Category

Illinois

4 Hottest New Year’s Destinations to Ring in the New Year

By Atlanta, Bus Travel, California, Chicago, Georgia, Illinois, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Texas

4 Hottest New Year’s Destinations to Ring in the New Year

There’s a lot of expectation placed on New Year’s Eve. Not only do you want to finish out the year in a memorable way, but you also want to set the tone for the new year. Luckily, there are a few cities that understand the importance of the evening and commemorate it with unforgettable celebrations. These four hottest New Year’s destinations all fall into that category.

Atlanta, Georgia

It’s not a secret that Atlanta is known for throwing unforgettable events, and for New Year’s, the Empire City lives up to its reputation. From wild to mild, there’s a memory-making event for every personality type. One of the most popular options is NYE Live! at the Battery Atlanta. The annual shindig features buffets, live music, swag bags, and even a cash drop. There’s also a complimentary midnight champagne toast alongside a live stream of the NYC Ball Drop.

For a slightly more intimate setting without sacrificing fun, head to Gatsby’s Penthouse. The flapper-themed event offers an open bar, live DJ, and phenomenal rooftop views of Downtown and Midtown — perfect for midnight fireworks viewing. Craft beer fans, on the other hand, may find that the Atlanta Brew Year’s Eve party is more up to their speed. The party offers a casual vibe with an open bar, two live DJs, and party favors. It’s also located at the historic Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.

Even though Atlanta is known for its mild winters, snowstorms and freezing temperatures aren’t unheard of. As such, be sure to bring a coat and warm clothing for your bus trip. Yet, with enough dancing, you probably won’t even notice the chill.

Chicago, Illinois

While the winter weather in Chicago may not be hot, the New Year’s parties are on fire. The most sought after event of the night is the annual Chicago Resolution Gala. Held at the breathtaking Aon Grand Ballroom, the larger-than-life event features a buffet, 30 — yes, 30! — bars, and a revolving list of DJs. It’s superb location also offers an easy viewing experience of the Navy Pier NYE Fireworks Show.

If a 2,000-person event isn’t quite big enough for you, then the 3,000-person festivities at Congress Plaza Hotel are right up your alley. The hotel’s New Year’s Eve Ball is a big-energy, semiformal event. There are pre- and post-ball parties, multiple bars, a buffet, live DJs, and A-list attendees. Partying with friends? Grab tickets for one of the VIP tables.

San Antonio, Texas

If you’re heading to San Antonio for New Year’s Eve, leave your coats behind and soak up the sun as you enter 2020. There are numerous events across the city, but the one most anticipated is at Howl at the Moon. Energize for the night at the dinner buffet before filling up on premium drinks and hitting the dance floor. At midnight, give your feet a break while enjoying a champagne toast.

On a budget? You can still go big in San Antonio at Celebrate SA! The city’s official NYE celebration is held downtown with three live music stages, carnival rides, and festive food. Not only is admission to the event free, but it also culminates with a midnight fireworks show.

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles is one of the hottest New Year’s destinations in both the figurative and literal sense. With sunny skies and average winter temperatures in the upper 60s, the City of Angels is an excellent escape for anyone looking to escape the cold. It’s also the perfect weather for roaring ’20s attire, which is what you’ll need at Prohibition NYE. Held at Union Station in downtown, the iconic celebration offers burlesque performances, live jazz music, and a premium open bar. There’s also a midnight ball drop inside the venue!

For a more mysterious setting, grab your favorite mask and head to the New Year’s Eve Masquerade Celebration at Seven Grand. The free event features a full cocktail menu and plenty of dancing. There’s also no admission fee at Angel City Brewery. The annual No Cover New Year’s boasts a wide selection of craft beers, live music, and a midnight toast.

Find Budget-Friendly Travel to the Hottest New Year’s Destinations

Ready to ring in 2020 in style? Enjoy traveling to the hottest New Year’s destinations without breaking the bank, thanks to BusTickets.com. Our website offers the convenience of real-time price comparisons so that you know you’re always getting the best deal. Start out the New Year on the right foot by booking your bus tickets today!
References
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nye-live-new-years-eve-atlanta-tickets-73987642029

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/

Best American Zoos

4 of the Best Zoos in America

By Bus Travel, California, Chicago, Columbus, Illinois, Oregon, Palm Desert, Portland

What Are The Best Zoos in America To Visit?

