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Top 3 US Wedding Destinations

By Bus Travel

Top 3 US Wedding Destinations

There’s a lot that goes into planning your wedding day. From selecting the entertainment to finalizing the guest list, you have so much to do—but you can’t do any of it until you select a location first! If you’re planning a destination wedding, you might be uncertain about how to proceed. After all, there are hundreds of [great places](http://bustickets.com/) to consider throughout the country. Here are three of the top US wedding destinations to keep in mind.

Calistoga Ranch

If you’ve always dreamed of an outdoor wedding, then Calistoga Ranch, California, is a perfect choice. Not only will your guests have the opportunity to travel to the gorgeous Napa Valley, but they’ll also get to stay at one of the state’s most magnificent retreats. The ranch is set on 157 acres of beautiful woodland dotted with oak trees and accented by a glimmering lake. The on-site event team will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your ceremony is customized according to your every wish.

There are several locations here where you can exchange vows. With mountains looming in the distance, lovely Lake Lommel can provide the perfect backdrop for photographs. You can host your entire event here, and your guests can enjoy everything from dancing in the moonlight to sipping a refreshing cocktail on the lawn.

If you prefer a little more coverage, consider the Vineyard Venue. The tent is open on all sides so that you can take advantage of the fresh air while still adding some rustic elements like wooden floors and copper fans.

You can even hold your wedding inside the Wine Cave, a truly mesmerizing spot lit by old-world sconces and topped by a vaulted ceiling. It’s the ultimate spot for a more intimate affair.

The Sterling Castle

Does your dream wedding involve plenty of good, old-fashioned Southern charm? Make your way to The Sterling Castle in Alabama for an epic event you’ll never forget. The venue has hosted hundreds of weddings through the years, and its history is impressive. The story begins nearly 30 years ago when the owners purchased a cedar shack with a tin roof. They slowly grew it from its humble size to an awe-inspiring 14th-century-style castle.

Your guests won’t believe their eyes when they arrive. The Sterling Castle features a moat and a drawbridge, a game room, a bookcase with a secret passage, and a basement with a theater. Each room is designed to reflect the era; dark woods, sumptuous fabrics, and ornate furnishings contribute to a fairytale-like atmosphere. You might opt to hold the ceremony outside by the lake or near the drawbridge. You can also keep it more intimate indoors in front of the fireplace, which is also a great place for photos.

Red Cedar Farm

Bring your rustic wedding fantasies to life at Red Cedar Farm in Poulsbo, Washington. The stunning grounds alone may be what convince you to host your nuptials here, but you’ll be just as taken by the century-old renovated barn and the opportunity to play with farm animals while you’re here. It’s easily one of the top US wedding destinations for anyone who seeks something a bit different.

Your Red Cedar Farm experience all begins with a welcoming iron gate that ushers you onto the 25-acre landscape of shading trees and greenery. Everywhere you turn, you feel at one with nature—a soothing atmosphere especially suitable for a low-key or small wedding. There’s a spacious deck where you and your guests can celebrate beneath the stars, as well as a rustic, wood-clad pinball gallery where guests can play and mingle.

Book Your Stay at a Top US Wedding Destination Today

Are you inspired yet? These are just a few of the top US wedding destinations you may want to consider for your special day. Head to BusTickets.com today to secure your affordable journey.

References

https://aubergeresorts.com/calistogaranch/

http://www.thesterlingcastle.com/

http://www.redcedarfarm.com/

Small Town Travel: 5 Must-See Small Towns

By Bus Travel, Carmel By The Sea, Ellicottville, Harpers Ferry, Leavenworth, New York, Stuart, Washington

5 Cute Small Towns You’ve Never Heard of—Until Now

When it comes to vacation and travel in the U.S., there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the classics. Infamous cities like Miami, Las Vegas, and New York are all tourist traps for a reason—they’re bursting at the seams with energy and excitement.

There comes a time, however, when you begin to crave something new. Something different.

As opposed to the bright lights of a big city, you begin to crave the gentle lure and cozy atmosphere that only a small town can provide. And there are thousands of small towns all around the country worth exploring—each one unique in its own way.

Perfect for families in search of wholesome fun, couples looking for a romantic getaway, or solo travelers en route to new adventures—there’s no demographic left out when it comes to finding the perfect small-town travel destination.

But, the best thing about going to explore small towns is also the worst thing about small towns—they’re hard to find. The very nature of a small town is hidden, exclusive, and quiet. This makes it difficult to know where to go.

Here at BusTickets.com, we pride ourselves on being your go-to source for everything about U.S. travel. So for those looking to explore small towns, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five of the cutest small towns you’ve never heard of—until now.

Leavenworth, Washington

Located in central Washington state, the small village of Leavenworth is a beautiful sight to behold. The architecture and atmosphere of Leavenworth are styled like an authentic Bavarian village, with Alpine-style buildings featuring German restaurants and shops.

