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The Best Bakery in All 50 States

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There’s bread, and then there’s the kind of bread that inspires a line around the block. The kind that’s too good to make into toast. We’ve combed the country and found you the very best loaves, rolls, pastries, and pies from sea to shining sea.

1. ALABAMA // MASON DIXON

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Bring one of Mason Dixon’s chewy, hearty loaves to your next potluck and you’ll be the hit of the party—especially among guests who can’t eat gluten. Every single one of the Huntsville bakery’s breads, bagels, cookies, cupcakes, and pies is completely gluten-free. Want to kick your grilled cheese up a notch? Try starting with Mason Dixon’s zippy, creamy jalapeño cheddar bread.

2. ALASKA // FRESH SOURDOUGH EXPRESS BAKERY & CAFÉ

Location: Homer, Alaska

Donna Maltz started her bakery in the 1970s with a portable oven, a delivery van, and a wildly ambitious dream: to bring delicious, healthy food to the remote community of Homer, Alaska. It took a little while to catch on, but today the Fresh Sourdough Express Bakery & Café is one of the area's best-loved treasures. Start with Donna’s famous sourdough loaf, sample local meat, seafood, and vegetables, and don’t forget to save room for dessert.

3. ARIZONA // NOBLE BREAD

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Bread aficionados passing through the southwest will want to make a pit stop in Phoenix for a few loaves at Noble Bread. Their bakers are traditionalists, kneading salt, organic flour, water, and yeast into rustic loaves before baking them on a stone hearth. The bakery produces three highly sought-after breads each week: their classic, fluffy-crumbed country loaf; an ancient grain variety with emmer, Kamut, einkorn, or spelt; and a fruit-and-nut bread.

4. ARKANSAS // STONE MILL BREAD

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

There’s a yellow house in Fayetteville that makes some of the best bread in the Ozarks. Dan and Karen Dantzler founded Stone Mill Bread in 1997 as a way to keep their family close to the community. And as their passion and talent for baking grew, so did their fan base. Savvy patrons buy twice as many loaves, kolaches, or cinnamon rolls as they need—half to keep, and half to give as gifts to very lucky friends and family.

5. CALIFORNIA // DELLA FATTORIA

Location: Petaluma, California

Kathleen Weber started baking bread first for her family, then for her friends, then for her neighbors. Her circle of fans grew and grew and Weber soon found herself sending loaves over to chefs at exclusive Sonoma restaurants. More than 20 years later, Weber and the team at Della Fattoria ("of the farm" in Italian) hand-shape between 400 and 1200 loaves of bread each night, from ciabatta and polenta to pain de campagne and pumpkin seed. Locals recommend the bakery’s zingy, beautiful rosemary-Meyer lemon bread.

6. COLORADO // THE DENVER BREAD COMPANY

Location: Denver, Colorado

The only thing more impressive than a stack of fragrant, fresh "Laundry" baguettes from the Denver Bread Company might be the bakery’s towering pile of awards, including a shout-out from Bon Appétit. Not satisfied with acclaim and fantastic loaves, the bakery also donates bread every day to food banks, shelters, and meal delivery services for people living with life-threatening illnesses.

7. CONNECTICUT // BANTAM BREAD COMPANY

Location: Bantam, Connecticut

Niles Golovin left his job as a restaurant chef in New York City for a quieter life in the Connecticut suburbs. He started baking part-time and quickly got hooked, eventually studying the craft under a master baker and opening the French-style Bantam Bread Company with his wife and daughter. The bakery’s offerings are as good-looking as they are flavorful; we recommend the Calamata Olive Sourdough and the Semolina Batard.

8. DELAWARE // BING'S BAKERY

Location: Newark, Delaware

Voted Best Bakery several years running by Delaware Today, Bing’s has been operating for 70-plus years in Newark and is known in the area for their trademark, elaborately decorated Easter egg cakes. For the rest of the year, customers come back time and again for their sugary pastries and dainty petit fours.

9. FLORIDA // YALAHA BAKERY

Location: Yalaha, Florida

For Old World breads, look no further than this German gem in central Florida. Since 1995, Yalaha has been serving Bee Stings (yeast cakes with Bavarian cream), Berliner Brotchen (Berlin-style breakfast rolls), and a variety of pretzels and rye. The bakery also offers tours of their kitchen for inquiring groups, and weekend visitors can grab a drink in the in-house beer garden and enjoy live music.

10. GEORGIA // BACK IN THE DAY BAKERY

Location: Savannah, Georgia

A much-celebrated sweet shop, Back in the Day goes vintage in both its décor and its menu. Rather than keep up with food trends, owners Cheryl and Griffith Day focus on perfecting classic favorites like chocolate cake and cinnamon buns (which are available on Saturdays only). Other times, you may be able to catch a slice of their Brown Sugar Banana Bread.

11. HAWAII // THE ALLEY AT AIEA BOWL

Location: Aiea, Hawaii

Who says a bakery housed in a bowling alley can’t deliver the goods? The Alley specializes in crunch cakes—lemon, pumpkin, pistachio, and strawberry—that deliver a unique texture, though you can always grab a PB&J scone while hitting the lanes.

12. IDAHO // JANJOU PÂTISSERIE

Location: Boise, Idaho

Idaho may not be the first place you think of for delicious French pastries, but that would be to ignore Janjou, which serves croissants and other decadent Parisian goods courtesy of co-owner Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas. The storefront filled to the brim with pastries, tarts, and quiches, and business is brisk enough that Janjou doesn’t advertise, relying exclusively on word of mouth.

13. ILLINOIS // WEBER'S BAKERY

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Since 1930, Chicago residents have endorsed Weber’s fully-made-from-scratch selection as the finest in a city that has no shortage of eateries. Rocky Road brownies are a popular attraction, as are the hand-cut kolacky, and banana split torte cakes, which are known locally as BSTs.

14. INDIANA // THE CAKE BAKE SHOP

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

The first thing to greet you at Cake Bake after the smell is the setting: The bakery is a converted cottage that seats patrons for lunch (quiche, sandwiches) or a treat. The store’s selection of cakes and pies—particularly the apple—routinely make "Best of" lists in the state, and there’s typically a line forming most mornings for the trademark caramel cake. Owner Gwendolyn Rogers was even honored with a Best Taste and Presentation nod at the 2013 London Cake and Bake Show for her chocolate recipe, which was then requested by Elton John for a Paris engagement.

15. IOWA // THELMA'S TREATS

Location:: Des Moines, Iowa

If warm cookies delivered to your door are the key to a good day, then living in a zip code near Thelma’s would be a wise move. The bakery serves cookies warm and even brings them to doorsteps in an oven-shaped cardboard box. In the summer, the cookies are baked and then used to squish fresh ice cream scoops for homemade ice cream sandwiches.

16. KANSAS // WHEATFIELDS BAKERY WHEATFIELDS BAKERY CAFÉ

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

WheatFields Bakery Café in Lawrence bakes more than 18 different types of loaves, from a sourdough made with its own signature culture to French bread made with stone-ground wheat to a kalamata olive bread that Artisan Baking author Maggie Glezer once called "the best I’ve ever eaten." The bakers at WheatFields are true experts: The History Channel visited the bakery for a wheat-themed episode of Modern Marvels in 2008, interviewing then-head baker Tom Leonard for a lesson in types of wheat flours and ancient baking techniques.

17. KENTUCKY // BLUE DOG BAKERY AND CAFÉ

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Blue Dog Bakery and Café spends up to 48 hours crafting every one of the 1000 loaves it sells per day. Eater Louisville calls owner Bob Hancock "the undisputed king of Louisville bakers," and he and his wife and co-owner, Kit Garrett, are something of local celebrities. The bakery has a variety of French and Italian country loaves, but it’s not the only place you can sample Blue Dog’s bread—the bakery is the supplier for more than 20 different restaurants in the Louisville area.

18. LOUISIANA // BELLEGARDE BAKERY

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Master baker Graison Gill opened Bellegarde in his early twenties, shortly after finishing baking school in California, and has been single-minded in his commitment to bring great bread to New Orleans ever since, using its own fresh, stone-ground grains that are largely sourced from local growers. The bakery is named after François Lemesle—known as Bellegarde—who opened one of the first bakeries in New Orleans in the 1720s. Bellegarde accepts orders online for pick-up the following day (it’s only open until 2 p.m.) and sells its bread through several retail stores. The bakery also offers regular workshops for aspiring bread makers.

19. MAINE // SCRATCH BAKING CO.

Location: South Portland, Maine

The secret ingredient behind many of Scratch Baking’s beloved breads is LuLu, the sourdough starter that co-owner and head baker Allison Reid began in her kitchen more than a decade ago and has been carefully tended to every day since. LuLu goes into the bakery’s sourdough as well as its ciabatta and multigrain breads—plus the bakery’s renowned hand-rolled bagels, which are so popular the company had to move its baking operations to another location to make room for the hordes of people who wait in line for them every day. If you want to ensure you get a bagel, you’d better arrive before 10 a.m. But don’t worry, night owls: baguettes are only available after 11 a.m., so at least you can snag one of those.

