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Alaska

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

natural wonders in the United States

Breathtaking Natural Wonders in the United States

By Bus Travel, California, Florida, Juneau, New York, Niagra Falls

Breathtaking Natural Wonders in the United States

The world is filled with stunning natural wonders, and many of them are found right here in the United States. It is a country that seems to have it all: tropical beaches with ocean views, snowy mountain tops, dry deserts, lush, green forests … you name it, the U.S. likely has it. So where do you begin when it comes to exploring it all? In this post, we will take a look at four incredible natural wonders that you can find in the various states throughout the country.

Florida Everglades

Nicknamed “The River of Grass,” the Florida Everglades is an expansive wetlands region that consists of forests, prairies, and other awe-inspiring wonders. There is no other ecosystem quite like it on the planet which places it at the top of our natural wonders in the United States. While in the Everglades, start off with a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp: Land of the Giants. To get in, take a stroll along the two-mile-long boardwalk that leads you straight into the heart of the swamp. Once there, you’ll be surrounded by some of the oldest, tallest cypress trees in the world. There are trees in that area that stand over 145 feet tall and 40 feet wide! After visiting the Corkscrew Swamp, trek over to the Big Cypress National Preserve and walk the Tamiami Trail. It’s there that you’ll spot more than a handful of alligators living in the canals along the trail. Finally, after getting all tuckered out from hiking trails in the Everglades, hop on a tram and enjoy the scenery along the 15-mile Gator Trail. If you’re up for it, you can opt to bike along this trail instead.

Death Valley

A place called Death Valley may not seem that inviting—or sound like one of the natural wonders in the United States—but it’s definitely an incredible destination not to be missed in California. Consisting of over 3.4 million acres of wilderness, you are guaranteed to discover more than a handful of breathtaking natural wonders in this national park. To begin your trip to Death Valley, start off with an easy two-mile hike to Natural Bridge. Afterward, pay a visit to the otherworldly Racetrack. The Racetrack is a former lake that is now all dried up and left with a vast wilderness of moving rocks! It’s important to note that the only way to drive on this lake bed is if you have a 4×4 and a high-clearance vehicle before venturing into this dry, desolate area.

If a trip to the Racetrack isn’t feasible, there are still plenty of other options to choose from. Something you will not want to miss out on is a day trip to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, a desert region surrounded by massive mountains. The contrast between this flat area and the high peaks of the mountains is breathtaking. Drive to this area and get out to walk for a bit (remember to bring plenty of water) or plan a quad-riding trip through the sand dunes. Either way, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Niagara Falls

Although part of the falls exists in an entirely different country (Canada), Niagara Falls still counts as a natural wonders in the United States. There is more than one way to experience these mammoth falls, including enjoying panoramic views of them from a hotel room or getting right in them on a Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes you through the river and right underneath the falls! Don’t worry, you are prepped for the trip with a rain hat and raincoat so that your clothes will stay (mostly) dry. Another vantage point from which to view the falls can be found on the Cave of the Winds, a series of wooden walkways all around the falls. Make sure to bring your camera! The best views are often found on the walks along the Cave of the Winds.

Hubbard Glacier

You have to be pretty committed to the experience if you want to see Hubbard Glacier. You will need to be mentally and physically prepared for quite a trek to get there. This massive glacier is situated roughly 200 miles outside of Juneau, Alaska, and can be found off the Yakutat Coast. So just how big is the Hubbard Glacier? Approximately the size of a three- or four-story building (about 400 feet tall). And get this: that’s just a portion of it that shows. Most of the glacier is underwater. To see the Glacier, you’ll need to take a tour boat out onto the water. You will remain about half a mile away from the glacier, but it will still be close enough for you to see this impressive structure made by nature.

Ready to See These Natural Wonders in the United States?

Ready to start exploring just a few of the natural wonders that can be found in the United States? Start planning your trip by buying a ticket from BusTickets.com today!

References

https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm
https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/
https://www.alaska.org/detail/hubbard-glacier

Wildlife viewing at Yellowstone National Park

The Top 5 Spots to View Wildlife in the U.S.

By Alaska, Bus Travel, Florida, North Carolina, Wyoming

Top Places to View Wildlife in the U.S.

From phones and laptops to smart televisions, the constant connectivity starts to become overwhelming. Luckily, the easiest way to break the cycle is to unplug, head outdoors, and witness Mother Nature in all her glory. If you’re ready to immerse yourself in nature, take your next trip to one of these great places to view wildlife.

