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Portland

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

Looking for things to do in Portland, Oregon? Make sure to visit all of the markets in old town.

4 Things Everyone Must Do When They Visit Portland

By Bus Travel, Oregon, Portland

Hardcore travelers are always looking to go beyond the traditional, novel tourist experiences in any new city they visit and discover the weirder, less mainstream attractions. If you consider yourself one such hardcore traveler, you understand the quest for finding the hidden gems wherever you go. In Portland, Oregon, there is no lack of delightfully strange experiences, especially if you’re willing to traverse off the beaten path. In this post, we’ll take a look at a few things you definitely have to try when you visit Portland.

1. Sample Unconventional Twists on Classic American Treats

In Portland, you’ll be able to find plenty of doughnut shops and ice cream parlors designed with adventurous foodies in mind. Voodoo Doughnuts seems to be the doughnut shop favorite of many tourists looking for whacky flavors to try. However, if you want a true Portland experience, the locals say to skip Voodoo and go straight to Blue Star Donuts where you can find incredible, inventive flavors like Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Ganache, and Cointreau Crème Brûlée. If you still have room, visit the locals’ latest ice cream obsession: Salt & Straw. Give your taste buds a wild ride with creative flavors like Pear and Blue Cheese, Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon and Eggs, and Wild Fennel Amaro Milk Sorbet.

2. Sip Beer and Play Board Games All Night at Game Knight

If you’re a fan of board games and craft brews, you’ll geek out over Game Knight in the heart of Portland. The cafe and bar boast an extensive supply of board games, and by extensive, we mean literally hundreds of different games to choose from! There are classics like Othello and Monopoly as well as niche games like Lord of the Rings-themed board games and card games and lesser-known games like Wuzzles and Frag Deadlands. You and your travel companions could easily spend an entire evening playing board games and sipping affordable craft beers and ciders (most of them only cost $5). If you’re hungry, Game Knight has a menu of very reasonably priced sandwiches, salads, and share plates like the King Mi made with pulled pork, Asian slaw, and sambal sauce and Hungry Hungry Chippos loaded with housemade nacho cheese sauce, corn, beans, and pineapple salsa.

3. Stand in Awe of the Towering Waterfalls in the Columbia River Valley

Portland is not known solely as a hipster eutopia; it’s also recognized as one of the most stunning hiking destinations in North America. If you need an escape to a wooded paradise, spend an afternoon in Columbia River Valley. About 25 miles outside of downtown Portland is this magnificent gorge, home to awe-inspiring waterfalls, hiking trails, rivers, and forestry. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera on this adventure and be mindful of the crowds. It’s a very popular attraction, so you may want to consider visiting the park in the off-season. A handful of waterfalls worth checking out in the gorge include Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls (with a natural pool beneath it that’s often enjoyed by hikers in need of a refreshing swim), and the Oneonta Gorge, which requires a one-mile “hike” through a water bed (prepare for waist-deep waters!).

4. Satisfy Your Cravings at the Holy Grail of Food Trucks

Move over, New York. Portland is fast becoming king of the food truck scene. Sure, New York might be known for a food truck on every corner, but Portland is known for 600 food trucks all in one place. If you’re ready to feast on a smorgasbord of international cuisine, dedicate an evening (or several) to dining out at the food truck pods in Portland. Start off in Cartlandia, which is considered the “super pod” of Portland. It’s here that you’ll find lobster carts, international cuisine from over 15 countries, and The Blue Room, a beer garden with 18 beers and ciders on tap. For Southern comfort food and vegan twists on classic dishes, head to the Mississippi Marketplace on North Mississippi Avenue. If you’re in the neighborhood for breakfast, visit Hash It Out for some savory sausage and egg entrees, all made with locally-sourced ingredients. For BBQ, check out Homegrown Smoker, which has a variety of delectable meats as well as vegan BBQ options. For late night munchies after a few drinks at the pub, spend the final hours of the evening at Cartopia where you’ll find everything from sweet and savory crepes to wood-fired pizza and poutine.

Ready to experience everything that Portland has to offer from quirky doughnuts to gorgeous waterfalls? Buy a bus ticket from BusTickets.com today and start planning your trip!

References:

www.voodoodoughnut.com/

www.bluestardonuts.com/

saltandstraw.com/

pdxgameknight.com/

www.cartlandia.com/

www.blueroombar.com/

www.facebook.com/mississippimarketplace/

A box of donuts sits in one of the best donut restaurants in Portland.

Eat Your Way through Portland: Where You Have to Go

By Bus Travel, Oregon, Portland

A trip to Portland holds the promise of all things hip and happening — a literal and visual representation of the best that the country has to offer. It’s well worth the journey, whether it’s your first time or your fifth. And if you don’t take time to experience the city’s massively impressive foodie culture, then you’re truly missing out on something you’ll likely remember for a lifetime. If you’re intrigued, here are the top restaurants in Portland to add to your itinerary.

