America's Coolest Ghost Towns
Gail Cole/Courtesy of Virginia City Chamber of Commerce
Virginia City, MT
Founded on gold mining in 1863, this town once had about 10,000 residents—including Calamity Jane—and was even briefly the capital of the Montana Territory. Maybe it was bad karma having your capital share the name of another state, or just the fact that gold ran out, but the city has been frozen in time since the late 19 th century. Virginia City is now owned mostly by the state, though there are some shops, live music, and period-style theater.
Closest Civilization: 90 miles from Yellowstone National Park.