20. MARYLAND // THE BREADERY

Location: Catonsville, Maryland

Located just outside of Baltimore, The Breadery features a huge selection of specialty, preservative-free breads, from honey whole wheat loaves to smoked gouda rolls, and their whole grains are stone-milled on-site daily. While you’re there, taste-test one of the shop’s large selection of flavored olive oils—perfect for pairing with your new favorite breads.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // BERKSHIRE MOUNTAIN BAKERY

Location: Housatonic and Pittsfield, Massachusetts

No trip to western Massachusetts should skip over Berkshire Mountain Bakery, where baker Richard Bourdon has been selling European-style breads since 1986. Born in Quebec, Bourdon learned to bake in the Netherlands, where he ran one of the first bakeries in Holland to revive traditional sourdough fermentation techniques. Berkshire Mountain Bakery has since been heralded as one of the best bread bakeries in the nation by the likes of Saveur and Bon Appétit and featured in the Netflix documentary series Cooked. Make sure to try the famous Bread & Chocolate loaf, which has Belgian chocolate folded into the dough.

22. MICHIGAN // PLEASANTON BAKERY

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Pleasanton Bakery has been a forerunner in Northern Michigan’s local food movement for decades. Its bread is naturally leavened using a sourdough starter its bakers have fed for more than 20 years, and it's made in wood-burning ovens with only organic, Michigan-grown grains. Currently run by Jonathan St. Hilaire, an award-winning pastry chef who has worked at venerable restaurants and bakeries in New York City and Atlanta, Pleasanton Bakery has been named one of the best places to get bread in America by Food & Wine magazine, and in 2015, Mario Batali called its date and fennel loaf with sea salt one of his favorite food finds of the year.

23. MINNESOTA // RUSTICA BAKERY

Location: Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, Minnesota

For more than a decade, Rustica Bakery has been the place to go for fresh bread in the Twin Cities. In 2015, Rustica Bakery founder Stephen Horton was a semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s "Outstanding Baker" award, and while he’s no longer with the shop, the new bakers at the ovens are just as obsessed with churning out consistently great bread by hand. And though Rustica is known to have some of the best challah in the region, don’t stop there—it has seven regular breads on daily offer and multiple specials throughout the week.

24. MISSISSIPPI // GIL'S BREAD

Location: Ridgeland, Mississippi

Years ago, investment banker-turned-baker Gil Turchin turned to the kitchen to relieve stress and discovered that he loved making bread. A two-week intensive course at the French Culinary Institute convinced Turchin to switch careers, and he honed his skills at a bakery in Fort Worth, Texas for 12 years before moving to Ridgeland, Mississippi in 2013 and opening Gil’s Bread. Today, Gil sells a variety of artisanal breads and offers bread-making classes focusing on old-world techniques. Home bakers can even purchase a sourdough starter upon request.

25. MISSOURI // COMPANION

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Artisan breads take center stage at Companion, the wholesale bakery and café founded by Missouri native Joshua Allen in 1993. Customers can enjoy crusty, European-style loaves, or support local farmers by purchasing breads made with locally grown and milled grains. For a true oven-to-table experience, visitors who swing by Companion’s new headquarters in West St. Louis can even watch bread being made and learn how to bake it themselves. And, Companion's pastries are also worth a mention—try the MOMO, a rolled brioche dough pastry with cinnamon and sugar.

26. MONTANA // BERNICE'S BAKERY

Location: Missoula, Montana

Bernice's Bakery opened in Missoula, Montana in 1978, and quickly became a beloved community institution. Word of their scrumptious molasses cookies, billowy croissants, and deli-style sandwiches, made with fresh, house-baked bread, spread so widely that PBS even featured Bernice’s in their 2015 documentary A Few Great Bakeries. While paying a visit, don’t be too star-struck if you run into Marco Littig, the bakery’s co-owner, who served as real-life inspiration for the character "Paul" in Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling autobiography, Wild.

27. NEBRASKA // ROTELLA'S ITALIAN BAKERY

Location: La Vista, Nebraska

Rotella’s Italian Bakery—and its rustic-style loaves and rolls—are a longstanding family tradition. The business began with 19th-century Italian master baker Domenico Rotella, who passed his knowledge down to son Alessandro. In 1909, Alessandro Rotella left the Old Country for America, settled in Omaha, and purchased a bakery. His fledgling business grew into a larger, successful one, and is today run by Alessandro grandson, Louis Rotella Jr. The bakery produces hundreds of bread varieties, but the business also stays true to its old-school roots. Try their special Split Hard Roll, or the Vienna, a thick, sliced Italian loaf.

28. NEVADA // BON BREADS

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Carlos Pereira left his native Peru to study hotel management in Las Vegas, and worked his way through school as a baker’s apprentice. Upon completing his degree, the newly minted graduate couldn’t find a job as a casino manager—so on a whim, Pereira replied to an ad seeking an artisanal baker for the famous Caesar’s Palace hotel and casino. The executive pastry chef couldn’t find any qualified candidates, so he took a chance on Pereira and enrolled the novice in an intensive baking course at the San Francisco Baking Institute.

Pereira went on to become Caesar’s top baker, and in 1999, he opened his very own business, called Bon Breads. Today, Bon Breads supplies Las Vegas’s top casinos and restaurants (including Wolfgang Puck and Julian Serrano) with baguettes, rustic loaves, brioches, and other specialty breads.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // THE GOOD LOAF

Location: Milford, New Hampshire

In 2016, New Hampshire magazine’s readers voted Milford’s The Good Loaf as their favorite bread bakery. Fresh-baked daily offerings include oatmeal, pain de mie, cinnamon-raisin, and multigrain loaves, but if you’re looking for a bread that’s a crust above the rest, try one of The Good Loaf’s made-to-order items, like Chocolate Challah, Caramelized Onion and Sharp Cheddar Miche, and Sesame Semolina. These breads require extra prep, so make sure to order them at least four days in advance.

30. NEW JERSEY // BALTHAZAR BAKERY

Location: Englewood, New Jersey

Dine at any number of New York City’s best restaurants, and you’ll likely be served bread made by Balthazar Bakery. The artisanal bakery opened in SoHo in 1997, next to a French bistro of the same name. Space became limited as Balthazar grew from a one-stop shop into a citywide powerhouse, so in 2000, the business moved its wholesale division to Englewood, New Jersey. (The restaurant remains in Manhattan, next to a small bakery.) Today, customers can swing by Balthazar’s New Jersey location and purchase their famous baguettes, croissants, and wheels of pain de seigle at an on-site retail store.

31. NEW MEXICO // WILD LEAVEN BAKERY AND CAFÉ

Location: Taos, New Mexico

Before opening Wild Leaven Bakery and Café in Taos in 2016, Andre Kempton studied his craft in Santa Fe with Willem Malten, a Dutch master baker whose now-closed Cloud Cliff Bakery & Café "pioneered artisan baking in New Mexico," according to Sunset magazine. Long ago, before World War II, Northern New Mexico produced more kinds of wheat than any other state. Hoping to bring wheat farming back to New Mexico, Malten used locally grown grains, raised by farmer co-operatives, to make his breads.

Not surprisingly, Kempton’s approach to baking resembles his mentor’s. At the Wild Leaven Bakery and Café, customers can purchase around a dozen types of bread, made from all-organic ingredients and mostly locally grown grains. Sandwiches, soups, and pizzas are also on the menu for patrons who feel like sitting down and enjoying a home-cooked meal.

32. NEW YORK // PERRECA'S

Location: Schenectady, New York

When Salvatore and Carmella Perreca immigrated to America from Italy in 1913, they brought their passion for baking with them. A year after settling in Schenectady, New York, the couple opened up Perreca’s: a bakery serving up the same style of crusty Italian loaves they made in their home village outside Naples. Not much has changed in 100 years. Perreca’s is still owned by the same family, and their bread is still baked in the same coal-fired brick oven that was there when it opened. Customers can buy the baked goods straight from the source, or they can pop into Perreca’s cafe next door to enjoy some homemade paninis.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // LA FARM

Location: Cary, North Carolina

La Farm via Facebook

Before opening La Farm in Cary, North Carolina, Lionel and Missy Vatinet did their homework. They spent years traveling the world and picked up grains of knowledge from the bakeries they visited along the way. In 1999, the launched a bakery of their own stateside. Today the shop sells 15 kinds of bread—not including their 20 seasonal varieties—that are made by hand, fermented for days, and baked in a European-style hearth oven.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // BREAD POETS

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Jon Lee fulfilled his dream of opening a bakery in his hometown nearly two decades ago. The products at Bread Poets—like the Cheddar Cornbread or the Cherry Cream bread, made with dried Michigan cherries—are made from stone-ground grains and sold within 30 hours of baking. 