Breakfast

No matter what your meal preference, you’ll find something to whet your morning appetite in Portland. One of the top establishments in the city is Pine State Biscuits, where you have your choice of a whopping selection of breakfast sandwiches loaded with all the fixings. Keep it simple with eggs, experiment with fried chicken and blue cheese, or go for the vegan with tofu bacon and shitake mushroom gravy. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you won’t find a better selection of mouthwatering donuts anywhere than Blue Star Donuts. They mix it up with a vast lineup of standard, seasonal, and vegan options to tempt your early morning craving for some of the fluffiest and most unique flavors on the west coast.

Brunch

You’d do yourself a disservice to miss out on enjoying brunch at one of the top restaurants in Portland, even if you’re by yourself. Head straight to Tasty n Alder, a sleek steakhouse that features outdoor seating in a lively setting. Auntie Paula’s French Toast is loaded with rhubarb maple and whipped cream, while the Skillet Corn Cake is accompanied by a side of mouthwatering jalapeño butter. The B-52 from the Grown Ass Milkshake menu contains Grand Marnier, Irish cream, orange bitters, and Kahlua, while Alder Milk Punch is a creative coffee concoction blending cold press coffee with cognac, cream, and vanilla. Or hit Q-Portland for their stellar weekend brunch menu, which includes hearty Monte Cristos, Cinnamon and Sugar Churros, and Copper River Salmon Saute, along with a glass of their “Old School” Mary.

Lunch

You won’t be able to resist the charms of MÅURICE, a lovely, airy luncheonette that may be one of the most unforgettable restaurants you visit. It’s a quintessentially compact bakery filled with a heady, sugary scent, and the constantly evolving menu reflects their attention to the seasons and to the consistent desire for something new. Don’t miss the beloved Black Pepper Cheesecake — it sounds wild but it’s truly decadent — and the assortment of seasonal soups and salads that will brighten your day with their fresh ingredients. Craving Indian food? Head straight to Bollywood Theater, which has two locations in the area. The menu is rife with authentic street foods, like crunchy Bhel Puri and fiery Pav Bhaji, or you can keep it simple with a plate of saffron rice topped with lentils.

Dinner

There’s so much to enjoy for dinner in Portland that you may just have to book a separate visit (or two) to get through them all. At the top of the list is Ned Ludd, where the emphasis is on simplicity, scratch-made dishes, and a wood-fired oven where all of the magic happens. The restaurant itself is warm and cozy, with old-world elements that transport you to another era. Don’t miss the Wild Oregon Mushroom Toast, the Potato Gnocchi, and the Whole Roasted Trout. Italian-inspired DOC, meanwhile, is super intimate — there are only a handful of tables, the dishes change weekly, and you can enjoy a lovely glass of wine or a cocktail with any meal. Finally, make some room on your agenda for the Multnomah Whiskey Library. It’s truly breathtaking, what with its dim lights, magnificent chandelier, brick walls, and row upon row of every possible whiskey and scotch you can imagine. If you aren’t a drinker, stay for the food: there are dozens of local favorites, like Salt & Pepper Fries, Pacific NW Oysters, and the crusty MWL Sourdough Bread served with house butter.

Book Your Bus Trip

Why wait? You’ve got restaurants to visit and new foods to try. The top restaurants in Portland have something for everyone! Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable bus journey today — and prepare to enjoy a delicious adventure.

References:

www.pinestatebiscuits.com/menu/

www.bluestardonuts.com/donuts/

www.tastynalder.com/brunch

q-portland.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/BrunchMenu6-15.pdf

www.mauricepdx.com/

www.bollywoodtheaterpdx.com/menu-2/

www.nedluddpdx.com/food#food-menu

docpdx.com/menus

mwlpdx.com/

Looking for a quirky vacation spot? Check out these top quirky hotels in the US.

10 of the Quirkiest Hotels in the US

By Bus Travel, California, Los Angeles, Oregon, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma, Washington

Odds are you’ve stayed at your fair share of run-of-the-mill hotels. There are generic inns on every main road in the United States, along with chain properties that promise you the usual reliable amenities and creature comforts of home. If you crave something different, however, you may be intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast. These are the locations that are as much worth the visit as many of the region’s most historic and beloved sites. Here are 10 that you can’t miss.

