Hidden deep in forests or in plain sight on the side of highways, the United States has its fair share of abandoned places. Ghost towns, forgotten theme parks, and overgrown hospitals can evoke a sense of mystery about what came before us.
Sometimes places are abandoned after disaster strikes: Jazzland, a former amusement park in New Orleans, was judged too expensive to restore after Hurricane Katrina and left in ruin. In other cases, times change so rapidly that entire towns can be left behind: the former gold-rush settlement of Rhyolite, Nevada, was inhabited for only 12 years before nearby mines closed and residents were forced to move elsewhere.
Whether you’re looking to add a bit more wonder to your next U.S. road trip or planning a quick getaway in your home state, these 52 abandoned places will take you into the past no matter how far you travel.