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Bus Travel

Five 2019 Christmas Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

By Bus Travel, California, Chicago, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Five 2019 Christmas Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it, the excitement for brilliantly bright lights, festive treats, and fun parties. Yet, for serious fanatics of the holiday season, there’s nothing quite as inspiring as a festival. If you fall into that category, don’t fret! There are a few 2019 Christmas festivals that take their celebrations above and beyond just waiting for your visit.

Christkindlmarket – Chicago

From St. Patrick’s Day to New Year’s, the Windy City knows how to celebrate, and Christmas isn’t an exception. Since 1996, Chicago has held an epic open-air holiday market known as Christkindlmarket, which attracts over one million visitors annually. The festival begins the Friday before Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Eve, coinciding with the city’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Regardless of the weather, the German-inspired event creates a magical atmosphere in Daley Plaza with free admission. The warmly lit market features handmade gifts, holiday-inspired decor, and plenty of food and drinks, including German potato pancakes and sauerkraut. There’s also a Kinder Club available, which offers fun events like scavenger hunts and passports for younger market-goers.

A Colonial Christmas – Jamestown, Virginia

If you want to enjoy the holiday festivities with a historical twist, then head to the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia. The living history museum provides insight into the traditions of the English colony, as well as those of the Powhatan Indian tribe. Running from December 20th to the 31st, there are daily demonstrations, live music, and performances from the Lord of Misrule.

The celebration extends to the American Revolution Museum in nearby Yorktown. Instead of a recreated fort, the museum is based on a working colonial farm with a Continental Army encampment. During the Christmas festival, visitors get a glimpse of authentic holiday traditions in the 18th century, as well as military demonstrations. You can visit the events separately or purchase a combination ticket at a reduced rate.

Historic Philadelphia Franklin Square Holiday Festival

At Philadelphia’s Holiday Festival, the city looks to both the past and the future by lighting up the night. The family-friendly event features over 75,000 lights strewn throughout Franklin Square park. The festival pays homage to Ben Franklin with its Electrical Spectacle light show, which features a 12-foot-tall lighted kite and lighting choreographed to music. The light show takes place nightly from the middle of November to New Year’s Eve, with vendors on-site throughout the duration.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco

For literary lovers, there’s not a better 2019 Christmas Festival than the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. This Bay Area tradition takes place at the Cow Palace for five weekends in a row, from November 23rd to December 22nd. Not only does the festival pay homage to Charles Dickens’ _A Christmas Carol_, but it brings the beloved novel to life.

Set in Victorian times, the fair transforms the Cow Palace into the streets of London circa the 1850s. There are merchants, dance floors, music halls, and pubs scattered over 120,000 sq. ft. of space. Not only are you able to mingle with hundreds of dedicated actors, but you’re also encouraged to dress up and play the part yourself. Grab a freshly made croissant, hit the dance floor with a waltz, and wind down with a saloon performance before doing it all over again the next day.

Winterfest – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

If you want to see Santa playing the banjo, then head straight to Pigeon Forge, TN. The city’s Winterfest event is one of the longest-running Christmas festivals of the year, beginning on November 22nd and stretching through February 17th. Surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, this hospitable town is transformed with over five million twinkling lights, holiday-themed displays, and family-friendly activities and entertainment occurring regularly.

To take in the spectacular lighting displays of Winterfest, head down Pigeon Forge Parkway for the Tour of Lights, followed by a dinner show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Or, stop by the Smoky Mountain Opry for an unforgettable Christmas presentation. There’s also the annual tree lighting at The Island, which features over 40,000 ornaments, along with local music performances at the Community Celebration on December 5th. Regardless of when your trip is scheduled, you’re sure to find a special event that suits your needs.

Save on Travel to Your 2019 Christmas Festival of Choice

Ready for an epic holiday celebration? Save on your 2019 Christmas festival travel with BusTickets.com. Our service allows you to quickly and conveniently find bus routes, compare carrier prices, and book your trip all within minutes. Holiday cheer is in the air, so what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and buy your bus tickets from BusTickets.com today!

