When planning your vacation, you probably don’t normally take into account ghosts, scary stories, and haunted hotels. However, visiting some of these historical places and towns can often be exciting, fun, and add a whole new adventure to the traditional vacation. With Halloween only a week away, we have compiled a list of 5 of the spookiest places to visit in the United States.
1. Stanley Hotel. Estes Park, CO.
Serving as the inspiration for the one of the scariest horror films of all time, The Shining, the Stanley Hotel is known for its paranormal activity. From ghost children playing in the hallway to guests hearing music coming from the ballroom, the Stanley Hotel is said to have many spirits roaming its halls. Next time you are visiting Colorado, take some time out of your day to experience this historically creepy hotel.
2. St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augstine, FL.
As legend has it, the St. Augustine lighthouse took the lives of seven people when it was built in 1874. The lighthouse offers tours of the facility and also serves as a museum. Ever since it was featured on the “Ghost Hunters” television program, the lighthouse has become a popular destination for those fascinated with the paranormal.
3. Alcatraz. San Francisco, CA.
Alcatraz is one of the most infamous prisons in American history. As a home to some of the most historically violent criminals, these ghosts are spookier than most. During the day, Alcatraz is a popular tourist destination, but at night, watchman claim to hear, see, and feel paranormal activity constantly.
This sweet, southern city has a dark side. With a history of pirates, battles, and many spooky stories, Savannah is well known for its ghosts and haunting tales. Make sure to check out the Moon River Brewing Co. that is said to be haunted by Civil War soldiers.
5. Eastern State Penitentiary. Philadelphia, PA.
If you want to hang out with some very well-known ghosts, like infamous gangster Al Capone and bank robber Slick Willie Sutton, then you definitely want to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary. Dozens of paranormal experts come to the penitentiary every year, and it is quickly becoming known as one of the most haunted places in the United States. The penitentiary currently serves as both a museum and a popular Halloween haunted house.
Next time you are planning a vacation, check to see if there are any ghost towns, haunted landmarks, or spooky tours nearby. It is sure to make for a vacation you definitely won’t forget.
Does your town have other haunted places? Tell us where your favorite place to get spooked out is!
The VacationRoost Team
Fall is one of my favorite times of year to live in Utah. I live 20 minutes from the mountains and can easily go on a 2-3 hour hike after work and on weekends. During the month of September it seems that I am not the only one. Local residents flock to the mountains to see all of the changing leaves and the ability to hike in cooler temps.
There are hundreds of hikes that can also become snow shoeing trails during the winter months, which is what I plan to do this winter. Though, I am sure I will be getting plenty of snowboarding in this winter, I am also hoping to challenge myself a little more and rent a split board and skins and hiking up some of my favorite summer trails such as Dog Lake up Millcreek Canyon and riding down the mountain.
The colors won’t last long and the snow will be here before you know it so make sure and get into the canyons as soon as you can before the only color you see is white.
Last month, my husband and I went on a cruise to the Western Caribbean. It was so fun and relaxing and we love how everything on a cruise is taken care of from the food, entertainment, transportation, activities, service, and your room where you stay. If you are new time cruisers or are unsure what to bring on your cruise stops/excursions here are some pointers.
If you are stopping at different ports, I recommend bringing a backpack with essentials you will need during your day trips or excursions. A backpack, or some kind of satchel, can keep your items safe and together and it ‘hides’ potential valuables you might buy, money, wallets, or other items you don’t want to keep out in the open.
In our backpack we brought:
- Towels – which our cruise ship provided us
- Cruise cards – Our identification that the cruise gave us to get on and off the ship so we didn’t need to bring our passports
- Cash – we left our credit cards on the boat and just took cash we could potentially need
- Flip flops
- Medicine if needed
One of the stops on our cruise was in Grand Cayman. My husband and I were so excited to go to the island and we planned our excursion to Stingray City while we were there for the day.
Our boat arrived early in the morning and we were tendered into the Grand Cayman dock around 7am. We had an hour before our excursion so we walked around town, took pictures, and relaxed. The buildings were painted with bright, tropical colors and there were many stores opened and waiting for us to come in.
When it was time for our excursion, we met at Captain Marvins where we took a tour bus ride to the opposite side of the island. We boarded a boat to the stingray sandbar and on our ride there we learned about the stingrays and their behavior. We were so excited when our boat pulled up and we saw tons of stingrays swimming to our boat through the clear, turquoise water to greet us.
