Come October, places across America get decked out in spooky, festive finery in celebration of Halloween... but some cities and towns just go bigger than others. Here are 11 of the places across the country that seriously own the Halloween experience, from charming parades — to the biggest street party in the world.
1. Park City, Utah
Park City’s Main Street comes alive (or should we say ... dead?) for what folks there call Howl-O-Ween each year. With a parade and a closed-down street where all of the goblins can walk without the worry of passing cars, Howl-O-Ween is an epic family-friendly activity that will create long-lasting fun October memories. If you’re in town for Halloween, be sure to also go on one of the local ghost tours.
2. Princeton, New Jersey
If you’re in the tri-state area — but avoiding New York City's wild Village Halloween Parade — try out Princeton, New Jersey. With more of a small-town feel, Princeton brings its own kind of charm to the holiday. From the Princeton Hometown Halloween Parade to the Spooktacular Halloween Contest and the Monster Ball, there are plenty of offerings in the Princeton area that don't involve too much headache-inducing traffic or drunken millennials barfing on the street.
3. Stowe, Vermont
There’s a little something for everyone in this quaint New England Halloween setting, starting with the Great Pumpkin Ghost Festival. And there's a crazy number of other fall-themed festivities that take place in Stowe as Halloween nears — making it a charming Halloween heaven not just for the kiddos, but for grown-ups who are in the spirit, too.
4. Winter Park, Florida
Though Florida isn’t the most traditional setting for fall, don’t let that fool you: Some places in the state, like Winter Park, go all out for Halloween. The Halloween Howl, complete with the Trick-or-Treat trail, make Winter Park a perfect warm-weather Halloween gathering place.
5. Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is known far and wide as a place that puts on excellent events, and Halloween is no exception. Ghost stories, a lamplight tour through an old hospital, and an epic Halloween bash in which the whole town participates is part of the reason why we love Telluride for Halloween. Plus, the fall colors here are incredible!
6. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans deserves a natural spot on this list as probably the most paranormal-centric city in the country. Witchy lore is a part of NOLA year-round, but this element of the southern city comes to the forefront during Halloween season. Voodoo Festival is one of the biggest Halloween music events in the world — and that’s just the beginning. Tomb tours and ghost stories abound here.
7. New York City, New York
Never mind the barf we mentioned earlier: NYC's famous Halloween parade is an epic party. And across all five boroughs there are other endless options from which to choose a spooky good time.
8. Sleepy Hollow, New York
The home of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is of course a natural place to celebrate Halloween. From cemetery tours, Horseman’s Hollow (a terrifying haunted house), a performance of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and haunted hayrides, this is an ideal choice for people in the New York region who’d rather have an eerie countryside Halloween experience.
9. Salem, Massachusetts
Even just reading the details of the Salem Witch Trials gives us the chills, so imagine spending Halloween in the town where it all went down. Besides touring the historic witch-related spots in town, visitors can also partake in the haunted dinner theater, the Haunted Biz Baz Street Fair, costume balls, ghost tours, a public séance, a haunted magic show, and even the Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo are among the offerings.
10. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah really knows how to do spook right. The city’s annual Halloween parade is a magically epic event and ghost tours abound in this place. Add to that the haunted house offerings and the haunted forest, and you’ll have so many scary options to pick from that you might not know where to start.
11. West Hollywood, California
Saved the best for last: The largest Halloween party in the entire world takes place in West Hollywood, California! Need we say more? Well, along with the half million civilians who come out to party on the streets in town every year are tons of celebrities; in 2014, the city crowned Lisa Vanderpump the queen of Carnaval!
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