Travel's Best for 2014

Luxury hostels, Cuba, local brew pubs and the Jersey Shore – they’re all reasons to pack your bags in 2014. See what hot destinations and travel trends are our favorites for 2014.

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ScareHouse (Pittsburgh, PA)

ScareHouse (Pittsburgh, PA)

ScareHouse is the place to be this year, especially because it has an exclusive partnership with Legendary Entertainment to help create the scariest Halloween to date. Featured attractions include The Summoning, Pittsburgh Zombies: Black Out and The Basement. This Halloween haunt offers a big-budget sensibility without losing its hometown appeal. “ScareHouse is my pick because sociologist and ‘fear expert’ Margee Kerr is always on staff to research and develop new ways to truly disturb visitors,” says geek culture and paranormal pop-culture expert Aaron Sagers. 960 1280

ScareHouse  

Fright Dome (Las Vegas, NV)

Fright Dome (Las Vegas, NV)

Located in Circus Circus’ Adventuredome, the Fright Dome is one of Las Vegas’ largest and longest-running Halloween attractions. With 6 new haunted houses, the theme park is transformed into a pitch-black, lights-out, haunted spectacle – easily making it the scariest on the Strip. The 5-acre theme park also includes 25 rides and attractions, multiple live shows at night and 4 new scare zones, including the Clown Overload Zone. “My personal nightmare of clowns with glowing eyes surrounding me came to life,” says Zak Bagans, lead investigator of Ghost Adventures. “I had the worst panic attack. Needless to say, I’ll go back again, because it was badass!” 960 1280

  

Netherworld (Atlanta, GA)

Netherworld (Atlanta, GA)

With more than 200 animated monsters and 100 live actors, Netherworld is one of the nation’s most famous attractions. Having been featured on TV and in movies such as Zombieland, this spooky attraction has amazingly detailed sets. “And unlike other Halloween attractions, Netherworld’s creepy characters greet patrons in the parking lot before they purchase tickets, scaring them off before they even enter,” says Larry Kirchner, owner of HauntWorld.com and Halloween Productions. 960 1280

  

The 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The 13th Gate is one of the most, if not the most, elaborately detailed haunted houses in America, thanks to a construction crew that includes award-winning set designers, lighting and sound technicians, and special-effects artists. Sets are over-the-top and feature live animals, including snakes and gators. In each of the 13 themed indoor and outdoor areas, more than 100 professional actors and 12 special makeup artists help bring the horror to life. “Hollywood production companies have rented the attraction multiple times to film movies such as The Reaping,” says HauntWorld Magazine owner Larry Kirchner. “The 13th Gate is, without any doubt, one of the best haunted houses in America.” 960 1280

  

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted House (Weston, WV)

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Haunted House (Weston, WV)

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is one of the most memorable haunted locations for Ghost Adventures lead investigator Zak Bagans, who completed a live 7-hour investigation with the Ghost Adventures crew. The spirits that roam the asylum’s halls are extremely active, and tours are offered to see how the mentally insane lived and died within these walls. “It is undeniably the scariest overall haunted attraction that I’ve been to in the US, outside of the Fright Dome,” Zak says. Additionally, visitors can participate in zombie paintball, a fall festival and the Asylum Ball, which includes a costume contest. 960 1280

  

13th Floor Haunted House

13th Floor Haunted House

The 13th Floor Haunted House is the largest and longest indoor haunted attraction in Colorado. It was renovated this year with 2 new attractions. “Watch evil take control of unwilling bodies in Undead: The Possession, or run for your life as terrifying ghouls and monsters come alive as you walk through Dwellings of the Dead,” says TravelChannel.com video project manager Arthur Hsu. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology such as Microsoft Kinect, the robotic monsters are more than capable of frightening the victims who dare to venture into the 13th Floor. 960 1280

  

Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, MD)

Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, MD)

This haunted spectacle outside Baltimore is one of the top Halloween attractions in the mid-Atlantic region. It features 3 terrifying haunted houses — Medieval Underworld, Inferno 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity — and the owners of this popular haunt continue to add monsters and twists to keep the attractions exciting for new and returning visitors. Arthur Hsu says, “Not only has Bennett’s Curse been featured on Travel Channel’s America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions 3, but it has consistently been ranked by several sources as one of the best Halloween attractions in the US.” This spooky spot is also among the first to frighten its victims with the latest cutting-edge technology. 960 1280

