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Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah
Photograph: Shutterstock

The most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries in the United States

You'll spot plenty of famous names among the tombstones of these gorgeous cemeteries in the U.S.

By Sarah Medina
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It doesn't have to be spooky season to wander through these hauntingly beautiful cemeteries in the United States (though it does make the trip even more atmospheric). These eerie and stunning graveyards across the U.S. are remarkable both for their landscape and their permanent residents—you'll find names like Alexander Hamilton, Paul Revere, and even the Colonel Sanders on this list—but our favorite thing about them is that they also serve as gorgeous parks for urban cities from coast to coast. Whether you're watching a movie in a burial site in L.A. or picnicing among the memorials in the middle of Brooklyn, these beautiful cemeteries are some of our favorite spots in the entire U.S. Looking for more haunted getaways? Check out these haunted Airbnbs and haunted hotels next. 

Most beautiful cemeteries in the U.S.

Mountain View Cemetery Oakland
Mountain View Cemetery Oakland
Photograph: Shutterstock/Michael

1. Oakland, CA: Mountain View Cemetery

Located on 226 scenic acres with views of the entire San Francisco Bay, Mountain View Cemetery was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the very same guy responsible for Central Park. Many of California’s wealthiest families can be found here in an area known as Millionaire’s Row. Among the ornate crypts and mausoleums you'll find names like Domingo Ghirardelli (as in Ghirardelli Chocolate), Henry J. Kaiser (father of modern American shipbuilding), architecture icon Julia Morgan, and Glenn Burke, the first openly gay player in Major League Baseball. The cemetery is so beloved among locals you'll often find families picnicing, jogging or walking their dogs among the graves.  

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah
Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Savannah, GA: Bonaventure Cemetery

Savannah's largest cemetery is also its most fascinating. The 160-acre former plantation includes a number of notable Georgians, like former governor Josiah Tattnall, but its the less-famous graves that draw the most attention here. Make sure to seek out the final resting place of Gracie Watson, a six-year old girl whose site is adorned with a (pretty creepy) sculpture of her. The cemetery also famously hosted John Muir in 1867, who spent six nights sleeping among the graves in what he called the cheapest accomodation he could find. 

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Trinity Church Cemeteries New York
Trinity Church Cemeteries New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. New York City, NY: Trinity Church Cemeteries

Trinity Church's cemetery is actually made up of three separate burial grounds, where you'll find some of history's most famous New Yorkers such as Alexander Hamilton, his wife Eliza, son Philip, and sister-in-law Angelica. The first site was established in the original churchyard located at Wall Street and Broadway in 1698 (this is where you'll find Hamilton). Roughly 440 yards up Broadway, a second burial place was added in the small churchyard of St. Paul's Chapel of Trinity Church in 1766. Finally, in 1872 Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in Upper Manhattan was established. The graveyards are also the only remaining active cemetery in Manhattan. 

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. New Orleans, LA: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

There's no shortage of cool cemeteries in New Orleans, but the tiny Lafayette Cemetery, which spans just one city block, is jam-packed with beautiful sights. Lafayette holds 7,000 people in 1,100 ornate family tombs inluding famous residents like John Howard Ferguson, defendant in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson court case. If the site looks familiar, you may recognize it from movies like Interview with the VampireDouble Jeopardy, and Jonah Hex

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Granary Burying Ground Boston
Granary Burying Ground Boston
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Boston, MA: Granary Burying Ground

Established in 1660, the Granary Burying Ground is one of the oldest graveyards in the country, but it's only the third-oldest cemetery in Boston. Granary serves as the final resting spot for many of the Revolutionary War's most famous characters including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and the five victims of the Boston Massacre. While there are 2,345 unique grave markers at Granary, it is estimated that there are actually more than 5,000 interments.

Boothill Graveyard Arizona
Boothill Graveyard Arizona
Photograph: Shutterstock

6. Tombstone, AZ: Boothill Graveyard

Boothill Graveyard, which also goes by the name Old City Cemetery, was established in 1883 as a place to bury outlaws. Though, if you visit the site today, be warned that most of the tombstones are faked in order to lure tourists. The cemetery's actual notorious residents include “Three Fingered Jack” Dunlop, the three men killed in the O.K. Corral Shootout, and China Mary, a female general store owner who sold American and Chinese goods. 

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Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Photograph: Michael Juliano

7. Los Angeles, CA: Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The owners of Hollywood Forever have been criticized for promoting the place as a tourist attraction, but any cemetery that houses the remains of such celluloid luminaries as Cecil B. DeMille and Jayne Mansfield would probably become one regardless. It's also the resting place of Rudolph Valentino; legend has it that a mysterious "Woman in Black" still stalks the cemetery, mourning the demise of Hollywood's original loverboy. Mel Blanc's headstone says "That's All, Folks!"; Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr. are in a huge tomb in front of a lake guarded by a fountain and three black swans. William Andrews Clark Jr., founder of the LA Philharmonic, has an even bigger mausoleum in the middle of a lake. Aside from popular posthumous celebs, Hollywood Forever is also home to summer outdoor movie screenings and concerts. 

