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The best safari parks in America are closer than you think! Hop on the bus and plan your next adventure.

The Best Safari Parks in America

By Bus Travel

You may be inspired and downright excited about the possibility of going on a safari vacation someday. Who can resist the allure of becoming one with nature, seeing exotic animals up close, and exploring new-to-you territories? If a trip abroad isn’t quite in the cards right now, though, you don’t have to put your dreams on hold. Some of the best safari parks in America offer similar experiences that put you in the center of all the action. Here are five you should consider for your next getaway.

1. San Diego Safari Park

You’ll likely be overwhelmed the first time you set foot on the grounds of San Diego Safari Park in Escondido, CA. There is simply that much to do, and there’s so much going on at any given moment that you won’t know where to start. Fortunately, the park makes it easy to explore at your leisure. It’s broken down into zones, so you can tackle several in a day or go through all of them over the course of two or more days. Gorilla Forest, the African Outpost, Nairobi Village, Tiger Trail, and Elephant Valley are just a few of the thrilling destinations where you can enjoy glimpses of incredible wildlife. Expect to see everything from antelopes and cheetahs to pelicans and tigers while you’re here. The next step is a guided tour on the Africa Tram so you can catch a glimpse of the animals up close. Then take a Balloon Safari that sends you 400 feet into the air in a tethered balloon. Designed to replicate the balloon tours in Serengeti, this incredible experience provides flawless views of the vast landscape and many animals that live in the park.

2. Safari West

Just 12 miles from downtown Santa Rosa, CA, is one of the best safari parks in America: Safari West. The 400-acre preserve is home to over 900 animals and more than 90 different species. Enjoy a face-to-face meeting with a white rhinoceros. Gaze in wonder at the awe-inspiring cheetahs before you. Learn about the stunning hoofed mammals that may be unfamiliar to you, including addax, bontebok, and bongo. Snap photographs of the graceful birds and ducks. There’s something to catch your attention at every turn! The dining experience here honors the South African tradition of braai, similar to barbecue but different in that the wood fire remains continuously lit even after the food is prepared. Thinking about staying the night? Book a tent on the property — they’re imported from Botswana, and they offer all the creature comforts of home while providing you with incredible views and the sounds of wildlife throughout the night. This incomparable experience is a rarity in the United States and something any outdoor enthusiast will appreciate.

3. Wild Animal Safari

You don’t need to have your own vehicle to enjoy a drive-through ride at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA. The park is renowned for its 3.5-mile trek that provides stupendous views of more than 550 animals on the 500-acre grounds. You can expect to encounter everything from a zebra to an American bison, all from the comfort of the park’s own zebra van. It holds up to seven people at a time and is a great way to experience all that the park has to offer in a safe and efficient way. The beauty of this adventure is that everyone in the family can sit back and enjoy the ride, from toddlers to grandparents! Each excursion is led by a qualified tour guide who will share valuable information about the many animals on the grounds.

4. Custer State Park Resort

Situated in Custer, SD, in the Black Hills region, Custer State Park Resort offers an incredible safari experience for the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts. This is the ultimate location to indulge your passion for wildlife and beautiful scenery. In addition to the dramatic forests that canopy the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway on the bus ride to the resort, the grounds feature wide-open grassy landscapes, shimmering streams and lakes, and fantastic mountain views. Feeling adventurous? Join the buffalo safari jeep tour and explore views of the buffalo, elk, and pronghorns that populate the park. Because the grounds were designated a game preserve in 1913, it’s a natural habitat for the animals to reside. In fact, there are some 56,000 acres devoted strictly to the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve along the edge of the park. Here, you’ll spot plenty of animals as they roam casually, from mountain goats to white-tail deer.

5. Virginia Safari Park

The Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, VA, offers visitors plenty of practical options to enjoy the wildlife and scenery. During the walk along the 10-acre Safari Village, you can feed the giraffes, watch the white Bengal tigers splash around in the pool, feed all the goats and pigs your heart desires, and observe the African penguins — an endangered species — as they play. You’ll even spot kangaroos taking relaxed naps in the sunshine! You can also opt for a drive-through excursion that lets you see more of the 180-acre grounds. Animals roam freely, so keep your eyes alert to all the action around you. The park also provides public wagon rides, along with a bucket of feed so you can toss some sustenance to the wildlife as you ride through.