1. Thornewood Castle

Tacoma, WA

Whether or not you lay claim to any royal ties, you’ll certainly feel the part once you step onto the grounds of Thornewood Castle. The property is Tudor Gothic elegance at its best. The handsome home is resplendent in its beauty, boasting the types of old-world luxuries you would expect of a place so quaint and historic. Shaded by abundant fir trees, the hotel consists of pieces of a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor purchased in England shipped to Tacoma in the early 1900s. Exquisite grounds include a lakefront, plush green grass, and even a charming English garden where you can enjoy a quiet break after a good night’s sleep inside your beautifully appointed suite filled with opulent furnishings reminiscent of Victorian-era glamour.

2. The Charlie Hotel

Hollywood, CA

Once owned by Charlie Chaplin, The Charlie Hotel is worth a visit for its dramatic architecture and intriguing history alone. Beyond the iron gates lies a veritable step back in time: lush greenery, the sound of water crisply falling from fountains, the spacious deck dotted with cozy lounge chairs. It was built in 1924 and taken over by Chaplin some years later. The actor eventually sold the property, and it wasn’t until 2002 that it was restored. Today, it’s home to several decadent cottages that feel as posh as their Hollywood namesakes —it’s worth a stay in the inviting Marilyn suite if you want to enjoy a homey stay. You may be in Hollywood, but you would never know it by your surroundings here.

3. Hotel Figueroa

Los Angeles, CA

It’s humbling to step inside the Hotel Figueroa downtown. It’s a place of deep history and empowerment — it opened in 1926 as a YWCA. At the time, this was an enormous step in a considerably unusual direction. It’s “quirky” for its place in innovation history. It’s essentially a snapshot of a time when such progress was considered heresy — yet it stands today as a model example of what is possible with effort and hard work. It’s as creative as it ever was, and it earns accolades for its artfully decorated rooms, dynamic courtyard, and the area’s only ground-floor pool. The on-site restaurants take culinary art to an entirely new level: masterfully designed interiors vie for the spotlight, but it’s ultimately the creative dishes crafted from local ingredients that rule the dining experience.

4. Mama Shelter

Los Angeles, CA

If mega quirk is what you’re after, you’ll find it in droves at Mama Shelter. Set in Los Angeles, the offbeat property, designed by Thierry Gaugin, earns rave reviews as one of the hippest spots in town. There’s a lot happening here, from the outrageous colors to the lively accents to the killer views from the rooftop bar. The rooms range from compact to jumbo, all sized just right for a stay in the city, complete with all of the amenities you expect of the perfect place to stay. Enjoy a bite to eat, chill on the roof, have a drink or two, or just marvel at your surroundings from up high, where you can see everything from the iconic Hollywood sign to the activity below on Hollywood Boulevard.

5. McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel

Portland, OR

Among the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, this is one you can definitely file under “I can’t believe it’s actually real.” McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel was founded in 1915, but at the time it was an actual elementary school. Fast forward many years, and today it’s a hip boutique hotel that many people specifically visit Portland for. And why not? The interior is dramatic and fun, where former classrooms now serve as guestrooms, and where old-school artwork sets the tone for a vintage-ready stay. Many of the rooms are even equipped with the original cloakrooms and chalkboards. The school’s former boiler room even serves as a vibrant, multistory bar.

6. Hotel Zeppelin

San Francisco, CA

Escape to an edgy hideout that’s equal parts urban-chic, industrial, and contemporary. Whether you’re a creative type, a wallflower, or somewhere in between, you’ll find a home for yourself in the Hotel Zeppelin, whose bohemian roots are evident in its laid-back, welcoming ambiance.

7. The Inn at El Gaucho

Seattle, WA

In a fast-paced world where everything seems in need of an upgrade, it’s hard to believe a place like The Inn at El Gaucho exists. Yet it does, and it’s inside this retro-inspired haunt that you can enjoy a stay in a dramatic guestroom and a cocktail bar that exudes 1950s charm.

8. Madonna Inn

San Luis Obispo, CA

It’s tough to compete with the eclectic charm that the Madonna Inn brings to San Luis Obispo. Boulders are built into the construction, and there are 110 themed rooms with out-of-this-world amenities, like rock showers and stone fireplaces.

9. Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort

Takilma, OR

The serene Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort is quite literally a village of treehouses. There’s a scenic, rustic vibe here that anyone with an appreciation for the great outdoors will absolutely love. Each abode is equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom to lend it a truly homey feel.

10. Inn at Northrup Station

Portland, OR

There are few places more quintessentially Portland than the bright and lively all-suite Inn at Northrup Station. The rooms are obsessively fun, with vibrant pops everywhere you turn. No detail is spared here, and odds are you’ll quickly grow to love the place for its electrifying personality.

Book Your Getaway Today

If you’re intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, it’s a good time to get away from it all and book your trip today. Visit BusTickets.com to find affordable transportation to your destination of choice!

Hipster Places to Visit in America.

