With the smell of autumn hanging heavy in the air, and the night ripe for mystery and legends, here are six fantastic places to enjoy All Hallows’ Eve.
I love Halloween. When I was a kid, it was all about the costumes and candy, of course, but there was something else in the smell of autumn turning winter and the crunch of leaves under my feet. Halloween is full of possibility, whether it’s becoming someone or something else for the night, or scaring yourself half to death with an imagination run wild. It’s a night of mystery, when legends are free to stride the earth.
I’m not alone. Halloween is massively popular in the United States, with 64% of the population participating in a Halloween activity. Once I outgrew trick-or-treating and started learning more about the history of Halloween, that’s when I began to love traveling at the end of October. Some places do Halloween really well, others are laden with haunted history. Either way, get out and explore this Halloween. Here are six U.S. destinations you might enjoy:
- Salem, Massachusetts has to be at the top of the list. Home of the horrific witch trials where more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft between 1692 and 1693, Salem has since lightened up and puts on quite a show during the month of October, including a Witch’s Ball. (Perfect packing tip: pair the cashmere First Light Sweater Dress with a pair of boots to stay warm in chilly New England fall temperatures.)
- Sleepy Hollow, New York. The setting for Washington Irving’s tale of the Headless Horseman is another must-visit Halloween destination, with month-long celebrations that include master storyteller renditions of the legend and the ultimate haunted house, Philipsburg Manor. (Perfect packing tip: the mountain heritage-inspired Peak Performance Plaid long-sleeve shirt.)
- New Orleans, Louisiana. The Big Easy is in its element, because New Orleans is nothing if not legendary. New Orleans has a reputation as the most haunted city in the United States, along with a penchant for voodoo, music, and revelry. Take a haunted tour, join in one of the many street parties, or dress to the nines for the Endless Night Vampire Ball.
- Portland, Oregon has its own colorful, haunted history of ‘shanghaied’ sailors, normal bar patrons who were drugged and smuggled onto waiting ships via underground tunnels in the 19th and early 20th When they woke up, they were miles from home and out of luck. Take a tour of these tunnels, or – if you dare – drink at one of the barswhere people used to disappear. (Perfect packing tip: if you’re visiting Portland, you need something with a little urban attitude, like the pointelle-stich Sophia Hoodie.)
- The RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach Harbor. First sailing in 1936, the Queen Mary grand ocean liner used to travel the Atlantic with the rich, powerful, and the famous before transforming into a troop-carrier during WWII. The Queen Mary is reputedly one of the most haunted places in the world. It’s claimed the ship was the site of at least 49 deaths, and has more than 150 known spirits lurking her passageways. Given her history, the Queen Mary is a lively Halloween destination, with a month of festivities, tours, and even a stay-aboard option.
- Camping. The best Halloween destination? An isolated forest, a tent, friends, a roaring campfire, and your imagination. If you want to experience the most magical Halloween possible, go camping. (Perfect packing tip: the Fireside Wool ¼ Zip is made for nights like these.)
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