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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/

A group of men celebrating with their friends at a bachelor party.

4 Cities That Are Perfect For Your Next Bachelor Party

By Boulder, Bus Travel, Chicago, Colorado, Illinois, Las Vegas, Nevada, New York, New York City

Planning a wedding? For most grooms and groomsmen, that also entails planning a bachelor party. And what better way to go out with a bang than to party it up in another city? This way, you get to prolong the festivities, explore a new place, and hang out with your best mates for a longer period of time. For some inspiration, we’ve come up with four cities that are perfect for bachelor parties.

1. Las Vegas

What better place to hold your bachelor party than in one of the biggest party cities in the world? Provided you and your buddies either live near Las Vegas or can afford the trip to Sin City, a bachelor party weekend in this iconic destination will not disappoint. So how do you do the trip right? Start by booking a room at the Palms Casino Resort, where you and your guests can play a few rounds of bowling and go for a swim in the pool that extends over the edge of the hotel. And yes, those amenities are included in the actual Hardwood Suite, not just the hotel itself.

For a hefty dose of adrenaline, spend the first half of your day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where you and your buddies can rip around the track in Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and Porsches and spend the second half of the day flying fighter jets at Sky Combat Ace. You’ll have the chance to fly over the desert learning how to do tail spins and torque rolls just like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. After racing sports cars and flying fighter jets, rest up with a snooze by the pool at Encore Beach Club followed by a wild evening out playing poker at Bellagio and clubbing at Omnia.

2. Boulder

Maybe a few years ago Boulder, Colorado, wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar when planning an out-of-town bachelor party. But today, Boulder has become one of the most desirable places to live in the United States, and with that, it has plenty of amazing attractions that make for an unforgettable bachelor party weekend. Not to mention, Boulder is a great destination if you and your groomsmen want both a great cultural scene and plenty of hiking trails.

Try the brisk three-mile hike up Mount Sanitas Trailhead for breathtaking views of Boulder and spend an afternoon exploring the Flatirons. If your bachelor party weekend is anytime between November and April, plan a day or two at Eldora, easily the best mountain in Boulder for some serious skiing. Naturally, a bachelor party weekend would not be complete without plenty of beer—and Boulder has lots of that. Oskar Blues and Avery are two craft breweries that are very popular among visitors and locals alike. Colorado is also where Coors was born, so consider a free tour of the Coors plant.

3. Chicago

The great thing about the Windy City is it won’t be as crowded with other bachelor parties as certain cities like New Orleans and Las Vegas. Still, there is plenty to do and many reasons why you should make this city your bachelor party destination. Not only is Chicago a lively city with plenty to do downtown, it also has a handful of fun beaches situated on Lake Michigan (and conveniently almost all those beaches come with their own bars). Neither a bachelor party weekend nor a trip to Chicago would feel right without a proper evening, and there’s no better place in the city for red meat than the iconic Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse.

4. New York City

New York City may be the most popular of all cities when it comes to bachelor parties. If you’re tired of night clubs and strip clubs, New York has the variety you need. Head to Kick Axe Throwing in Brooklyn where you and your buddies can drink beer and throw axes. Then head to Chelsea Piers for some golfing, rock climbing, and bowling. In the evening, grab a few cheap drinks at Fat Cat and play some pool, Skee-Ball, or darts as you listen to jazz. For funny, head to the Comedy Cellar and for brunch in the morning, try Lavo NYC. Like Chicago, New York City is home to some of the most renowned, historical steakhouses in the world. You definitely don’t want to wrap up the festivities without grabbing a juicy strip steak or filet mignon at Keens or Gallagher’s.

Ready to plan your bachelor party? Take the first step by buying your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today.

References

www.palms.com/

www.lvms.com/

www.skycombatace.com/

bellagio.mgmresorts.com/en.html

www.encorebeachclub.com/

omniaclubs.com/

bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/mount-sanitas-trailhead

www.bouldercoloradousa.com/things-to-do/insider-guides/flatirons/

www.eldora.com/

www.oskarblues.com/

www.millercoors.com/breweries/coors-brewing-company/tours

geneandgeorgetti.com/

www.kickaxe.com/

www.chelseapiers.com/

www.fatcatmusic.org/

www.comedycellar.com/

lavony.com/

www.keens.com/

www.gallaghersnysteakhouse.com/