Discover the past in these hidden gems.
When looking for your next road trip destination, the best hidden gems can be found off the beaten path.
From forgotten homes on stilts in the middle of turquoise waters to overgrown mining towns used for filming some of Hollywood's most popular movie franchises, this road trip map will take you to some of the most eccentric ghost towns located in the South.
So gas up your car, grab a solid pair of hiking boots and get ready to plan an unforgettable trek across multiple states to these long-forgotten sites ready to be rediscovered.
Buffalo City, NC
Address: Buffalo City, NC
Why You Need To Go: During prohibition, this old milling town was once the 'Moonshine Capital of The World' but once alcohol became legalized again, the economy collapsed.
Now the forgotten town is home to crumbling buildings and overgrown signs and structures.
Henry River Mill Village, NC
Address: Henry River, NC
Why You Need To Go: This old gold mining town in North Carolina has long since fallen into disrepair. Now, you can find and explore the old decaying mill and buildings.
If the sites look familiar, it's because the remnants of the village were even featured in the Hunger Games series as the set for District 12.
No Business, TN
Address: No Business, Tennessee
Why You Need To Go: This old abandoned coal mining and logging town is home to a beautiful creek and old bridges. Situated at the Kentucky and Tennessee state line, you can find old log cabins, as well as isolated and rugged mountain ridges.
Old Cahawba, AL
Address: 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL
Why You Need To Go: Old Cahawba is Alabama's most famous ghost town and historical archeological site. Here you can explore old structures, stones and artifacts from the past, as well as a historic cemetery.
A highlight of the town is St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Built in the 1850s, it is still standing today and ready to be explored.
Address: Key Biscayne, FL
Why You Need To 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 stories of mobsters, illegal gambling, and a whole lot of booze.
Eventually, most of the homes were ravaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, however, seven of the structures still remain, and are a unique must-see when visiting Miami's crystal clear waters.
Special mention to Fredericksburg, Virginia
Address: This site is now on private property and very dangerous, as it's on a hunting club territory. Visitors aren't welcome at this time.
What once was a bustling Renaissance Faire in the woods in Virginia has since been abandoned. What's left behind are the relics of a once-jovial tourist attraction, weathering away with time. Highlights of the lot are an abandoned pirate ship, and multiple Renaissance-style castles and towers.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
This article's left-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.