2. Ruby, Arizona
Arizona has no shortage of ghost towns, but few are as well preserved as Ruby. Prospectors made a beeline there in the 1870s, and everyone bailed around 1941, when zinc, copper, silver, lead, and gold mining operations ended. The town was named after general store owner Julius Andrew’s wife, but lest you believe it was all warm and fuzzy, Ruby inspired the not-ambiguously-titled book, Ruby, Arizona: Mining, Mayhem & Murder. The Ruby Mercantile, the most profitable general store in the Oro Blanco, was the site of two double murders by bandits from over the border. TWO.
Tumbleweed factor: Murder and mayhem aside, Ruby ran out of ore, and was always hampered by water supply issues. It briefly became a commune in the ‘60s, proving that not all hippies are attuned to “good vibes.”
Must see/do: Check in on the Ruby restoration project, which has extensively restored the school, warehouse, and courthouse. That’s where your $12 visitors fee is going.