Yellowstone National Park

Not only is Yellowstone National Park the oldest federal park in the country but it’s also one of the most beloved. The Wyoming sanctuary’s 2.2 million acres are packed with native and migratory species, making it impossible to visit the site and not see animals roaming or flying around. The extensive list of species at the park includes:

Badgers | Bats | Bighorn sheep | Bison | Black bears | Bobcats | Chipmunks | Cougars | Elk | Gray wolves | Lynx | Mountain goats | Mule deer | River otters

There are also nearly 700 grizzly bears on-site as well as 150 bird species, including the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon.

Different areas of the park attract certain species. Lamar Valley offers the greatest variety with just about everything from wolves to bison. The biggest predators are sighted often at Hayden Valley while the grazers, like mule deer, are easy to spot at Mammoth Hot Springs. For moose, the West Thumb and North and South entrances are your best bets.

Denali National Park & Preserve

Composed of six million acres, Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska is without a doubt one of the top places to view wildlife in the U.S. The park offers nearly every type of terrain, from snow-capped mountains and forests to wide-open tundra. As such, the area is home to an impressive selection of larger-than-life animals, including moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. There are also smaller species that are just as eye-catching, like arctic ground squirrels, wolverines, and snowshoe hares.

Catching a glimpse of wildlife is a breeze in Denali National Park. In fact, you’re likely to see caribou within the first few miles of entering the park. They also congregate around water — as do grizzly bears, so the Savage and Teklanika rivers are excellent viewing spots. Dall sheep, on the other hand, prefer the mountainside, so you may need to leave the main trail and hike Mount Margaret or Mount Wright to find them.

Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park offers one of the most unique experiences for viewing wildlife in the U.S. Covering 1.5 million acres in southern Florida, the area offers a mixture of forests and wetlands that provide a safe haven for a massive amount of tropical animal species — many of which are on the endangered species list or considered threatened. This includes the American crocodile, the rare Florida panther, and more than 350 bird species.

There are a variety of ways to explore the park. Guided tours are one of the easiest options to catch glimpses of wildlife. The park offers ranger-guided tours daily, and there are also land and water tours available through local outlets. If you prefer to trek it alone, Shark Valley and Eco Pond are two excellent spots to catch reptiles and freshwater species. For birding, grab a canoe rental and head to Nine Mile Pond.

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

Located near Juneau, AK, it’s virtually impossible for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to disappoint nature enthusiasts. From bears to sea lions, it offers one of the most diverse ranges of wildlife species in the world. Along with the animals, the landscape offers spectacular views on its own.

You can explore the park on land, by foot, or over water using a chartered boat, canoe, or kayak. In the bay, you’re likely to catch glimpses of sea otters, seals, dolphins, orcas, and whales with towering glaciers glistening in the background. On land, wolves, moose, foxes, deer, and both brown and black bears are abundant in the park. There is also an incredible variety of birds — 281 species to be exact, with the highest density being present during the summer months.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spanning over 522,000 acres in North Carolina and Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beautiful locations to view wildlife in the U.S. The heavily-wooded, rolling landscape attracts a variety of species, including wild turkeys, woodchucks, white-tailed deer, and elk. There are also around 1,500 black bears living in the park. With such a high density, you’re likely to see one on your adventure, so be sure to stay aware, bring bear mace, and avoid getting closer than 150 feet to one.

The Smoky Mountains are densely covered with trees and shrubs. While the scenery is breathtaking, it’s not always easy to spot wildlife out in the open. For the best viewing opportunity, head to one of the open landmarks in the park, like Cades Cove. You may also have a better chance of exploring early in the morning when many of the species are active.

Go Wild & Save with BusTickets.com

Ready for your great outdoor escape? Visiting one of the top places to view wildlife in the U.S. is simple and convenient with BusTickets.com. Our platform allows you to browse routes, compare prices, and book your travel any time of the day or night. The wilderness is waiting — book your bus tickets today!

References

https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/dena/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/glba/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm

There are so many places where you could pop the question. Make sure it's about you and your partner.

Ready to Propose? 5 Perfect Locations to Pop the Question

By Alaska, Anchorage, Bus Travel, Georgia, Indiana, Savannah, Vermont, Woodstock

Once you’ve found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with, one of the biggest struggles is deciding where to propose. You want to convey just how important and valuable your partner is to you, and the right setting can help you accomplish exactly that. If you’re ready to make the move but can’t decide where to pop the question, these five destinations are sure to impress.

