Home #WHERETONEXT 5 FALL DESTINATIONS: Ghosts, costumes and rum—oh my!

5 FALL DESTINATIONS: Ghosts, costumes and rum—oh my!

Pumpkin spiced lattes aren’t the only ones making a comeback this year – our favorite Halloween festivities in Belize, Barbados, Miami, San Francisco and Tuolumne County also return with more spook and spectacle this 2022!

BELIZE | www.travelbelize.org  

The Caribbean isn’t only known for its tropical spirit – it also comes with its own mystery and thrilling stories that are best told by the locals themselves. Here are some interesting activities in Belize that might even unlock a new fear!

  • Chaa Creek’s “Creatures of the Night”: Everything gets a little more interesting at night, especially during Halloween. This includes adding thrill to your usual hiking experience and going for a night tour with Chaa Creek’s “Creatures of the Night” package – allowing you to explore the dark side of Belize’s jungles. Belize’s rainforest is known to be home to a wide array of creepy crawlies and night critters that will surely get you goosebumps! Join a tour with Chaa Creek’s guides as you learn and get to see Belize’s finest ocelots, howler monkeys, tarantulas, patoos, jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents.
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave: This archaeological site is home to numerous skeletons –some of which belong to sacrificed children, whose bones are completely calcified in the cave. One of the cave’s most notable features is the skeleton of a teenage girl, also known as Tthe Crystal Maiden”, whose bones have been calcified into a crystallized appearance. If adventure and spooky history are your things, this cave exploration is definitely something that will call your attention.
  • Belize Great Blue Hole: We all have different fears –one of which includes being easily spooked by what lies beneath the deep dark oceans. Lucky for you, Belize has the Great Blue Hole –probably the most beautiful yet spine-chilling spot to explore the Caribbean underwater, which is home to some interesting sea creatures and aquatic mysteries that are yet to be uncovered. Spice up your Halloween and discover a new fear, whether it be on land or underwater, Belize has every spooky adventure prepared for you!

BARBADOS | www.visitbarbados.org  

Whether it be a thrilling story or a food-filled festival, Barbados definitely has something to give you goosebumps this Halloween season.

  • Barbados’ Food and Rum Festival: If you’re not in the mood for a spook, thrill your stomach with authentic Bajan treats at Barbados’ Food and Rum Festival this coming October 27-30. The much-awaited Food and Rum Festival returns after a two-year hiatus! As the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”, Barbados prides itself of an exciting event that celebrates the vibrant culinary scene and gastronomic experience on the island, as well as celebrating the country as the Birthplace of Rum. During this four-day festival, Barbados has prepared a jam-packed menu of events to choose from including VIP evenings, a rum route street party, community pop-ups and much more. It may not be a Halloween festival, but it’s still a must-see if you’re around Barbados during this season.
  • Christ Church Cemetery and Chase Crypt: If you’re looking for a thrilling story hidden beneath the beauty of the Caribbean, you’ve probably heard of Christ Church Cemetery and the eerie Chase Vault located in the southern parish of Christ Church. The Chase folklore began in 1812 when they found the coffins of the family members have been moved from their original locations and were scattered in the small crypt as they were opening the vault for the interment of the landowner Colonel Thomas Chase. To this day, the mystery still lives and onlookers hope that the family is now put to rest after years of thrilling stories about the vault.

MIAMI | www.miamiandbeaches.com

Miami is one of the state’s – and the world’s – most popular vacation spots. Though destinations often are said to offer something for everyone, the Miami area does indeed offer enticements of all kinds – here are a few of the spookier options for fall travellers:

  • Deering Estate – Miami’s Deering Estate hosts ghost tours at the bayfront estate along with the non-profit League of Paranormal Investigators. You can learn about sightings and experiences from a paranormal investigation of the Deering Estate and see the recorded video, photographs and audio. The seasonal Ghost Tours will return for September & October 2022.
  • The Biltmore Hotel – One of the ghosts reportedly haunting the Biltmore Hotel is none other than notorious gangster Thomas “Fatty” Walsh, who was murdered on the 13th floor of the Biltmore over a gambling dispute in 1929.
  • Spooky Symphony: A Halloween Extravaganza – Join The Alhambra Orchestra and Greater Miami Youth Symphony on Sunday, October 30 for an afternoon of frightfully fun symphonic music that’s guaranteed to get you in the Halloween spirit! Hear everything from creepy classics to your fave chilling movie themes, all accompanied by a visual spectacle of projected images that’ll keep you and the kiddos glued to your seat. The entire family is strongly encouraged to wear their Halloween best. Admission is free with RSVP.
  • Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest – Dress your furry friend in their Halloween best for the City of Doral’s annual Howl-o-ween Dog Costume Contest on Saturday, October 15 at Trails & Tails Park. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is only required if you’re entering your dog in the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded to the winning costumes. Costume contest categories include funniest, spookiest, superhero or villain, best homemade and coordinated paw-sse (group category featuring multiple pets and/or humans). Registration begins on Monday, October 3.
  • Hay Maze Miami – Fall just got better with the debut of Hay Maze Miami, an immersive Autumn-inspired pop-up featuring a 7,000 square foot hay maze with plenty of photo opps that include a pumpkin wall, scarecrows, haystacks, and sunflowers. There will also be fall-themed treats and drinks, such as pumpkin breads, pumpkin pies, pumpkin beers and more. Sample local brews, seasonal beers and curated spirits at the exclusive beer garden. Hay Maze Miami will take over Bayfront Park, October 21 through November 6, with a special Halloween edition October 29 through October 31.
  • Annual Miami City Cemetery Walking Tour – Delve into Miami City Cemetery’s storied past with a walking tour led by HistoryMiami Museum’s Coordinator of Education Programs and Community Engagement, Ingrid E. Argueta, and Resident Historian, Dr. Paul S. George. Founded in 1897, Miami City Cemetery is a monument to many of the people who played an integral role in shaping Miami’s early history such as civil rights leader Reverend Theodore Gibson, “Mother of Miami” Julia Tuttle, and Bernard Mackey of the Ink Spots Quartet. The tour will also visit the final resting place of Carrie B. Miller, the woman encased in cement. For participants that want a head start on Halloween, feel free to come in costume. Otherwise, come as you are. Ticket includes complimentary family pass to HistoryMiami Museum.

