Abandoned Places to See Now

Ghost towns, deserted amusement parks, drifting shipwrecks, dilapidated castles — better see these disappearing places soon, before they’re gone forever. 

Photos

Texas State Fair

Texas State Fair

Get ready for 24 days of excitement... and lots of fried food: deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried s'mores, deep-fried pork ribs, deep-fried peanut butter… did we say “fried”? But first, hop aboard this 212-foot-high Ferris wheel, the largest in North America, at the Texas State Fair -- a tradition since 1886 that takes place every fall at Dallas’ historic Fair Park. 960 1280

webtoaster777 / Getty Images  

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

When the Texas State Capitol was unveiled in 1888, it was billed as the “Seventh Largest Building in the World.” It’s still pretty spectacular: Surrounded by 22 acres of grounds and monuments, the capitol in Austin, Texas, has nearly 400 rooms and over 900 windows, making it the largest state capitol in the U.S. 960 1280

joe daniel price / Getty Images  

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats

Congress Avenue Bridge Bats

Bats, bats and more bats. Every spring, hundreds of thousands of mostly female, pregnant Mexican free-tailed bats migrate north to give birth; the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin is their favorite hangout. See this spectacular sight for yourself -- it’s the largest urban bat colony in North America. 960 1280

Steve Kaufman / Getty Images  

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium

Go Cowboys! Venture inside the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, and prepare to be wowed: With a seating capacity of 85,000 spectators, it’s the third-largest stadium in the NFL. It’s also home to the world's largest column-free interior and the fourth largest high-def video screen. Plus, it’s the world’s largest domed structure.
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Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images  

Houston Rodeo

Houston Rodeo

Check out heart-stopping action like this at the Houston Rodeo, the world's biggest live entertainment and livestock exhibition, held each March. The annual 20-day show attracts between 60,000 and 150,000 people each day. 960 1280

Christian Petersen / Getty Images  

The Alamo

The Alamo

Remember the Alamo! Visit the Alamo, a Roman Catholic mission and fortress of yore near modern-day San Antonio that saw 13 days of battle between Mexican and Texan forces in 1836. Each year, more than 2.5 million people visit the 4.2-acre complex, which endures as a dramatic symbol of Texas’ independence from Mexico.
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Dean Fikar / Getty Images  

San Antonio River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Talk a stroll along the San Antonio River Walk, a lively pedestrian walkway along the banks of the river lined with shops, bars and restaurants. Or glide along in an open-air taxi. Quieter stretches of the river walk await along its northern section, known as Museum Reach; a river taxi stop is located here, near the San Antonio Museum of Art. 960 1280

Don Klumpp / Getty Images  

Schlitterbahn

Schlitterbahn

Splish-splash, plunge into fun at Schlitterbahn, a family-owned-and-operated waterpark with several locations throughout Texas. Take your pick: the 26-acre Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark, the 15-acre Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on South Padre Island, and in summer 2013 Schlitterbahn Cedar Park, an entertainment resort eventually slated to span 95 acres. 960 1280

Schlitterbahn  

Barbecue in Lockhart, Texas

Barbecue in Lockhart, Texas

Don't leave Texas without tearing into a rack of BBQ ribs. THE place to go is Lockhart, Texas. Billed as the “Barbecue Capital of Texas,” this small city 25 miles southeast of Austin is home to four major barbecue restaurants (including Kreuz Market), which attract roughly 250,000 BBQ-lovers each year. 960 1280

Dennis Sabo  

SeaWorld San Antonio

SeaWorld San Antonio

What kid wouldn’t love this? Find these adorable bottlenose dolphins at SeaWorld San Antonio’s Dolphin Cove. The 250-acre marine mammal park, oceanarium and animal theme park is the largest of the three waterparks in the SeaWorld chain; it is also home to the world’s largest marine-life park. 960 1280

Nan Palmero, flickr  

Texas Hill Country

Texas Hill Country

In a state second only to Alaska in size, take time out for a Texas day trip to a place refreshingly... mall. Kick back in the tranquil town of Fredericksburg, Texas. Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, the town still retains the personable touch of its early settlement days, in 1846 by 120 German immigrants. Explore quaint shops like this, big on small-town charm. 960 1280

Stephen Saks / Getty Images  

Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon

Put your pedal to the metal with a mountain-bike trek through Palo Duro. Known as the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” this sweep of rock and mesa walls in the Texas Panhandle is the second largest canyon in the U.S. For more natural wonders, head south to Big Bend National Park, the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert in the U.S. 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Getty Images  

