The Town That Wasn't

I picked a random airport in northern California (KCEC) and started flying north along the coast in the 152. Not too far north, I find a town, except it’s just empty streets, no buildings. I think surely this is buggy AI at work or outdated satellite imagery. But after looking a round a little bit, I started having doubts. So I look it up on (on Google maps) and they show empty streets too…but they have a name: “Pacific Shores.” So I stumble on to the Wikipedia page for Pacific Shores, then a few other news articles about and I learn a really interesting story that Pacific Shores was to be a town, once upon a time…but the town was never built.

It seems that in 1963, the area was subdivided and had streets built. But then the area came under legal wrangling until in 1976 the area was designated as protected wetland. So all that remains are a bunch of empty streets (and apparently squatters who frequent the area).

I then continued on up the coast, and ended up landing in Oregon (Gold Beach Muni - 4S1). Beautiful scenery all along the way. But that empty shell of a town remains something I’ll carry with me. Thanks Asobo/Microsoft for giving us a world to play in and to learn from.


I’m sure there’s a lot of places like this around the world – Once the dust settles and a few patches have been put in (and I’ve got my new computer built with new graphics card) I’d love to check out a few more places around the MSFS World.

Centralia, PA (USA) and Pripyat (Ukraine) are a good starting point. I’m sure if I did a bit more research, I’d find a few more worth exploring!

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Yeah…definitely some places that I’ve heard of or been to that I have (or will) check it. But it was cool to just stumble upon this one on accident.

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Florida had a few developments like that bordering my neighborhood when I lived there in the early 2000s. Failed developments where construction was halted after the lots didn’t sell, or other such circumstances. Roads, lighting, sewer, etc, all in place, but only a few houses, with hundreds of empty lots.

They’ve since built up finally from what I understand, but they were a wasteland back in the day. The local kids liked to party and race cars at night, but otherwise very little life to be seen.


That’s pretty cool! I find stuff like that fascinating. I like that this sim is opening my eyes to the world more. Even around where I live, I only know the streets. Flying above the streets I see forests with lakes in them and the mountains have an opposite side to them!

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I grew up in a town that had an abandoned military base. During the Vietnam War, Fort Wolters (on the outskirts of Mineral Wells, Texas) was one of the largest helicopter training camps in the US. The base deactivated in 1973 (the year I was born) and slowly became an industrial park (after housing Cambodian refugees in the late 70’s).

Growing up, we got into a lot of trouble out there (and probably should’ve gotten into more). Miles and miles of flat, open concrete led to drag racing and plenty of other mischief in the abandoned buildings.

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I’ve had the good fortune to go serve all around the world with a non-profit…I just love flying over areas that I know well from the ground (like northern Iraq or northern Thailand) and see them with fresh eyes from the sky. And then of course, snapping pictures of my friend’s refugee camp in Iraq and sending it to them…blows their minds. :smile: and lets them know I’m thinking of them.