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The best places to stargaze in the US are all around you. Go book a bus ticket today!

Love Stargazing? Three Areas You Have to Visit

By Arizona, Bus Travel, California, Pennsylvania

Whether you’re an astronomy buff or you simply appreciate the beauty of a full moon, there are always opportunities to explore the night sky on a deeper level. You may have a favorite spot in your town where you go to stargaze but planning your vacation around this celestial activity is an easy way to elevate your experience. As you plan your bus journey, consider adding the best places to stargaze in the U.S. to your must-visit list.

1. California

The Golden State offers countless stargazing opportunities throughout the state. To begin, the most obvious destination: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is the state’s largest park and one of the most respected in the country for stargazing. Even nearby communities limit their lighting to avoid polluting the starry skies here. It’s the state’s first International Dark Sky Community — a designation afforded only to those districts that are dedicated to preserving the night sky. Book a tour with Dennis Mammana through Borrego Night Sky Tours if you’re new to stargazing, or set up camp and enjoy the beautiful views with your own equipment.

Death Valley National Park is recognized as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the nation. Once known as the Inn at Furnace Creek, the park is approximately two hours from Las Vegas and just shy of four hours from Los Angeles. This distance from the largest nearby cities allows for clearer sky views undisturbed by obstructions. The park regularly hosts stargazing opportunities, but it’s just as eventful to go on your own or with fellow enthusiasts.

2. Arizona

Arizona is one of the most incomparable states in the country for stargazing. The combination of clear skies and great weather contributes to a wonderful environment for observing the stars. The key is to avoid more populated areas in order to evade light pollution that might take away from the experience. If you don’t have much experience, a visit to Kitt Peak National Observatory is a smart choice. The privileged location hosts numerous radio and optical telescopes, and you can even take part in a program held by the visitors’ center if you don’t know quite where to begin.

Among the clearest and most pristine areas to gaze at the stars is Sedona. It’s one of the few Dark Sky Communities on the planet, a significant distinction that it earned for its continuous efforts to minimize light pollution. There are dozens of observation areas throughout Sedona: Turkey Creek Trailhead, which you can hike and explore during the day and set up your star station in the parking lot come evening; Crescent Moon Picnic Site, which is an ideal for a spot of lunch or dinner before you walk the trails in search of the perfect stargazing spot; and the one-mile Centennial Trail, which leads to the Cultural Park trailhead and provides flawless views of the surrounding mountains.

3. Pennsylvania

Officially the only Dark Sky Park in Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best places in the state to observe the stars in complete darkness. Although it’s one of the best places to stargaze in the U.S. at any time of year, it’s best to schedule your visit during prime stargazing season: fall and winter are especially appropriate because it’s cooler, humidity levels are lower, and there’s more time to enjoy the night sky. It’s also a bit busier during the warmer months, so you’ll have more opportunity to explore in solitude when temperatures drop.

Another option is the Sproul State Forest. It’s a dream for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, leave the cell phones behind, and avoid the creature comforts of home. When you’re here, you’re at one with your surroundings. Thick forests and winding trails create a challenging environment that is both fun and humbling. There’s ample safe space to set up camp and enjoy the stars above when the sunsets.

Book Your Stargazing Getaway Today

The best places to stargaze in the U.S. are only a few clicks away! Whether you’re new to stargazing or have been at it for years, you’ll be enthralled by the beautiful surroundings in these unforgettable locations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable getaway today.

References

https://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/stargazing-anza-borrego-desert-state-park

International Dark Sky Communities

http://www.borregonightskytours.com/

Stargazing

https://www.noao.edu/kpno/

The Ultimate Guide to Stargazing in Sedona: When, Where & How
Stargazing at Cherry Springs

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateForests/FindAForest/Sproul/Pages/default.aspx

The US is full of beautiful lakeside getaways.

The 4 Best Places for a Lakeside Retreat

By Arizona, Bus Travel, Kentucky, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin

Imagine yourself sitting in a wooden rocking chair on a porch beside a crystal-clear blue lake. You’re surrounded by towering pine trees and equipped with simple luxuries: a good book and a glass of mint tea. Why not make this scenario a reality for yourself? Seize the day and plan your escape to a beautiful lakeside retreat.

