Fall is here and Halloween is on its way. Many people spend this holiday close to home, trick-or-treating with the kids in their local neighborhood. There are a number of places, though, that make Halloween a real treat for a short vacation. Even though it lands right in middle of the week this year, why not take a couple of extra days off and make this a Halloween to remember? To make it easy for you, here are some fool proof picks for top Halloween destinations.
1. Salem, Massachusetts
Few places in the United States conjure more macabre historical memories than Salem, the sight of the famous witch trials of the late 17th Century. Halloween isn’t relegated to the last day of October in this infamous city. The whole month is alive with undead happenings, from ghost tours to street fairs to costume parties. This is one of the most popular Halloween destinations in the country, but when burning witches is a town’s claim to fame, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.
2. Sleepy Hollow, New York
Washington Irving gave us one of the spookiest classics of American literature with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It should come as no surprise then that Sleepy Hollow, New York, the setting for his haunted tale, puts on an enviable Halloween shindig. The Great Jack O’Lantern Ball at the Van Cortland Manor is one of the more exclusive events in town, but plenty of parades, hayrides and fun autumn activities to keep you busy even if you don’t score tickets to the ball. If you make the trek to upstate New York in search of the Headless Horseman, you’ll find frightful fun for all ages.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy has been called America’s most haunted city. From the narrow streets of the French Quarter to the unique cemeteries full of above ground crypts and tombs, New Orleans nearly drips with mystery. Voodoo shops, ghost tours and tales of the supernatural await you in this city that’s known above all for its knack for throwing a party. Halloween is no exception, so you are bound to find a frightfully good tie awaiting you here, though you may find this destination to be more adult oriented than some.
4. Savannah, Georgia
No matter the time of year, there is a certain surreal element to historic Savannah that permeates the shadowy Spanish moss shrouded streets and emanates from the nooks and crannies of the nation’s largest surviving colonial architectural district. Ghost tours and tales of magic and intrigue are just part of the scenery in this enchanting Southern city, but the creepy excitement is ratcheted up to heightened proportions for the Halloween holiday.
5. Anoka, Minnesota
This town bills itself as the Halloween Capitol of the World and is probably the most all-around family friendly destination on the list. Anoka is reputed to be the first city in the United States to throw a public celebration for Halloween, so they pride themselves on doing the holiday justice. There are costume parties, pumpkin carving contests and even an Orange Tie Ball to entice revelers. The festival starts 10 days before Halloween, so show up early and soak up all the ghoulish offerings which include a number of haunted locations around town.