References

http://www.christkindlmarket.com/
https://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/a-colonial-christmas/
https://www.historyisfun.org/yorktown-victory-center/
http://historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/upcoming-events/
https://dickensfair.com/
https://pigeonforgewinterfest.com/

top 5 US cities to visit in 2020

5 US Cities to Add to Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

By Asheville, Bus Travel, Charleston, Florida, Nashville, North Carolina, South Carolina, St.Augustine, Tenessee

5 US Cities to Add to Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

Travel is good for the soul, which is why it usually takes a top spot on many people’s New Year’s resolutions. While the thought of travel is simple, actually following through is a bigger challenge, thanks to the exhausting planning and research. Luckily, this year all the prep work is completed for you with this 2020 travel bucket list guide.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, TN, is a unique destination with a mix of big-city opportunity and southern hospitality. Yet, its most distinct claim to fame is its remarkable music scene. To get to know Music City, head to Music Row in downtown. The streets in this area are lined with memorabilia dedicated to musicians of the past. Make your first stop the Country Music Hall of Fame, followed by RCA Studio B and the Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe. Finish up with a live show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which was once home to the Grand Ole Opry.

While it may be a vital aspect of the city’s past, present, and future, Nashville offers more than just music. In fact, there’s a rich history just waiting to be explored. The Belle Meade Plantation just outside of town is a prime example of this quality. Dating back to 1845, the mansion was the site of a two-day Civil War battle in 1864, and today, there are guided tours of the estate available daily. Other important historical landmarks to visit on your trip include The Hermitage, the Parthenon in Centennial Park, and Fort Nashborough.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Considering it’s the birthplace of American democracy, should land a spot on everyone’s travel bucket list at least once. Start your visit by exploring the city’s rich heritage at the Independence National Historical Park. The 55-acre site is home to the iconic Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and it’s also conveniently located in the city’s historic district.

Another must-see spot is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you’re a fan of Sylvester Stallone’s _Rocky_, then the stairs to the entrance may look familiar, but the museum offers far more than movie memorabilia. The gallery offers a huge selection of exhibits and regularly hosts talks and performances. There are also guided tours available. Other beloved spots to hit up while you’re in town include Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, and the Betsy Ross House.

Charleston, South Carolina

Of all the cities you’ve marked off your 2020 travel bucket list, it’s unlikely that any of them have been as charming as Charleston, SC. Founded in 1670, the historic city offers cobblestone streets lined with antebellum houses and Spanish moss-covered trees. If those picturesque details sound unbelievable, see it for yourself at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Dating back to 1676, the 390-acre plantation is open to the public for tours of the house, gardens, and nature center. You can even take a guided boat tour through the rice fields. During your visit, be sure to stop by Waterfront Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, and the historic Downtown area.

Asheville, North Carolina

Once you’ve stepped off the bus in Asheville, NC, your biggest challenge is going back home, because it’s impossible not to fall in love with this city. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers scenic views, historic landmarks, and a vibrant arts scene. While outdoor enthusiasts should head straight to the 500,000-acre Pisgah National Forest for a peaceful mountain trek, history buffs are sure to find happiness touring the Biltmore estate. For the artsy traveler, on the other hand, bliss lies among the expansive selection of galleries in Asheville’s Downtown Art District.

St. Augustine, Florida

When creating your 2020 travel bucket list, the oldest city in the U.S. definitely earns a spot near the top. St. Augustine, FL, was originally founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, and with such a long history, the biggest struggle is fitting all the sites into your schedule. One of the most important landmarks is the Castillo de San Marcos — the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. Other memorable spots are the Lightner Museum, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, and Cathedral Basilica.

Score Deals on Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

Ready to get a head start on your 2020 travel bucket list? Fit more destinations into your budget with [BusTickets.com](https://bustickets.com/). Our user-friendly service allows you to explore your route options, compare carrier prices in real-time, and book your trip quickly and conveniently — all in one spot. Get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions by buying your bus tickets today!

References

https://countrymusichalloffame.org/
https://studiob.org/
https://www.johnnycashmuseum.com/
https://www.ryman.com/
https://bellemeadeplantation.com/
https://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm
https://philamuseum.org/
https://www.magnoliaplantation.com/
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48114
https://www.biltmore.com/
https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

Dog Bark Park Inn

Quirkiest Hotels in America

By Bus Travel, Cottonwood, Farmington, New Mexico, Oregon, Portland, San Luis Obispo

Quirkiest Hotels in America

If you seek something greater from your travels than the usual stay at a basic hotel, you don’t have to look far. The quirkiest hotels in America offer plenty of excitement in the form of unexpected décor, unusual rooms, and imaginative designs that set them apart from the usual chain options. Before you book your next bus getaway, keep these intriguing destinations in mind.

