Top 5 Destinations to Celebrate Halloween

Whether you adore dressing up for the day, can’t wait to take the kids trick-or-treating, revel in scary stories, or just enjoy a great themed party – Halloween is a perfect time to celebrate Fall. Although it feels like a modern holiday, Halloween can trace its roots back to the ancient pagan festival of Samhain. Samhain celebrates the change of seasons and the transition from summer to winter — a time when the veil between our world and the other world is at its thinnest. While every destination that celebrates Halloween will have the traditional core elements, there are a few destinations that stand above the rest for their Halloween style.

Fire performer at the Derry Halloween Festival [Photo Credit: Mitch Hodge via Unsplash]


Since Halloween can trace its origins back to Gaelic and Celtic culture, it seems fitting to celebrate in Ireland! Wander through historic castle ruins, and feel the lines of magic and reality blur at the edges of the ancient forests and in the soft steps of the meadows. In Ireland, you’ll enjoy bonfires, folk stories, light shows, and music — all centered around a spirit of celebration, the changing of the seasons, and a little bit of myth. Dublin offers perfectly spooky haunted tours and Bram Stoker-esque castles. Check out the Púca Festival. which concentrates on storytelling, music, and food in the historic Boyne Valley. Or, make your way to Northern Ireland for Europe’s biggest Halloween festival in Derry! This giant marvel invites you to explore different worlds, enjoy interactive light shows circus & fire performers, and take part in costume parades. Ireland offers something for everyone from parties into the wee hours of the morning to kid-friendly apple bobbing and face painting. With all the festivals rooted in tradition, this is a great addition to your Irish adventure.

New Orleans

Second only to Mardi Gras, Halloween in one of the country’s most haunted cities is a big to-do. At any time of year, New Orleans offers voodoo shops, ghost tours, and haunted sites, but Halloween magnifies all these historic, frightening, and gothic elements tenfold. The haunted atmosphere of the city is given an extra boost with towering skeletons, ghostly horsemen, and endless themed parties. The famous parades are complete with frightening floats where revelers throw candy into the crowds. New Orleans does have a few kid-friendly activities, but this is primarily a holiday geared toward adults. Celebrate with your friends at elegant weekend-long parties. Elaborate costumes, exciting galas, and incredible balls grace the streets of the French Quarter, and the houses are decorated to the nines! If you can’t visit New Orleans in February for Mardi Gras, but are still looking for that party vibe, October is the time to go.  


Full of history and tradition, but with all the trimmings of a big city, London offers something unique. It seems like in every corner of London from October 22nd- 31st there’s a Halloween celebration. Enjoy a modern Halloween with themed menus in restaurants and bars, Madame Tussaud’s Alien Escape Experience, Crystal Maze experiences, countless themed escape rooms, and endless costume parties. But London also boasts a long, dark, and storied past, with plenty of ghost tours, serial killer walks, graveyards, underground passages, and dungeons. Throughout the last week of October, London will allow you to immerse yourself in an interactive Halloween, blending historical and modern scares.

[Photo Credit: Andrei via Pexels]


[Photo credit: Aiden Craver via Unsplash]

Trying to celebrate Halloween in the most kid-friendly way possible? Look no further than Disney! All of the Disney Parks and cruises worldwide celebrate Halloween in style. Marvel at specialty shows, meet-and-greets, and fireworks displays that you won’t see at any other time of year. The kids will love meeting their favorite Villains who only come out for Halloween. Or getting unique photos of the other characters in specialty Halloween costumes. Mickey himself hosts a Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which requires advance tickets. Your favorite rides also get a makeover adding spooky — but not-too-scary — Halloween elements. When you tire of rides, parties, and villains, you can enjoy specialty foods or head into the shops for some seasonal merch. In Disney World, Halloween brings in a huge foodie element with lots of new specialties to try and enjoy. The kids will love the Coco-themed installation! Running through the 2nd of November, it teaches them more about the Day of the Dead. With all sorts of things you’ll never see any other time of year, Halloween is a great time to enjoy a Disney experience.


Canada is one of the best destinations for leaf-peeping, getting out into nature, and enjoying Halloween in a quaint, kid-friendly way. Canadians celebrate Halloween very similarly to Americans with scary movies, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, and autumn festivals. You can enjoy small-town fairs, as well as carnival rides, pumpkin patches, or apple bobbing for the kids. Victoria on Vancouver Island is British Columbia’s most haunted city. They celebrate with a lot of spookier activities including haunted night ziplining. The bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver are dotted with parties and Zombie walks. All over Canada, there are plenty of events for all ages. Infuse your Halloween with a little bit of wholesome, light-hearted fun. This is the perfect place if you don’t want Halloween to be the main focus of your Autumn outdoor adventure but just have it sprinkled into the great outdoors.

Are you ready to add a little travel to next year’s Halloween celebrations? Let us know! If you’re considering a late-October or early-November adventure, it’s worth adding these incredible Halloween experiences to your trip!

Top 5 Places To Travel in Fall

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The shoulder months are always a great time to travel. The weather isn’t as extreme as summer, the prices are generally lower, and the attractions are often less crowded. With travel plans for the spring shoulder months now dashed by travel restrictions, we turn our attention to the enticing Fall weather. Here are our recommendations for the 5 Best Places to dream about visiting this Fall:

#1 France

fall leaves frame a view of Paris from across the river
[ Photo credit: Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash]

The romance of this already enchanting country reaches it’s height as the weather cools and the leaves begin to change.  Walk through one of Paris’ legendary parks (like the Jardin du Luxemburg) under a canopy of brilliant Fall foliage. Then move to a cozy café and enjoy a delectable chocolat chaud as you watch the leaves cascade down onto tree-lined boulevards. The cool weather outside means it’s the perfect time to enjoy Paris and its many museums and art galleries.

