Take a Hollywood Blockbuster-Inspired Vacation
Get ready for the season of blockbuster movies. This year, Hollywood is pulling out some really special stuff. A lot of people get down on Hollywood for working with stories that have already been told—like Spiderman, King Kong, and Arthur. But I think it’s really interesting seeing new spins on old tales. The same way that no two people will tell a story the same way (different people will emphasize different details, tell different jokes, etc.), no two directors will tell a story on film the same way. Directors are like snowflakes—all very different from one another. The movies they make, despite family resemblance, are like snowflakes, as well. This year, there’s a veritable snowstorm of great films to see. Two that I’m really looking forward to are Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby (starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger (starring Johnny Depp). In celebration of these two exciting films, I’m going to discuss vacation possibilities inspired by them.
Great Gatsby Vacations
Have you ever dreamed of visiting East Egg and West Egg, the rich towns on Long Island (the island that juts out eastward from New York City) where the action of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby takes place? Well, you can’t—not exactly. Fitzgerald made those cute town names up. But they are based on actual places. East Egg is based on the village of Sands Point, and West Egg is based on the village of Kings Point. If you want to get up close and personal with this area and its relation to the novel, I recommend the Great Gatsby Boat Tour, given seasonally by Great Gatsby and western Long Island expert Eleanor Cox. Cox will point out all the mansions and the yacht clubs on shore that date from the Jazz Age days of Prohibition, when The Great Gatsby is set.
The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, in Montgomery, Alabama, is housed in the only residence in Montgomery where F. Scott and his wife Zelda lived that is still standing. All the others have been demolished. This museum honors their life together as well as the writing of both (Zelda was as novelist as well) though photographs, paintings, letters, and excerpts from their writing.
Lone Ranger Vacations
A lot of the filming of The Lone Ranger took place in Cimarron Canyon State Park and in the town of Angel Fire—both in New Mexico. The film is the story of the Lone Ranger told through the eyes of Tonto, his companion. As Tonto is a Native American, the film tries to communicate a Native American point of view. In the town of Taos, only twenty-four miles from Angel Fire, there is a magnificent collection of Native American art at the Millicent Rogers Museum. Expressing the ways of life and outlooks of the tribes of the southwest, the beautiful objects in the collection were both practically and spiritually useful for the tribes who owned them. On view are a variety of baskets, clothing, jewelry, and pottery.
After a day of living the movies, you’ll be ready to kick back at a cozy hotel and maybe watch some movies. That’s why you want a hotel with a TV, a kitchen to pop some popcorn, and free Wi-Fi. That way, you can watch exactly what you want.
Watch World-Class Comedians Flex Their Funny Bones During National Comedy Month
April is many things to many people. It’s the most literary month of the year. It figures prominently in two canonical works—The Canterbury Tales’ prologue and T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” It’s the most romantic month in the calendar—the month when new love is most likely to bloom. It’s also, according to Larry Wilde, the funniest month. Wilde celebrated the first National Humor Month thirty-seven years ago this April. Launched in our country’s bicentennial year, National Humor Month celebrates the psychological and physical salubriousness of humor. And April is a month when you need all the health-promoting jokes you can get. Because of tax season, April can also be the most stressful month. Let’s take to the road and check out all the April fools who are performing during National Humor Month.
Bridgetown Comedy Festival: Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon, burst onto the national scene in the last few years as an important comedy town because of the popular sketch comedy show Portlandia. And the town has a comedy festival befitting its new prominence. The Bridgetown Comedy Festival, taking place from April 18th-21st, has been producing edgy comedy line-ups since 2008. The festival is all about pushing the envelope (which is what good comedy is about—an envelope sitting in one place is not a very funny thing), and this year’s line-up in no exception. Fresh and very funny comedian/musician Reggie Watts promises to be one of this year’s highlights. None other than Conan O’Brien picked Watts to be his opener on his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour. Watts has been showered with praise by Rolling Stone, Spin, and GQ—all deserved. He manages a fusion of highbrow humor, lowbrow humor, and music—like a hip-hop combination of Lenny Bruce and Steve Martin. Another boundary-crossing comic you don’t want to miss is Dana Gould—a largely unheralded comic who has influenced well-known performers like Patton Oswalt and Janeane Garofalo. His bits, which eschew punch lines for anecdotes with funny asides, are quite foundational for the contemporary comedy scene.
Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest: Austin, Texas
The Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest, taking place from April 24th-27th, is just as crazy as the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. In addition to Moontower’s oddball performers, though, there are a number of mainstream acts for fans of more traditional comedy. Dana Carvey, who won our hearts in his role as Garth in the Wayne’s World movies, is a headliner this year. For impersonations of US presidents, Carvey is really peerless. There’s no more traditional form of American comedy than pillorying our national political leaders. A true comic patriot and gadfly, Carvey will doubtless bring the high and mighty down to Earth with his act. For a crazier comedy set, I recommend checking out Janeane Garofalo and Brian Posehn’s (of The Sarah Silverman Program) tag-team standup. It’s no accident that this performance is scheduled for midnight. Appropriate to the witching hour, this set will be very cutting-edge and iconoclastic.
After a laughter-filled day, nothing feels better than resting your weary funny bones. The perfect place to take a load off is an Extended Stay Hotel. It’s just like home, but better. Every room comes with a kitchen, a TV, free Wi-Fi, and—last but not least—maid service.
Vegas Is More Than Gambling—You Can Bet on It
Las Vegas is the sort of town it is because of gambling. It was built up in 1950s because gambling was legal there. But the town that resulted from the gambling boom has much more going for it than just gambling. Many non-gamblers shy away from visiting Vegas because of its reputation. This reputation is well-earned. True to form, gambling is in your face immediately when you come into the city. There are even slots in the airport terminals.
If you don’t gamble, though, you can just treat things like slot machines as decoration. After all, a slot machine is considerably more attractive than a blank wall. Vegas really is a must see for everyone who wants to experience America—the home of pop culture for the world.
Cruise the Strip
Many travelers are disappointed when they get to Hollywood. They expect non-stop spectacle, and what they get is a neighborhood going about its business. The showbiz spectacle that they were expecting can be found on Las Vegas Boulevard—nicknamed the Strip. The Strip has its own scaled down Eiffel Tower, its own mini-Brooklyn Bridge, and a sea of luscious palm trees. I recommend ascending the Paris Hotel and Casino’s aforementioned Eiffel Tower after the sun’s gone down. The city lights twinkle like stars—which is appropriate, since they largely blot out the actual stars.
The Bellagio’s Dancing Fountains
Time magazine declared the Bellagio fountain show the only free one worth checking out in Las Vegas—and that’s saying a lot. There are a lot of free shows in Vegas. This one is really quite remarkable. The fountaining water, which dances to the songs of standard Vegas crooners, like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, is as tightly choreographed as an expert dancer—only a bit more fluid. You won’t find this many people staring at water outside Niagara.
The Cirque du Soleil, a very humane circus, does not use animals at all—earning it an endorsement from PETA.The show does not suffer for its lack of animal entertainment at all—far from it. The performers at this very theatrical showperform acrobatic, stunning, rather risky tricks that will have you holding your breath from excitement. A friend of mine once told me a story that demonstrates how dedicated the performers are: visiting Cirque du Soleil’s offices, he noticed that a number of the performers were wearing casts from circus injuries and making light of them. You would never know, watching the show, though, that anything ever goes a little wrong.
Soar Over Las Vegas’ New York-New York
Vegas’ New York-New York Hotel and Casino, which recreates Manhattan in miniature, is legendary. There’s no better, or more thrilling, way to experience it than by flying around its Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building on a world-class roller coaster—complete with intense drops and thrilling loops. It’s like Manhattan and Coney Island all in one.
After a day experiencing all the many, many thrills Las Vegas has to offer, you’ll want to take it easy. There’s no better hotel for kicking back than Extended Stay—where you can fix yourself a meal in your room’s kitchen and enjoy free in-room Wi-Fi.
The Beat Goes On: On the Road with the Beat Generation
America’s mid-twentieth-century rebel writers, the Beat Generation, the group who spawned the pop-culture phenomenon known as the Beatnik, left an indelible mark on American art and culture. Their let-it-all-hang-out artistic ethos had a lot of influence on the work of figures like Bob Dylan and Hunter S. Thompson and on the attitude of the hippies. The Beat Generation’s canonical texts, chief among them Jack Kerouac’s On the Road and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” are still popular with the young, hip, and bookish today. Like The Catcher in the Rye, these texts speak across generations. This is why both “Howl” and On the Road have recently been turned into films starring popular youth-oriented actors. Howl stars James Franco, and On the Road stars Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund.
