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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, California, Custer, Natural Bridge, Pine Mountain, San Diego, South Dakota, Virginia

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

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, California, Corolla, Corpus Christi, Maryland, North Carolina, Ocean City, San Diego, Texas, Virgina Beach, Virginia

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/

Some of the top sky diving locations are closer than you think! Get ready for the adventure of a life time.

The 5 Top Skydiving Locations in the U.S.

By Alaska, Anchorage, Arizona, Bus Travel, California, Florida, Grand Canyon, Key West, San Diego, Utah

The thought of free falling at 120 miles per hour is terrifying, but for most individuals, the rush is incredibly enticing. While most areas of the country offer skydiving opportunities, there are some spots that take the event to the next level. Whether you’re a first-time jumper or a licensed diver, book a trip to these top skydiving locations for an unforgettable drop.

1. Key West, Florida

Key West, FL, offers an unmatched tropical oasis, with breathtaking coral reefs, vibrant turquoise water, and an easy-going attitude. While the beauty is spectacular from the ground, seeing it from above transforms the experience. Skydive Key West offers tandem jumps on the Florida Keys, which is perfect for first-timers. The experience also serves as a sightseeing tour, as the 15-minute flight covers many of the area’s most popular attractions, including Seven Mile Bridge.

If you want to stretch your wings further, there are plenty of airborne activities on Key West. Sunset Watersports, Fury Water Adventures, and Parawest Parasailing all offer single and double parasailing with Fury Water offering triple-person flights. Kids as young as six are also allowed to get in on the fun. Air Adventures Helicopters also provides helicopter tours for travelers of all ages.

2. The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park is a staple on just about every traveler’s bucket list, but true adventure lovers can check off two points at once by adding skydiving to their bus trip. Paragon Skydive offers tandem jumps year-round. Lasting 15 to 20 minutes, the pre-jump flight offers incredible views of the area, which are only topped by the free-fall visuals at 124 miles per hour.

While you’re there, put your post-jump adrenaline rush to use by heading over to the Skywalk on the west side of the Canyon. The horseshoe-shaped bridge juts out 70 feet over the rim to a 4,000-foot drop — a sight easily visible from the glass bottom. The jaw-dropping attraction is located at Eagle Point on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, and they also offer helicopter tours and whitewater rafting expeditions.

3. Zion National Park, Utah

Covering nearly 230-square-miles of Utah, Zion National Park is a popular spot for hikers and nature enthusiasts. However, its incredible canyon scenery has also made it a top skydiving location. Skydive Zion is the only jump provider in the area, offering services to both first-time and experienced divers. While you won’t end up jumping directly into the reserve, you get a full view of the park from the air and land nearby.

If you’re traveling with someone that’s not quite ready to make the jump, they can still enjoy the awe-inspiring views with a scenic airplane tour through Color Country Air Adventures. You can also reach slightly lower heights with a guided rock climbing adventure from Zion Adventure Company.

4. Anchorage, Alaska

People from all over the world travel to Alaska for a glimpse of its lush, mountainous landscape and majestic wildlife population, and Anchorage serves as the entrance. While exploration is common on foot, it has become increasingly popular by air. Alaska Skydive Center offers jump experiences for all experience levels.

First-time divers can book a single tandem skydive, and if you enjoy it, there’s a reduced rate on second same-day jumps. If you’re planning to be in the area for an extended period of time, you have the opportunity to take part in their licensed skydiver program. Experienced divers, on the other hand, can choose to jump from a Cessna P206 or a twin bonanza plane for standard jumps. On special occasions, helicopter skydives are offered. If you’re in the area in May, check out their 3-way Scramble team jump event.

5. San Diego, California

San Diego, CA, is a year-round destination for sun, fun, and sand, but it has quickly grown a reputation for unforgettable airborne adventures. Skydive San Diego and Pacific Coast Skydiving both offer tandem jumps for beginners, but Skydive also offers advanced tandem jumps and services for experienced divers. If you find yourself instantly wanting to get back into the air, spend a stress-free afternoon above the water with San Diego Parasailing Adventures.

Book Your Skydiving Getaway Today & Save

Ready to make the leap? Plan your trip to one of these five top skydiving locations through BusTickets.com. Our user-friendly service makes budget-friendly bus travel quick and easy by providing real-time price comparisons and easy online booking. Your airborne adventure awaits — jump on these deals by buying your bus tickets today!

