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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

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

Wildlife viewing at Yellowstone National Park

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

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

Top Places to View Wildlife in the U.S.

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

Yellowstone National Park

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

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

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

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

Denali National Park & Preserve

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

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

Everglades National Park

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

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

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

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

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

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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

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

Go Wild & Save with BusTickets.com

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

References

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

Ready for a history lesson? Head to one of these historic cities for the adventure of a lifetime.

5 Historic US Cities to Check Out This Fall

By Bus Travel, Charleston, Florida, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Portsmouth, South Carolina, St.Augustine

For history buffs, travel is more than just a chance to relax; it’s an opportunity to look into the past. Thankfully, the arrival of autumn means you’re able to explore while also bypassing the long lines and heat of summer. If you’re looking for an intellectual weekend escape, use this list of five historic US cities to visit this fall for your travel inspiration.

1. St. Augustine, Florida

Established back in 1565 by Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles, St. Augustine, FL, is the oldest city in the continental U.S. With such a long history, it’s not a surprise that the city offers an abundance of historical landmarks. The best place to spot these magnificent structures is the city’s beloved Historic District.

As the name suggests, the Oldest Wooden School House is the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the country, dating back to the late 1700s. Today, the property stands as a museum with visitors partaking in a self-guided tour of the school, homes, and gardens that remain intact. While you’re in the area, visit the Oldest House Museum, the Old Jail, and the Peña-Peck House.

Another must-see historical spot in the district is the Father O’Reilly House Museum, which was built in 1791 — the second oldest structure in St. Augustine. The museum is only predated by the Castillo de San Marcos. The masonry fort is over 320 years old and offers tours, special programs, and daily canon firings.

2. Annapolis, Maryland

Coming in at just under 40,000 residents, Annapolis, MD, is fairly small in size. However, with a history dating back to 1649, the city offers a surplus of significant locations and structures. Make the first stop on your historic tour the Maryland State House. Built in 1772, the building has served both state and federal uses throughout its long history. Congress even ratified the Treaty of Paris there back in 1784.

When it comes to impressive architecture in Annapolis, it’s hard to beat St. Anne’s Episcopal Church. Erected in 1682, it was the first church in the city and is renowned for its Tiffany stained-glass windows. The property is also home to a cemetery where some of the community’s most famous residents reside.

Many of the city’s notable historic homes are also open to the public for tours. For a peek into colonial life, visit The Hammond-Harwood House for a guided tour of the property, featuring an impressive collection of John Shaw furniture and artwork from Charles Willson Peale. Just outside of Annapolis, the Historic London Town and Gardens offers guests free reign of 23 acres of gardens and homestead.

3. Santa Fe, New Mexico

As the oldest state capital in the country, Santa Fe, NM, has long been committed to preserving its past. While it was founded by the Spanish in 1610, native tribes called the site home for thousands of years prior to colonization. With such a rich history, it definitely deserves a spot on your list of historic cities to visit this fall.

The Plaza of Santa Fe is a historic landmark, which still serves as a community gathering spot today. There are both modern and traditional eateries surrounding the square as well as street vendors serving up authentic grub and selling handmade jewelry and crafts. Completed in 1878, the Loretto Chapel is a locally beloved spot, featuring eye-catching architecture and a unique helix-shaped spiral staircase. Other sites you won’t want to miss include the San Miguel Mission and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

4. Charleston, South Carolina

When it comes to charming southern cities, history buffs won’t want to miss a chance to explore Charleston, SC. Originally designated “Charles Town,” the city was founded in 1670 and is the oldest town in the state. Fortunately, many of its antebellum structures are still standing today, including the Heyward-Washington House and the Nathaniel Russell House. While you may not have time to fit in all the city’s significant spots into one trip, be sure to hit the Historic Charleston City Market. The market covers a four-block radius and has been a Charleston tradition for over 200 years.

5. Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Settled in 1630, Portsmouth, NH, is renowned for its historic architecture. The city still boasts beautifully preserved homes dating back to the 1600s and 1700s. One of the most impressive is the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, which features 40 rooms on waterfront property. Can’t get enough Georgian architecture? Take a tour of the Moffat-Ladd House and Garden as well as the Jon Paul Jones House — both built in the mid-18th century. While Governor John Langdon House serves as an impressive example of high-end design, the Jackson House provides insight into life for the average person as the oldest wood-framed home in the state. The New England city also offers some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the region, making autumn the ideal season for a visit.