1. Lake Powell

Lake Powell, sitting on the border of Utah and Arizona, is so much more than a quaint lake in a remote, wooded area. Technically a reservoir on the Colorado River, Lake Powell is surrounded by a handful of other famous, natural wonders, such as Glen Canyon National Park and all the marvelous attractions it offers, including Antelope Canyon. So what can you do on your trip to Lake Powell? Begin by canoeing on Lake Powell itself and stopping off on the rocky shores intermittently to cool off or indulge in a picnic lunch. After a bit of time on the water, venture to other sights surrounding the lake, namely the Colorado River for a lazy river tubing tour.

Once you’re ready to dry off and take advantage of dryland activities, plan a trekking execution to Horseshoe Bend, perfect for a day hike. Start off at the Dam Overlook, then hike to the Hanging Garden, and finish off at Horseshoe Bend for a 1.5-mile round-trip hike. If you still have more energy to expend, hike a bit further to Antelope Point and the Chains.

2. Lake Champlain

A picturesque lake in Vermont? What could possibly sound more inviting than that? If you’re coming from New York, take the scenic route over the Lake Champlain Bridge Heritage Area, or if you’re already in Vermont, experience the view on that bridge via the bike path or the pedestrian walkway. Afterward, head to Ballard Park, a plush, green, open area perfect for picnicking by the lake.

If you’re in Lake Champlain during the summer, you’re likely to catch a live music concert. For hiking, take to the Champlain Area Trails, which invites visitors to explore over 200 miles of trails. Finally, plan a day trip to Ausable Chasm. It is the oldest natural attraction in the country and was first established in 1870. Wander the more than five miles of forest trails, tube or river raft down the Ausable River, and rock climb or rappel down the magnificent cliffs surrounding the river.

3. Lake Winnebago

Lake Winnebago, located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is an ideal vacation destination for every type of traveler: the free-spirited solo traveler, the senior citizen, the family with young kids, the newly married couple. Everyone is invited to Lake Winnebago. Walk a wooden bridge to the 1987 Asylum Point Lighthouse, grab some grub (specifically all-American classics like wings, hot dogs, and hamburgers) at the community staple Friar Tuck’s, and sample chocolates at Hughes’ Home Maid Chocolates. They pride themselves on creating delicious treats made solely with locally sourced ingredients and providing a vast selection of sweets, including Easter eggs, cherry cordials, creams and oysters, and dark chocolates. For water activities, take a cruise on the Loos Cruise, a paddlewheel riverboat with food and a full bar. Other water activities to try at Lake Winnebago include tubing, Jet Skiing, speed boating, paddleboarding, kayaking, and canoeing. You’ll see plenty of fellow boating enthusiasts during your lakeside retreat!

4. Lake Cumberland

Another beautiful lake to check out is Lake Cumberland, located in Jamestown, Kentucky. Drive over to the neighboring town of Russell Springs and enjoy the many recreational activities available at the Lakewood Country Club. There you’ll find an 18-hole golf course, a driving range, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a snack bar. For boating on the lake, rent a boat from Lake Cumberland State Dock Marina. They have any boat you’re looking for, whether it’s a speed boat or a pontoon. After spending several hours on the lake, enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants near the marina. Another appealing aspect of Lake Cumberland is the Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. Surrounding the lake, you’ll find miles of trails perfect for hiking, running, and even horseback riding. There are also plenty of beautiful areas throughout the park for camping in a tent, trailer, or cabin. If you’re up for a drive, visit the nearby parks, including General Burnside State Park and Daniel Boone National Forest.

Ready for your relaxing lakeside retreat? Make it happen! Buy a bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!

There are beautiful small towns all over the U.S. Get out there and visit!

Quintessential Americana: 4 Small Towns Everyone Needs to Visit

By Arizona, Arkansas, Bus Travel, Kansas, Lindsborg, New Hampshire, Seligman

There’s nothing quite as refreshing as getting out of the busy city and exploring a quiet, welcoming small town. Fortunately, there are hundreds of nostalgic little communities scattered across the U.S. that offer the quintessential Americana experience. If you’re due for a much-needed escape, these are the four American small towns you should visit.

1. North Conway, New Hampshire

North Conway, NH is nestled next to the majestic White Mountain National Forest. With fewer than 2,500 residents, the quaint village’s scenic views are only enhanced by its impressive selection of charming shops, eateries, and inns — all of which are only a short walk from one another. Local Grocer is one of the community’s most iconic spaces. Serving as both a grocery store and eatery, you can grab snacks to go, meet the locals, or enjoy a full meal from their in-house deli and bakery. Or, head next door to the Table + Tonic for some handcrafted cocktails and farm-to-table grub.

