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Pennsylvania

Five 2019 Christmas Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

By Bus Travel, California, Chicago, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Five 2019 Christmas Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it, the excitement for brilliantly bright lights, festive treats, and fun parties. Yet, for serious fanatics of the holiday season, there’s nothing quite as inspiring as a festival. If you fall into that category, don’t fret! There are a few 2019 Christmas festivals that take their celebrations above and beyond just waiting for your visit.

Christkindlmarket – Chicago

From St. Patrick’s Day to New Year’s, the Windy City knows how to celebrate, and Christmas isn’t an exception. Since 1996, Chicago has held an epic open-air holiday market known as Christkindlmarket, which attracts over one million visitors annually. The festival begins the Friday before Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Eve, coinciding with the city’s Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.

Regardless of the weather, the German-inspired event creates a magical atmosphere in Daley Plaza with free admission. The warmly lit market features handmade gifts, holiday-inspired decor, and plenty of food and drinks, including German potato pancakes and sauerkraut. There’s also a Kinder Club available, which offers fun events like scavenger hunts and passports for younger market-goers.

A Colonial Christmas – Jamestown, Virginia

If you want to enjoy the holiday festivities with a historical twist, then head to the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia. The living history museum provides insight into the traditions of the English colony, as well as those of the Powhatan Indian tribe. Running from December 20th to the 31st, there are daily demonstrations, live music, and performances from the Lord of Misrule.

The celebration extends to the American Revolution Museum in nearby Yorktown. Instead of a recreated fort, the museum is based on a working colonial farm with a Continental Army encampment. During the Christmas festival, visitors get a glimpse of authentic holiday traditions in the 18th century, as well as military demonstrations. You can visit the events separately or purchase a combination ticket at a reduced rate.

Historic Philadelphia Franklin Square Holiday Festival

At Philadelphia’s Holiday Festival, the city looks to both the past and the future by lighting up the night. The family-friendly event features over 75,000 lights strewn throughout Franklin Square park. The festival pays homage to Ben Franklin with its Electrical Spectacle light show, which features a 12-foot-tall lighted kite and lighting choreographed to music. The light show takes place nightly from the middle of November to New Year’s Eve, with vendors on-site throughout the duration.

Great Dickens Christmas Fair – San Francisco

For literary lovers, there’s not a better 2019 Christmas Festival than the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. This Bay Area tradition takes place at the Cow Palace for five weekends in a row, from November 23rd to December 22nd. Not only does the festival pay homage to Charles Dickens’ _A Christmas Carol_, but it brings the beloved novel to life.

Set in Victorian times, the fair transforms the Cow Palace into the streets of London circa the 1850s. There are merchants, dance floors, music halls, and pubs scattered over 120,000 sq. ft. of space. Not only are you able to mingle with hundreds of dedicated actors, but you’re also encouraged to dress up and play the part yourself. Grab a freshly made croissant, hit the dance floor with a waltz, and wind down with a saloon performance before doing it all over again the next day.

Winterfest – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

If you want to see Santa playing the banjo, then head straight to Pigeon Forge, TN. The city’s Winterfest event is one of the longest-running Christmas festivals of the year, beginning on November 22nd and stretching through February 17th. Surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, this hospitable town is transformed with over five million twinkling lights, holiday-themed displays, and family-friendly activities and entertainment occurring regularly.

To take in the spectacular lighting displays of Winterfest, head down Pigeon Forge Parkway for the Tour of Lights, followed by a dinner show at Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Or, stop by the Smoky Mountain Opry for an unforgettable Christmas presentation. There’s also the annual tree lighting at The Island, which features over 40,000 ornaments, along with local music performances at the Community Celebration on December 5th. Regardless of when your trip is scheduled, you’re sure to find a special event that suits your needs.

Save on Travel to Your 2019 Christmas Festival of Choice

Ready for an epic holiday celebration? Save on your 2019 Christmas festival travel with BusTickets.com. Our service allows you to quickly and conveniently find bus routes, compare carrier prices, and book your trip all within minutes. Holiday cheer is in the air, so what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite ugly Christmas sweater and buy your bus tickets from BusTickets.com today!

