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Portland

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/

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/