The village serves as a gateway for wineries and ski resorts, as well as many unassuming and unique attractions like the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which features a vast collection of nutcracker figurines, some of which are centuries old.

Leavenworth’s cozy atmosphere and old-world aesthetic drip with charm, making it the perfect low-key travel destination for families and couples alike.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Settled upon California’s Monterey Peninsula, this beach city is a hidden gem within the Golden State, attracting a loyal following of leisure-loving travelers.

Unlike most cities in California, what Carmel-by-the-Sea treasures most is its history, offering a cornucopia of interesting museums and historical sites. The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is the most notable of these, as the historic landmark in which the city was founded around.

Satisfyingly quiet, Carmel-by-the-Sea is perfect for those who love to explore small towns. Decorated with fairytale cottages and home to many boutique restaurants and shops, this coastal city combines a small-town atmosphere with beachfront relaxation for a most enviable vacation experience.

Ellicottville, New York

New York is a state largely defined by the Big Apple. But tucked away in the western region of the state and far from the hustle and bustle of NYC, is the small village of Ellicottville, which promotes an entirely different mode of thinking.

Outfitted with boutique shops, breweries, and charming little restaurants, Ellicottville exudes the classic image of small-town America. These small-town creature comforts aren’t the only thing available to Ellicottville, however. The village is also home to two ski resorts, including Holiday Valley, that feature cross-country trails and an adventure park.

Additionally, outdoor enthusiasts will be pleased to know Ellicottville offers close proximity to Rock City and McCarty Hill state forests, where hiking trails and wildlife draw many curious explorers.

Stuart, Florida

Popular tourist cities like Orlando and Miami first come to mind when thinking about the Sunshine State, but the gorgeous landscape and year-round warm climate in Florida benefit more than just the tourist traps.

Small towns like Stuart, located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, are well-kept secrets among many local Floridians. Therefore, if you’re making your way to Florida intending to explore small towns—you’d be best advised to head to Stuart.

Known to many as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” the vibrant small town of Stuart gives its visitors a slow-paced atmosphere amongst gorgeous coastal scenery. Historic homes, pastel-colored and half dilapidated from the salty air, set the charming aesthetic and tone of Stuart, where many water sports enthusiasts travel to fish, boat, and kayak.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Landscape artists live to paint places like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Carved into mountains and intersected by rivers, this gorgeous small town offers the perfect escape from the modern world.

Harpers Ferry is the ideal archetype for a low-key getaway with a cute, downtown aesthetic. A handful of eclectic shops, restaurants, and breweries are available for some healthy indulging, and some great historic landmarks like Harpers Ferry National Historical Park feature walking trails, a Civil War museum, and John Brown’s Fort.

If visitors to Harpers Ferry are seeking adventure in the outdoors, you don’t have to look far, as the town serves as a gateway to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Jefferson Rock.

Hop on a Bus to Explore Small Towns

There’s a whole world of small towns across the U.S. where charming atmospheres, friendly locals, and humble attractions converge to create unforgettable experiences. Don’t waste any time; start exploring these small towns with BusTickets.com. Purchase your tickets and start planning your trip today!

References

http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/

Museum

https://www.holidayvalley.com/

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

https://www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/historyculture/jefferson-rock.htm

3 Tips for Traveling With Pets

By Bus Travel, Packing Tips

3 Tips for Traveling With Pets

Going on vacation is a great way to relax and get away from it all. While you’re busy packing, make sure you don’t leave one very key family member behind: your fur baby! Although it may not always be practical to take your pet along on your trip, in some instances, it’s a great idea and can even help you unwind more effectively while you’re away. Here are some tips for traveling with pets to ensure that it goes smoothly.

Pack a Pet Essentials Bag

Just like you need your plush travel pillow and your cozy travel shawl, your pet needs a few essentials to stay comfortable on the road, too. Why risk having a cranky pooch or kitty who misses his favorite toy? Toss it into a bag along with food, any necessary medications, first-aid items, a leash, a collapsible bowl, grooming products, and waste bags.

Assuming you’re heading to pet-friendly accommodations, you’ll need to take your animal outside for regular walks and fresh air. Having all these items close at hand will minimize the possibility of any sudden emergencies developing while you’re out and about. It may also help to bring along a beloved blanket—something that smells like home so your pet will feel more comfortable when he’s nestled inside. This is one of those tips for traveling with pets that is often overlooked—don’t neglect to bring a little touch of home with you!

Research Pet-Friendly Hotels

If you’re going camping, you don’t have to worry—your pet will feel right at home in the great outdoors!