South by Southwest

South by Southwest

The largest music festival of its kind in the world, South by Southwest attracts more than 2,000 performers each year, playing in 100 venues. Recent headliners have included Lee Ann Womack and Lucinda Williams, along with conference guests like Al Gore, author Neil Gaiman and... Grumpy Cat. 960 1280

Sean Mathis / Getty Images  

Rio Grande Valley

Rio Grande Valley

If it’s bird-watching you’re after, head to the Rio Grande Valley. Situated in the southernmost tip of South Texas, the valley is home to more than 500 bird species, including many tropical bird species -- found nowhere else in the U.S. -- that don’t stray far from the tranquil Rio Grande River (pictured). 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Getty Images  

Billy Bob’s Texas

Billy Bob’s Texas

Texas and honky-tonk go hand-in-hand, and the place for all the boot-stomping action is Billy Bob’s Texas. This country-and-western nightclub in the Fort Worth Stockyards, near Dallas, bills itself as the “world’s largest honky-tonk -- and with more than 127,000 square feet, that’s no exaggeration. 960 1280

Stephen Saks / Getty Images  

Johnson Space Center

Johnson Space Center

Think you have the right stuff? Find out at Johnson Space Center, a 1,621-acre complex where NASA astronauts and international partners train for space missions. Take a tram tour past sites such as Historic Mission Control, where NASA once monitored space programs. 960 1280

Danny Lehman / Getty Images  

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

If you’ve got kids, they’ll want to see this zoo. Spanning 106 acres, the Dallas Zoo ranks as the largest of its kind in Texas. It’s also the oldest (established in 1888), with an impressive list of exotic creatures: Find them in the “Giants of the Savanna,” an 11-acre expanse home to giraffes, impala, zebras, lions, cheetahs, elephants and more. 960 1280

Perry Quan, flickr  

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

London Celebrates the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year, marking her 60th year as monarch. A weekend of events in June is planned throughout the Commonwealth, culminating in a Royal Air Force flyover and a "Fire of Joy," a celebratory cascade of rifle fire given as a salute by the Queen's Guard.
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Getty Images  

Spider-Man turns 50

Spider-Man turns 50

Spider-Man Turns 50
Spider-Man made his first appearance in comics in 1962, making this his 50th anniversary. The newest Spiderman movie is also set for release this summer -- the perfect birthday gift for Spidey.
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Getty Images  

A War of 1812 reenactment

A War of 1812 reenactment

War of 1812 Bicentennial
The US declared war on Britain 200 years ago, setting off the War of 1812. This year bicentennial celebrations are being held by 10 states, as well as Washington, DC and Ontario.
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Getty Images  

Titanic Exhibit in DC

Titanic Exhibit in DC

100 Years After the Titanic Tragedy
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, sparking renewed interest in the tragedy. James Cameron's Titanic movie has been rereleased in 3-D, and the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, has a new exhibit, "Titanic: 100 Year Obsession," which includes props from the 1997 movie.
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Getty Images  

Arizona celebrates its centennial

Arizona celebrates its centennial

Arizona Celebrates Its Centennial
Arizona has taken on a series of statewide projects to commemorate its centennial. Projects include a documentary following 100 Arizona ranchers whose families have been ranching in the state since 1912 and a new museum that explores what it means to be an Arizonian.
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Thinkstock  

100 years of the Cherry Blossom Festival

100 years of the Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival
A century ago, Japan gave Washington, DC, a gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees as a token of friendship. Each year, the US capital is painted pink with the blossoms, which lure visitors from all over the world.
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Thinkstock  

Louisiana's 200th year of statehood

Louisiana's 200th year of statehood

Louisiana's Bicentennial
To commemorate Louisiana's 200th anniversary, the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission has drawn up with a list of 200 free things that visitors can do in the state. These include visiting the state's 180-mile long Creole Nature Trail, which is home to 400 bird species.
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Thinkstock  

Charles Dickens turns 200

Charles Dickens turns 200

Charles Dickens' Birthday
Even though Charles Dickens turned 200 back in February, the party is continuing all year long with a Dickensian exhibit at the Museum of London and a guided tour through Chalk Church, which was featured in Great Expectations.
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Getty Images  

New Mexico's 100th year as a state

New Mexico's 100th year as a state

New Mexico's 100th Year
New Mexico celebrates 100 years of statehood this year. As part of the celebration, the state's governor created the Centennial Children's Legacy Fund, which hopes to improve the education and welfare of New Mexico's children.
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Nicholas_T, flickr  

