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The Best Grilled Cheese in All 50 States

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A warm, gooey grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food. Heating bread and cheese may sound simple, but making the perfect grilled cheese can be an art form, requiring careful attention to ingredient ratios and temperature. But don’t blame us if you suddenly have a serious hankering for some melted cheese—try one of these top sandwiches.

1. ALABAMA // MELT

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

With a food truck affectionately called Matilda and a storefront in Avondale, Melt is Alabama’s top spot for grilled cheese. Served on thick Texas toast, the Classic Melt contains the perfect blend of American, Monterey Jack, and cheddar cheeses. To bring the decadence up a notch, get the Mac Melt, which has glorious mac-n-cheese inside a grilled cheese.

2. ALASKA // SPENARD ROADHOUSE

Location: Anchorage, Alaska

Head to this restaurant and bar for one of the best grilled cheeses in "The Last Frontier." Melted havarti and sharp cheddar are sandwiched between sourdough bread, and customers have the option to add grilled apple and bacon (do it!).

3. ARIZONA // TOASTED

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Offering a dozen grilled cheese varieties, this gastropub is a grilled cheese lover’s dream. The traditional 'Merika is made with cheddar and American cheese, and the Fat Elvis comes with white cheddar, bacon, peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and a banana. You can substitute pretzel bread, vegan provolone, or vegan cheddar on any sandwich, and if you haven't had a dairy overload yet, add a side of Wisconsin fried cheese curds, or take an ice cream sandwich to go.

4. ARKANSAS // THE MAIN CHEESE

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

This spot in a West Little Rock shopping center offers gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches with a variety of optional add-ons, such as pickled peppers, avocado, corned beef, and pesto. Served on a wheat berry grain bread, the Main Cheese sandwich comes with a whopping six cheeses—Swiss, provolone, Muenster, aged cheddar, havarti, and pepper jack.

5. CALIFORNIA // SWEET BUTTER KITCHEN

Location: Sherman Oaks, California

Started by a caterer and her husband, Sweet Butter Kitchen is acclaimed for its baked goods and cute patio herb garden. But the SB Grilled Cheese is in a class of its own. Served on rustic millstone bread, the sandwich comes with roasted cherry tomatoes, basil aioli, and a side of shoestring French fries.

6. COLORADO // TOM'S URBAN

Location: Denver, Colorado

This Larimer Square eatery (there are also a few locations in other U.S. cities) doesn’t focus exclusively on grilled cheese, but that doesn't mean their Grilled Fig Jam and 3 Cheese isn’t the best in all of Colorado. A delectable combination of Brie, fontina, and havarti is melted with Croatian fig jam, and it’s all melted between buttered and toasted sourdough.

7. CONNECTICUT // BLEU SQUID BAKERY AND CHEESE SHOP

Location: Mystic, Connecticut

Bleu Squid is a cafe, bakery, and cheese shop all in one. While the cupcakes are heavenly, the cafe’s grilled cheese menu offers plenty of tempting options, from the Original Grown-up Grilled Cheese to the Lobster Grilled Cheese. Because the cheese shop has cheeses from around the world, customers who order a grilled cheese can enjoy everything from havarti, fontina, Muenster, mozzarella, and bleu cheese in their sandwiches.

8. DELAWARE // OLDBANKS CRAFT BISTRO

Location: Wilmington, Delaware

If you’re near Trolley Square and find yourself craving comfort food, the grilled cheese at Oldbanks Craft Bistro will hit the spot. The sourdough sandwich, with melted mozzarella and provolone, is extra scrumptious with the addition of grilled pepperoni and a tomato fondue, a playful twist on tomato soup.

