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Oregon

Dog Bark Park Inn

Quirkiest Hotels in America

By Bus Travel, Cottonwood, Farmington, New Mexico, Oregon, Portland, San Luis Obispo

Quirkiest Hotels in America

If you seek something greater from your travels than the usual stay at a basic hotel, you don’t have to look far. The quirkiest hotels in America offer plenty of excitement in the form of unexpected décor, unusual rooms, and imaginative designs that set them apart from the usual chain options. Before you book your next bus getaway, keep these intriguing destinations in mind.

Dog Bark Park Inn Photo

Photo Credit Dog Bark Park

Dog Bark Park Inn

Also known as the world’s largest beagle, the Dog Bark Park Inn is a true Idaho treasure. Situated in Cottonwood, a small town known largely for this very hotel, the property is just as charming as it sounds. If you love the idea of staying in a homey bed-and-breakfast that just so happens to resemble a gigantic dog, you’re absolutely in the right place. There’s just one suite in this memorable hotel, and it provides all of the creature comforts of home. There’s a full bathroom, a kitchenette, and a selection of books and games (beagle-themed, naturally). Continental breakfast includes a variety of mouthwatering treats to start your day, including their family recipe granola, fresh pastries, eggs, bread, cheese, yogurt, and more. There’s also a furnished deck where you can enjoy some peace and quiet while taking in the views. Keep in mind that the property is only open from April through October before they close for the season.

McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel

Is it a school … or a hotel? Think of McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel in downtown Portland, OR, as the best of both worlds. The property opened in 1915 as an elementary school. During the 1990s, with the building completely abandoned and in a state of disrepair, the McMenamins hotel company decided to transform it into something more useful. After complete renovations, it reopened as a fun and funky hotel. Former classrooms today serve as guestrooms (yes, the chalkboards are still there), and what was once a cafeteria filled with kids from the early 20th century is now a lovely restaurant. The hotel also includes several bars, an on-site movie theater, a pool, and a pub, and its walls are adorned with old-school artwork and remnants of the past. It’s all very fun, playful, and perfectly fitting for one of the quirkiest hotels in America! Where else would you find rooms named for authors like Beverly Cleary and Frank Delaney?

Kokopelli’s Cave

It’s the rare hotel that’s actually situated inside a genuine cave, which is what makes Kokopelli’s Cave such an enticing spot. Situated some 70 feet below ground, the manmade structure in Farmington, NM, is easily the state’s most iconic and unusual property. It offers beautiful views of La Plata River Valley and is only accessible via a long sandstone footpath. Once upon a time, it actually served as an office — but today, it’s an incredible property with genuine stone walls, rough-edged doorways, and warm lighting to illuminate the space. When you check-in, you’ll enjoy quality time in what is easily one of the quirkiest hotels in America. There’s a bedroom, naturally, along with a surprisingly lavish bathroom that includes a hot tub and a waterfall shower. There’s also a living room, a kitchen, and a dining area. Remember to pack lightly; you’ll have to walk the entire trek down, and you don’t want to worry about injuring yourself on the way into the cave. Think backpacks, not hefty suitcases! Kokopelli’s Cave is closed from December through February.

The Madonna Inn

California is packed with beautiful hotels, but few are as memorable as the lovely Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. A single glance at the 110 uniquely styled rooms is enough to understand why the property earns such accolades. Each is designed with a particular theme, and all boast incredible character, rich color palettes, and all the amenities that you could possibly require of a hotel. There are even two-story suites with multiple bedrooms and kitchenettes — perfect if you’re traveling with the entire family and need the extra space. Several rooms are equipped with rock showers, too. The property opened in 1958, and it’s been a pop culture mainstay through the decades. It’s appeared in several music videos from artists like Roxette and Lady Antebellum, and an episode of _The Bachelor_ was filmed there in 2010.

Book a Stay at the Quirkiest Hotels in America Today

If you’re dazzled by the possibility of escaping from the usual chaos of everyday life and enjoying something just a little bit unexpected, book a stay at one of the quirkiest hotels in America. Visit BusTickets.com to browse affordable tickets to the destination of your choice!

