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Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is in the book of Genesis, Chapter 18. The cities were very similar to each other in many respect, especially their sins. As the story unfolds, the nephew of Abraham, Lot, resided in Sodom with his family. The same Angels that had visited Abraham and his wife Sara, went to Sodom, to see first hand of the wickedness of the people that was occurring because the cities were rampant of homosexual activity, lawlessness, and Pagan idol worshiping.  When the angels were there, they stayed with Lot and his family for the night. Then,  

      ....the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came with you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally" Gen. 18:4-5.

The verb "know" in Hebrew  in this context (and other scriptures) is translated to a reference of a sexual relationship. So to "know them carnally" was to have homosexual relations with the men. This was one of the main sins that God held Sodom accountable for (see also Lev. 18:22 and 1Cor. 6:9). Now Abraham spoke with God before the destruction of the city that was to take place. He asked God...

     "Would you also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifity righteous within the city; would you also destroy the place and not spare it for the righteous that were in it?" Gen 18:24.  So the Lord said; "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake." Gen 18:26

Abraham asked God 5 more times, asking if there were 45 people found, or 40 people found, or 30 people found, or 20 people found, or even as little as 10 people found, would he destroy the whole city. Each time God responded  "I will not destroy if any were found". (See Gen 18: 24-33) The end result?  The city was destroyed, completely.

 So that we should know the reasons for God doing this;

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; 2 Pet.2:6

What is believed to be the area of where

the city of Sodom once stood.