The Beat Museum: San Francisco, CA
The Beat Museum is located in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach, one of the Beat Generation’s spiritual homes. The first floor is the bookstore, where you can buy any Beat Generation book you’ve ever heard of and many that you haven’t. The second floor is the proper museum, where you will find many Beat artifacts (such as one of Kerouac’s favorite jackets and the typewriter he used to write many of his opuses) and learn quite a lot about this literary and cultural movement. As you enter the museum, you discover the key fact that the term “Beatnik” was coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen as a glib contraction of the words “Beat Generation” and “Sputnik.” The museum has many different editions of On the Road in many different languages on display—each edition’s cover design bearing the mark of the time and place it is from. This museum is such an authority on all things Beat Generation that Walter Salles, the director of On the Road, did much of his research here. You can benefit from his relationship with the museum not only by watching his wonderful film; Salles also donated the car driven by the central figure in the movie (Dean Moriarty—played by Hedlund) to the museum. This classic late-‘40s Hudson now sits in the museum bookstore—bringing the road into the museum.
City Lights Bookstore: San Francisco, CA
City Lights Bookstore, which is right across the road from the Beat Museum, was started by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953. A few years after opening the store, the shop’s publishing operation published Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems. It would go on to publish many other Beat Generation classics—such as Gregory Corso’s Gasoline and Ginsberg’s Kaddish and Other Poems—keeping the Beat flame alive and serving as a sort of Beat Generation shrine for many visitors from around the world. The store, which seems little changed in appearance from its Beat Generation glory days, remains current. It still sponsors regular readings and sells works by up-and-coming writers alongside the work of Beat Generation standbys.
After a day checking out the history and work of the Beats, you’ll surely want to pull off the road for the night and take it easy. It doesn’t get any easier than an Extended Stay Hotel—the most comfortable and convenient hotels around.
Museums for the Foodie
Food and museums: the two do not seem to go together. Certainly, most museums do not allow you to bring food into their inner sanctums. Food is about enjoying the moment, savoring the ephemeral. Museums are about preserving the past, holding on to what can be archived of life.
However, there are food museums. Food has been of such importance in shaping cultures and expressing their characters that a people’s history is really incomplete if you do not consider what they put on their plates. The saying “you are what you eat” is not merely about the physical dimension of food. What one eats is also frequently an expression of one’s connection to one’s culture and of that culture’s values and history.
New York Food Museum: New York, New York
The New York Food Museum is currently featuring an exhibit that details the dietary habits of a wide swath of New Yorkers at the time when the city’s four boroughs were incorporated and New York City was formed—the turn of the twentieth century. You will learn in this exhibit why New York City did not abandon its slaughterhouses and import its meat from the Midwest—as much of the rest of the country did. Kosher standards demand that meat is consumed no later than three days following the animal’s slaughter.
You will also learn that at the turn of the century, New York Harbor and the Hudson River were extensively fished. Fish was very, very popular at the turn of the century, and consumption of it cut across class divisions—and across meal divisions. You might be surprised to learn that at the turn of the century, fish was so popular that it was regularly consumed for breakfast (not just lox but all sorts of fish). During the twentieth century the harbor and the river became so polluted that fishing was no longer safe. But there has been an effort to clean up New York’s waterways for some time. Recently, oysters have been employed as pollution removers. In the not-too-distant future, you may just be able to order fish at a New York City restaurant that was actually caught in the city.
Southern Food and Beverage Museum: New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleanians are known the world over for their lightheartedness. But there are some things that they are absolutely serious about: food, drink and merriment. The exhibit Louisiana Eats! Laissez Faire—Savoir Fare at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum delves into the legendary fare of the kitchens of Louisiana—particularly of cosmopolitan New Orleans.
New Orleans’ wonderful dishes have come about because of its diverse collection of ethnic groups, the fact that it is a port city and the fact that the local food supply is rich. The really satisfying part of this exhibit is sampling some of the city’s signature dishes, such as a king cake, red beans and rice and calas. I recommend a coffee with chicory (one of the city’s specialties) as a special treat for your palate after the samples. Bon appétit!
