Top Historical Sites To Visit This Thanksgiving

By Chris Epting / BT Editor
November 3, 2023
Plimoth Plantation Men
Plimoth Patuxet Museum - Courtesy of
Spend Turkey Day where the pilgrims did and mix historic sites and festivals with your cranberry sauce and stuffing.

Berkeley Plantation, Home of The First Thanksgiving

While it is commonly accepted that New Englanders held the first Thanksgiving, many actually contend Thanksgiving in English-speaking America took place in Virginia, at Berkeley Plantation, more than a year before the Mayflower set sail for Plymouth. Records show that Captain John Woodlief led his crew and passengers from their ship to a grassy slope here along the James River for the New World's first Thanksgiving service. Once they disembarked, in accordance with rules laid out by their British company expedition sponsor, the English colonists knelt down and prayed. The date was December 4, 1619.

Today on the site where Woodlief knelt, a gazebo contains the following words: "Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God." While the plantation holds an annual Thanksgiving Festival during the first week of November, visitors can tour this fascinating historic home in Charles City year round.

American Indian Heritage Month at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg. Courtesy of

Throughout the month of November, Colonial Williamsburg features special programming to learn more about American Indians in 18th-century Williamsburg, where they were a regular and frequent presence. There were local "tributary" tribes, who were considered subjects of Great Britain by the 18th century, such as the Pamunkey, Mattoponi, and Chickahominy. And there were “foreign” Indian tribes who had a nation to nation relationship with Great Britain, such as the Shawnee and Cherokee, who would come to Williamsburg to discuss treaties with the Royal government of Virginia. These diverse native nations had an influence on American culture, democracy, and its struggle for independence. The explorations of these American Indian nations and their role in our collective story then and now is essential in understanding modern American life.

At a special event on Thanksgiving Day, visitors can hear from President George Washington himself during a special reenactment event. Following a resolution of Congress on October 3, 1789, Washington proclaimed Thursday, November 26, 1789, a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” In setting aside a day for Thanksgiving, Washington established a non-sectarian tone for these devotions. It stressed political, moral, and intellectual blessings that make self-government possible and personal and national repentance.

History-lovers will also want to book a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at one of the historic taverns, such as Christiana Campbell's Tavern or the King's Arms.

American's Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Plymouth Thanksgiving parade. Courtesy of

Plymouth, Massachusetts is one of the most visited places in New England, especially in the fall. Located where the Pilgrims first settled back in the 1600s, many of the town's historic sites have been wonderfully preserved or restored. Plymouth hosts several special holiday events during the weekend before and on Thanksgiving day. This year's festivities include a harvest market, historic village and living historians, children's activities and food trucks, Plymouth Philharmonic concert, as well as American's only historically-accurate chronological parade.

On the day of Thanksgiving, the town puts on “Pilgrim Progress," a reenactment of the Pilgrims’ Sabbath procession to worship. Costumed participants representing survivors of the winter of 1621, assemble to the beat of a drum, proceed down North Street, along Water Street past Plymouth Rock, up Leyden Street to School Street where a short Pilgrim worship service is observed near the site of the original fort/meetinghouse. Psalms sung are taken from The Book of Psalms by Henry Ainsworth, used by the Pilgrims in Holland and in Plymouth. Passages read by “Elder Brewster” are from Governor Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation or other sources. After the service, the march continues through town on Main Street, ending at the Mayflower Society House via North Street.

Then at noon, the National Day of Mourning March and Ceremonies are held at the Massosoit Statue. Since 1970, Native Americans and their supporters have marched to Plymouth’s Town Square and then gathered on Cole’s Hil. Organized by United American Indians of New England (UAINE), the march has brought about revisions in the depiction of United States history and government as well as settler relationships with Native American peoples. A day of remembrance and spiritual connection, the annual event is held to create a renewed appreciation for Native American culture, and to protest the treatment of American Indians.