References:

skydivekeywest.com/

www.sunsetwatersportskeywest.com/mobile/key-west-parasailing.html

www.furycat.com/key-west/parasailing

parawestparasailing.com/

fly-keywest.com/

skydivesandiego.com/

www.pacificcoastskydiving.com/

www.goparasailing.com/

alaskaskydivecenter.com/

grandcanyonwest.com/skywalk–eagle-point.htm

www.paragon-skydive.com/

alaskaskydivecenter.com/

grandcanyonwest.com/helicopter–aerial-tours.htm

www.hurricaneairport.com/faq-scenic-tours

www.zionadventures.com/

grandcanyonwest.com/hualapai-river-runners-and-colorado-river.htm

Are you a Game Of Thrones super fan? Check out these festivals and book your bus ticket today.

5 Festivals All Game of Thrones Fans Need to Attend

By Atlanta, Bus Travel, California, Georgia, Nashville, New York, New York City, Ohio, San Diego, Tenessee

With the HBO series ending and an unknown wait time for George R. R. Martin’s final A Song of Ice and Fire book, many Game of Thrones fans are left with a void. Fortunately, the popularity of the series has given rise to massive fan events all over the country. Whether you want to get up close and personal to the show’s stars or take on the Night King as Jon Snow in cosplay, fuel your passion at one of these five Games of Thrones festivals.

1. Ice & Fire Con — Mt. Sterling, Ohio

Since 2013, Ice and Fire Con has become a rite of passage for GoT fans in the U.S. Hosted in Mt. Sterling, OH, the conference caters to adult fans of the series with an age restriction of 18 years. It’s also one of the only events run by fans for fans, which offers a fun, interactive environment that’s both welcoming and affordable.

Since Fire and Ice Con is a nonprofit event, it doesn’t chase big names associated with the show. Instead, it creates a safe space for self-proclaimed GoT geeks to come together and find their people. Check out the book and show panels to discuss various aspects of the series, record a memory at the themed photoshoots, and become a champion at the board game and cosplay tournaments. There’s even a Westeros-inspired musical.

2. Con of Thrones — Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, TN, has long been considered the home of country music, but soon it’ll likely be renamed to Dragon City thanks to Con of Thrones. The conference only began in 2017, but as one of few festivals dedicated solely to the GoT fandom, it’s already made a huge impact. Spanning three days, attendees have the opportunity to take part in a plethora of events. There are panels delving deep into the history, politics, and folklore of the series; theatrical cosplay presentations and contests; and after-hour parties.

Every year thus far, Con of Thrones offers appearances from some of the television show’s most popular actors and creators. For instance, in 2019, Hannah Murray (Gilly), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) are all featured guests at the Games of Thrones festival. Along with interviews, guests have the ability to purchase event add-ons to get photos with the stars as well as autographs.

3. San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is one of the most well-known fan conventions in the world, attracting over 100,000 people annually. While it’s not solely focused on Game of Thrones, the cast, producers, writers, and even George R. R. Martin have made appearances at the event over the years. Plus, there are GoT panels featured just about every year. Even when there aren’t any official appearances at the San Diego conference, you’re sure to meet up with like-minded fans through cosplay, booths, exhibits, and parties.

4. Dragon Con — Atlanta, Georgia

Hosted yearly over Labor Day weekend, Dragon Con predates the A Song of Ice and Fire by nearly a decade, but the name is perfectly suited for Game of Thrones. The Atlanta festival invites fans of all ages to geek out over their favorite science fiction and fantasy novels, comics, movies, and television series. Along with panels, parties, and cosplay events, there’s even a parade and dedicated GoT group.

5. New York Comic Con

Serving as the East Coast’s answer to SDCC — without any actual brand affiliation, the New York Comic Con has been attracting fans of comics, television, and video games since 2006. Even though it doesn’t quite offer the name recognition of its California-based counterpart, the New York City event actually draws in a larger crowd with upwards of 180,000 people in attendance. It also regularly hosted star-studded _GoT_panels, pop-up shops, and parties. The three-day conference is held every year in October. If you want to enjoy an extended trip, use the festival as a jumping-off point for a New York vacation to explore the rest of what the state has to offer.

