Spooktacular Halloween Travel Destinations
Check out These Top 9 Travel Destinations for a Ghostly Good Time This Halloween!
So, if you have a similar “hankering” to ditch the trick-or-treating and go on a true adventure, check out these great Halloween destinations.
Why visit Salem for Halloween? Because it is the witch capital of course! And the fun doesn’t just happen on Halloween, the town celebrates its haunted past all month long with tours, parades, and other events.
The city even has a Witch Museum which covers the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and includes 13 full-size stage sets that walk you through the drama and events of these trials. The museum is open year-round, but October is most popular this time of year, socheck out these useful tips if you are planning to visit around this time.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Another east coast “haunt” you can visit this Halloween is Sleepy Hollow. With gothic mansions, haunted hayrides, and the infamous headless horseman, this town is anything but sleepy this time of year.
A few of the creepy things you can do in Sleepy Hollow include a lantern tour of its eerie cemetery to see the grave of the legendary Washington Irving, a super scary walk through Horseman’s Hollow (where you just might encounter the headless horseman himself), and a 45-minute performance of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida
Universal Studios is full of thrills and chills each October. In fact, its production, Halloween Horror Nights has earned the Best Halloween Event award from Amusement Today for the past 10 years in a row! Now, this isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, the park recommends that if you have children under the age of 13, don’t bring them to this.
After dark, the park turns into a terrifyingly thrilling series of haunted houses and entertainment inspired by some of the spookiest horror film characters (think Michael Myers, Poltergeist…and new this year, a Stranger Things haunted house).
New Orleans, LA
The people of New Orleans love a good excuse to dress up. And while Mardi Gras may be their grandest celebration, Halloween is a big deal too. With Voodoo shops, parades, haunted tours, and street parties, there is plenty of hauntingly good entertainment here.
One of the most popular family festivities is the annual Boo at the Zoo at the Audubon Zoo where younger visitors can trick-or-treat, listen to not-so-scary stories and get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s animals. You can even participate in a stroller/wagon decorating contest!
Stanley Hotel, Colorado
If you are headed out west for Halloween, make sure the check out the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. It is a popular vacation spot, wedding venue, and event space nestled in the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver.
Each year, this gorgeous hotel turns into a terrifyingly terrific place to celebrate Halloween with activities like a Murder Mystery Dinner, Masquerade Party, and even the Shining Ball. With two full weekends of frightful fun, the Stanley Hotel holds the title of “Most Spirited Hotel” year after year.
The Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA
Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor is certainly a unique way to celebrate the holiday. Time Magazine named it one of the 10 most haunted places on earth. The Queen Mary was a legendary cruise ship which sailed the seas from 1936 until 1967. On October 31, 1967, Queen Mary set sail on her last voyage before she was retired. She docked in Long Beach, CA on December 9th of that same year and has called Southern California home ever since.
Ironically, when she was launched a famous English psychic predicted that the ship’s greatest fame would come after she carries her last fare-paying passenger. Dark Harbor offers a spooky haunted tour and…for those who are brave enough…an opportunity to spend the night on the ship!
While the official celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is November 1st, it is synonymous with Halloween. And one of the best places to visit for Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico.
From cemetery gatherings to festivals and twilight vigils, the streets of Oaxaca are filled with awe, wonder, and true reverence for the dead. The food is amazing, and the artwork - incredible. While it isn’t spooky in the same sense as the Queen Mary or Universal Studios, it is equally thrilling. The painted skeleton faces, the ceremonies…experiencing Día de los Muertos at least once is very much worth it!
The Catacombs of Italy
For some truly authentic creepiness, you may want to travel across the “pond” to Europe. First stop, the catacombs in Italy. The Christian catacombs in Rome at St. Callixtus are the home to more deceased popes and martyrs than anywhere else on earth.
To see something even more frightful, take a trip to Palermo, Sicily where the Capuchin monks mummified 8,000+ bodies. They cleaned them, stuffed them with straw, and even dressed them. These mummies are placed all throughout the corridors and include everything from babies to cardinals. This is about as creepy as it gets!
Finally, what Halloween tour would be complete without a trip to Transylvania? Here you can visit the castle of the real Prince Vlad Dracula. The fictional vampire, Dracula, created by Bram Stoker, was terrifying. However, the prince he was named after, was equally scary.
Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, became infamous after inviting hundreds of people to a banquet, then ordered that they all be stabbed and their bodies impaled on spikes, while still twitching. Talk about creepy!
Where You Go….Go Prepared
Halloween is a frightfully good time, but make sure you are prepared for your trip! If you are packing a spooky mask or costume, use caution to ensure that it retains its shape, or plan to purchase your Halloween costume or mask when you arrive at your destination.
You might get a few looks as your mask goes through security, but as long as you keep it stored securely in your luggage, you should be fine. TSA is looking for harmful materials, not scary ones.
And be sure to label all of your gear and luggage. At YourBagTag, we sell customized luggage tags for all your travel needs. Whether you are looking for tags that stand out in the baggage carousel or personalized bag tags to commemorate a special trip, we've got you covered.
You can order online or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We hope you have a frightfully fun Halloween this year!
- Jennifer Lester