References

https://www.dogbarkpark.com/lodging-bed-and-breakfast/
https://www.mcmenamins.com/kennedy-school
https://www.kokoscave.us/

Best American Zoos

4 of the Best Zoos in America

By Bus Travel, California, Chicago, Columbus, Illinois, Oregon, Palm Desert, Portland

What Are The Best Zoos in America To Visit?

If you’re an animal lover, then you know just how thrilling it is to spend some quality time at a zoological park. There’s far more to these destinations than meets the eye. They’re vital to protecting, nurturing, and preserving many animal species throughout the country by providing them with a safe home. Visitors can learn so much at the zoo, whether it’s their first time or their tenth, from the history of animals to how to care for them. Here are some of the top American zoos to consider for your next bus getaway.

Chicago Is Home To One of the Best Zoos In America

Set on 35 acres in Lincoln Park in Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo takes its commitment to animals and the general public seriously. They’re one of only three zoos in the country that provides free admission every single day of the year. Since its inception in 1868, it has built on its foundation and added unique exhibits that draw visitors from all over the world. Among them is the Kovler Seal Pool, which was built in 1879 and provides a wonderful peek at harbor and gray seals coasting through the water. Another highlight is the Kovler Lion House, a centralized landmark that was constructed in 1912. The zoo is home to a vast and exciting array of animals, including giraffes, penguins, storks, vultures, eagles, swans, lemurs, chimpanzees, camels, and polar bears, among many others. You can also grab a bite at one of the many on-site cafes situated throughout the zoo.

Visit a 19th-Century Zoo in Portland

Since its founding in 1888, the Oregon Zoo in Portland has grown dramatically. Not only is it optimally situated several minutes from downtown, it’s also home to over 2,600 animals, including crocodiles, goats, river and sea otters, ducks, and porcupines. The layout is fun and easy to navigate, as it’s broken down by geographic area. There’s potential to learn so much while visiting one of the top American zoos on the west coast. Delve into the fascinating history of different animals, learn bird languages, join an on-site safari, or sit in on an informative talk led by an educational speaker. The zoo also hosts events throughout the holiday season, from trick-or-treating on “Howloween” to ZooLights, the illuminated winter wonderland.

Check out a Globally Renowned Zoo in Columbus

Odds are you’re familiar with the Columbus Zoo in Powell, Ohio, even if you don’t quite know it. It opened in 1927, but it was Jack Hanna who changed the face of the zoo forever. He was hired in 1978 to serve as the property’s director, and his vibrant spirit and enthusiasm for animals helped transform the space into a top-tier destination for people with the same passion. Appearances on national television programs helped call attention to the zoo, providing it with a valuable opportunity to be an educational source for people curious about animals. You’ll see plenty when you visit, from African leopards and lions to bears to bobcats, along with tigers, orangutans, and reindeer.

Try Something a Little Bit Different

If you want to step outside the boundaries of a traditional zoo, consider visiting The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California. The grounds are home to both a thriving zoo and a beautiful botanical garden. There’s plenty for animal lovers to do and see here, including giraffe feeding, nature hikes, and even behind-the-scenes peeks at what goes on at the Tennity Wildlife Hospital and Conservation Center, where professionals provide care and support to the zoo’s residents. In addition to watching them perform exams, you can also ask questions and learn more about what it takes to be an animal caregiver. When you’re done observing the longhorn cattle, cheetahs, sheep, camels, and dwarf donkeys, venture over to the awe-inspiring botanical garden set on the desert floor.

Book Your Trip to One of the Best Zoos In America Today

When you want to get away from it all and experience the unique joys that only animals can bring, plan a zoo trip! Once you’ve decided which of the best zoos in America is right for you, head to BusTickets.com to book your affordable getaway today.

