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 to book your affordable getaway today.


Halloween will come quicker than you think. Figure out the best haunted halloween attractions to visit this fall.

5 Haunted Houses to Visit This October

By Bus Travel, California, Cincinnati, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pontiac

When but Halloween can you finally indulge your fantasies of visiting the best-haunted houses in the country? If you’re a true scare-seeker with a lust for fear, then it’s worth booking a visit to one or more of the country’s best haunted Halloween attractions. Here are five that will spook you in no time.

1. Erebus Haunted Attraction

Since 2000, Erebus has earned a reputation as one of the leading haunted attractions in the country. In 2005, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest walk-through Halloween exhibit — and it continued to earn the honor for five consecutive years! At more than half a mile long, the house in downtown Pontiac, MI, features four floors complete with truly spooky effects and visuals that are so authentic you could easily find them on any big-screen movie.

What exactly goes on inside? The house belongs to Dr. Goldberg, a quirky character who developed a time machine. He didn’t test it himself, though — he employed others to be his guinea pigs. Each portion of the house is devoted to a different dimension and period in time. You may encounter a dinosaur in one space and an alien in another. Things definitely don’t go very smoothly in this time machine! There’s plenty of physical contacts, too, so be prepared to be handled as you make your way through this house of horrors.

2. The Dent Schoolhouse

The word “schoolhouse” is hardly likely to conjure up haunting imagery, but one visit to The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH, will quickly change your mind. Often recognized as one of the best haunted Halloween attractions in the nation, the schoolhouse lives up to every expectation you probably have of a terrorizing educational facility. There are the requisite scary schoolgirls singing “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” in a creepy singsong tone, the ghoulish classroom led by a decaying teacher standing before an aging American flag, and the filthy halls lined with unsavory characters of all kinds.

As the legend goes, the school opened in 1894 and was closed for good upon the discovery that Charlie McFree, the longtime janitor, had murdered a slew of students in previous years and hid the bodies in the basement. There’s no actual confirmation about the validity of this haunted history, but it makes for an intriguing backstory — and, for those who can’t get enough of a good scary story, it’s just another reason to make it to class on time this Halloween. (If you can’t make it during October, there are also frightful opportunities during Lights Out in November and A Christmas Nightmare in December!)

3. Eastern State Penitentiary

The ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, set the tone for a shockingly terrifying time on Halloween. The annual attraction, Terror Behind the Walls, is set within the confines of the notorious prison that opened its cell doors in 1829. The 10-acre facility functions as a museum during the rest of the year and is a United States National Historic Landmark, but you’ll be too distracted by the startling characters and events you encounter during your Halloween adventure.

You have options once you’re inside: You can watch or you can take an interactive approach. If you choose the latter, you could be extracted from your group of friends, sent down a chilling hall, thrown into a cell, or grabbed by an unknown figure in the darkness. There are six attractions in total, so choose wisely — if you love a good fright, you may want to be a real part of the action! Keep in mind that many people think the penitentiary is genuinely haunted. It’s even been featured on paranormal television programs on the Travel Channel and TLC. With that little fact in mind, enjoy your journey inside what could easily be rated the world’s scariest prison.

4. The Queen Mary

It wouldn’t be a true list of haunted attractions without a mention of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The ship has long been touted as one of the spookiest in the country, and with good reason. The ship’s actual maiden voyage in 1936 set the stage for decades of strife and unusual events at sea. Among them was the occasion when the boat mistakenly sank an escort ship in 1942 by slicing it in half. It’s been reported that more than 45 people have died on board over the years. Ghosts of passengers past reportedly remain in attendance even today. There’s the mysterious lady in white, the engineer who apparently died in the engine room, and the giggling children who run around the pool in first class — an amenity which, it should be noted, has been empty for decades. The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event is among the scariest Halloween attractions in Southern California, and it conveniently runs from September through November.

5. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

If you’re more of an outdoorsy type, you might want to tackle something different in San Diego, CA. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is a one-mile trek through the park’s twisted, deformed trees. This, of course, is no ordinary hike: There are all kinds of ghouls and goblins who do their best to throw you off the trail — you’ll encounter everyone from Michael Myers to Pennywise, who is very likely hanging out in the sewer just waiting for you to arrive. There’s even a Stranger Things house, along with a beyond-spine-tingling farmhouse possessed by none other than Annabelle and the Nun (you may want to watch the Conjuring franchise in advance of your visit). Before you reach any of that, however, you’ll need to make your way through the notoriously tough “eXperiment” maze, a 3,500-square-foot preview of the scarier things to come. You’ll never look at a hiking trail the same way again!