9. FLORIDA // NEW YORK GRILLED CHEESE

Location: Multiple locations, Florida

Despite its name, New York Grilled Cheese is strictly a Sunshine State institution. With locations in Wilton Manors and Boca Raton, the restaurant serves grilled cheeses made in a waffle press. Get the Broadway Classic, a baked sourdough grilled cheese brushed with garlic butter and filled with gooey American and Swiss cheese. Or, if you want to add some protein, the Brooklyn Porkster adds in slow-roasted barbeque pork.

10. GEORGIA // BUCKHEAD DINER

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Buckhead Diner is an Atlanta favorite, and for good reason. The diner serves four grilled cheeses that come with delicious accouterments such as bacon, fried eggs, Granny Smith apples, and grilled vegetables. But the simplest—a Four Cheese Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, served on parmesan crusted egg bread—is perfect for when you just need some classic southern comfort.

11. HAWAII // THE NOOK

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

At this neighborhood bistro, the Roasted Mushroom Grilled Cheese gives hungry customers a true taste of paradise. Cheddar, smoked Gouda, and fontina are melted on a baguette and served with Ali'i mushrooms, bacon, caramelized onions, and mushroom au jus. To round out your meal, order a side of the polenta fries, which come with a blue cheese and balsamic aioli or a spicy Sriracha aioli.

12. IDAHO // BLEUBIRD

Location: Boise, Idaho

Owned by a husband and wife duo, Bleubird has a menu that changes seasonally. But the grilled cheese is a favorite that’s thankfully available year round. Made with melted Brie, Gruyere, and cheddar, the sandwich will rock your taste buds with the addition of fig preserves, caramelized onion, and Dijon aioli.

13. ILLINOIS // BIG & LITTLE'S

Location: Chicago, Illinois

With restaurants in River North, Wicker Park, and Lakeview, Big & Little’s has a strong presence in the Windy City. While their variety of fish tacos are great, their real gem is the Deep Fried Grilled Cheese, a beer-battered grilled cheese sandwich made with your choice of American or Swiss cheese.

14. INDIANA // MILKTOOTH

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

This superb fine diner in Fletcher Place serves unique brunch dishes made with the freshest ingredients. The cranberry walnut and Caerphilly cheddar grilled cheese, served with black truffle honey and a local sunny duck egg, is truly a work of art.

15. IOWA // THE CHEESE SHOP OF DES MOINES

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

This mecca for fromage lovers offers customers more than 100 artisan and farmhouse cheeses. While the cheese shop caters events and makes gift boxes, head to the café for a Classic Toastie, a grilled cheese made with Milton Creamery quark and Prairie Breeze & Frisian Farms Gouda. Optional add-ons are creative and include pickled shallots, arugula pesto, quince paste, almond butter, and olive tapenade.

16. KANSAS // MONARCH

Location: Wichita, Kansas

Next to the Delano District’s big clock tower, Monarch has an extensive bourbon menu and a Gold Rush Grilled Cheese worth its weight in gold. Made with smoked provolone and cheddar on baked focaccia, the sandwich comes with your choice of meat (smoked in-house every day) and side (we recommend the BBQ potato chips).

17. KENTUCKY // TOAST ON MARKET

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

This breakfast and lunch spot offers four inventive grilled cheeses, all served with a bowl of roasted tomato soup. If you’re a grilled cheese purist, opt for the simple Three Cheese sandwich, with melted mozzarella, baby Swiss, and provolone. If you want a kick of heat, though, get the Spicy Chipotle, which is made with sharp cheddar, red onions, chipotle, and molasses.

18. LOUISIANA // COWBELL

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

At Cowbell, the Adult Style Grilled Cheese is perfectly crispy on the outside and exquisitely gooey on the inside. Goat cheese is melted on rustic Italian country bread, and asparagus spears are so long that they stick out of the sandwich. A house-made tomato jam nicely rounds out the dish.

19. MAINE // THE GREAT LOST BEAR

Location: Portland, Maine

The impressive selection of craft beers at this bar and grill may attract some first-timers, but the grilled cheese turns them into loyal customers. The Almighty Cheesus Burger, sans bun, consists of a half pound of char-grilled Angus beef served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes add some much needed crunch.

