North Carolina Posts

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.

Home Away from Home for the Holidays

Traveling for the holidays, but worried about missing out on all the festive décor, delicious food, and frosty snowflakes? Don’t worry. There are plenty hotels across the country — and around the world! –offering lots of lights, sights, treats, and sweets that will make you feel at home.

The Fairmont San Francisco

A 22-foot gingerbread house takes center stage at one of San Francisco’s most prestigious hotels. Take a stroll through the fragrant culinary concoction made from 650 pounds of candy, 12 gallons of chocolate, 7,500 pieces of gingerbread, and nearly a ton of icing. Be sure to peek through the windows at the train running through the house. After exiting this life-size Christmas staple, visit Laurel Court where guests can partake in traditional holiday foods and even a Christmas tea.

Thanksgiving Go-Outs 2012: Turkey, Tamales, and Cola-Glazed Ham

If ever there was a holiday not to be toyed with, it’s the one falling on the fourth Thursday of November. We’re rather sweet on our tried-and-true traditions, so when a restaurant steps out of the box and adds a new element to the Turkey Day proceedings, we raise a glass of something sparkling to their boldness and creativity. Here are five places around the country that love all that Thanksgiving gives while giving patrons a little something extra.

Grove Park Inn
It’s a historic hotel synonymous with its picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains setting but the Grove Park’s four-day Thanksgiving celebration is just as famous. Why? The November feasting coincides with the North Carolina landmark’s much-photographed National Gingerbread House Competition & Display. Gussied-up kids, nog-like drinks by the fireplace, and a grand porch overlooking the Smokies complete the pretty picture.

Plimouth Plantation
Even if we think we’re being incredibly old-fashioned in our Thanksgiving meal preparation, we’ve probably taken on a few modern practices. To see how that legendary first Thanksgiving went, and to gain some knowledge along the way, a certain Massachusetts destination much associated with the Pilgrims serves up a faithful feast. There are several slots on Thursday and Friday, and they do fill up, no surprise.

Turquoise Room
The quaint, train station-adjacent restaurant inside Winslow, Arizona’s La Posada Hotel still has that ‘30s railway charm, but the menu is gourmet. More than that, it is deeply local: Piki Bread with Hopi Hummus, Holiday Tamale En Nogada, and a Southwestern Caesar are Thanksgiving Day staples (turkey’s on the offering, too). Be sure to walk outside on a post-dinner stroll to wave at the trains before hitting old Route 66 for the ride out.

There are those that like the holiday table classics 365 days a year and not just on that fabled November Thursday. Their go-to spot? TGD, which happens to be short for Thanksgiving Dinner. Green beans, ham, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and a certain bird, plus all the classic trimmings, are what this casual eatery is about. There are two TGDs, both in Ohio.

Corner Office
We’re all aware of Black Friday, certainly if we hit the shops mere hours after we wash all the pots and pans. But Black Wednesday happens to be the lesser known celebration before T Day, and it has a bit of merry mischief about it. This cheeky, hip Denver eatery goes all out for its Wednesday night Turkey Time Machine Party. JELL-O shots, cola-glazed ham, ‘90s tuneage, and a deviled egg flight are on the roster.

Have you ever been to one of these turkey-fests? Got a favorite go-to restaurant for this foodiest of holidays? Tell us about it in the comments!

What’s On Your Top Travel Destination Bucket List?

I don’t know about you, but a brand spankin’ new year always finds me refreshed and ready for new adventures.  With that, my thoughts do go toward where I might wish to travel.  I have a few places on my “bucket list.”

About three years ago, I went on a business trip to India.  I must admit, it was not MY idea to go.  However, to be picked up and completely dropped off in a new country, culture, and with only one other person with you there’s not much you can do but hang on for dear life.

Our hosts were quite gracious.  They took us to places that normal American tourists would not have access to.  We went to a Hindi engagement, which would rival most weddings I have been to in the past.  Several monuments around the city, idols, and to Karla Caves, which alone was almost worth the trip to India.  I had only experienced places like Karla Caves through history books, but to actually see, touch and experience something that took hundreds of years to complete was truly humbling.  Along with the Indian way of life, the experience certainly was once of a life time.

This experience also made me realize that I wanted to travel more and have other world-traveler experiences.  I’ve started a “bucket list” and currently am researching new adventures.  I did a search on 2012 top travel destinations to see what to put on my bucket list.  I received quite a few ideas from Frommer’s.   (Click for slideshow).

With destinations from Japan, to China, and Spain, to England to the United States, there’s is a destination for everyone.  I was excited to see that Moab, Utah was among the top destinations.  The Delicate Arch near Moab can make you feel both empowered and humbled in the same moment.  This location alone is worth a second or third bucket list trip.  Along with Monument Valley and other natural formations, including the Grand Canyon, the Southwest is a “must see” for anyone living in the United States.  Do yourself a favor and get a local guide to take you through the formations for an extra special visit that you won’t forget.

I’ve taken several trips to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina, and there’s always a new adventure awaiting no matter how many times you may travel there.  There’s a relaxed feel of the residents, great food, great music and wonderful scenery.  Okay, I have been to all the locations listed in the United States, and would definitely keep them on the bucket list again for various reasons.

I would love to go spend time in Nova Scotia and visit the Bay of Fundy.  Who doesn’t love a picturesque lighthouse? However, I believe I will start putting my extra change in my piggy bank for a trip to Istabul, Turkey or even Tromso, Norway.  But, Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia looks quite inviting as I sit in the middle of a cold snap of winter.

It’s hard for me to pick one of these top destinations to go to this year.  I need to win the lottery so I can go to all the locations!  One thing for certain, I’ll start my trip off with a hotel parking package.  I can stay the night before and after my trip in a nice hotel and leave my car for the duration.  All with one low price.

What travel destinations are on your bucket list?

Stay at an Airport Hotel from the Charleston International Airport SC

If you’re traveling from the Charleston International Airport in South Carolina, you’ll want to park sleep and fly with ParkSleepFly. Our airport hotel accommodation packages are one of the best airport deals you’ll find to easily manage your airport transportation needs. Today’s traveler knows they often face traffic jams and snarls on the way to the airport. This can cause you to be late or even miss your flight. Don’t let your family miss that fun vacation at a theme park or your trip to visit Grandma. Choose a package with a night’s stay at an airport hotel and you’ll always be within minutes of your airport.