Dog Bark Park Inn Photo

Photo Credit Dog Bark Park

Dog Bark Park Inn

Also known as the world’s largest beagle, the Dog Bark Park Inn is a true Idaho treasure. Situated in Cottonwood, a small town known largely for this very hotel, the property is just as charming as it sounds. If you love the idea of staying in a homey bed-and-breakfast that just so happens to resemble a gigantic dog, you’re absolutely in the right place. There’s just one suite in this memorable hotel, and it provides all of the creature comforts of home. There’s a full bathroom, a kitchenette, and a selection of books and games (beagle-themed, naturally). Continental breakfast includes a variety of mouthwatering treats to start your day, including their family recipe granola, fresh pastries, eggs, bread, cheese, yogurt, and more. There’s also a furnished deck where you can enjoy some peace and quiet while taking in the views. Keep in mind that the property is only open from April through October before they close for the season.

McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel

Is it a school … or a hotel? Think of McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel in downtown Portland, OR, as the best of both worlds. The property opened in 1915 as an elementary school. During the 1990s, with the building completely abandoned and in a state of disrepair, the McMenamins hotel company decided to transform it into something more useful. After complete renovations, it reopened as a fun and funky hotel. Former classrooms today serve as guestrooms (yes, the chalkboards are still there), and what was once a cafeteria filled with kids from the early 20th century is now a lovely restaurant. The hotel also includes several bars, an on-site movie theater, a pool, and a pub, and its walls are adorned with old-school artwork and remnants of the past. It’s all very fun, playful, and perfectly fitting for one of the quirkiest hotels in America! Where else would you find rooms named for authors like Beverly Cleary and Frank Delaney?

Kokopelli’s Cave

It’s the rare hotel that’s actually situated inside a genuine cave, which is what makes Kokopelli’s Cave such an enticing spot. Situated some 70 feet below ground, the manmade structure in Farmington, NM, is easily the state’s most iconic and unusual property. It offers beautiful views of La Plata River Valley and is only accessible via a long sandstone footpath. Once upon a time, it actually served as an office — but today, it’s an incredible property with genuine stone walls, rough-edged doorways, and warm lighting to illuminate the space. When you check-in, you’ll enjoy quality time in what is easily one of the quirkiest hotels in America. There’s a bedroom, naturally, along with a surprisingly lavish bathroom that includes a hot tub and a waterfall shower. There’s also a living room, a kitchen, and a dining area. Remember to pack lightly; you’ll have to walk the entire trek down, and you don’t want to worry about injuring yourself on the way into the cave. Think backpacks, not hefty suitcases! Kokopelli’s Cave is closed from December through February.

The Madonna Inn

California is packed with beautiful hotels, but few are as memorable as the lovely Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. A single glance at the 110 uniquely styled rooms is enough to understand why the property earns such accolades. Each is designed with a particular theme, and all boast incredible character, rich color palettes, and all the amenities that you could possibly require of a hotel. There are even two-story suites with multiple bedrooms and kitchenettes — perfect if you’re traveling with the entire family and need the extra space. Several rooms are equipped with rock showers, too. The property opened in 1958, and it’s been a pop culture mainstay through the decades. It’s appeared in several music videos from artists like Roxette and Lady Antebellum, and an episode of _The Bachelor_ was filmed there in 2010.

Book a Stay at the Quirkiest Hotels in America Today

If you’re dazzled by the possibility of escaping from the usual chaos of everyday life and enjoying something just a little bit unexpected, book a stay at one of the quirkiest hotels in America. Visit BusTickets.com to browse affordable tickets to the destination of your choice!

References

https://www.dogbarkpark.com/lodging-bed-and-breakfast/
https://www.mcmenamins.com/kennedy-school
https://www.kokoscave.us/

top us yoga resorts

Top US Destinations for a Yoga Retreat

By Arizona, Bus Travel, California, San Francisco, Sedona

Top Destinations for a Yoga Retreat

Sometimes a good old-fashioned vacation just isn’t going to cut it. Sometimes it needs to be a vacation devoted entirely to practicing one of the most relaxing forms of physical, emotional, and spiritual exercise: yoga. If you’ve been planning on going to a yoga retreat, whether it’s your first or your 15th, we’ve come up with a list of some of the top yoga retreats in the country. In this post, we’ve pinpointed five states to check out the top yoga retreat destinations.