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7 Unique, Immersive Nature Excursions in Sonoma County

In a world where many people are increasingly focused on their well-being and strive to strike a work-life balance, most still find themselves neglecting their hard-earned vacation days. Those looking to Sonoma County, California will find a harmonious blend of nature's beauty where the art of relaxation awaits, promising to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. Experiences in Sonoma County include opportunities for forest bathing, stargazing, and engaging in wellness, creativity workshops, and more. A multitude of offerings provide visitors with the chance to immerse themselves in a midweek or weekend dedicated to self-care, relaxation, rejuvenation, connection, and holistic well-being. Forest bathe amongst the Redwoods Redwoods in Sonoma County by David Singleton - Unsplash Immerse yourself in the serenity of Bartholomew Estate Vineyards and Winery for a very special forest bathing and estate wine tasting experience Certified Nature Therapy Guide, Jenny Harrow-Keeler. Jenny leads guests through the Japanese meditative practice, shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), opening all five senses to the land and vineyard, connecting you with nature. Take the time to slow down and truly be aware of your surroundings - on all levels. Enjoy the beauty of the plethora of life at Bartholomew amongst the vines, redwoods, and creeks of the 375-acre sanctuary. Following the forest bathing experience, you'll be guided to Bartholomew's picturesque Oak Knoll for a seated tasting of wines grown in their sustainably farmed vineyards. Forest bathing enhances the wine, and the wine enhances your experience of the land. It's a full circle experience of connection and oneness. Forage for seaweed in Bodega Bay Sunset in Bodega Bay by Georg Eiermann - Unsplash Examine Sonoma County's underwater life with seaweed expert Heidi Herrmann of Strong Arm Farm. Heidi knows what to pick, how to pick it, and most importantly, how to make it taste delicious! This two to three-hour guided foray meets on the beach in Bodega Bay and is followed by a talk on what you collected, the science of seaweed, and how to cook your catch. Taking place during coastal low tide, foraging participants can expect to explore the normally underwater inter-tidal zone at a negative low tide, connecting with the local food system, enjoying umami direct from the source and takeaway 10 pounds of raw edible seaweed – a nutritional powerhouse – during your Bodega Bay adventure. Go glamping on the "Sonoma Serengeti" Experience a magical evening glamping on the Sonoma Serengeti as Safari West commemorates three decades of dedicated wildlife conservation. Don't miss out on this unique, memory-making experience. During your visit to Safari West be sure to be on the lookout for Otto, Safari West's first-ever Southern white rhino baby born to mother, Eesha, and father, Ongava. And to sprinkle even more joy on your experience, children stay free. This special offer is available through December 2023, Monday through Thursday only. Please note that holidays are excluded, and it is applicable for new reservations only. Go horseback riding through the heart of wine country Vineyard in Sonoma County by Trent Erwin - Unsplash Celebrating 20 years, Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers private horseback tours in the heart of the Sonoma Wine Country on some of the finest riding trails in the world, past acres of vineyards for premium wines, cross open oak woodlands and through shady groves of tall redwoods at the renowned, Jack London State Historic Park. Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers a variety of ride lengths to suit their guests' riding interests and schedules. Daily ride times vary. Triple Creek horses are saddled specifically for their reserved rider and rotated daily to insure a happy, healthy mount. Since Sonoma County wine tastes better after riding a horse, Triple Creek offers a complimentary tasting at nearby VJB Cellars. Learn about herbal remedies for winter wellness Herbalist Colleen Solis leads this empowering class on herbal remedies for winter wellness at Wind & Rye, highlighting the plant allies and herbal traditions used in the winter months to keep our bodies nourished and our immune systems strong. The concept of fire cider reaches back centuries but was officially named and perfected by famed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s. Learn about how to use traditional brews in your everyday cooking to support immunity and more. Every attendee will leave with a fire cider, elderberry syrup and bundle of broth herbs created in class. As always, a nourishing meal made with local organic Sonoma County ingredients will be served with drinks at the conclusion of the class. Dip into a one-of-a-kind cedar enzyme bath Sunlight pouring through the redwood trees by Kristina Wagner - Unsplash In a quiet corner of Sonoma County sits Freestone, California, home to Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, the only spa in North America that offers a Cedar Enzyme bath. A Cedar Enzyme "bath" involves submersion in a redwood tub filled with rice bran and warm cedar and fir shavings, a dry microbiome in which fermentation produces unique salutary benefits for metabolism, digestion, the cardiovascular system, relieving joint and muscle pain and improves sleep. Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary has a 30-year history of creating a unique healing environment in Sonoma County that provides spa services in resonance with nature. Beyond the uniqueness of their offerings—such as the one-of-a-kind Cedar Enzyme Bath and award-winning Japanese Zen gardens—their commitment extends to the close attention they give to making guests feel at home, comfortable, and well taken care of. Join in on a Star Party at Robert Ferguson Observatory The Milky Way stretching over the night sky of California by Rodrigo Soares - Unsplash Located in the majestic Mayacamas Mountains in northeast Sonoma County, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a striking testament to the state's vast and varied landscapes. Encompassing over 4000 acres, the park is a treasure trove of verdant valleys, craggy peaks, and sprawling meadows. Within Sugarloaf Ridge State Park visitors can enjoy the Robert Ferguson Observatory, a must-visit for anyone with a passion for astronomy. Offering a unique chance to view celestial objects through high-powered telescopes, the Observatory hosts regular star parties and events throughout the fall season. During these events, volunteers guide visitors through the universe, from the planets in our solar system to far-off galaxies. For those who prefer to stargaze alone, the park's high elevation and minimal light pollution make it an ideal location for appreciating the beauty of the night sky and connecting to the universe.