We got in the water and the stingrays were so gentle and fun to be around. They would rub against our legs and wanted to be pet and fed. Some would come onto our backs or into our arms where we would feel their mushroom-like skin.
As you can see from our pictures these stingrays were huge! Next time we will definitely bring a waterproof camera, but since we didn’t, we had the boat’s photographer take our pictures and burn them to a CD. We kissed a stingray which is 7 years of good luck to the Grand Cayman people.
I just returned to Puerto Vallarta after spending a week on St. John, USVI with my family. While the beaches and geography of St. John are beautiful, for me something about our experience was missing. It took a few days to figure out what it was, but I finally realized that what was missing is a sense of local culture on the island. Yes, there are island natives living there and it was common to hear “Yah, Mon,” however, it was hard to get a true sense of what island living was all about. I certainly am not bashing St. John. The landscape, the beaches, and the water truly are stunning. But, it just reminded me what I love most about living in Mexico…the culture! If you like to experience and explore local customs as much as I do, here are some great tips about what to check out on your next trip to Mexico:
Puerto Vallarta: This is where I live so I am a bit biased, but to me Puerto Vallarta is one of the best resort destinations to check out the day to day Mexican lifestyle. There are art tours, food tours, and constant festivities for any and all reasons. Sunday nights downtown are a hot spot for the locals with dancing in the plaza followed by a stroll down the Malecon. There are fireworks every night (yes, EVERY night), but for big holidays, the fireworks shows are the best I have ever seen. The Mexican people truly celebrate life, and every Puerto Vallarta visitor will feel the hospitality and warm welcoming demeanor of the locals.
Cabo San Lucas: Be sure to visit San Jose del Cabo at some point during your trip. It’s close to the airport and about 30 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. San Jose is a quaint area with art galleries and fantastic restaurants. Also, take a day trip to Todos Santos, about an hour from Cabo San Lucas. Todos Santos is a beautiful town full of picturesque colonial buildings and home to the Culture House Museum.
San Miguel de Allende: The historic center of San Miguel hasn’t changed much in the past 250 years, although these days the town has more of a bohemian feel to it. Its cultural and artistic reputation attracts visitors from all over the world. The culture of San Miguel been recognized in such publications as the New York Times travel section, Vogue magazine, and Smithsonian magazine. Don’t miss the Mercado de Artesanias to check out and purchase crafts from local artisans.
Riviera Maya: The Riviera Maya is known not only for its crystal blue waters, but also for its Mayan history and spectacular ruins. Explore Tulum and Xcaret to experience ancient Mayan ceremonial centers and archaeological sites to learn about the Mayan way of life.
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm. In this case, that expression could not be truer. With VacationRoost’s “Buy Early Save Big” sale, the early buyer gets the biggest savings.
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The VacationRoost Team
One of the best parts about being on a vacation is spending quality time with your family. Getting away from work, school, soccer practice, and all of the other time consuming activities of daily life, is one of the major benefits of going on a family vacation. Although there are many places throughout the United States that make for a great family vacation, we have selected five that are especially family-friendly.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming (Yellowstone National Park)
Jackson Hole is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure fit for the whole family. With hiking, biking, rafting, wild life, Old Faithful, hot springs, and much more, Jackson Hole is an action-packed vacation that everyone in your family is sure to love.
70 miles of sandy beaches, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and Sea World are just a couple of the reasons San Diego is an ideal setting for a picture-perfect family getaway. With so many family activities and fun things to do, it is no wonder why San Diego has become such a popular family destination.
Almost every attraction in this historical town is catered towards families. It is a hands-on history lesson that is so fun, your kids will not even realize that it is educational as well. Williamsburg is also home to the famous Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
If you are looking for a family-friendly beach vacation, Myrtle Beach is the answer. With beautiful beaches and lots of family activities, like miniature golf and the aquarium, Myrtle Beach is an ideal spot to relax and spend quality time with your family.
While this one may seem pretty obvious, a list of family-friendly vacations just wouldn’t be complete without it. Jammed pack with theme parks (Walt Disney World, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Epcot, Universal Orlando Resort, and more) Orlando might just be the most fun place on Earth.
If you want to book an awesome vacation rental give us a call.
The VacationRoost Team