New Mexico 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.


Top 5 Destinations for Summer Travel

Where to go?  Where to go?  Where to go?  Sure, you have been socking away that extra hard-earned money all year.  Now, it’s time to figure out where to take the family for the summer vacation destination.   But, sometimes you just need a little inspiration.  I’ve been planning our family vacation and here are my top 5 destinations suggestions – Boston, San Francisco, New York City, Yellow Stone National Park and Monument Valley – Four Corners.

Boston, MA  I’m not sure you can get more American than Boston, Massachusetts.  Home of the Boston Tea Party, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, and the shot heard around the world when the rifle fired to start the American Revolution, Boston is the perfect destination to take the kids for a little bit of American history.  A hike along the Freedom Trail takes you along 16 historical sites in a 3 hour walk.  It covers 2 and a half centuries of Boston history and is a must see for any visitor to Boston.

Not much into history? Boston has several museums which includes the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.  Visit the Institute of Contemporary Art that includes works by Andy Warhol, Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe and others just to name a few.  There’s also the Paul Revere House, Old State Museum, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the Boston Children’s Museum.

Maybe you are more into sports what a better sports destination than Boston.  Check out Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.  It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012.  The New England Patriots stake their home in Boston, as well.  For those connoisseurs, check out the oldest restaurant in America, the Union Oyster House (est 1714), the  oldest bar in the United States the Bell in Hand Tavern (est 1784), and there’s also the infamous Cheers from television fame. Boston has so many activities that they are just too numerous to list. I’ve only touched on a brief amount of things to do if Boston is your destination for your summer plans.

Yellowstone National Park When you think of the phrase “family vacation,” I’m sure the word “Yellowstone” immediately came to your mind.  Established in 1872 as the United States’ first national park by Teddy Roosevelt, there’s no better way to spend quality time with your kids and family than exploring Yellowstone National Park.  The park boasts the world’s largest collection of geysers, and haven’t we all stood in wonder watching Old Faithful erupt every 90 minutes or so. The beauty of the park alone is breathtaking and will create a lifetime of memories.  Take plenty of cards for the digital cameras so you don’t miss the elk in the background of Old Faithful.

From bears to bison, mountain meadows to cold, rushing streams, biking to hanging out camping Yellowstone National Park is a must see for everyone.  The park’s website has a park trip planner to help you make the most of your visit.  Younger children can become a Junior Ranger and the family can take guided tours with Park Rangers and outside vendors.  Remember to pack a variety of clothes, since weather at the park changes quickly.  Plenty of rechargeable batteries for your camera is also a requirement because you will want to take photos of everything!

Four Corners Region – Monument Valley  Aside from Yellowstone National Park, there is nothing more breathtaking than Monument Valley.  I believe that most of us who watched the old west movies of John Wayne can immediately recognize the land formations that are now icons of the old west.

I visited this spot recently on a “great American tour” that I took and it was very surreal to see these sandstone land formations rising from the horizon.  I did opt to take a guided tour through the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and it was money well spent.  I strongly suggest this option, as to drive through the park requires a 4 wheel drive.  Led by a Native American Navajo guide, we went to the various formations and he pointed out both popular movie locations from John Ford movies, as well as different locations that John Wayne shot scenes.

However, the most interesting part of the tour was when our guide explained how the land is infused with Navajo culture and tradition.  The park is located on Navajo Nation.  The Navajo raise sheep, and in turn, the wool is woven into beautiful rugs sold throughout.  The methods are passed down from generation to generation and are still made the same way today.

Also in the area is Four Corners. This is the only place in the United States where four states, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and  Arizona, come together in one location. Kids get a great kick out placing their hands and feet in four separate states.  This monument is also on the Navajo Nation and  there is a small admission fee.  There’s also a small visitors center and a Four Corners gift shop.  Another stop that is well worth the time getting there and making more family summer vacation memories. Four Corners is located right next to Monument Valley, so these two destinations are not to be missed!

San Francisco Street cars, hills, Rice-a-roni, the Golden Gate Bridge.  What a beautiful city, and like other destinations on my list, San Francisco has a ton of things to do.  Early in the morning (dawn), you can go check out Fisherman’s Wharf and all the sea lions that hang around Pier 39 before heading back out to sea later in the day.  If you can’t get your family up that early, you can still check out all that Pier 39 has to offer for dining, spectacular views of the bay, shopping,  the aquarium and other attractions in this area.  You can also take a cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and circle Alcatraz.

Take a tour on one of the world renown San Francisco Cable cars.  You can hop on and off at will, and what a better way to tour the city.  Be sure to make it over to the Golden Gate Park.  Be sure to visit the Conservatory of Flowers and for the kids, there is a huge playground with a circa 1912 carousel.