5 Ways to Explore Wyoming's Winter Wonderland

When the final leaves drift down from the treetops and the snow begins to pile up, Wyoming becomes a winter wonderland for a variety of adventure seekers. From shredding powder down a double black diamond slope in Jackson Hole to a laid-back afternoon at the spa or soaking your worries away in the mineral-bearing hot springs in Saratoga, the Cowboy State is a superior winter destination for all ages and interests. Hit the slopes in Jackson Hole For those who label themselves as expert skiers or for others who are eager to sharpen their skills on the slopes, there are many ski areas Wyoming has to offer. Known for being the first designated ski area in Wyoming, Snow King Mountain Resort in Jackson Hole has 500 acres of skiable terrain, three operating lifts, a state-of-the-art gondola, three Magic Carpets and an impressive array of 41 designated runs. Apart from skiing, visitors can also enjoy alternative winter activities such as the Cowboy Coaster, snow tubing and exploring the soon-to-launch world-class observatory & planetarium. For more information, visit Located 12 miles northwest of Jackson Hole in the picturesque Teton Village, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers an assortment of family-fun activities, an extensive skiable terrain of over 2,500 acres with 13 ski lifts and more than 130 named trails with options available for all skill levels. Visitors uninterested in hitting the slopes can always make a quick stop to ride the iconic aerial tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. For more information, visit Click here for a full list of ski options in Wyoming. Glide through enchanting wilderness trails A cross-country skier in Wyoming by Glenna Haug - Unsplash If the fast-pace of downhill skiing isn't your thing, explore some of the wilderness trails across the state. Laramie, in southeast Wyoming, offers the Tie City/Happy Jack trail network and the Snowy Range for diverse snowshoeing and cross country skiing opportunities. The one-third-of-a-mile Summit Loop provides majestic views, while Chimney Park Trail's 15 miles cater to various skill levels. The Barber Lake Trail, groomed for classic Nordic skiing, offers thrilling descents and climbs in the Medicine Bow National Forest.In Yellowstone National Park, winter enthusiasts can explore miles of groomed and ungroomed trails, but they must consult park rangers for trail conditions, as some areas are closed to protect wildlife. Among the recommended trails are the 4.2-mile Snow Pass Ski Trail, the Lone Star Geyser Trail with its geothermal wonders and the historical Bannock Ski Trail. Near Yellowstone's east entrance, Cody provides over 15 miles of groomed trails at Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Pahaska Tepee Resort. One hour south of Yellowstone, Jackson Hole offers the Shooting Star Nordic Track for dog-friendly skiing, Teton Pines Nordic Center for wildlife sightings and Turpin Meadow Ranch for resort-style skiing. Backcountry enthusiasts will find Snake River Dike and Moose-Wilson Road captivating.South of Casper, a biathlon venue boasts 26 miles of groomed ski trails, perfect for both novices and experts. Casper Mountain's 28 miles of trails and adjacent biathlon facility provide a unique