Wanderlust Wednesday: Top 7 Halloween Destinations

Today is the first day of October beginning the official countdown to Halloween and my birthday! Because my birthday is only 2 days before Halloween, my celebrations always included a certain Halloween flair. As a child that meant enjoying costume parties at home with my classmates surrounded by spooky decorations. In my twenties, I took my costume adventures on the road to the Halloween celebrations on Austin’s 6th Street and Londonderry, Ireland. This year I’m taking my costume self on the road once more to a little place called New Orleans.

halloween, halloween town, halloween city

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So in honor of my traveling birthday celebrations and love of all things Halloween, I’m sharing 5 of the top Halloween destinations in the US.

 

SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS

salem-massachusetts

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Salem, made famous by the 1692 witch trials in which 20 innocent people were executed, is an amazing place to visit year round. However, in October the city pulls out all the stops – haunted houses, costume balls, street performers, parades, and special events at the Salem Witch Museum. There are so many different events that the city had to create a guide for Halloween in Salem. Combine that with beautiful fall foliage, New England charm, and a horrifying history and you’ve got one awesome Halloween getaway.

NEW ORLEANS

New Orleans Cemetary, halloween vacations

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With above ground cemeteries and a history rich in voodoo, New Orleans is the perfect setting for a Halloween celebration. It’s said that Halloween is the second biggest celebration behind Mardi Gras in this awesome city. You can wander through the beautiful and eery raised cemeteries, learn all about witchcraft and voodoo, enjoy the parades, attend the famous Voodoo Fest or Vampire Ball, and so much more! The only problem you will have is trying to narrow down exactly what events you want to take part in. But if you want to a truly spooky experience, make sure to join one of their famous ghost tours.

STANLEY HOTEL IN ESTES PARK, COLORADO

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photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

Situated in Estes Park, Colorado, the Stanley Hotel is a picturesque combination of old world charm and stunning natural views. It has been featured as one of America’s most haunted hotels and even inspired Stephen King to write his famous book The Shining. The hotel plays well to its haunted history by offering a Ghost Adventure package to ensure your stay in one of the haunted rooms. And for Halloween you have your choice of enjoying a murder mystery dinner, The Shining Ball, or a Halloween masquerade ball. Enjoy all three if you please.

NEW YORK

Greenwich Village, Halloween parade, NY Halloween

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Β If your favorite part of Halloween is the costumes, then look no further than the Village Halloween parade. Bust out your wildest costume and march in the parade. Or just hang back and revel at all the costumes while you enjoy live bands, tons of puppets, and amazing street performers. This parade is guaranteed to be unlike any other. To top it off, you’re in New York, so there is tons to see and do. Enjoy a ghost tour, show off your best Thriller moves, or grab a bite to eat at the famous Jekyll and Hyde restaurant.

LAS VEGAS

Halloween, Las Vegas, Sin City

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If your idea of a costume consists of wearing the least amount of fabric possible, Vegas may be the place for you. Las Vegas, the city of sin, is the perfect destination for an adult Halloween you’ll always remember or never remember depending on your alcohol intake. Las Vegas offers endless Halloween parties and events up and down the strip, the most famous being the Fetish and Fantasy Ball held at the Hard Rock Hotel. And if you’re costume really stands out, you just might win a cash prize at one of the many costume contests. However, if shows are more your speed, the city also offers a variety of choices from a Zombie Burlesque to the Evil Dead the Musical or an annual parade. So grab your costume and prepare your liver for some fun in Sin City!

ORLANDO

Halloween, Disney World

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Orlando is a top tourist destination all year, but in October it really kicks into Halloween Town. And the best part is that it has something for everybody, no matter your age or scare level. For those looking for a little fright for their night, Universal Studios offers one of the top Halloween events in the country, Halloween Horror Nights. So you better get those pipes ready for some truly shriek worthy entertainment. Now, those who want something a little more kid friendly and lower on the scareometer can enjoy a Halloween party with everybody’s favorite mouse, Mickey. Disney World goes all out for Halloween offering parades, costumed characters, spooky lighting effects, and a special fireworks display. Just pick your poison and enjoy. πŸ™‚

ANOKA, MINNESOTA

Anoka Minnesota, Halloween travel

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Anoka, Minnesota has claimed the title of ‘Halloween Capital of the World‘Β  since 1920 after hosting the first Halloween parade. Since then this little town continues to jump head first into the Halloween spirit with a week long celebration that includes parties, parades, costume balls, charity runs and contests. If you’re looking for some good ole’ fashion family fun, then Anoka is the place to be for Halloween.