If you’re an animal lover, then you know just how thrilling it is to spend some quality time at a zoological park. There’s far more to these destinations than meets the eye. They’re vital to protecting, nurturing, and preserving many animal species throughout the country by providing them with a safe home. Visitors can learn so much at the zoo, whether it’s their first time or their tenth, from the history of animals to how to care for them. Here are some of the top American zoos to consider for your next bus getaway.

Chicago Is Home To One of the Best Zoos In America

Set on 35 acres in Lincoln Park in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo takes its commitment to animals and the general public seriously. They’re one of only three zoos in the country that provides free admission every single day of the year. Since its inception in 1868, it has built on its foundation and added unique exhibits that draw visitors from all over the world. Among them is the Kovler Seal Pool, which was built in 1879 and provides a wonderful peek at harbor and gray seals coasting through the water. Another highlight is the Kovler Lion House, a centralized landmark that was constructed in 1912. The zoo is home to a vast and exciting array of animals, including giraffes, penguins, storks, vultures, eagles, swans, lemurs, chimpanzees, camels, and polar bears, among many others. You can also grab a bite at one of the many on-site cafes situated throughout the zoo.

Visit a 19th-Century Zoo in Portland

Since its founding in 1888, the Oregon Zoo in Portland has grown dramatically. Not only is it optimally situated several minutes from downtown, it’s also home to over 2,600 animals, including crocodiles, goats, river and sea otters, ducks, and porcupines. The layout is fun and easy to navigate, as it’s broken down by geographic area. There’s potential to learn so much while visiting one of the top American zoos on the west coast. Delve into the fascinating history of different animals, learn bird languages, join an on-site safari, or sit in on an informative talk led by an educational speaker. The zoo also hosts events throughout the holiday season, from trick-or-treating on “Howloween” to ZooLights, the illuminated winter wonderland.

Check out a Globally Renowned Zoo in Columbus

Odds are you’re familiar with the Columbus Zoo in Powell, Ohio, even if you don’t quite know it. It opened in 1927, but it was Jack Hanna who changed the face of the zoo forever. He was hired in 1978 to serve as the property’s director, and his vibrant spirit and enthusiasm for animals helped transform the space into a top-tier destination for people with the same passion. Appearances on national television programs helped call attention to the zoo, providing it with a valuable opportunity to be an educational source for people curious about animals. You’ll see plenty when you visit, from African leopards and lions to bears to bobcats, along with tigers, orangutans, and reindeer.

Try Something a Little Bit Different

If you want to step outside the boundaries of a traditional zoo, consider visiting The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California. The grounds are home to both a thriving zoo and a beautiful botanical garden. There’s plenty for animal lovers to do and see here, including giraffe feeding, nature hikes, and even behind-the-scenes peeks at what goes on at the Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, where professionals provide care and support to the zoo’s residents. In addition to watching them perform exams, you can also ask questions and learn more about what it takes to be an animal caregiver. When you’re done observing the longhorn cattle, cheetahs, sheep, camels, and dwarf donkeys, venture over to the awe-inspiring botanical garden set on the desert floor.

Book Your Trip to One of the Best Zoos In America Today

When you want to get away from it all and experience the unique joys that only animals can bring, plan a zoo trip! Once you’ve decided which of the best zoos in America is right for you, head to BusTickets.com to book your affordable getaway today.

References

https://www.lpzoo.org/
https://www.oregonzoo.org/
https://www.columbuszoo.org/
https://www.livingdesert.org/

There are so many fun Thanksgiving traditions around the U.S. Make sure to read about them all!

The 5 Best US Thanksgiving Celebrations You Won’t Want to Miss

By Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Washington D.C

For most families, Thanksgiving has become a routine — cooking the same foods, seeing the same people, and watching the same parades and football games on the television. Fortunately, your experience can go from bland to brilliant by spending it in a new city. If you’re ready to make this holiday one to remember, here are the best Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S.

1. New York City

New York City knows how to how to celebrate a holiday, and their Thanksgiving festivities are literally larger than life. The Big Apple’s beloved Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features over 60 building-size balloons, along with a long list of floats and live performances. The annual event begins at 9 a.m., but you need to show up early to grab a good spot roadside. If you arrive in town the day before, you can even see the balloons come to life around Central Park West.

After the parade wraps up, head out for a Thanksgiving meal. If you want to eat with a view, try the three-course meal at Manhatta. The high-end restaurant rests 60 floors above the ground, offering a breathtaking look at the cityscape. For a more laid-back atmosphere, try Hearth in East Village or Freemans on the Lower East Side.