skiing experience. In Pinedale, scenic trails like Sweeney Creek, Grouse Mountain and Kelly Park, cater to skiers of all levels. Finally, head to Lander, located in the Wind River Range, to explore the Beaver Creek Nordic Ski Area and Sinks Canyon for various skiing experiences. Discover a snowmobile paradise Snowy Grand Tetons by Joel Holland - Unsplash Wyoming boasts a snowmobiling paradise with over 2,500 miles of trails, including the renowned Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail System, often ranked among the best in the country. Some key destinations include the Bear Lodge Mountains with 78 miles of groomed trails, the Bighorn Mountains offering 387 miles of trails and epic snowfall, the Black Hills with 40 miles of groomed trails connecting to South Dakota and Casper Mountain providing 46 miles of groomed trails at elevations over 7,000 feet.The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail offers a 270-mile adventure through breathtaking landscapes. Additionally, the Snowy Range boasts 25 feet of annual snowfall, while the Wyoming Range offers a 335-mile trail system.Finally, Yellowstone National Park, with its abundant wildlife and pristine winter setting, provides over 3,400 square miles of exploration, open to those with authorized commercial guides and advanced reservations recommended. Dog sled through national forests Dog sledding in Wyoming - courtesy of Jason Lindsey/Wyoming Office of Tourism While Alaska often springs to mind for dogsledding enthusiasts, Wyoming also offers the opportunity to experience the thrill of this wild and snowy adventure. Located primarily in the northwest corner of the state, Wyoming boasts a selection of dogsled tour operators for travelers to explore.Take a scenic joyride with Jackson Hole Dog Sled Tours, guided by eight-time Iditarod veteran Frank Teasley, bringing guests from town to the majestic Granite Hot Springs.Roughly a 45-minute drive northeast of Jackson Hole, Continental Divide Dog Sled Adventures takes guests on a thrilling sled excursion pulled by more than a dozen Alaskan huskies through the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone national forests. Relax in natural hot springs The Thermopolis Hot Springs by Michael Kirsh - Unsplash Soak your worries away in one of many Wyoming hot springs. Free to the public, Hot Springs State Park in Thermopolis features both indoor and outdoor soaking pools, as well as attractions like a swinging bridge and Teepee Fountain. Have the family experience of a lifetime at Star Plunge, located inside Hot Springs State Park, which offers heated pools filled with mineral-rich water and additional amenities like water slides and a vapor cave.Granite Hot Springs near Jackson boasts a waterfall-fed soaking pool accessible in the winter via snowmobile, skis or a dog sled. Astoria Hot Springs Park near Jackson features man-made soaking pools rich in mineral compounds, along with amenities like snacks and a playground.Saratoga Hot Springs Resort & Spa offers a 70-foot outdoor hot springs pool and teepee-covered soaking pools, along with spa treatments like Couples Retreats. Last but not least, Hobo Hot Pool in Saratoga is a free natural spring with two pools next to the Platte River, even allowing visitors to wade into the river.