35. OHIO // RESCH'S BAKERY

Location: Columbus, Ohio

German immigrants Wilhelm Resch and his Uncle Frank learned their way around an oven while working at a bakery in Columbus, Ohio. After overhearing the two employees conspiring to one day run a bakery of their own, their boss fired them outright. Unemployment turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the pair: It gave them the opportunity to open Resch’s Bakery in 1912. The shop, which sells homemade bread, bagels, pretzels, cakes, and doughnuts, remains a family business today.

36. OKLAHOMA // PRAIRIE THUNDER BAKERY

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Prairie Thunder Bakery offers all the classics: Baguettes, ciabattas, and sourdoughs, to name a few. It also sells specialty flavored loaves like Roasted Potatoes, Caramelized Onion Ciabatta, and Jalapeño and Habañero Hummus. The breads can be purchased from the downtown Oklahoma shop or found at restaurants and retailers throughout the city.

37. OREGON // KEN'S ARTISAN BAKERY

Location: Portland, Oregon

Artisan baked goods aren’t difficult to come by in Oregon, but the fare at Ken’s makes an impression. Since Ken Forkish opened the shop in 2001, it’s grown into a Portland institution. In addition to its selection of fine breads, cookies, and cakes, Ken’s also serves a full cafe menu of salads and sandwiches. And early on, the bakery was known for its Pizza Mondays, and the night became so popular that within five years, Ken decided to open a separate pizza shop on the other side of the Willamette River.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // BIRD-IN-HAND BAKESHOP

Location: Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania

A trip to Amish Country isn’t complete without sampling some Pennsylvania Dutch baked goods. Bird-in-Hand offers traditional staples like potato rolls, whoopie pies, and wet bottom shoo-fly pie. Many of the recipes are the same ones used by Annie Miller when she opened the bakery with her husband, Erwin, in 1972. Today their children and grandchildren keep the business running.

39. RHODE ISLAND // SEVEN STARS BAKERY

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

The key to turning out great products is patience. The bakers at Seven Stars Bakery subject their breads and pastries to a lengthy fermentation process. During hours or possibly days of rest, the dough develops a depth of flavor that’s impossible to rush. This level of craftsmanship is evident in everything from the simple white bread to the rosemary and thyme focaccia.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // BAGUETTE MAGIC

Location: James Island, South Carolina

Started by a French expat who couldn’t find a good baguette, this Lowcountry favorite began as a stand at the Charleston farmers' market and quickly upgraded to a standalone shop on nearby James Island. Customers come out for the signature baguette, made the old-fashioned way, as well as the brioche, sourdough, and other breads. The café serves up breakfast and lunch fare, including their Recovery Baguette—a sandwich made with eggs, ham, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, and tomato.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // QUEEN CITY BAKERY

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

In 2007, New York City baker Kristine Moberg and husband Mitch Jackson, both South Dakota natives, returned home to start their own bakery. Ten years later, Queen City Bakery has become a local favorite where customers file in each day for scratch-made muffins, croissants, quiches, and bourbon pecan bars. The shop is best known for Moberg’s specialty: cakes, including a Lemon Polka Dot, Chocolate Espresso, and a shout-out to her old neighborhood, a Brooklyn Blackout.

42. TENNESSEE // WILD LOVE BAKEHOUSE

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Wild Love’s hand tarts—homemade Pop-Tarts in flavors like apple pecan and apricot raspberry—are worth the trip on their own. There’s much more, of course, including pear and almond galettes, fudgy brownies, and a variety of croissants. Customers have lots of love for Wild Love’s scratch-made "monster biscuits," too, which tend to sell out quickly. Get there early and score a monster biscuit topped with locally sourced eggs and sausage.

43. TEXAS // CZECH STOP & LITTLE CZECH BAKERY

Location: West, Texas

Texas is crazy for kolaches, the fruit and meat-filled pastries introduced by the state’s Czech immigrants beginning in the late 19th century. And there’s arguably no better place to get them than this otherwise unassuming gas station and bake shop situated off Interstate 35. In addition to kolaches made with sausage, pepperoni, pulled pork, and other fillings, Czech Stop carries killer cream cheese brownies and pies. And it’s stayed open continuously for more than 30 years—even during a massive nearby fertilizer plant fire in 2013.

44. UTAH // GOURMANDISE THE BAKERY

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Gourmandise excels as both a bake shop and fine dining destination. Breakfast brings out top-notch pastries like the bacon, cheese, and tomato croissant, while lunch offers salads and sandwiches made using some of Gourmandise’s 15 house-made breads. Dinner patrons, meanwhile, can savor beef bourguignon or lasagna bolognese and swirl a glass of red.

45. VERMONT // MIRABELLES CAFÉ AND BAKERY

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Started by two graduates of the New England Culinary Institute, Mirabelles is known for its scratch-made biscuits and popovers, as well as its solid breakfast fare. On cold Vermont mornings, a Rise & Shine sandwich made with eggs, bacon, microgreens, and spicy mayo promises a flavorful warm-up. Mirabelles is also an ace at cakes, from coconut-lime to its maple old-fashioned chocolate.

46. VIRGINIA // BLACKBIRD BAKERY

Location: Bristol, Virginia

Krispy Kreme, take note: Blackbird runs the doughnut game in southwest Virginia, with more than 2000 of the homemade treats sold every morning. Started by a former middle school teacher, the shop also offers a variety of pastries, cupcakes, tarts, and homemade bars. Cakes include everything from German chocolate to key lime to a "hummingbird" variety made with bananas, pecans, and caramel sauce.

47. WASHINGTON // BAKERY NOUVEAU

Location: Seattle, Washington

If you've ever wanted to taste a baguette or a macaron made by a world champion baker, this is your chance. Owner William Leamon led the winning U.S. team at the World Cup of Baking back in 2005, then brought his talents back to Seattle. Bakery Nouveau offers a variety of breads and baguettes, but what draws the shop’s notoriously long lines every morning are sweet treats like twice-baked almond croissants, pear Danishes, and kugelhopfs (a light cake baked in rum butter, then rolled in cinnamon and sugar).

48. WEST VIRGINIA // SPRING HILL PASTRY SHOP

Location: South Charleston, West Virginia

Spring Hill turns out top-notch butter bread and French bread, along with pan rolls and Parker House rolls. Its specialty, though, is hot dogs—but not the kind you’re familiar with. These are stretched-out doughnuts that get filled with cream and dusted on top with powdered sugar. You can also get chocolate sauce on top, naturally. True to its name, the pastry shop also offers petit fours, napoleons, and cherry tarts, along with an assortment of pies, cakes, and cookies.

49. WISCONSIN // PETER SCIORTINO BAKERY

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This Milwaukee establishment has gotten a new look and new owners since its namesake founded the shop in 1947. But it’s still turning out traditional favorites like Italian loaves, dinner rolls, brat rolls (this being Wisconsin, of course) and handmade breadsticks. There are plenty of sweet treats, as well, including amaretti, chocolate biscotti, spumoni, and other authentic Italian cookies.

50. WYOMING // PERSEPHONE BAKERY

Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

The bread artists at Persephone use locally sourced wild yeasts to slowly ferment their dough before baking it in a stone hearth. The result is deeply flavorful baguettes, whole wheat, rye, and multigrain loaves. Persephone also carries pastries, tarts, and cookies, and recently began serving high tea every afternoon at 4 p.m.

By Michele Debczak, Kirstin Fawcett, Shaunacy Ferro, Kate Horowitz, Jake Rossen, and Jeff Wells.

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The Best Apple Pie From All 50 States
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There are few things better than a slice of warm apple pie. Here's a roundup of the top pies from every state, whether you prefer yours à la mode, à la carte, or à la delivery.

1. ALABAMA // PIE LAB

Pie Lab sign

Location: Greensboro, Alabama

At the Pie Lab in Alabama, baker Kelley Whatley mixes pecans into her apple filling to give the dessert an unexpected crunch. Her pies are good for the soul in more ways than one: All profits from the bakery are donated to a local charity organization that provides resources to the homeless.

2. ALASKA // TALKEETNA ROADHOUSE

The exterior of the Roadhouse.
mazaletel, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Talkeetna, Alaska

Somewhere between Anchorage and Denali National Park, a combination diner-hostel in the town of Talkeetna is serving up the best apple pie in the state. When the Talkeetna Roadhouse first opened in the early 20th century, they loaded up their horse and buggy with baked goods to bring to miners and trappers in the hills nearby. Today you’ll have to sit inside the actual restaurant for a taste of their apple pie. The item is so popular that the roadhouse even offers pie-making classes October through March.

3. ARIZONA // APPLE ANNIE’S

Apple crumb pie from Apple Annie's orchard.
Jessica Spengler, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Willcox, Arizona

The award-winning pies offered at Apple Annie’s are made with fresh, hand-peeled apples harvested from the family-run farm. After indulging in one of their homemade baked goods, visitors can roam the orchards and pick their own peaches, pears, and apples to take home.

4. ARKANSAS // MS. LENA’S

sour cream apple pie from Ms. Lena's
Courtesy of Ms. Lena's

Location: De Valls Bluff, Arkansas

If you pass by this roadside gem when it’s open on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, it’s worth making a pit stop. One of Ms. Lena's recurring specialties is a tangy, sour cream apple pie served inside a crispy crust.

