We’re all about going against the grain when it comes to wedding planning and beyond. And while there’s nothing wrong with heading to Nashville or Hawaii (they’re lovely!), it’s okay to think outside the box when picking a destination for your bachelorette party or honeymoon.
And if you love spooky stuff—’tis the season, after all—these 10 USA ghost towns (aggregated by travel company Geotab) might just be the out-of-the-box, unexpected vacation destination or activity you’re looking for.
“These ghost towns are places that Hollywood has seeded in our heads, where outlaws ride into town while miners gamble away newly acquired fortunes,” says Peter Ling, professor of American Studies at the University of Nottingham. “A trip out west is rarely complete without a visit to a ghost town.”
“America’s ghost towns continue to serve as a useful reminder that the past can teach us a lot about the present,” added Maria Sotra, VP of marketing at Geotab—which also made an interactive map you can check out for more ideas too.
1. Berlin, Nevada
Vegas, who? Berlin—a former destination for gold miners—is the only Nevada spot you’ll care about visiting if you’re into things like abandoned buildings and mysterious fossil discoveries. (It’s all part of Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park.)
Nearest city: Hawthorne, NV
2. Kennicott, Alaska
Go up north to visit this desolate mining town that’s since become an under-the-radar, increasingly popular tourist destination.
Nearest city: McCarthy, AK
3. Fort Jefferson, Florida
You can bet a Civil War prison is at least a little bit haunted—and this one became a quarantine station and a navy refueling point before it was deserted in 1906. So yes, this “ghost fortress” has seen some stuff.
Nearest city: Key West, FL
4. Garnet, Montana
Garnet’s been deserted since World War II, but thankfully, you can revisit this once-thriving mining town, walk through the remaining buildings and pretend you’re still in the 19th century.
Nearest city: Missoula, MT
5. Bodie, California
Bodie used to be booming. Unfortunately, forgotten railways, dwindling gold discoveries and redirected resources caused the city to empty out by the 1940s. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still visit the approximately 110 buildings that stand today.
Nearest city: Bridgeport, CA
6. St. Elmo, Colorado
It’s well preserved and picturesque in the summer, but St. Elmo is still creepy nonetheless—and has been abandoned since 1936.
Nearest city: Buena Vista, CO
7. Castle Dome, Arizona
While Castle Dome was originally established as a mining camp, it declined significantly when the 3,000 residents discovered most of the ore contained lead rather than silver. The townspeople hit the road soon after.
Nearest city: Yuma, AZ
8. Harrisburg, Utah
Floods and droughts plagued the residents of Harrisburg, who either died or relocated by 1895. Good thing some of the original buildings—which have been maintained and restored by the Bureau of Land Management—still exist for tourists.
Nearest city: St. George, UT
9. Bannack, Montana
Up to 10,000 people once lived in Bannack—the former capital of Montana—but the town and its 60 intact structures have been completely deserted since the 1940s.
Nearest city: Dillon, MT
10. Steins, New Mexico
When the railroad—this desert town’s only source of water—closed in 1944, residents were forced to depart. Since 1988, it’s been intermittently open as a tourist attraction for those passing through.
Nearest city: Lordsburg, NM