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top 5 US cities to visit in 2020

5 US Cities to Add to Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

By Asheville, Bus Travel, Charleston, Florida, Nashville, North Carolina, South Carolina, St.Augustine, Tenessee

5 US Cities to Add to Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

Travel is good for the soul, which is why it usually takes a top spot on many people’s New Year’s resolutions. While the thought of travel is simple, actually following through is a bigger challenge, thanks to the exhausting planning and research. Luckily, this year all the prep work is completed for you with this 2020 travel bucket list guide.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, TN, is a unique destination with a mix of big-city opportunity and southern hospitality. Yet, its most distinct claim to fame is its remarkable music scene. To get to know Music City, head to Music Row in downtown. The streets in this area are lined with memorabilia dedicated to musicians of the past. Make your first stop the Country Music Hall of Fame, followed by RCA Studio B and the Johnny Cash Museum and Cafe. Finish up with a live show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which was once home to the Grand Ole Opry.

While it may be a vital aspect of the city’s past, present, and future, Nashville offers more than just music. In fact, there’s a rich history just waiting to be explored. The Belle Meade Plantation just outside of town is a prime example of this quality. Dating back to 1845, the mansion was the site of a two-day Civil War battle in 1864, and today, there are guided tours of the estate available daily. Other important historical landmarks to visit on your trip include The Hermitage, the Parthenon in Centennial Park, and Fort Nashborough.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Considering it’s the birthplace of American democracy, should land a spot on everyone’s travel bucket list at least once. Start your visit by exploring the city’s rich heritage at the Independence National Historical Park. The 55-acre site is home to the iconic Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Benjamin Franklin Museum, and it’s also conveniently located in the city’s historic district.

Another must-see spot is the Philadelphia Museum of Art. If you’re a fan of Sylvester Stallone’s _Rocky_, then the stairs to the entrance may look familiar, but the museum offers far more than movie memorabilia. The gallery offers a huge selection of exhibits and regularly hosts talks and performances. There are also guided tours available. Other beloved spots to hit up while you’re in town include Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, and the Betsy Ross House.

Charleston, South Carolina

Of all the cities you’ve marked off your 2020 travel bucket list, it’s unlikely that any of them have been as charming as Charleston, SC. Founded in 1670, the historic city offers cobblestone streets lined with antebellum houses and Spanish moss-covered trees. If those picturesque details sound unbelievable, see it for yourself at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Dating back to 1676, the 390-acre plantation is open to the public for tours of the house, gardens, and nature center. You can even take a guided boat tour through the rice fields. During your visit, be sure to stop by Waterfront Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, and the historic Downtown area.

Asheville, North Carolina

Once you’ve stepped off the bus in Asheville, NC, your biggest challenge is going back home, because it’s impossible not to fall in love with this city. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers scenic views, historic landmarks, and a vibrant arts scene. While outdoor enthusiasts should head straight to the 500,000-acre Pisgah National Forest for a peaceful mountain trek, history buffs are sure to find happiness touring the Biltmore estate. For the artsy traveler, on the other hand, bliss lies among the expansive selection of galleries in Asheville’s Downtown Art District.

St. Augustine, Florida

When creating your 2020 travel bucket list, the oldest city in the U.S. definitely earns a spot near the top. St. Augustine, FL, was originally founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, and with such a long history, the biggest struggle is fitting all the sites into your schedule. One of the most important landmarks is the Castillo de San Marcos — the oldest masonry fort in the U.S. Other memorable spots are the Lightner Museum, the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum, and Cathedral Basilica.

Score Deals on Your 2020 Travel Bucket List

Ready to get a head start on your 2020 travel bucket list? Fit more destinations into your budget with [BusTickets.com](https://bustickets.com/). Our user-friendly service allows you to explore your route options, compare carrier prices in real-time, and book your trip quickly and conveniently — all in one spot. Get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions by buying your bus tickets today!

References

https://countrymusichalloffame.org/
https://studiob.org/
https://www.johnnycashmuseum.com/
https://www.ryman.com/
https://bellemeadeplantation.com/
https://www.nps.gov/inde/index.htm
https://philamuseum.org/
https://www.magnoliaplantation.com/
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recarea/?recid=48114
https://www.biltmore.com/
https://www.nps.gov/casa/index.htm

The Top 5 Most Romantic Holiday Escapes for Couples

By Beaufort, Bus Travel, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Nevada, North Carolina

The Top 5 Most Romantic Holiday Escapes for Couples

From work schedules to social commitments, it’s a challenge for many couples to spend any amount of quality time together. Fortunately, the holiday season offers a built-in excuse to take some time to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company without any distractions. If you’re in dire need for a romantic holiday escape, book a trip to one of these five destinations.