If you’ll be staying at a hotel or resort instead, you need to make sure that your accommodations of choice are as welcoming to animals as they are to humans. Pet-friendly hotels are everywhere, and many of them go the extra mile to provide cat and dog owners with the provisions they need to properly care for their animals when they’re away from home.

Some properties charge a small fee for pet check-ins, but others have none at all. Look for luxurious extras that promise to make the getaway even more luxurious and enjoyable for your pet. Many of the Four Seasons properties, for example, offer in-room extras like bowls topped off with Evian water, soft pet beds, and tasty treats. Some even have dog room service menus! Make sure to research the hotel’s pet weight limit, if any, and inquire about their on-site rules. Can you bring your pet along to the common areas? Are animals permitted in restaurants or by the pool? Is there a pet cleaning fee? All these factors may influence your stay, so do some thorough research before you leave.

Prepare for Emergencies

Nobody wants to imagine that something might happen to their beloved pet on the road — and in all likelihood, it won’t. But it’s always best to be prepared. If you do nothing else, take these preventative measures. They’ll actually help you feel even more relaxed while you’re away from home. First, make sure that you have your animal’s medical records available in case you need to make a stop at the nearest veterinary clinic. Before you leave, make sure you make note of the closest 24-hour veterinarians at your destination so you can be prepared in the event of an emergency.

Then attach an additional tag to your pet’s collar with contact information for your accommodations. Include the hotel’s name, address, and phone number, along with the dates of your stay. Finally, make sure that your pet stays hydrated throughout the trip. Fresh, cold water will prevent your animal from overheating while on the road.

Keep These Tips for Traveling With Pets Handy

You’ll need these tips in your back pocket as you prepare for another epic vacation with your beloved pet! Whether you’re going camping, planning a staycation in the nearest big city, or traveling to another state, it’s important to be prepared for anything. Expect to have a great time, but always be prepared for anything that a change of scenery might bring. Pets are creatures of habit, and as a responsible dog or cat parent, you know how important routines are to them. By staying by their side every step of the way, you can rest assured that everyone will enjoy themselves.

Book Your Pet Vacation Today

Ready to get started? Visit BusTickets.com to find the perfect location for your next family and pet vacation!

References

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/home-living/a-guide-to-dog-friendly-hotel-chains-in-the-united-states/

https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Traveling-with-Your-Pet-FAQs.aspx

How to Plan a New Year’s Dream Beach Getaway

By Hawaii, Virginia

How to Plan a New Year’s Dream Beach Getaway

New Year’s Eve is not necessarily the most relaxing of holidays. Between the unrelenting crowds and the insane traffic, it can be enough to make a resolution never to travel again. If you want to do something exciting but don’t want to deal with the chaos that comes along with the holiday, however, it’s entirely possible to have a good time by planning a new year’s dream beach getaway.

There are so many reasons to consider heading to the shore for the holiday. Sure, others may have the same idea, but you’re far less likely to run into these dismal situations when you’re enjoying the day (and night!) in a tropical locale. Here’s how to make sure that your trip goes smoothly.

Prioritize Your Budget

Before you do anything, make sure you establish a budget for your vacation. It’s far too easy to go overboard on spending, and you can easily lose sight of how much you’ve already put into the trip after booking your hotel room and planning how you want to spend your time. Make sure you have a specific amount in mind and allow yourself a little wiggle room if you have a tendency to overspend. By staying within the parameters of the budget, you’ll feel more comfortable.

Get Your Plan Straight

Make sure you have a pretty solid idea of where you want to go. This will depend largely on your travel companions. If it’s just you, your options may only be limited by cost. If you’re with your significant other, you might be more interested in planning a romantic getaway so that you can usher in the new year in an unforgettable way. If it’s both of you and the family, then there are some other factors to consider, like children’s activities and whether you’ll be able to get away for a while to steal a few moments on your own.

Consider a Tropical Getaway

If your idea of the ultimate new year’s dream beach getaway involves plenty of sunshine, lush and exotic surroundings, and lovely warm water, you won’t find anywhere better than Hawaii. The tropical paradise is an absolute dream for anyone who wants to escape from the chaos of their own lives. You don’t have to look far to find something to do. The entire family will love Waikiki’s annual fireworks display, which includes more than just mesmerizing sparklers—there’s live entertainment like DJs and concerts plus plenty of delicious food. If you’re in Maui, consider staying at either the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea or the Grand Wailea Resort for phenomenal views of the fireworks. For daytime fun with the kids, stop by the Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center in Honolulu for New Year’s at Noon, an annual event for little ones to create unique crafts, partake in fun games with other kids, and enjoy the balloon drop at noon. It’s an easy way for the little ones to have some classic NYE fun of their own!