Add Some Extra Flavor to These Classic Seasonal Activities

Don't let the stress and busy-ness of the holidays take over this year. Wind down from all the excitement with the perfect drink from Bird Dog's seasonally-inspired whiskeys. The flavors below encapsulate the holidays and perfectly complement a number of classic fall and winter activities. These drinks are sure to add a festive touch to group gatherings and fun-filled days, so stock your bar at home and book those holiday plans now! Pumpkin Spice - Fall Festivals and Spooky Nights A spooky fall display with candles and pumpkins by Freestocks - Unplash Pumpkin spice-flavored items have a cult-like following, the fervor of which peaks in October just in time for Halloween events and fall festivals. Pumpkins abound—on doorsteps, outside grocery stores, and all over any variety of fall events. However, the extra kick of a pumpkin-spiced whiskey comes in handy when attempting to calm the nerves (before or after) a haunted house or extra spooky Halloween-themed activity. If you're interested in scary thrills, head to St. Augustine, Florida for the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum. Built in 1798, this house has seen its fair share of occupants. To celebrate Halloween, the Museum is offering Mortality and Mourning: A Century of Death, a family-friendly tour revealing how St. Augustinians in the 1800s practiced medicine and mourned. Tours are offered twice nightly on Friday and Saturday evenings, through Saturday, October 28. Additionally, The Colonial Quarter hosts the Halloween Spooktacular, presented by the St. Augustine Swashbucklers. Adventure through haunted grounds Friday, October 27th through Sunday, October 29th. Bird Dog Pumpkin Spice Candy Cane - Holiday Performances Ballet dancers backstage by Kazuo Ota - Unsplash As fall fades, peppermint-infused treats begin to make their way in anticipation of the Christmas season. Shows such as The Nutcracker are traditionally family favorites and performances of the classic ballet are typically available in most major cities. In addition to professional theatre, though, December is also the peak season for school holiday programs. Whether you're celebrating a festive night out in town, or recovering from a long night (or nights) of a packed family schedule, a festive candy cane-infused bourbon is a great addition to the evening. In Jacksonville, Florida, the performing arts lineup is packed for the holiday season. The theaters of Jacksonville get into the holiday spirit through the end of the year with performances of heart-warming classics and cheery seasonal programming. The Jacksonville Symphony will perform the First Coast Nutcracker in December with prized dancers and magical set pieces at the Jacksonville Center for the Performing Arts. Alhambra Theatre & Dining puts on Miracle on 34th Street from mid-November until Christmas Eve. In early December, the Ritz Theater & Museum will host the Jacksonville Christmas Spectacular, three humorous and fun stories in one show featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars DrumLine as a musical guest. Bird Dog Candy Cane S'mores - Outdoor Adventures A roaring campfire in the mountains by Courtnie Tosana - Unsplash S'mores top the list of outdoor campfire treats. If you've got a plan to enjoy the fall colors and changing of the seasons with camping, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, be sure to bring along a celebratory beverage like Bird Dog S'mores Flavored Whiskey (no campfire required!). A drink like this is especially useful if you need to wind down from a thrilling day of climbing, rafting, mountain biking, or other more extreme activities. Ride the rapids in a thrilling white water rafting trip in East Tennessee: The Ocoee River, renowned for its Olympic course, ranks among the top whitewater rivers in the US. Its 11-mile stretch transforms into a thrilling whitewater adventure, drawing over 300,000 paddlers annually. Nestled within the Bald and Unaka Mountains, the Nolichucky River boasts a nine-mile gorge, offering a wild and thrilling setting. Considered a challenging Class III or IV river, guided trips are available for adventurers aged 12 and above. The Upper Pigeon River, surrounded by the stunning Great Smoky Mountains, provides Class III rapids and a range of outfitter-guided excursions. For a more relaxed experience, the Lower Pigeon River offers gentle rapids, swimming spots, and scenic views, making it ideal for families and leisurely float trips. Designated as a State Scenic River, the Hiwassee River features predominantly Class I and II rapids, with some sections reaching Class III during water releases. Outfitters offer self-guided rafting, guided