5. CALIFORNIA // APPLE ALLEY BAKERY

A close up of red apples.
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Location: Julian, California

In a town that prides itself in being one of America’s premier pie destinations, Apple Alley Bakery is a local favorite. Their caramel apple pecan pie is topped with a healthy swirl of caramel and a sprinkling of crushed nuts. We recommend eating this with an extra napkin or two.

6. COLORADO // GRANNY SCOTT’S PIE SHOP

Caramel apple pie from Granny Scott's Pie Shop.
Courtesy of Granny Scott's Pie Shop.

Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Granny Scott’s Pie Shop offers as many as 25 different pie varieties on any given day. Their caramel apple is a standout—made with Granny Smith apples and European caramel, it took first prize at the National Pie Championships.

7. CONNECTICUT // ORONOQUE FARMS

Oronoque Farms apple pie
Courtesy of Oronoque Farms

Location: Shelton, Connecticut

Oronoque Farms got its start in 1949 as a humble stand selling pies on the side of the road. They’ve since grown into a full-blown bakery that uses fruit harvested from local orchards, including their own. Their classic apple pie was voted best in the state by Connecticut magazine.

8. DELAWARE // ARNER’S

French apple pie from Arner's Restaurant and Bakery
Courtesy of Arner's Restaurant and Bakery

Location: New Castle, Delaware

Arner’s Restaurant and Bakery has not one but three varieties of apple pie on their menu (four if you count the apple walnut cheesecake). Their French apple pie comes served with an artistic splatter of icing on top.

9. FLORIDA // THE GOOD PIE COMPANY

boxes of apple pie from The Good Pie Company
Courtesy of The Good Pie Company

Location: Davie, Florida

The Good Pie Company’s moniker is straightforward and incontrovertibly true: they do make a good pie! The Davie, Florida shop is run by married couple Frank and Marti Reich: he bakes the sweet pies while she tackles the savory ones. What’s the most popular menu item? The tried-and-true classic Apple pie, of course! They also make an Apple Cranberry pie; you’ll have to try that one on your second visit.

10. GEORGIA // SOUTHERN SWEETS BAKERY

Southern Sweets Bakery apple pie
Courtesy of Southern Sweets Bakery

Location: Decatur, Georgia

The apple pie at Southern Sweets is piled high with glistening slices of cinnamon-sugar-coated apples. The baked good’s description reads: “Doctors love this one. You will, too.” Now trying telling that to a medical professional with a straight face.

11. HAWAII // HAWAIIAN PIE COMPANY

A view of palm trees from beneath the trees.
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Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Apple pie cravings can strike anywhere—even on a tropical island. The family behind Hawaiian Pie Co. serves a menu of buttery, fruit-filled pies that are baked fresh daily. Tropical fruits like mango and pineapple are often highlighted, but it’s hard to beat Grandpa Yoshio’s classic apple pie recipe.

12. IDAHO // BRAMBLE

A photo of salted caramel apple pie from Bramble.
Courtesy of Bramble

Location: Boise, Idaho

Of the two dozen pies rotating through the menu at Bramble, the salted caramel apple is a customer favorite. The made-to-order pie service has plans to open a brick-and-mortar storefront in the near future. In the meantime, their pies can be found by the slice at select restaurants and coffee shops in the area.

13. ILLINOIS // HOOSIER MAMA PIE COMPANY

An apple pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company.
Photo by Brian M. Heiser // Courtesy Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Hoosier Mama Pie Company is a Chi-Town institution. For their flaky apple pie, the Ukrainian Village bakery sources apples from Ellis Family Farms in nearby Michigan.

14. INDIANA // APPLE WORKS

A picture of Apple Works's apple pie surrounded by apples and a container of sugar.
Courtesy of Apple Works

Location: Trafalgar, Indiana

According to their website, the Apple Works orchard was founded in the late 1980s “with the goal of raising the absolute best apples possible.” And that’s exactly what you’ll find in their outrageous double-crust apple pie. One Indiana travel site named the over-stuffed pastry the best apple pie in the state.

15. IOWA // DEAL’S ORCHARD

The exterior of Deal's Orchard.
Courtesy of Deal's Orchard

Location: Jefferson, Iowa

During weekends in the fall, visitors to Deal’s Orchard have the opportunity to take home one of the homemade pies baked from apples grown on the property. And if you’re looking for something to wash that down with, they also ferment their own hard cider on site.

16. KANSAS // THE UPPER CRUST PIE BAKERY

A tablespoon of grated nutmeg on a table surrounded by whole nutmegs and a grater.
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Location: Overland Park, Kansas

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery is run by a pair of Midwestern sisters who grew up “privileged to know what real pie looks and tastes like.” For their take on apple pie, they use their grandmother’s recipe and add a bit of nutmeg.

17. KENTUCKY // HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND PIE KITCHEN

The exterior of Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen in Louisville, Kentucky.
HelloLouisville.com, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

The name says it all—if you’re in Kentucky, this is the place to come for ice cream and pie. Their award-winning dutch apple caramel pie almost looks too good to eat, but with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top, it’s impossible to resist.

18. LOUISIANA // COWBELL

Cowbell's apple pie in front of a sign that says "pie."
Sara Essex Bradley

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

The menu at this gas station-turned-restaurant is as funky as New Orleans itself. For dessert, diners at Cowbell can order a slice of the scratch-made apple pie served with caramel and crème anglaise.

19. MAINE // TWO FAT CATS BAKERY

Pies on the shelf at Two Fat Cats Bakery in Maine.
Courtesy of Two Fat Cats Bakery

Location: Portland, Maine

Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland is Maine’s number one destination for classic Americana baking. Their seasonal apple pie, made with Cortland and McIntosh apples, packs enough flavor on its own without any fancy toppings.

20. MARYLAND // DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIES

An apple pie on a teal tablecloth.
Maryland Science Center, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

You may not expect rock 'n' roll and baked goods to vibe together, but at Dangerously Delicious Pies they’re a match made in heaven. The Baltimore joint was founded by a musician with a passion for baking, and his dedication comes through in the ambitious menu. The apple crumb pie comes topped with a crunchy layer of brown sugar, oats, and butter.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // PETSI PIES

Didriks, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

Petsi Pies describes themselves as an “indie” bakery and coffee bar serving up sweet and savory offerings to pie-lovers within walking distance of Harvard. When it comes to apple pie, patrons have their choice of salted caramel apple, apple crumb, or a classic apple pie with a pastry crust.

22. MICHIGAN // GRAND TRAVERSE PIE COMPANY

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

To create their beloved Apple Crumb with Pecan and Caramel, bakers at Grand Traverse Pie Company upgrade their Peninsula Apple Crumb pie with toasted pecans and a caramel drizzle.

23. MINNESOTA // RUSTIC INN CAFE

Rustic Inn Cafe
Courtesy of Rustic Inn Cafe

Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota

Rustic Inn Cafe offers up a caramel apple pecan blueberry gooseberry crumb. Overflowing with gooey, nutty filling, this dessert doesn’t skimp on decadence.

24. MISSISSIPPI // TOM’S FRIED PIES

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Location: Richland, Mississippi

Sometimes the best pie is the one you can pick up and eat with your bare hands. That’s what customers get at Tom’s Fried Pies, and it doesn’t disappoint. In case a regular-sized fried pocket of apple pie filling isn’t satisfying enough for you, they also offer a super-sized “Big Guy Pie."

25. MISSOURI // THE BLUE OWL RESTAURANT AND BAKERY

tempest tea, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Kimmswick, Missouri

In many ways, The Blue Owl is your typical homestyle, Midwest restaurant. That’s why the appearance of this towering monstrosity on their menu is so alarming. The "Levee High Caramel Pecan Apple Pie" is made with 18 Golden Delicious apples sliced by hand and piled high inside a comical domed crust. The “world-famous” pie has been featured on Food Network and the Today Show and was chosen as one of Oprah’s favorite things.

26. MONTANA // LOULA’S CAFE

Loula's Cafe

Location: Whitefish, Montana

The best pies in Montana can be found at the bottom of a historic Masonic Temple. The restaurant is run by friends Mary Lou Covey and Laura Hansen (the “Lou” and “La” of Loula’s Cafe). They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but their real specialty is their fruit pies—of which they sell 3000 to 4000 every year. You can’t go wrong with one of their four varieties of homemade apple pie.

27. NEBRASKA // STAUFFER’S CAFE AND PIE SHOPPE

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Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

This restaurant’s tagline reads: “Coming to Stauffer’s is like coming home to Grandma’s.” With a claim like that, you better have some amazing pie to back it up. Diners can order dutch apple, sour cream apple, caramel apple, or the familiar classic to satisfy their cravings for home cooking.

