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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/

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/

Looking for the best place to camp? Check out these top beautiful camping destinations and book your bus tickets today.

Most Beautiful Camping Destinations in the Country

By Arizona, Bus Travel, California, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Washington

The United States could easily be considered one of the top countries in the world for incredible camping experiences. After all, the country is 3.8 million square miles, with much of that being natural regions perfect for camping. If you are trying to find your next camping destination, look no further! In this post, we’ll introduce you to some of the most beautiful places to camp in the country.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the country as well as Mount Mazama, a collapsed volcano. Both of these natural wonders make this park a picturesque destination for nature photographers and anyone else looking to snap a few amazing photos! During your stay in the park, take a boat over to Wizard Island to hike the trails around the island’s volcano. If you’re still looking for more hiking opportunities, take on Mount Scott, the highest point in Crater Lake. For a delightfully eerie experience, explore Phantom Ship, a small rock island in Crater Lake. Other spots to visit around the park include Castle Crest Wildflower GardenCloudcap Overlook, and National Creek Falls.

Olympic National Park, Washington

With breathtaking coastal views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and views of the magnificent Olympic Mountains on the other, Olympic National Park is a nature lover’s dream come true. Making up over 1,440 miles, this national park is a camping paradise that invites visitors to explore the Pacific Northwest. Take a hike through the Hoh Rainforest, ski through Hurricane Ridge, take a dip in Lake Crescent, go salmon fishing in Sol Duc River, and relax on the sands of Ruby Beach.

Joshua Tree State Park, California

Although Joshua Tree is getting something of a reputation for being the perfect backdrop of Instagram-worthy photos, there is so much more to this state park to explore. If you can, limit the amount of time you spend taking photos and instead be in the present moment in this highly protected natural wonderland. Pitch a tent or park your RV at the Jumbo Rocks Campground, comprised mainly of mini-canyons and big boulders. After a good night’s rest, get up in the morning to stroll through Cholla Cactus GardenIndian Cove Road, and the one-mile Hidden Valley Nature Trail. If you’re up for a seven-mile hike, make your way to Lost Palms Oasis Trail. Complete your camping trip with a stop off at Arch RockWonderland of Rocks, and the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is more than a place to bask in exquisite views. It’s an excellent camping option for anyone who wants to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery for more than a day. The South Rim is easily accessible, however, it can get pretty crowded because of this. The North Rim is a bit more remote, and camping in the backcountry is another option (with a permit). Plan to camp in the area for a few days so you have enough time to get in as much hiking, river rafting, and sightseeing as possible. Go for a swim in the enchanting blue-green Havasu Falls, watch the sun rise or set over Hopi Point, cross the Navajo Bridge, and spend the day basking in the beauty of Beaver Falls.

Assateague Island Campgrounds, Maryland

Does the idea of camping out on an island surrounded by beautiful, wild horses sound perfect to you? It’s all possible on Assateague Island in Maryland. This gorgeous island just nine miles away from Ocean City provides visitors with the chance to enjoy island living, camping, water sports, seafood, and brisk ocean air all in one trip. On dry land, you can camp out on the beach and spot the horses, and in the water, you can paddle board, boat, jet ski, kayak, and engage in just about every other water activity that comes to mind. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fresh crab during your stay.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

If only for the night sky lit up by hundreds of thousands of stars, that’s reason enough to camp out in Big Bend National Park. Of course, there are still many other sights to see and things to do in this national park. Hike to Cattail Falls, raft down the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, visit the Homer Wilson Ranch, and check out the Mariscal Mine.

Start planning your summer camping trip today by buying your bus ticket from BusTickets.com.

Memorial day is quickly approaching! Check out these top Memorial Day destinations.