Step Back in Time with BusTickets.com

With so many historic cities to visit this fall, you may find it hard to choose just one. Thankfully, with BusTickets.com, you don’t have to. Our user-friendly platform allows you to compare prices and routes in real-time so that you find the most affordable rate for every trip. Don’t let history be forgotten — book your bus tickets today!

References

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/us-oldest-city-st-augustine-florida-180956434/ https://oldestwoodenschoolhouse.com/ http://www.oreillyhouse.org/ https://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdstatehouse/html/home.html https://stannes-annapolis.org/ https://hammondharwoodhouse.org/ https://www.historiclondontown.org/ http://www.lorettochapel.com/ https://www.charlestonmuseum.org/historic-houses/heyward-washington-house/ https://www.historiccharleston.org/house-museums/nathaniel-russell-house/ https://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com/ http://wentworthcoolidge.org/ http://moffattladd.org/ https://www.historicnewengland.org/property/governor-john-langdon-house/ https://www.historicnewengland.org/property/jackson-house/

affordable weekend getaway

4 Affordable Weekend Getaway Ideas

By Austin, Bus Travel, California, Florida, Miami, Oregon, San Francisco, Texas

Affordable Weekend Getaway

If you’ve ever furiously and enviously scrolled through photos of friends on picturesque vacations in exotic locales, envy no more! You can embark on an exciting adventure even if you think it might be out of your price range. In this post, we’ll look at four cities across the United States that make for perfect, delightful, but most importantly of all, affordable weekend getaways.

1. Austin, Texas

It’s not just the state capital of Texas, it’s the (unofficial) music capital, too! The music scene in this Southern city is so vibrant and respected that millions of people flock to Austin every year just to hear the latest up-and-comers and international headliners. There are plenty of courtyards throughout the downtown area to catch a great musical performance, but Cedar Street Courtyard is easily one of the most popular spots. There is live music every night of the week that can be enjoyed with a delicious cocktail and festive lighting.

Another way to take in Austin’s music scene is to enjoy a concert with some brisket. At Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, you can chow down on savory barbecue while being serenaded by talented musicians. To get in touch with your inner child, treat yourself to a day of fun and laughs at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures, a floating obstacle course right on the water. It’s perfect for both kids and adults! In the evening, dance the night away in the Rainey Street District, home to a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops, and food trucks. Although you can visit any time of day, the place really comes alive at night.

2. Portland, Oregon

Don’t let its reputation as a home to hipsters fool you into thinking everything in Portland will be over-priced. There are plenty of affordable bargains to be found in this charming town. Stroll through the aisles at the Powell Bookstore, and browse thousands of books before grabbing an Americana at the coffee shop next door. Even if you don’t buy a book, it’s still free to explore this famous Portland landmark. Another free activity to do in Portland is catching a live music concert at a popular bar like Tonic Lounge, the Firkin Tavern, or Alberta Street Pub. Lastly, remember to put a trip to the First Thursday art show on your Portland travel itinerary of free activities. Head to the Old Town and Pearl to visit the art galleries that open their doors for a free exhibit every month. Many even offer complimentary wine and beer!

3. San Francisco, California

On the surface, San Francisco does seem like one of those American cities that might be too expensive for a visit. And while it’s true that living in this Californian city is pricey, visitors can get away with experiencing San Francisco on a budget. There are plenty of attractions that are completely free. Think like a tourist, and start off with an eventful and scenic drive down Lombard Street. For culture, check out a handful of San Francisco’s museums that allow visitors to enter free of charge. A few of those museums include the Japanese Tea Garden, the Cable Car Museum, and the Musée Mécanique. And although this isn’t technically free, it’s very budget-friendly to do and should definitely be on your San Francisco bucket list: See the sights downtown via cable car.

4. Miami, Florida

Like San Francisco, there are plenty of free things to do in Miami. To begin, watch the sunrise on South Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Florida — and perhaps even the world. In the early morning, take photos in front of beautiful art murals in Wynwood and grab a coffee and light breakfast at one of the bakeries or shops in this art district. By late morning, lay out a yoga mat in the 32-acre Bayfront Park and take a free yoga class next to Biscayne Bay. Although taking a boat to Cuba may not be feasible, you can let Cuba come to you! Head over to Calle Ocho in Little Havana on the first Friday night of any month. The area comes alive with Cuban music and culture and beckons visitors to join in the celebration of Cuban culture. And before you leave Miami, catch at least one sunset from the South Pointe Park Pier.

Ready to enjoy an affordable weekend getaway? Keep saving by buying a bus ticket from BusTickets.com!