If you’re looking to leave the city behind, France offers the beachy Riviera or the mountainous Pyrenees. You’ll discover wineries in harvest, amazing gastronomy, history and tradition. Vineyards and forests display the full spectrum of Fall colors in the countryside. Enjoy these idyllic spots while sipping a glass of local wine.

Paris clock from inside the musee d'orsay

Perfect For: Couples, History & Art Lovers

Best Time to Visit: Late September and early October before the weather gets too cool but still in time for the wine harvests.

Something Unique: Check out the modern digital art museum Atelier des Lumieres for a twist while on your cultural adventure

[Inside the Musée d’Orsay, Paris Photo Credit: Ann from Annie’s Escapes]

#2 Germany

Burg-Eltz castle in autumn germany
[Photo Credit: Julia Solonina via Unsplash]

Germany offers a huge variety of parks and public gardens in which to view the Fall foliage. Add to that impressive castles ( Neuschwanstein & Burg-Eltz) and medieval bridges around every corner and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale. Any city you choose is perfect in the Fall. October brings the Festival of Lights in Berlin. Dresden is great to explore on foot without the exhausting heat of summer. Hannover offers world-class shopping next to its picturesque parks. Or you can take a River Cruise on the Danube to see even more!

Germany is for those who want to mix history with fairytales and still see amazing Fall colors. What’s more, typical German food such as sausage, stews, soups, and beers are ideal for warming up on crisp Autumn day.

beers in munich germany

Perfect For: History buffs, Foodies, Families

Best Time To Visit: Late September- Early October sees the leaves and festivals in full force.

Something Unique: Rent some lederhosen and visit Munich in late September to cross “Oktoberfest” off your bucket list.

[Munich Beers, Photo Credit: Ann from Annie’s Escapes]

#3 Oregon

the side of a cliff wall with green and orange leaves inColumbia gorge Oregon
[Photo Credit: Lauren Neiheisel]

If you want to stay closer to home, still see brilliant Fall colors but avoid the New England leaf-peeper crowds, then head to Oregon. It’s the perfect place to explore the great outdoors and fill your lungs with fresh crisp air. Oregon offers hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, horseback riding and all kinds of other outdoor activities. Warm up after your days outside at any of the award-winning local craft breweries.

A huge variety of scenery will enliven your trip to the Pacific Northwest. Volcanoes, cinder cones, and lava-flows leap out against the brightly colored leaves along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. Cascading waters lead you along leaf-strewn paths in the Columbia River Gorge. Or enjoy the vineyards, orchards and vegetable patches along the Hood River County Fruit Loop.

blades of tall grass near water columbia gorge oregon

Perfect For: Families, Outdoor adventurers

Best Time To Visit: October combines still mild temperatures with bright Fall colors and open orchards ready for harvest.

Something Unique: Consider going on a wine-tasting bicycle tour. Bike along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway stopping to taste the local wines as you go.

[A peaceful sunset on the Columbia River, Photo Credit: Lauren Neiheisel]

#4 Croatia

a view of the harbor in croatia
[Photo Credit: Corinne Catalano via Shared Adventures Travel]

Looking to hang onto the tendrils of summer while still getting a taste of Fall colors? Look no further than Croatia. Croatia offers up great history and culture at a relaxing pace. Walk the medieval city walls and Old Town of Dubrovnik without the crowds and the heat. Or enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Dalmatian Islands while indulging in great seafood and local wines.

The temperatures stay mild through October and the sun-soaked sea is usually still warm enough to swim. But you can also find a decent display of Fall colors at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this park features 16 lakes connected by waterfalls and surrounded by colorful foliage. The weather is optimal for hiking along the easy paths and you can even take a ride around the larger lakes when you tire of walking. Croatia has a little bit of everything for everyone. History, culture, Fall foliage, nightlife, and beaches.

an areal view of people walking on a bridge over water

Perfect For: Groups of Friends

Best Time To Visit: September is the best time for cooler but still-pleasant weather.

Something Unique: Visit Pula and the Veredula Penisula for an authentic small-town experience with Roman ruins and beautiful beaches

[Walking on water in Plitvice National Park, Photo Credit: Taneli Lahtinen via Unsplash]

#5 Greece

sunset over the ocean santorini greece
[Photo Credit: Christina Davidson via Shared Adventures Travel]

Escape the cool Fall weather entirely with a trip to Greece. Here you won’t find many Autumn colors, but you can enjoy the warm sunshine and water temperature in the mid-70s! Greece is a great place to extend your summer vacation into September when the crowds disappear. Enjoy the white-washed, blue-roofed buildings, labyrinthine streets and picturesque alleys of rugged Greek Islands like Santorini or Paros. Relax at water-front spas, enjoy incredible seafood and soak up the local history and culture.

The water temperature is still warm and the seas are clear making Fall a great time to go diving or snorkeling. The days are not too hot making archeological ruins more comfortable to explore. Enjoy a less crowded, more temperate Greece without losing out on any of the summer fun.

greek olives

Perfect For:  Beach lovers, Couples

Best Time To Visit: The weather stays warm well through September, but the smaller islands start to close up at the beginning of October

Something Unique:  Immerse yourself in some centuries-old traditions: Grape and Olive Harvests. Learn how to pick, press and taste with a traditional cooking class at a local vineyard!

[Olive trees near the beach, Photo Credit: Eberhard Grossgasteiger via Unsplash]

Now is the perfect time to start planning and researching your future adventures. If we’ve sparked some excitement about where you could be in the cooler shoulder months send us an email so we can start planning your next ‘escape’!

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