28. NEVADA // WET HEN CAFE

Several pies on baking racks.
Courtesy of Wet Hen Cafe

Location: Reno, Nevada

This cozy Reno cafe specializes in rustic comfort food with a French twist. But their famous apple pie, piled with tender apple slices and a crumbly crust, is all-American.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // RICHARDSON’S FARM

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Location: Boscawen, New Hampshire

Plenty of farms sell pies made from apples grown on the property. At Richardson’s, they're also churning up their own homemade ice cream that’s perfect for scooping onto a slice of their warm apple pie.

30. NEW JERSEY // SWEETSBORO PASTRY SHOPPE

New Jersey
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Location: Swedesboro, New Jersey

Sweetsboro Pastry Shoppe was founded in 2007 by two friends who grew up together in North Philadelphia and since transplanted to New Jersey, where they’re selling some of the Garden State’s best pies. The sugary lattice crust on their apple pie is good enough to eat on its own.

31. NEW MEXICO // RANGE CAFE

Apple green chile pie from Range Cafe
Courtesy of Range Cafe

Location: Albuquerque and Bernalillo, New Mexico

The apple green chile pie from Range Cafe is a uniquely New Mexican treat, topped with a piñon nut streusel for a slightly savory crunch. Try it with vanilla ice cream for added indulgence.

32. NEW YORK // FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS

Apple pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Daniel Zemans, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Brooklyn, New York

At this Brooklyn bakery it’s all about the pie. They source seasonal, local ingredients whenever possible and bake with natural, unrefined sweeteners. The salted caramel pie they serve is kissed with just the right amount of saltiness to make those classic flavors pop.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // SCRATCH BAKING

Apple crumb pie from Scratch bakery
Courtesy of Scratch Bakery

Location: Durham, North Carolina

The North Carolina apple crumb pie at Scratch Baking is a true southern treat. Owner Phoebe Lawless, a farmer’s market alum herself, works with local farmers and producers to get her hands on the best ingredients her community has to offer.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // TOWER TRAVEL CENTER

Apple pie from the Tower Travel Center
Courtesy of Tower Travel Center

Location: Tower City, North Dakota

A truck stop may not be the first place most people would go to for delicious pie. But the Tower Travel Center is no ordinary truck stop. The apple pie there is so tasty that it’s worth planning your road trip around it.

35. OHIO // JUST PIES

Apple pie from Just Pies
Courtesy of Just Pies

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Just Pies offers a full menu of award-winning pies, but their apple crumb is the most popular with customers. Baked with Jonathan and Spy apples, it’s finished with a layer of sweet streusel on top.

36. OKLAHOMA // PIE JUNKIE

Apple crumble pie from Pie Junkie
Courtesy of Pie Junkie

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The two women behind Pie Junkie in Oklahoma City make the blasphemous claim of serving up pies even better than their grandmas'. But they do give credit where credit is due: The high standards their grandmothers held in the kitchen continue to inspire them to bake top-notch treats, like their brown sugar and oat-topped apple crumble pie.

37. OREGON // RANDOM ORDER PIE BAR

Apple pie from Random Order
Chris Coyier, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Portland, Oregon

This quirky neighborhood cafe does pies like no one else. For their award-winning version of apple pie, they toss Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples in a homemade caramel sauce and bake that inside a Tahitian vanilla sugar-salted crust. Excuse us while we look up the next flight to Portland.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // THE PIE PLACE

Apple pie from The Pie Place
Chris Winters, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Almost everything is baked from scratch using local ingredients at this hidden delight in Pittsburgh. The apple pies at The Pie Place have won awards, and you can choose from classic or Dutch apple; sugar-free versions are also available.

39. RHODE ISLAND // PASTICHE FINE DESSERTS

Dutch apple pie at Pastiche Fine Desserts
Courtesy of Pastiche Fine Desserts

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

The Dutch apple pie is a standout at this European-style cafe beloved by locals. The filling is a blend of sweet and tart apples from a nearby orchard, mixed with cherries and baked beneath an oat walnut crumb topping decorated with pastry leaves. It's almost too beautiful to eat, but somehow people manage.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // KAMINSKY'S

Apple pie from Kaminsky's
Courtesy of Kaminsky's

Location: Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina

It's hard to choose among the fancy desserts and beverages at Kaminsky's cozy dessert cafe, but locals rave about the apple crumble pie, served with a heavy dollop of whipped cream as well as delicious ice cream.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // THE PURPLE PIE PLACE

The Purple Pie Place, Custer, SD
Richie Diesterheft, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Custer, South Dakota

If you ever find yourself passing through Custer, South Dakota, this place will be hard to miss. Inside the Purple Pie Place's vibrant violet walls you’ll find the best pies in the Black Hills. The secret to their irresistible pies, including their classic apple, is in the crust. The recipe achieves the perfect balance of sweetness, and it’s a secret shared by only three people.

42. TENNESSEE // SWEET CREATIONS BAKERY  

Nashville, TN
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Location: Nashville, Tennessee

The apple pie at this popular Nashville bakery is "a taste of Southern perfection," according to the menu. The filling of thick-cut apples and cinnamon is cradled by a lusciously flaky crust.

43. TEXAS // TOOTIE PIE CO.

Tootie Pie Co. apple pie
Courtesy of Tootie Pie Co.

Location: Boerne, Texas

The original apple pie at Tootie Pie Co. requires a healthy appetite, but Tootie’s most ravenous customers can sign up for their Pie Rollers Club and get a different flavor delivered to their door each month.

44. UTAH // THUNDERBIRD RESTAURANT

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Location: Mt. Carmel, Utah

Surrounded by the breathtaking cliff faces of Zion National Park, Thunderbird Restaurant is worth a trip for the views alone. But their apple pie with rum sauce would be a knock-out dish served in any setting.

45. VERMONT // VERMONT APPLE PIE

Fall foliage in Vermont
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Location: Proctorsville, Vermont

Vermont Apple Pie serves hungry locals from 8 a.m. til noon. And with a full bakery that includes their namesake apple pie, dessert is always an acceptable breakfast option.

46. VIRGINIA // MOM’S APPLE PIE

Fresh-picked apples in buckets
iStock

Location: Occoquan, Virginia

Opening a restaurant called “Mom’s Apple Pie” sets the bar pretty high for your signature dish. Thankfully, their homestyle pie made with Shenandoah Valley apples and just the right amount of sugar lives up to the name.

47. WASHINGTON // A LA MODE PIES

French apple pie at A La Mode Pies, Seattle, WA
A La Mode Pies

Location: Seattle, Washington

At A La Mode Pies, owner Chris Porter strives to reinvent his mom’s recipes using high-quality ingredients. His French apple pie is a Seattle treasure (with or without a scoop of ice cream on top).

48. WEST VIRGINIA // SUGAR PIE BAKERY

Apple pie, Sugar Pie Bakery, Charleston, WV
Courtesy of Tabitha Stover Photography

Location: Charleston, West Virginia

Sugar Pie Bakery bakes their items fresh from scratch every day using the finest ingredients. Customers can order everything from cupcakes topped with detailed fondant decorations to more rustic specialties like their apple crumb pie.

49. WISCONSIN // THE ELEGANT FARMER

The Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago, WI
Bev Sykes, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Mukwonago, Wisconsin

It’s hard for anything not to taste great when it’s drenched in caramel sauce. In the case of the “Gourmet Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag" from The Elegant Farmer, the pie underneath is even better than the topping. Their unique paper bag baking method creates a perfectly flaky crust every time.

50. WYOMING // COWBOY CAFE

Apple pie from Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, WY
Courtesy of Cowboy Cafe

Location: Dubois, Wyoming

Don't miss this charming café on your way to Yellowstone National Park. The homemade warm apple pie—best with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top—gets rave reviews from visitors.

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Haunted Locations You Can Visit in All 50 States
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Have your nerves of steel inoculated you against scary movies? Friends leaping out of the shadows getting boring? If you feel like having a more immersive experience, you might want to head to a local haunt instead. Take a look at some of the scariest destinations in all 50 states that guarantee a night of frights.

1. ALABAMA // BASS CEMETERY

Location: Irondale, Alabama

It doesn’t get much creepier than Bass Cemetery. Drive down the dirt road at twilight, turn off into the woods, and keep your eyes and ears open. The Civil War-era cemetery was the final resting place for both soldiers and slaves, many of whom reportedly return to walk the grounds at night. Visitors report seeing ghostly figures and hearing spooky voices, and at least one tomb has been visibly vacated.

2. ALASKA // RED ONION SALOON

Location: Skagway, Alaska

A preserved brothel room in the Red Onion Saloon. Jimmy Emerson, DVM via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In its heyday, the Red Onion Saloon offered a slice of the Old West in the Last Frontier. Built in 1897, the upscale saloon and brothel was one of the hottest spots in Skagway, Alaska, during the Klondike Gold Rush. Today, the establishment functions as a museum and, according to their blog, it’s "home to more than one spirit." Accounts of footsteps, cold spots, apparitions, and a strong perfume smell have all been reported on the upper floors that once served as the bordello. Most disturbances have been attributed to one spirit in particular: a former prostitute named Lydia. Thankfully she seems to be friendly, even going so far as to water the plants for the homeowners. Visitors can hope to catch a glimpse of her on the museum’s Ghosts & Goodtime Girls Walking Tour.