Book Your Safari Excursion Today

What better way to enjoy an unforgettable vacation than to book a visit to one of the best safari parks in America? There are thousands of animals to discover and plenty of scenery to enjoy. Head to BusTickets.com and book your affordable bus journey today.

References:

https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/

https://www.safariwest.com/

https://animalsafari.com/Georgia/

https://custerresorts.com/

http://www.virginiasafaripark.com/Home.aspx

The Smoky Mountains during the fall are a sight see and a must visit for top destinations this fall.

4 American Cities to Visit in the Fall

By Bus Travel

Want to find the best destinations for a fall getaway? We’ve come up with four that top the list in 2019. Take a look at these top cities to visit in the fall and discover what makes them such great spots for an autumn vacation.

1. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

A fall getaway in the Great Smoky Mountains is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by foot on a hike, on horseback, or on an ATV. After an invigorating trek, venture out of the woods for one of the many festivals happening in the surrounding towns during the months of September and October. Popular festivals include the Dollywood Harvest Festival, Oktoberfest at Ober, and Fall Harvest. And if you want to get your fill of scares in, visit all the haunted houses in the area, including Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, The Mysterious Mansion, and Outbreak: Dread the Undead.

2. San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio certainly doesn’t give off those traditional autumn vibes with bright fall foliage and crisp autumn air. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a prime destination spot to enjoy year-round, especially in the fall when the summer temps cool off. It’s a particularly great city to vacation in if you are traveling with kids. Start your family vacation off right with an evening at SeaWorld San Antonio Howl-O-Scream, complete with haunted houses, trick or treating, hay mazes, and a pumpkin patch. Another fun activity for the whole family is a day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas Fright Fest where the roller coasters won’t be the only thing making people scream. From September till October, the park is full of frightening stage performances and bone-chilling haunted houses. For a less spooky fall activity, take the Rio San Antonio Cruise. You won’t have to worry about ghosts and goblins jumping out from behind trees on this ride.

3. Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Lancaster may truly be the granddaddy of all quaint autumn getaways in the Northeast. From local fall festivals and hot air balloon rides to Amish buggy rides, Lancaster is packed to the brim with all manner of beloved autumn activities, making it a shoo-in for top cities to visit in the fall. If you want a tour of the Amish lifestyle, book a ride with The Amish Experience to drive down dirt roads and spot cows being milked, butter being churned, and fields being plowed. After the buggy ride, switch modes of transportation by riding a hot air balloon over thousands of acres of stunning, colorful autumn foliage. If you book a hot air balloon trip with US Hot Air Balloon, you have the option of enjoying a picnic lunch in the sky during your ride! Another way to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves is to zipline through the trees at Refreshing Mountain Retreat & Adventure Center. You can also book a cabin to stay in if you prefer to be right in the heart of the forest rather than in a hotel on the outskirts of town.

4. Manchester, Vermont

If you make it to Manchester on a Thursday before the end of October, you can pick up fresh produce and local goods at the Manchester Farmers Market. It’s there you’ll find a colorful array of gorgeous beetroot, winter squash, pumpkins, chard, and other delightful seasonal vegetables. Many other local vendors will entice you with the scent of warm bread made from scratch, pastries from the nearby bakery, and yummy comfort food classics like butternut squash soup and hot apple cider. In between the mouthwatering food, browse the artist vendors and pick up a painting to bring home with you. While you shop, take in the sounds of the local and traveling musicians who create the perfect ambiance for this quaint farmers market. You can also head over to the Dorset Farmers Market, which is open year-round.

Once you’ve collected all the scrumptious baked goods and fresh vegetables you can stuff in your bag, plan an afternoon at Mad Tom Orchard to fill a bushel of delicious Vermont apples. Nothing screams “fall” quite like apple-picking, especially when you are doing it with the beautiful New England autumn foliage as your backdrop. Finally, you’ll want to squeeze in enough time to browse the book selection at Northshire Bookstore, a family-owned staple in the community of Manchester. Here you’ll find an assortment of books available for purchase as well as handcrafted jewelry, art, and other one-of-a-kind trinkets that make for excellent gifts. Stop off at Spiral Press Cafe next door to pick up a muffin and a hot cup of coffee to go with the new books you’ll be reading all evening.

Ready to make the most out of your upcoming autumn getaway to one of the top cities to visit in the fall? Buy your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!

Looking for a perfect hot springs vacation? Check out these top spots.

