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Small Town Travel: 5 Must-See Small Towns

By Bus Travel, Carmel By The Sea, Ellicottville, Harpers Ferry, Leavenworth, New York, Stuart, Washington

5 Cute Small Towns You’ve Never Heard of—Until Now

When it comes to vacation and travel in the U.S., there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the classics. Infamous cities like Miami, Las Vegas, and New York are all tourist traps for a reason—they’re bursting at the seams with energy and excitement.

There comes a time, however, when you begin to crave something new. Something different.

As opposed to the bright lights of a big city, you begin to crave the gentle lure and cozy atmosphere that only a small town can provide. And there are thousands of small towns all around the country worth exploring—each one unique in its own way.

Perfect for families in search of wholesome fun, couples looking for a romantic getaway, or solo travelers en route to new adventures—there’s no demographic left out when it comes to finding the perfect small-town travel destination.

But, the best thing about going to explore small towns is also the worst thing about small towns—they’re hard to find. The very nature of a small town is hidden, exclusive, and quiet. This makes it difficult to know where to go.

Here at BusTickets.com, we pride ourselves on being your go-to source for everything about U.S. travel. So for those looking to explore small towns, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five of the cutest small towns you’ve never heard of—until now.

Leavenworth, Washington

Located in central Washington state, the small village of Leavenworth is a beautiful sight to behold. The architecture and atmosphere of Leavenworth are styled like an authentic Bavarian village, with Alpine-style buildings featuring German restaurants and shops.

The village serves as a gateway for wineries and ski resorts, as well as many unassuming and unique attractions like the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which features a vast collection of nutcracker figurines, some of which are centuries old.

Leavenworth’s cozy atmosphere and old-world aesthetic drip with charm, making it the perfect low-key travel destination for families and couples alike.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Settled upon California’s Monterey Peninsula, this beach city is a hidden gem within the Golden State, attracting a loyal following of leisure-loving travelers.

Unlike most cities in California, what Carmel-by-the-Sea treasures most is its history, offering a cornucopia of interesting museums and historical sites. The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is the most notable of these, as the historic landmark in which the city was founded around.

Satisfyingly quiet, Carmel-by-the-Sea is perfect for those who love to explore small towns. Decorated with fairytale cottages and home to many boutique restaurants and shops, this coastal city combines a small-town atmosphere with beachfront relaxation for a most enviable vacation experience.

Ellicottville, New York

New York is a state largely defined by the Big Apple. But tucked away in the western region of the state and far from the hustle and bustle of NYC, is the small village of Ellicottville, which promotes an entirely different mode of thinking.

Outfitted with boutique shops, breweries, and charming little restaurants, Ellicottville exudes the classic image of small-town America. These small-town creature comforts aren’t the only thing available to Ellicottville, however. The village is also home to two ski resorts, including Holiday Valley, that feature cross-country trails and an adventure park.

Additionally, outdoor enthusiasts will be pleased to know Ellicottville offers close proximity to Rock City and McCarty Hill state forests, where hiking trails and wildlife draw many curious explorers.

Stuart, Florida

Popular tourist cities like Orlando and Miami first come to mind when thinking about the Sunshine State, but the gorgeous landscape and year-round warm climate in Florida benefit more than just the tourist traps.

Small towns like Stuart, located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, are well-kept secrets among many local Floridians. Therefore, if you’re making your way to Florida intending to explore small towns—you’d be best advised to head to Stuart.

Known to many as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” the vibrant small town of Stuart gives its visitors a slow-paced atmosphere amongst gorgeous coastal scenery. Historic homes, pastel-colored and half dilapidated from the salty air, set the charming aesthetic and tone of Stuart, where many water sports enthusiasts travel to fish, boat, and kayak.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Landscape artists live to paint places like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Carved into mountains and intersected by rivers, this gorgeous small town offers the perfect escape from the modern world.

Harpers Ferry is the ideal archetype for a low-key getaway with a cute, downtown aesthetic. A handful of eclectic shops, restaurants, and breweries are available for some healthy indulging, and some great historic landmarks like Harpers Ferry National Historical Park feature walking trails, a Civil War museum, and John Brown’s Fort.