Book Your Halloween Bus Getaway Today

If you’re properly spooked by the best haunted Halloween attractions in the country and ready to make the most of the holiday this year, head straight to You can snag tickets to the destination of your choice for reasonable rates. No frights for your wallet here!


Looking for some good snacks or food? Check out these American classics.

3 Uniquely American Foods and the Cities to Find Them

By Bus Travel, Georgia, Ohio

Maybe the United States didn’t invent Neapolitan pizza or paella or sushi, but that doesn’t mean this country doesn’t have its own signature food and culinary inventions. It goes without saying that one of the greatest things about America is that it’s a melting pot and, yes, that includes the food. Just about every kind of cuisine ever created from around the world has been introduced to the United States. Whether you’re visiting the West Coast, East Coast, or someplace in the middle, you’ll have no trouble finding everything from Lebanese to Chinese to Mediterranean—or anything else you might be craving. In addition to incredible foods from around the world, the United States has some of its own unique dishes and foods. And in this post, we’ll talk about three of the uniquely American foods and where you can find them.

1. Jerky

Who knew there could be so much joy found in one shriveled up piece of meat? If you were to describe jerky to someone who had no idea what it was, it may, at first, sound a little off-putting. But all you need is a little taste of the savory, tough, chewy, dehydrated meat to be convinced. Although beef is arguably the most common form of jerky, chicken and turkey are great alternatives for anyone seeking a lower sodium lean protein alternative. And if you are feeling adventurous, crank up your jerky enthusiasm a notch by venturing into less conventional jerky meats including venison, elk, ostrich, emu, buffalo, yak, and even alligator. Although people usually think of jerky as that delicious portable food that’s often found at gas stations and truck stops, there are more places to find it than you may have realized. If you are in Atlanta, you can stop by the South African restaurant 10 Degrees South to try the Biltong Beef Jerky, which can be enjoyed on its own or in your Caesar salad. Anyone visiting Las Vegas will want to dedicate an evening to chomping on mouth-watering jerky entrees at Strip House. They marinate their jerky for 24 hours before topping it off with fried onions and grilled tomatoes. Finally, for the truly adventurous foodie, try the Baked Nebraska at Root 246 in Solvang, California. It’s a sponge cake topped off with Italian meringue, sweet corn ice cream, and savory beef jerky.

2. Banana Split

If there is ever a time you should justify spending $18.99 on ice cream, it’s when you eat the Nine-Pound Humongous Banana Split at The Poky Dot in Fairmont, West Virginia. You get nine, 1-pound ice cream balls in vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry topped off with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, cherries, nuts, and bananas. Although the banana split is now something you can find all over the world, this American staple was first invented in 1907 by Ernest Hazard, a restaurant owner in a small town in Ohio. By the 1920s, the banana split was a classic American dessert, thanks to a Walgreens in Chicago.

If you are really serious about your banana splits, you won’t want to miss the Banana Split Festival that takes places every June in Wilmington, Ohio. The three-day festival features an assortment of banana split variations to sample, a banana split eating contest, traditional fair food, craft vendors, and a car show. Nothing says “American” quite like an entire weekend dedicated to eating ice cream.

3. S’mores

Sound insignificant? This campfire classic has had more of a cultural impact than one might realize at first glance. The sinfully delicious and straightforward combination of graham cracker, toasted marshmallow, and Hershey chocolate is so much more than a special treat for the kids on a camping trip. And while you should definitely break out the s’mores anytime you are camping in the great outdoors, there and hundreds of other ways to enjoy this American snack food.

If you are in Portland, Oregon, locate the Nineteen27 S’mores Food Truck where you can get unique s’mores at just $4 a pop. This Portland food truck puts a unique spin on the classic snack and spices things up with chai-spiced graham crackers, gooey chocolate fudge, and other inventive flavors. If you have a craving for something sweet in the morning, indulge yourself with a s’mores donut at Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts in Chicago. You’ll find mini donuts dipped in marshmallow and chocolate sauce and topped off with graham cracker crumbs.

