantorim has a different feeling than most of the other supposedly haunted hospitals on this list. It is said to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. In the early 1900s, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium operated as a quarantined off place that cared for patients with Tuberculosis. The asylum would later close in the 1960s due to a vaccine for Tuberculosis. There have been several ghost hunting/paranormal shows that have filmed at the location, calling it one of the most haunted places they've ever been.
6 Worth It - Cape Romano Dome House, Florida
The Cape Romano Dome House may not seem like its worth it due to how many creepy vibes it sends off. However, this type of structure is so rare and it is definitely worth visiting if you can get to it. The Dome House was originally being built to be someone's actual home. However, due to the cost of building a home of this caliber the project fell through and what remained became abandoned. However, now the house is an intriguing place to visit and see inside the house of what could have been one of the most architecturally intriguing houses of this century.
5 Not Worth It - Letchworth Village, New York
The inside of the Letchworth Village is much worse than the outside (not that the outside is inviting or anything). The location opened in the 1900s and was to serve as a psychiatric facility for those with mental illness. Letchworth Village was not run well and ended up closing in the late 1990s due to improper care of the facility and the patients within the facility. What remains is a place that was filled with despair and it isn't inviting anyone inside of its doors. We wouldn't recommend even trying to get in as most of the building doesn't look structurally sound.
4 Worth It - Goldfield, Arizona
This entry is similar to the Calico Ghost Town entry. However, this is more for the whole family whereas the Calico Ghost Town was more for children. The Goldfield Ghost Town was once an abandoned ghost town that now offers people with an exciting location to visit and learn more about its history. While it may seem like another tourist trap, it is defintely worth it if you are looking for a fun day with the family. A quote from the official website describes the place best. “Come and visit Goldfield Ghost Town today! Walk down Main Street, explore the many shops and historic buildings. Tour the historic Mammoth Gold Mine and visit the Goldfield Museum. Pan for gold then take a ride on Arizona’s only narrow gauge train. You’ll also get to witness an old west gunfight performed by the famous Goldfield Gunfighters! Spend a fun-filled day, rich in wild west history!”
3 Not Worth It - Centralia, Pennsylvania
This location was the direct inspiration for the creation of the Silent Hill video game series. If that tells you anything you may want to turn around and not look back. However, if you are still curious the small town of Centralia has a messy history. The once thriving small town of over a thousand people was forced to relocate due to a fire that occurred in the mines underneath the town. Now the only people who visit the town are tourists and many say that you can still see smoke coming from the cracks in the pavement.
2 Worth It – River Country Walt Disney World, Florida
As mentioned before, an abandoned theme park may seem like a creepy idea but when it is the right theme park (and the right time of day), it is definitely worth seeing what is left behind of a theme park. This can be said about River Country Walt Disney World in Florida. The abandoned water park was in operation in the early 1970s and ran to the early 2000s. However, due to safety concerns, the park had to be closed down. Now all that remains is the dried remains of waterslides and pools. It is an interesting sight when you expect water to be filling all of these different rides.
1 Not Worth It - Winchester Mystery House, San Jose
The story of the Winchester Mystery House is definitely an intriguing one. However, the house can seem a bit eerie and it may be best to stay away from unless you are absolutely obsessed with the house's story. Sarah Winchester was the owner of this house and when she moved into it, it was a simple 8 room farmhouse. Many renovations later the house is what it looks like today. However, the inside looks a lot different. The creepiest part about the house is the many doors that either leads to nowhere or lead to a drop. No one knows why Sarah Winchester added these renovations.