If visitors to Harpers Ferry are seeking adventure in the outdoors, you don’t have to look far, as the town serves as a gateway to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Jefferson Rock.

Hop on a Bus to Explore Small Towns

There’s a whole world of small towns across the U.S. where charming atmospheres, friendly locals, and humble attractions converge to create unforgettable experiences. Don’t waste any time; start exploring these small towns with BusTickets.com. Purchase your tickets and start planning your trip today!

References

http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/

Museum

https://www.holidayvalley.com/

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/

https://www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/historyculture/jefferson-rock.htm

The Best Christmas Getaways for Two

By Bus Travel, Charleston, New York, New York City, Park City, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Willamsburg

The Best Christmas Getaways for Two

While some choose to spend Christmas in the comfort of their own home surrounded by family, festive decorations, and a big green tree, others like the idea of making an adventure out of the holiday. If you and your significant other are thinking of getting away for the holidays this year, there are plenty of great advantages to foregoing the traditional homestyle Christmas and opting for something new. For readers considering a quiet yuletide getaway for two, we’ve come up with a list of four perfect destinations.

New York, NY

New York City might just be the king of destinations when it comes to the best Christmas getaway for two. It’s such a vibrant city that takes its holiday season seriously, so you’ll have no trouble finding a myriad of Christmas activities. Start your trip by checking into a cozy AirBnB or a world-famous hotel in Midtown Manhattan. After settling in, venture out into the winter wonderland that is New York and snap a few selfies in front of the impressively large tree in Rockefeller Center. Afterward, go ice skating in Bryant Park (for free!), and then catch the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. Check out the underground market beneath the famous Plaza Hotel and grab a cup of gourmet hot cocoa and delicious Italian cookies before heading back outside to explore more of the city. If you want to experience Christmas in New York like a local, there are plenty of options off the beaten path as well. Aside from ice skating in Bryant Park, you can browse the endless array of vendors at the Winter Village and pick up some artisanal foods that make for excellent Christmas gifts. Another novel holiday experience is catching a production of _A Christmas Carol_ at The Merchant’s House in downtown Manhattan. Of course, your Christmas getaway to New York would not be complete without endless hours of shopping along 5th Avenue and a walking tour of the gorgeous holiday window displays at all the iconic stores.

Williamsburg, VA

Is there anything with more storybook charm than a quaint Christmas spent in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia? If this Christmas season is going to be a quiet, intimate occasion for two, Williamsburg may have all the seasonal ingredients necessary for an unforgettable experience. Throughout the entire month of December, the greater Williamsburg area puts on quite the assortment of festivities, starting with The Grand Illumination. Every year, visitors flock to the downtown area to sip a hot drink, listen to live music and watch the spectacular fireworks show. If you are in Williamsburg in early December, you don’t want to miss the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade, where you’ll spot a string of brightly lit and decorated sailboats. After watching the parade, walk along the Riverwalk Landing to the giant bonfire where you can sing carols, listen to music, and sip free hot cider with the other locals and visitors.

Charleston, SC

Charleston is another quaint town that is perfect for a cozy Christmas getaway. It’s not large enough to be overwhelming and chaotic, but there’s no lack of things to do around the holiday season. Every weekend throughout the month of December is the Charleston Farmers Market, where you can sample homemade baked goods, sip hot cocoa, listen to live music and pick up some local art for a Christmas gift. After a day of shopping, head to the Dock Street Theater to catch a musical adaptation of _A Christmas Carol_. Finally, you won’t want to miss the annual Holiday Festival of Light, which takes place at James Island County Park. It’s open every day through the month of December and beckons visitors to drive through the incredible display of lights. After seeing the Christmas displays, head to the Winter Wonderland to ride trains, roast marshmallows, shop for gifts and listen to live holiday music at this choice for the best Christmas getaway for two in South Carolina.