Hottest Memorial Day Destinations — Grab Your Bus Ticket Now

By Baltimore, Bus Travel, Colorado, Colorado Springs, Louisiana, Maryland, Memphis, New Orleans, Tenessee

Do you see a short and sweet four-day vacation in your future? Why not take advantage of the long weekend this upcoming Memorial Day and plan a bus trip to one of the many fantastic cities in America? From east coast to west coast, there is no lack of cultural diversity and rich American history to explore over the weekend. And let’s not forget that Memorial Day is the perfect time to hang out with loved ones and chow down on classic American eats like hot dogs and hamburgers, apple pie, and barbecue. In this post, we’ll look at four great cities to consider traveling to for Memorial Day.

Baltimore, Maryland

History buffs will find Baltimore a great place to visit any time of year, but it’s an especially exhilarating place to be during Memorial Day weekend. Honor the troops at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Day Ceremony; drink beer and hang out with animals at the Brew at the Zoo Beer Festival, and jam out to live music at the Avenue Live Kickoff at the Avenue at White Marsh.

There’s plenty of other sightseeing to be done, including on an Inner Harbor cruise at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine or at the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Plan to stay at the Waterfront Hotel on Thames Street for spectacular views of the river or at one of the many fantastic bed and breakfasts like the 1840s Carrollton Inn.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is the go-to destination for some authentic Mardi Gras action, but this unique American town is also a Memorial Day weekend hidden gem. The city has plenty to offer for a jam-packed, culturally rich stay, including several music festivals, history museums, and food events.

After getting situated and exploring all the obligatory tourist spots like the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and the Garden District, spend the afternoon at the Bayou Country Superfest for some classic country music followed by riverfront fireworks. If your musical tastes are more eclectic, visit the Birdfoot Festival to get a taste of the international acts.

New Orleans has several other festivals going on during Memorial Day weekend, including a Greek Fest, the Tremé 7th Ward Arts and Crafts Festival, and the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Don’t forget to visit the National WWII Museum and attend the Memorial Day Ceremony in Chalmette.

Memphis, Tennessee

What goes better with Memorial Day than some good old-fashioned American rock n’ roll, blues, and killer barbeque? Memphis makes for an ideal Memorial Day vacation thanks to the bevy of activities going on throughout the weekend — without being an overcrowded tourist destination.

If your idea of a good time vacation is participating in a 5k run or a half-marathon, you’re in luck; you can sign up for the Memphis in May Great American River Run and work up a sweat while enjoying spectacular views of the Mississippi River. For those not so excited about working out on vacation, you can support your participating friends or family members by joining them at the post-race party for some good fun, music, and beer.

At night, you can catch a Redbirds game at AutoZone Park because what could be more American than baseball? Finish it with a slice of apple pie at Muddy’s Bake Shop and you’re golden!

Colorado Springs, Colorado

For nature enthusiasts, there is no better way to celebrate a long, leisurely Memorial Day weekend than by camping out under the stars in the beautiful, scenic areas surrounding Colorado Springs. Walk the trails and marvel at the magnificent rocks in the Garden of the Gods, hike to the top of Pikes Peak Mountain, and bask in lush greenery of the Broadmoor Seven Falls waterfall nature park.

If pitching a tent doesn’t sound as appealing as a comfy hotel room, you can always choose a cozy bed and breakfast experience at Crescent Lily Inn or a luxurious stay at the stately The Mining Exchange in the downtown Colorado Springs area. With it being Memorial Day weekend, there are plenty of events and festive activities to partake in, including the annual Meadowgrass Music Festival.

For something more low-key, plan a laid-back family barbeque at the Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

Ready to explore any of the beautiful cities across America this Memorial Day weekend? Don’t hesitate to purchase a bus ticket and plan your trip today!

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Check out these top locations to visit and have the time of your life.

5 Magical Travel Ideas for Harry Potter Fans

By Bus Travel, Chestertown, Florida, Maryland, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

For decades past the traditional entrance age, many Harry Potter fans are still waiting for their Hogwarts acceptance letters in adulthood. Thankfully, the wait is over! The popularity of the series has spawned a massive selection of fun activities for witches, wizards, and muggles of all ages. Grab your wand and broom because you won’t want to miss these five travel ideas for Harry Potter fans.