  

Halloween Horror Nights (Orlando, FL)

Halloween Horror Nights (Orlando, FL)

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando should be at the top of anyone’s Halloween bucket list, especially fans looking for big-budget scares. Aaron Sagers says, “Movie industry experts craft haunted houses so loaded with detail that visitors walk through and feel like they’ve been dropped into an episode of The Walking Dead or the movie From Dusk Till Dawn.” Other popular attractions featured at the theme park include Bayou of Blood, Dollhouse of the Damned and Roanoke – Cannibal Colony. Those willing to face their fears can also enter, at their own risk, the Halloween house for a face-to-face meeting with Michael Myers, the iconic masked slasher from the movies. 960 1280

ROBERTO GONZALEZ  

Festival of the Dead (Salem, MA)

Festival of the Dead (Salem, MA)

Salem, MA, is historically known for the 1692 Witch trials that left 20 people executed. This year’s Festival of the Dead includes 2 weeks of events and parties designed to bring out your inner Witch. Attend a séance to speak with the dead, share your stories with others at the Mourning Tea, pick up new ghost-hunting techniques or learn about death’s macabre customs and strange rituals. Finish the festival with the Official Salem Witches’ Ball on Oct. 31, and you’ll leave this town spellbound. Author, TV personality and paranormal expert Jeff Belanger says, “This town will cast a spell on you.” 960 1280

Chad Champoux  

Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)

Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA)

The Queen Mary was built in the early 1930s as a luxury trans-Atlantic ocean liner, but it was pressed into military service to carry troops during World War II, when hundreds died in and around the ship. This Halloween, the haunted ship is offering its Dark Harbor tours with 4 new attractions: the Soulmate maze, the B340 maze, Voodoo Village and Monster Midway, which features a freak show, a mechanical monster and a new ride, the Sinister Swings. “Keep your eyes open, because those ghostly apparitions you see may not just be another special effect,” says Jeff Belanger. And before you go, make sure you check out the Ghost Adventures’ lockdown and investigation of the Queen Mary. 960 1280

  

Fan Favorite: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville, KY)

Fan Favorite: Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Louisville, KY)

We asked and the majority of the people who responded on Twitter and Facebook told us that Waverly Hills Sanatorium, in Louisville, KY, should be the fan favorite pic for Travel’s Best Halloween Attractions 2014. Built in 1908, the original building was designed to accommodate up to 50 tuberculosis patients. Today, it’s the site for paranormal investigations, tours and creepy sightings. Add it to your must-see spooky spots on Halloween. 960 1280

unknown  

Hermitage Bay - Antigua

Hermitage Bay - Antigua

"Hermitage Bay, a true barefoot luxury all-inclusive resort, has 25 cottages nestled in 16 acres of lush tropical gardens and fronted by a gorgeous beach. The resort provides informal dining where every meal feels privately catered to the guest’s specifications and desires. Don’t miss out on the Garden Spa, where the treatments are influenced by the ancient Eastern concept of chakra." -- Anthony Melchiorri, Hotel Fixer, Hotel Impossible 960 1280

Hermitage Bay  

Beaches - Turks and Caicos

Beaches - Turks and Caicos

"The all-inclusive Beaches resort is the perfect destination for a fun-filled family beach vacation, with endless distractions for kids of all ages. Tots, tweens and teens can enjoy fun games with Sesame Street characters, 'Sizzlin' teen disco and the Pirates Island Waterpark. Adults can relax at Red Lane Spa and enjoy sumptuous meals at the resort’s 19 restaurants." -- Anthony Melchiorri, Hotel Fixer, Hotel Impossible 960 1280

Beaches Resorts  

Amanyara - Turks and Caicos

Amanyara - Turks and Caicos

"This resort won my wife and me over with its attention to detail, great food choices and access to a variety of activities. Amanyara was the perfect choice for our wedding and for a recent 24-hour retreat from the kids. Couples can indulge in a spa day or a private dinner on the beach. We loved returning to our room each night to discover the small, thoughtful gift the Aman team left for us during the turndown service." -- Shane Green, Hospitality Consultant 960 1280

Amanresorts  

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hayman Island - Great Barrier Reef, Australia