Vail, Colorado

In Vail, CO, love is in the air 24/7. The small town’s iconic resort looks like it was created solely for the holiday season. The snow-covered trees beautifully reflect the twinkling lights strung from every shop that lines the heated cobblestone streets — it’s truly picturesque. During Vail Holidays, both the resort and town take their appeal to new levels with fireworks displays, parades, and a tree lighting ceremony.

Even if your trip doesn’t coincide with a special event, there’s plenty of opportunities to spend quality time with your partner. Hit the slopes for skiing and snowboarding, peruse the local shops and eateries, enjoy nightly talks fireside, and hold each other up at one of the three ice rinks.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

If you want to truly unplug and unwind with your significant other, then head straight to Nantucket, MA. The small island is completely removed from the hustle and bustle of city life with its cobblestone streets, friendly locals, and slow-going attitude. While the many idyllic cottages and bed and breakfasts are inherently romantic in nature, many of them offer special couples’ packages with champagne and sunset cruises. Even if you don’t opt for one of those options, a guided boat tour is a must-have on your getaway. You can also rent bikes and enjoy an afternoon of exploration with your partner, take the scenic Bluff Walk at Sconset Beach, and visit any one of the three local lighthouses in person.

Beaufort, South Carolina

With its antebellum architecture and waterfront views, the charming town of Beaufort, SC, offers the ideal setting for a romantic holiday escape. While the coastal city is small, the community goes big for the holidays with multiple family-friendly activities, like the Annual Festival of Trees. However, there is plenty of fun to be had for couples.

Start with a stay at a quaint and intimate bed and breakfast, like the Rhett House Inn, and then take in the breathtaking views of Beaufort on a carriage ride or a two-person covered bicycle. Next, grab some snacks from the Chocolate Tree and head out to Hunting Island Beach for an afternoon picnic, followed by sunset movie at Highway 21 Drive-In theater.

Las Vegas

While the pools may be closed for the offseason, Las Vegas is every bit as pleasurable for a romantic holiday escape in the fall and winter. In fact, many popular landmarks amp up their festivities exclusively for the holiday season. Plus, it’s one of the few cities that doesn’t completely shut down for Christmas — the majority of the eateries and attractions are open all day.

To get in the spirit, grab some drinks and head to the Bellagio. Their indoor Conservatory is transformed into a larger-than-life Christmas display with a 42-foot-tall tree, nutcrackers, and a massive snow globe. Outside, the hotel’s beloved fountains are choreographed to iconic seasonal tunes. Next, stop by the Cosmopolitan. The hotel transforms its rooftop pool into a breathtaking ice rink that’s open to the public daily. If you want to make your trip truly unforgettable, head to one of the city’s many 24-hour wedding chapels to tie the knot.

Charlotte, North Carolina

The mild weather and laid-back atmosphere in Charlotte, NC, is an ideal location for a couple that wants to relax and unwind. To set the mood from the get-go, book a spot at one of the area’s many historic lodging options, like The Duke Mansion or The Ivey’s Hotel in Uptown. If you opt for the latter, you’ll find yourself in walking distance from the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza. Racing fan or not, the plaza’s annual Holiday on Ice event provides you with the opportunity to skate around the ice rink hand-in-hand.

When you’re ready to explore the local landscape, head to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens. The all-seasons landmark offers 380 acres of gardens, exhibits, and nature trails all year-round, but from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, it transforms into a winter wonderland with over one million lights and numerous holiday-themed displays. Follow your trek up with dinner at the Fig Tree Restaurant, and end your evening with a festive performance from the Charlotte Symphony.

Find Budget-Friendly Travel to Your Romantic Holiday Escape

Desperate for a romantic holiday escape? Enjoy a much-needed getaway with your loved one without breaking the bank at BusTickets.com. From browsing route options to comparing prices, our easy-to-use platform allows you to book travel conveniently and efficiently. Romance is in the air — buy your bus tickets today!

