On The Ghosttowns Website Daters Can Explore Forgotten Cities

Men's Dating

On GhostTowns.com, Anyone Can Explore Forgotten Cities & Create a Treasured Memory With a Date

Hayley Matthews

Written by: Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews

Hayley has over 10 years of experience overseeing content strategy, social media engagement, and article opportunities. She has also written hundreds of informational and entertaining blog posts. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bustle, Cosmo, the Huffington Post, AskMen, and Entrepreneur. When she's not writing about dating news, relationship advice, or her fantasy love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio, she enjoys listening to The Beatles, watching Harry Potter reruns, and drinking IPAs.

See full bio »

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!
Advertiser Disclosure

The Short Version: Long ago, covered wagons carried people across the American frontier where they carved a life for themselves in wild terrain. Such pioneers came to define the American spirit, though little trace of them remains today. However, modern-day explorers can trace that legacy and find remnants of a bygone era by traveling to ghost towns in North America. GhostTowns.com leads the way with a detailed collection of pictures and videos of notable buildings or artifacts still standing in thousands of remote regions. You can go on the site’s forums to get tips for locating these hidden treasures and embark on a journey into history, perhaps taking a date along with you to share in the experience. From beginning to end, visiting ghost towns is a unique way to spend a day getting to know someone as you drive, hike, and admire relics of the past.

In the stark landscape of Arizona in the late ’70s, a family armed themselves with maps, metal detectors, and sunblock and began exploring the history of the United States and uncovering rusty glimpses of life in the Old West. “We’d go out exploring on a regular basis and really enjoyed the mystery and the challenge in finding old ghost towns,” remembered Todd Underwood, Creator and Founder of GhostTowns.com.

As Todd grew older, he continued his father’s tradition of going on trips to find ghost towns, and the experience instilled in him a deep appreciation for the history that surrounds us every day.

Screenshot of the GhostTowns.com homepage

Launched in 1997, Ghosttowns.com rode the tech wave to facilitate exploration in North America.

In 1997, Todd was teaching chemistry at a local community college when he found out the domain name GhostTowns.com was available. He couldn’t believe his luck. He immediately bought it and began creating an online resource for anyone trying to locate forgotten towns in North America. Listing thousands of ghost towns, big and small, his informational treasure trove serves as a guide for adventure-seekers the world over.

Today, GhostTowns.com is the world’s largest repository of pictures of American ghost towns, used by locals, tourists, students, retirees, and everyone in between to learn about and discover historical sites.

“Prior to our website, there were many books available — but the information was old,” Todd said. “By the time the books and pictures were printed, the sites had changed. With the Internet, we’re able to update on a regular basis.”

Because these locations often change over time, explorers depend on GhostTowns.com to keep tabs on the current status of ghost towns and their historical artifacts. That way, you know where to go and what to expect on your adventures to ghost towns. So, grab someone’s hand and make a day of it!

“There’s a mystique about seeing a dirt road going off into the distance,” he told us. “The ghost towns have an air of mystery about them because, in many cases, people just walked away from the place, leaving buildings and even personal items behind.”

A Website Where History Buffs Come Together to Share Interests

On GhostTowns.com, beginners can learn how to tour ghost towns responsibly, documenting trips with care and respecting the ancient heritage represented by these places. The ghost towns range from populated tourist areas in the desert or a single abandoned building in the mountains. According to the site’s definition, “A ghost town is any place where people once lived, or are still living, that is a shadow of its past glory.”

Giving life to these shadows, GhostTowns.com offers personal accounts of trips to ghost towns in a comprehensive library of descriptions, pictures, and videos.

Photo of two GhostTowns.com staffers

Visiting ghost towns is an ideal date activity because it’s an exciting and intimate outing.

You can search by state or province to find a detailed list of towns posted by fellow history buffs who have actually been there. From old cemeteries to dilapidated farmhouses, GhostTowns.com provides a varied look at the past in all 50 states (and Canada, too).

“As users find new or old towns and take photos or videos, we add them to the site to keep it updated,” Todd explained. “In some cases, we have five decades of pictures of a single town.”

When you click on a specific location, you’ll see tips about the best times to visit as well as an overview of the history of the area, so you can go prepared with fun facts to interest your date.

