Festive October Destinations in the United States for Every Kind of Traveler

1st Oct 2020
Photo of Festive October Destinations in the United States for Every Kind of Traveler by Em Degn

At a loss for what to be doing and seeing during most festive month of the year? Want to see some new places, but aren't sure where to start? Look no further, because here is the lowdown on all the most haunted, creepy, and more colorful destinations and activities to hit up this October. Just keep your eye out for any unfriendly ghosts!


The United states is so full of magically creepy destinations to choose from! Whether you are into historic witch towns, vampires, or haunted cemeteries there is something for everyone here! Here are our top picks:

Salem, Massachusetts:

If you haven’t heard of the Salem Witch Trials of the early 1690s, then you have been missing out on one the most fascinating tales our neck of the woods has ever been hit with. Try reading “The Crucible” or watch the movie, or simply do a Wikipedia search on Salem, because friends, it is quite the scandal. Think mass hysteria, witch hunts, and hangings. Oh, and quite a bit of prejudice. Sound like something you would want to check into? Go ahead and see it all for yourself! 

In Salem, you can find the burial grounds of the victims, Gallows Hill, the Witch House, and the Salem Witch Museum. Take a step back in time to the dark horrors that latched onto the seaside town, and wander through the Old Burying Point Cemetery and all the gravestones. Pay your respects to the memorial to the victims, read up on the inter workings of what went down during that malicious winter and stop by the Visitor Center. Enjoy the street fairs and psychic readings, the scares of Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, and marvel at the twisted work of the Stickworks Statue as children run through the maze of twigs. 

Getting hungry? Salem is known for delicious pumpkin fritters, found cheap at the street fairs. Want something more sturdy? Check out any of the dozens of taverns and bars for a good drink or warm sandwich. There's also natural grocers that offer stupendous vegan bowls and health food.

Not sure of where to stay? Try something especially creepy by staying at the Hawthorne Hotel, or consider staying in a historic Airbnb. 

Sleepy Hollow, New York:

First off, read the story of the Headless Horseman. THEN come on over to this New England town of haunts made famous by Washington Irving after he wrote his book based out of Sleepy Hollow. Walk through the famous cemetery, wander through the farmers markets, and enjoy a haunted hayride or two! 

Want to see hundreds of pumpkins lighting up the night? Check out the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze held every October. Enjoy the historically preserved sights that make up this authentic Halloween village of the modern day. 

Soak up the dutch culture and fill up on their food creations at the local taverns, and stay at a local inn. Don’t let the quaint atmosphere fool you though. This really is a gathering place for Halloween scares and ghosts who just wanna wander a good graveyard or two. 

Coupeville, Washington:

Every fan of the classic movie “Practical Magic” needs to experience this place at least once. Being the filming location, even just wandering the little street of the downtown on Whidbey Island will take you back to the film about two sister witches. The views are still the same as they were when it was filmed, and the shop fronts have not changed. Grab some hearty chili at one of the many cafes in the downtown area, walk the creaky wharf, and consider taking a drive around the small island to see more pumpkin patches and festive little towns by the sea!

St. Helens, Oregon:

Grew up wanting to be a Cromwell and go to Halloweentown High? Take a trip on over to St. Helens., the backdrop for the 1998 Disney movie. Enjoy the month long celebration held in homage to the cult classic among fellow millennials. The original cast pays visits there, and if you’re lucky maybe you will meet one or two of them! Check out the Jack O’Lanterns, scarecrows, haunted houses, and overall spirit of Halloween. Dress up, or don’t… but come on people it’s Halloween!

Forks, Washington:

Yet another stop in Washington for none other than the hometown of resident vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen. Yep- this happens to be the town where the books of the Twilight series took place. Check out Bella’s truck and the local gift shops. Grab some mushroom ravioli in honor of Edward and Bella’s first date, display your team Jacob or Edward loyalty with a t-shirt from the local markets, and take a detour to LaPush- Jacob’s stomping grounds. Enjoy the ambiance of vampires and all things Twilight this October in the rainy town up north.


There is so much to do and see in October! From winding corn mazes to the most haunted of ghost tours, the options are endless. Here is a list of the many activities that bring the true festive spirit of Halloween with them, with the best places to participate in each:

Visit Carter Mountain Orchard in Virginia:

Apple orchards can be so insanely festive this time of year. The plush fruit trees and the warm cider just scream October. Check out this orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia for some killer views, sugary apple cider doughnuts, hard cider tastings, perfect pumpkins, and of course lovely orchard grounds. Make sure to also visit the orchards near you to support the locals!

Take ghost tours around the country:

Nothing says haunted quite like a walk at night through ghostly grounds. Check out Park City, Utah or Stowe, Vermont for some old fashioned spirits. Want something more? Visit Princeton, NJ for some preppy scares. Any battlefield, old town, or creepy destination is bound to have the option. Make sure to check the reviews to find what you want. Whether you are into lugging ghost listening equipment around or simply listening to scary stories as you wander the town or building at midnight, you are guaranteed some spooky vibes.

Run through a corn maze near you:

Love the idea of racing through winding stalks of corn covering acres of Halloween strewn farms? Corn mazes are just for you! There are so many to choose from in all reaches of any state, but here are a few of our favorites:

1. The Great Vermont Corn Maze, North Danville/VT

2. Connors Farm, Danvers/MA 

3. Swank Farms Corn Maze, Hollister/CA

4. Cherry Crest Farm Amazing Maize Maze, Ronks/PA

5. Denver Downs Farm Corn Maze, Anderson/SC

Attend an Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Helen, or Breckenridge:

Love beer and German music and an endless amount of bratwurst? Definitely check out the Oktoberfests near you! Hit up Leavenworth, Washington for a cute Bavarian town right in the high mountains for their German celebration! Grab a cookie at the Gingerbread Factory, stuff yourself with all the Bavarian dishes you can hold, and maybe even explore some of the hiking options nearby in the scenic area. Nowhere close to the Pacific Northwest? Try partying in Breckenridge, Co or Helen, GA for other Oktoberfest fun!

Go pumpkin patching in Washington or California:

For a truly festive and artsy patch, make sure to stop by Gordon’s Pumpkin Patch in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Try their apple cider, wander through the patch, have some fun in the orchard and corn maze, look through their art pieces everywhere, and pick from thousands of perfect pumpkins all lined up. The whole place is lined with halloween tinsel and dried flowers, and thanks to Seattle being so close, the coffee is outstanding at any nearby espresso stand. Want to check out the pumpkin capital of the world? Hit up Half Moon Bay in California for their annual pumpkin festival!

Attend a Halloween Festival in NOLA, NYC, or Hollywood:

Love the vibe of New Orleans Square and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland? Why not visit the real place that inspired it? New Orleans has a Voodoo Music festival experience each October, full of witch doctors and psychics and all the creepiness you could ever want! Dress up and have fun with it! For a more Hollywood vibe head just there! The West Hollywood Carnival is definitely worth seeing for the costumes alone! Closer to the east coast? Drive up to the Big Apple, and march in the Village Halloween Parade, costume donned.

Happy October!