When it comes to retail therapy, Downtown North Conway is the place to be. Stop by White Birch Books for an afternoon read, or hit up the Toy Chest for a unique selection of toys and games. Craving some outdoor time? Finish off your day with a hike out to Echo Lake State Park for a swim and a water-side picnic — just don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the spectacular views.

2. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

When it comes to charm, it’s hard to beat the streets of Eureka Springs, AR. Dating back to 1880, the quirky little town is only home to 1,200 permanent residents but attracts thousands of visitors each year — and for good reason. The community preserved the majority of the historic buildings in the area, creating a sense that you’re stepping back in time to a simpler way of life.

From conventional to eccentric, the city’s winding streets are lined with small, local businesses. To truly take it all in, explore on foot, popping in and out of shops as you go. While the artsy traveler won’t want to miss out on the J.A. Nelson Gallery or Wilson and Wilson Folk Art, collectors and shopping hobbyists will want to hit up Town Shop, Sonya’s, and Packrats Paradise. If your trip is so full that you can’t hit the streets, be sure to at least stop by the Eureka Market for a throwback mom and pop shopping experience.

As with all idyllic small American towns, Eureka Springs offers plenty of spooky ghost stories and folklore. If you’re up for a scare, head to the historic — and allegedly haunted — Crescent Hotel for a tour, followed by a walking tour through Downtown from Haunted Eureka Springs.

3. Seligman, Arizona

Located on historic Route 66, it’s hard to find a more nostalgic Americana location than Seligman, AZ. In fact, the community even served as the inspiration for Cars the movie. For that reason alone, it’s an American small town you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

In the mood to fill up your suitcase with memorabilia? Stop by the Route 66 Motorporium for some souvenirs, unique T-shirts, and custom artwork. Or, grab some memorable gifts for friends and family at the Rusty Bolt Gift Shop. For food, hit one of the many retro eateries in town for burgers, fries, and a shake, such as J&R Mini Mart and Cafe or the Snow Cap Drive-In. If you visit in spring, be sure to schedule your trip around the Route 66 Fun Run. The three-day event features a parade of hundreds of classic vehicles cruising from Seligman to Kingman.

4. Lindsborg, Kansas

While Lindsborg, KS may have a strong Swedish heritage, it’s a quintessential small American town dedicated to hard work, tradition, and community. One of the biggest draws of the town is its biennial Svensk Hyllningsfest, which is held in October. The event celebrates the city’s original Swedish settlers with food, exhibits, live music, vendors, and traditional dances.

If you can’t make the festival, there’s still plenty to see and do. The Birger Sandzén Memorial Art Gallery features works by the famed artist of its namesake as well as contemporary creators, while the Red Barn Studio Museum focuses on pieces from beloved local artist Lester Raymer. Up for a trek? Head outside of town to the Coronado Heights Castle.

Save on Your Small-Town America Getaway With BusTickets.com

Now that you know which American small towns you should visit, the biggest challenge is choosing just one. Luckily, with BusTickets.com, you don’t have to miss out on unforgettable adventures. Our price comparison tool allows you to always find the best rates so that you can travel more and stress less. Your quintessential American getaway awaits — book your bus tickets today!

Having the vacation of your dreams doesn't have to break your traveling budget.

Cheap Travel: Where to Go on a Budget

By Arizona, Bus Travel, Finger Lakes, Grand Canyon, New York, Oregon, Portland, Virginia, Willamsburg

If you’re strapped for cash and sure that there’s no way you can actually go on an enjoyable vacation, you might be surprised to learn that it’s absolutely possible to get away from it all without spending a fortune. The key? Find the cheapest travel destinations that provide you with endless options for activity and exploration without sacrificing a thing in the process. If you’re wondering where to go on a budget, here are a few ideas.

Williamsburg, VA

Offering a combination of history, scenery, and fun all in one spot, Williamsburg is among the most enjoyable and educational places to visit in Virginia. The center of the American Revolution, Williamsburg is the place to walk in the footsteps of the country’s Founding Fathers. You can tour Colonial Williamsburg for free, enjoy an affordable meal in one of the old-world taverns, and listen to the informative costumed interpreters share details about the area’s storied past. You can also take in spectacular views during a free 15-minute ride on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.