After a day of picking up culinary information, you may just want to attempt to cook some of the delicacies you have learned about. This generally is not a possibility when you’re on vacation—that is unless you are staying at an Extended Stay Hotel. Every Extended Stay suite has its own kitchen so that you can whip up any local dish you desire.
Drive Your Car to a Classic Car Museum
American car culture is foundational to who we are and where we come from. The twentieth century, widely and appropriately known as the American Century, was a time when a substantial part of our national resources went into the construction of a vast and complicated national highway system. Both the old and the young fell in love with cars—a fact made very apparent by the large number of popular songs rhapsodizing car models recorded during the ‘50s and ‘60s (“Rocket 88,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” etc.). It was hard not to fall in love with the cars being produced then. They not only were more reliable than ever; they were more reliably attractive than ever. This period is given due reverence at a number of classic car museums around the country.
Los Angeles is arguably the ideal location for a museum dedicated to the history of cars in America. While other, denser major American cities, like New York City and San Francisco, focused on public transportation, LA has always been a car town. There is a wonderful exhibition showing at the museum until April 28th that introduces the visitor to the drafting stage of car design. The conceptual, aesthetically rich car drawings of Theodore W. Pietsch II are on display. Pietsch worked as a designer and drafter at a number of the major American car companies during his career, which stretched from the 1930s to the ‘70s. He was not only a great designer and a great artist; he was a great salesman. He knew how to present a prospective car in its best light and in a narrative situation that intrigues and excites. His fascination with cars and love of American culture really come across in the dynamic drawings and paintings on display. Another exciting exhibit, Aerodynamics: From Art to Science, details the history of attempting to make cars more resistant to drag. Of the cars on display, some are familiar and some look like they’re out of a sci-fi film. They all combine art and engineering in stunning ways.
Canton Classic Car Museum: Canton, Ohio
At the Canton Classic Car Museum, the emphasis is on beauty and historical significance. The best and most significant cars of the twentieth century are on display—organized by decade. One of the museum’s main attractions is a Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz from 1959. The 1950s were the decade of the car fin. Fins, originally the idea of the designers Frank Hershey and Harley Earl, grew and grew until, in 1959, the fins on the Eldorado Biarritz look more like wings. There is also a lot of advertising from bygone days on display at the Canton Classic Car Museum. You may have your memory pleasantly jogged by the charming old roadside ads and find yourself remembering road trips from long ago.
When your day of cruising through American automobile history is through, you’ll want to drive your automobile somewhere for the night. It’s really wonderful to be able to spend quality time with your loved ones while on a road trip. You may find that a hotel with a kitchen makes this much easier, since you can make a family meal while on the road.
Wintertime Is the Right Time for Film Festivals
In the wintertime, the weather gets a bit too chilly for outdoor attractions like carnivals and band-shell concerts. The winter is a time to take the merrymaking and entertainment indoors. The all-time classic indoors communal activity of the modern world, of course, is watching films. Even during the deep, dark days of the Depression, people regularly took their minds off of the cold reality of the world by going to the movies. In fact, the difficulties people were having made them attend the cinema in greater numbers.
Film festival organizers take advantage of the natural relationship between the wintertime and movies to organize some of the year’s best festivals in this season. At film festivals, you get to see the best films, projected from pristine prints, before they are released for mass consumption. You certainly can’t beat that at your local multiplex.
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival: Missoula, Montana
This year’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, taking place February 15th - 24th, boasts some of the most exciting and talked-out documentaries to hit the screen in a long time. In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey is an incisive investigation of one of the most brilliant and self-mythologizing folk musicians of the twentieth century.
Fahey, known for confounding and elating his audience in equal measure, was a beloved contradiction. On the one hand, he would, tongue-in-cheek, bill himself, during the 60s, on record and in-concert, as Blind Joe Death, an obscure Mississippi blues musician from the 1920s—despite being in his 20s. And on the other hand, he would declare in interviews that he was not a folk musician because he was just a kid from the suburbs. He delighted in putting on an act and then exploding it—much like Bob Dylan.
Also at the festival is Bad Brains: A Band in DC—a movie about the legendary genre-hopping band Bad Brains (equally at home playing punk rock and reggae), who came up in the Washington, DC, hardcore scene that also produced Minor Threat and Scream.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival: Santa Barbara, California
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is not only about seeing great films. It is also about seeing great actors in person. Many luminaries of the silver screen will be honored at this year’s festival—taking place January 24th - February 3rd. Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis will be presented with awards on February 1st and January 26th, respectively.
