Abandoned buildings, failed towns, and the occasional sinkhole: ghost towns across America make for a surprisingly unforgettable road trip.
It’s not just old west towns where you can explore the forgotten roads and skeletal remains of a bygone era. Ghost towns are everywhere, and for many, these abandoned spaces hold a romantic fascination and make an excellent summer road trip. We’ve picked the best ghost towns in America that are all driving distance from a Sixt office. Pack your bag, and buckle up it’s time to plan your journey that just might give you goosebumps. Here are 5 amazing road trips to abandoned ghost towns to visit with your Sixt rental.
STARTING POINT: Philadelphia > Sixt Philadelphia Branches
DISTANCE: 119 miles; 2.5 hour drive
GAS: $13 one-way
TOLLS: $4.20 one way
Once a thriving mining town, Centralia is now a real-life hell-scape complete with underground fires, sinkholes, and poisonous gas clouds. Sounds great right? Maybe you want to keep the windows rolled up for this adventure. The town located a couple hours outside of Philadelphia pretty much died as the result of an underground coal mine fire that started in the 60s and which still burns today. Despite the US government ordering a complete evacuation, a few stubborn residents still remain today.
STARTING POINT: Dallas > Sixt Dallas Branches
DISTANCE: 286 miles; 4.5 hour drive
GAS: $28 one-way
Tolls: $0.96 one-way
Established in 1901, this farming town’s demise has a lot to do with its location. Sitting right on the border of Texas and Oklahoma, surveyors could never agree which state the town belonged to. This indecision combined with the dust bowl seemed to be too much to keep the town going. For the 36 remaining residence, the town’s highlights include a cemetery and a bar simply called Watering Hole #2. What happened to Watering Hole #1? We may never know.
STARTING POINT: Indianapolis > Sixt Indianapolis Branches
DISTANCE: 302 miles; 4.5 hour drive
This once booming port town located at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Ohio River is now eerily empty. The historic downtown area, once bustling and busy, is now filled with crumbling brick and plywood-covered windows. Cairo isn’t totally abandoned, but it remains a shell of its former self. The town’s downfall can be attributed to economic desperation and racial tensions following the civil war reconstruction era.
STARTING POINT: Los Angeles > Sixt Los Angeles Branches
DISTANCE: 142 miles; 2.5 hour drive
This old west mining town has been around since 1881, and in its heyday raked in over $20 million in silver ore over a 12-year span. But when the mines ran dry, the workers packed up and left, leaving behind what are now considered historic remains. Unlike other ghost towns, this one has seen its original buildings restored and turned into a theme park of sorts, complete with shopping, restaurants and a fake shootout.
STARTING POINT: Las Vegas > Sixt Las Vegas Branches
DISTANCE: 128 miles; 2.10 hour drive
Located on the edge of Death Valley, Rhyolite was born in the gold rush and died when the mines ran dry. But what makes the ghost town special is its scale. At its height, the town boasted three train lines, three hospitals, multiple newspapers, an opera house, symphony and 53 saloons. Unlike most mining towns, Rhyolite built many of its buildings with permanent materials rather than can and wood, giving visitors a unique glimpse at a once thriving town.