Running out of abandoned places to visit isn’t a good enough reason to give up on your exploration adventures. All you need to do is find some more, and yes, it is as easy as it sounds.
Travelling isn’t an option for a lot of people right now, so you might be asking, “how can I find abandoned places near me?”
There are four easy ways of finding new abandoned locations that you can do right now. If you want to find abandoned places other people have found you can check out the Urban Exploration Resource map, search Google, or join Facebook groups. If you want to find your own locations, you can search the satellite view on Google Maps or speak to a realtor who might have some insider information.
The very first place you should look for abandoned places near you is this map. Urban Exploration Resource has this map that shows locations globally.
Each location shows up as one of three signs: green for “this location is probably still here”, yellow for “this location’s status is unknown”, or red for “this location has been demolished”.
If you click on a specific location, you can see pictures of the location, the names of a location, and specific details about the condition of a given location. You might even find “abandoned - ruins” near you!
Just because a location has been demolished, doesn’t mean it would be a waste to visit. Whether you’re looking for places to take photos, try ghost hunting, or just to get out of the house, a demolished site can be just as rewarding as a site with a building.
A Google search will probably be the first place you go to look for abandoned places. A simple “abandoned places near me” is a great place to start, and it could be the only search you need.
Google uses your current location, so wherever you are searching from, California to Maine, Google will show you abandoned places near where you are!
If that search doesn’t show what you’re hoping for, you can try some of these searches. To help Google narrow down searches, keep the formatting of each search. All the quotation marks and addition signs give Google very clear instructions on what results you want to be shown.
Make sure you replace CityName with the city that you are in or the city you want to find abandoned places in.
While you search, write down any names of buildings or addresses you find. You’ll want to do a little bit of digging to find out if your location is still abandoned, or even still standing.
Once you have a building name or an address, go ahead and open Google maps. From there type in the building name, or the address to pull up the location. Once you’ve found the place you’re looking for, change the view of the area to street view and satellite.
Streetview and satellite images will give you a better idea if the area is abandoned. Overgrown gardens, missing shingles, gutters that are falling apart, and holes in the roof are great indicators that the building you have found is abandoned.
If you want to find your own abandoned sites without using a Google search, you can skip the search and go directly to satellite view on Google maps.
From the aerial view, you can scout old railroads and railroad stations, lakes, rivers, even find isolated buildings hidden in the middle of nowhere.
You will still want to look for the same signs of abandonment as before; structural problems, broken windows, roofs that need repair, overgrown lawns and gardens, and cracked parking lots.
If you live in a busy city, abandoned buildings are bought to turn into storefronts, new properties, or housing rentals, so you probably won’t find many (if any) abandoned locations this way. Your best chances are going to come from small rural areas where you can probably find an old abandoned barn or two.
Talk to a Realtor. They have access to a special database called MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that requires a realtor license.
This database can show them information on properties that aren’t even on the market. It can show them details about foreclosure, buildings that have been on the market for years, or properties that owe a lot in back taxes. Without outright saying these properties are abandoned, they are pretty big clues.
If you don’t have a realtor friend or a realtor you feel comfortable asking, you can search properties yourself on any of these websites:
To narrow down your search to try to find abandoned properties, try changing the filters to see properties that have been on the market the longest, or by the oldest build year.
You should also try keyword searches. Searches like “immediate possession”, “under appraisal”, or “below market value” could be clues that the property for sale is abandoned.
There are different types of Facebook groups you could join to find abandoned places.
Area groups can be extremely specific or show very generalized areas depending on what you search for. You can bring up results for cities, states, or even the entire country.
If a city and state search isn’t showing you any results on Facebook, and you join a group showing abandoned locations all across the U.S.A., you can narrow down the locations by performing a search within the group.
The group searches are handy if you want to search for locations within a city or state, or even if you want to find a specific type of building.
If, for example, you love checking out abandoned asylums, and you only want to see results for New York, you could search “asylums” and “New York” within the group, make your list of the ones that have been posted, and then go on an abandoned asylum road trip!
Some photographers will use abandoned buildings and properties as focal points for their work. They travel and document the spaces that used to be used, and show the spaces in their current state of abandon and ruin.
Photographers may not give out exact addresses for everyone to find these locations, but they may tag a location when they post the pictures or even take photos with clues on where they could be. A picture of a motel sign could be searched in Google to help you find the abandoned location so you can also visit.
All of these tips can work wherever you are. So if you move, or you want to do some exploring while you travel, or even if you want to help your best friend halfway around the world find some new places to see, you can use any of these tips.
Now that you have some new resources to find abandoned places, go get out there and explore again!