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Oregon

4 Best Destination Vacations for Cyclists

By Arizona, Boulder, Bus Travel, Colorado, Oregon, Portland, Seattle, Tucson, Washington

Top Bicycling Vacation Destinations

What is better than a vacation? A vacation that allows you to spend most of your time doing the things you love. If cycling is one of your favorite hobbies and you are planning a much-needed vacation, why not combine the two? To give you some inspiration, here is a list of four of the best destination vacations for cyclists.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, is considered one of the greatest destination vacations for cyclists in the United States. It offers the best of both worlds in that you can bike around the exciting downtown area and venture into more secluded natural settings and trails surrounding the city. Not only that, but there are also over 350 miles of bikeways to explore and a variety of scenic routes you are going to want to ride should you visit Portland. A favorite among both locals and visitors is Kelly Point Park, which straddles the border of Washington and Oregon. It’s a breezy eight-mile route that takes you to a secret riverside beach where you can jump in and cool off after an invigorating bike ride.

Another adventurous ride that is well-loved by cyclists is the Skyline Boulevard pathway to Sauvie Island. We should warn you that this route comes with one of the toughest hills in the city, but once you reach the top, it’s nothing but flat riding the whole way to Sauvie Island. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the city.

Tucson, Arizona

There are over 6,000 bike trails in and around the city of Tucson, so a lack of variety will never be a problem. If you are a serious cyclist, consider doing some road biking up to Mount Lemmon, a route Tour de France riders have used for training. It’s a 20-mile uphill ride along a cactus desert until you reach the top of the summit. The best part about this ride is after getting to the top, you have an exhilarating 30-minute downhill ride to look forward to.

If you want a shorter ride, take the 10-mile journey through the Saguaro National Park East, a winding loop with lots of descents and sharp turns. For cyclists looking to make their Arizona trip almost exclusively about cycling, consider booking a stay at the Cycling House’s six-day Mountain Bike Camp. It’s a wintertime retreat that includes cycling lessons, fun activities such as trips to local breweries, and—the best part—a daily massage after a long day of riding.

Seattle, Washington

There are so many different biking trails throughout Seattle, Washington, that boast spectacular views of the natural surroundings, so it may seem overwhelming when it comes to picking which ones you’ll ride. If you want a nice, long ride, embark on the tried-and-true Burke-Gilman Trail, arguably one of the most popular trails in Seattle. You’ll ride 20 miles to Kenmore and cycle along Lake Washington and the Ship Canal before getting to your destination.

If you want a leisurely, laid-back bike ride, take on the South Lake Union Trails and Ship Canal Trail, where you’ll do a loop around Lake Union. The entire ride is almost exclusively bike trails, so you won’t have to worry about traffic on the roads. Finally, if you just want to fit in a quick, brisk ride, try the five-mile Seattle Waterfront Trails. You’ll ride along Elliot Bay and have a chance to revel in the beauty of the waterfront while getting in a bit of invigorating exercise.

Boulder, Colorado

One of the best ways to explore the natural wonders surrounding Boulder, Colorado, is to hop on a bike and pedal your way through the region.

If you’re looking for a ride that’s not too hard and not too easy, you’ll love the Spring Brook Loop, a 12-mile loop that takes you along the foothills of the mountains and has minimal ascents along the way. If you are looking for a more challenging ride with rougher terrain, you’ll enjoy the Walker Ranch Trail, a 7.8-mile loop with a 1,500-foot ascent up and along a mountain.

Another great option is the Betasso Preserve ride, a 7.4-mile loop that takes you along hard-packed dirt (easy for riding) and through bike trails into forests with lush towering trees. If the Betasso Preserve ride isn’t long enough for you, opt for the slightly more challenging Super Betasso ride that begins in the city center and goes through the trails on the outskirts of town.

Head to These Destination Vacations for Cyclists

Ready to start planning your trip to one of these destination vacations for cyclists? Begin by buying your bus ticket on BusTickets.com today!