References

https://www.lpzoo.org/
https://www.oregonzoo.org/
https://www.columbuszoo.org/
https://www.livingdesert.org/

affordable weekend getaway

4 Affordable Weekend Getaway Ideas

By Austin, Bus Travel, California, Florida, Miami, Oregon, San Francisco, Texas

Affordable Weekend Getaway

If you’ve ever furiously and enviously scrolled through photos of friends on picturesque vacations in exotic locales, envy no more! You can embark on an exciting adventure even if you think it might be out of your price range. In this post, we’ll look at four cities across the United States that make for perfect, delightful, but most importantly of all, affordable weekend getaways.

1. Austin, Texas

It’s not just the state capital of Texas, it’s the (unofficial) music capital, too! The music scene in this Southern city is so vibrant and respected that millions of people flock to Austin every year just to hear the latest up-and-comers and international headliners. There are plenty of courtyards throughout the downtown area to catch a great musical performance, but Cedar Street Courtyard is easily one of the most popular spots. There is live music every night of the week that can be enjoyed with a delicious cocktail and festive lighting.

Another way to take in Austin’s music scene is to enjoy a concert with some brisket. At Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, you can chow down on savory barbecue while being serenaded by talented musicians. To get in touch with your inner child, treat yourself to a day of fun and laughs at Lake Travis Waterloo Adventures, a floating obstacle course right on the water. It’s perfect for both kids and adults! In the evening, dance the night away in the Rainey Street District, home to a plethora of bars, restaurants, shops, and food trucks. Although you can visit any time of day, the place really comes alive at night.

2. Portland, Oregon

Don’t let its reputation as a home to hipsters fool you into thinking everything in Portland will be over-priced. There are plenty of affordable bargains to be found in this charming town. Stroll through the aisles at the Powell Bookstore, and browse thousands of books before grabbing an Americana at the coffee shop next door. Even if you don’t buy a book, it’s still free to explore this famous Portland landmark. Another free activity to do in Portland is catching a live music concert at a popular bar like Tonic Lounge, the Firkin Tavern, or Alberta Street Pub. Lastly, remember to put a trip to the First Thursday art show on your Portland travel itinerary of free activities. Head to the Old Town and Pearl to visit the art galleries that open their doors for a free exhibit every month. Many even offer complimentary wine and beer!

3. San Francisco, California

On the surface, San Francisco does seem like one of those American cities that might be too expensive for a visit. And while it’s true that living in this Californian city is pricey, visitors can get away with experiencing San Francisco on a budget. There are plenty of attractions that are completely free. Think like a tourist, and start off with an eventful and scenic drive down Lombard Street. For culture, check out a handful of San Francisco’s museums that allow visitors to enter free of charge. A few of those museums include the Japanese Tea Garden, the Cable Car Museum, and the Musée Mécanique. And although this isn’t technically free, it’s very budget-friendly to do and should definitely be on your San Francisco bucket list: See the sights downtown via cable car.

4. Miami, Florida

Like San Francisco, there are plenty of free things to do in Miami. To begin, watch the sunrise on South Beach, one of the most famous beaches in Florida — and perhaps even the world. In the early morning, take photos in front of beautiful art murals in Wynwood and grab a coffee and light breakfast at one of the bakeries or shops in this art district. By late morning, lay out a yoga mat in the 32-acre Bayfront Park and take a free yoga class next to Biscayne Bay. Although taking a boat to Cuba may not be feasible, you can let Cuba come to you! Head over to Calle Ocho in Little Havana on the first Friday night of any month. The area comes alive with Cuban music and culture and beckons visitors to join in the celebration of Cuban culture. And before you leave Miami, catch at least one sunset from the South Pointe Park Pier.

Ready to enjoy an affordable weekend getaway? Keep saving by buying a bus ticket from BusTickets.com!

Plan your romantic getaway to Seattle and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

How to Plan a Romantic Getaway to Seattle

By Bus Travel, Canlis, Oregon

Seattle is synonymous with things like rain, coffee, flannel, and grunge music. Though these are notable features worth exploring, they don’t touch on the city’s softer side. If you’re seeking an unexpected destination to enjoy some quality time with your significant other, there’s almost no better place. If you’re ready to plan a romantic getaway in Seattle, here are some ideas to make the most of your unforgettable vacation.