Arizona

The retreats at the Sedona Ranch Retreat in Arizona are unique in that they encompass multiple areas of wellness, self-discovery, and spiritual healing. You can opt for their traditional retreat where the itinerary is all planned out, or you can build your own custom retreat! With their Holistic Health Retreat, you can stay on the ranch for a three- or four-day period. During that time, all lodging and meals are provided while you engage in a variety of health and wellness activities including acupuncture, reiki, meditation, life coaching, and of course, yoga (acu-yoga to be more specific). The retreats at the Sedona Ranch are also unique in that the yoga programs accommodate yoga practitioners of all levels, whether your first yoga class is at the ranch or you’re an experienced yogini with aspirations of becoming an instructor.

During the retreat, you are also invited to explore the natural beauty that surrounds the ranch both on horseback and on an ATV. If you decide you’d like to plan your own retreat, you can do that through the Build Your Own Retreat program. With this option, you can choose to do as many or as few activities as you’d like. Just a few examples of the activities offered include meridian massage, lifeline healing, a guided hike of Shaman’s cave, soul coaching, and meridian yoga.

Sedona is well know for it’s energy vortexes where you can feel the earths healing energy in your body. The area has many energy healers and energy healing options for those wanting to heal past trauma or manifest positive outcomes. Venture outside of the ranch to feed your soul with art and music in the Tlaquepaque Arts District. Artist from all over the world exhibit in the galleries and restaurants in this area. Get to know the Sedona locals and enjoy a fresh brunch, crepes, pastries and coffee at the Pump House Station, Urban Eatery and Market overlooking the main creek. Your mind body and soul will feel refreshed after your visit to Sedona.

California

If you ever find yourself on the west coast of the United States (more specifically about 120 miles outside of San Francisco) and in need of a spiritually rejuvenating retreat, book a spot at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm in California. This top yoga retreat destination accommodates yoga practitioners of all levels, from yogis who need an intensive yoga vacation to practitioners who are interested in participating in the study program (program durations run anywhere from one month to three months) to obtain their yoga instructor certification. A typical day on the farm goes something like this: early morning meditations and a two-hour yoga class followed by an organic vegetarian lunch at 10 a.m. Afterward, guests can look forward to an afternoon of yoga followed by a hearty vegetarian dinner at 6 p.m. Other programs offered during each retreat include lectures, chants, meditations, and walks.

New York

Sivananda Yoga Ranch in upstate New York (not to be mistaken with Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm on the other side of the country), is located 100 miles outside of New York City, in a serene environment totally unlike the Big Apple. If you just need a quickie retreat, the ranch offers visitors two- and three-day-long yoga retreats that focus on various yoga classes, meditation, breathing, and holistic wellness. If you are interested in something more intensive, this top yoga retreat destination routinely offers month-long training programs for yogis pursuing instructor certification. While staying on the ranch, you have the option of staying in a shared room or in a private room on your own while getting three delicious and organic square meals a day.

Colorado

Loveland Community Yoga in Colorado covers all fronts of wellness (and even a bit of luxury). This yoga retreat focuses on three types of yoga: Nidra, Restorative, and Vinyasa. In addition to daily yoga classes, retreat activities include workshops, guided hikes, walking meditation, and (the best part) access to the sauna and hot mineral springs. During your stay, you can book private accommodations or opt to stay in a dorm-style room. Throughout the retreat, you and your fellow yoginis will be fed organic, locally sourced produce for each meal of the day.

Montana

Situated beneath Rock Mountain in Whitefish, Montana, is the Shivatree Yoga School (which just so happens to also be a stunning 300-acre ranch). During your stay at this yoga school, the Ayurveda specialist and owner, Amanda, will guide you in your spiritual growth through the practice of yoga. You’ll have plenty of time to spend on your own and explore the beautiful nature surrounding you, including walking through the ranch’s stunning pine forest and going on a guided tour of Glacier National Park. The rest of the time will be spent studying yoga and practicing your asanas on a daily basis with the rest of your yogini peers.

Visit These Top Yoga Retreat Destinations

Ready to start planning a trip to one of these top yoga retreat destinations? Buy your ticket on the BusTickets.com website today.

References

http://www.sedonaranch.org/index.html
https://sivanandayogafarm.org/

Warm Weather Winter Vacations

5 Top Warm Weather Winter Vacations

By Bus Travel, Cape Coral, Dallas, Florida, Key West, Louisiana, New Orleans, Texas

5 Top Warm Weather Winter Vacations

Getting away from it all during winter is always appealing. Being a festive time of year, it’s exciting to explore new areas and learn about how they celebrate the season. But if you’re thinking more about the weather and want to avoid the usual onslaught of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, you might want to consider these suggestions for warm weather winter vacations. Before you book your bus getaway, take some time to get to know these truly hot spots better.

