The winter solstice is fast approaching, and with it comes longer nights, spooky attractions and better chances of interacting with nocturnal wildlife. In addition to pumpkins, skeletons and haunted houses, there are also unique opportunities to experience natural wonders when the sun goes down.
Destinations throughout the United States are offering plenty of ways for groups to embrace the night, including these attractive options.
Guided Stargazing Walks, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Alabama’s Gulf Coast is lively enough during the day, but at night, there’s even more adventure to be had. Check out the night sky’s offerings during one of Gulf Shore’s guided stargazing walks. Guests are met by a tour guide at Gulf State Park Pier to help them better understand the wonders of the stars; they may even spot a couple of creatures common to the area, such as ghost crabs and the Alabama beach mouse.
Paranormal Experience at Rockwood, Wilmington, Delaware
One Saturday per month (and multiple Saturdays in October) paranormal investigators host a gathering of up to 15 guests to explore Rockwood Museum, a haunted home built by, and home to, the Shipley family in the 1850s. During the tour, guests witness their guides communicating and tracking the spirits who allegedly occupy the house (they are said to be friendly).
Flashlight Tours of Titanic Museum Attraction, Branson, Missouri
The Titanic Museum Attraction tells the tale of the ship’s horrific end. It features more than 400 artifacts—retrieved by co-owners John Joselyn and Mary Kellogg-Joselyn during a $6 million expedition—and stories from the ship’s passengers and crew. Tours are hosted during the day, and at night guests can grab a flashlight and check out the hallways, cabins and staircases of the replica ship. Nighttime tours must be scheduled in advance.
Full Moon Hikes at South Carolina Botanical Gardens, Clemson, South Carolina
Clemson is a college town with a booming nightlife—but not in the way that most would expect. Every month when there is a full moon, South Carolina Botanical Garden hosts a nighttime trek through the gardens, with nothing but the moon to show the way. Led by naturalist James Wilkins, guests see and hear the sights and sounds of nature at night.
Bioluminescent Kayak Tours, The Buccaneer, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Groups that board The Buccaneer have much to look forward to, both day and night. They can watch the sunrise from Point Udall, the easternmost spot in the United States. Virgin Kayak Tours also offers a nighttime adventure to St. Croix’s Bioluminescent Bay, one of seven glowing bays in the world. Participants paddle in kayaks as they observe what appear to be underwater fireflies.