Want an after-dinner adventure? Head to the Empire State Building or the Central Park Zoo for some holiday photo-ops — both stay open on Thanksgiving. Or, head to Central Park’s Wollman Rink for ice skating. Thanksgiving break is also the perfect time to get in the holiday spirit by catching The Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

2. Chicago

Not to be outdone by their pizza rival to the east, Chicago also puts on an epic Thanksgiving Day Parade. Dating back to 1934, the event is held annually in Downtown, starting at 8 a.m. and lasting to around 11 a.m. As with NYC, you can expect festive balloons, floats, marching bands, dance acts, and horses. Before you dive into dinner, give back by tackling the Turkey Trot. Proceeds from the 8K race go to support the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

When it comes to a Thanksgiving Day feast, the Windy City doesn’t disappoint. The Chicago Yacht Club offers a family-friendly buffet earlier in the day, featuring turkey, macaroni and cheese, and other regional favorites. For dinner, grab a four-course meal at Cherry Circle Room, or enjoy takeaway at the hotel from Parson’s Chicken and Fish. If you need some pre-holiday stress release, there’s also a bar crawl on Wednesday night. Tickets to the Turkey Crawl, as it’s known, include admission, drink specials, and a dinner buffet.

3. Washington, D.C.

Thanksgiving is a quintessential Americana holiday, so it’s only natural that the nation’s capital hosts some of the best Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. While Washington, D.C., doesn’t host a city-wide parade, you can catch one in the Reston Town Center on Friday morning. The city’s beloved Smithsonian museums are also open all day, and admission is free.

For a truly brag-worthy Thanksgiving dining experience, head to George Washington’s estate. Mount Vernon offers Thanksgiving Day and Eve buffets with an assortment of salads, sides, entrees, and desserts. If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, there’s an all-you-can-eat holiday menu at Hill Country Barbeque.

4. Williamsburg, Virginia

As the official site of the first Thanksgiving, Williamsburg, VA, goes above and beyond with their holiday celebrations. The Berkeley Plantation hosts the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival in early November, but you can still tour the house, garden, and grounds during the holiday week. The Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia celebration kicks off on Thanksgiving Day at the Jamestown Settlement, offering a look at the past. For dinner, enjoy a special holiday feast at the historic Chowning’s, The King’s Arms, and the Shields taverns.

5. Plymouth, Massachusetts

While it didn’t get to host the first feast, the meal that inspired Thanksgiving as we know it today actually happened at Plymouth, MA — two years after Williamsburg. In modern times, the town is committed to providing an authentic experience to guests. Visit Plimoth Plantation to explore the 17th-century village, step aboard the Mayflower replica, and take a trip to the Wampanoag Homesite. When you’re hungry, head to the Plimoth Plantation for a homestyle buffet. Additionally, if you arrive the weekend before, catch the historically accurate Thanksgiving parade on Saturday.

Save on Thanksgiving Travel with BusTickets.com

If you’re ready to feast like it’s 1621, don’t miss out one of the best Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. At BusTickets.com, we know the holidays can leave you with a tight budget, which is why we make finding the best travel deals easy and convenient. Don’t miss out on the festivities — book your bus tickets today.

Looking for a the best city for a labor day celebration? Check out Chicago and it's beautiful lakeside views.

5 Unforgettable Labor Day Celebrations You Won’t Want to Miss

By Atlanta, Bus Travel, Charlotte, Colorado, Denver, Georgia, Illinois, New Orleans, North Carolina, Washington D.C

From barbecues to fireworks, Labor Day is one of the most celebrated events of the year. Yet, the same festivities year after year start to get boring. For that reason, many people are now utilizing the long weekend as an opportunity to take an end-of-summer getaway. If you’re ready to break away from traditional celebrations for an unforgettable experience, pick one of these five Labor Day celebration ideas.

1. Washington, D.C.

As with the Fourth of JulyWashington, D.C., knows how to celebrate a patriotic holiday. The capital city starts off the celebrations with two exciting festivals — both of which are free. The National Book Festival features over a hundred beloved authors from around the world, attracting thousands of visitors for talks and presentations every year. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities provided throughout the convention center.