This should be spectacular, as both actors have had stunningly great years—DiCaprio having played a pivotal part in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Day-Lewis having played the central role in the most widely lauded film of the year—Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. These two actors have evolved skillfully over the years and have shown us what it is to understand the human spirit and the spirit of our age. If you are a lover of fine acting and fine film, this could be the event of the year for you—one from which you will surely draw great inspiration.
When you leave the film festival, you’ll probably want to recharge so that you can get back to the film festivities bright and chipper the next day. The perfect place to recharge your batteries on the road is at an Extended Stay Hotel—where you can kick back like you do at home without having to worry about tidying up.
All That Jazz in New York City
Jazz has been called America’s classical music. It was born in the US, and it evolved in the US. It has its great Mozart-caliber composers (like Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus) and its great Liszt-caliber performers (like Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker). Like European classical music, it is a very sophisticated music based in part on folk forms (mainly the blues). Jazz began in New Orleans, but it evolved into the music we know today in a number of American cities.
Different cities gave birth to different schools of jazz. New York City was by far the most influential. It was the cradle for Duke Ellington’s ultra-sophisticated swing, Dizzy Gillespie’s frenetic bebop and Ornette Coleman’s beautifully anarchic free jazz. New York City is the perfect place to explore America’s jazz heritage. And the perfect way to explore New-York-City jazz is with Big Apple Jazz Tours. Big Apple currently offers three very comprehensive tours for the jazz aficionado. I can tell you this: You will get an education in the history of jazz and an education in having a good time on these tours.
The Harlem Juke Joint Tour
The Harlem Juke Joint Tour introduces you to the current hot spots for jazz in Harlem—the neighborhood in New York City with the deepest jazz roots. Your tour guide will take you to all sorts of places you are very unlikely to find on your own—places like a private jazz club that was started during the days of Prohibition, a club that serves up heaping portions of jazz and soul food and a 1940s-style lounge built around an electric organ. When you’re finished, you’ll have a new appreciation for jazz and for Harlem.
The Great Day in Harlem Jazz Tour
The Great Day in Harlem Jazz Tour takes you to some of the most happening jazz clubs in Harlem and fills you in on Harlem’s rich jazz history. The tour is named for a famous photograph of jazz greats that was printed in Esquire magazine in 1959. The Cotton Club, where Duke Ellington was the house bandleader for many years, is visited, and you will learn about the club’s famous floor show. Also visited is Minton’s Playhouse, where bebop was invented during after-hours jam sessions in the 40s. You, too, will be visited—by the spirit of jazz.
The Greenwich Village Jazz Tour
The Greenwich Village Jazz Tour is both a history lesson and a listening session. Jazz landmarks from the bygone days of the village are pointed out and explained. You will get to see where the Café Society and the Café Bohemia once were. The Café Society is the club where Billie Holiday began her career. The Café Bohemia, as its beatnik name suggests, was the hippest of the hip jazz clubs in its day. Cutting-edge jazz composers and performers, like Miles Davis, Art Blakey and Charles Mingus, debuted their newest, most important compositions at the Bohemia. There is ample evidence of this on the 1955 album Mingus at the Bohemia.
When you’re through jazzing it up for the day, you’ll need a hotel where you can kick back and compare notes with your travelling companions. If you want a casual hotel with all the amenities a jazz fan could ask for, at a reasonable price, look no further than Extended Stay Hotels.
I Love New York City’s Fine Art
New York City is the capital of so many things that some just slip through the cracks. Everyone knows that it is the financial capital of the world. Ditto, it’s the skyscraper capital of the world. It is also, though, very much the art capital of the world. It has a vital contemporary art scene, with many of its galleries concentrated in the Chelsea neighborhood, and its museums are home to the greatest quantity and diversity of masterpieces of any city. So what are our country’s best art museums featuring this season?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met, New York City’s most comprehensive art museum (do not fool yourself that one day is enough for seeing the Met), is featuring, until January 27th, an exhibit called Faking It. This exhibit draws attention to art as artifice. All art—when we get down to it—is, of course, faking it. You are never looking at the “real thing” when you are looking at art but a representation of it—whether we are talking about the physical “real thing” or the psychological “real thing.” This is what makes art art. This exhibit celebrates this central, artistic fact.