References

http://www.christkindlmarket.com/
https://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/a-colonial-christmas/
https://www.historyisfun.org/yorktown-victory-center/
http://historicphiladelphia.org/franklin-square/upcoming-events/
https://dickensfair.com/
https://pigeonforgewinterfest.com/

enchanting Pennsylvania getaways

Most Enchanting Pennsylvania Getaways

By Bus Travel, Pennsylvania

The Most Enchanting Getaways You Wouldn’t Expect to Find in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania may not be one of the top destinations on most people’s radar, but don’t rule out this scenic state just yet. There are gorgeous, relaxing rural areas that are ideal for anyone looking to escape a hot city summer, or just get a break from the daily grind. If you have not explored the options in Pennsylvania yet, start now by reading this post! We’ll introduce the top three destinations in Pennsylvania and review various activities, places to stay, and places to eat.

Presque Isle in Erie is 1st on our list of enchanting Pennsylvania getaways

What to Do: Plan to spend several days in the expansive Presque Isle State Park. There are over 10 gorgeous beaches in this park with pristine, smooth, yellow sands and gorgeous views of Lake Erie. After going for a dip in the refreshing, cool water, dry off on a bike ride through the wooded trails. There are also plenty of harbor areas and ponds throughout the park that are great for kayaking, paddleboarding, and peddle-boating.

Where to Stay:A historic bed and breakfast is the way to go when you’re vacationing in Presque Isle. Stay in a Victorian home at the Spencer House Bed and Breakfast or at the Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast, where you’ll be served complimentary tea and biscuits.

What to Eat: Just outside Presque Isle State Park, you will find a smattering of adorable, cozy eateries including Smuggler’s Wharf for a mean plate of coconut shrimp, Bayfront Grille for upscale seafood dining, and La Bella for New American Fare. And if you feel like saving some money, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy your meal by the water! When you have a hankering for something sugary, pick up a donut at Jack Frost Donut Shop or a cone at Connie’s Ice Cream.

The Pocono Mountains is 2nd on our list of enchanting Pennsylvania getaways

What to Do: One of the unique attributes of the Pocono Mountains is that it’s a great destination every time of the year. Going during the winter? Great! Plenty of prime skiing and snowboarding slopes. Going in the summer? That’s great, too! There are thousands of acres to hike and bodies of water to boat or go fishing in. Don’t forget to check out the little villages surrounding the Poconos to grab some locally brewed coffee, browse the thrift shops, and check out the art galleries.

Where to Stay: Great Wolf Lodge is a great option for families traveling to the Poconos since every suite is decked out with various themes and there is an indoor water park on-site! If you are traveling with your significant other, opt for the couples-only Pocono Palace Resort, which sits right on the lake. For a bit more privacy, rent a vacation home through Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Shawnee Village.

What to Eat: The Frogtown Chophouse is the place to go for juicy steaks and fresh seafood. And if you’re craving breakfast at night, go to Moyer’s Country Kitchen, where breakfast dishes are served all day long. For those days when you feel like picnicking in the woods, stop off at Pass Me Not Green Market for lunch supplies.

Allegheny National Forest is 3rd on our list of enchanting Pennsylvania getaways

What to Do: There’s no denying that the Allegheny National Forest is certainly the most rugged of all the destinations on this list. If you’re willing to forego the plush hotel in favor of a rustic cabin, you’re in for a real treat. The Allegheny Forest is enchanting with its red maple trees, towering boulders, and little lakes. Within the forest are several state parks including Kinzua Bridge State Park and Clear Creek State Park. There are plenty of beautiful locations perfect for camping in a tent, RV, or cabin and trails for horse-back riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

Where to Stay: Although the Allegheny National Forest is the most obvious place to stay, if you don’t feel like camping out, there are a handful of hotels just outside the forest including a Holiday Inn and a Hampton Inn & Suites.

Where to Eat: Every restaurant you’re going to come across in and around the Allegheny National Forest gives off that good ole’ fashion country feel. For BBQ, go to Wells Hog Wild BBQ & Grill. For a light lunch, grab a bite at Clarendon Cafe. And to satisfy your craving for pasta, have dinner at Bettina’s Italian Restaurant in the southernmost part of the forest.

Ready to start exploring any one of these destinations in Pennsylvania? What are you waiting for? Purchase a bus ticket to Pennsylvania today on Bus Tickets.com!

