Hotel San Carlos, Phoenix
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October Facts & Stats
Average high/low temperature: 89/65 degrees Fahrenheit | Average rainfall: 0.58 inches
Sunset on Oct. 31: 5:37 p.m.

GHOUL GATHERING: Nothing says civic pride like several thousand residents dressing up like possessed corpses and traipsing through downtown on a Saturday evening. Phoenix’s fifth annual Downtown Phoenix Zombie Walk (Oct. 26) kicks off at Heritage & Science Park in the early afternoon with live music, family activities and zombification stalls (with makeup artists on hand) before an evening mass-zombie movement through downtown.

HAUNTED HOTEL: Open since 1928, downtown’s Hotel San Carlos sits on the site of Phoenix’s first elementary school. Guests at the state historic landmark have filed various ghost reports over the years, including hearing laughing children running up and down the halls when no kids are actually present.

BOO-TIFUL BACCHANALIA: The biggest, bad-dest, bawdiest Halloween block party takes place on Mill Avenue in Old Town Tempe, compliments of the horde of costumed Arizona State University students who swarm the streets and bars. Actually, this might just be an average night here.

BONUS LATE-OCTOBER EVENT: What beats one tasty taco? Why, 100,000 tasty tacos, served by more than 50 restaurants and fiercely competitive teams at the fourth-annual Arizona Taco Festival (Oct. 19-20). Held at Scottsdale’s Salt River Fields at Talking Stick along with a tequila expo and live lucha libre wrestling, the event remains the only contest sanctioned by the frighteningly earnest National Taco Association.