Are you ready to eat your way from coast to coast and sample all the classic American foods across the country? Plan your foodie trip by buying your bus ticket from today.

Are you a Game Of Thrones super fan? Check out these festivals and book your bus ticket today.

5 Festivals All Game of Thrones Fans Need to Attend

By Atlanta, Bus Travel, California, Georgia, Nashville, New York, New York City, Ohio, San Diego, Tenessee

With the HBO series ending and an unknown wait time for George R. R. Martin’s final A Song of Ice and Fire book, many Game of Thrones fans are left with a void. Fortunately, the popularity of the series has given rise to massive fan events all over the country. Whether you want to get up close and personal to the show’s stars or take on the Night King as Jon Snow in cosplay, fuel your passion at one of these five Games of Thrones festivals.

1. Ice & Fire Con — Mt. Sterling, Ohio

Since 2013, Ice and Fire Con has become a rite of passage for GoT fans in the U.S. Hosted in Mt. Sterling, OH, the conference caters to adult fans of the series with an age restriction of 18 years. It’s also one of the only events run by fans for fans, which offers a fun, interactive environment that’s both welcoming and affordable.

Since Fire and Ice Con is a nonprofit event, it doesn’t chase big names associated with the show. Instead, it creates a safe space for self-proclaimed GoT geeks to come together and find their people. Check out the book and show panels to discuss various aspects of the series, record a memory at the themed photoshoots, and become a champion at the board game and cosplay tournaments. There’s even a Westeros-inspired musical.

2. Con of Thrones — Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, TN, has long been considered the home of country music, but soon it’ll likely be renamed to Dragon City thanks to Con of Thrones. The conference only began in 2017, but as one of few festivals dedicated solely to the GoT fandom, it’s already made a huge impact. Spanning three days, attendees have the opportunity to take part in a plethora of events. There are panels delving deep into the history, politics, and folklore of the series; theatrical cosplay presentations and contests; and after-hour parties.

Every year thus far, Con of Thrones offers appearances from some of the television show’s most popular actors and creators. For instance, in 2019, Hannah Murray (Gilly), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) are all featured guests at the Games of Thrones festival. Along with interviews, guests have the ability to purchase event add-ons to get photos with the stars as well as autographs.

3. San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is one of the most well-known fan conventions in the world, attracting over 100,000 people annually. While it’s not solely focused on Game of Thrones, the cast, producers, writers, and even George R. R. Martin have made appearances at the event over the years. Plus, there are GoT panels featured just about every year. Even when there aren’t any official appearances at the San Diego conference, you’re sure to meet up with like-minded fans through cosplay, booths, exhibits, and parties.

4. Dragon Con — Atlanta, Georgia

Hosted yearly over Labor Day weekend, Dragon Con predates the A Song of Ice and Fire by nearly a decade, but the name is perfectly suited for Game of Thrones. The Atlanta festival invites fans of all ages to geek out over their favorite science fiction and fantasy novels, comics, movies, and television series. Along with panels, parties, and cosplay events, there’s even a parade and dedicated GoT group.

5. New York Comic Con

Serving as the East Coast’s answer to SDCC — without any actual brand affiliation, the New York Comic Con has been attracting fans of comics, television, and video games since 2006. Even though it doesn’t quite offer the name recognition of its California-based counterpart, the New York City event actually draws in a larger crowd with upwards of 180,000 people in attendance. It also regularly hosted star-studded _GoT_panels, pop-up shops, and parties. The three-day conference is held every year in October. If you want to enjoy an extended trip, use the festival as a jumping-off point for a New York vacation to explore the rest of what the state has to offer.

Book Your Game of Thrones Festival Travel Today

From entrance fees to branded merch, the expenses of a Game of Thrones festival add up quickly. Fortunately, you can avoid breaking your budget by booking travel with Use our price-comparison tool to find the most affordable rates on bus tickets across the country. Want to make a group trip? Grab your band of wildlings or unsullied troops and hit the road with our charter bus quote service. Your journey to the Seven Kingdoms awaits — buy your bus tickets today!