References

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/PresqueIsleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g52607-d734605-Reviews-Smuggler_s_Wharf-Erie_Pennsylvania.html

www.jackfrostdonutsusa.com

www.greatwolf.com

www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/KinzuaBridgeStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

best indoor hotel pools and water parks

5 of the Most Amazing Indoor Hotel Pools for Autumn & Winter

By Atlantic City, Bus Travel, Las Vegas, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, New York City, Pennsylvania, Tenessee

Amazing Indoor Hotel Pools & Water Parks

As summer comes to an end, you might be looking back with fondness at your time spent splashing around in the pool. It was great while it lasted. Until next summer, right? Not so fast. If you’re planning a fall or winter getaway, you have no excuse not to enjoy some quality pool time! It’s all down to this collection of the best indoor hotel pools for fall and winter — those that stand out for their unique appearance and ambiance. Here are five can’t-miss destinations for your cold-weather getaway.

Atlantic City, NJ

Odds are you visit Atlantic City for gambling and walking along the water. What many don’t realize is that the city is also home to one of the country’s best indoor hotel pools for fall and winter vacations. The indoor pool at Harrah’s Atlantic City provides a taste of tropical living on the east coast. The water is heated to 82 degrees for endless comfort year-round, and the surroundings are nothing short of mesmerizing. The atrium casts bright, natural light over the entire space, while thick greenery adds ambiance. There are plenty of lounge chairs if you want to kick back and relax instead of going for a swim — and naturally, the pool service menu is packed with Caribbean dishes and beverages that will keep you cool and satiated throughout your respite. Guests enjoy free pool access for the duration of their stay, but non-guests are also welcome for a cover charge.

New York, NY

Of course one of the best indoor hotel pools in the country is located in New York. You almost can’t ask for much more from the spa facilities at the Mandarin Oriental New York. The hotel is renowned for its opulence and luxury, and those same characteristics are evident in the wellness space. Offering expansive views of the city skyline, the 75-foot lap pool shimmers in sunlight that streams through floor-to-ceiling windows. Just beyond are amazing views of the Hudson River. You can lounge poolside if you prefer, of course, or cool down after a spa treatment, a session at the on-site gym, or a yoga class.

Sevierville, TN

It wouldn’t be a list of the best indoor hotel pools for fall and winter without a mention of the Smokies Waterpark Resort and Family Adventure Center in Tennessee. The property’s Wild Waterdome is the largest indoor water park in the state — and it’s truly worth considering if you want to get away from it all at the end of the year. The 66,000-square-foot facility is a must if your family loves water sports. It’s open year-round and features a see-through roof, so you always have a clear view of the cold weather without actually being exposed to it. The water is warm, the conditions are right, and the activities are endless! There’s a 55-foot waterslide, a 10,000-square-foot wave pool, and even a jumbo hot tub — plus an indoor raft ride that replicates the experience of white water rafting minus the crazy weather and an indoor surfing spot.

Bedford, PA

If you’re intrigued by history, visit the Omni Bedford Springs Resort in Pennsylvania. It opened in 1905 and was one of the first indoor pools in the nation. According to the resort, musicians would perform for singers from an opera box, and some say that sons of dignitaries would go so far as to leap from the upper level into the pool (not recommended, naturally). The restored indoor hotel pool is as beautiful and inviting as it ever was and is heated for your comfort. As you dive into the water, take a moment to gaze at your surroundings; the atmosphere here is almost hauntingly simple and placid. You can nearly envision travelers of the past — and make some special memories of your own while you’re there.

Las Vegas, NV

It goes without saying that Las Vegas is home to some of the best indoor hotel pools, water parks and have the quirkiest and most outlandish hotel amenities in the world. Perhaps one that will delight gambling enthusiasts is the indoor hotel pool at the Tropicana. The hotel, a longtime favorite for visitors, features a swim-up blackjack pool. Dive in and swim up to the side and enjoy a game or two before escaping to your room — it’s for guests only, although some 21+ individuals report they’ve been able to play without question. It’s just another way to soak up your time in Sin City and enjoy something a little outside of your comfort zone.