SAN FRANCISCO | www.sftravel.com

San Francisco is celebrating this Halloween! Hit up these exciting activities in the Bay Area to make your fall vacation one to remember.

  • Crawloween: San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl 2022: The San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl is a massive celebration of the best holiday of the year. Join thousands of locals and tourists as they head from bar to bar along the pub crawl path. There will be pub crawls from October 28-31. With more than 8,000 participants, Crawloween brings together thousands of fun, costumed people to drink and dance the night away as you enjoy awesome drink specials at over 25 of the best bars in San Francisco.
  • Halloween Hoopla: The Halloween Hoopla returns for its 22nd year, now featuring fun performances and activities for kids under 10 and for adults. The Hoopla grand finale is the annual Halloween Costume Parade where all kids are welcome to join in their best Halloween costumes.
  • Into the Dark at the SF Mint: This interactive haunted experience is part haunted house and part theater. You will be immersed in a story that includes 4D effects, haunted mazes, and more. The actors will take you through the experience including walking, climbing steps, and breaking through the 4th wall. 

Ghost Tours in San Francisco

  • Haunted SF: Ghosts, Murder and Mystery: San Francisco is a place of mystery as much as it is a place of beauty. On this tour, you will see sights where a brutal murder took place as well as several places where ghosts have been reported. You will also walk by buildings that once housed SF’s most visited brothels and learn about their secret past. This tour takes you to the dark side of San Francisco and runs most days after dark through Union Square.
  • Nob Hill Vampire Tour: Walk through one of SF’s first and most famous districts, Nob Hill. Here, one will learn more about the dark events that occurred over time in places such as the Fairmont Hotel, the Pacific Union Club, Grace Cathedral, and the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel.
  • Alcatraz Night Tour: A trip to San Francisco is not complete without a visit to Alcatraz and a visit to Alcatraz is better during Halloween. This former federal prison housed some of the most notorious criminals in the U.S and before that was a U.S. Military Prison. Many prisoners died on the island and now there are reports of mysterious noises and occurrences. This isn’t technically a ghost tour in San Francisco but heading over at night is the best way to get a thrilling experience.

TUOLUMNE COUNTY |www.visittuolumne.com

What’s a better way to celebrate Halloween than in a place full of history, mystery and thrill! Whether it be a spooky train ride through a historic park or a fun Halloween parade to catch, Tuolumne County is packed with tricks and treats for everyone.

  • Boo Boulevard – Halloween in Columbia: Enjoy safe trick-or-treating down historic Main Street in the park. Costumes are encouraged for “kids” of all ages and there are lots of fun and family-friendly activities. This event allows you to take a ghoulish selfie in the haunted photo booth, spin a web at arts and crafts, and brave your way through the Spooky Trail.
  • Halloween Parade: This Halloween Parade is hosted annually by Tuolumne Park and Recreation District on October 31st. Local vendors volunteer to purchase and hand out candy to the local children of the community. Tables are provided by the management and those that wish to participate can decorate their table if they wish.
  • Tales of the Roundhouse at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park: Presented by the California State Parks, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (SHP) and the California State Railroad Museum Foundation, this thrilling tour offers its visitors a one-of-a-kind experience by boarding a nighttime steam train ride behind a historic steam locomotive while learning about railroad superstitions and hearing the real life and death tales of past railroad workers and passengers who lost their lives in ghastly accidents, gruesome train wrecks and sometimes by cold-blooded murder.
  • Stories in Stone: Held every Saturday and Sunday evenings from September 23 to October 3, this tour allows visitors to learn about Columbia’s historic cemetery by living history docents carrying lanterns were they will visit 10 gravesites. The dead come to life as interpreters tell about their lives, how they died, and how they came to lie in Columbia’s cemetery.