fishing, and accommodation options, making it a versatile destination for a variety of outdoor activities. Bird Dog S'mores Mesquite Brown Sugar - Light Displays and Natural Beauty Las Noches de Las Luminarias - Courtesy of Desert Botanical Garden The earthy notes of mesquite and sweet warmth of brown sugar combine to make the perfect flavor profile for a night exploring the many tree lighting ceremonies, and beautifully-illuminated outdoor spaces this time of year. Stroll through decoratively lit city parks and twinkly trees with a drink in hand, or pour a nightcap after a magical evening out. In Phoenix, Arizona, visitors can enjoy hundreds of hand-lit luminarias around the Desert Botanical Garden as live performances and entertainment, and festive snacks complete a picture-perfect evening at Las Noches de Las Luminarias. Celebrate the Mexican holiday tradition of La Posada (December 17th) with singing processions, traditional Mexican food and beverage, as well as a piñata breaking experience for children. Nearby, Old Town Scottsdale hosts Scottsdazzle, a signature holiday spectacular with an annual Sing-Along & Tree Lighting Ceremony (this year's is November 25th). Bird Dog Mesquite Brown Sugar Espresso - Holiday Shopping and City Tours Nutcrackers on display in a store window by Dare Artworks - Unsplash Holiday shopping doesn't have to be rough. Seasonal markets can be a great way to support local vendors and craftsmen, while exploring new places. Plan a night out to a big city to enjoy the markets and holiday light installations. An espresso-flavored drink matches the tone of a bustling retail atmosphere, without giving the over-stimulating punch of an actual coffee. Head to San Francisco for a fun shopping experience. Visit The Park Market at Crane Cove with local makers, live music, food and drink vendors, and family-friendly activities to one of the city's newer parks. The Trick or Treat Market on October 28 will include Halloween activities and crafts, while the series ends on November 19 with a Holiday Mercantile. Explore more of the city with a unique tour, powered by augmented-reality and Paper Tree - The Origami Store. Visitors scan a QR code at Paper Tree to begin an immersive origami adventure on their smartphones. As they stroll along Japantown's Buchanan Street, colorful red and white envelopes appear to “float in the air.” The user's proximity triggers an envelope to open, revealing a larger-than-life origami diorama. Using their smartphone, visitors can walk around the origami figures and inspect them from all angles to see the intricate folds made to create each piece. A pop-up display also shows the artist's name and which origami papers from Paper Tree were used in the work. A flock of gold origami cranes flutters across the sky once all the dioramas are revealed. Bird Dog Black Espresso Gingerbread - Make-Believe and Magic Warm drink and gingerbread by Flotsam - Shutterstock No matter what you celebrate, the holiday season has a special kind of magic to it. The end-of-the-year celebrations inspire acts of kindness, magical decor, and whimsical stories. The spirit of gift-giving and thankfulness can soften even the most scrooge-y of people. Holiday vacations from work and school—whether spent relaxing at home, with family, or at a fun destination—often center around festive meals and treats. Adding a gingerbread-flavored cocktail make a festive addition to big get togethers with friends and family. For a truly magical experience, take the family to a winter wonderland like the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tennessee which features kids activities, magical decor, ice skating, and light displays every November and December. Or, step back into a storybook with a trip on one of the many polar express train rides across the country. One of the best can be found in Durango, Colorado aboard the vintage steam train. The Polar Express Train Ride takes visitors on a narrow-gauge rail through the Rocky Mountains for an immersive re-creation of the classic holiday story. Enjoy hot cocoa and treats on the way to the "North Pole," where visitors will enjoy a light show and the train picks up Santa Claus himself. On the return trip to Durango, Santa will visit each coach and hand out the first gift of Christmas to each passenger. Bird Dog Gingerbread Sponsored by Bird Dog WhiskeyBird Dog Whiskey is proud and honored to be the most-awarded flavored whiskey on the market, earning top honors in both industry and consumer competitions. Each of its flavored whiskeys is meticulously crafted to deliver a smooth, complex, and unique drinking experience that balances a delicious flavor with real Kentucky bourbon whiskey. For more information, please visit

