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Spooky Places to Visit for Halloween

This spooky season there are so many fascinating haunted locations to visit, from a popular film set to a suspected haunted hotel, here are some spooky places to visit on this creepy Halloween weekend. 

Halloween Movie House

Did you know you can visit the real house that was from the Halloween movies? We saw in the Halloween Kills filming locations the house had an interior re-vamp, but the external face remained the same. Take a trip to 1000 Mission Street, North Carolina and you can find the replica of the original house. Just make sure not to disturb the businesses that currently run out of the building!

A creepy abandoned house, looking similar to the one featured in the Halloween movies.

Hotel La Fonda (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

This haunted hotel embodies its complicated past, due to it being built way back in the Old West days. In this spooky place, it’s common for both guests and workers of Hotel La Fonda to witness gunfights between convicts who regularly hung around the gallows at the rear.

The sleeping post is where most ghostly activity occurs, and guests have claimed most spirits are the western gunslingers who occupied the area.

Roller King Skating Rink (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Sticking in the Southwest, the Roller King Albuquerque Rink was famously used as a set for the 4th season of Stranger Things. This roller rink is a great activity to participate in for Halloween, so why not dress up and get your skates on?

Stylised as Rink-O-Mania in the show, bring back the 80’s flare and give it a try. They have a daily schedule through October to fit into your own spooky plans. Make sure to keep an eye out on their website for other festive events this month.

An 80’s Roller Rink inspired the set for Stranger Things Season 4.

The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)

As soon as you arrive at the idyllic driveway of this hotel, you will realise it inspired the hotel from Steven King’s The Shining. This extravagant building plays host to both the Stanley hotel ghost tour and ‘spirited rooms’, meaning you can have a real paranormal experience during your stay! Availability is limited in these rooms, so it’s best to pre-book these as early as you can to get a glimpse of the Stanley hotel ghost.

If you can’t make it to stay overnight at the hotel, we highly recommend the Spirited Tour. This experience lasts around 60 minutes, and the night-time ambience adds to the spooky atmosphere. The knowledgeable storyteller takes you around the hotel itself and through the dark edges, leaving it the perfect place for a few scares this Halloween.

Estes Park, Colorado, USA – October 5, 2019 – Exterior of the Stanley Hotel, inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining, at dusk.

Hotel Retlaw  – Formerly Ramada Plaza Hotel (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin)

The underground tunnels once used by the gangsters of Chicago lead straight into the exit point for this hotel, which was more often than not, used as an escape route from authorities.

The hotel’s gruesome past is further enhanced, as the brutal murder of the hotel’s former owner, Walter Schroeder, happened on the premises. Hotel guests have told tales of regularly hearing the former owner yelling, banging against the walls, and causing lighting and faucets to turn on and off.

The RMS Queen Mary Hotel – (Long Beach, CA)

After the success of the Halloween Festival last year, the Queen Mary has officially re-opened post renovations for 2023. Visitors can once again experience the strange goings on at the RMS Queen Mary.

This massive ocean liner crossed the Atlantic thousands of times, but it has been permanently docked in Long Beach since 1967…where paranormal activity has become the norm. There are many Queen Mary hotel ghosts, and strange rapping noises can be heard onboard, ghostly apparitions are often seen walking the halls, and stairs have been seen on the side of the docked ship. Let’s hope the renovations haven’t scared off any ghoulish guests!

The famous ghost ship located in Long Beach, with the full moon in the background makes for a spooky setting.

Provincial Hotel (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Haunted hotels in New Orleans are quite the norm due to its rich history. The Big Easy is infamous for being inhabited by spirits, and the Provincial Hotel is no exception. Once a hospital for the fallen, the ghosts of soldiers and doctors roam freely, opening and closing doors, whispering in the halls, and some guests have even reported seeing soldiers in their rooms. Building No. 5 is believed to be the most haunted, so stay and sleep…if you dare.

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (Los Angeles, California)

Known for being the haunted Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the late Marilyn Monroe has often been perceived at this establishment, alongside Errol Flynn and Montgomery Clift. This Hollywood Boulevard hotel has gained quite a reputation for scares since its opening in 1927. It’s sure to be spooky fun this Halloween, so why not book a room and see if you can sleep through the night and see if there are any Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ghost stories that prick up your ears!