20. MARYLAND // PAPERMOON DINER

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

At Papermoon Diner, the vibe is eccentric and the menu is eclectic. Served on grilled multigrain seed bread, the grilled cheese comes with arugula, a savory artichoke and Asiago cheese spread, and French fries. The diner has such devoted fans that it sells merchandise such as T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // THE NEW WORLD TAVERN

Location: Plymouth, Massachusetts

This gastropub will open up your taste buds to a whole new world. Sip one of their hundreds of craft beers while you wait for your New World Grilled Cheese, an upscale Gouda and Gruyere combination with apple onion spread and quince paste on brioche with a side of honey truffle dipping sauce.

22. MICHIGAN // THE GRILLCHEEZERIE

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you ever wonder how to make a grilled cheese even cheesier, look no further than the S’mac and Cheese at this family-run sandwich shop. Artisan white bread envelopes a mass of melted aged cheddar and three-cheese macaroni. For a lighter option, go with The Shroom, a whole-wheat sandwich with an herbed goat cheese spread, Muenster, roasted wild mushrooms, and parsley pesto.

23. MINNESOTA // THE LOWBROW

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

There’s nothing lowbrow about the grilled cheese at this neighborhood restaurant, which specializes in cooking comfort food from scratch. The sandwich’s combination of aged Wisconsin cheddar and Swiss provides the perfect filling, which you can supplement with anything from bacon and avocado to red onions and jalapeño.

24. MISSISSIPPI // THE CAMP

Location: Natchez, Mississippi

Spending time in The Camp’s outdoor beer garden or on the porch overlooking the Mississippi River is blissful and relaxing. And the restaurant’s Grilled Cheese, with melted provolone and American on homemade bread, adds to the heavenly experience. For a slightly less traditional grilled cheese, get the Pimento Grilled Cheese, which comes with crab-boil seasoned fried onions.

25. MISSOURI // THE ROYALE

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

This neighborhood restaurant and bar in South City serves a Top Shelf Grilled Cheese that will make you feel like royalty. Provolone and cheddar combine with tomatoes and pesto to make a mouthwatering sandwich filling, which is served on white bread from a local bakery.

26. MONTANA // THE GARAGE SOUP SHACK & MESQUITE GRILL

Location: Bozeman, Montana

Housed in a former auto mechanic garage, The Garage Soup Shack & Mesquite Grill is a local favorite for its friendly service and tasty food. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is a three cheese sandwich that comes with tomato and bacon, and you can choose between Texas toast and ciabatta for your bread.

27. NEBRASKA // BLOCK 16

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

This spot in downtown Omaha makes street-style food from quality, locally sourced ingredients. Each day, the chef offers a special grilled cheese sandwich, which includes combinations of cheeses such as Muenster, garlic herb Boursin, Gouda, provolone, and local white cheddar. Depending on the day, the sandwich might be loaded with rhubarb jam, house pickles, or thick cut bacon.

28. NEVADA // FAT CHOY

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Located inside the Eureka Casino, Fat Choy is an Asian-American diner that serves comfort food in the desert. The Shortrib Grilled Cheese—with onion jam, cheddar, provolone, and tomato dip—is savory, creamy, and decadent.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // THE FRIENDLY TOAST

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Once you see the bright green walls and eclectic artwork on the walls of The Friendly Toast, you know you’re somewhere special. Get the spicy D.G.G.C. (damn good grilled cheese), a cheddar and American sandwich on cayenne-cheddar bread that comes with an olive-garlic spread and a side of strawberry habanero sauce.

30. NEW JERSEY // THIRD & VINE

Location: Jersey City, New Jersey

This cheese and wine tavern is the real deal. A chef and fromager oversee the Hot Cheese Sandwiches, which range from the American (a blend of four domestic cheeses) to the Croque Madame (Gruyere, Mortadella, Béchamel, egg, and truffle). Stinky cheese lovers should order The Stinker, a grilled cheese made with Taleggio, Grayson, onions, and English mustard.