Make a Reservation at Canlis

If you’ve ever visited Seattle, then you may be familiar with Canlis. It’s among the most magical and unforgettable restaurants in the city, and it’s renowned far and wide for its amazing views of the cityscape, Lake Union, and the Cascades. The establishment redefines fine dining by elevating expectations considerably: Not only are the views stupendous, but service begins from the moment you arrive and your vehicle is whisked away by the valet. As you approach the dining room, you’re greeted by a polite server who leads you to a refined and understated space that belies the restaurant’s reputation for extravagance.

Don’t be fooled, though; the natural ambiance of the former mid-century modern home is deliberate, and the feeling is one of subtle sophistication. It sets the tone for a memorable date night, as the lighting is warm and inviting, there are countless wine and champagne options, and the eight-course tasting menu provides generous portions of classic dishes. Among the most popular is the timeless Canlis Salad, a family recipe enriched with bacon and lemon. Other highlights include marinated salmon, flavorful carrots, and an array of desserts that range from frozen meringue to mascarpone mousse.

Another bonus? This is easily one of the most obvious places to wear your finest and fanciest attire in the city. You can never be too overdressed for Canlis — and if you’re planning dinner for a special occasion, like an anniversary, a birthday, or Valentine’s Day, book your table several months in advance to be safe.

Book a Private Hot Air Balloon Ride

No romantic getaway in Seattle is complete without a hot air balloon ride. There’s something truly special about this experience, largely because it’s so intimate and secluded from the rest of the city — yet it still provides you both with an incredible vantage point of the magnificent scenery. Several providers offer private rides designed to help you celebrate a special moment, whether it’s an engagement or a birthday. The balloons are spacious, so those who have big plans to propose as they soar over the city can do so comfortably.

The beauty of a balloon ride is that you can opt for a sunrise or a sunset trip, and you’ll enjoy privileged views of many of the city’s most beloved attractions. One of the area’s best known is Seattle Ballooning, which provides you with tours of Mt. Rainier, Tacoma, Bellevue, and the city skyline — and they’ll even throw in a bottle of champagne and some croissants from a nearby bakery. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Pay a Visit to Jack Block Park

There are many ways to enjoy Seattle’s beautiful greenery — it’s everywhere you turn! But if you want to take a more romantic approach, head to Jack Block Park. This is one of Seattle’s hidden treasures — the type of place that even some locals don’t know — and once you go, you’ll want to keep it all to yourself. The story here is the view, and it’s so special that you could easily build your romantic getaway in Seattle around it.

From here, you can see the city skyline and Harbor Island’s industrial properties. The location is unusual, but once you spend some time on the 15-acre grounds and get to know it better, you’ll appreciate it for its seclusion, clean surroundings, public beach access, and walking pier. There’s even an observation tower, where you can snap a few photographs of your memorable experience. Don’t miss a visit to nearby Alki Beach, where you can relax on the sand, watch the sunset, and take a dip in the sparsely crowded water.

Book Your Romantic Vacation Today

It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of Seattle’s most popular attractions. If you’re traveling to the city with your significant other, however, it’s important to take some time for some of the more romantic options that it has to offer — and whether you love quiet walks on the beach or dining in bliss, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to bring out your inner Romeo and Juliet. Head to BusTickets.com to book your vacation today.

References

https://canlis.com/

https://seattleballooning.com/

https://www.portseattle.org/places/jack-block-park

Having the vacation of your dreams doesn't have to break your traveling budget.

Cheap Travel: Where to Go on a Budget

By Arizona, Bus Travel, Finger Lakes, Grand Canyon, New York, Oregon, Portland, Virginia, Willamsburg

If you’re strapped for cash and sure that there’s no way you can actually go on an enjoyable vacation, you might be surprised to learn that it’s absolutely possible to get away from it all without spending a fortune. The key? Find the cheapest travel destinations that provide you with endless options for activity and exploration without sacrificing a thing in the process. If you’re wondering where to go on a budget, here are a few ideas.

