With October in full swing, families are heading to local pumpkin patches, haunted houses and spooky sites to enjoy typical fall festivities. However, alternative options exist for those looking for a Halloween getaway, so if your family is yearning for an adventure filled with history, mystery and legends, plan a unique trip to one of America’s top Halloween destinations:
1. Sleepy Hollow, NY
Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is still alive and well in this quaint Hudson Valley town. Kids will love hearing the timeless tale of the Headless Horseman—to this day, there are still reports of him appearing in local cemeteries! Two must-see cemeteries near Sleepy Hollow include the Old Dutch Burying Ground (one of the oldest cemeteries in the U.S.) and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving rests. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery offers daytime tours and evening tours by lantern, but you should reserve your spot early since they often sell out as Halloween approaches.
2. Salem, MA
Adults and children alike are enamored by the mystery surrounding the Salem witch trials. Halloween is a great time to visit this Massachusetts haven to gain a better understanding of the 1692 trials that led to the execution of 20 alleged witches. The Salem Witch Museum is the town’s main attraction, bringing the people and events of this turbulent time to life. There is more to see in Salem than just the museum, however; Salem hosts events throughout October including haunted tours, reenactments of trials and hangings, witch circles, fireworks and a parade.
3. New Orleans, LA
With its rich history steeped in mysticism and voodoo tradition, New Orleans has always been a mecca for the supernatural. Halloween is the city’s second-biggest holiday (only eclipsed by Mardi Gras), so if your family is looking for a vibrant Halloween destination, New Orleans is the ideal choice. Eerie attractions abound, such as Haunted History Tours, which offers ghost, voodoo, vampire, cemetery, scandal and garden district tours. If the hustle and bustle of the city is wearing on your family, take a trip northwest of the city to Manchac Swamp for a nighttime tour. You are guaranteed to get goosebumps beneath the swamp’s old trees and Spanish moss while learning how it earned the nickname “The Haunted Swamp,” and other frightening tales.
4. Savannah, GA
Savannah is another southern hot spot renowned for its haunted happenings. Legend has it that portions of Savannah’s historic downtown are built atop cemeteries, leading many to believe that the presence of spirits can be felt throughout the city. Bonaventure Cemetery and Forsyth Park are excellent places to take the family on a spooky nighttime stroll. If your family is interested in a guided ghost tour, there are many options including walking tours and even one that will drive you around in an open-top hearse! Families looking for local flair will delight in touring the Mercer Williams House Museum, the site of a murder in the famed Savannah novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
This blog post was provided by Marriott International, which operates more than 3,700 hotel and lodging destinations representing 18 brands across 70 countries.