Park City, UT

Want to make sure it’s a White Christmas? Head to Park City, Utah, where you can be sure the snow will be blanketing the earth. Do some last-minute Christmas shopping at the local boutiques along Main Street before catching the Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve. Every Christmas, hundreds of skiers adorned in bright Christmas lights glide down the ski run at Deer Valley Resort’s Big Stick. After watching the parade, skiers and spectators alike are invited to enjoy free hot cider and cookies. And because it’s Park City, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty of resorts to indulge in your favorite winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and more. If you want an experience unlike any other this Christmas, you will definitely want to check out The Viking Yurt.

Visit These Best Christmas Getaways for Two

When you’re ready to snuggle up with your partner for the holiday this year, we hope this list of the best Christmas getaways for two helps with your decision. Don’t stress about your travel arrangements—make it easy and buy your tickets on BusTickets.com today!

best fall festivals on the east coast

5 Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destinations to Visit

By Bus Travel, California, Leavenworth, McAdenville, New York, New York City, Solvang, Washington

’Tis the season to spend some extra quality time with your family. If you tend to hunker down at home for the holidays, you may want to consider doing something a little different this year. With these fun whole family Christmas break destinations in mind, you can break tradition and establish new ones while making memories that will last a lifetime. Before you book your bus ticket, consider these five spots.

New York City

This one’s a no brainer if you love the magic of the season and want your children to experience it, too. Christmas in New York is truly a wonderful time. The kids will be wowed by the spectacular light displays that illuminate Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, while you’ll be dazzled by the beautiful window display at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store. This is also a great time to explore some other parts of the city and take advantage of their epic holiday events and offerings. Union Square Holiday Market is a longtime favorite that’s worth braving the chill in the air. There are hundreds of vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to artwork here, along with tasty treats and gifts for the kids. Another must-visit is The Rooftop at Pier 17, where you can do everything from sip festive cocktails to learn skating.

Alexandria

People flock to Washington, DC, during the holiday season, but if you want to escape the crazy crowds, you might consider visiting nearby Alexandria instead. Situated in Northern Virginia just minutes from the District, the small city packs a ton of festive activity within its confines. This is the place to be if you treasure the feel of a charming old town that transports you to another world. Wander along King Street and pop into the dozens of boutiques to find one-of-a-kind gifts for your nearest and dearest, then stop by one of the independent bakeries or coffee shops for a mug of hot cocoa and a bite to eat. Don’t miss the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, which brings the festivities to the water and provides absolutely awe-inspiring views. Naturally, you can also pose for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Solvang

The California town of Solvang is truly special, with its old-world Danish charm and eclectic landmarks. The most well-known by far are its windmills and Danish bakeries, which set the tone for a truly European Christmas. Throughout the season, you can experience everything from operas to live animal displays to boutique shopping. Each year, locals celebrate Julefest, a month-long extravaganza that brings the true spirit of the season to town. Here, kids can visit Santa’s Village, and everyone can enjoy a lively candlelight tour and watch the parade. There’s even a beer and wine “stein stroll” perfect for parents to enjoy.

McAdenville

Also known as “Christmas Town USA,” McAdenville is easily one of the most fun whole family Christmas break destinations in the country. This is a small North Carolina town — there are just shy of 700 residents in total — but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in festivities! Each year, some 500,000 lights go up and transform the city into a complete winter wonderland. There are also over 160 houses impressively decorated for the season. It’s hard to resist such beauty, especially when you can partake in all this plus a tree lighting ceremony entirely for no charge.

Leavenworth

No list would be complete without a mention of Leavenworth, which earns high marks year-round for its exquisite beauty and European charm. During the holiday season, the Washington city transforms into a truly fun whole family Christmas break destination. What else would you expect of an authentic Bavarian village that’s known for its “Christkindlmarkt,” along with beautiful caroling, a town tree, and melodic harp concerts? Stay a little while longer and you can also enjoy the Bavarian Ice Festival in January.

Book Your Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destination Trip Today

Whether you’re traveling with your kids or your significant other, you’re sure to have a great time at these fun whole family Christmas break destinations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable trip today.