1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Orlando, Florida

If you long for nothing more than visiting Hogwarts in person, put The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ (TWWHP) by Universal Parks and Resorts at the top of your travel list. While there are now also locations in Osaka, Japan, and Los Angeles, CA, the original attraction in Orlando, FL, takes the House Cup for creating the most immersive fan experience. In fact, the magical destination is so expansive it’s been split into two theme parks — TWWHP Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida and TWWHP Hogsmeade™ at Islands of Adventure.

Head to Diagon Alley first to get all your supplies. Stop by Ollivander’s to find your wand, grab some magical tricks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and dive deep under the surface on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. Once your bags are full, step aboard the Hogwarts Express to visit TWWHP Hogsmeade for a bite to eat and a glass of Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. Be sure to catch the Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally performances, as well as an airborne adventure on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, while you’re there.

2. Witches & Wizards Festival — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Every year the Philadelphia’s garden district, Chestnut Hill, transforms into a magical destination for Harry Potter fans with the Witches & Wizards Festival. Formerly known as the Harry Potter Festival, the two-day event is held in October and officially begins with the Brews & Broomsticks Pub Crawl. Consisting of around 10 local bars, restaurants, and beer gardens, adult witches, wizards, and muggles get the chance to mingle while indulging in magical-themed foods and drinks for a $25 fee. Most other attractions over the weekend, like the Chestnut Hill College Brotherly Love Cup quidditch tournament, are free.

3. Wizard & Witches Beer Festival — Various Locations

When it comes to travel ideas for adult Harry Potter fans, the Wizard & Witches Beer Festival is at the top of the list. Rock Star Beer Festivals launched a brand new magical-themed event series in 2019 aimed at the thirstiest of Potterheads. The one-night festival takes place in various cities across the county, including Boston, MA, and Philadelphia, PA. Attendees get the chance to sample over 20 Harry Potter-themed drinks — including craft beers and cider — dance to live music and DJs and even get sorted into their Hogwarts house. Whether you dress up in your best wizard attire or blend in as a muggle, you’re sure to have an unforgettable three hours of fun.

4. The U.S. Quidditch Cup — Various Locations

Even muggles outside of the fandom understand the significance of quidditch, and thankfully, the sport has leaped off the page and into reality. Since officially launching in 2010, the U.S. Quidditch organization has helped the sport spread across the country, inviting players of all ages to hit the pitch. The popularity of the collegiate and community leagues has even launched the U.S. Quidditch Cup tournament — an absolute must-see event for every Harry Potter fan.

Typically occurring in April, the site of the tournament changes each year with past ones being set in locations like Columbia, SC, Kissimmee, FL, and Round Rock, TX. If you really want to bring your HP dreams to life, start your own team and work your way up to the Cup. You might even make it all the way to the Quidditch World Cup, which is held every four years in various locations around the globe.

5. Chestertown HP Festival — Chestertown, Maryland

Occurring the first week of October annually, the Chestertown HP Festival in Maryland is the perfect gathering for magical families. The all-ages festival offers two days filled with activities, special events, and vendor booths. Take a potions masterclass; get measured for a hand-crafted wand at the WandMakers Co-Op; watch paintings come to life at the Magic Hall of Talking Portraits; and show off your canon knowledge at trivia. There’s also an all-day quidditch tournament on Saturday, so don’t forget your broom.

 

Book Your Magical Getaway Today

Ready to get your magic on at one of these five travel ideas for Harry Potter fans? Join your fellow witches and wizards with the help of BusTickets.com. With our user-friendly platform, booking travel is so easy you don’t even need a wand. Simply select your destination, compare prices, and choose the most affordable option. You can even bring your coven along for the ride with our charter bus quote service. The sorting hat awaits — book your bus tickets today!