The Best Hot Springs Resorts in America

By Bus Travel

The mere thought of visiting a hot springs resort is enough to put you at ease. Waters enriched with minerals provide a range of health benefits, such as improved circulation, better sleep, less stress, and potential relief of muscle aches and pains. If you’re thinking about visiting the top hot springs in America during your next bus vacation, keep these beautiful destinations in mind.

Hot Springs, VA

Where but the Omni Homestead in Hot Springs can you soak in such historic mineralized waters? Travelers have frequented the Virginia springs since the 18th century. Situated in the heart of the Allegheny Mountains, the water was often used by Native Americans who had heard of its rejuvenating properties. President Thomas Jefferson even visited the property in the 19th century to test the springs’ effects on his rheumatism.

Today, the resort offers an expansive water park, golf courses, tennis courts, a lazy river, and a luxury spa. The on-site octagon pool is fed by a spring enriched with calcium, magnesium, and potassium. The warm waters are wonderfully comforting here, but you can also experiment with the River Reflexology Walk (also fed by spring waters) if you want to soothe your aching feet. Complete your restorative session in the Finnish sauna before escaping to your cozy guest room. The property has hosted some 23 American presidents over its rich history, and each space is decorated in a traditional style reflective of the popular Southern Colonial architecture of bygone eras.

Glenwood Springs, CO

Providing therapeutic comfort to visitors since 1888, Glenwood Hot Springs Resort is among the most celebrated wellness destinations in Colorado. In a privileged position between Vail and Aspen, the resort is known as the home of the largest hot springs pool in the world. Enriched with thermal water from the Yampah spring, the healing springs contain at least 15 naturally dissolving minerals, including sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, silica, zinc, phosphate, lithium, and iron, among others. This nourishing content is said to restore and rebalance both the mind and the body by alleviating muscle tension, reducing aches, and even minimizing the effects of anxiety and stress.

To make the most of your visit to one of the top hot springs in America, indulge in some quality time at the on-site spa. There are numerous treatments enriched with nourishing mineral blends, including steam wraps, body soaks, rain showers, mud wraps, and probiotic facials. The services are as therapeutic and pure as the spring water itself, making them naturally beneficial additions to your stay. Book a room or suite and enjoy the advantages of the resort’s many amenities, including yoga classes and dining.

Detroit, OR

Oregon is packed with hot springs getaways. Some are popular, while others are decidedly secluded from the outside world. Among the most appealing is Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit. While not exactly unknown, the 154-acre resort offers a feeling of solitude thanks to the national forest surrounding it. Here, you’re truly at one with nature: Mountains preside grandly at every turn, rich pine notes envelop your senses, and the rush of water in the glacier-fed river plays a soothing background soundtrack.

The hot springs, however, are truly the highlight. The property has three natural pools, including an anointed “silent” water perfect for meditating in complete peace. There are also separate tubs offering varied temperatures, along with a cold water plunge tub to allow you a brisk finish to your session. If you’re inspired to do more, look into the resort’s many educational programs. You can learn yoga, meditation, or dance, or you can tour the grounds — and everything is included for guests. You’ll begin and end each day with a trio of hearty vegetarian meals, and you also have the option to book massages to enhance your wellness-related getaway.

Sonoma Valley, CA

Built-in 1927, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is a wonderful spot to experience the healing powers of Boyes Hot Springs’ geothermal waters. The hotel is positioned directly over an old thermal spring that flows some 1,100 feet below ground. This provides the property with a constant supply of clean, healing waters. Head to the Willow Stream Spa to enjoy one of four on-site geothermal pools, or dip inside the indoor whirlpool bath if you just want to close your eyes and relax for a bit.

The 40,000-square-foot spa is a dream for wellness-minded travelers who want to unwind, reconnect and find true peace during their vacation. You can sit by the fireplace, soak in the pool, or indulge in a meal at one of the hotel’s many classy dining establishments. As you might expect, the guest rooms and suites at this Wine Country resort are top tiers in every sense. They’re warm and cozy but feel decidedly sophisticated and upscale thanks to special touches like plush robes and pampering body products that take your stay to another level.

Book Your Hot Springs Bus Trip

If you’re ready to experience a relaxing stay that restores your mind and body, booking a bus getaway to one of the top hot springs in America is the best way to make the most of your vacation. Head to BusTickets.com to enjoy an easy experience booking your affordable tickets to the hot springs destination of your choice!