Book Your Game of Thrones Festival Travel Today

From entrance fees to branded merch, the expenses of a Game of Thrones festival add up quickly. Fortunately, you can avoid breaking your budget by booking travel with BusTickets.com. Use our price-comparison tool to find the most affordable rates on bus tickets across the country. Want to make a group trip? Grab your band of wildlings or unsullied troops and hit the road with our charter bus quote service. Your journey to the Seven Kingdoms awaits — buy your bus tickets today!

Hit by the waderlust bug? Here are some of the most beautiful hotels to visit.

The 4 Most Beautiful US Hotels to Stay in Before You Die

By Bus Travel, California, Canyon Point, Florida, New York, New York City, San Diego, Sunny Isles Beach, Utah

The United States is home to some of the most spectacularly beautiful destinations in the world, including natural wonders, historical landmarks, and brilliantly designed structures. There is no lack of incredible hotels throughout the country and if you are looking for a vacation that is both relaxing and surrounded by beauty, you have come to the right place. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the most beautiful hotels in the United States.

Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah

Amangiri Resort in Canyon Point, Utah, is surrounded by 600 acres of majestic mountain ranges, dunes, and plateaus, making for a delightfully remote and serene desert getaway. The resort is less than 30 minutes away from the town of Page, Arizona, and the neighboring Lake Powell and national parks are easily accessible by car. The resort sits right next door to the biggest Native American reservation in the country and invites guests to explore thousands of years of Navajo and natural history.

Guests can relax in the cold plunge pool, the steam room, and a sauna, all located on the pavilion. A dip in the pool is made even more enjoyable after a rigorous gym session with an on-site wellness coach or a rejuvenating yoga class. The resort has dining options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you definitely want to make a point of trying the various dishes on the dinner menu. After a long day of swimming or hiking, order the fire roasted tortilla soup along with the Chile-spiced ahi tuna tempura and finish it off with a sweet Navajo fry bread for dessert.

The Peninsula, New York City, New York

This list simply wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a glamorous hotel from New York City. And with so many stately, historical hotels to choose from, it wasn’t an easy pick. But there is something about the old-school New York elegance of The Peninsula that rivals any other gorgeous hotel in the Big Apple.

Situated on the equally glamorous 5th Avenue in Manhattan, The Peninsula boasts a sprawling selection of breathtaking suites, all unique in their own right. The Peninsula Suite is a whopping 3,300 square feet and comes with a baby grand piano, unparalleled views of Manhattan, a dining room that seats eight, a jacuzzi hot tub, and a master bedroom. The suites at the peninsula go for several thousand dollars a night, so if you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, take a look at the rooms (although even these tend to go for several hundred a night).

A weekend stay at The Peninsula is undoubtedly a splurge, but definitely worth it for anyone wishing to capture the essence of New York. The good news is that it isn’t necessary to be an overnight guest in order to enjoy the ambiance and (certain) amenities of the Peninsula. You can sip a cocktail at Salon de Ning, the hotel’s rooftop bar and terrace or enjoy a romantic dinner at Clement Restaurant.

Acqualina Resort and Spa, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida

Sitting on 4.5 acres of pristine beachfront, Acqualina Resort and Spa offers guests immaculate views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as killer sunsets in the evening. The resort is lined with palm trees and surrounded by lush green grass with plenty of areas to set up camp for a well-deserved catnap or a cold drink at sunset.

In addition to prime real estate on Sunny Isles Beach, the resort has three oceanfront pools to choose from. The interiors of the resort are just as stunning as the surrounding areas and offer such a beautiful backdrop that many weddings take place on the grounds. The resort also has many child-friendly activities, making it a great destination for families. Activities available to people of all ages include foosball, chess, a soccer field, and a basketball net. Children aged 5–12 can enjoy marine biology activities for free!

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, California

The 5-star Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California is reminiscent of a Spanish villa on the Mediterranean. The resort includes a spa center, an indoor hot tub, a sprawling outdoor pool, an equestrian center for horseback riding, a golf course, a garden, and an outdoor fireplace.

Just outside of the resort, you’ll find miles of outdoor areas to hike as well as several miles of beachfront on the Pacific Ocean. At the spa center, you can unwind with a therapeutic massage, take a yoga class, and get a cleansing facial with fully organic skin care products.

Ready to explore the many beautiful hotels throughout the United States? Buy your bus ticket today!