Though change can often be scary, there are better options for October 31 than old standbys like neighborhood trick-or-treating or attending the office Halloween party. Banish the days of bobbing for apples with Bob from accounting and take the party on the road. Here are five frighteningly delightful destinations for Halloween.
Victoria, British Columbia
Magnolia Hotel & Spa puts the “boo” in boutique hotel. From the pumpkin-bedecked lobby to the literal treats (no tricks here) that await you in your room, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star property offers all of its traditional award-winning amenities with a Halloween twist this October.
The Room with a Boo package (available October 10 to October 31) includes a one-night stay, a guided ghostly walk (courtesy of Discover the Past Walking Tours), and breakfast for two.
The area is full of eerie events this time of year, too: Try a haunted zip-line tour or wander through the Vancouver Island Corn Maze. You can also take a self-guided tour of Victoria’s spookiest sites, Craigdarrach Castle and Ross Bay Cemetery, before returning to the safe haven of Magnolia Hotel.
You’ll feel like a little ghoul again on Four-Star Salamander Resort & Spa’s Halloween Moonlight Zip Tour. For the last two weekends this month (October 21 to 22 and 28 to 29), this family-friendly property sets you up on a nighttime excursion that will have you floating through the air, as weightless as Casper.
Additionally, the Halloween Pumpkin Drop on October 30 mingles zip-lining with target practice: for bragging rights, hit the bull’s-eye with a pumpkin while flying along the tree tops.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Four-Star WaterColor Inn & Resort has kid-friendly fun at the ready during its WaterColor Fall Festival at Marina Park (October 30). Enjoy autumn-inspired food and drinks, live music, arts and crafts, and a pumpkin-carving contest. Wear your best ghoulish get-ups for the Haunted Paddle, a stand-up paddle-boarding experience, and for trick-or-treating around Western Lake. You and your little monsters can also take pictures with a scarecrow for the scrapbook before the sunset movie.
Plenty of Revolutionary war–era ghosts haunt the historic houses of Colonial Williamsburg: Legend has it that you can hear the footsteps of the dearly departed in Market Square Tavern and there have been whispers for years that Colonel John Chiswell still roams the halls of the Chiswell-Bucktrout House.
For the first time ever, you can spend the night in close proximity to the paranormal at the haunted colonial houses of the 18th-century village. The Haunting Vacation Package includes a stay in a colonial house or accommodations at the Williamsburg Woodlands and all-access passes to Haunting on DoG Street fun. After you’ve scared up an appetite, head over to Four-Star Williamsburg Inn’s the Regency Room for a dread-free dinner.
From the French Quarter to the bayous, New Orleans is made-to-order for Halloween. Haunted history tours, ghost hunts and haunted houses pepper the city, so there’s no shortage of hair-raising happenings for the spookiest eve of the year.
The Voodoo Music and Arts Experience (October 28 to 30) in City Park offers something a bit different. Music acts like The Weeknd, Tool and Arcade Fire set the mood while the Forked Up Food Court serves as a compact tour of NOLA’s incredible cuisine. The Art Market showcases handcrafted goods from an eclectic group of makers.
Get into the Big Easy state of mind at Hotel Monteleone. The Forbes Travel Guide Recommended property is a short 15-minute drive from City Park and centrally located in the French Quarter. Kick off your wicked weekend in the city with a Vieux Carré at the hotel’s Carousel Bar and Lounge.
New York City
A spirited night out is more than a premonition, thanks to Gansevoort Hotel Group this Halloween. Mingle with the trendiest undead at Gansevoort Park Avenue’s Rooftop for the sixth annual Penthouse of Peril (October 29). Panoramic views of the city and a one-hour open vodka bar kick off a night of spellbinding music and dancing.
For the full package, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC has the goodies. The Get Spooked deal offers two tickets to the Halloween party, two themed cocktails (try the spicey one-eyed margarita), a swag bag, discounted room rates and a minibar credit. With this promotion, you won’t need snails or puppy-dog tails to concoct a magical weekend of revelry in the heart of the city.
If you like your terror tailor-made, then the Transylvania Suite at Four-Star The Hay-Adams is for you. Available exclusively on October 31, a luxurious suite overlooking Lafayette Park will be transformed into a spooky den, complete with giant webs and skull accents.
The experience begins in the lobby as a bewitched butler eerily escorts you to your tomb, ahem, room. As the evening unfolds, you’ll be treated, en suite, to cocktails for two from the bartender’s cauldron and a devilish three-course dinner. After a night of fright, you’ll rise from the grave with breakfast in bed and a reviving “Bloody Scary.”