Last updated: 09:00 AM ET, Sun October 09 2016

Where to Find the Coolest Ghost Towns in the U.S.

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | October 09, 2016

Where to Find the Coolest Ghost Towns in the U.S.

PHOTO: Bodie, Calif. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock) 

A rush to find gold is just one of many reasons so many ghost towns litter the deserts and valleys of the West. The people may be gone but the spirit of these abandoned villages lives on as people from around the country seek to discover their past. 

For those looking to visit one of these towns that time left behind, Travel + Leisure has rounded up some of the best in the country. 

Rhyolite, Nevada, is a classic example of an American ghost town. 

“Named for the local silica-rich volcanic rock, this town near Death Valley National Park sprang up in 1905 with the promise of gold. Things didn’t pan out so well, literally, and people left within just a few years,” says Travel + Leisure writer Katrina Brown Hunt. 

Bodie, Calif., is another well-preserved ghost town. 

“This former gold town in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, along the California-Nevada border, had nearly 10,000 residents in the late 1870s, as well as saloons, a red-light district, and possibly even opium dens,” says Hunt. 

You can still spend the night in Terlingua, Texas. 

“During the early 20th century this town was a hotbed for mercury, but production dwindled and the town basically died out by the 1940s,” says Hunt. 

The nearby Big Bend Hotel is the only place to stay. 

 READ MORE: Spend Halloween At The Hotel That Inspired 'The Shining'  

Flagstaff, Maine, is one ghost town that’s not located in the west — it’s also not above the water. 

“In 1950, plans for a hydroelectric dam meant the whole town would be submerged. While most buildings were moved or destroyed, some sites—the occasional chimney, for instance—can still be visible from the water’s surface, if you know where to look,” writes Hunt. 

These are just a few of the abandoned towns that dot the American landscape, find more here


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