Few U.S. cities embrace their diversity like San Antonio, Texas. At the intersection of American, Texan and Mexican culture, the seventh-largest city in the United States knows how to celebrate traditions while making everyone feel welcome. (Can we all please take a cue from San Antonio!?)
This season, though tricky Halloween festivities still abound, it is the Mexican holiday of Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) that treats visitors most in San Antonio.
The traditional Mexican holiday, dating to pre-Columbian time, professes that during November 1, the distance between living and dead is at its closest point, creating the perfect opportunity to honor our dearly departed loved ones.
Considered the largest Día de los Muertos celebration in the United States, San Antonio builds traditional altars, throws parades and delivers delicious Mexican food offerings that remind you it’s tastier on this side of the divide.
The world of travel moves fast! Let’s keep up–together. This week, Traveling IQ celebrates Halloween with some spooky stories from the past week:
*Be afraid, be very afraid as you travel to the terrifying island of mutilated dolls in Mexico, a witches market in Bolivia, or the the site of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine. (via MSN)
*Feed your nightmares. Stay in a remote Swedish earthen hut surrounded by wolves. Or stranded on an island off Croatia where the seas are too choppy to escape at night. Or at any of the “World’s Creepiest Hotels.” (via ARTINFO)
*How’s Casper as a friendly bedfellow? Spend your night with guests who refuse to check out of these haunted hotels. (via Conde Nast Traveler)
*From Provincetown to Copenhagen, gays find tricks and treats this Halloween. (via Gaytravel.com)
*If you’ve ever wanted to sleep on the dissecting table of a morgue, Tasmania has the hotel for you. (via Conde Nast Traveler)
*From Salem witches to the Headless Horseman, the Northeast is a scary place. Spend your Halloween exploring some of the spookiest spots in New York and New England. (via NY Times)
What did I miss? Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.
Lady Gaga and Traveling IQ wish you a Happy Halloween!
I took this picture while touring the Strip District in Pittsburgh earlier this year. If you are interested in learning more about Pittsburgh, read the IQ article published in Next Magazine or listen to the Proud FM radio segment.
The New York Finger Lakes region is diving deep into a Halloween tradition this Saturday, October 22, when the Finger Lakes Underwater Preservation Association (FLUPA) hosts its annual “Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest.” Certified SCUBA divers are invited to register at 1 p.m. at the Village Marina in Watkins Glen. Only $10 gets you a pumpkin and an opportunity to demonstrate your carving prowess under the waters of Seneca Lake. On dry land the festivities continue with snacks, raffles, prizes, and all-around Halloween revelry.
But there is much more beneath the surface of Seneca Lake than pumpkins. The deepest of the Finger Lakes, plunging 618 feet, Seneca Lake became a busy waterway when the Erie Canal opened in 1825, connecting the northern Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Then, steamships and barges transported supplies. Today, some of those same barges lie in the bottom of the lake as historic treasures for a SCUBA diver’s pleasure.
Wow. Boo! Wow. Chicagoans can really howl on Halloween! I’m sure experiencing it as a tourist helped, but last year’s Halsted Halloween Parade was a scary good time. In New York, I would never dream of standing in the cold October night of the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade—the crowds, the noise, the fear that at any moment the festivities could spiral into catastrophe.
Halloween can often feel like amateur hour. It is the one night regular folk get to be actors, drag queens or whores—or all three! Hiding behind a costume frees people to express themselves beyond their regular comfort level. Add a few shots, puffs, snorts (or what have you) and your tale can end with soaring fireworks or an explosive burn. Lucky for Matt and me, visiting Chicago last Halloween proved to be a blast.
Our night started as voyeurs along the parade route. After the ample helping of Halloween fluff, we were ready for a little sustenance. One of the two tables actually eating at Firefly, we inhaled one of the best macaroni and cheeses I’ve ever had, as the rest of the packed restaurant enjoyed prancing around, drinking, chatting, and watching the parade from the windows. As we were not in costume, checking out the scantily clad Chippendale boys and sexy Dorothys (who I knew hadn’t eaten all week) while stuffing our faces with burgers and the aforementioned cheesy deliciousness, was especially satisfying.
With full bellies and happy hearts we joined our friend Kevin who, over the next three hours, took it upon himself to show us every bar in Boystown. A blur of alternating martinis, Redbulls, and occasional waters later, we settled into the spinning stupor of our comfy Best Western bed.
We had emerged from Halloween unscathed… yet inexplicably covered in glitter.