31. NEW MEXICO // STANDARD DINER

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Founded by three brothers in 2006, downtown Albuquerque’s Standard Diner is the best place for a modern take on comfort food. Their grilled cheese is made with melted white cheddar, smoked Gouda, and Gruyere, and a bourbon-bacon marmalade adds sweet, savory notes to the gooey cheese.

32. NEW YORK // LITTLE MUENSTER

Location: New York, New York

With a store in downtown Manhattan and a small takeout-only spot in Brooklyn, Little Muenster is a grilled cheese haven for New Yorkers craving some melted cheese goodness. Choose between five grilled cheese sandwiches, from the classic (with white American or cheddar) to the extravagant (with Maine Lobster). Don’t miss the perfectly balanced French Onion grilled cheese, which features Gruyere aged in a cave, caramelized onions, and arugula.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // DISH

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Dish proves that down-home southern comfort food is simply the best. Because the restaurant lets customers choose their bread and cheese, there’s a grilled cheese to match whatever mood you’re in. We suggest getting a sandwich on marble rye or multi-grain bread with Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // PEACOCK ALLEY

Location: Bismarck, North Dakota

Opened in 1933 after the end of Prohibition, Peacock Alley has history built into its walls. The restaurant was a former hotel that hosted presidents from Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge to John F. Kennedy. Made with Bread Poets wheat bread from a local bakery and a mixture of five cheeses—provolone, Swiss, American, white cheddar, and mozzarella—the grilled cheese is just as impressive as the building’s history.

35. OHIO // TOMMY'S RESTAURANT

Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio

It began as a seven-seat soda fountain in 1972, and today Tommy’s Restaurant seats 125 people. The extensive Toasted Cheese section of the menu is a huge draw, and hungry customers can order a grilled Muenster sandwich with unique additions such as sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and homemade peanut butter.

36. OKLAHOMA // THE TAVERN

Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Located in the hip Brady Arts District, The Tavern is the best spot to chew on a gooey grilled cheese and sip an artisanal beer. The neighborhood pub’s grilled cheese is cooked with cheese on the inside and on the outside of the bread, and it comes with a cup of tomato bisque.

37. OREGON // THE GRILLED CHEESE GRILL

Location: Portland, Oregon

Head to one of the Portland locations of Grilled Cheese Grill to get a taste of your childhood, as they promise. Built out of a converted school bus and double decker bus, the restaurants on wheels offer classic grilled cheeses with your choice of Tillamook Cheddar or American Cheese. Order the Pre-Schooler for a grilled cheese with the crusts lovingly cut off.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // MAD DASH

Location: Multiple locations, Pennsylvania

The food truck Mad Dash elevates the humble grilled cheese to a sandwich masterpiece. Once you find the truck (it travels around the Harrisburg, York, and Lancaster areas), order the Killer Grilled Cheese, a Swiss, cheddar, and American cheese sandwich made with thick bread from a local Italian bakery.

39. RHODE ISLAND // SCRATCH KITCHEN & CATERING

Location: Newport, Rhode Island

Run by a brother-sister team, Scratch Kitchen & Catering has all your grilled cheese needs covered. The Grilled Cheese Frittatas make for a perfect breakfast, and the multitude of Gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches hit the spot for lunch. Try the Duck Confit on marble rye for a taste of melted Gruyere, duck, and a peach and habanero marmalade.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // PERSIMMON CAFE

Location: Multiple locations, South Carolina

You can find Persimmon Cafe, which serves a tantalizing Adult Grilled Cheese, in Charleston and Summerville. The grown-up sandwich is well balanced with smoked Gouda, cheddar, prosciutto, and green apple. The cafe also serves a Grilled Cheese and Soup combo, letting you choose between pepper jack, fontina, havarti, cheddar, smoked Gouda, and goat cheese.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // PURE BLISS BAKERY & CAFE

Location: Pierre, South Dakota

Owned by a pastry chef, Pure Bliss Bakery & Cafe sells cupcakes, coffee, and mouthwatering Italian grilled cheese sandwiches. The cheese is generously portioned, the bread has gorgeous grill marks, and the daily grilled cheese lunch special comes with a tasty soup such as cheese broccoli or lasagna.