If you’re especially intrigued by the area’s history, explore the Native American, Revolutionary, and Colonial artifacts at the York County Historical Museum — all without paying a penny. And if you’re all about exploring the area on foot, take some time during your summer schedule to head to Merchants Square for the complimentary Summer Breeze Concert Series. For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s also worth a visit to the Williamsburg Botanical Garden situated in Freedom Park. It’s packed with vibrant native plants, and there’s also a picnic space where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. There are several reasonable lodging options in town, ranging from family-friendly hotels to historic inns.

Grand Canyon, AZ

It may surprise some to learn that the Grand Canyon is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the country. This national park in Arizona provides plenty of opportunities to have a great time on the cheap. Note that the National Park Service allows free admission on select days of the year, usually to coincide with a national holiday like Veterans Day weekend or Presidents’ Day. There are also plenty of affordable hotel rooms in Flagstaff, which is roughly 90 miles from the South Rim and home to the closest bus connections, too — always check dates and rates well in advance of your journey so that you can get the best possible rate for the season.

Another cheaper option is to camp out in your tent; there are several campgrounds in the vicinity, many of which provide beautiful views and outstanding rates. It’s busiest during summer, so keep that in mind when planning your itinerary. If you can’t avoid a warm-weather getaway, consider visiting the less-congested North Rim instead. There are free shuttle buses in the park to transport you to museums, restaurants, hotels, or wherever you’re headed.

Portland, OR

Portland is largely known for its incredible restaurants and natural beauty. But this Oregon destination is also a great place to travel on a budget! It’s easiest to get around town using the TriMet light rail system or rent a bike — both are just a few dollars a day. Hotels here run the gamut from low-end to luxury; among the most inexpensive are those situated near Portland International Airport. There are even a few beloved, quirky hostels in the area that are well worth it if you’re determined to keep spending to a minimum.

Don’t miss the Portland Aerial Tram, which is free if you’re riding down one way or a few dollars if you’re going round trip. It takes you on a four-minute journey over Marquam Hill and provides spectacular mountain views. Or catch a movie at the circa-1923 Laurelhurst Theater and enjoy a classic with the family. If you’re just wandering around, make your way to Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown; there are countless free events that occur year-round. Hoyt Arboretum, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and the International Rose Test Garden are also free to enter, as well as being a great way to make the most of your time in this dynamic city.

Finger Lakes, NY

Napa isn’t in the cards for everyone. If you’re a wine-drinking enthusiast, though, a trip to Finger Lakes, New York, is a sensible alternative that’s also relatively easy on the wallet. The key is to plan in advance to make the most of your getaway. There’s a lot to do at this upstate destination that resembles something from a postcard. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to escape the chaos of the city, reconnect with nature, and enjoy mouthwatering meals and wine. There are several affordable attractions in the area, including the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Skaneateles Lake, Watkins Glen State Park, and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

Book Your Affordable Getaway Today

A trip to one of the cheapest travel destinations in the United States is just a few clicks away. Head straight to BusTickets.com to find transportation that’s reasonably priced and incredibly comfortable.

References

https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/

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

https://www.tripsavvy.com/travel-guide-grand-canyon-459727

https://www.travelportland.com/

https://www.tripsavvy.com/free-activities-in-portland-oregon-2743044

https://www.fingerlakes.org/things-to-do

A Photo of One of the Creepiest Ghost Towns in America.

5 Creepy American Ghost Towns You Have to Visit

By Arizona, Arkansas, Bodie, Bus Travel, Colorado, Goldfield, Nevada, Rhyolite, Santa Claus, St.Elmo

In a country known for its magnificent historic sites and natural wonders, you may not even consider its many ghost towns. The United States, however, is packed with desolate cities that have seen better days. Once-bustling communities dwindled when residents abandoned them in the aftermath of the Gold Rush. The beauty of these haunting towns is that they remain fairly unscathed today — and while a few residents might be found in a few of the creepiest ghost towns in America, they’re largely abandoned. Here are five to consider for your next getaway.

