Outdoor Halloween activities for a fun, spooky holiday

Raise your spirits with some spooky fun.

The leaves are changing colors. Cool breezes have chilled the air. Pumpkin patches are popping up across the nation. All these changes signal that autumn has finally arrived. As people start to venture outside and enjoy the fall foliage, one haunting holiday looms in our collective consciousness. Now that it’s officially October, the Halloween hullabaloo can begin. If you want to get active during spooky season this year, why not try these fun outdoor Halloween activities?

While the classic Halloween past-time of trick-or-treating usually takes place outdoors, there are many more fun ways to get out and celebrate the holiday. Explore these four options to pack your season with hair-raising fun.

Visit 15 national parks on this adventurous cross-country road trip

Prepare for good times and great views.

Across the United States, 63 national parks welcome tourists looking to explore the country’s natural beauty. Majestic mountains, powerful rivers, and vast canyons are just a few of the treasures hidden within these parks. Every year, these stunning landscapes draw in millions of visitors. While most states enjoy at least one national park, it takes time and dedication to visit all of them. If you’re on a journey to fill the pages of your national parks passport, an ambitious itinerary can help jump-start the process. For inspiration, check out this cross-country road trip route that will take you to 15 gorgeous national parks

A map of the United States showing a route of national parks from coast-to-coast.

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The best hiking trails in the US and why you’ll love them

Get out and explore these terrific trails.

Most avid hikers have a few favorite trails. Whether you like coastal climbs or forest paths, there are plenty of wonderful hiking trails throughout the United States that will suit your preferences. While individual tastes vary, a handful of stunning hiking trails stand out as crowd favorites across the country. If you’re curious about which locations make the list of the best hiking trails in the U.S., explore this gallery of nine dreamy destinations. These popular spots will take you from lush landscapes along the Appalachian Trail to colorful canyons near Buckskin Gulch. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore!

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Seoul’s Han River shines at these 4 sightseeing locations

Get the best waterside views.

In Seoul, tourists can easily get overwhelmed by all the incredible sights open to visitors. With a list of attractions including historic palaces, sky-scraping towers, and bustling markets, the city offers endless ways to explore and enjoy your visit. While these fascinating destinations are worth a visit, travelers should take care not to let them overshadow one major must-visit landmark in Seoul. The Han River (also known as the Hangang River, or simply Hangang) cuts through the city and offers tons of stunning sights along its path. Tourists seeking the full Seoul experience can enjoy the Han River’s beauty at these four scenic locations.

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Sights you need to see at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Appreciate the beauty of Southern Appalachia.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park welcomes millions of visitors a year. An expansive collection of spellbinding natural wonders and captivating historical landmarks make the park a beloved destination for people from all walks of life. While Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers many things to do and sights to see, a few popular spots stand out above the rest. If you’re planning a trip to this neck of the woods, make sure you don’t miss out on the area’s most exciting attractions. With this helpful gallery of five places to visit in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can get a taste of what it’s like to adventure into one of the gems of Appalachia.

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Want to meet a shark? Here’s your chance.

A fin-tastic adventure awaits.

At the non-profit research organization OCEARCH, the motto is “facts over fear.” While many people have learned to appreciate and respect sharks, the world still has a ways to go in destigmatizing these aquatic creatures. By sharing facts and resources like the popular Shark Tracker, OCEARCH helps people overcome their shark fears. But what if reading about sharks and tracking their movement isn’t enough for you? For marine life enthusiasts who crave a more extreme experience, OCEARCH is now accepting entries for the “Meet A Shark” sweepstakes. Here are the details on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and how you can get involved.

A gray shark surrounded by fish with black and white stripes in dark blue water.

As explained in an OCEARCH press release, the “Meet A Shark” sweepstakes will invite one winner and a guest to join the OCEARCH team on an ocean research expedition. “The lucky winner will be able to watch some of the world’s top shark researchers at work and have the opportunity to meet and tag a white shark,” the press release stated.

A white and gray shark with its mouth agape in light blue water.

This experience may not be for the faint of heart, but it is an excellent way to support a scientific cause and learn more about marine life. Even if oceanic adventures aren’t your speed, other prizes may entice you to enter the sweepstakes. In addition to the grand prize trip, OCEARCH will reward 100 entrants with prize packs including a hoodie, sun shirt, hat, pair of Costa sunglasses, and custom YETI travel mug.

A white and gray shark with its mouth wide open in blue water.

So, how do you enter the “Meet A Shark” sweepstakes? Until Sept. 30, curious shark fans can enter by donating to OCEARCH or sending an email entry (instructions here). Winners will be randomly chosen on Oct. 3. Until then, satisfy your craving for more shark content with this cool live shark cam.

All aboard for these spectacular train rides through Switzerland

Find your ticket to paradise.

Europe is home to countless scenic destinations. While every region boasts unique geographic curiosities, the magical landscapes in Switzerland showcase spectacular sights seen nowhere else in the world. Tourists exploring the country can expect to see everything from soaring mountaintops to roaring waterfalls. Several incredible Swiss train routes make it surprisingly easy for travelers to enjoy these sights from a comfortable window seat. In Switzerland, train rides are a reliable and relaxing way to travel. If you’re ready to leave your car behind and go on a Swiss adventure, plan a trip aboard these five mesmerizing train rides.

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See the stars at 14 of the best stargazing locations in the US

Look at the stars, see how they shine for you.

Dedicated stargazers know how frustrating light pollution can be. In a city full of artificial lights, starry skies fade and leave only a handful of the brightest stars and planets visible. Meanwhile, less developed areas enjoy stunning night skies unobstructed by artificial lighting. While good stargazing spots can be found in countless small towns, where are the best places to see the stars? According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), International Dark Sky Parks make for an unparalleled stargazing experience.

“An IDA International Dark Sky Park (IDSP) is a land possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and/or public enjoyment,” the IDA website explains.

If you’re ready for an out-of-this-world stargazing experience, visit these 14 IDSP locations for unbeatable night-sky views.

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Enjoy Zion National Park on this gorgeous virtual hike

Don’t miss out on these sights.

Every year, millions of people flock to Zion National Park. While guests can enjoy the park through everything from camping to climbing, hiking may be the best way to experience the area’s beauty. Dazzling landscapes sweep across the land and invite adventurers to explore.

While the popular Zion Canyon trails offer plenty of picturesque vistas, the park boasts even more gorgeous sights along the East Rim and Southwest Desert. Curious to take a look at these lovely locations but don’t have the time to visit in person? Don’t sweat it. With these 10 photos, you can enjoy a virtual hike through Zion National Park. Make sure to check out these virtual tours from the National Park Service, too.

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Let this subterranean river lure you in for an unforgettable adventure

Spectacular views hide within the caves.

Journey north of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. On a coast dotted with stunning waterfalls and gorgeous beaches, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park shines as the area’s most famous natural wonder.

The underground river’s mysterious waters draw in adventurers from all over the world. Those who brave Puerto Princesa Subterranean River’s intimidating, craggy entrance will find breathtaking caves and rock formations shaped over time by the tides. A boat tour through the area also illuminates the environment’s biodiversity. Bats, snakes, crabs, and more make their homes in the cave system alongside a diverse collection of plant species. Dive into this vibrant world with these five incredible photos. 

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