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The Staggering Architecture of 11 Abandoned Tourist Traps

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Once bustling tourist traps dotting USA's Route 66, the European coastline, and beyond, these days the globe's many abandoned attractions offer a spooky, dilapidated peek into the vacations of yesterday. Ranging from campy—faux Western villages, "hillbilly" amusement parks, and Flintstones replica towns—to downright haunting, like the radioactive remains of Chernobyl carnival grounds, the list below chronicles the crumbling, left-behind architecture that's become something of a destination in its own right. Take a look:

(↑ and ↓) Built way out in the desert of Williams, Ariz. in 1972, this dusty, life-size replica town of Bedrock City offered an opportunity to wander through concrete bungalows that resemble the cartoon homes of the Flintstone family and their Stone Age neighbors.

(↑ and ↓) Despite Hudson Valley, N.Y.'s enduring vacation appeal, certain kooky roadside attractions—like this old-timey Last Chance Saloon and Doll House "chapel" gentleman's club—have fallen into disrepair since their glory days. Built in 1958 and once one of a whopping 10 Wild West-themed replica towns in the Catskills, the two businesses finally shuttered in 1997.

(↑ and ↓) Deep in Two Guns, Ariz. (yep, real name), this miniature town from the 1920s—complete with its own self-contained gas station, lodging, food emporium, and zoo—sits on the site of bloody battles between the Navajos and the Apaches. The former owner, eccentric and quick to capitalize on the location's history, cleaned up what had been a mass Apache tomb, "built fake ruins around it and sold the Apache's skulls as souvenirs," according to the blog Messy Nessy Chic. "To make it a little less morbid, he later strung some lights, added a soda stand and renamed it the "Mystery Cave".

(↑ and ↓) San Zhi is a futurism-inspired Taiwanese resort that began construction as a series of UFO-shaped vacation houses in 1978, but never actually opened due to both investment losses and an eerie number of car accident deaths on-site. All that's left now are the M&M-like pods and an attached grotto water park.

(↑ and ↓) As Connecticut's most visited tourist destination during the 1960s and '70s, Holy Land USA in Waterbury promised the unlikely combination of theme park rides and religious education, with such Bible-inspired attractions as miniature architectural models of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Herod's palace, and even the Garden of Eden. The place was abandoned in 1986 after the park's creator passed.

(↑ and ↓) Just one of many large-scale Chinese projects to never come to fruition, the Wonderland amusement park was primed to be Beijing's answer to Disney World up until land price disputes in 1998 ground construction to a halt. In order to make room for a proposed shopping center, these left-behind castles, moats, and towers were demolished last year.

(↑ and ↓) Dog Patch USA, a "Hillbilly" village built 1966 in Marble Falls, Ark., was marketed as a a real-life version of Al Capp's Li'l Abner comic strip. The delightfully tacky crop of buildings included Barney Barnsmell's Skunk-Works, Rotten Ralphie's Rick-O-Shay Rifle Range, and Earthquake McGoon's Brain Rattler, a roller coaster. Sadly, the good people of Arkansas had had their fill of the campy attractions by 1993.

(↑ and ↓) Post Chernobyl, the Pripyat Amusment Park in Pripyat, Ukraine, left behind one seriously eerie landscape of old rides, deteriorated fairground buildings, and a rather forlorn ferris wheel. Due to lingering radiation, the site still sits abandoned today.

(↑ and ↓) Once a thriving tourist town atop an elevated plateau in Yashima, Japan, this entire village rather mysteriously lost steam in the mid-1980s, up and leaving the railway system, intricate temple buildings, and hotels. To this day, even the gift shops are still stocked with the same old merchandise.

(↑ and ↓) Popular with the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot in its heyday, the formerly glamorous Varosha resort in Cyprus fell to shambles after the 1974 Turkish invasion. The remains of the high-rise buildings are now closely patrolled and strictly off-limits to would-be urban explorers.

(↑ and ↓) The 60-foot-high Genoa Wonder Tower in Genoa, Colo., was most popular in 1926, immediately after it was first built. The adjoining gas station, restaurant, and motel have since fallen to pieces, but the inside of the tower—which houses "animal oddities" and Native American artifacts—remains unmanned, but open to the public.

· Desolate Flintstones Architecture Recalls the Bedrock of Yore [Curbed National]
· Exploring New York State's Eye-Popping Vacant Architecture [Curbed National]
· The Tourist Trap Ghost Town [Messy Nessy Chic]
· An abandoned Bible theme park [Deserted Places]
· Wonderland [Business Insider]
· The Hillbilly Theme Park that Lies in Ruin [Slate]
· Pripyat Amusement Park [Atlas Obscura]
· Japan's Ghost Towns [Hotel Club]
· Genoa Wonder Tower [Legends of America]