Just outside of the city in Reston, VA, The Lake Anne Plaza hosts the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival. The all-ages event runs from early afternoon through the evening, offering a variety of performances. There are also plenty of craft and food vendors, as well as paddle boat and kayak rentals on the lake.

2. Atlanta

In Atlanta, GA, you need to look skyward to enjoy some of the top Labor Day festivities. Beginning on Saturday and lasting through Monday, the Hot Air Balloon Festival invites huge crowds for a weekend of relaxing fun. Not only do you get to enjoy the extraordinary sight of hundreds of in-flight balloons, but you can also take a ride for yourself. The festival also offers a car show, live music, and beach games.

Heading to Atlanta is also an excellent Labor Day celebration idea for Game of Thrones fans, as the weekend marks the arrival of Dragon Con. Held Downtown, the five-day event kicks off Friday and lasts through Tuesday — the perfect excuse for an extra-long weekend getaway. Vegan travelers also have something to look forward to at the Fifth Annual Veggie Connection festival in nearby Smyrna on Saturday.

3. Charlotte, North Carolina

For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s hard to beat the wide selection of Labor Day events in Charlotte, NC. The celebrations begin on Saturday with the Bearden Birthday Bash at Romare Bearden Park. Starting at 6 p.m., the live outdoor concert features jazz and soul tunes, and it’s free to enjoy.

Spanning both Saturday and Sunday, you won’t want to miss the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s (USNWC) Labor Day Celebration. On Saturday, there are yoga classes, rock climbing, and live music. For Sunday, you’ll want to grab your running shoes for the 5K and 15K, followed by hiking, more live music, and a massive fireworks display at sunset. Along with special events, the center’s zip lines and trails are open for use.

Round out your North Carolina weekend getaway with the Charlotte Labor Day parade in Uptown, followed by a visit to the Blue Blaze Brewing Co. From noon to 9 p.m., the brewery offers drink deals, live music, and free hotdogs. There’s also a firepit jam session sure to make an impression.

4. Denver

From drinks to music, the Mile High City knows how to kick back and relax on Labor Day. A favorite of both locals and visitors, A Taste of Colorado music festival offers three days of free live music with plenty of local art and food. On Saturday, head to the suburb of Littleton for the Brews & Views beer festival at the Hudson Gardens and Events Center, followed by a fireworks display at the Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park on Sunday Night.

For the artsy traveler, nothing can compete with Crush Walls. The urban art festival starts on Monday in the RiNo Art District and features a variety of street art. Need an excuse to extend your Denver, CO, vacation? The Denver Wine and Food Festival begins on September 4 and runs through the following Sunday.

5. Chicago

From deep-dish pizza to baseball, the Windy City is known for many things. Yet, the Chicago Jazz Festival is one of the most popular events of the entire year. Beginning on August 23 and running through September 1, the music celebration is held in beloved Millennium Park and features daily performances from both local and world-renowned artists. It’s also free to the public.

While you’re in Chicago, head by the Copernicus Center for the Taste of Polonia Festival. The four-day Polish festival starts on Friday and wraps up Labor Day, offering four live music stages alongside food and craft vendors. During your music-filled weekend, don’t forget to head to the Navy Pier on Sunday night for a brilliant fireworks display.

Cut Costs on Labor Day Travel With BusTickets.com

Labor Day is meant for relaxing, and what better way to achieve that feat than with a weekend getaway? BusTickets.com takes the stress out of travel by making the process quick, reliable, and convenient. Search for available routes, compare prices, and book the best option for your budget — it’s really that easy. Your end-of-summer getaway awaits, so what are you waiting for? Pick one of these Labor Day celebration ideas and book your bus tickets today!

Resources

https://www.loc.gov/events/2019-national-book-festival/

http://theveggieconnection.com/

http://www.dragoncon.org/

https://www.callawaygardens.com/resort-experiences/signature-events/sky-high-hot-air-balloon-festival-labor-day-weekend/

http://uptowncharlotteparks.com/romare-bearden-park/

https://usnwc.org/relax/festivals/labor-day-celebration/

http://www.blueblazebrewing.com/events/2017/8/29/labor-day-celebration

https://www.atasteofcolorado.com/

https://www.hudsongardens.org/enjoy/beer-festival/

https://www.elitchgardens.com/entertainment/fireworks/

https://crushwalls.org/

https://denverfoodandwine.com/

https://jazzinchicago.org/jazzfest/

https://topchicago.org/

https://navypier.org/explore/fireworks/