1. Santa Claus, AZ

One wouldn’t imagine a town that shares a name with jolly Saint Nick to be so lacking in festive elements, but then Santa Claus is no ordinary town. The Arizona spot was developed in 1937 by a realtor whose goal was to create a lively resort town. True to its name, the holiday-themed locale drew visitors from far and wide for a few years. There were cute Christmas-themed properties galore, including the beloved Santa Claus Inn with a popular restaurant, but by far, the most well-known feature was the post office. It was the one place where kids could send mail to “Santa Claus”! Over time, though, its popularity diminished, and by the 1970s its heyday was well behind it. The once-brilliant likenesses of Mr. Claus himself, the formerly twinkling lights, and the pretty ornaments all faded, and today the town barely hints at its festive past. Some buildings are padlocked, others vandalized, many graffitied. You feel a sense of prickly unease as you wander the now uninhabited town whose streets and quaint buildings once rang with laughter!

2. St. Elmo, CO

The derelict remains of St. Elmo, CO, don’t look especially impressive at first glance. You have to remember, though, that this is one of the creepiest ghost towns in America. It was founded in 1880 and swiftly drew thousands of people thanks to its gold and silver mining opportunities. It was a truly vibrant, active town complete with a school, saloons, hotels, and a general store. But as the mining industry slowed, people quickly escaped town in search of other opportunities. By the 1950s, it was almost completely abandoned. That hasn’t stopped curious travelers from stopping through town, however, and if you’re so inclined you can even rent a cabin for a night — or for under $500 for a full week! The facilities can hold up to three people, and they’re suitably rustic and perfectly in keeping with what you might expect of a residence in a rather isolated town. Don’t forget to stop by the still-open general store for a snack or an antique souvenir to take home with you.

3. Bodie, CA

Once upon a time, Bodie, CA, was home to some 10,000 people. As is the case with many other ghost towns in the country, it experienced its boom during the California Gold Rush. By the late 19th century, there were more than 60 saloons in the town — but as gold supplies dwindled and mines closed, people followed suit. By the early 1940s, it was but a shadow of its former self. The beauty of Bodie, however, is that it’s remarkably well preserved. It’s a National Historic Site and is considered preserved under “arrested decay.” The term accurately describes the more than 170 buildings that still line Bodie’s streets. Although officials will not restore these properties to their former glory, the town will never fall into a state of disrepair either thanks to protections provided by the state. That’s largely why it’s so popular with tourists — and while you aren’t permitted inside the homes or the still-standing church, you can take a tour of the stamp mill and observe many of the relics that remain in the exact same place that they were left decades ago. Eerie, indeed.

4. Rhyolite, NV

Among the most popular ghost towns in Nevada is Rhyolite. It was founded in 1904 when it became a hotbed for enthusiastic miners who transformed it into a highly active and prosperous town. One of its most noteworthy features is a building constructed of 30,000 champagne, beer, and whiskey bottles. Due to the high price of labor and materials, it was far easier for builders to create dependable structures with bottles, which were readily available. Although it reached a point of disrepair during the 1920s, it was renovated for use on film sets several decades later. You can see remnants of the town’s former three-story bank, general store, and train station — and even wander inside some of them if you’re so inclined.

5. Goldfield, AZ

If you want to enjoy a more interactive ghost town, pay a visit to Goldfield, AZ. As one of the creepiest ghost towns in America, it boasts a fascinating history and a few ghosts to go along with it. It found glory in 1892 when gold mining was at its peak. Naturally, the supply dwindled eventually, and slowly everyone left town. Arizona’s acting governor, George Young, revived it briefly, but by the 1920s, the town was essentially abandoned for good. Today, it enjoys prestige as the only real ghost town in the Valley of the Sun. There’s plenty to do here, whether you want to take a walk down Main Street or pay a visit to the Goldfield Superstition Museum to learn more about the area’s background. The majority of buildings that stand are recreated, so it’s more of a tourist spot than some of the other ghost towns you might consider.

Book Your Ghost Town Getaway Today

If you’re ready to take a vacation of an entirely different kind, head straight to BusTickets.com to book your ghost town getaway today. You’ll make memories to last a lifetime while enjoying a taste of what life was like in bygone eras.

References

https://www.arizonahighways.com/blog/santa-claus-arizona-brief-history

http://www.st-elmo.com/

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=509

http://www.lovethesepics.com/tag/arrested-decay/

https://www.ghosttowns.com/states/nv/rhyolite.html