42. TENNESSEE // THE MAJESTIC GRILLE

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Downtown’s Majestic Grille lives up to its name with its magnificent Famous Grilled Cheese. Besides aged white cheddar and sourdough bread, the sandwich has bacon, tomato, and creole mustard. Get the Parmesan fries for an even cheesier meal.

43. TEXAS // SOCIAL HOUSE

Location: Multiple locations, Texas

Addison, Dallas, and Fort Worth residents have easy access to Social House, a restaurant and bar that offers a relaxing, fun place to gather with friends. After you order one of the 100 beers on tap, munch on the Social Grilled Cheese, a surprisingly delicate sourdough sandwich made with melted white cheddar, American, Swiss cheese, prosciutto, and Granny Smith apples.

44. UTAH // STATION 22 CAFE

Location: Provo, Utah

If your idea of the perfect grilled cheese starts with two slices of Texas toast, Station 22 is the spot for you. With its thick bread, gooey cheese, avocado, and pesto mayo, the Golden Griller will leave your stomach satisfied. You have the option to add grilled chicken or bacon, but the meat isn’t necessary.

45. VERMONT // WOODSTOCK FARMERS' MARKET

Location: Woodstock, Vermont

This year-round fresh food market is Vermont’s favorite spot for grilled cheese, hands-down. The Quechee Gorge sandwich is expertly crafted with smoked Vermont cheddar, provolone, and Parrano cheeses between slices of grilled, roasted garlic parmesan bread.

46. VIRGINIA // GALAXY HUT

Location: Arlington, Virginia

Because Galaxy Hut is a bar and live music venue, you have to be at least 21 years old to enter. But to those of age, order the awesome grilled cheese, which can be customized to your heart’s content. Choose between sourdough, Texas toast, and rye bread, then select amongst mozzarella, provolone, sharp cheddar, Swiss, American, and Muenster. If you’re feeling adventurous, add the vegan bacon or grilled onion for extra savoriness.

47. WASHINGTON // CAFE PETTIROSSO

Location: Seattle, Washington

Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Cafe Pettirosso offers customers an espresso bar, pastry case, and the best grilled cheese in Washington. The Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (on the weekday lunch menu) is a creamy masterpiece of toasted sourdough with havarti and Beecher’s Flagship cheese.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE STARDUST CAFE

Location: Lewisburg, West Virginia

The Stardust Cafe serves a Cheese and Pepper Panino to die for. Ciabatta bread is stuffed with two types of cheese (Asiago and chevre), two types of peppers (banana and Peppadew), onion, and tomato. It’s tangy, gooey, and downright delightful.

49. WISCONSIN // ALCHEMY CAFE

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

This eclectic pub is the perfect spot for grilled cheese lovers who want to up their veggie intake. The Stuffed Grilled Cheese contains local cheddar and Swiss, but it also has roasted carrots, broccoli, tomato, and red onion. Topped with cilantro pesto sauce, the toasted sourdough sandwich comes with your choice of side. We suggest the dilled potato salad and cilantro cucumber quinoa salad.

50. WYOMING // SIDEWINDERS AMERICAN GRILL

Location: Jackson, Wyoming

This grill and sports bar, which appeared in an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has 30 TVs, 28 beers on tap, and the ultimate grilled cheese. While you sit on the outdoor deck, eat the sumptuous sourdough sandwich, which features cheddar, Swiss, bacon, avocado, and tomato.

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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

iStock

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
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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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