Tourists surrounding the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

Enjoy a spooky stay in an airport hotel this Halloween! Pre-book now with ParkSleepFly, if you dare.

Happy 4th of July!

photo credit: Randy Le’Moine Photography via photopin cc

It is as American as apple pie and baseball to watch fireworks bursting into the air on July 4, and there are festivities scheduled that holiday in what seems like every city and town in the country. However, there are five cities that stand out.

Napa Valley for First Timers


Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a wine amateur, you can visit Napa Valley for more than just the fruity, aromatic nectar. The area is a smorgasbord for the senses. The food is varied and delectable, the scenery is beautiful, and the entertainment is lively. When you visit Napa, you feel trendy and classic all at once.

The Academy Awards are tomorrow, and whether you’re Team Lincoln or Team Argo,  it sure would impress your friends if you could say not only say, “seen it” but also, “been there!” Inspired by some of the Best Picture nominees, here are a few choice locations to explore.

If you want to see the exact locations of some of the key scenes from Les Miserables, you may be frustrated to learn that in the mid 19th century the French urban planner Baron Haussmann razed much of the old city, destroying the narrow streets and hidden neighborhoods in favor of broad avenues that define modern Paris. (This was, in part, an attempt to prevent erecting the very types of barricades used by French revolutionaries.)

Fortunately, there are a variety of tour companies that will lead you through the Marais, the historic district in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements where Victor Hugo lived – or you can take a self guided tour thanks to sites such as Following their advice, you can visit not only Victor Hugo’s apartment in the Hotel de Rohan-Guemenee, but also tour the Church of St. Paul where characters Cosette and Marius were married, the park Jardin du Luxembourg where Marius first saw Cosette walking with Valjean, and perhaps most fun, the Musee des Egouts de Paris (Paris Sewer Museum,) the best chance to glimpse remnants of the 100 miles of underground sewers where Valjean carries the wounded Marius.

Big Hugo nerds might prefer the work of this Harvard Grad who found a digitized map of Paris from 1832 and then projected it onto a map of modern Paris to find exact locations from the novel. This extensive guide will lead you to Valjean’s first apartment in the Gorbeau tenement, the bridge Pont d’Austerlitz where Valjean escapes from Javert, the location of Courfeyrac’s apartment where Marius lived with his revolutionary pals, and most excitingly, the location of Javert’s suicide, which is situated along the Seine River between the Notre Dame Catherdral and the Palais de Justice, symbolizing the conflict of Grace vs. Law.

It might seem a complete contrast to jump from the city of lights to the swamps of Louisiana, but in the case of Les Miserables and another Best Picture nominee The Beasts of the Southern Wild, the stories concentrate on the downtrodden, and the locations where they take place are as much a character as the actors who travel through them. Call forth your inner Hushpuppy and start with a boat tour of the swamps, where you can see a Cajun fishing village and scan the water for gators, yet enjoy the comforts of on-board restrooms. If you are in the mood for a bit more adventure why not explore the vast bayou system on your own?

Make sure to bring some snacks for the trip. Fans of the film will inevitably make the bakery where lead actor Dwight Henry was discovered a must-visit destination. Previously famous in the local community for their mouthwatering buttermilk drops, the café may now be known as the reason why this celebrated first time actor turned down the role of Wink several times before finally being persuaded by the director that he was the only man for the job.

History buffs are probably putting their Oscar money on Lincoln. If it’s the man you admire, plan a visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. If it’s the actual locations where battles were fought and lives were lost in the struggle for emancipation, prepare for your visit to Gettysburg by checking out the National Park Service website to brush up on the history of the place.

As the case with modern Paris, the Washington DC of today bears little resemblance to that of the 1860s, so much of the filming took place in and around Richmond, Virginia. ( ) If you want to know more about the locations used in the film, check out  Virginia is for Lovers, which provides photos of buildings that were stand ins for the White House of old, and other fun details about the filming.

Feeling adventurous? Really adventurous? Why not hop a plane and check out the places where events occurred in the movie Argo? Yes, that’s right, we’re talkin’ Tehran, Iran. While there is no longer a functional American Embassy in Tehran, the building still stands and has housed a revolutionary guard training center and a museum, not generally open to visitors. Anti American murals commissioned by the Iranian government can be viewed by brave passersby.