How will you be celebrating Halloween? Do you have any spooky or fun destinations to add to this list?

  • bri @ deliciously active

    I have been to the Stanley Hotel, but would LOVE to go to Salem – Halloween season or otherwise. The history is too creepy not to walk the area and take it all in. I’d like to visit some day. Funny, I live so close to Orlando yet have never been to Halloween Horror Nights. It takes a lot to get my scared and I always feel like it’s going to be a waste of money (which means I’ll be bitter on the drive home).

    • Oh, it takes a lot for me to get scared too! Whenever I go to a haunted house I just find enjoyment in watching other people get scared or scaring the hell out of whoever I’m with. Haha. πŸ™‚

  • I’m from Minnesota and had no idea about Anoka being a big Halloween city. I may need to check that out this year! As for the rest Salem and New Orleans are definitely on my list because of some of the history and culture that gives that flavor during Halloween. I don’t know if I could stay at the hotel – even reading about staying in a supposed haunted room gave me chills.

    • The hotel definitely has the creepy factor going for it. The halls alone look kind of freaky. πŸ™‚ But I agree, the history of Salem and New Orleans add so much to a Halloween getaway.

  • Salem is on my list of places to visit, and Halloween time seems like it would be a perfect time to go. I just got back from NOLA and it’s probably pretty cool around that time of year, too. I might be in Vegas around Halloween for a wedding next year so I’m stoked for that.

    You are about the 8th person I’ve met with a birthday of 10/29. It’s weird.

    • That’s crazy! Maybe you attract all of us almost Halloween babies. πŸ™‚

      And that’s so exciting! Vegas is awesome any time of the year, but Halloween definitely adds a whole different dimension.

  • Ohhh Salem would be totally awesome to visit!!!

    • It’s funny. Every time I think of Salem at Halloween I think of Hocus Pocus. Haha. πŸ™‚ That alone makes it a great location for Halloween in my book.

  • Amanda

    Salem would be bad ass. I think that’s the only place that would actually freak me out, but, in a cool way!

    • I would totally try to scare you! Haha. I think Salem would creep everybody out a bit. We just know the history so well.

  • I loooooove halloween and, not gonna lie, I’m a little disappointed to see that San Francisco didn’t make the list.

    However, my bf is originally from Minnesota so maybe I can talk him into that sometime πŸ˜›

    • Oh, San Francisco was definitely on my top 10 list! It’s an awesome place for a Halloween getaway. πŸ™‚

  • Disney is SO fun for Halloween, I went in September 2 years ago and it was so fun. Salem would be INSANE at Halloween, it’s so small as is and our witch walk dude said you can’t even move. NYC looks fun though!

    • If Salem is insane during Halloween, I’m sure NY would be too! It’s such a crowded city as it is. πŸ™‚ I still want to spend New Year’s there one time though. πŸ˜€

  • Awesome post! I wanna visit all of these places! But Salem more so than anywhere!
    I just wish that Halloween was as big a deal here as it seems to be in the states. Can’t wait to see Disneyland all Halloweeny next week πŸ™‚

    xo

    • That just gives you an excuse to visit the states every year for Halloween! πŸ˜‰ Or you can throw your own Halloween party. Make it a Disney theme and everyone can dress up as their favorite character. πŸ˜€ BTW I’m still so jealous that you’re going to Disneyland next week, but I can’t wait to see all your photos! Have fun!

  • It is on my bucket list to go to Salem during Halloween season. I love the history of it and the Halloweening loving me is so anxious to go!

    • I’m so glad I’m not the only Halloween loving person around. πŸ˜€ I love visiting places that have a rich history and even more so if it fits with Halloween!

  • A great list! Some are more obvious, but I love the idea of the hotel in Colorado if you’re really into the scary side of this holiday….!

    • I love the idea of the hotel too! I think it would be a much different experience than visiting one of the larger places like Vegas or New York. πŸ™‚

  • I would love to go to Salem and New Orleans for Halloween! Halloween is my favorite time of year too and I just did a post on my blog about my all time favorite Halloween movies http://www.myfairdaily.com/2014/10/favorite-halloween-movies-of-all-time.html Found your blog on the Let’s Be Friends Blog Hop, and can’t wait to see more πŸ˜€

    • I loved your post! I’m all about Halloween movies and scary movies in general. I’m really hoping to see Annabelle soon. πŸ™‚

  • How cool would Salem be on Halloween??

    • It really would! I think I would have to dress up as one of the Sanderson sisters from Hocus Pocus. πŸ™‚