Halloween Travel Ideas for Scary Fun

It's a spooktacular time to travel in the Mid-Atlantic region. Everywhere you turn you'll find unique culinary events, wine and beer tastings, haunted tours, and historic landscapes ablaze with colorful foliage. Below is just a sampling of the fun that awaits visitors. Remember: life's short. Take a vacation!

Delaware

Once a month on Saturday, The Franklin Institute offers a Kitchen Science Class from 1:00-3:00 p.m. These hands-on classes delve into specific topics like the science of cheese making or the role liquid nitrogen plays in making ice cream. Naturally, attendees get to sample the tasty results. VisitWilmingtonDE.com.

Delaware’s “official” wine and beer event - the Delaware Wine & Beer Festival is held annually on the third Sunday in October. Festival goers will meet Delaware’s vintners and brewers while tasting the culinary delights of our local restaurants and experiencing Kent County, Delaware’s changing autumn colors.visitdover.com.

Maryland

The Historic Federal Hill Ghost Tour is Baltimore’s newest haunted offering this fall. This one-hour guided tour through the ages explores the spirits of the past commune with the explorers of the present. Hear tales of murder, mystery and legend. baltimore.org.

Spectacular fall foliage awaits along a 20-mile rail-trail that follows a former B&O Railroad line along the Patuxent River. Beginning at Savage Park, the rail-trail crosses 10 bridges, including the 1902 Guilford Pratt Truss Bridge, through the grounds of a former quarry and ends at picturesque Lake Elkhorn in Columbia. visithowardcounty.com.

Enjoy fall foliage views from South Mountain (including High Rock) and from Sideling Hill in Washington County. Explore five national parks and eight state parks, including Civil War battlefields and Fort Frederick. Drive back in time for delicious meals at historic inns and unique restaurants along the Historic National Road. marylandmemories.com.

Pennsylvania

Discover food and fright at Zelienople’s annual Northern Nightmares during the last two weekends in October. Haunted trolley tours, Chiller Theater at the Strand and other slightly scary, mostly fun activities highlight this event. Don’t be afraid to work up an appetite, local restaurants will be serving up delectable dishes. VisitButlerCounty.com. 

Learn to make sauerkraut, donuts, cider and butter without a kitchen or even a stove. Bloody Knox Cabin represents one of the most violent battles between soldiers and deserters in Civil War History. The Annual Cider Outing celebrates the culinary history of that period. visitclearfieldcounty.org.

This small town has been called everything from the most haunted destination in America, to one of the world’s creepiest towns. Thousands visit Gettysburg every year hoping to catch a glimpse of what may still linger today, 150 years after the Civil War’s most famous battle left 51,000 casualties. gettysburg.travel.

Hallowboo! at Idlewild Park – voted the “Best Children’s Park in the World” is magical. Designed for the entire family, it may be a little spooky and fun, but there’s nothing frightful about this fall event. Kids trick-or-treat through Storybook Forest, ride classic rides with the Laurel Highlands ablaze with color. laurelhighlands.org.

No one does Halloween like the legendary Jason’s Woods in Lancaster, PA! For more than 25 years, their hair-raising haunted attractions have chilled tens of thousands with blood-curdling live actors and breath-taking special effects. Don’t miss out on the free bonus entertainment and celebrity appearances, too. padutchcountry.com.

History and mystery intertwine in Haunts & Hexes, Greater Reading Ghost Trail; a self-guided tour that directs participants to the “other side” of Greater Reading, Pennsylvania. Visit places distinguished by their supernatural activity and experience the legends, folklore and ghost stories that are part of Greater Reading’s spine chilling history. takearide.com.

Treat your senses to fall harvest in the Pocono Mountains at the Skytop Lodge Harvest Lake Stroll, on October 14. Celebrate the fall harvest, with the aroma of mouthwatering local food samplings and wine pairings, as you set your sights on the brilliant fall foliage surrounding Skytop’s pristine lake. 800poconos.com.

The Mansfield Growers Market is the place to find locally grown produce and goods for sale every Friday from May through October. On your way there, visit the Mansfield Cider Mill for fresh hot apple cider and a look at vintage cider making machinery. Open from September through November.visittiogapa.com.

Virginia

Every October it gets a little “chili” in Hampton, Virginia when the Five Alarm Festival & Chili Cook-Off returns to Carousel Park in downtown. The annual event offers food, fire safety demonstrations and children’s activities. Proceeds from chili and food sales are used for fire prevention and public education activities. visithampton.com.

Fall for Rockbridge County! The Miller and his Missus host their 17th annual Wade’s Mill Apple Butter Festival (every third Saturday, October). Savor velvety apple butter and hot fresh bread from this circa-1750 working mill’s outdoor oven. Vendors, craft demonstrations, chef’s luncheon (reservation-only) featuring all-Virginia ingredients and Rockbridge Vineyard wines. lexingtonvirginia.com.

The City Center Oyster Roast is an annual fall tradition in Newport News, Virginia. Delight in oysters and other fresh seafood, harvested from the Chesapeake Bay! Bring the kids for children’s crafts and an “Oyster Shell” scavenger hunt. Includes live musical entertainment and a beer tasting for adults!newport-news.org.

Ghosts and Spirits of New Market is a guided lantern tour that introduces visitors to the aftermath of the Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley. Learn about the Virginia Military Institute Cadets who fought so bravely, some only 15 years old. Held the last Saturday in October. shenandoahtravel.org.

No region celebrates food more than the South, and no town is steeped in the tradition of Southern food like Smithfield. Savor Southern fare where hams became uniquely American at Smithfield Foods’ newly opened flagship shop and café, “Taste of Smithfield”, located in the heart of Smithfield’s historic district. VisitSmithfieldIsleOfWight.com.

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com
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