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Best Halloween Destinations To Visit This Fall

Halloween decor including a witch hat and candles.
Pixabay / Pixabay

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s not too late to take a quick road trip or a domestic jaunt to celebrate the spooky, creepy holiday. While some of the best Halloween destinations like Salem, Massachusetts for its witch trials or St. Helens, Oregon as the backdrop for Disney’s cult classic Halloweentown might still be on your Halloween bucket list, there are quite a few other cities and small towns across the United States that you should consider visiting, too.

Whether you are looking for a fun scene full of antics or a small town that might be just a little too quiet, The Manual has rounded up the best Halloween destinations to visit this fall.

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New Orleans, Louisiana

tarot cards spread on a table.

New Orleans already has that haunting and taboo vibe thanks to the mystical people visitors find around Jackson Square. From tarot readings to voodoo cultural tours, there are plenty of otherworldly experiences to try. But the residents of New Orleans know how to turn the entire city into an amazing showcase, too, with all-out Halloween décor and vignettes in seemingly every yard. Shops, bars, and restaurants don their best spiderwebs. Naturally, the city’s above-ground cemeteries and mausoleums are an appealing way to pass the time leading up to Halloween as well. And the French Quarter will undoubtedly serve up creepy parties all night.

Read More: New Orleans Travel Guide

Las Vegas, Nevada

pumpkin decor outside a building.

Those looking for the best place to dress up in amazing or glitzy costumes should look no further than visiting Las Vegas, Nevada for Halloween. There are costume contests, themed parties, and plenty of clubs to dance the night away. But if you want the ultimate classic Las Vegas experience, head to the MGM Park Theatre to catch a performance. Even well after the holiday has passed, there are tons of great performers with residencies slated for the fall and winter of 2021 including Lady Gaga Jazz & Piano, Bruno Mars, Aerosmith, and even Cher. It’s a clear destination for anyone seeking out the ultimate entertainment destination without relinquishing the chance to dress up.

Read More: Best Restaurants in Las Vegas

Croton-on-Hudson, New York

jack o'lantern lit up.
SzaboJanos / Pixabay

Anyone who prefers a small-town experience filled with trick-or-treaters and community fun will adore the New England charm of Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The town even hosts a festival known as The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze complete with more than 7,000 pumpkins designed and carved by hand. Considering this tiny town at the convergence of Croton and Hudson rivers is just 35 miles from New York City, you can easily enjoy the best of both rural appeal and city allure. Just don’t skip Bethel Cemetery which has headstones dating to the early 1700s including that of the first black woman to have a Broadway play produced, Lorraine Hansberry.

Read More: New York City Travel Guide

Mt. Hood, Oregon

yellow fall leaves.
jolier / Pixabay

Many people head for Estes Park, Colorado to visit the Stanley Hotel which inspired Steven King’s classic horror movie, “The Shining.” But if you want to skip the crowds and get a better feel for the movie you know and love, head to Mt. Hood, Oregon some 60 miles outside of Portland. It was here at the Timberline Lodge that the exterior shots for the film were taken. The hotel even had the film change the room number to one that doesn’t exist to keep people from chickening out of staying in the room. Naturally, there are still plenty of people who want to stay in the book’s original room number, 217.

Read More: Portland Travel Guide

Savannah, Georgia

black and white cemetery.

Planning a trip to the city of Savannah, Georgia? Savannah is another wonderful Southern destination during All Hallow’s Eve. Apart from the city’s connection as the setting of the best-selling novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah has plenty of spooky allure just like the Big Easy. The cobblestones of River Street can take on a haunting air just like the local neo-gothic churches. There’s no doubt that you’ll spot plenty of movie locations as you walk through the town, but you can always book a ghost tour, too.

Sleepy Hollow, New York

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery sign.

Best known in the spine-tingling story of Icabod Crane and the headless horseman, Sleep Hollow is actually a real place in New York. Visitors can tour the local cemetery where the story’s creator, Washington Irving, is buried. But a stop at Van Cortlandt Manor, a 300-year-old estate, is also an impressive and chilling stop around Halloween. Within minutes of strolling through Sleepy Hollow, you’ll quickly see just how and why the haunting tale was dreamed up from the colonial setting.

Dearborn, Michigan

bumpy red-orange pumpkins in a pile.

One more small town worth visiting for classic fall activities is Dearborn, Michigan. Famous for its more than 1,000 jack o’lanterns that light up during the Halloween at Greenfield Village event, Dearborn also has a headless horseman that roams the town at night. To bring the fall celebration together, trick-or-treaters of all ages can enjoy fresh apple cider and apple cider doughnuts, among other treats.

Molly Harris
Molly Harris is a freelance journalist, cyclist and outdoor enthusiast. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Lonely…
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