To round out the highlights, do NOT forget to go see the Golden Gate Bridge in all its glory.  And, if it isn’t too foggy or windy, makes for a beautiful walk across the engineering marvel.  No matter what your tastes, budgets, or time frame, there is a ton of things to do in San Francisco and can make for a great family vacation!

New York City What can I say about New York City.  It is one of the most exciting places that I have ever been.  From Central Park, to the Bronx Zoo, to Ellis Island your family could spend a month here and still not see all this city has to offer.  Going into Manhattan to Times Square, Wall Street, Broadway, MoMA, and  all the iconic New York City destinations are always worth your trip.   However, if you can only do one thing in Manhattan do take in the Empire State Building, The view from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building  is breathtaking. To avoid the lines, go early or during lunch or dinner hours.  There is a charge, but it is well worth the money to view New York City at your feet.

No visit to New York City would be complete without a trip to Ellis Island.  Since many of us have ancestors who first came to the United States through Ellis Island, it is a good way to feel your roots.  What a better way to show your kids how their great-great-grandparents immigrated into the country.  A perfect family history destination.

Just walking around New York City itself is an experience.  During our last visit to Manhattan, we did just walk around and absorbed the energy the city have to offer.  We had no specific destination in mind, but happened along many spots we recognized from movies and television.   The city certainly has a life of its own.  Whether you choose to visit just Manhattan or the other boroughs, be sure you plan what you want to do well in advance.  Planning ahead will be worth the time and energy to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Planning for your trip is something that you must do, including arriving refreshed and with a clear mind at the airport. If you book at any of the ParkSleepFly.com airport hotels listed, you can get a great park sleep and fly package.  Think of this – Getting up  at 3 AM, pile cranky kids in the car and drive the hour and a half to the airport to make that 7AM flight.  After a couple of road construction delays, you race to the airport only to spend 30 minutes trying to find a space in the airport parking lot.  Scramble to the shuttle, throwing your bags in the door with your crying kids and barely make  your flight.

By booking a park and stay hotel, you can stay the night before your flight.  Get a decent night’s sleep, transportation to the terminal, and parking for the duration of your trip.  You may even have enough time to grab something from the breakfast bar at the hotel!

If you are thinking of going to any of the destinations I listed above, did you know that ParkSleepFly.com also has airport hotel packages too?  You get the same great rate at an airport hotel, but with no parking.  So, if you are going to Boston, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, or New York City check out our rates for airport hotel rooms, as well.  Just select “airport hotel” when submitting your itinerary on the ParkSleepFly.com page. You may be pleasantly surprised at the prices.

If you have other great destinations you are considering for your Summer Vacation plans, let me know.  I’d love to hear your suggestions.  There’s so much traveling, and so little time!

 

Family Day – Spring Break – Travel Ideas and Beyond!

Wow, it seems like the holidays just ended and now Family Day and Spring Break are upon us. Time to make some plans in a hurry. Even though Canadian winters can be a long, time passes by quickly and before you know it is time to take a break.

There are just so many options but so little time. Need some inspiration? A recent survey show that sounded top destinations Canadians love to travel to are:  New York City, New York, Orlando, Florida, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Who doesn’t want to escape the snow and cold to warmer climates?  The vitamin D supply is running low, so why not go and soak up some naturally in sunny Florida or Arizona?  Dipping your toes in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico is enough to cure some of those winter blahs.  After all, Family Day is about getting together, reconnecting, enjoying each other’s company – time away is a perfect solution.

I remember old family vacations. My mother was a school teacher and my dad had a knack of trying to teach us historical facts, that may or may not have been true.  However, it was more about being together for a few days and enjoying the time together.

So, if you are planning that special Family Day vacation or Spring Break, enjoy every minute and don’t get started off on the wrong foot with your family.  If you are making that trip across the U.S.-Canadian Border to the Detroit Airport, you already know what a hassle that can be.  The wait to cross the border alone can be over an hour.

No one, and I mean no one, wants to ride in a car with cranky kids in backseat asking how long  before you go through the border.  Then, you need to drive on over to DTW, find a parking space, wait for the shuttle, go through security again, then… wait for the flight.  And, you are doing this on a couple hours sleep.

Instead, why not book a park, sleep, and fly package at a hotel near the Detroit International Airport.  You stay the night before, after, or both.  Included in the package is a night’s lodging, parking for the duration of your trip and a ride to and from the airport terminal on the hotel’s shuttle.  All this for one low price.

Check out our website at ParkSleepFly.com.    We offer several hotels that service DTW.  The rates are reasonable and you can leave for your Family Day vacation or Spring Break rested and relaxed, even if the kids are keyed up.  Start your trip off right and stay the night before your flight!