This Road Trip Will Take You To The Best Hidden Ghost Towns In The Dirty South

When searching for your next road trip destination, you will find the best insider tips off the beaten track.

From forgotten homes on stilts amidst turquoise waters to overgrown mining towns used for the filming of some of Hollywood’s best-loved film franchises, this road trip map takes you to some of the South’s most eccentric ghost towns.

So, fuel up your car, grab a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, and get ready to plan an unforgettable, cross-state hike to these long-forgotten places waiting to be rediscovered.

Buffalo City, NC

Address: Buffalo City, NC

Why you need to go: During Prohibition, this old mill town was once the “Moonlight Capital of the World,” but when alcohol was legalized again, the economy collapsed.

Now the forgotten city is home to derelict buildings and overgrown signs and structures.

Henry River Mill Village, NC

Address: Henry River, NC

Why you must go: This old North Carolina gold mining town has long fallen into disrepair. Now you can find and explore the old ruined mill and buildings.

If the places look familiar to you, that’s because the remains of the village are even in the hunger games Series as a District 12 set.

Old Cahawba, AL

Address: 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL

Why you must go: Old Cahawba is Alabama’s most famous ghost town and historic archaeological site. Here you can explore ancient structures, stones and artifacts from the past, as well as a historic cemetery.

A highlight of the city is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Built in the 1850s, it still stands today and is ready to be explored.

Stelzenville, FL

Address: Key Biscayne, FL

Why you must go: Stiltsville is one of the most unique “ghost towns” in the United States. Located in the middle of Miami’s Biscayne Bay and only accessible by boat, this collection of wooden houses on stilts was once home to tales of gangsters, illegal gambling and lots of booze.

Finally, most of the homes were devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, however seven of the buildings remain and are a unique must-see when visiting Miami’s Crystal Clear Waters.

Special mention goes to Fredericksburg, Virginia

Address: This site is now privately owned and is very dangerous as it is on the territory of a hunting club. Visitors are currently not welcome.

What was once a bustling Renaissance faire in the Virginia woods has now been abandoned. What remains are the relics of a once cheerful tourist attraction, weathered by time. Property highlights include an abandoned pirate ship and several Renaissance-style castles and towers.

Before you set off, check out our responsible travel guide to help you be informed, safe, smart and most importantly, respectful on your adventure.

The left cover image of this article was used for illustration purposes only.

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