Williamsburg, VA

Offering a combination of history, scenery, and fun all in one spot, Williamsburg is among the most enjoyable and educational places to visit in Virginia. The center of the American Revolution, Williamsburg is the place to walk in the footsteps of the country’s Founding Fathers. You can tour Colonial Williamsburg for free, enjoy an affordable meal in one of the old-world taverns, and listen to the informative costumed interpreters share details about the area’s storied past. You can also take in spectacular views during a free 15-minute ride on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.

If you’re especially intrigued by the area’s history, explore the Native American, Revolutionary, and Colonial artifacts at the York County Historical Museum — all without paying a penny. And if you’re all about exploring the area on foot, take some time during your summer schedule to head to Merchants Square for the complimentary Summer Breeze Concert Series. For outdoor enthusiasts, it’s also worth a visit to the Williamsburg Botanical Garden situated in Freedom Park. It’s packed with vibrant native plants, and there’s also a picnic space where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. There are several reasonable lodging options in town, ranging from family-friendly hotels to historic inns.

Grand Canyon, AZ

It may surprise some to learn that the Grand Canyon is one of the cheapest travel destinations in the country. This national park in Arizona provides plenty of opportunities to have a great time on the cheap. Note that the National Park Service allows free admission on select days of the year, usually to coincide with a national holiday like Veterans Day weekend or Presidents’ Day. There are also plenty of affordable hotel rooms in Flagstaff, which is roughly 90 miles from the South Rim and home to the closest bus connections, too — always check dates and rates well in advance of your journey so that you can get the best possible rate for the season.

Another cheaper option is to camp out in your tent; there are several campgrounds in the vicinity, many of which provide beautiful views and outstanding rates. It’s busiest during summer, so keep that in mind when planning your itinerary. If you can’t avoid a warm-weather getaway, consider visiting the less-congested North Rim instead. There are free shuttle buses in the park to transport you to museums, restaurants, hotels, or wherever you’re headed.

Portland, OR

Portland is largely known for its incredible restaurants and natural beauty. But this Oregon destination is also a great place to travel on a budget! It’s easiest to get around town using the TriMet light rail system or rent a bike — both are just a few dollars a day. Hotels here run the gamut from low-end to luxury; among the most inexpensive are those situated near Portland International Airport. There are even a few beloved, quirky hostels in the area that are well worth it if you’re determined to keep spending to a minimum.

Don’t miss the Portland Aerial Tram, which is free if you’re riding down one way or a few dollars if you’re going round trip. It takes you on a four-minute journey over Marquam Hill and provides spectacular mountain views. Or catch a movie at the circa-1923 Laurelhurst Theater and enjoy a classic with the family. If you’re just wandering around, make your way to Pioneer Courthouse Square downtown; there are countless free events that occur year-round. Hoyt Arboretum, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and the International Rose Test Garden are also free to enter, as well as being a great way to make the most of your time in this dynamic city.

Finger Lakes, NY

Napa isn’t in the cards for everyone. If you’re a wine-drinking enthusiast, though, a trip to Finger Lakes, New York, is a sensible alternative that’s also relatively easy on the wallet. The key is to plan in advance to make the most of your getaway. There’s a lot to do at this upstate destination that resembles something from a postcard. It’s the perfect place to go if you want to escape the chaos of the city, reconnect with nature, and enjoy mouthwatering meals and wine. There are several affordable attractions in the area, including the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Skaneateles Lake, Watkins Glen State Park, and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

Book Your Affordable Getaway Today

A trip to one of the cheapest travel destinations in the United States is just a few clicks away. Head straight to BusTickets.com to find transportation that’s reasonably priced and incredibly comfortable.

References

https://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/

https://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

https://www.tripsavvy.com/travel-guide-grand-canyon-459727

https://www.travelportland.com/

https://www.tripsavvy.com/free-activities-in-portland-oregon-2743044

https://www.fingerlakes.org/things-to-do