"Hayman Island provides access to a variety of wildlife, including exotic fish, a 400-pound grouper named 'Jacko,' wallabies and kookaburras. Hayman provides the perfect combination of activities and indulgences for both water sports enthusiasts and foodies like me. Visitors should not miss the chef’s table or the private dining events hosted under the stars by world-class winemakers and chefs. This island retreat holds a special place in our hearts, as we lived here for 2 years, overseeing the reimagination of the resort." -- Shane Green, Hospitality Consultant 960 1280

Hayman  

Howie's Homestay - Chiang Mai, Thailand

Howie's Homestay - Chiang Mai, Thailand

"At Howie's Homestayin Chiang Mai, guests check into a house with exquisite gardens and antique-filled rooms that has been featured in Architectural Digest. The owners, an American expat and his Thai wife, tailor the experience to your interests based on their insider knowledge, taking you on elephant treks, temple visits and shopping expeditions or leaving you to lounge by the pool as you like. Only one group, family or couple can book at a time, so the house is truly a luxury hideout of your own in Southeast Asia." -- Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder of Indagare.com 960 1280

Howie's Homestay  

Mii amo Spa - Sedona, Arizona

Mii amo Spa - Sedona, Arizona

"My favorite American spa is really better described as a 16-suite wellness resort because you can pursue whatever kind of ‘well-balance’ you are looking for -- whether that is based on losing weight, getting fit, reducing stress, reconnecting with nature, bonding with friends or kick-starting a healthier lifestyle. The 3-, 4- and 7-day programs include both group classes like cooking, tennis and yoga, as well as personalized services such as facials, massages and psychic healing." -- Melissa Biggs Bradley, Founder of Indagare.com 960 1280

Mii amo Spa  

NIZUC Resort and Spa - Cancun, Mexico

NIZUC Resort and Spa - Cancun, Mexico

"Nizuc Resort has been the most luxurious resort in Cancun since it opened in September 2013. There are 274 rooms, suites and villas, many of which come equipped with private infinity pools. Within the resort complex, there are 6 high-end restaurants, the gorgeous indoor/outdoor ESPA spa with a detoxifying hydrotherapy circuit, a secluded beach and plenty of privacy. The resort -- tucked within lush foliage along a stretch of mangroves and beach -- offers a terrific all-inclusive Endless Indulgence package." -- Jimmy Im, Travel Personality 960 1280

NIZUC Resort and Spa  

Travaasa Hana - Maui, Hawaii

Travaasa Hana - Maui, Hawaii

"Acquired by new owners in 2011, Travaasa became the first resort in Maui to offer an all-inclusive package, which includes fitness classes. It's not common to find all-inclusive hotels in Hawaii -- so I love it here. This hotel has rustic cottages (no TVs or clocks) and a spa with an outdoor lava-rock whirlpool. In addition to its cool, retro Hawaii décor, Travaasa provides unique experiences for its guest. Where else can you do yoga in the morning while humpback whales do a backflip in the distance right before your eyes?" -- Jimmy Im, Travel Personality 960 1280

Travaasa Experiential Resorts  

Grand Resort and Spa - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Grand Resort and Spa - Fort Lauderdale, Florida

"Experience the relaxing atmosphere of gay-owned-and-operated Grand Resort and Spa. In addition to its spacious rooms, this resort provides guests with a variety of amenities, including an oversized heated pool for swimming laps, a fitness center, an award-winning spa and a courtyard for nude sunbathing. Splurge on 1 of their 5 all-inclusive packages, like the Romance by the Sea Package, which provides 2 lucky lovers with champagne/wine upon arrival, a choice of 50-minute couples’ massage and more." -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer, Travel Channel 960 1280

Kwin Mosby  

ME Cancun - Cancun, Mexico

ME Cancun - Cancun, Mexico

"ME Cancun is an adult-oriented luxury resort that only allows guests to book accommodations as a ‘complete experience’ package. This resort’s 417 rooms all have breathtaking ocean or sunset lagoon views. All-inclusive services and facilities include 2 adults-only pools, a 24/7 fitness center, an E-space with library, the Beach Club, a world-class YHI Spa and more. All food, drinks, entertainment and activities are included in the price you pay." -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer, Travel Channel 960 1280