References:

https://www.virginia.org/cities/HotSprings/

https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/homestead-virginia

https://www.hotspringspool.com/

https://breitenbush.com/

https://www.fairmont.com/sonoma/

A family walks along a beach at sunset and enjoys their family friendly beach vacation.

5 Family-Friendly Beach Destinations to Visit Before School Starts

By Bus Travel

With the end of summer approaching, chaotic back-to-school schedules are quickly gaining steam. Yet, there’s still time to enjoy one last relaxing getaway with the kids before it all begins. If you want your family to start the new school year rejuvenated and energized, take the whole clan to one of these five family-friendly beach destinations.

1. Ocean City, Maryland

While Ocean City, MD, may only have one beach, it stretches for 10 miles and is completely open to the public. Spend your vacation lounging in the sun, building sandcastles, and taking a dip with the kids. Or, if you need more adventure, stop by one of the nearby surf shops to rent a paddleboard, surfboard, kayak, or canoe. Once the kids are worn out, head to the three-mile boardwalk to peruse the shops, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy sky-high views from atop the Ferris wheel.

Along with soaking up the sun, the city offers family-friendly activities daily during the summer months. There are beachside movies, fireworks, games, and dance parties throughout the season, and every event is free. The city also offers specially designed beach wheelchairs, along with multiple accessible access points.

2. Corolla, North Carolina

Just off the coast of North Carolina, the small village of Corolla is one of the East Coast’s hidden gems. The community rests on the remote Outer Banks, which offers virtually endless opportunities for sand, sun, and relaxation. Unlike other family-friendly beaches, the 11-mile stretch of sand at Corolla isn’t commercialized. In fact, you won’t see skyscrapers, boardwalks, or boutiques, but you will find plenty of rugged room to stretch and enjoy the beach with your family.

Aside from the mesmerizing natural beauty and quiet location, all beaches in Currituck County are dog-friendly. Additionally, if you venture to the northernmost sections of the beach, you can see wild horses. Located in what’s known as the “4WD accessible beaches,” the far north area of the beach near Carova, NC, is incredibly rugged and requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle to access. Fortunately, there are guided Jeep tours in the area that will get you up close and personal with the area’s wild Spanish Mustangs.

During your stay, make time for a few non-beach-related activities. First up, stop by the Currituck Beach Light Station. Built-in 1875, the lighthouse offers unrivaled views of the area, and they even allow guests to take on the 220-step trek to the top. Next up, hit the historic Whalehead Club for a tour of the lavish house and grounds, followed by a trip back in town for dinner at Outer Banks Boil Company and a sweet treat at Ned’s Ice Cream and Sweets.

3. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is one of the most popular beach destinations in the country — for good reason. From bustling to tranquil, there are a variety of oceanfront experiences all in one city. If you’re looking for fun and excitement, the Oceanfront District is the place to go. Along with a wide stretch of sand, the lively area is home to the three-mile boardwalk, which is lined by resorts, restaurants, and boutiques. Rent a Jet Ski, enjoy live street entertainment, and conquer the whole boardwalk on rollerblades — all in a single afternoon.

For any parents wanting some peace and quiet, head to the Chesapeake Bay District. Boasting six-miles of beachfront, the area offers a laid-back atmosphere with plenty of landmarks, shops, and activities. Or, if you truly want to get away, venture south to the Sandbridge district. The area is completely removed from the hustle and bustle of Oceanfront, offering a remote, carefree vacation with virtually endless chances for outdoor exploration.

4. San Diego, California

When every family member’s idea of the perfect beach differs, San Diego, CA, is the best choice for family-friendly beaches. There are numerous beaches located throughout the metro area, and each one offers its own unique features and atmosphere. For snorkeling and swimming, head to Pacific Beach, or if the kids want to try their hand at surfing, put Imperial Beach at the top of your list. Traveling with Fido? Ocean Beach is not only pet-friendly but also doesn’t require leashes.

5. Corpus Christi, Texas

Offering direct access to the crystal-blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, an end-of-summer vacation to Corpus Christi, TX, is sure to satisfy the whole family. While there are over 100 miles of sand-lined beachfront across Corpus Christi Bay, North Beach is one of the most family-friendly sites. Along with the carefree public beach, you can visit the USS Lexington Museum and the Texas State Aquarium. The city also offers easy access to Padre Island — home to the beloved Bob Hall Pier — and Mustang Island, which is ideal for a family camping trip.

