Don’t be scurred. On Halloween or any time of year, these creepy-sounding towns offer plenty for visitors to smile about.
Tombstone, Arizona: The name might conjure up images of tumbleweeds blowing through empty streets, but this town about 70 miles southeast of Tucson is a tourist hot spot. Ride a stagecoach through the streets where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp once ruled, catch a gunfight in the Saloon Theatre, navigate underground tunnels during the Good Enough Mine Tour, and then commemorate your visit with a campy, old-time photo.
Seven Devils, North Carolina: In terms of towns with spooky names, this is one hellish-sounding hamlet, but it offers a heavenly array of activities for outdoorsy types. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Seven Devils features spectacular views from up to 4,800 feet. In the warmer months, try ziplining, hike to one of several nearby waterfalls orride your motorcycle or bicycle along the scenic routes. During colder weather, hit the ski slopes or enjoy a day of snow tubing. In either case, rent a cozy cabin and bring your good camera to capture the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.
Death Valley, California: If youcan’t stand the heat, then definitely plan on visiting Death Valley National Park, along the California-Nevada border, during wintertime. This desert destination sees temps climb into triple digits during the summer, but in (relatively) cooler weather the park offers ranger-guided hikes, astronomy events and paleontology tours through areas usually closed to the public. Local lodging ranges from campgrounds to upscale resorts.
Deadman Landing, Florida: If you prefer off-the-beaten-path relaxation to crowded theme parks, then this moribund-sounding town will be just lively enough for you. Perched on serene Lake George, Deadman Landing is equidistant from several Florida attractions. Drive an hour to the west to visit Ocala National Forest, where you canswim, snorkel or dive in the natural springs. An hour to the east, you can rev up the fun with by touring Daytona International Speedway, hitting the beach or visiting the original Ron Jon Surf Shop.
Erie, Pennsylvania: There’s nothing eerie about this Great Lakes vacation spot. Spend a day with the family pontooning at Presque Isle State Park, riding the wooden roller coaster at Waldameer Park and Water World, visiting the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens or visiting nearby Amish Country. Or for some grown-up fun, tour Erie’s Wine Country before trying your luck at the Presque Isle Downs and Casino.