Meliá Hotels International  

Sandals Grande Antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua

We have a fan favorite winner and it’s… Sandals Grande Antigua! Our fans voted for this romantic resort as their pick because it offers guests the best of 2 worlds -- the authentic seaside Caribbean Grove and the 6-star, all-suite Mediterranean Village -- in one all-inclusive vacation. In addition to its great location on Antigua’s best beach (Dickenson Bay), this Sandals resort has 7 bars serving premium liquors, 11 specialty restaurants, butler service, 6 pools and the award-winning Red Lane spa. We clearly understand why this resort won your vote. 960 1280

Sandals Resorts  

Lodge in Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Lodge in Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Wedding Salon founder Tatiana Byron’s favorite honeymoon spot is Londolozi's Granite Suites in South Africa. This uber-exclusive lodge in one of the original private game reserves consists of just 3 incredibly spacious, stand-alone suites. 960 1280

Londolozi  

Cultural and Culinary Tour of Spain

Cultural and Culinary Tour of Spain

For 2015, the luxury travel group Black Tomato's co-founder Tom Marchant believes Spain in particular is emerging as a perfect honeymoon destination. With its incredible gastronomic experiences, amazing art and architecture, and luxurious properties this is the ideal spot for a luxurious and culturally immersive honeymoon. 960 1280

Black Tomato  

Spice Up the Romance in Zanzibar

Spice Up the Romance in Zanzibar

Dubbed the “Spice Islands,” Zanzibar was the hub of both the spice and slave trades, and its capital city, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jenna Mahoney, Bridal Guide's travel editor, recommends staying at Kilindi Zanzibar, an intimate beachside retreat of 15 individually appointed, villa-like accommodations. Mahoney says to savor not only the scenery and impeccable service here, but also the literal melting pot of Zanzibar via the hotel’s fantastic cuisine. 960 1280

Elewana Collection  

A Private Villa in St. Barts

A Private Villa in St. Barts

The best way to honeymoon in St. Barts? Rent a villa with a pool and hot tub says Wedding Salon founder Tatiana Byron. Be sure to select a villa rental agency with a permanent presence on the island, so it will be able to assist you in booking everything from a sunset cruise to a private chef and spa services.     960 1280

Don Hebert/The Image Bank/Getty Images  

Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

Tom Marchant, co-founder of bespoke luxury travel group Black Tomato, suggests that couples maximize their time away post-nuptials by combining different destinations and experiences. His pick for intrepid honeymooners? An action-packed adventure in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.  960 1280

Black Tomato  

Mini-Moon in a Private Cabin in Pennsylvania

Mini-Moon in a Private Cabin in Pennsylvania

A perfect spot for a “mini-moon” (a 2-4 night getaway)? Bridal Guide travel editor Jenna Mahoney suggests Relais & Chateaux Lodge at Glendorn in Bradford, PA. This sprawling resort in the Allegheny Mountains is driving distance from Pittsburgh, NYC and Columbus, Ohio. 960 1280

The Lodge at Glendorn  

Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Katie Frederick, founder of the honeymoon planning service Ever After Honeymoons, recommends the Great Barrier Reef for an unforgettable romantic getaway. Another can’t-miss activity for honeymoon couples Down Under? “Taking a helicopter ride over the Whitsundays, where you can see the famous heart-shaped reef!” Katie says. 960 1280

One&Only Resorts  

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Stargazing in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The reason that Bridal Guide travel editor Jenna Mahoney picks the Atacama Desert as a top honeymoon destination? Stargazing. “Hands down, there is no other place on the planet where the night skies are so spectacularly clear — a reason why the international space station ALMA is here.”  960 1280

Tierra Atacama Hotel Boutique & Spa  

Overwater Bungalow in Cambodia

Overwater Bungalow in Cambodia

Staying in an overwater bungalow is a dream for many honeymooning couples, as Katie Frederick, founder of honeymoon planning agency Ever After Honeymoons, very well knows. Honeymoon in your own intimate paradise at the stunning Song Saa Private Island, a pair of islands set off the coast of Cambodia with just 27 villas, either overwater or in the jungle, all featuring private pools. 960 1280

Song Saa Hotels & Resorts  

Mediterranean Cruise

Mediterranean Cruise

For those who want more than just a beach or a quiet hideaway, Shane Green, host of Resort Rescue and veteran hospitality consultant, suggests a Mediterranean cruise to take in the romance, culture and indulgences of the region. If you want something a little more exclusive and private, he recommends the small-ship, yacht-style Windstar Cruises.  960 1280

Windstar Cruises