1. Woodstock, Vermont

The aesthetic appeal of Woodstock, VT makes it a top destination for fall travel, but its lush forests and historic charm create a naturally romantic atmosphere year-round. In fact, the biggest challenge is choosing the exact spot to pop the question. If you’re a couple that enjoys the great outdoors, head to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park where just about every trail in the park offers a picturesque experience. There’s also an on-site mansion available for guided tours. While the house itself is spectacular, the gardens are an excellent location to propose, especially right next to the fountain.

For an idyllic New England backdrop, there’s no better spot than a covered wooden bridge. The Middle Bridge is the city’s most beloved option. Since it still serves vehicle traffic, use the pedestrian-only walkway on the side for your big moment. Other potential locations to consider include the Woodstock Inn, the Taftsville Covered Bridge, and Faulkner Park.

2. Anchorage, Alaska

Choosing where to pop the question is simple if you’ve ever been to Anchorage, AK. The city offers one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. At Chugach State Park, you’ll find easy access to mesmerizing mountains and striking lakes as well as the 10-story-tall Portage Glacier. Want the glacier in the backdrop at your big moment? Boat tours are available from the visitor’s center. Or, if you’re planning a winter getaway, hold off asking until dark — a minimal wait during Anchorage’s short winter days — and choose a clear spot under the northern lights.

Not satisfied with a ground-level proposal? Head to the skies! Anchorage is one of the top skydiving locations in the country. Book a tandem jump for both of you with Alaska Skydive Center. Popping the question mid-fall may be a challenge, but there’s plenty of time to have the landing site prepared with a large sign your partner can see from the sky.

3. The Grand Canyon

What better spot to host an unforgettable moment in your lives than one of the most iconic locations in the U.S.? The Grand Canyon offers virtually limitless possibilities for proposal spots. The South Rim is the most popular location to visit, offering a host of landmarks and exceptional observation spaces, including Mather Point.

There are also plenty of opportunities for adventure. If you want to go deep into the canyon before popping the question, book a guided tour on foot, mule, or bike. You can even stay overnight with a camping trip at the area’s many approved lodging sites. For a truly breathtaking experience, head to the West Rim. The area’s glass-bottom Skywalk offers a clear view of the bottom of the canyon 4,000 feet below — perfect for making a lasting impression.

4. Savannah, Georgia

The irresistible southern charm of Savannah, GA, will put just about anyone in the mood to say, “I do.” It’s hard to match the romantic scene set by Forsyth Park. Spanning 30 acres, the city park’s walking paths are lined with oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and the air is filled with a sweet floral scent from the many flowering plants. Choose the Fragrant Garden for a moment surrounded by impeccable natural beauty, or grab a spot in front of the larger-than-life fountain for an Instagram-worthy proposal shot. On the other hand, if your loved one prefers a touch of gothic with their romance, the spooky Bonaventure Cemetery is sure to set the mood.

5. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, IN is the perfect city for a romantic weekend escape for two, offering pre- and post-proposal activities for every type of couple. On the big day, enjoy a romantic dinner at the renowned St. Elmo Steakhouse before taking an intimate carriage ride throughout downtown or a gondola ride at White River State Park. When it’s time to pop the question, visit the picturesque sunken gardens at Garfield Park, or opt for a formal affair with drinks and skyline views at the Eagle’s Nest.

Pop the Question Without Breaking the Bank With BusTickets.com

Now that you know where to pop the question, it’s time to make your dream a reality. Fortunately, BusTickets.com allows you to achieve that feat without breaking the bank. Our user-friendly online tool lets you instantly compare ticket prices among the industry’s top bus carriers. Don’t let the right moment pass you by — book your bus tickets today!

References

https://www.nps.gov/mabi/index.htm http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/aspunits/chugach/chugachindex.htm https://www.anchorage.net/winter/things-to-do/northern-lights-viewing/ https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm https://grandcanyonwest.com/explore/west-rim/skywalk-eagle-point/ http://www.savannahga.gov/351/Parks-Playgrounds http://www.savannahga.gov/498/Cemeteries http://www.blueribboncarriages.com/ https://www.whiteriverstatepark.org/ http://funfinder.indy.gov/#/details/134 https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/indiana/hyatt-regency-indianapolis/indri

A beautiful road opens up to a tunnel covered by lush fall trees. The perfect road trip destination for fall lovers.