References

https://theplanetd.com/new-york-city-christmas/

https://www.visitalexandriava.com/holidays/

https://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/

https://www.mcadenville-christmastown.com/

https://leavenworth.org/news/2017-11-16/leavenworth-village-lights/

3 Top US Hanukkah Celebration Destinations

By Bus Travel, California, Los Angeles, New York, New York City, San Antonio, Texas

Book Your Trip to One of the top US Hanukkah Celebration Destinations

If you’re planning to celebrate Hanukkah a little differently this year, you may want to look into heading out of town for the holiday. There are countless ways to commemorate the meaning of Hanukkah in your special way all over the country. Whether you’re craving a taste of the big city or some Southern charm, you’ll find plenty waiting for you at the top US Hanukkah celebration destinations. Before you book your bus ticket, keep these options in mind.

New York City

Just as New York City does _everything_ in spectacular fashion, it’s no slouch when it comes to celebrating Hanukkah, either. If you do nothing else, don’t miss the lighting of Brooklyn’s Largest Menorah, which stands about 32 feet high and is on display for every night of the holiday. Enjoy live music, gifts for the kids, and, of course, piping hot latkes to keep you toasty on freezing evenings. Also worth a visit: the Latke Festival at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s a lively charity event—you’ll not only have your fill of all the potato pancakes you can handle, but you’ll also do your part to support The Sylvia Center, a nonprofit that helps under-served communities explore healthy eating opportunities.

Of course, there are amazing Manhattan restaurants where you can enjoy all the traditional favorites, including latkes and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). If you have a huge sweet tooth, make your way to Breads Bakery for their chocolate, vanilla, halva, and strawberry sufganiyot. Freds Downtown at Barneys New York is where to be if you need to get your latke fix—there are a variety of options available, plus vodka to wash it all down. And it wouldn’t be Hanukkah without a visit to the world-renowned and universally beloved Katz’s Delicatessen. Go once or go every night of the holiday for something new every time.

San Antonio, Texas

If you love San Antonio in the summertime, you’ll appreciate it in a different way during the cooler months. While it doesn’t exactly get cold in the beloved Texas city, there’s something decidedly different in the air during Hanukkah. Every year, the Chabad Center for Jewish Life & Learning hosts Chanukah on the River. This festive experience is a must if you love spending time by the River Walk. There’s an interactive cruise experience that also includes live music and prizes. A couple of hours later, enjoy the menorah lighting and meet with leaders within the local Jewish community.

Another annual event to keep in mind is the Chanukah Menorah lighting celebration, a partnership between Pearl and Young & Jewish San Antonio (YJSA). This completely free event is a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with locals as well as share in the beauty of the holiday with your family.

Los Angeles, California

Whether you’re traveling on your own or with the family, you’ll find hundreds of wonderful events throughout Los Angeles. Among the most noteworthy is Hanukkah Family Fun Day, hosted annually by the Shalom Institute in Malibu. Enjoy tons of fun outdoors, from farm activities to wall climbing. For a deeper appreciation of the holiday, visit Chabad of Greater Los Feliz. In addition to the daily menorah lighting, the facility hosts a buffet dinner complete with doughnuts and latkes. Kids can learn how to play dreidel and enjoy other family-oriented activities in the company of friendly locals.

If you’re planning to do some shopping while you’re in town, make your way to Two Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. The Chabad of Beverly Hills hosts its annual celebration on Via Rodeo, complete with live entertainment and delicious food. If you’re in Newport Beach, join the Chabad Center for Jewish Life for the Fashion Island Menorah Lighting. There will be face painting and other kids’ activities as well as food and, of course, doughnuts and dreidels.

Book Your Trip to One of the Top US Hanukkah Celebration Destinations

If you’re planning to make special memories this year, consider one of the top US Hanukkah celebration destinations for your next getaway. A big city doesn’t feel huge when you’re immersed in welcoming, family-friendly environments that offer wonderful activities for everyone in your group. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable vacation today.