Enjoy a Back-to-School Beach Vacation for Less

Kids grow up fast, so take the opportunity to make some unforgettable memories with BusTickets.com. Our convenient online service allows you to compare ticket prices in real-time so that you always find the best deal. With so many savings opportunities, you never have to worry about missing out on valuable time at family-friendly beaches because of a tight budget. Save big on your end-of-summer vacation by booking your bus tickets today!

References

https://ococean.com/explore-oc/our-beach

https://ococean.com/things-to-do/free-family-fun

https://co.currituck.nc.us/

https://www.corollawildhorses.com/

http://www.currituckbeachlight.com/

https://www.visitcurrituck.com/whalehead-club-tours-pricing/

https://www.outerbanksboilcompany.com/

https://www.vbgov.com/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.sandiego.org/

https://www.cctexas.com/

https://www.usslexington.com/

https://www.texasstateaquarium.org/

Feeling adventurous? Start planning your cross country road trip by finding the best tips online.

4 Ways to Prepare for Your Cross-Country Bus Trip

By Bus Travel

A cross-country bus trip is one of those things that can either be an incredibly fun and positive experience or a total nightmare. It all comes down to a few key factors, like what bus company you book a ticket with and how well you prepare for a long trip. If this is your first time traveling cross-country on a bus, don’t board without arming yourself with these four helpful cross-country road trip tips.

1. Map Out Where You Want to Go

Although you may not be the one doing the driving, you’ll want to have a firm plan for where you want to go. Are you starting somewhere in the Midwest and traveling to the state of California? Are you planning to travel from coast to coast? Decide how many destinations and cities you want to hit along the way, and plan scheduling and accommodations accordingly. There are several routes you could take, like a drive through the Black Hills of South Dakota off Exit 131 on I-90 or a stunning scenic adventure over 469 miles of scenic foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway that takes you from Shenandoah to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Let your imagination run wild. Dream up all the places you want to visit on your cross-country road trip, and then plan the logistics of your route.

2. Bring Your Sense of Adventure

When you’re on a cross-country bus trip, you’re never really alone. Literally. That even applies to solo travelers. You will be on this great adventure with plenty of strangers who are interested in seeing and experiencing the same things as you. Obviously, you want to keep your wits about you and still exercise some self-preservation street smarts. Don’t blindly trust anyone you don’t know, but also don’t shut yourself off from a potentially great experience talking to a fellow traveler. Strike up a friendly conversation with the person riding next to you. You never know what new things you could learn and what sorts of interesting people you will end up meeting. Who knows? You may even end up with a new travel buddy or a lifelong friend.

3. Splurge on First Class

Didn’t realize that, like trains and planes, there are first-class options on buses too? It’s important to keep in mind that not all bus companies are created equal. Some companies have buses that are outdated and rundown and might not have the best and safest travel options. When it comes to bus travel, don’t try to pinch a penny. Be open to spending a little more in order to gain a lot more. When you are on a long road trip, the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable by riding a bus with cramped seats, no Wi-Fi, and no toilets. Your trip will be that much better and more memorable if you shell out a few extra bucks for plush seating with lots of room, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, TV, restrooms, and refreshments.

4. Do Overnights Right

It takes three days to travel from the East Coast to the West Coast, which means it also takes at least two nights. If you’ve never ridden on a bus overnight before, it pays to come prepared. Anyone who has ever traveled by train or plane overnight will find that riding a bus is not much different. There are a few cross-country road trip tips that can make a night away from your bed a bit more comfortable.

Start by initiating your typical bedtime routine. If you are wearing makeup, clean your face with soothing cleansing pads to give you a fresh, clean feel before falling asleep. Brush your teeth and settle down with some music or a book. Keep your electronics away from you for at least 30 minutes prior to falling asleep since smartphones tend to keep you stimulated. Pack a neck pillow to keep you comfortable and prevent being unpleasantly awakened by a stiff neck in the morning.

Some people require sleeping pills or a natural alternative like melatonin to get a restful night’s sleep on the road. You may also want to pack earplugs and an eye mask if you are a restless sleeper. Finally, pack a hoodie or a small blanket since it will likely get cooler in the evening. If overnight bus travel is absolutely out of the question, purchase a few bus tickets along the route that you’re taking and stay overnight in hotels instead.

Feeling prepared enough to embark on your first cross-country bus trip? Start by buying a ticket from BusTickets.com today!