3. ARIZONA // VULTURE MINE

Location: Wickenburg, Arizona

The Vulture Mine, located just outside of Phoenix, was once Arizona’s most successful gold mine, and the surrounding settlement, established in 1866, was a boomtown home to 5000 residents. The mine was closed down in the 1940s and Vulture City became a ghost town, but some of the spirits of those who died at the mine may still remain. The mine was plagued by theft, and 18 high graders—miners who pocketed their discoveries—were put to death at the Vulture hanging tree. In 1923, due to lack of support structures, seven miners died in a cave-in, and their bodies are still trapped within the mine. The ghostly location was featured on the Travel Channel show Ghost Adventures in 2010, and the hosts claim that spirits threw rocks at them.

4. ARKANSAS // 1886 CRESCENT HOTEL & SPA

Location: Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Looming high over the town of Eureka Springs, this stately hotel is supposedly home to a colorful cast of spirits. There’s Michael, the stonecutter who fell to his death during the building’s construction, and Dr. John Freemont Ellis, the former hotel physician whose pipe smoke some guests claim they can smell. The Crescent has embraced its haunted reputation, offering ghost tours for visitors and ESP packages for diehard spook hunters.

5. CALIFORNIA // ALCATRAZ

Location: San Francisco, California

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

For decades, the concrete island of Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay housed some of the country’s most notorious criminals—murderers, thieves, and public enemies like Al Capone. That concentrated selection of bad vibes is said to remain, even though the prison has long since closed. While the National Park Service runs no official ghost tours of the grounds, visitors hoping for paranormal activity can book an evening ferry ride and guided tour of the cell blocks that have been known to harbor unexplained events like eerie moaning and strange apparitions; some guests have even claimed they could hear a faint banjo, an instrument Capone picked up to pass the time inside.

6. COLORADO // THE STANLEY HOTEL

Location: Estes Park, Colorado

If roaming a murder hotel is your idea of a good time, The Stanley is the place for you. Horror buffs will recognize the haunted hotel as the inspiration for The Shining (1980)—a fact not lost on its owners, who offer regular ghost tours for a small fee. The original owners? Well, they're supposedly still roaming the halls, with Flora Stanley's piano being heard playing in the middle of the night, and her husband, F.O. Stanley, reportedly showing up in the background of billiard room photos.

7. CONNECTICUT // THE VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

Location: Dudleytown, Connecticut

You can’t enter Dudleytown, a.k.a. the Village of the Damned, but you probably don’t want to. Legend says the settlement was founded in 1740 by the aristocratic Dudley family, whose reputation of treachery and scandal preceded them into the New World. Over the next six decades, the little town reportedly saw its share of horrors—people going insane, children disappearing—before being abandoned in the 1800s. The settlement itself has vanished; today, the site is private property, lost to an overgrown dark forest. Those who have ventured close speak of a suspicious silence in the woods and bright orbs in the air.

8. DELAWARE // FORT DELAWARE

Location: Pea Patch Island, Delaware

Take the ferry from Delaware City and make a day of it at Fort Delaware State Park, which offers picnic areas, wildlife, and, of course, ghosts. The spooky, pentagonal fort itself was built in 1859 and is so famously haunted that it was featured on a 2008 episode of Ghost Hunters. The show’s hosts recorded eerie noises like cannon fire and movement in the fort’s tunnels. But for the amateur paranormal investigators out there, you will love the night-time ghost tours.

9. FLORIDA // MAY-STRINGER HOUSE

Location: Brooksville, Florida

You want it, the May-Stringer House has it: footsteps, creepy dolls, weird mists, sudden drops in temperature, even children’s laughter. The Victorian-era mansion has seen more than its share of death, from childbirth and smallpox to suicide, and is known as one of the most haunted buildings in Florida. Ghost hunters with a little extra cash will want in on the late-night investigations package, which allows visitors free rein to roam the building with their ghost-sensing equipment until 2 a.m.

10. GEORGIA // BONAVENTURE CEMETERY

Location: Savannah, Georgia

Heading to Savannah? Be sure to bring a stuffed animal for Little Gracie, the resident ghost-ambassador of Bonaventure Cemetery. The little girl was the sweetheart of Savannah in her day and was known for entertaining guests with songs in the lobby of the luxury hotel her father managed. When she succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 6 in 1889, her grave became a shrine. It’s said her ghost still plays in the square where she used to live, and that her cries can be heard when the toys left for her are removed. The cemetery also has numerous other statues and figures, many of whose faces are said to change shape when in the presence of visitors they like or dislike.

11. HAWAII // MORGAN’S CORNER

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Several urban legends surround this sharp curve of Nuuanu Pali Drive in Honolulu. The true origins of its ghastly reputation trace back to the murder of a 68-year-old widow that took place nearby in 1948. Since then, the spot has been connected to tales of paranormal activity, and today it’s a stop on the "Orbs of Oahu" ghost tour held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights.

12. IDAHO // IDAHO PENITENTIARY

Location: Boise, Idaho

The Idaho Penitentiary housed over 13,000 inmates when it was a functional prison. Not all the residents served their time peacefully: The building was the site of many violent riots, culminating in the fire that shut it down for good in 1973. According to some accounts, the spirits of former prisoners still roam the halls. Visitors have reported overwhelming feelings of anxiety and dread upon entering the place and some even claimed to have heard unexplained whispers and screams. Anyone looking to experience the eerie atmosphere can attend one of the historical site’s various tours, including investigations led by the "International Paranormal Reporting Group."

13. ILLINOIS // CONGRESS PLAZA HOTEL

Location: Chicago, Illinois

The Congress Plaza Hotel is rumored to be one of the most haunted hotels in the Windy City. It was built to house the influx of visitors coming into Chicago for the 1893 World's Fair (an event with a seedy history of its own). Several ghosts—including those of a Czech boy who jumped from a window with his mother and a Spanish American war veteran who shot himself before his wedding—are now said to haunt the building. And that’s not all: Unplugged kitchen appliances suddenly turn on; pianos play spontaneously; and visitors hear disembodied humming and whispers—and phantom gunshots that come from out of nowhere. Chicago Ghost Tours makes the hotel their first stop—tours begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Fridays.

14. INDIANA // STEPP CEMETERY

Location: Martinsville, Indiana

A typical visit to Morgan-Monroe State Forest might include a hike, a picnic, and a leisurely stroll through an abandoned cemetery. Stepp Cemetery was opened in the 1800s and is home to less than three dozen gravestones. Visitors to the site—which, according to urban legend, was founded an orgy-loving, snake handling cult called the Crabbites—report strange sounds in the graveyard and sightings of a ghostly woman dressed in black who is said to be watching over the graves of her family members.

15. IOWA // VILLISCA AX MURDER HOUSE

Location: Villisca, Iowa

The Villisca Ax Murder House appears relatively unchanged from how it looked on the night of the violent crimes that took place there over a century ago. On June 10, 1912, J.B. Moore, his wife Sarah, their four children, and two visiting children were killed in their beds by an ax-wielding intruder. There were several suspects—including a state senator—but no one was ever convicted of the crime. The building is now open to brave members of the public wishing to learn about this gruesome chapter in Iowa history. According to the house’s official website, tours have been interrupted by "children's voices, falling lamps, moving ladders, and flying objects." Walk-in tours are given during the day for $10 per person, and visitors feeling especially gutsy can reserve an overnight stay for $428 for groups of one to six.

16. KANSAS // SALLIE HOUSE

Location: Atchison, Kansas

Whatever paranormal experiences interest you, you can probably find them at Sallie House: Visitors to the home have experienced apparitions, strange smells, objects flying through the air, and disembodied voices. Though the residence is named after a little girl who allegedly died of appendicitis there at the turn of the century, according to some mediums, "Sallie" is just one of the many spirits stuck in the house.

If you find yourself in Atchison, you may as well take a look around—the entire town, besides being the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, is said to be the most haunted in Kansas and is full of spooky stories and strange happenings.

17. KENTUCKY // WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

From 1911 through 1961, Waverly Hills was a tuberculosis hospital, able to house 50-60 patients trying to recover from the disease at any given time. Unfortunately, many of those patients didn’t recover: Thousands succumbed to the illness before an effective treatment was introduced in 1943, and apparently, many of them are still there. Room 502 is a particularly popular spot for ghost sightings, with reports of a ghostly nurse still making her rounds there.

In addition to hosting tours from March through August, the current owners convert the place to a haunted house attraction every fall. They plan to use proceeds to renovate the hospital into a legit hotel—presumably one where no one gets any sleep.

18. LOUISIANA // THE LALAURIE MANSION

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

On April 11, 1834, a fire broke out at 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans. When neighbors rushed to help the residents escape, they discovered something even worse than the flames: a veritable house of horrors. The New Orleans Bee reported that "Seven slaves more or less horribly mutilated were suspended by the neck, which their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other," and compared the mistress of the house, Delphine LaLaurie, to Caligula.

