Top Ten Halloween Destinations for a Road Trip - Continued!

If you’re craving a road trip vacation in October, these top five Halloween destinations will have you scaring up a great time! What you want from a great road trip destination is that it’s a fun-filled place with tons of activities – one haunted house just isn’t going to cut it. Each of these spooky destinations was chosen based on the fact that there are tons of high quality Halloween sights and activities to choose from for an extra-fun Halloween road trip.

We’ve already covered numbers 10 through six, so now we’re counting down the top five Halloween destinations. On the last half of our haunted tour, we head to the East Coast, first to Florida and then up to New England where witches and ghosts have ruled the night for generations…

Top 5 Halloween Destinations

Top Halloween Destinations – Number 5
Orlando, FL
Terror at the Theme Park
Orlando, Florida is entertainment central year-round, but in October, it kicks into horror mode. What’s great about this Halloween destination is that it’s got something for every age group and preference.

If you want something truly terrifying, Universal Studios Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights is considered one of the top Halloween events in the country by many authorities including Amusement Today and HauntWorld magazines. People who attend universally say that it’s like walking right into a horror movie – you will scream and shriek the night away!

Want something for the kids, something that’s more on the cute side? Look no further than Disney World the ultimate genius at making a perfect G-rated world that fits your every fun fantasy! Attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party on the selected dates with your family for a wonderful Halloween adventure with a parade, costumed characters, and special spooky lighting and effects throughout the Magic Kingdom. The evening is topped off, of course, with a Halloween fireworks display (Disney has the best fireworks displays in the world, in my opinion).

Top Halloween Destinations – Number 4
Keene, NH
The Biggest Pumpkin Festival in the World
This is a Halloween destination to plan your October around – it’s a one-day jack-o-lantern extravaganza with live music, parades, pumpkin-seed spitting and pumpkin pie eating contests, Halloween and harvest crafts for sale, the usual festival food vendors, and the piece-de-la-resistance: the annual pumpkin lighting.

Pumpkin lighting? Yes, thousands of jack-o-lanterns – more than you’ll ever see together in one place – are lit at dusk on the night of the festival by hundreds of volunteers. Suddenly the night is alight with the flickering ghostly faces and you can tour among them, picking your favorites and staring up at the dramatic tower of scaffolding supporting hundreds of these jack-o-lanterns that reaches into the sky. If you love jack-o-lanterns (I love them), this is a must-see top Halloween destination.

Top Halloween Destinations – Number 3
Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, New York City, NY
Wild Halloween Bacchanalia
If your favorite thing about Halloween is the costumes, New York City’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is the ultimate Halloween costume experience. The sheer number of outstanding and creative costumes is amazing – not only do those who walk in the parade dress up, so do most of the onlookers! Break out your most creative and wild costume to wear if you really want to experience it. You can even join in and march! In addition to the costumed revelers, there are also fantastical puppets (the skeletons are my favorite), many live bands, and street performers.

To make this Halloween destination even more spooktacular (okay, had to use it, even if it is corny), there’s tons to see and do, and it’s all Halloween themed. Check out Merchant’s House Museum’s many events including haunted house tours, cemetery tours, and ghost story-telling sessions. Attend the annual Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine – it’s a one-night show featuring eerie organ music and a scary silent movie screening that’s topped off with a frightening procession of elaborately costumed "ghouls" that float and shamble up the aisle to menace you. Of course, what would Halloween in NYC be without a visit to Jekyll and Hyde restaurant? It’s like walking into a haunted house, and then be being treated to a lovely meal – served by zombies and monsters, of course!

Top Halloween Destinations – Number 2
Sleepy Hollow, NY
The Headless Horseman Still Rides…
Washington Irving’s classic tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was all about this haunted destination and the headless ghost wandering the night in search of a replacement head – will it be yours? As you would imagine, Sleepy Hollow capitalizes on its spooky past every Halloween and entertains in every way it can including Halloween parades, haunted hayrides, festivals, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor (get tickets early for the Blaze – this wonderful event sells out fast).

What makes this number two is that not only is this a great destination, it’s literally just outside of NYC, so you can tie the two together. Get a little city Halloween and a little country Halloween, all in one road trip! Talk about a kick-butt Halloween destination!

But of course, we’ve yet to arrive at number one…

Top Halloween Destinations – Number 1
Salem, MA
Something Wickedly Witchy This Way Comes
There is nowhere in the U.S. like Salem on Halloween! It’s got it all: fabulous fall foliage, New England charm, a horrifying history, and tons of Halloween events and activities. This town was made famous by its witchcraft trials in 1692, where twenty innocent people were executed on charges of witchcraft. Salem pays tribute year-round to the history of the town with benches commemorating the dead and historic sites detailing the trials and events leading up to them.

In October, Salem goes all out – there are haunted houses, special events at the Witch Museum, the House of Seven Gables, and the Witch House, street performers (often dressed as witches), parades, costume balls – so much is going on, in fact, that they produce a yearly Haunted Happenings brochure listing the tons of things to see and do in Salem during the month of October.

We were here for the week of Halloween and it was the most memorable Halloween experience of my life. With most of the revelers dressed up in costumes, every inch of the town decorated for the holiday, and great themed events, it felt like we’d landed in Halloween Land! It truly is the most Halloween-themed of all of the Halloween destinations out there.

So, pull out your costume (or get/create a new one), dust off your GPS, and grab a bag of fun-size candy bars for the road – it’s time for a Halloween road trip!

Click here to see the top Halloween destinations numbers ten to six for more great destinations to visit in October.

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