Spooky Nights in San Diego | San Diego, California


October is the ideal time to visit San Diego. The weather is still mild enough for a day at the beach, but the crowds of summer are long gone. Stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado for a beach escape during Halloween. San Diego has a number of Halloween events and attractions that you’ll find both terrifying and fun.


Hotel del Coronado

Bask in luxury under the iconic red rooftops of the Hotel del Coronado, a San Diego landmark since 1888. The seaside resort has numerous ocean-view eateries, pools and hot tubs complete with cabanas and a bar, and a relaxing spa. The hotel is steps from a pristine beach and just a short distance from the island’s shops and restaurants. Book the Beach Village Offer and stay in one of their secluded cottages or villas with personal concierge service, daily breakfast, and a $200 resort credit.

Get your costumes ready! Attend the Hotel del Coronado’s Hallo-wine & Spirits event on Saturday, October 29th. It begins with a reception featuring tasty snacks, then transforms into a party with dessert, drinks, dancing, and a costume contest.


Coronado Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of making craft beer in San Diego. Stop by the Coronado Brew Pub for lunch and a beer. We love the Mermaid’s BBQ Burger, topped with bacon, white cheddar, red ale BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onions. Pair it with the Coronado Blood Orange Wit, a crisp and citrusy beer infused with blood orange tea.


The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel is San Diego’s longest running haunted house. Located in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, it’s the perfect activity if you’re looking for a Halloween scare. Enter the haunted house and encounter a Hellevator, zombie alley, island of dolls, clown subway, and torture temple. Can you make it out?


The Haunted Trail

Like The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Trail is a fantastic Halloween tradition. The outdoor, mile-long path in Balboa Park is sure to terrify even the most courageous of visitors. Start out in “The eXperiment,” a 3,500 square foot maze of incarcerated lost souls. If you make it through, you’ll move on to brave the chainsaws, ghouls, and horrific characters of the Trail.


The Scream Zone

San Diego’s largest Halloween attraction is The Scream Zone, a complex of horrors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Enter The Scream Zone for free and enjoy food vendors, photo opportunities, and a bar. From there, you can choose which attractions to purchase tickets for. Highlights this year include KarnEvil, a frightening carnival freak show, and Zombie Boot Camp, an obstacle course that will get you ready for the zombie apocalypse. The Scream Zone also includes a House of Horror and Haunted Hayride.

Halloween in LA | Los Angeles, California


There’s no better place to experience Halloween than Los Angeles. See your favorite horror films and television shows come to life at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, then take a ride on the terrifying Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Here’s your guide to the city’s scariest Halloween events and attractions.


The Garland

Located in North Hollywood, The Garland is only a short distance from Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and Griffith Park. Built in 1970, the hotel reflects an old-school Hollywood style with retro-modern rooms. The Garland offers unique activities for guests, like Dive-In Movies shown poolside every Friday and Saturday. Book their Universal Studios Package, which includes a deluxe room, tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, free transportation to the park, and Early Park Admission.

Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Visit Universal Studios after dark for Halloween Horror Nights, a terrifying celebration of Halloween featuring attractions from famous horror films and TV shows. This year’s highlights include seven new mazes based on The Exorcist, Halloween, Freddy vs. Jason, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and American Horror Story. You can also step into landscapes from The Walking Dead, where you’ll fight your way through zombies in an immersive experience. Horror Nights also includes rides, shows, and Scare Zones. It requires separate admission, but you can purchase a Day/Night Combo ticket that will allow you to experience Horror Nights and the park’s regular attractions.


800 Degrees

Taste LA’s best pizza at 800 Degrees, a restaurant that masterfully combines authentic Italian and contemporary Californian flavors. Their pizzas are Neapolitan and wood-fired, made with flour imported from Naples, Italian tomatoes, and local mozzarella and vegetables. The crust is chewy and flavorful, thick on the sides and paper-thin in the middle. Create your own pizza by choosing one of their bases and adding gourmet toppings. We like the Verde base, which comes with pesto, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with caramelized onions and chicken.

blog5 Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is another classic Halloween attraction. It’s held every year in Griffith Park, a historic wooded park in North Hollywood that has served as a filming location for countless movies, including Halloween. Climb aboard the Haunted Hayride and experience scary scenes with live actors and frightening effects. The theme of this year’s hayride is “Secret Society,” exploring darkness, power, and evil. Guests will journey through one of two different paths and then face an initiation section on foot. You can buy tickets for just the hayride, or purchase a general admission ticket that will give you access to different attractions like the suburb of Hell, a Scary-Go-Round, Theatre Macabre, murder scenes at Death Row, pumpkin carving, and psychic readings.



Stop by MILK for a late-night snack after the Haunted Hayride. A favorite with locals, the dessert shop offers a medley of treats such as cookies, brownies, pastries, ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes. They’re famous for their macaron ice cream sandwiches, which have generous portions of gourmet ice cream between two large macarons. Try flavors like green tea, strawberry, and fruity pebbles.

Luxury and Relaxation | Santa Barbara, California


Gabriela Herman/Visit Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a scenic coastal city where there’s always something going on. Plan a last minute getaway for this weekend and attend both the Santa Barbara Beer Festival and the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival. Explore the coastline, sample the area’s best wines, and indulge in the quintessential Santa Barbara experience.