Golden Gate Bridge celebrates 75 years

Golden Gate Bridge celebrates 75 years

The Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75
For the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary in May, San Francisco is going all out with a day-long festival that will celebrate the history of the bridge and the culture of the city -- all culminating in a fireworks grand finale.
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Geoff Stearns, flickr  

The Space Needle opened 50 years ago

The Space Needle opened 50 years ago

The Space Needle's 50th Anniversary
Fifty years ago, when the Space Needle opened at the Seattle World's Fair, it was called "The Space Cage." It was built in just 1 year and 4 days.
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Thinkstock  

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Amid cheers and whistles from workers, the final piece of the spire of One World Trade Center is hoisted into place in May 2013. More than 10 years after NYC’s skyline was changed forever, the new building -- now the tallest in the United States -- rises 1,776 feet into the air, a testament to the Big Apple’s resilience in the years following the day that would come to mark the single-largest loss of civilian life on US soil. 960 1280

REUTERS/Gary He  

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

In years past, visitors from around the world came to pay their respects and see the progress being made on 1 World Trade Center. 960 1280

Travel Channel  

9/11 Memorial Plaza

9/11 Memorial Plaza

People walk through the 9/11 Memorial Plaza at One World Trade Center, site of the original World Trade Center Towers. Nearly 400 trees fill the plaza, inviting visitors to reflect on the events that occurred here. Meanwhile, One World Trade Center is set to open for business in 2014, with companies including Conde Nast and Vantone Holdings soon to have offices here. 960 1280

Mario Tama/Getty Images  

9/11 Memorial Plaza

9/11 Memorial Plaza

New York police, firefighters and Port Authority officers at one of the entrances of the 9/11 Memorial Plaza during the 10th anniversary ceremony. In all, 343 firefighters (including FDNY fire chaplain Mychal Judge), 23 NYPD officers and 37 Port Authority police officers lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks. Roughly 2,000 first responders were also injured that day. 960 1280

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images   

9/11 Memorial Museum

9/11 Memorial Museum

Two steel "tridents," which once held up the Twin Towers’ walls, stand in the entry of the pavilion area of the future 9/11 Memorial Museum. The museum, located 7 stories below the Memorial Plaza, is set to open in spring 2014, with 110,000 square feet of exhibition space dedicated to recounting the events of 9/11 through multimedia displays and voice recordings, like that of flight attendant CeeCee Lyles. 960 1280

REUTERS/Mike Segar  

WTC Site, Lower Manhattan

WTC Site, Lower Manhattan

In past years on Sept. 11, 2 columns of lights marked the place where NYC's Twin Towers once stood. 960 1280

Reuters  

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial in NYC honors the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Twin Towers and on the ground, near Shanksville, PA, and at the Pentagon, along with those who died in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. 960 1280

Joe Woolhead  

North Memorial Pool

North Memorial Pool

US flags honor the memory of 25-year-old Bryan Bennett, whose name is etched into the rim of the north pool of the 9/11 Memorial. Bennett was one of the 2,606 who died in the World Trade Center attacks; he worked for eSpeed, a company that occupied the North Tower (1 World Trade Center). 960 1280

Jefferson Siegel-Pool/Getty Images  

Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

After nearly 10 years of planning and fundraising, the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA, was officially dedicated on Sept. 10, 2011. The first phase of the memorial saw completion with the Wall of Names. The names of all 40 passengers and crew who perished on the flight are etched into the white marble. 960 1280

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images  

Flight 93 Memorial

Flight 93 Memorial

The Flight 93 memorial near Shanksville, PA, honors the 40 people who died on the hijacked flight trying to save others. The memorial was dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, with fundraising efforts led in large part by Flight 93 families. 960 1280

Paul Murdoch  

Pentagon at Night

Pentagon at Night

Dedicated in 2008, the Pentagon Memorial honors those 184 men and women who died on American Airlines Flight 77 and in the Pentagon itself. Each of the benches displays the name of a victim. They are organized from youngest to oldest, from 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg to 71-year-old John Yamnicky Sr. 960 1280

Michael Myers, flickr  

Pentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial

Young visitors pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial outside the Pentagon in Washington, DC. Maple trees are planted on the grounds of the memorial, which is open 7 days a week, year-round. 960 1280

Reuters  

Pentagon Memorial

Pentagon Memorial

Each year DC-area residents pay tribute to the victims of the attack on the Pentagon. Here, members of the military stand in unison, holding state flags. In 2013, President Obama will travel to the Pentagon Memorial to attend the Sept. 11th Observance Ceremony. 960 1280

Reuters  

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