Finding the flavors of fall with a weekend (or longer) vacation getaway allows for additional eerie excitement that may not be found among homegrown haunts and festivals. By plane, train, car or broom, travel to Halloween-time destinations opens new portals for magical memories.
All across America, creepy cool carnivals, jack-o-lantern jams, and macabre mazes are emerging from the grave for a cauldron full of amazing annual activities. From full-scale festivals and parties to quaint motels and haunted hotels, Inside the Magic offers a sinister selection of seven suggested spooky spots to visit this season.
Arranged alphabetically, each of these overnight opportunities have their own creepy cool charm. With quiet clown-themed rooms located next door to a cemetery or more family-friendly events, these seven selections are just a few of the fearsomely fun ideas to be found for Halloween.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort (Universal Orlando Resort)
Cabana Bay, with its lazy river and retro feel, is already a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy Universal Orlando Resort. Sleep over at any Universal hotel for an exclusive, dedicated entry gate. A hotel key and ticket to Halloween Horror Nights means avoiding the main gate masses. Universal Orlando Resort also offers Horror Nights Hotel Packages which include multi-day park to park tickets (with early park entry), admission to Halloween Horror Nights and CitiWalk access. See site for details
Clown Motel (Tonopah, NV)
Located next to an old cemetery, this Nevada nightmare (for anyone suffering from coulrophobia) proudly displays its delightful décor dedicated entirely to clowns. Clown Motel’s lobby and all 28 rooms carry the clown motif, including a collection of over 600 creepy cool clowns.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (Walt Disney World)
With inexpensive (compared to resort hotel rates) campsites, Fort Wilderness’ campsites are, perhaps the most affordable way to stay and play at Walt’s wonderland. Fiendish fun like campfire tales, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and the Fort Wilderness-based Return to Sleepy Hollow events offer a host of happy haunts perfectly suited for families on vacation with younger monsters.
Hamilton-Turner Inn (Savannah, GA)
One of America’s most haunted cities might also be home to a bit of Disney inspiration. Local legend says that Walt Disney once spent a vacation at Hamilton-Turner Inn. His sketches are believed to have helped inspire the Haunted Mansion. Of course, this stunning bed and breakfast is not immune to the spirits of Savannah. Once upon a time, lavish parties took place here along with terrible tragedy, contributing to tales of strange sightings.
Hawthorne Hotel (Salem, MA)
Salem, Massachusetts has transformed from a site of tragic injustice to a location which celebrates its spellbinding heritage. Now, it’s the ultimate fall and Halloween-time destination. Ghost tours, historic sites and museums, and a well-attended, month-long Halloween celebration, Salem Haunted Happenings, make this wonderful witchy destination a delight to visit. A stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, home to the annual Witch’s Ball, provides the perfect starting point to experience the traditions of this spooky season.
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum (Fall River, MA)
Infamously known for its historic homicide in 1892, the Borden family’s former home now welcomes overnight guests as the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast/Museum. Eight rooms, which can be rented individually or all together (space for up to 20 guests), occupy the historic two-story structure. From 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM (except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day), 50-minute long tours of the establishment are offered to the public ($20); overnight guests receive a complimentary, detailed 90-minute version.
Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)
Former trans-Atlantic majesty of the seas is now a permanently berthed haunted hotel. Enjoy annual Halloween happenings and ghost tours. Number B340, alleged to be the Queen Mary’s most haunted cabin, calls to those brave enough to vacation overnight (reservations required).
Halloween, with its autumn ambiance, pumpkin-powered treats, and haunted houses, is a most magical, whimsically wonderful time of year. Taking time to enjoy the seasonal changes and exciting experiences with any of these seven suggestions for Halloween-themed fall fun can enhance the enchantment.