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Festive and Family-friendly Halloween Destinations for Travelers who Want More than Tricks and Treats

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, maybe even a little spooky. But these places go out of the way to deliver a special holiday experience.

October 18, 2021
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Ritz-Carlton Orlando
The pool at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando is hardly spooky, but guests are sure to enjoy plenty of treats here. Grande Lakes Orlando

For a lot of spooks and ghouls, on Halloween, nothing beats an evening of trick-or-treating and handing out candy to the neighborhood kids. Or, for the more vigilant goblins, hiding in the shadows to catch some of those neighborhood kids before they let some eggs and toilet paper fly. We see you, Brayden!

There’s also nothing quite like escaping for the most mysterious and action-packed holiday of the year, so if you’re looking for a last-second retreat that still puts an emphasis on treat, these resorts and destinations will definitely do the trick. (Every pun always intended.)

Ritz-Carlton Orlando—Fall on the Farm

Ritz-Carlton Orlando
The pool at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando is hardly spooky, but guests are sure to enjoy plenty of treats here. Grande Lakes Orlando

If you’re in search of something laidback but still wholly enriching, the experiences offered at Grande Lakes Orlando are ideal for any time of the year. For this special season, the Fall on the Farm concept hosted by the Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes provides fun and education for all ages, so parents won’t be nodding off on the hayride—not when the Master Falconer is standing by to introduce the property’s greatest winged protectors.

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With limited space and reservations required, this is a fantastic event for families that are focused on personal space and safety (and the resorts have also gone to great lengths to guarantee this aspect throughout the buildings as well). With painting classes, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, and even a fly-fishing demonstration, this isn’t a typical Halloween experience. It’s better.

Gaylord Hotels—Goblins and Giggles

Spookeasy
Guests should always enjoy their magic potions responsibly. Gaylord Hotels

Running through Halloween, the Goblins and Giggles experience is currently underway at Gaylord Rockies in Colorado, Gaylord Palms in Florida, Gaylord Opryland in Tennessee, and Gaylord Texan in Texas. Conceived for guests of all ages, this program boasts a variety of activities that will keep kids busy and make them earn their treats this year.

The Hide and Seek Scavenger Hunt requires puzzle solving skills in order to discover Spookley the Square Pumpkin, while the Ghoul School offers games and even a mad scientist’s experiment. And parents will especially love slipping into the Wicked Brews Spookeasy for some creative craft cocktails and special holiday artwork.

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Four Seasons Resort Hualālai—Trick or Treating

A last second jaunt to the Aloha State is obviously a tall order, but anyone who will be visiting the island of Hawai’I during the holiday should consider accommodations at the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. This goes for any time of the year, seeing as the experiences here are second to none in the state and possibly anywhere in the world. Knife-making, anyone?

But when it comes to guests of all ages, the Kids for All Seasons program spoils the youngest among us, and Halloween is no exception. Kids ages 5-12 who are signed up for this beneficial program will enjoy a variety of spooktacular activities, including trick-or-treating on property and goodie bags with some special souvenirs.

The Crystal Coast, North Carolina—Beaufort Ghost Walk

Ghost tour
The Old Burial Grounds are the centerpiece of the popular Beaufort Ghost Tour. The Zimmerman Agency

What’s Halloween without some ghost stories? Better yet, what about a ghost tour? Head to the Southern Outer Banks of North Carolina and sign up for the legendary Beaufort Ghost Tour, on which a pair of guides will escort your group back in time, sharing the stories of ghost pirate ships, haunted houses, and even the one and only Blackbeard.

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Don’t let the chilling tales and weather scare you too much, though. This is a tour for all ages, so kids who want to imagine their own Goonies adventures will love hearing about the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” before stopping at the Old Burial Grounds.

Savannah, Georgia—Mansion on Forsyth Park

Savannah ghost house
It’s one thing to visit a haunted house, but only the bravest souls can stay in one. The Zimmerman Agency

What’s Halloween without a haunted house? Savannah is inarguably one of the most fascinating cities in the U.S., as it seems like every home, street, and person has an entertaining story. Heck, if the story’s good enough, there’s probably a thrilling tour or at least a pub crawl for it. The Mansion on Forsyth Park is no different, as this hotel has been giving guests and visitors the shivers since it was completed in 2005.

But how can a place that’s only 16 years old be so frightening? The on-site restaurant, 700 Drayton, has been around far longer and was, in fact, once the town’s go-to mortuary for elite residents. So, be sure to tip a cap to the ghosts, or they might be very offended.

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Tallahassee, Florida—The Grave of Elizabeth Budd-Graham

Elizabeth's grave
The majestic headstone of Elizabeth Budd-Graham’s grave has inspired myriad tales of her magical abilities. The Zimmerman Agency

By all historical accounts and records, Elizabeth Budd-Graham was not a witch. Gone way too early at the age of 23, this wife and mother of two became famous in the years following her passing in 1889, as the magnificent headstone at her grave became the inspiration for rumors and fabulous tales of witchcraft, as the engravings chosen to celebrate this woman, known to her friends and family as Bessie, were plucked from Edgar Allen Poe’s Lenore.

Of course, anyone who didn’t know the lines surely might have been enthralled by the references to “the queenliest dead” and “a dirge for her the doubly dead,” the latter of which contributed to her other nickname, “The doubly dead white which.” More than 130 years later, her grave is still the most visited spot in Tallahassee’s Old City Cemetery, and visitors to this special Florida destination can always enjoy a self-guided walking tour to see for themselves if there’s anything truly magical here.

Fairmont El San Juan Hotel—Black and White Masquerade

Fairmont El San Juan Hotel
Everyone loves a good holiday party—especially when it’s at a popular tropical resort. Fairmont El San Juan Hotel

There’s no better way to reopen and reintroduce the Lobby at the Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico than with a party—that is, unless it’s a Halloween party. On October 30, guests can attend the spectacular Black and White Masquerade Halloween Celebration, and while costumes aren’t mandatory, they’re highly recommended. The only catch? You guessed it—they must be black and white.

On the big day, visitors can kick back and dip their toes in the water at the Cruella Halloween Pool Party, which runs from 4 pm until 1 am, so be sure to snack or it’ll be an early night. Fortunately, there will be delicious BBQ to enjoy while a pair of DJs drop the spookiest beats.

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