Not feeling so adventurous after all? Apparently, neither were the filmmakers. Due to budget and other more delicate restrictions, much of the film was actually shot in sunny Southern California, including Zsa Zsa Gabor’s mansion which was used as producer Lester Siegel’s home in the film, as well as an old terminal at the Ontario Airport which stood in for the real thing in Tehran. The US Embassy depicted in Argo was actually a Veterans Affairs building in the far end of the San Fernando Valley, but the restaurant where they plan the hostage rescue plot is in fact a real place, the Burbank fixture The Smokehouse, operating near Warner Brothers studio since 1946.

If the greater Los Angeles area is not your idea of exotic, consider visiting Istanbul, Turkey, where two weeks of filming turned the Grand Bazaar and the Hagia Sophia mosque into key scenes in the movie.

Finally, we would like to thank the Academy for leading us to the discovery of the Indian coastal town of Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry), where the first act of Best Picture nominee Life of Pi was filmed. Hosting a colorful blend of French colonial and Indian cultures, this area is unique in Southern India.  Here you can visit the Botanical Gardens where the zoo scenes were filmed, get blessed by an elephant, gaze longingly out at the sea along coastal avenues, and visit the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where Pi’s uncle swam 30 laps every morning. As a guest of the Ashram, you can have a more relaxing stay enjoying yoga and mediation for less than $8.00 a day!

The Best Cozy Hotels

What we want from an overnight can and does vary from season to season. A pool, a cabana, and a cheerful hotel employee spritzing guests with scented spring water might be a slice of all right come July, but in wintertime it is all about the toddy. Well, sipping a hot toddy next to a fireplace while bundled in something snuggly and February-ready. But where does one fully get his or her toddy on come the briskest weeks of the year? There are several snug-but-swanky lodges around the country that have perfected the art of the snuggle-up chill-down.

The Resort at Paws Up: Not only does this well-known, well-regarded, and well-everything-else Montana destination boast the cutest of names, but it carries its animal-sweet aesthetic through to its popular wintertime activities. Dog-sledding is at the top of the list – an energetic, tongue-waggy team really pulls you past frozen meadows and icicle-laden trees – but horse-drawn sleigh rides are popular as well. Yep, you’ll dream of getting back to your cabin fireplace for cozy time, but snuggling up in a sleigh to a close friend is a close second.

Lake Placid Lodge: When people think “winter lodge” they tend not to think of glass and steel and ultra-modern. They want a rustic, woodsy fairyland of a getaway, warm of winter and crackling of fire. This lake-close New York State landmark is so much all of those things that it almost looks as if it sprung, fully formed, from a winter-whimsical romance novel. The quintessential Adirondacks-y activities are plentiful, including the nightly snow bonfire, but you might want to stay cuddled close to the inside logs, talking of Olympians past (Lake Placid, of course, hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1980.)

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge: It’s one of Colorado’s most historic properties, no doubt; one glance at the hefty building’s fancy and slightly foreboding lines says this was a place built in the 1800s. Visitors come to happily hibernate in a well-built building, of course, but they also have a certain steamy very large aquatic feature in mind: Glenwood’s world-famous year-round swimmin’ hole.  A spring feeds three-and-a-half million (!) gallons into the pool every day. And swimmers care not if it is zero degrees outside; the steamy hotness of an afternoon swim keeps the wicked winter at bay.

The Ahwahnee: The Yosemite National Park stone-and-wood-laden masterpiece may have just about the best location in the annals of spectacular hotel settings, but winter visitors do indeed come to lounge in front of the oversized fireplace and linger over morning coffee in the dining room, a room that could double as the Great Hall from “Harry Potter.” Bonus wintertime cred: Designers for “The Shining” borrowed a lot of the lodge’s Native American touches. The elevators, too, are quite cinematic.

L’Auberge de Sedona: The Grand Canyon State is frequently portrayed as a hot and sunny place, but visitors to this creek-close luxe-laden getaway know differently. You want to cozy-it-up in this higher clime, when you’re not out admiring how snowflakes settle atop Sedona’s supernaturally beautiful red rocks. Fireplaces, a posh spa, and detail-driven rooms complete the winter picture. Go for the wood-burning fireplace in the Creekside Cottage.