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The Best Towns to Trick-or-Treat This Halloween

It's estimated that US households will spend over $12 billion collectively on candy, costumes, and more for Halloween this year. With all that money, time, and energy invested in what is the third most popular holiday in the country, potential trick-or-treaters will want to know what are some of the best places to be on October 31st. WalletHub recently set out to discover the answer to this question, and ranked the best towns in America to spend Halloween this year. WalletHub compared 100 US cities using 20 metrics that included trick-or-treater friendliness; crime rates and pedestrian safety; the number of costume stores, party supply stores, and chocolate and candy stores; entertainment options like haunted houses, pumpkin patches, movie theaters, bars, and amusement parks; as well as weather forecast predictions and averages. Below are the destinations that topped their lists. Welcoming cities on the East Coast A trick-or-treater holds up a painted pumpkin by Julia Raasch - Unsplash There are several great advantages to being a large metropolitan area for Halloween. For trick-or-treating, condense city living makes it easy to hop from one household to the next and kids can easily rack up large bags of sugary loot. There's also typically lots of shopping options for costumes and candy, as well as several kinds of entertainment for all ages. Taking the top spot overall is New York, New York. The Big Apple took first place in the treat-or-treater friendliness category, and came in third for the most Halloween fun. With winter still holding off at this point in the northeast, the city even took fourth place for good weather. Additionally, New York City tied for the most costume stores per capita and candy and chocolate stores per capita—so there's no doubt that both those trick-or-treating and those passing out the treats will be well-prepared for a great evening. Nearby Jersey City, New Jersey came in at second place, just behind New York, in the friendliness category. Overall, Jersey City took fifth place. Eighth place-ranked Boston, Massachusetts also got a great rankings boost thanks to its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, which came in third in that category. Boston and the surrounding New England area is a great place for "Halloween vibes" thanks to the many intriguing, and often spooky, stories behind the historic homes and destinations in the area. It's perfectly crisp autumn weather also landed it a 27th place position in that category. Western towns with the most fun Trick-or-treat decor and pumpkins by Nick Fewings - Unsplash Second place over all went to Las Vegas, Nevada. Sin City topped the rankings for the most Halloween fun, most costume stores per capita, and most candy and chocolate stores per capita. It had modest placings in the friendliness and weather categories, but its sure be a perfect spot for those looking to party. Those without kids, especially, will likely find Vegas as the most fun place to spend a holiday with spooky attractions and adult-only thrills, and bars and nightclubs for the crowd that wants to party the night away. However, if family-friendliness is what you're looking for, check out Gilbert, Arizona, ranked 10th place overall. The Southwestern town topped the list when it came to the lowest crime rate; it also came in fourth for most friendly, third for highest percentage of potential trick-or-treaters, and fourth for highest percentage of potential trick-or-treat stops. Overall, Gilbert has the perfect recipe for a traditional night of trick-or-treating with young kids. Other Western towns performed well in the rankings, even if they didn't make the overall top 10 list. Laredo, Texas (ranked 19th overall) has the highest number of potential trick-or-treaters and is the eighth most friendly; Henderson, Nevada has the fourth lowest crime rate; and Boise, Idaho took third place for best weather forecast. Sunny destinations in California A sun-filled pumpkin patch by Maddy Baker - Unsplash California towns domination the rankings for best place to spend Halloween, with especially good showings in the "most fun" category. In addition to the wonderful weather in Southern California and along the Pacific Coast, the state has plenty of fall attractions like farms and pumpkin patches, plus a great nightlife and entertainment scene in its major cities. Los Angeles ranked fifth in the fun category and took a decent 23rd place for friendliness; overall, the City of Angels is third best place to spend the holiday. Nearby Anaheim came in sixth place overall, with a tenth place finish for most fun and 16th place ranking for most friendly. San Diego was close behind at seventh place overall, with a seventh place ranking for most fun and 20th place position in the weather category. Even California towns that didn't top the overall rankings made an impressive showing in other individual categories. When it comes to the highest percentage of potential trick-or-treaters, Bakersfield ranked second, Fresno ranked fourth, and San Bernardino ranked fifth. Santa Ana took second place for the highest percentage of trick-or-treat stops. Sacramento also took first place for the best average weather forecast on Halloween night. South Florida standouts Jack-o-lanterns by Beth Teutschmann - Unsplash Is it any surprise that Florida towns are both fun and have excellent weather, a perfect combination for a successful Halloween evening? Miami ranked fourth for most fun, tied in 20th for weather, and took 31st for friendliness, launching it into fourth place overall. Nearby Hialeah, Florida made it to ninth place overall thanks to its fifth place finish for most fun environment and 20th place tie for weather. In addition to Halloween, Florida is also the perfect place to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, thanks to its large Latin American population. —To see the full rankings and data, visit WalletHub.