References

https://www.chabadparkslope.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/2399584/jewish/Home.htm

https://www.latkefestival.com/

https://www.chabadsa.com/

https://www.yjsa.org/young-jewish-san-antonio

https://shalominstitute.com/

https://www.chabadlosfeliz.org/

https://www.chabadofbeverlyhills.com/

https://www.jewishnewport.com/

natural wonders in the United States

Breathtaking Natural Wonders in the United States

By Bus Travel, California, Florida, Juneau, New York, Niagra Falls

Breathtaking Natural Wonders in the United States

The world is filled with stunning natural wonders, and many of them are found right here in the United States. It is a country that seems to have it all: tropical beaches with ocean views, snowy mountain tops, dry deserts, lush, green forests … you name it, the U.S. likely has it. So where do you begin when it comes to exploring it all? In this post, we will take a look at four incredible natural wonders that you can find in the various states throughout the country.

Florida Everglades

Nicknamed “The River of Grass,” the Florida Everglades is an expansive wetlands region that consists of forests, prairies, and other awe-inspiring wonders. There is no other ecosystem quite like it on the planet which places it at the top of our natural wonders in the United States. While in the Everglades, start off with a visit to the Corkscrew Swamp: Land of the Giants. To get in, take a stroll along the two-mile-long boardwalk that leads you straight into the heart of the swamp. Once there, you’ll be surrounded by some of the oldest, tallest cypress trees in the world. There are trees in that area that stand over 145 feet tall and 40 feet wide! After visiting the Corkscrew Swamp, trek over to the Big Cypress National Preserve and walk the Tamiami Trail. It’s there that you’ll spot more than a handful of alligators living in the canals along the trail. Finally, after getting all tuckered out from hiking trails in the Everglades, hop on a tram and enjoy the scenery along the 15-mile Gator Trail. If you’re up for it, you can opt to bike along this trail instead.

Death Valley

A place called Death Valley may not seem that inviting—or sound like one of the natural wonders in the United States—but it’s definitely an incredible destination not to be missed in California. Consisting of over 3.4 million acres of wilderness, you are guaranteed to discover more than a handful of breathtaking natural wonders in this national park. To begin your trip to Death Valley, start off with an easy two-mile hike to Natural Bridge. Afterward, pay a visit to the otherworldly Racetrack. The Racetrack is a former lake that is now all dried up and left with a vast wilderness of moving rocks! It’s important to note that the only way to drive on this lake bed is if you have a 4×4 and a high-clearance vehicle before venturing into this dry, desolate area.

If a trip to the Racetrack isn’t feasible, there are still plenty of other options to choose from. Something you will not want to miss out on is a day trip to the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, a desert region surrounded by massive mountains. The contrast between this flat area and the high peaks of the mountains is breathtaking. Drive to this area and get out to walk for a bit (remember to bring plenty of water) or plan a quad-riding trip through the sand dunes. Either way, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Niagara Falls

Although part of the falls exists in an entirely different country (Canada), Niagara Falls still counts as a natural wonders in the United States. There is more than one way to experience these mammoth falls, including enjoying panoramic views of them from a hotel room or getting right in them on a Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes you through the river and right underneath the falls! Don’t worry, you are prepped for the trip with a rain hat and raincoat so that your clothes will stay (mostly) dry. Another vantage point from which to view the falls can be found on the Cave of the Winds, a series of wooden walkways all around the falls. Make sure to bring your camera! The best views are often found on the walks along the Cave of the Winds.

Hubbard Glacier

You have to be pretty committed to the experience if you want to see Hubbard Glacier. You will need to be mentally and physically prepared for quite a trek to get there. This massive glacier is situated roughly 200 miles outside of Juneau, Alaska, and can be found off the Yakutat Coast. So just how big is the Hubbard Glacier? Approximately the size of a three- or four-story building (about 400 feet tall). And get this: that’s just a portion of it that shows. Most of the glacier is underwater. To see the Glacier, you’ll need to take a tour boat out onto the water. You will remain about half a mile away from the glacier, but it will still be close enough for you to see this impressive structure made by nature.

Ready to See These Natural Wonders in the United States?

Ready to start exploring just a few of the natural wonders that can be found in the United States? Start planning your trip by buying a ticket from BusTickets.com today!

References

https://www.nps.gov/ever/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm
https://www.niagarafallsstatepark.com/
https://www.alaska.org/detail/hubbard-glacier