The house has since been renovated and sold many times, including once to actor Nicolas Cage. But it’s no surprise that owners and visitors alike report ghostly goings-on, from hearing chains in the attic to strange phone calls coming from the house. The LaLaurie House is a highlight on most of the innumerable New Orleans ghost tours.

19. MAINE // WOOD ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

Location: Biddeford Pool, Maine

In 1896, a terrible tragedy took place on Wood Island, Maine—during an argument about an overdue rent payment, local fisherman Howard Hobbs shot game warden Fred Milliken, who died 45 minutes later. Distraught about what he had done, Hobbs shot himself with the same gun. People, including the wife of one of the lighthouse keepers, believe their shell-shocked spirits are still there. You can visit the lighthouse during the day, if you prefer, or take a haunted lighthouse tour to hear more about the various hauntings that happen in these isolated spaces.

20. MARYLAND // ANTIETAM

Location: Washington County, Maryland

More than 23,000 people lost their lives at the battle of Antietam during the Civil War, so it’s not surprising that a few of them may still be hanging around. One location in particular, deemed "Bloody Lane" after 5000 soldiers died there, is especially known for ghost sightings—people reportedly think they’re seeing Civil War reenactors, until the "reenactors" disappear into thin air.

Other visitors to the national park have reported seeing balls of blue light, hearing drums playing, and hearing soldiers chanting. Legend has it that there’s a house nearby where the wounded were taken, and after even after centuries and countless attempts to sand and refinish the floors, there are blood stains that refuse to disappear.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // DOGTOWN

Location: Gloucester, Massachusetts

This once-bustling settlement was founded by colonists around 1693, but after decades of fruitless farming efforts, many residents abandoned the town after the War of 1812. The few people who stayed—mostly widows who couldn’t afford to leave—were deemed witches, especially after one of the women found a source of income by threatening to curse people unless they paid her. Other local lore involved werewolves and ghost dogs.

Though history is on the side of the "witches" these days, there’s no doubt that some disturbing activity has taken place in those woods, which still bear remnants of the cellars built by the original colonists. A woman was killed there in 1984, and it’s said to have been the scene of several suicides.

22. MICHIGAN // THE GRAND HOTEL

Location: Mackinac Island, Michigan

That old "Native American burial ground" horror movie trope is absolutely true on Mackinac Island, which was once, indeed, a burial ground called Michilimackinac. In fact, more remains were discovered during a construction project just a few years ago.

That might set the stage for paranormal incidents on the tiny island: it is also home to a ghost named "Harvey," thought to have been a student at the Mackinac College in the 1960s, and soldiers from the War of 1812 who are occasionally spotted on the golf course of the hotel. You’re sure to hear their stories, and more, on any number of Haunted Mackinac tours.

23. MINNESOTA // PALMER HOUSE HOTEL

Location: Sauk Centre, Minnesota

Feeling brave? Book a room at the Palmer House Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Rooms 11 and 17 are particularly active with spirits, with guests reporting people in 1920s clothing showing up in their rooms at the middle of the night. And if you’re in the market for a famous ghost, you might be in luck—it’s thought that writer Sinclair Lewis, whose childhood home was nearby, is still wandering the halls.

24. MISSISSIPPI // MCRAVEN

Location: Vicksburg, Mississippi

Known as the most haunted house in Mississippi, McRaven has been called a "time capsule of the south." It was used as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, and of course, not all of the soldiers made it. "We do have 11 unknown bodies buried on the property," the house manager has said.

In addition to Confederate soldier ghost sightings, there’s also a young mother named Mary Elizabeth Howard who died in the house shortly after childbirth, and a robber named Andrew Glass who used McRaven as a hideout. Both haunted tours and regular history tours are offered at McRaven.

25. MISSOURI // THE LEMP MANSION

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Built in 1868, this historical home was once owned by William J. Lemp, the owner of what would eventually become Falstaff beer. Sadly, the Lemp family was plagued by tragedy—four family members, including the patriarch, committed suicide; three of them in the house. And according to visitors to the old residence, which is now an inn, most of them are still there. If you don’t want to risk an overnight stay at Lemp Mansion, you can also opt for one of their mystery dinners instead.

26. MONTANA // MONTANA TERRITORIAL PRISON

Location: Deer Lodge, Montana

In 1959, the Montana State Prison experienced the darkest moment in its history: a 36-hour prison riot that resulted in the deaths of several people, including the murder-suicide of two of the ringleaders when the Montana National Guard came in to end the uproar. The damage they did—machine guns and bazookas were fired into the cellblock—can still be seen on various historical or ghost prison tours today. People touring the prison have reported hearing strange things and feeling like they’re being touched. Cell No. 1 is especially active with what some believe is the spirit of Paul Eitner, an inmate who spent 49 years at the prison.

27. NEBRASKA // HUMMEL PARK

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

At the entrance to Hummel Park in Omaha, Nebraska, there are a set of trees that bend eerily and unnaturally in one direction. Local legend holds that the trees were used for hangings—so many hangings, in fact, that the branches are permanently bowed from the weight of the bodies. The deaths may explain the strange things said to happen in the park now: howling wolves, people who live in the trees, animal sacrifices, and a creepy set of stairs that seem to change in number for each person who attempts to count the steps. Though there’s no evidence to back up the rumor of hangings, there is evidence to support another theory: that the area was once a Native American burial ground. In fact, in 1945, Boy Scouts used a skull found in the park to decorate a totem pole.

28. NEVADA // THE MIZPAH HOTEL

Location: Tonapah, Nevada

The Lady in Red suite, via The Mizpah Hotel

Built in 1907 to accommodate folks hoping to strike it rich with the recent silver discovery, the Mizpah is said to host several ghosts, including at least a couple of miners and some impish children. But the Mizpah’s most famous revenant resident is the Lady in Red, a woman who was killed on the fifth floor by a jealous husband or ex-boyfriend. It’s said that she’s particularly fond of whispering "Hey you" in the ears of men who are in the elevator alone.

The hotel closed its doors in 1999 and remained shuttered for more than a decade. It reopened under new management in 2011, so you can have a close encounter with the Lady in Red if you’re so inclined. They even have a suite themed after her.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // BLOOD CEMETERY

Location: Hollis, New Hampshire

Pine Hill Cemetery’s ominous "Blood Cemetery" nickname doesn’t come from blood spilled within the grounds, but from a permanent resident there named Abel Blood. Blood’s 1867 tombstone featured an engraving of a hand, which people swear pointed skyward during the day, but gestured down at night. The stone was broken and removed at some point, but that hasn’t stopped the spirits—there are still sightings of shadowy figures and fog that seems to appear out of nowhere. The public cemetery is open from dawn until dusk.

30. NEW JERSEY // PINE BARRENS

Location: southern New Jersey

The Pine Barrens, a stretch of coastal plain that spans seven counties in New Jersey, is home to a lot of urban legends, from phantom dogs to the ghost of Captain Kidd. But its most famous denizen is, without a doubt, the Jersey Devil. Though there are many versions of its origins, in one popular telling the creature was born in the 1730s when "Mother Leeds'" cursed 13th child came into the world with hooves, wings, a goat’s head, and a forked tail. After killing its mother, it escaped into the Barrens—and there have been sightings ever since. Even Napoleon’s brother, Joseph, had an encounter with the beast during his years at Point Breeze. If you visit the Pine Barrens for its trails, wineries, canoeing, or duck hunting, keep one ear cocked for strange noises.

31. NEW MEXICO // SANTA FE STATE PENITENTIARY

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

On February 2 and 3, 1980, the Santa Fe State Penitentiary was the site of one of the worst prison riots the country has ever seen: 33 inmates died, more than 200 were treated for injuries, and seven officers were severely beaten or sexually assaulted. The deaths were horrifically violent; even today, hatchet marks said to mark the site of a beheading are still visible in the concrete floor. Since then, visitors have reported cell doors slamming shut of their own accord, a “winged demonic specter,” and other phenomena. Though the prison opens for visitors only rarely, after a five-year revitalization is complete, it will have a museum and regular tours.

32. NEW YORK // THE KREISCHER MANSION

Location: Staten Island, New York

Any old Victorian house lends itself to an aura of spookiness, but this estate has real horrors to back up the vibe. A brick magnate named Balthasar Kreischer built the mansion for one of his sons in the 1885. When family fortunes fell, that son, Edward Kreischer, committed suicide in 1894. Afterward, locals began to talk about odd happenings at the house, including strange lights and voices. Rumored ghosts include Edward, his brother Charles, a German cook, and a couple of children. A century later, in 2005, the home was the site of another incident: a Mafia hit carried out by the property caretaker, who stabbed, drowned, dismembered, and finally incinerated his Mob victim in the estate furnace. The mansion opens for events from time to time, including yoga retreats and Halloween parties—and, if you’re so inclined, you can probably purchase the house soon if you’ve got a couple of million burning a hole in your pocket. It seems to go on the market every few years.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // THE BILTMORE ESTATE

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

With 250 rooms, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the largest privately owned house in North America. The man who constructed it, George Vanderbilt, is allegedly still there. Keeping him company is his wife, Edith, who can be heard calling his name down the corridors. But don’t just rely on secondhand ghost stories—book a tour and see for yourself.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // FORT ABRAHAM LINCOLN - CUSTER HOUSE

Location: Morton County, North Dakota

Though General George Custer died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, legend has it that his widow, Libbie, is still waiting for him to come home. According to tour guides and workers at the Custer House, the general himself also makes appearances from time to time, moving objects and wiping his hands on the linens—perhaps lamenting that he only spent a couple of years in the home before his death. In addition to being open for historical tours year-round, the house also hosts special Halloween events.