References

https://www.vail.com/

https://www.antlersvail.com/

http://www.rhetthouseinn.com/

http://www.thechocolatetree.us/

http://hwy21drivein.com/

https://bellagio.mgmresorts.com/

https://www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com/

http://www.dukemansion.com/en-us

https://www.theiveyshotel.com

http://holidayonicecharlotte.com/

https://www.dsbg.org/

http://charlottefigtree.com/

http://www.charlottesymphony.org/

Wildlife viewing at Yellowstone National Park

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

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

Top Places to View Wildlife in the U.S.

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

Yellowstone National Park

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

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

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

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

Denali National Park & Preserve

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

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

Everglades National Park

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

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

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

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

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

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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

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

Go Wild & Save with BusTickets.com

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

References

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

There are so many spas around the U.S. Why not try something a little unique?

4 Unique Hotel Spa Treatments

By Austin, Bus Travel, Elkhart Lake, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin

For some people, the ultimate vacation centers around total rest and relaxation. There are no emails to answer, no phone calls to return, no pressing documents to sign, and no deadlines to meet. Life is simply blissful when you get away from the daily grind. Even if you have no plans to escape and explore the town on foot, there are ways you can make the most of your getaway inside your hotel. Here are a few unique hotel spa treatments that will help you make the most of your vacation — and unwind in the best possible way.

1. Asheville, NC

The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of the grandest and most memorable hotels in Asheville, NC. Surrounded by lush forest, the property is naturally beautiful — and it more than lives up to its reputation for providing true southern hospitality from the moment that you set foot in the door. There are tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, boutiques, dining options, and the ultimate R&R spot: the luxurious, 43,000-square-foot spa. This is no ordinary spa which is something you’ll discover the moment you arrive. It’s a subterranean facility built into a mountainside, and it features genuine rock walls and arches that lend the space a peaceful ambiance. It also offers a whopping 20 water features — some containing nourishing minerals — along with waterfall pools. You’ll find many of the standard treatments here, including healing massages and pampering pedicures. But few experiences compare with the transformative multi sensory treatment pods. Built into the pods are 12 separate programs designed to upgrade the spa experience. You can opt for a whole-body massage, gem therapy, salt mist, soft music, and aura imaging to increase your energy. The effects are meditative and restorative, and it’s an easy way to add something extra special to your vacation.

2. Austin, TX

If you truly need to escape, a visit to the Miraval Austin is highly recommended. This Texas resort is renowned for its many upscale features, including multiple infinity pools and elegant dining options. But the highlight for anyone committed to truly escaping is the on-site spa. The facility offers numerous treatments designed to restore the spirit, relax the body, and rejuvenate the mind. You can select from traditional massages, skincare, and body treatments. The Ayurvedic menu includes a series of standout enhancements designed to maximize your time at the spa. One option is Vasudhara, during which your eyes are blindfolded and you float weightlessly in warm water as a skilled therapist performs Thai massage. Soft music plays from underwater speakers and lulls you into an almost trance-like state. It’s different and truly something worth experiencing if you’re ready to leave your vacation completely transformed and refreshed.

3. Elkhart Lake, WI

The differences between natural and synthetic products become clear after you book a treatment at the Aspira Spa at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI. Guests can book a space in The SpaSuite™ and indulge in a series of unique hotel spa treatments that are truly next-level relaxing, thanks to the presence of a stone fireplace, whirlpool bath, and master shower. Among the most memorable options is the Indigo Journey, an intuitive treatment that focuses on enhancing your purple vibrations to boost intuition and expand your focus. It starts with a body mask enriched with vital nutrients, followed by a balancing violet oil massage, and finishes with an elderberry facial designed to refresh your complexion and promote a sense of calm.

4. New York, NY

When you book a room at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in New York, do your best to make the most of your experience there. The on-site Bamford Haybarn Spa is committed to your betterment, and that begins with an appreciation for holistic treatments set apart from the many other experiences throughout the city. Each option was developed by Carole Bamford in England, and each utilizes very specific ingredients to meet your specific needs. One of the highlights is the Bespoke Facial, a 50-minute treatment that utilizes gentle yogic breathing, natural ingredients, and jade stone therapy to bring out the best in your skin and promote a calmer, more relaxed state of mind.

Book Your Spa Getaway Today

How can you resist these unique hotel spa treatments? Visit BusTickets.com to book your journey and to prepare for a getaway that is sure to relax, renew, and refresh you from head to toe.