Key West, FL

If you’re all about sunshine and good times, you probably already know that Key West is one of the best places in the country to visit during winter. Highs average approximately 75 degrees, and humidity levels can make it feel even warmer. When it does get a little “chilly,” it’s usually the type of crisp ocean air that feels great as it whips against your skin. In other words, you definitely don’t need to pack a winter coat if you’re making plans for warm weather winter vacations in Florida. There’s plenty to see and do year-round, but don’t miss the festive activities that pack the calendar throughout winter. The Holly Jolly Holiday Lights Tour is an absolute dream for anyone who can’t get enough of all things merry and bright. You’ll munch on holiday-themed sweets, enjoy delicious cider, and take a tour of the area’s most impressive lights displays. Another easy way to take advantage of the location is to take in the lighted boat parade. Watch as dozens of boats gently sail by, each illuminated by twinkling lights that transform the waters into some sort of tropical wonderland.

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs is another one of those cities that just happens to remain beautiful every single day of the year. You probably wouldn’t even know the difference if you visited in the summer or the winter — that’s just how pleasant California is, even in December and January. It also happens to be a great place to get your holiday shopping done if you’ve still got a few people on your list. There are plenty of chic, upscale boutiques throughout The River in Rancho Mirage. If you prefer, wander around Old Town La Quinta and explore the quaint boutiques instead. For those who want to maximize their outdoor time, make sure to soak up every ounce of the glorious weather during your trip! Play tennis or go golfing, horseback riding, or hiking— the area is packed with opportunities to satisfy even the most ardent adventurer’s whims. Greater Palm Springs turns downright festive during the holiday season, too. There’s an ice rink at The River in Rancho Mirage, along with the beautiful Robo Lights Sculpture Garden that seems even more beautiful at this time of year.

Dallas, TX

Texas is home to countless historic attractions and beautiful cities, but Dallas is definitely the place to be if you need to escape the arctic chill in your hometown. It’s also an ideal choice if you don’t mind slightly cooler weather and aren’t necessarily planning a beach getaway. Football fans can catch the Cowboys in action at AT&T Stadium, or enjoy a nearby bowl game. Music fans tend to flock to the city in December for the Lights All Night Festival, an all-out EDM extravaganza that you might just love if you’re into great music and meeting new people. The Dallas Holiday Parade is another annual highlight that takes festive celebrations to an entirely new level. Thousands of people flock to the parade each year. Is it any wonder that the city is at the top of many warm-weather winter vacation lists?

New Orleans, LA

Not only is New Orleans a great spot to get away from typical winter weather, it also happens to be one of the most energetic cities in the country. There’s so much to do, particularly during winter. Louisiana’s darling turns into a winter wonderland, and seemingly everywhere you turn, there’s something special to experience. The Windsor Court hotel looks like something out of a fairytale, what with its abundance of vibrant Christmas trees, its decadent gingerbread house, and its plethora of twinkling lights. It’s also practically required to hit Magazine Street during the holiday season. Quaint boutiques offer fun and unique finds for everyone on your list, plus there are plenty of little art galleries and outstanding restaurants along the way. It’s difficult not to get into the spirit of the season while you’re here!

Cape Coral, FL

A subtropical climate makes Cape Coral another Florida destination. The beautiful destination is essentially paradise — complete with fresh ocean air, plush white sand, and crystal waters. Each year, the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce hosts the Holiday Festival of Lights, where you can observe the brilliant illumination, say hi to Santa at the Christmas Town Center, and bring the little ones to ride on the Tiny Tot Train throughout the square. If you love the idea of celebrating the season in a tropical environment, you won’t want to miss the always enjoyable Cape Coral Christmas Boat Parade, either. For decades, this has been one of the area’s most beloved and enjoyable events, complete with great food, entertainment, and a fantastic boat parade that’s not to be missed.

Book Warm Weather Winter Vacations Today

If you’re inspired by these ideas for warm weather winter vacations, there’s no better time to head to BusTickets.com and book your getaway for the season. What better way to make the most of the final days of the year?

References

https://www.trolleytours.com/key-west/things-to-do-in-winter

https://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/blog/post/6-reasons-to-visit-greater-palm-springs-in-winter/

http://dallasholidayparade.com/

https://www.417mag.com/issues/december-2015/10-reasons-to-visit-new-orleans-this-winter/

http://www.capecorallivingmagazine.com/2018/11/15/183814/top-12-places-to-celebrate-the-holidays-in-cape-coral