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With warm fall weather and rare rain, the Bay Area is the perfect place for Halloween trick-or-treating. Finding a neighborhood with the best combination of free candy, safety and family friendliness can prove a daunting task. Here, we have ferreted out the best of the best and found the top spots for trick-or-treating in the Bay Area. For more North Bay ideas, see here.

Downtown San Carlos Goblin Walk

Each year at Halloween, the City of San Carlos puts on a Goblin Walk for trick-or-treaters seven years and younger. This year, on the Friday before Halloween from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., for three blocks along Laurel St., costumed kids can stop into any business displaying a Goblin Walk Stop sign to snag Halloween treats. Special Goblin trick-or-treat bags will be available at the Downtown Park. Older kids will enjoy heading over to nearby Eucalyptus St. on the night of Halloween to trick-or-treat in a neighborhood that goes all-out with spooky decorations and fantastic treats.

McDonald Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa’s McDonald Ave. is an area of historic homes that provide a backdrop to one of the most popular neighborhoods for Halloween trick-or-treating. While many houses are festively decked out to the nines, the trick-or-treating experience is not completed without a trip to the McDonald Mansion. Each year, the owners of this 1877 Victorian home stage an elaborate themed haunted house, complete with live actors. Prior years’ themes have included Jack the Ripper and Alice In Wonderland. The area is best for older trick-or-treaters. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Halloween and decorations are displayed outside only, as the mansion is a private residence.

Belvedere St.
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s Belvedere St. is a great pick for the younger set of trick-or-treaters. Houses in the area go all-out with decorations and the street is swarmed with costumed little ones. Head out on the early side before 5 p.m. for those overwhelmed by crowds, or around 7 p.m. for those who love throngs of happy trick-or-treaters. Parking is hard to come by with the street closed to non-resident traffic, and walking or taking public transportation to the area is recommended.

Noe Valley
San Francisco, CA

Repeatedly ranking at the top of Zillow’s best spots for trick-or-treating in the entire country, Noe Valley is a sure bet for Halloween fun. This family-friendly neighborhood has low crime, plenty of walkable sidewalks and loads of residents and businesses handing out free goodies. Early revelers can trick-or-treat at businesses along 24th St., and later visitors will have success after 6 p.m. at surrounding residences. As in many San Francisco neighborhoods, parking is not easy to come by and walking in is suggested.

Willow Glen
San Jose, CA

A long-time south bay hotspot for trick-or-treating, residents of the Willow Glen neighborhood are passionate about holiday celebrations. On the day before Halloween this year, downtown Willow Glen businesses will be holding their annual trick-or-treat event. There are separate daytime trick-or-treating sessions for the toddler and preschooler set, as well as for costumed school-age kids. After hours, area homes are festively decorated and candy is plentiful.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.