Halloween Weekend Across America

Halloween

Isn’t it a little disappointing when Halloween ends up being on a Wednesday night? Kids have to go to school, adults have to work, and there is hardly any time to really enjoy and celebrate this fun holiday. Good news! Halloween 2014 is a Friday night, giving you the whole weekend to flaunt your creative costume and celebrate the scariest time of year with friends and family. It also means that you can take some time to travel and experience the Halloween festivities in different cities around the country. Check out the following locations, read about their spooky attractions, and then head to GotoBus.com to book bus tickets. Halloween should be frightening, but travel should not.

Savannah, Georgia

Full of historic homes that date to before the Civil War, the quaint city of Savannah loves to show off its many haunted houses. As night falls, the pleasant, colonial charm is overtaken by a thick darkness and heavy silence, decorated with Spanish moss that hangs from the local trees, making the area seem like the perfect plce for creatures of the night. Visitors to the Sorrel Weed House have reported strange activities, like a sense of nausea and shortness of breath in the basement. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the former owners and their poorly treated slaves. For other Halloween events and attractions in the Savannah area, visit the city’s event page.

Savannah, Georgia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Prisons are scary places, even when they are populated by living inmates. Throw in intimidating architecture and the ghosts of countless dead prisoners, who were mainly kept in solitary confinement, and you end up with one bone-chilling facility. Eastern State Penitentiary was once home to the legendary criminal, Al Capone, and you can even visit his cell! Around Halloween, this infamous Philadelphia prison operates the “Terror Behind the Walls,” a haunted house fundraiser, so you can get your pants scared off while supporting the local historical society. More information on this and other Philadelphia Halloween activities can be found here.

Eastern State Penitentiary

San Francisco, California

The energetic atmosphere and nightlife of the Bay Area is only highlighted around Halloween. This site lists some of the major costume parties and themed nights at the local bars leading up to October 31st, a seemingly endless list of exciting events. If you plan to be in the area, you could always check out Queen Anne Hotel. Built towards the end of the 19th century as a boarding school for girls, this Victorian building is said to be haunted by the school’s former headmistress. Room 410 is located where her office once was, and guests in that room have reported waking up to find their clothes unpacked or their blankets tucked around them as they sleep. To be honest, this ghost actually sounds very pleasant. Maybe she’ll make you a cup of tea, if you pass in your homework on time!

San Francisco Halloween

Los Angeles, California

For certain cultures, Halloween is not as important as the following day. November 1st, for Christians, is known as All Saints Day, but in Mexico it is better known as Dia de los Muertas – the Day of the Dead. With its large Mexican community, Los Angeles hosts several colorful festivals and events commemorating this day. One of the largest Day of the Dead celebrations is held in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It is hard to think of a more fitting place for such a festival: the dreariness of the cemetery is erased, because in Mexico, death is seen as a celebration. Instead of mourning, Mexicans dress in a splendid display of colors, sing, dance, and wear traditional masks. This, or any of LA’s other Day of the Dead festivals, offers visitors a unique perspective on how the Halloween season is regarded in other cultures.

Day of the Dead

Louisville, Kentucky

This city puts up plenty of haunted houses, like a “Wacky Clown Asylum,” which sounds like something adapted directly from a nightmare. But there is one location in the Louisville area that tops the rest in terms of its horror: the Waverly Hills Sanitarium, which is only open around this time of year as a haunted house. Considered one of the scariest places on Earth, the building was once a hospital to house tuberculosis patients, before antibiotics made the disease more manageable. An underground tunnel was used to discretely remove the bodies of the deceased. Now, the grounds are totally abandoned, making the building itself look like a ghost, though there are current efforts being made to restore the property.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

As always, GotoBus.com is here to help you reach your destination. It’s no trick – treat yourself to a Halloween weekend getaway, and please, remember to be safe if you’re out at night.

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Top American St. Patrick’s Day Parades

Green Chicago River on St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a day celebrated throughout the world both by those of Irish descent and those who just want to have a good time. Look for the masses of green as March 17 approaches and we guarantee you will find the biggest hotspots around!

If you’re looking to go out and about this St. Patty’s, there’s nothing better than attending a parade! GotoBus is here to provide the trip ideas and information as well as transportation: in addition to letting you know the top parade spots across the U.S., we’ve also included the latest weather reports from The Weather Channel to help on the planning.

 

Boston, Massachusetts

Sunday, March 16, 1:00pm: Between spectators and those watching on television, this parade is seen by nearly one million people every year. The parade starts by West Broadway and Dorchester Avenue in South Boston– known as “Southie” to locals- and loops around the city. For the best map of the parade route, click here.

  • This parade is considered one of the largest in the country, and this year marks its 113th year.
  • Sunday’s weather is predicted to reach 37 degrees with wind gusts at 13 mph, so bring a coat, but don’t bundle up too much.

Chicago, Illinois

Saturday, March 15, 12:00pm: This year’s parade starts on Balbo and Columbus. For a map of the parade, view their parade website.

  • The tradition of River Dyeing has been occurring for over 40 years. According to the parade site, the coloring of the Chicago River starts at 10:00am and “can be best viewed from the East side of the bridge at Columbus Drive or upper and lower Wacker Drive between Columbus and Lake Shore Drive. This is a new location due to construction taking place this year.”
  • Saturday’s Chicago forecast appears to be partly cloudy with a high of 38 degrees, some wind, and a 10% chance of rain. Truly, we are finally headed into spring.

New York, New York

Monday, March 17, 11:00am: Approximately 250,000 march in the parade in front of an estimated crowd of 1 million. The parade route goes down 5th Avenue, starting at 44th Street and ending at 79th Street. If you cannot attend and wish to watch on TV, turn to NBC Channel 4 in New York or watch the live stream here.

  • Considered the oldest parade in the country, the NYC parade started in 1762. 2014 marks its 252nd year.
  • Monday’s weather is expected to hover around 32 degrees, with wind and a chance of rain. Stay warm and dry!

Savannah, Georgia

Monday, March 17, 10:15am: Line up along the parade route or find bleacher seating to participate in the fun! For maps of the routes and how to find the bleachers, please visit the official parade website.

  • This year is the 190th anniversary of this parade.
  • With a 30% chance of rain Monday and wind gusts around 18 mph, the weather forecast is not looking too promising. Bundle up and bring your umbrellas- we guarantee everyone will still be celebrating!

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Saturday, March 15, 11:45am: This parade has around 12,000 participants, and starts on Wyoming Avenue and Mulberry Street. For a map of the parade route, visit their website.

  • Celebrating its 52nd year, the Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade started in 1962.
  • Saturday’s weather is predicted to be partly cloudy and reach a “springy” 49 degrees. This parade is looking to be the warmest of the bunch!

 

Whether you’re Irish or not, strap on your green clothing and accessories and join in on the fun. For transportation to any of these fun cities, book your bus tickets today on GotoBus.com!

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