My family and I make an annual family vacation revolving around Halloween. My love for the holiday rubbed off on my husband and, in turn, our children. Packing up the car and heading out on the open road has quickly become a favorite family tradition. We’ve had many great adventures, saved money by traveling smart, and found a way to bond together as a family. We’ve found our new favorite destination each year, so here are the five spooky destinations that top all of our list:
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
Not only did we find New Orleans to be an absolutely breathtaking city, we’ve all agreed that we can’t imagine a better time to visit than Halloween. New Orleans is full of voodoo and ghosts, making it a fantastic choice of spooky destination. We found that we had to adjust our plans a bit because our children were small, but we did enjoy daytime walks through the cemeteries, the streets of the French Quarter and Boo at the Zoo. If you’re traveling without children, you can walk through one of the many haunted houses or even attend Voodoo Fest. My husband and I have firm plans to return to New Orleans once the kids are away at school.
2. Anoka, Minnesota
Minnesota is a beautiful state and the destination was more than worth the drive. As soon as we found out that Anoka is known as the Halloween Capitol of the World, we knew that we had to go. The city comes to life the entire week of the holiday. We enjoyed trick-or-treating together, dozens of parades and pumpkin-carving contests. The highlight of the week, for us, was the pumpkin pie bake-off. There’s no town in America that does Halloween quite like Anoka.
3. Orlando, Florida
Before we made Halloween our annual family vacation, we used to head to Orlando at Christmas time. You may think that Christmas is the best time to visit the happiest place on earth, but we’re here to tell you that Halloween tops Christmas by miles. A visit to Universal Studios is like stepping directly into a horror film and, at Disney World, kids can attend Mickey Mouse’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party for more fun than they’ve ever experienced on the holiday. Just like at Christmas, the evenings are topped off with one of the most amazing fireworks displays that you’ll ever see.
4. Sleepy Hollow, New York
Thanks to its spectacularly creepy history, Sleepy Hollow is one of the best Halloween destinations in the world. From haunted hayrides to fantastic parades, we enjoyed the best of what Halloween has to offer in this landmark town. One tip: make sure that you get tickets for the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze well in advance; they sell out quickly. As if you needed another reason to visit Sleepy Hollow, let me tell you this: it’s only minutes outside of the Big Apple. You can literally combine two fantastic road trips into one.
5. Salem, Massachusetts
In my mind, there was nothing more quintessentially Halloween than the thought of driving to Salem. I’ve loved reading about the witch trials since I was in school, and a road trip to the famous region was what my dreams were made of. The trip definitely did not disappoint. If you can’t get away on Halloween specifically, don’t worry about it; the city has events taking place throughout the month of October. There’s not a single inch of the city that isn’t decorated for the holiday and special events are held everywhere you turn. Though this is number five on my list, I saved the best for last! If you’re looking for a road trip that will kick off your family’s own Halloween tradition, make Salem your first.
Road trips, for our family, are a great way to bond and enjoy each other’s company. I pack suitcases, check our insurance coverage, gas up the car and we head out. Why don’t you and your family do the same this year?
About The Author: Carrie Johnson is an avid blogger who writes often for travel blogs and insurance sites. You can follow her on Twitter@Johnson121_.
Photo Credits – flickr: #1 richmanwisco, #2 Marcus Metropolis, #3 The Shifted Librarian, #4 Patcard, #5 jamesgraybarclay