Home Archives 2011 October 19

Daily Archives: Oct 19, 2011

Vacation Rental Site Compiles the Spookiest Spots Across the Country to Experience a True Fright-Fest

Boston, Mass. – October 19, 2011 – FlipKey, a leading vacation rental website, today released the top spooky and entertaining Halloween destinations across the country. From the deep South to Vegas, the list features something for everyone who is ready to experience a freaky good time this year.

FlipKey’s Halloween destinations include:

Savannah, GA: Lauded as the supernatural capital of the South, historic downtown Savannah, GA is a spooky Halloween mecca for history buffs and thrill seekers! Much of the downtown area was allegedly built on top of cemeteries, and the city celebrates the spooky past every year with ghost tours, parties, and specials, including stops at the Bonaventure Cemetery and Mercer Williams House.

West Hollywood, CA: Take your Halloween celebrating to the next level joining the half million people at the West Hollywood Costume Carnival, one of the country’s biggest street festivals and largest Halloween parties! Santa Monica Boulevard is shut down to allow revelers to enjoy live entertainment, food vendors, pumpkin-carving, and children’s activities throughout the week before the holiday.

Las Vegas, NV: Las Vegas is a fabulous destination any time of year, but with fabulously glittery, famous historic visitors and over-the-top costumes and parties, Halloween is one of the most exciting times to visit Sin City! The city celebrates with countless parties and events, but you can really transport back in time with the Haunted Vegas Tours.

Tombstone & Flagstaff, AZ: Home to one of the most notorious streets of the Wild West, Tombstone, Arizona is famous for the epic gun battles that raged for years between the law and the outlaws. Up north in Flagstaff, Arizona, visit spooky landmarks featured on Unsolved Mysteries.

Salem, MA: Home of the famous 1692 Salem Witch Trials, this is the ideal Halloween destination for those seeking thrills and historic celebrations of the spooky past! The city of Salem puts on an annual parade, hosts countless tours and re-enactments, and stretches the revelry out to last all month.

New Orleans, LA: Down in the Big Easy, tourists and visitors can pick from many of the country’s best ghost tours, spanning the French Quarter to the raised cemetery, ‘Cities of the Dead.’

FlipKey features over 100,000 vacation homes around the world ranging from castles, Obama’s Summer Home, an MTV Real World House, Treehouses, Frodo’s Hobbit Hut and endless choices of wonderful beach and mountain homes. To find a vacation rental in one of our spooky cities this Halloween, visit us at www.flipkey.com.

About FlipKey
FlipKey™ is a leading vacation rental service that makes booking a vacation home simple and pain free. Featuring over 100,000 vacation homes and the world’s largest collection of authentic vacation rental guest reviews, FlipKey ensures that consumers find the ideal vacation home with unique advantages of personal space and superior amenities in ideal locations throughout the world. FlipKey has been named a “Top Vacation Rental Site” by Travel + Leisure Magazine and was ranked one of the top 10 travel websites by the New York Post. The site has been featured across a variety of top tier media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, MSNBC, SmartMoney, and the LA Times.

FlipKey is majority owned by TripAdvisor, LLC, and exclusively powers vacation rentals on TripAdvisor, which attracts more than 25 million unique monthly visitors. FlipKey is available at https://www.flipkey.com

When you hear the words. “South of France,” the first images that usually come to mind are those of the Mediterranean coast – beautiful, to be sure – but not even close to representing the entirety of the southernmost border of this country. The Languedoc-Roussillon – closer to Barcelona than to Italy – is often neglected. What awaits here, however, is a land of mystery, open to exploration.

The Languedoc-Roussillon is home to the ruins of several old Cathar châteaux, the last remaining evidence of a border between France and Occitania. The Cathars – a peaceful Christian population – were able to hide out in these châteaux, guarded by certain Catholics against the Inquisition and its accusations of heresy.

While the Cathars didn’t survive in this region, the châteaux that kept them in safety did, and many are open to the public. Ranging from Aguilar and Montségur, today merely a suggestion of the mighty châteaux that once stood atop these hills, to Quéribus and Peyrepertuse, offering a more concrete vision of the people that lived within these stone fortresses, the Cathar châteaux should be visited by all enchanted by this beautiful region.

The châteaux were built atop hills, to better their defensive value, which means that today’s explorers must climb to reach them. What better way to recuperate one’s strength upon coming back down than with a regional delicacy? Boles de picolat are Catalan-style meatballs, and while they can be made at home with a combination of pork, beef and spices, they are stewed for a long time, a preparation that can take away from your precious exploration time. Instead, let the professionals take care of the meatballs themselves — Francois Esquines sells a great jarred version — and use the prepared meatballs to develop the rest of this peasant dish in under an hour.

Recipe: Boles de Picolat

Summary: Tradition stew from Southern France


  • 1 800 g. jar of prepared Boles de Picolat (Note: If you’d like to try your hand at preparing these yourself, use ground pork and beef, grated onion and garlic to make meatballs, frying them up in peanut oil and then stewing them in a sauce of tomatoes, white wine, whole black olives, salt and pepper).
  • 1 800 g. can of white beans, drained
  • 10-15 black olives
  • 1 cup water


  1. Stew the prepared Boles de Picolat, white beans, olives and water in a covered heavy saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally and cook for an hour, adding more water if necessary to keep the beans and meatballs from sticking to the pan. Serve with local red wine and lots of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Preparation time: 2 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: French

Emily Monaco is native New Yorker, living and writing in Paris since 2007. She loves discovering new places and, of course, their local cuisines! Read about her adventures in food and travel at tomatokumato.com or follow her on Twitter at @emiglia