Green-Wood Brooklyn
Green-Wood Brooklyn
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Brooklyn, NY: Green-Wood

Green-Wood is more than just a cemetery—it’s a National Historic Landmark that stretches over 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths. So it makes sense that tons of famous people are buried here, from artist Jean-Michel Basquiat to Wizard of Oz. actor Frank Morgan and even Samuel F.B. Morse, who invented the Morse Code. Walk through the Gothic-revival gates that tower over 25th Street to see one of the most famous landmarks in Brooklyn. 

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Neptune Memorial Reef
Neptune Memorial Reef
Photograph: Courtesy Neptune Memorial Reef

9. Key Biscayne, FL: Neptune Memorial Reef

This only-in-Florida cemetery is actually an underwater columbarium located about three miles off the coast of Key Biscayne. Currently, the reef is designed to hold the remains of about 850 people, but it will ultimately be able to accommodate more than 125,000 permanent residents. The reef combines cremated remains with cement to form features like tombstones, statues, and even cemetery gates under the Atlantic Ocean. 

Graceland Cemetery
Graceland Cemetery
Photograph: Shutterstock/Carlos Yudica

10. Chicago, IL: Graceland Cemetery

For anyone interested in Chicago’s storied past, Graceland Cemetery is an absolute must visit. Established in 1960, Graceland covers 121 acres and is the final resting place for a number of famous Chicagoans including urban designer Daniel H. Burnham, film critic Roger Ebert and business magnate Marshall Field. Architecture buffs will love the grandiose monuments here, like the Louis Sullivan-designed Getty Tomb, the Schoenhofen Pyramid Mausoleum, and the sculpture entitled The Crusader, which watches over Victor Lawson’s grave.

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Lakeview Cemetery Cleveland
Lakeview Cemetery Cleveland
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Cleveland, OH: Lakeview Cemetery

Known locally as Cleveland’s Outdoor Museum, this cemetery located on the shores of Lake Erie was established in 1869 and modeled after the beautiful garden cemeteries popular in Western Europe at the time. Lake View is the final resting place for a number of notable figures, including John D. Rockefeller, Salisbury steak inventor James Salisbury, and famous Prohibition-era detective Eliot Ness. But Lake View Cemetery’s most famous feature is the James A. Garfield Memorial, a massive burial site that features an ornate interior of stained glass, marble statues, and bas relief as well as the coffins of the former president and his wife.

Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis
Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Indianapolis, IN: Crown Hill Cemetery

Located on the summit of Strawberry Hill (known as the crown among locals), Crown Hill Cemetery marks the highest point in Louisville. The privately-oned site offers 555 acres of pristine landscape (it's the third biggest private cemetery in the country) including 25 miles of paved road and more than 150 different species of trees and plants. If you're looking for notable tombstones, search for president Benjamin Harrison and the infamous bank robber John Dillinger.

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Cave Hill Cemetery Louisville
Cave Hill Cemetery Louisville
Photograph: Shutterstock/Thomas Kelley

13. Louisville, KY: Cave Hill Cemetery

This Victorian-era cemetery and arboretum is stunning. Established in 1848, Cave Hill's famous residents include boxing legend Muhammed Ali, Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Colonel Harland Sanders and Patty and Mildred Hill, the two sisters credited with composing the “Happy Birthday” song. Interestingly, Cave Hill Cemetery also includes a National Cemetery for those who have fought and died in battle including more than 200 Confederate soldiers killed during the Civil War. 

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery New York
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

14. Sleepy Hollow, NY: Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

It's no surprise who you'll find among the residents of this new York cemetery: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, of course. Established in 1849, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery has a number of other notable interments, including businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (you'll find coins left on his tombstone), cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden, The New York Times co-founder George Jones and a number of Alexander Hamilton’s children (though Hamilton himself is buried in another cemetery on this list). 

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Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge
Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge
Photograph: Shutterstock

15. Cambridge, MA: Mount Auburn Cemetery

You can't appreciate beautiful cemeteries in the U.S. without tipping your hat to Mount Auburn, one of the first cemeteries in America to be designed with a park-like setting (rather than the Colonial-era tradition of graves in neat rows with uniform tombstones). Spanning 174 acres, Mount Auburn has long been the final resting place for some of New England’s wealthiest like writer and publisher John Bartlett, cookbook author Fannie Farmer, and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia
Laurel Hill Cemetery Philadelphia
Photograph: Shutterstock

16. Philadelphia, PA: Laurel Hill Cemetery

Philly's ornate cemetery encompasses 74-acres and is covered in 33,000 large monuments and mausoleums. Many of these date back to the 19th and 20th centuries with grandiose marble sculptures and grand obelisks to mark the tombs of famous residents like Wharton Business School founder Joseph Wharton and General George Meade, the man who led the Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg. 

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