Halloween is almost here, so it’s about time to make a last-minute decision, if you haven’t already made plans for October 31st (or the weekend before, otherwise known as Halloweekend): Where will you celebrate Halloween?
There are plenty of reasons to stay home, where you can eat as much candy and sip as much wine as you want while waiting for trick-or-treaters to ring your doorbell. But there’s also a lot to be said for celebrating the spookiest weekend of the year somewhere new, and there’s no better place to do it than Key West, Florida, where debauchery and a long history (more than 500 years!) of ghoulishness go hand-in-hand.
Not that you need an excuse, but if you needed more reasons to plan a last-minute trip to Key West for the weekend, here are three:
You can stay at La Concha Hotel & Spa.
In its 90 years of hotel hospitality, La Concha Hotel & Spa has seen its fair share of history—and its fair share of ghosts. Keep an eye out for the specter of a hotel employee who plummeted to his death in the elevator shaft, or the ghost of a disgruntled lawyer who lingers in Wine-O (the hotel’s wine bar and lounge).
Or, if your Halloween dreams call for more relaxing and less spooking, try a facial or a hot stone massage at Top Spa, named for its spot on the top of the hotel.
La Concha is on Duval Street, in the midst of Key West’s lively bar and restaurant scene. From this luxe stay, you can step straight out of the hotel lobby and onto the high-energy streets, where revelers, vacationers, and locals alike mingle for most of the year.
You can get in touch with your creative side …
… and come up with a killer costume for Fantasy Fest, the island’s wild Halloween celebration. Fantasy Fest starts October 21st and ends October 30th, giving its grown-up revelers a chance to celebrate in truly spooky style.
The event is loosely themed each year, though attendees are welcome to dress however they want. This year’s theme: Political Voodoo and Ballot Box Barbarians. Expect political mockery in addition to the usual movie characters and mythical creatures. The family-friendly Goombay festival is October 21st and 22nd, so if you’re traveling with kids in tow, they can take part in the festivities, too.
You can take a classic ghost tour.
It bears repetition: Key West has its share of ghosts and haunted happenings. Listen to stories from someone who has come face-to-face with them with Conch Ghost Tours, a family-run service that will give you a local take on the island’s spirits.
Want more Key West? Here are more tips on places to go and things to do!
Hotel images courtesy of La Concha Hotel & Spa; parade photo: Jon Raedle/Getty Images; church photo: Mick Reed/EyeEm/Getty Images
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