35. OHIO // THE RIDGES ASYLUM

Location: Athens, Ohio

Once called the Athens Lunatic Asylum, the Ridges accepted its first patients in 1874. It eventually developed a reputation for experimentation with shock therapy, lobotomies, and transorbital lobotomies. The facility closed in 1993, but spirits of the thousands of patients that suffered there over the years still linger, according to some. One is said to be Margaret Schilling, a patient who disappeared in the hospital in December 1978 and wasn't found for more than a month. Her body was so badly decomposed that fluids had seeped into the concrete floor, leaving a stain that remains there to this day. The Ridges is now owned by Ohio University, which uses the old administration building to house the Kennedy Museum of Art. The school demolished the dangerous, decaying, “haunted” part of the facility in 2013 because it drew too many trespassers and vandals, but a local history center gives outdoor tours of the grounds throughout the year.

36. OKLAHOMA // CONSTANTINE THEATER

Location: Pawhuska, Oklahoma

Originally built in the 1880s as a hotel, the Constantine Theater was turned into a performance space in the early 1900s. Ghost investigators who recorded 40 hours of video and audio on the stage and throughout the theater heard mysterious footsteps and knocking; they also captured a couple of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs). The ghost in question, some say, is Sappho Constantine Brown, the daughter of the theater’s owner. It’s not clear why her spirit has decided to stick around the place, but we’d like to believe she’s still waiting for her chance at the stage. You’ll have to buy a ticket to a show to find out.

37. OREGON // HOT LAKE SPRINGS

Location: La Grande, Oregon

Once a popular resort for people seeking healing waters to treat what ailed them, the bed and breakfast at Hot Lake Springs is only the latest iteration of the area’s hospitality options. The original Hot Lake Hotel operated from 1864 to 1934, when part of the building burned down. It later served as a nurses’ school, an insane asylum, and to store dead bodies during a typhoid epidemic, among other things. With a history like that, it’s no wonder that there are a number of restless spirits wandering around. In 2001, the property was featured on the show Scariest Place on Earth; two years later, it was purchased by the Manuel Family, who renovated and restored the property. Current visitors report spooky sounds in their lodgings, especially on the third floor, which once housed a hospital.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // GETTYSBURG

Location: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Getty Images

There were some 51,000 casualties (men who were killed, wounded, captured or missing) during three-day battle at Gettysburg in 1863, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Naturally, there are some ghosts said to lurk in the area. From phantom smells linked to the stench of bodies left rotting in the heat after the battle, to strange sounds and sightings of soldiers in local buildings used as field hospitals and shelters, there’s a ghost story for just about any location in the Gettysburg area. Visitors to Devil’s Den—an area where some of the fiercest fighting took place and where many bodies were left to rot in a ravine—report apparitions of sharpshooters and malfunctioning camera equipment.

39. RHODE ISLAND // PROVIDENCE BILTMORE HOTEL

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Wil C. Fry via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Originally opened in 1922, the Biltmore Hotel in Providence was a popular party spot during Prohibition—but spending time there wasn’t always something to celebrate. The hotel’s wild parties reportedly often turned violent, leading to several murders. And in 1929, a stockbroker reportedly jumped out a 16th floor window, falling to his death. Visitors report seeing the stockbroker’s ghost falling past their window as well as other apparitions during their time there.

The hotel also has an infamous former employee. The patriarch of the Patriarca crime family, Raymond Patriarca, got his first job as a bellboy at the hotel, and it’s likely that he killed at least one person there. But its history of horrors hasn't stopped guests from enjoying their stay. A recent visitor still gave the hotel four stars, despite having a terrible paranormal experience in the middle of the night.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // SUMMERVILLE LIGHT

Location: Summerville, South Carolina

According to legend, a woman used to walk her husband home from the train after work every single night along a certain stretch of dirt road here, carrying a lantern. When he died in an accident, she kept coming, walking up and down the road waiting for him. When she died, a mysterious light began appearing in the same area she used to walk, just around midnight every night. Ghost hunters say to go past where the pavement ends on Sheep Island Road and keep a look out for a single orb of light in the distance.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // THE BULLOCK HOTEL

Location: Deadwood, South Dakota

Seth Bullock, the first sheriff in the gold-mining town of Deadwood, helped corral the lawless locals into something approaching civility. In addition to his policing, Bullock constructed an ornate hotel in the heart of the area, before dying in room 211 in 1919. Newly restored, the hotel is open for guests, dining, and tours, where many say you can still feel Bullock patrolling the grounds. Visitors can even make note of unexplained phenomena in the hotel’s guestbook.

42. TENNESSEE // THE SENSABAUGH TUNNEL

Location: Church Hill, Tennessee

You won’t have to endure long lines to experience the reputed gloom of this traffic tunnel in East Tennessee: Locals avoid it and advise others to do the same. Although no one knows how the tunnel got its reputation, several anecdotes have sprung up over the years relating to murder. Supposedly, driving through could mean a dead engine, or worse: Strange figures and noises have been said to appear. Defaced with graffiti and worn to cracks, it’s not a place for the faint of heart.

43. TEXAS // USS LEXINGTON

Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

A World War II-era battleship that’s now open for tours, the USS Lexington saw fierce combat in her day. It’s said that the spirits of departed soldiers still patrol the vessel. For additional scares, there’s an annual haunted attraction onboard the ship.

44. UTAH // OGDEN CITY CEMETERY

Location: Ogden, Utah

The grounds of the Ogden City Cemetery have more than their fair share of spooky stories. Legend has it that a statue of a World War I soldier has trouble in mind for anyone who drives or walks around his monument three times, while the headstone of Florence "Flo" Grange is said to be the haunted home of a young woman killed by a car while waiting for a date. If you flash your headlights at her tombstone three times, her ghost might materialize.

45. VERMONT // EMILY’S BRIDGE

Location: Stowe, Vermont

Locals in the small town of Stowe call this quaint structure "Emily’s Bridge," named for a woman who was said to have committed suicide after being stood up by her groom. Strange noises, lights, and apparitions reportedly greet those who visit after daylight hours.

46. VIRGINIA // SAINT ALBANS SANITORIUM

Location: Radford, Virginia

This establishment has an uncomfortable history. It’s a former boys' school that became a mental hospital known for experimental treatments. It’s also located on ground that was once the site of a Civil War battle as well as a number of skirmishes between colonists and Native Americans. Those who dare to visit won’t want to miss the "Suicide Bathroom" and the "Electroshock Therapy Room." And if you need a more traditional place to rest up after your visit, there’s a not-so-haunted hotel just down the road.

47. WASHINGTON // MOUNT BAKER THEATRE

Location: Bellingham, Washington

A playful spirit named Judy supposedly haunts this historic theater. For decades, projectionists and ushers have told of sudden breezes and eerie bursts of cold, or being tapped on the shoulder and hearing a ghostly voice whisper their name. While renovating the theater 20 years ago, a worker snapped a picture of a hallway filled with white mist. Some say it was a hoax, while others claim it’s Judy making an appearance.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // LAKE SHAWNEE AMUSEMENT PARK

Location: Rock, West Virginia

There’s nothing creepy about an abandoned amusement park set back in the woods, right? Six children perished on the park’s swings and rides before owners shut it down in 1966. Rust and vines have overtaken most of the structures, but locals and paranormal investigators claim the children, including a little girl in a bloodstained dress, still come out to play.

49. WISCONSIN // PFISTER HOTEL

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The ghost of Charles Pfister, who built this historic hotel in 1893, supposedly haunts its rooms and corridors, but enough activity has been noted by guests that he can't possibly be the only spirit up to no good. Not convinced? Check out a few testimonies from numerous Major League Baseball players who have stayed there. Their stories include rearranged furniture, flickering lights, radios turning off and on, and even ghosts climbing into bed with them.

50. WYOMING // THE OCCIDENTAL HOTEL

Location: Buffalo, Wyoming

The Occidental has all the ambience of an Old West hotel—including an unwanted guest straight out of that era. According to legend, when the building housed a brothel, the young daughter of prostitute died in a second-story room, and has haunted the hotel ever since. Guests have reported moving furniture, mysterious lights and the sound of children giggling.

By Stacy Conradt, Michele Debczak, Shaunacy Ferro, Kate Horowitz, Jake Rossen, and Jeff Wells.

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