References

https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/spa

https://www.aspiraspa.com/

https://www.1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge/do/bamford-haybarn-spa

There are hidden treasures all across America. Check out this beautiful castle in New York.

The Royal Treatment: 5 American Castles to Visit in 2019

By Alexandria, Asheville, Bus Travel, Doylestown, New York, Newport, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tarrytown

As a country without a monarchy, the U.S. doesn’t offer traditional castles. Yet, many families have lived like royalty over the last two centuries by building extravagant mansions that rival their European counterparts. If you want to feel like a royal on your next getaway, these are the most beautiful castles in America you won’t want to miss.

1. Lyndhurst Castle — Tarrytown, New York

Originally built back in 1839, the Lyndhurst mansion is renowned for its Gothic Revival architecture with plenty of roofline peaks, vaulted ceilings, and decorative touches. The incredibly large home sits on 67 acres just outside of Tarrytown, NY, and while you can’t stay overnight, you do have the opportunity to rent it out for weddings and special events.

Even if wedding bells aren’t in your future, you’re still welcome to visit. The estate offers public tours of the mansion and staff quarters from May into fall. There’s also a walking tour of the gardens and an indoor bowling alley available. During summer, stick around for the jazz concerts every Thursday evening on the lawn, and in autumn, catch the many special events. There’s a Fall Crafts fair in September and the Jay Ghoul’s House of Curiosities Halloween performances in October.

2. Boldt Castle — Alexandria, New York

Boldt Castle is one of upstate New York’s most beloved landmarks — and for good reason. Located on Heart Island, the massive mansion towers over the waters of Alexandria Bay. It’s so grand that it definitely earns the title of “castle.” Yet, that shouldn’t come at any surprise once you realize it was built by millionaire Georg C. Boldt, creator of the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

The facility is open from May through October for tours, but you need to take a ferry or boat tour from Alexandria, NY to access the island. On-site, you can peruse the main home and surrounding grounds as well as the numerous additional structures, like the Dove-Cote, Entry Arch, and Alster Tower. You also won’t want to miss the Power House. Inspired by medieval towers, the structure is much smaller than the main house, but it’s impressive in its own right.

3. Fonthill Castle — Doylestown, Pennsylvania

It’s hard to match the historical significance of Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, PA. It was built by the famed archeologist, Henry Chapman Mercer, who designed the home to display his significant collections of ancient artifacts. He even embedded some of his ceramics collection into the structure. Fortunately, the castle is now open to the public, offering guided tours seven days a week.

4. Biltmore Estate — Asheville, North Carolina

Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC boasts over 250 rooms. There are four floors with 35 guest bedrooms and 21 servant bedrooms; a Bachelor’s Wing with traditional smoking and billiards rooms; and a basement with an indoor swimming pool, gym, and bowling alley. Covering nearly 179,000 square feet, the home is the largest and — arguably — the most beautiful castle in America.

While you can’t stay in the castle itself, there are three lodging options on the 8,000-acre estate: the Village Hotel, the Inn, and the Cottage. There are also one-day visitor tickets available that provide access to the Biltmore House, the gardens, the on-site winery, and the various shops and eateries at the Antler Hill Village. Additionally, the estate offers live music experiences throughout the summer and special holiday festivities throughout the year, including a visit from Santa in December.

5. The Breakers — Newport, Rhode Island

When it comes to American castles, the Vanderbilt family has a legacy of building the biggest and most extravagant ones. The Breakers mansion in Newport, RI was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II’s older brother, Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The magnificent structure offers 70 rooms over three floors, a basement, and an attic — totaling over 125,000 square feet. The home and its beloved gardens are available for tours daily from June to October.

Live Like Royalty Without Breaking Your Budget at BusTickets.com

With such a selection of gorgeous castles across the U.S., living like a royal — even for just a day — is a simple feat. At BusTickets.com, you can enjoy the royal treatment without the royal cost. Use our price comparison tool to find the best deals on travel prices around the clock. We even offer a charter bus quote service for group trips. The most beautiful castles in America are waiting for your visit — book your bus tickets today!

References

http://lyndhurst.org/

http://www.boldtcastle.com/visitorinfo/

https://www.mercermuseum.org/about/fonthill-castle/

https://www.biltmore.com/

https://www.newportmansions.org/explore/the-breakers