Book a bus ticket for a thrilling adventure.

5 Thrilling Theme Parks You Won’t Want to Miss

By Branson, Bus Travel, California, Los Angeles, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Sandusky, Virginia, Willamsburg

From massive drops to barrel rolls, it’s hard to match the rush provided by a well-designed roller coaster. Fortunately, some of the best amusement parks in the entire world are located in the U.S., so reaching new heights is only a quick bus trip away. If you’re itching to try out some new roller coasters, add these five thrilling theme parks to your travel bucket list.

1. Cedar Point

Dating back to 1870, Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, is one of the oldest theme parks in the country. But don’t let its age fool you — the park has consistently updated its ride options to suit the adventure levels of the 21st century. In fact, there are 18 roller coasters on-site, along with a host of other adrenaline-pumping attractions.

When you step aboard the Top Thrill Dragster, prepare to have your breath taken away. The coaster goes from zero to 120 mph in 3.8 seconds, followed by a 420-foot vertical drop. While it can’t quite compete with the Dragster’s speed, the Valravn’s 90-degree, 223-foot drop and unique Immelmann loop are sure to hold your attention. Other notable coasters you won’t want to miss include the GateKeeper, Iron Dragon, Steel Vengeance, and Wicked Twister.

2. Six Flags Magic Mountain

Conveniently located just outside of Los Angeles in Valencia, CA, Six Flags Magic Mountain covers over 250 acres of land. If you want to know why it’s one of the most popular theme parks in the U.S., you only have to check the ride list. There are nearly 20 coasters in the park, and nearly every single one is designed to push riders to their physical limits.

Ready to get your heart rate up? Step aboard the X2. Along with loops, drops, and 360-degree rotating cars, the ride is designed with visual and auditory effects for optimal adventure immersion. Additionally, daredevils won’t want to leave before checking out Goliath, Tatsu, and Full Throttle, and CraZanity — the 75-mile-per-hour pendulum ride. The park is also preparing to open a new coaster dubbed WestCoaster Racers.

3. Silver Dollar City

Since opening in 1960, Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, has become a staple for family vacations with its wide selection of wholesome entertainment, down-home cooking, and feel-good Americana music. But banjos and fiddles aside, the most recent roller coaster addition to the park has put it on the thrill-seekers map. The Time Traveler is setting new records as the “World’s Fastest, Steepest, and Tallest Spinning Coaster.”

The newly opened steel coaster features a dive loop, zero-G roll, and vertical loop, along with a vertical 10-story drop. If that’s not enough to alert your senses, the seat arrangement might. The coaster is designed with spinning vehicles, so riders enjoy the entire journey spinning 360-degrees — even on loops and drops. Other rides to catch at Silver Dollar City include Outlaw Run, PowderKeg, Wildfire, and the Giant Barn Swing.

4. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens is known for creating a park full of adventure in the middle of beautifully lush foliage, and their Williamsburg, VA, location definitely hits the mark. While the park offers something for everyone, it truly caters to the adrenaline junkies in the family — making it a must-visit on your thrilling theme parks tour.

There’s a three-way tie for the top coaster spot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. While both Griffon and Appollo’s Chariot feature speeds of over 70 mph, the Alpengeist offers six stomach-twisting inversions. The Tempesto also boasts incredible speeds and steep drops. If you’re a sucker for a good, old-fashioned wooden rollercoaster, step aboard the Invadr, which reaches a top speed of 50 mph.

5. Carowinds

Stretching over 400 acres, no thrilling-theme-parks travel guide is complete without mentioning Carowinds in Charlotte, NC. The amusement park boasts 14 roller coasters, including the Fury 325. Earning the top spot for height and speed among giga-style coasters, the ride boasts a 325-foot drop and speeds of 95 mph. The park also recently opened a double-launch coaster known as Copperhead Strike, which goes from null to 42 mph within 2.5 seconds.

Score Bus Ticket Deals to Thrilling Theme Parks Across the Country

Ready to reach new heights at any one of these thrilling theme parks? Start by booking travel through From price comparisons to purchasing tickets, our user-friendly platform makes every step of the process quick, easy, and convenient. We also offer charter bus quotes for thrill seekers traveling in groups. Don’t miss out on the adrenaline rush — buy your bus tickets today!