Its full title is Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. Fakery in photography goes back to the 1840s—that is to say, to its beginnings. This exhibit shows that the camera, indeed, does lie, giving the lie to the popular dictum that claims the contrary.
Sponsored, appropriately, by Adobe, the maker of Photoshop, this exhibit features some photographs that draw attention to their status as “lies”—or, to use a contemporary description, as “mash-ups” (such as Jerry N. Uelsmann’s untitled photograph where he has replaced the ceiling of a study with a clouded sky)—and some (such as Edward J. Steichen’s The Pond – Moonrise) that do not draw attention to their artificiality but use it to make a deeper impression on the viewer.
Edvard Munch is an artist associated popularly with just one work of art, The Scream, which he created in four different versions. MoMA has the pastel version from 1895 on loan until April 29th. The bright, almost jolly pastel tones of the work clash with its angsty image, making for a very thought-provoking work. As the only iteration of The Scream owned privately, this may be the only opportunity for quite some time to see this very important work.
The Frick Collection, which is housed in an imposingly attractive neoclassical building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (right next to Central Park) has the feeling of an old-world aristocratic art collection. You will not find anything modern and experimental here—as you will at the Met and MoMA. What you will find here is a great sampling of the outstanding achievements of western art cheek by jowl with one another. Next to a Rembrandt, you find a J.M.W. Turner, and next to the Turner, you will find a Frans Hals. The quantity of masterpieces in this museum boggles the mind. It’s also an excellent place to come and practice your drawing if you are an aspiring artist.
After a tiring and, let’s face it, at times overwhelming day in New York, you will want some home-style rest and recovery. You’re guaranteed just that at an Extended Stay Hotel. Think of it. After a day in the Big Apple, you can come back to your hotel and cook a meal right in your very own room if you stay at an Extended Stay. Now that’s the art of relaxation!
Halloween Road Trips for the Whole Family
Halloween is coming up. A holiday beloved by children for its association with candy and by adults for its association with mild transgression, Halloween is one of the most hallowed and downright fun traditions in the United States. Whether you’re someone who plans out and works on your costume for months in advance or someone who puts on a cowboy hat, a flannel shirt and Wranglers at the last second, calling yourself a cowboy, Halloween is non-stop fun. What’s not to love about masquerades, candy and parties? If you’re a travel-lover as well as a Halloween-lover, there are a number of options for you.
Salem—famous for the witch trials which took place there between 1692 and 1693, dramatized in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible—does not shy away from its association with those harrowing years. The Salem Police Department badge is even emblazoned with a moon-silhouetted witch bestride a broomstick below the phrase “The Witch City.”
Salem has ghost tours year round—it’s that kind of town. But it’s around Halloween that the town really comes into its own. I recommend the Ghosts and Legends Trolley Tour in order to be creepily entertained by Salem’s legendary past. While there is more fiction than fact on this tour, that certainly does not make it any less scary.
If you want to get the lowdown on what really happened in Salem in 1692 and 1693, stop by the Salem Witch Museum, which is, not surprisingly, the most popular museum in Salem. This is not a traditional museum, but it is one where a narrative is delivered to visitors by guides with the help of props and mannequins. This helps the visitors descend into their imagination and feel like they are really there. This informative destination is much recommended—especially for kids who should know about historical witch hysteria as well as Hollywood and fairy-tale witches.
At Halloween time, Orlando goes all out. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World will thrill the little ones. Trick-or-treating in your own neighborhood is great fun, but it’s not quite as fun as trick-or-treating in Mickey Mouse’s neighborhood. At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, kids dress up in their costumes and rove around the Magic Kingdom collecting candy and memories. Additionally, there is a parade, led by Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman, of all of your favorite Disney characters.
A great way to start your day in Orlando during your Halloween vacation is at Count Von Count’s Spooktacular Breakfast at SeaWorld. Children get to meet one of the iconic Sesame Street edutainment characters and enjoy a well-balanced breakfast. What a great start to a great spooky, fun day!
Winding down after a full day of Halloween-inspired running around can be tough. You need the right hotel to make the transition from looking for fun and stimulation to looking for rest and relaxation an easy one. Extended Stay Hotels offers hotels with all the amenities of home and none of the worries, and is the perfect place to transition from on-the-go to on the bed.