The World’s Best Halloween Festivals Worth Traveling For

For millennia, cultures around the world have recognized the end of October into early November as a time to memorialize, honor, pay tribute to, and generally get freaky about the dead. From the Celts to the Aztecs to the pagans, it’s a tradition that seems to cross all boundaries. For contemporary Halloweeners, it usually culminates in lots of drinking, lewd behavior, and outlandish costumes. Here are three destinations that boast the world’s best Halloween festivals.

The Village, New York City

worlds best halloween festivals new york city parade
Image courtesy of New York City Halloween Parade/Facebook New York City Halloween Parade/Facebook

Nowhere in New York City knows how to party like the Village, so it’s no surprise the neighborhood is purportedly home to the largest Halloween celebration on the planet. The annual event sees more than 2 million attendees descend on the area in and around Sixth Avenue. The people-watching is second to none with revelers and performers decked out in all manner of shock-inducing costumes (or next to nothing at all). Every year brings a new and creative theme to the parade. For 2017, it’s “Cabinet of Curiosities: An Imaginary Menagerie,” which is inspired by cryptozoology, hybrid beasts of mythology, and P.T. Barnum-esque curiosities. If you fancy joining the parade, be sure to line up by 6 pm and remember that a costume is mandatory — the weirder the better.

New Orleans, Louisiana

worlds best halloween festivals new orleans krewe of boo
Image courtesy of Krewe of Boo/Facebook Krewe of Boo/Facebook

From the city that combines a love of voodoo — a culturally ingrained fixation on the dead (it’s popularly called “the most haunted city in America”) — and the out-of-this-world debauchery of Mardi Gras, it’s no surprise New Orleans knows how to party. The city’s multi-day Halloween spectacular begins on the days leading up to October 31 with nonstop parades, live music, street parties, and ungodly amounts of drinking. It’s like a sideways version of Mardi Gras, but with a darker, “black magic-esque” slant. The celebrations cling to some semblance of “family-friendly” during the day. But, once the sun goes down, every night is a boozy, bead-laden bacchanal where almost anything goes. If you need a do-good reason to go, it’s worth noting that 100 percent of the proceeds from Halloween New Orleans go to supporting Project Lazarus, a grassroots initiative that helps provide housing to people living with HIV/AIDS.

Oaxaca, Mexico

worlds best halloween festivals mexico dia de los muertos
Image courtesy of VisitMexico/Facebook VisitMexico/Facebook

Mexico’s world-famous Diá de los Muertos celebrations take place throughout the country every November 1-2 (All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day respectively). The cultural capital of Oaxaca is ground zero for Day of the Dead, especially for foreigners seeking the most authentic version of the holiday. The city comes alive with brilliant markets, street parties, musical parades, and macabre costumes. On the surface, the Aztec-inspired holiday may seem grim, but there’s an ever-present optimism as families gather to commiserate and honor deceased friends and family. Head to a panadería (bakery) for traditional Day of the Dead treats like pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and sugar-spun coffins.

Feature image courtesy of Krewe of Boo/Facebook.

Fashion & Style

H. Moser & Cie. Unveils a Trio of Jaw-Dropping (and Wallet-Busting) Watches

Haute horologist H. Moser & Cie. recently released a triumvirate of tantalizingly beautiful and complicated watches that will both make your jaw drop and your wallet cry.
Culture

Enjoy a High Level of Service at 10 One-of-a-Kind Marijuana Dispensaries in the U.S.

Gone are the days of pseudo-Rastafarian head shops and Cypress Hill's "Hits from the Bong."
Outdoors

Visit Any U.S. National Park for Free this Saturday, April 20

April 20 marks the beginning of National Park Week 2019 and the service is celebrating with a full day of free exploration for park visitors.
Culture

The Best Weed Strains for Budding Cannasseurs

Cannabis tastemaking has gone from an underground network based on word-of-mouth to an elite level of connoisseurship on a par with fine wine, coffee, and truffles.
Travel

5 Free Travel Apps You Should Never Journey Without

From planning to packing to going, these free must-have mobile apps make travel so much easier.
Travel

5 Best Travel Clothes Brands You Can Get Away with Not Washing

These high-tech, premium pieces are comfortable, quick-drying, odor-resistant, and infinitely wearable.
Travel

4 Hotels that Are Actually Restored Vintage Travel Trailers

All the retro charm of a classic American road trip with none of the hassle.
Living

2 Historic Buildings Become One at Portland’s Woodlark Hotel

Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Woodlark is fresh and sophisticated with classic Old World charm.
Outdoors

The Best GPS Apps for Navigating without Reception

GPS used to require expensive devices but now the power can be found in our pocket.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?
Travel

This Luxury Sedona Vacation Rental is Like a Personal Resort For Two

Sedona is one of those magical places that most people from around the world fantasize of visiting. The stunning red rocks formations, the timeless canyons with rivers gushing through them, and the spiritual energy of the vortexes that…
Travel

These Boutique Hotels Proudly Pay Homage to Their Strip Club Roots

Former gentleman's clubs turned luxury accommodations: where vintage sleaze meets high-brow, designer travel.
Travel

Stay Where the Stars of Game of Thrones Stayed with this Sweet Discount Code

Game of Thrones was filmed in some truly spectacular locations — and you can enjoy a discount at some of the best hotels in these cities.
Travel

Finland’s Rent a Finn Program Aims to Teach Visitors How to Be Happy

Find your happy place through relaxing Finnish saunas and wild berry foraging via this unique travel contest.