Belmond El Encanto

Up in the hills above Santa Barbara, you’ll find Belmond El Encanto, a luxurious resort that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The hotel is both glamorous and laidback, with restored 1920s features and modern additions. Stroll through seven acres of landscaped gardens with views of the city below, or take a dip in their stylish zero-edge pool. Belmond El Encanto offers guests a variety of culinary options, including formal meals in The Dining Room and Terrace, afternoon tea in The Lounge, and beverages in The Wine Room and The Bar. Experience their fine dining fully with the Gourmet Package, which includes luxury accommodations, a $150 dinner credit per stay, a $60 breakfast credit each day, and access to the spa and gym.


Local Festivals

Both the Santa Barbara Beer Festival and the Santa Barbara Harbor & Seafood Festival are happening on Saturday, October 15th. Choose your favorite, or attend both! The Beer Festival will be held at Elings Park from 12-4 pm, and will feature more than 20 breweries, as well as some cider and wine. You can also expect food vendors and live music. Head down to the water from 10 am to 5 pm for the Harbor & Seafood Festival. Sample a variety of fresh fish, watch boating demonstrations, browse local arts and crafts, and get free admission to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.


Cabrillo Bike Path

With balmy weather and a picturesque coastline, Santa Barbara is an excellent place for a bike ride. Try the Cabrillo Bike Path, an easy ride right next to the water. The flat and paved route runs along the coast for about five miles, with plenty of grassy areas along the way where you can stop for a picnic. Go solo or rent a tandem bike to ride with friends.


Santa Barbara Wine Collective

The Santa Barbara Wine Collective tasting room, situated between Downtown Santa Barbara and the beach, is the best and easiest way to get a taste of the amazing wine made in the Santa Barbara area. The collective consists of five different local wineries – Fess Parker, Notary Public, The Paring, Ca’Del Grevino, and Babcock Winery. Sample wines from each at the tasting room, where you can buy flights, glasses, or bottles and order in food from select local restaurants.



For over 40 years, Madame Ganna Walska created beautiful gardens full of exotic plants on her Santa Barbara estate. After her death the estate became Lotusland, now open to the public. Spanning 37 acres, Lotusland encompasses 20 different themed gardens and over 3,000 different kinds of plants. See 300 species of cacti on raised beds and viewing terraces in the Cactus Garden, centuries-old stone figures in the Theater Garden, and lotuses and water lilies in the Water Garden. Reservations are required.

Beach and Brews | Santa Cruz, California


Santa Cruz is a vibrant beach town with an expanding craft beer scene. Enjoy a getaway at the beautiful Santa Cruz Dream Inn, a beachside hotel with a craft beer package that will allow you to taste the city’s best brews. This weekend, attend a cider tasting extravaganza when the Hard Core Cider Tour stops in Santa Cruz. While you’re in town, spend some time at the historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and witness the strange effects of the world-famous Mystery Spot.


Santa Cruz Dream Inn

The retro-modern Santa Cruz Dream Inn is right on the beach and a short walk away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Downtown Santa Cruz. Rooms are decorated in a light and airy beach style, each one featuring a serene view of Monterey Bay. Explore the city’s craft beer scene with the Santa Cruz Beer Trail package. Stay two nights and save 15% off, plus embark on a self-guided expedition through 10 breweries with a Santa Cruz Beer Trail Passport.


Hard Core Cider Tour

Santa Cruz is the first stop on the Hard Core Cider Tour. The tour, which will also stop in Pasadena and San Luis Obispo, aims to get people excited about craft cider while raising money for local charities. The event will be held in San Lorenzo Park on October 8th from 1 – 4 pm. Try unlimited two-ounce samples of 25 local and international ciders, sample bites from local food trucks, and enjoy live music and jumbo lawn games. Buy tickets here.


Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

The historic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is an amusement park right on the beach. Spend an afternoon strolling down the boardwalk, which offers more than 30 attractions including rides, miniature golf, laser tag, arcades, bowling, and shopping. Don’t miss the Giant Dipper and the Looff Carousel, two historic rides that have been a part of the boardwalk since 1924 and 1911, respectively.


Saturn Café

The Saturn Café is a ‘50s-style diner that specializes in vegetarian and gluten-free options. The restaurant is 100% vegetarian, and has been committed to social and environmental justice since they opened in 1979. Attuned to peoples’ desire for healthy versions of classic American comfort food, they serve delicious meat-free burgers and sandwiches. We recommend the Space Cowboy burger, a vegetarian “Saturn patty” topped with “bacon”, onion strings, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. For dessert, try one of their creamy milkshakes – they even make vegan shakes.


Mystery Spot

Venture into the redwood forests just outside of Santa Cruz to visit the Mystery Spot. It’s a “gravitational anomaly,” where inside a 150-feet diameter the laws of physics and gravity seem to change. Whether you join those that believe the spot’s eccentricities are a result of an alien spaceship or those who believe it’s geology, there’s no denying that the Mystery Spot is intriguing and entertaining. Take a 45-minute tour, during which your guide will tell you about the strange effects within the Mystery Spot and point out opportunities to experience them yourself.