Take a Scenic Approach

You don’t have to do anything outlandish or unusual just because it’s a holiday. You can easily maximize your time at the beach by spending it doing all the things that you might normally do by the shore—with some festive additions thrown in for good measure. Many opt to spend their new year’s dream beach getaway at Virginia Beach. The ambiance here is generally calm, making it a great place to visit whether you’re with your family or traveling as a couple. If you’re with your special someone, book the New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruise via Spirit and spend at least three-and-a-half hours cruising on the Elizabeth River. You’ll enjoy a platinum open bar, a midnight champagne toast, and complimentary snacks and party favors. Naturally, there are also beautiful views of the Atlantic Fleet, along with live entertainment and a full dinner buffet.

If you’re with your family, don’t miss the Virginia Beach Holiday Lights at the Beach. Kids and adults alike will be in awe of the wondrous light displays, which include everything from crabs to fish to elves, along with Santa Claus himself and a giant Christmas tree situated directly on the beach. It’s humbling to witness the display in person, and it’s the ultimate family-friendly new year’s experience!

Book Your New Year’s Dream Beach Getaway Today

If you’re inspired to get away from it all and book your new year’s dream beach getaway, now is the time to book those tickets! Head to BusTickets.com to secure your affordable journey.

References

https://bestthingshi.com/new-years-first-night-celebrations/

Deciding Between Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s? Go for the Cold!

By Alaska, Aspen, Bend, Bus Travel, Colorado, Oregon

Deciding Between Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s? Go for the Cold!

Going _anywhere_ for New Year’s Eve requires some serious planning. Going on vacation, however, calls for some next-level decision-making. If it’s between snow vs. beach for New Year’s, don’t completely toss the idea of a cold destination in favor of a warmer, sunnier climate. Sure, spending your winter in a tropical environment is appealing, but there’s something decidedly more seasonal and festive about ringing in the New Year in the snow. Here’s why it’s such a great idea.

Make Some Holiday Magic

Yes, you can hang out on the plush sand at the beach and share a kiss at the stroke of midnight, but technically you can hang out at the beach any day of the year and enjoy the same warm conditions. But celebrating the holiday in the snow is something you can really only do once a year. Some areas of the country go all out in creating unforgettable New Year’s festivities that truly outdo anything you could ever hope to experience on the beach.

Case in point: the snowshoe tour in Bend, Oregon. Led by a professional guide, you’ll arrive at a crackling bonfire in the heart of an amphitheater completely hand-carved in snow. Hot beverages and mouthwatering desserts are served, and you’ll spend the evening learning about the surrounding forest while gazing at the clear night sky before ushering in the New Year. Between the crisp weather and the magnificent environment, you’ll wonder how you ever got through a celebration without it!

View the Northern Lights

Why go to a rowdy bar or watch the ball drop on television when you can experience something absolutely awe-inspiring in person? Watching the Northern Lights on New Year’s Eve in Alaska is a humbling experience unlike any other. If there was ever any doubt about the snow vs. beach for New Year’s debate, this should surely simplify your decision.

While there are several great places to visit, among the worthiest of your time is Alyeska Resort. It’s approximately 40 miles from Anchorage, making it an easy-to-access destination that provides you with exquisite views of the Aurora Borealis. The resort recommends staying for a few days so that you have an optimal chance of viewing the Northern Lights in all their glory. It may even bring you a stroke of good luck if you believe in such things. Scandinavian fishermen, who called the lights “sillblixt,” believed that the lights were caused by reflections from fish scales, and so spying the lights were considered a sign of a big haul to come. If you happen to catch the lights as you ring in the New Year, you could take it as a sign of good fortune and abundance to come.

Enjoy a Cozy Celebration

If your traditional celebration involves ringing in the New Year in the presence of hundreds of others at a crowded venue with loud music in the background, then you could probably do with a change of scenery. While the beach is certainly a gorgeous environment to celebrate any holiday, you’re more likely to deal with the same types of grounds in a sunny place. Winter destinations are considerably less crowded, and you can easily carve out some quality alone time with your family or significant other if that’s what you crave this year.

Once you’ve settled your snow vs. beach for New Year’s dilemma, you can focus on where you want to go. One of the most intimate spots is Viceroy Snowmass, a stunning resort near Aspen, Colorado. The beautiful property is situated in Snowmass Base Village, which puts you within proximity of everything from ice skating to skiing. When you’re ready to unwind, retreat to Toro Kitchen & Lounge for a hot meal by the fireplace or enjoy a healing massage before welcoming the New Year.

Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s: Where Are You Headed?

Inspired to plan an epic snow vacation to ring in the New Year? Visit BusTickets.com to snag your affordable tickets today.

References

https://www.wanderlusttours.com/new-years-eve-bonfire-on-the-snow

http://www.alyeskaresort.com/events-activities/winter-northern-lights-viewing

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/expert-traveller/experiences/nature-and-gardens/11-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-northern-lights

https://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/snowmass