Though the overall website endeavors to make your ghost town experience easier, some of the adventure is left to you to discover for yourself. “For the sake of preserving history, we have not given the exact directions to any of the ghost towns of the website,” Todd explained. “We feel that if you are serious about visiting ghost towns, you can take the information we give you (together with a small amount of work) and locate the towns.”

Not a fan of going it alone? No worries, GhostTowns.com also provides Guided Tours to a handful of ghost towns in Arizona. This tour package includes food, transportation, and an experienced guide on your trip to mining camps and historical sites dating back hundreds of years.

The Virtual Museum Provides Date Ideas for Outdoorsy Individuals

GhostTowns.com doesn’t simply offer a verbal history about the sites but gives ghost town enthusiasts high-resolution snapshots that reveal what it’s like to visit these places. The Virtual Museum is a photo gallery and video library filled with colorful glimpses into ghost towns across the country. Anyone can browse through pictures posted by real people and find inspiration to plan a fun date in a beautiful, rustic setting.

Photo of a mining winch in the GhostTowns.com Virtual Museum

The Virtual Museum posts intriguing photos and videos describing artifacts found in ghost towns.

Over the years, Todd himself has traveled to countless abandoned places and shared the splendor of these areas on the site to give people an idea of what’s out there to discover.

These locations give people the opportunity to find common interests with others. When you travel with a significant other to a ghost town, for instance, you can create a special memory of exploring long-forgotten paths and rusty ruins.

“It’s definitely not your ordinary date,” Todd remarked. “You get to see things you would never otherwise see and go places you would never otherwise get to go.”

Daters often bond through the challenge of going on a day trip into the wilderness to find unique and wondrous places. As a new activity rich with interesting sights, touring ghost towns sure beats the average dinner and a movie routine. “It really helps you get to know the other person a lot more than being a spectator,” he added.

Active Online Forums Invite Discussion & Mutual Admiration

As a contributor-driven website, GhostTowns.com relies on average people to be their eyes and ears in documenting ghost towns of all shapes and sizes.

Photo of an old building in a ghost town

On the GhostTowns.com forums, people exchange information about historical sites worth a visit.

Their focus on community is apparent in their online discussion forums where users post about current events, offer directions to ghost towns, and share a love of history.

“Mostly people are anxious to contribute,” Todd said. “By giving people a chance to get their photos or videos up on the site, it helps give them even more motivation to go out and ‘ghost town.'”

In thousands of threads on GhostTowns.com, intrepid explorers encourage newcomers to take up the hobby of “ghost towning” and cultivate an appreciation for our history and culture. “We don’t want it to be stagnant,” he said. “We have thousands of ghost towns on the site, and people are always adding more!”

GhostTowns.com Takes Daters on a Unique Adventure Into the Past

Since his earliest days accompanying his father to uncover towns buried by time, Todd has passionately believed in the power of the past to bring people together in the present. His hobby exploded into a full-blown business venture when he created GhostTowns.com to guide his fellow history buffs in their search for vestiges of old settlements long-abandoned by the owners.

Ghost towns spark curiosity and wonder, giving people plenty to talk about as they take the only memento they’re legally allowed to take from a historical site: photographs and videos. Users post these online as a way to help others have an enjoyable experience, no matter what their experience level is visiting ghost towns.

By using the website’s informational resources and community forums, vistiors can more easily and knowledgeably explore ghost towns in any state or province in North America. These excursions usually last much longer than a typical date, giving people the chance to get to know one another as they spend the day foraging for a rare perspective out of the past.

“We welcome contributions from all our users,” Todd said. “Go out and ‘ghost town’ and then tell us your story and submit pictures when you get back — we will gladly put them up!”

Advertiser Disclosure

DatingAdvice.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). DatingAdvice.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

Our Editorial Review Policy

Our site is committed to publishing independent, accurate content guided by strict editorial guidelines. Before articles and reviews are published on our site, they undergo a thorough review process performed by a team of independent editors and subject-matter experts to ensure the content’s accuracy, timeliness, and impartiality. Our editorial team is separate and independent of our site’s advertisers, and the opinions they express on our site are their own. To read more about our team members and their editorial backgrounds, please visit our site’s About page.