5 Breathtaking Travel Destinations to Welcome the Fall Season

By Alaska, Arkansas, Asheville, Bus Travel, Camden, Conneticut, Eureka Springs, Maine, North Carolina, Torrington, Vermont, Woodstock

From beach vacations to camping trips, summer gets a lot of attention. Yet, there are many travelers who spend the entire season counting down the days until fall. If you can’t get changing leaves and crisp, cool mornings out of your head, you’re not alone. Here are the five best travel destinations for fall lovers.

1. Camden, Maine

No other region of the country quite nails gorgeous autumn foliage like New England, and Camden, ME is one of the best spots to view it. Bask in a foliage sea of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows with a trek through Camden Hills State Park. The park spans over 5,700 acres, all of which is explorable by hiking the area’s many trails. While the observation point on Mount Battie provides exceptional views of the bay, the sweat-inducing climb up Mount Megunticook offers the most picturesque reward, as it’s the highest peak in the area.

If you prefer water views, take a boat tour from Camden Harbor along the tree-lined coast or go kayaking on Megunticook Lake, which is surrounded by woodlands. However, you don’t need to venture far from the village for spectacular autumn views. The Penobscot Bay town’s High Street Historic District offers the ideal combination of eye-catching architecture and beautiful local foliage. Finish off your village stroll with a fresh plate of seafood served alongside impeccable views at Peter Ott’s on the Water.

2. Asheville, North Carolina

Fall in Asheville, NC comes slightly later than in the northeast, but when it does arrive, it’s sure to take your breath away. Even though it’s a metropolitan area, the city is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are covered in a forest. After a long, hot summer, there’s no better way to welcome in fall than immersing yourself in the Pisgah National Forest. Covering over half a million acres, the forest offers numerous opportunities for hiking, fishing, biking, and picnics. Outdoor enthusiasts also have the option to camp.

If you prefer a more tame adventure, head to The North Carolina Arboretum. The botanical garden spans 434 acres with manicured trees, gardens, and well-groomed walking and biking trails. The site also offers guided garden and trail walks weekly, as well as ArborEvenings every Thursday, which features live music, local drinks, and food. For a similar experience, tour the Biltmore Estate’s lavish iconic gardens, followed by a tasting at the on-site winery.

3. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

The Ozark Mountains’ natural beauty attracts visitors year-round. Yet, the hillsides truly come to life in late September when cooler weather arrives, making it one of the best travel destinations for fall lovers. Since Eureka Springs, AR is considered the heart of the Arkansas Ozarks, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

The steep hills throughout Eureka Springs provide fantastic views of the area, so you don’t even have to leave town to enjoy yourself. For the best visibility in town, grab a coffee at Eureka Daily Roast and take a stroll through Downtown. For a more in-depth nature experience, view the woods from above thanks to the Ozark Mountain Ziplines, or rent a kayak and head out to Lake Leatherwood City Park.

4. Woodstock, Vermont

If there’s any possible way to enhance the appearance of fall foliage, it’s achieved by adding covered wooden bridges, gently rolling hills, and historic architecture. Luckily, Woodstock, VT is home to all three. The quaint town offers a stunning landscape, which is made incredibly apparent at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park. The park offers multiple walking trails — surrounded by spectacular trees, shrubs, and flowering plants — that cross the Middle Covered Bridge and lead to the historic Carriage Barn. Tickets for the ranger-led programs are available with bundled admission to the Billings Farm and Museum.

5. Torrington, Connecticut

Fall in Torrington, CT peaks in mid-October and offers around a month of mesmerizing views. Nearby Paugnut State Forest is a must-see location, offering over 1,700 acres and various trails. For an unforgettable look at the Litchfield County countryside in fall, hike up Walnut Mountain, which is the Torrington’s highest point. If you want to take your viewing experience up a notch, book a hot air balloon ride over the county.

Find the Best Deals on Fall Bus Travel With BusTickets.com

Want to immerse yourself in autumn foliage but worried about your budget? Booking a trip to one of the best travel destinations for fall lovers doesn’t have to break the bank. The handy price comparison tool at BusTickets.com allows you to compare ticket rates instantly in real-time. Simply choose your destination, compare rates, and book the most affordable trip — it’s really that easy. Don’t let fall pass you by — buy your bus tickets today!

References

https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/doc/parksearch/details.pl?park_id=14

Home

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48114

Homepage
Home

http://eurekaspringsdowntown.com/

http://www.ziplineeurekasprings.com/

Home

https://www.nps.gov/mabi/index.htm

https://billingsfarm.org/

https://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=435626&deepNav_GID=1650