References

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=209&action=ViewPark

Cycling Trips & Vacations

http://www.seattleoutdoorsinfo.com/hiking-and-biking/seattle-biking/seattle-bike-trails/seattle-waterfront-trails

Betasso Preserve

Deciding Between Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s? Go for the Cold!

By Alaska, Aspen, Bend, Bus Travel, Colorado, Oregon

Deciding Between Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s? Go for the Cold!

Going _anywhere_ for New Year’s Eve requires some serious planning. Going on vacation, however, calls for some next-level decision-making. If it’s between snow vs. beach for New Year’s, don’t completely toss the idea of a cold destination in favor of a warmer, sunnier climate. Sure, spending your winter in a tropical environment is appealing, but there’s something decidedly more seasonal and festive about ringing in the New Year in the snow. Here’s why it’s such a great idea.

Make Some Holiday Magic

Yes, you can hang out on the plush sand at the beach and share a kiss at the stroke of midnight, but technically you can hang out at the beach any day of the year and enjoy the same warm conditions. But celebrating the holiday in the snow is something you can really only do once a year. Some areas of the country go all out in creating unforgettable New Year’s festivities that truly outdo anything you could ever hope to experience on the beach.

Case in point: the snowshoe tour in Bend, Oregon. Led by a professional guide, you’ll arrive at a crackling bonfire in the heart of an amphitheater completely hand-carved in snow. Hot beverages and mouthwatering desserts are served, and you’ll spend the evening learning about the surrounding forest while gazing at the clear night sky before ushering in the New Year. Between the crisp weather and the magnificent environment, you’ll wonder how you ever got through a celebration without it!

View the Northern Lights

Why go to a rowdy bar or watch the ball drop on television when you can experience something absolutely awe-inspiring in person? Watching the Northern Lights on New Year’s Eve in Alaska is a humbling experience unlike any other. If there was ever any doubt about the snow vs. beach for New Year’s debate, this should surely simplify your decision.

While there are several great places to visit, among the worthiest of your time is Alyeska Resort. It’s approximately 40 miles from Anchorage, making it an easy-to-access destination that provides you with exquisite views of the Aurora Borealis. The resort recommends staying for a few days so that you have an optimal chance of viewing the Northern Lights in all their glory. It may even bring you a stroke of good luck if you believe in such things. Scandinavian fishermen, who called the lights “sillblixt,” believed that the lights were caused by reflections from fish scales, and so spying the lights were considered a sign of a big haul to come. If you happen to catch the lights as you ring in the New Year, you could take it as a sign of good fortune and abundance to come.

Enjoy a Cozy Celebration

If your traditional celebration involves ringing in the New Year in the presence of hundreds of others at a crowded venue with loud music in the background, then you could probably do with a change of scenery. While the beach is certainly a gorgeous environment to celebrate any holiday, you’re more likely to deal with the same types of grounds in a sunny place. Winter destinations are considerably less crowded, and you can easily carve out some quality alone time with your family or significant other if that’s what you crave this year.

Once you’ve settled your snow vs. beach for New Year’s dilemma, you can focus on where you want to go. One of the most intimate spots is Viceroy Snowmass, a stunning resort near Aspen, Colorado. The beautiful property is situated in Snowmass Base Village, which puts you within proximity of everything from ice skating to skiing. When you’re ready to unwind, retreat to Toro Kitchen & Lounge for a hot meal by the fireplace or enjoy a healing massage before welcoming the New Year.

Snow vs. Beach for New Year’s: Where Are You Headed?

Inspired to plan an epic snow vacation to ring in the New Year? Visit BusTickets.com to snag your affordable tickets today.

References

https://www.wanderlusttours.com/new-years-eve-bonfire-on-the-snow

http://www.alyeskaresort.com/events-activities/winter-northern-lights-viewing

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/expert-traveller/experiences/nature-and-gardens/11-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-northern-lights

https://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/snowmass

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!