5 Hipster Places to Visit in the United States

By Bus Travel, Georgia, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Oregon, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Utah, Washington

Tracking down the most hipster-worthy spots in the United States isn’t a difficult proposition. The hallmarks of a truly notable locale include the usual suspects: hip boutiques, vintage record stores, vegan dining establishments, and cafes galore. All the better if there’s a tattoo shop thrown into the mix. These were the criteria that MoveHub used to cultivate its list of the most hipster cities in the U.S. We’ve narrowed down our own picks to those that stand on their own as memorable travel spots. You won’t regret booking a bus vacation to one of these destinations!

1. Minneapolis, MN

How could a city packed with microbreweries and metal sculptures not be considered a serious hipster hotspot? Minneapolis has a little bit of everything in its eclectic blend of options. The aforementioned Sculpture Walk St. Cloud, with its mesmerizing array of work from local artists, runs year round. Meanwhile, the North Loop — often referred to as the warehouse district — teems with bicycles thanks to its rider-friendly paths and beautiful riverfront views.

Northeast has it all: the requisite art studios, the all-hours dive bars, the industrial feel that sets it apart from more established, modern districts around town. And the cozy Parlour Bar practically screams “Hello, hipsters!” thanks to its menu of craft cocktails, dim lighting, and intimate vibes. It’s just one of many cool haunts for hipsters to settle into in the city.

2. Portland, OR

It’s not really a hipster-friendly list without a nod to Portland. The city is a hipster’s fantasy come to life, with everything from aging warehouses and lively music venues to sexy drinking dens and hip global eateries. Artsy movie houses abound — you’ll need to stop by the Hollywood Theatre just to say you’ve been there, as it’s placed so high on must-see lists. Be warned, though, that lines are long.

Of course, you don’t need to sit around in a brewery stroking your well-coiffed beard just to achieve hipster status. Pay a visit to the Portland Japanese Garden to escape much of the city’s bustle and find yourself at one with nature (and maybe snap a selfie or two, naturally). Because no hipster paradise is complete without a few thrift shops, you can check out one of the many in town. You’ll find plenty, including the beloved Red Light Clothing Exchange.

3. Salt Lake City, UT

There’s no denying the eclecticism and intensity that catapults Salt Lake City to the top of many domestic travelers’ wish lists. It’s as spirited as it is subtle, as engaging as it is emerging. And though it seems a wee bit surprising that SLC would land on _any _type of hipster paradise list, it’s more than earned its place. There’s something for you whether you’re bold or timid, and the hipster scene is a great place to explore both avenues.

Head straight to the Sugar House district for a hint of old-school-meets-modern-day flair, courtesy of art galleries, vibrant shops, and quaint bookstores. Compact bars, snug coffee shops, and easygoing lounges set the tone downtown, and you can pop into anyone without feeling a hint of pretentiousness — it’s all laid-back and completely in line with the overall inviting vibe SLC exudes.

4. Seattle, WA

Seattle could well be considered the old guard of hipster culture. Many of the scene’s most beloved destinations are right here in town. There are vegan eateries aplenty, artsy boutique hotels galore, and hip, little-known speakeasies that those in the know swear by. It’s easy to get lost in everything that Seattle offers, if only for its diversity. Are you more of an active sort? Rent a bike and glide through Capitol Hill. Feel a strong connection with the city’s famed musical roots? Head straight to Linda’s Tavern, the dive bar where Kurt Cobain was reportedly last seen alive. And, yes, Seattle may be home to the OG Starbucks, but you’ll want to forgo the brew you can get anywhere in the world in favor of one of the hundreds of coffeehouses peppered throughout the city. Not-so-secret pro tip: check out Espresso Vivace for a truly unforgettable cup of joe.

5. Atlanta, GA

What’s Atlanta doing on a list of the most hipster cities in the U.S.? The city exudes quintessential southern charm and hospitality, yet there are pockets that seem expressly made to indulge your innermost hipster whims. The East Atlanta Village has it all: great cafes, lively gay bars, tattoo shops, and microbreweries, just to name a few. Head to midtown for Little Five Points, indulge in some serious thrift and record shopping and relax with a few pints at a local brewery. Don’t miss the intense dining scene, where you can keep it simple with a slice of your favorite cheesy pie or go a little more luxe with an artisan burger. The Westside district is also worth a visit, especially if you’re musically inclined and dig the chill vibe — it’s a haven for quaint breakfast cafes, beer haunts, and art exhibits.

Book a Bus Vacation Now

If you’re inspired to get better acquainted with the most hipster cities in the U.S., your journey begins here! Book your bus trip on BusTickets.com and prepare to indulge in the gorgeous scenery, delicious bites, and tasty brews all over the country.