Halloween is one of America's favorite holidays, but who wants all the fun to fizzle out in one day? Thankfully, it's very common to find local pumpkin festivals, haunted tours, hayrides, and other fall events to keep the festivities going. Some cities go above and beyond to deliver the best Halloween experience you can imagine. Here are ten of the best Halloween towns in America! (Of course, you're bound to find others more local to you if you keep your eyes open.)
1. Anoka, Minnesota
Anoka, Minnesota, is one of our favorite haunts, considering that we're Minnesota neighbors! Also called the Halloween Capital of the World, Anoka has held annual Halloween festivals since the 1920s. What started as a way to discourage teenage misconduct turned into events like ghost tours, Halloween hunts, parades, house decorating contests, and more! If you're in the area, this Halloween destination is a must!
2. Salem, Massachusetts
The New England region of America is always popular for people who want to see all the fall colors. However, the history of Salem and its connection to the Salem Witch Trials have turned it into a bustling Halloween destination that sees more than half a million visitors for various Halloween events! You can visit the Salem Witch Museum, a pioneer village, haunted house tours, wax museums, and more. If you're a die-hard Halloween fan, you'll want to visit Salem, Massachusetts, at least once.
3. Sleepy Hollow, New York
When you're home to the famed legend of Sleepy Hollow, you embrace it! People who visit Sleepy Hollow, New York, can take cemetery tours, visit gothic mansions, attend their annual Halloween parade, and more! The Headless Horseman also makes several appearances at local events, so keep your eyes peeled. Also, don't miss the opportunity to visit the Great Jack o' Lantern Blaze—over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins are put on display, and it's incredible!
4. Estes Park, Colorado
Not many hotels are as famous as the Stanley Hotel, which inspired the Overlook Hotel of The Shining. Horror fans will love to hear that Estes Park, Colorado, has annual Halloween events that take place in the reportedly haunted Stanley Hotel. The stand-out is, of course, The Shining Ball. However, you can also take hotel tours, attend a mystery dinner, and get a peek at the bar that inspired the bar scene in The Shining.
5. St. Helens, Oregon
St. Helens, Oregon, was the filming location for Disney's Halloweentown, which has led to annual visitors and Halloween-themed attractions in town. The Port Angeles scenes from Twilight were also filmed in St. Helens, so you can visit movie locations from both films. They annually light a giant Pumpkin on October 1st after a Halloween parade, and weekends throughout October are filled with Halloween events!
6. Buena Park, California
[Source: Sean Teegarden/ocregister.com]
Buena Park is the ultimate Halloween city for thrill-seekers, home to Knott's Scary Farm and a short drive from the Disneyland Resort. There's also a three-day Silverado Days festival filled with rides, food, and fun! You can get your fill of haunted houses and hayrides, as well as seasonal treats and eats. If you're a Halloween enthusiast, you may never want to leave!
7. New Orleans, Louisiana
When a town parties as hard as New Orleans, you can bet they go all-out for Halloween. The city is rife with haunted tours at the French Quarter and cemeteries. You can also find tons of unique costume shops, and their famous voodoo shops are filled with history. Of course, there's so much more to discover—Halloween parties of all kinds, Halloween art markets, dog costume contests, and more will ensure you always have something to do!
8. Key West, Florida
A balmy, beachy location with palm trees may seem unusual for Halloween festivities. However, there's much more to Key West, Florida, than meets the eye. The Fort East Martello Museum houses Robert the Doll, a famous and supposedly very haunted doll. Give him a visit for Halloween—if you dare! Key West is also the home of Fantasy Fest, a generous 10-day Halloween festival. There are quite a few events, including haunted scavenger hunts, costume parties, parades, and even The Rocky Horror Show makes its way to the Waterfront Playhouse. If you want to visit, make sure to plan ahead!
9. Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay, California, has held a massive pumpkin festival annually for over 50 years! Not only does this festival have many family-friendly events, but it is also the home of the Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off. How often do you get to say that you have seen a 2,000 lb. pumpkin? There are also plenty of costume contests, pie-eating contests, parades, and other activities to keep you entertained.
10. Romeo, Michigan
[Source: Matt Durr/mlive.com]
It's so fun to see a community work together as much as Romeo, Michigan—specifically the Tillson St. area. This neighborhood-funded event sees the houses on Tillson Street decorating their homes with dedication every year. Thousands flock to trick-or-treat and view the decorated homes on Tillson Street, and they even close off the street to traffic to create a safe trick-or-treating environment. There is no charge to visit, so it's well worth your while if you're in the area!
While these are only ten cities in the United States with Halloween festivities, there are certainly others worth visiting! Do you have a Halloween Haunt you enjoy visiting? What are your favorite ways to celebrate Halloween? We hope you enjoy celebrating Halloween your way. Also, if you need any last-minute Halloween decorations, don't be shy and give us a visit at HalloweenCostumes.com!