We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting places across the state that now sit idle, collecting dust — left abandoned for urbex adventurers to explore.
Holy Land | Waterbury
Holy Land originally stood in Waterbury as a religious amusement park in the ’50s, created to represent different aspects of Jerusalem of the Biblical era. Now, the chapels and Israelite villages are dilapidated. The site is covered in graffiti and weeds are entirely unkept, though the Holy Land U.S.A. sign and a 65-foot stainless steel cross remain standing, visible from Interstate 84.
Where to find it: 60 Slocum St., Waterbury
Aerosol Techniques Factory | Milford
For over 20 years, an abandoned aerosol factory has remained empty. While it originally acted as a building to house aerosol products and plastic bottles, it has now transformed into a graffiti art museum. The 176,000-square-foot space is covered in graffiti and nature, claiming it as its own.
Where to find it: Hidden behind the tree line of the Hilton Hotel and Lowe’s Department Store in Milford
Seaside Sanatorium | Waterford
Waterford’s Seaside Sanatorium may be an abandoned facility now, but it is recognized nationwide as the first institution to treat children with tuberculosis. When it first offered services in the 1930s, children were treated by spending prolonged time in the sun. A long terrace wrapped around the building, facing the water, to allow patients to sunbathe.
The Sanatorium was shut down in 1996 after various owners and uses. Earlier this year, the state announced it plans to tear down the buildings.
Where to find it: Enter by foot on Shore Road in Waterford
Sunrise Resort | East Haddam
For 92 years, Sunrise Resort was a family-friendly vacation spot in East Haddam, offering cabins, pools, and recreational areas each summer. The 1930s resort was known for horseback riding and swimming, with rustic cottages and apartments. However, it closed down in 2008.
While the state purchased the property, it failed to find redevelopers. Many buildings have been torn down, but some remain standing — becoming one with nature.
Where to find it: 121 Leesville Rd., Moodus
Comet Diner | Hartford
Comet Diner, which still sits at the corner of Laurel Street and Farmington Avenue, was once a thriving spot for locals — and was even named on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the popular retro diner now sits idle and has been decaying for 15 years. The city announced plans in 2022 to renovate the building and bring back some life.
Where to find it: 267 Farmington Ave., Hartford
Miniature Ghost Town | Stamford
Amid the construction of Interstate 95 and modernized buildings to match Stamford’s hustle and bustle, a small corner of the city was left behind. A handful of empty restaurants and a one-story church sit decaying with broken windows on the once-thriving Manhattan Street.
The boarded-up buildings were set to be demolished in 2021.
Where to find it: off of 554 Atlantic St., Stamford
Fairfield Hills State Hospital | Newtown
Fairfield Hills first opened in the 1930s, housing up to 4,000 patients amid overcrowding at nearby hospitals. While patients were sent to this location for a handful of mental illnesses, doctors participated in now-limited practices like hydro-therapy, insulin shock therapy, electroconvulsive therapy, and lobotomies.
It closed down in 1955 due to deinstitutionalization. While some of the buildings on the campus are still in use — like the Newtown Municipal Center and Volunteer Ambulance Corps. — a majority of the site has been left untouched.
Where to find it: Fairfield Hills Campus, 3 Primrose St., Newtown
Wild Bills Nostalgia | Middletown
The once-thriving Wild Bills Nostalgia was a step back in time. The grounds were littered with remnants of pop-culture history, showcasing colorful graffiti in a maze-like collection, including a haunted house, VW bus, and even the world’s largest Jack-in-the-Box.
While the grounds were demolished in 2020, the main building with murals still stands. According to the Hartford Business Journal, the property was sold in 2021, but it is unknown what the owners plan to do with the grounds.
Where to find it: 1003 Newfield St., Route 3, Middletown
Sterling Opera House | Derby
In the smallest city of Connecticut sits an abandoned 19th century opera house. Its last production hit the stage in 1945; since then, it has sat idle. While the inside is falling apart, the exterior is in good shape but boarded off to the public.
Ideas to restore the opera house have been mentioned over the years, but there are no set future plans.
Where to find it: Elizabeth St., Derby
Connecticut Valley State Hospital | Middletown
Connecticut Valley Hospital, historically known as Connecticut General Hospital for the Insane, opened in 1868. While most of the buildings on the 100-acre campus are abandoned, parts of the campus are still up and running and treating mental illness.
The unused buildings are boarded-up, but some windows have been broken-into, offering a look beyond the eerie exterior.
Where to find it: 1000 Silver St., Middletown