10 Stunning Cemeteries To Die For

We know what you're thinking: cemeteries aren't often places you're dying to visit. (Excuse the pun.) They can be spooky, boring, and even run-down. But there are some graveyards around the world that are hauntingly beautiful with drop-dead gorgeous views and museum-worthy artwork. From Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah to the cliffside Waverly Cemetery in Australia, these are 10 of the most fascinating cemeteries in the world. 

1. Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah


This charming Southern city is known as one of the most haunted in the country, so it's only fitting that it would have a cemetery worthy of a visit. Just five miles from downtown Savannah, Bonaventure Cemetery has long been a stunning site with its moss-draped oak paths, but it was made even more popular by the hit book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." It's easy to spend hours wandering the peaceful setting ,perched on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River. And for history buffs, there are plenty of big names to check out like singer Johnny Mercer, as well as notable Civil War figureheads. 

Nearby Hotel Pick: Amethyst Inn at Sarah's Garden

2. Old Granary Burying Ground, Boston


A walk through this 17th century graveyard is like walking through a history book. Though not large in size, here is where many of America's most notable citizens --  including Paul Revere, John Hancock, Ben Franklin's family, Mary Goose, Nathan Webb, and Samuel Adams -- are buried in the some 2,345 graves. Started in 1660, this cemetery is actually only the third oldest in Boston, with King's Chapel Burying Ground and Copp's Hill Burying Ground taking the first and second spots respectively.

Nearby Hotel Pick: Nine Zero Hotel

3. Woodlawn Cemetery; Bronx, NY

Image by Terry Ballard/Flickr

With 400 acres of rolling hills, colorful trees, and winding paths, this cemetery feels more like a park to some. For over 150 years, the historic site has steadily built a collection of over 1,300 mausoleums designed by legendary architects and sculptors, and is the resting place for over 300,000 people. Notables like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Miles Davis, Joseph Pulitzer, and Duke Ellington all rest here. It is also the home of the "Annie Bliss Titanic Memorial," dedicated to those who died in the 1912 tragedy.

4. Saint Louis Cemetery, New Orleans


This graveyard is so ornate that it even inspired Mark Twain to write about it, calling it "a city of the dead." It's the oldest in the Big Easy and features more than 40 above-ground burial sites, complete with intricate sculptures and ornate mausoleums. The site became even more popular after it appeared in the 1969 Jack Nicholson film "Easy Rider," making it a must-see spot for history and movie aficionados.

Nearby Hotel Pick: Maison Dupuy

5. Mount Auburn Cemetery; Cambridge, MA

Image by Andrew Malone/Flickr

Situated just four miles west of Boston is the first rural cemetery in the United States, built in 1831. Now a National Historic Landmark, it was developed as an "experimental garden," so you know it has to be pretty impressive. It's home to the Binney Monument from 1850, which is argued to be sculptor Thomas Crawford’s greatest work. If that's not enough to draw you in, the simple pleasure of wandering the green gardens and stunning lakes certainly should.

6. Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta

Image by Joel Kramer/Flickr

Just in the shadows of the big city lights sits another rural garden cemetery, this one built in 1850 as an alternative to the mostly crowded and visually unappealing graveyards of the day. It was expanded to bury Civil War soldiers, making it a historic landmark, but has since become a refuge for city folk and even a backdrop for wedding photos.

Nearby Hotel Pick: Sugar Magonolia Bed & Breakfast

7. Waverley Cemetery; Bronte, Australia


Talk about a final resting place with a view! Opened in 1877, this cemetery is located on top of a cliff that overlooks the Tasman Sea. Wander around to take a look at the largely intact Victorian and Edwardian monuments, and graves of many prominent Australians (including the poet Henry Lawson and Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton) -- all while taking in the endless water views below. 

8. Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Image by Payton Chung/Flickr

Forget about your traditional headstones in this Victorian-era cemetery. Graceland's sculptures are considered so valuable and precious that some are even protected by glass. And like the architecturally prominent city in which it's situated, these grounds are considered the “Cemetery of Architects.” It was designed by innovative architects of the day and tours are still run by the Chicago Architectural Foundation.

Nearby Hotel Pick: Best Western Hawthorne Terrace

9. Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Los Angeles

Image by Matt Lingard/Flickr

A lot of people would die to make it in Hollywood -- and some did. Founded in 1899, Hollywood Forever became the cemetery of choice for most of Tinseltown's greats and the site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and many more rest in peace here.

Nearby Hotel Pick: Hollywood Historic Hotel

10. Laurel Hill Cemetery: Philadelphia

Image by Ron Cogswell/Flickr

Overlooking the Schuylkill River, this cemetery was established in 1836, and the key concepts that went into creating it were that had to be situated in a picturesque location outside the city and provide a permanent burial space for the dead in a restful and tranquil setting. Almost 180 years later, and the site still offers that escape. It's  one of the few cemeteries to be designated a National Historic Landmark. 

Nearby Hotel Pick: Homewood Suites by Hilton Philadelphia-City Avenue

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