Urban decay may seem like a strange tourist attraction, but true urban explorers know that visiting hidden abandoned buildings can be a whole lot of fun. California is home to some of the most spectacular abandoned buildings in the world, and here are our favorites.
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This house near Mission Soledad
This picture shows an abandoned house in Soledad in Monterey County. The house is located near Mission Soledad, which was founded by the Franciscan order in 1791 to convert the Native Americans to Catholicism. Spanish missions were some of the first efforts by Europeans to colonize the Pacific Coast of America.
Building #6 in the Port of San Francisco
What is simply known as Building #6, located in the Pier 70 area at the Port of San Francisco, was once used for ship building during WWII. It has been left abandoned since the 1989 earthquake, which also left some 3,000–12,000 San Franciscans homeless. Building #6 is now illegally used by graffiti artists.
Eagle Mountain High School in Desert Center
The class of 1983 was the last to graduate from Eagle Mountain High School in Desert Center, which was boarded up and closed for good with students moving to Palo Verde High School in Blythe. The population of Desert Center, a town that was founded in 1921 by ‘Desert Steve’ Ragsdale, is currently around 200.
The Saloon in Bodie
What was once a booming town, awash with prospectors and known for its gold mines, Bodie is now famous as a “wild west” ghost town and attracts around 200,000 tourists every year. Visitors can walk around the deserted streets of Bodie and peer into houses and buildings, such as the pictured saloon, with interiors left as they were upon desertion back in the early 1910s.
Tagus Ranch in Tulare
This photo shows the Tagus Ranch, which opened its doors in 1912. It once hosted live music, theatre and offered cocktails, food and a place to stay for the night. As well as being known as one of the best restaurants in America, Tagus Ranch served as a German POW camp towards the end of WWII.
Spotting stations on the Pacific Coast
This spotting post is one of two that look out across the Pacific Ocean from California. The men who manned the stations would use azimuth scopes to take the bearings of distant enemy ships – they were experts on identifying the ships silhouettes.
Treasure Island Bowling Alley in San Francisco
This man-made island was created in 1936 and was home to the U.S. military from the 1940s until its abandonment. In addition to the bowling alley that is pictured, Treasure Island is also home to an abandoned cinema, swimming pool and lots of army barracks. The view of Alcatraz Island in the distance gives Treasure Island a particularly eerie feel.