Book Your Pool Getaway Today

If you’re intrigued by these fantastic indoor hotel pools and water parks located throughout the country, why wait? This is a great time to book your fall and winter vacation on BusTickets.com today.

References

https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-ac

https://www.mandarinoriental.com/new-york/manhattan/luxury-hotel

https://www.wildernessatthesmokies.com/

https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs

https://www.troplv.com/

Dreaming of an enchanting getaway? Look no further than Pennsylvania.

The Most Enchanting Getaways in Pennsylvania

By Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania may not be one of the top destinations on most people’s radar, but don’t rule out this scenic state just yet. There are gorgeous, relaxing enchanted areas that are ideal for anyone looking to escape a hot city summer, or just get a break from the daily grind. If you have not explored the options in Pennsylvania yet, start now by reading this post! We’ll introduce the top three destinations in Pennsylvania and review various activities, places to stay, and places to eat.

Presque Isle in Erie

What to Do: Plan to spend several days in the expansive Presque Isle State Park. There are over 10 gorgeous beaches in this park with pristine, smooth, yellow sands and gorgeous views of Lake Erie. After going for a dip in the refreshing, cool water, dry off on a bike ride through the wooded trails. There are also plenty of harbor areas and ponds throughout the park that are great for kayaking, paddleboarding, and peddle-boating.

Where to Stay: A historic bed and breakfast is the way to go when you’re vacationing in Presque Isle. Stay in a Victorian home at the Spencer House Bed and Breakfast or at the Victorian Inn Bed and Breakfast, where you’ll be served complimentary tea and biscuits.

What to Eat: Just outside Presque Isle State Park, you will find a smattering of adorable, cozy eateries including Smuggler’s Wharf for a mean plate of coconut shrimp, Bayfront Grille for upscale seafood dining, and La Bella for New American Fare. And if you feel like saving some money, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy your meal by the water! When you have a hankering for something sugary, pick up a donut at Jack Frost Donut Shop or a cone at Connie’s Ice Cream.

The Pocono Mountains

What to Do: One of the unique attributes of the Pocono Mountains is that it’s a great destination every time of the year. Going during the winter? Great! Plenty of prime skiing and snowboarding slopes. Going in the summer? That’s great, too! There are thousands of acres to hike and bodies of water to boat or go fishing in. Don’t forget to check out the little villages surrounding the Poconos to grab some locally brewed coffee, browse the thrift shops, and check out the art galleries.

Where to Stay: Great Wolf Lodge is a great option for families traveling to the Poconos since every suite is decked out with various themes and there is an indoor water park on-site! If you are traveling with your significant other, opt for the couples-only Pocono Palace Resort, which sits right on the lake. For a bit more privacy, rent a vacation home through Wyndham Vacation Resorts in Shawnee Village.

What to Eat: The Frogtown Chophouse is the place to go for juicy steaks and fresh seafood. And if you’re craving breakfast at night, go to Moyer’s Country Kitchen, where breakfast dishes are served all day long. For those days when you feel like picnicking in the woods, stop off at Pass Me Not Green Market for lunch supplies.

Allegheny National Forest

What to Do: There’s no denying that the Allegheny National Forest is certainly the most rugged of all the destinations on this list. If you’re willing to forego the plush hotel in favor of a rustic cabin, you’re in for a real treat. The Allegheny Forest is enchanting with its red maple trees, towering boulders, and little lakes. Within the forest are several state parks including Kinzua Bridge State Park and Clear Creek State Park. There are plenty of beautiful locations perfect for camping in a tent, RV, or cabin and trails for horse-back riding, hiking, and mountain biking.

Where to Stay: Although the Allegheny National Forest is the most obvious place to stay, if you don’t feel like camping out, there are a handful of hotels just outside the forest including a Holiday Inn and a Hampton Inn & Suites.

Where to Eat: Every restaurant you’re going to come across in and around the Allegheny National Forest gives off that good ole’ fashion country feel. For BBQ, go to Wells Hog Wild BBQ & Grill. For a light lunch, grab a bite at Clarendon Cafe. And to satisfy your craving for pasta, have dinner at Bettina’s Italian Restaurant in the southernmost part of the forest.

Ready to start exploring any one of these destinations in Pennsylvania? What are you waiting for? Purchase a bus ticket to Pennsylvania today on Bus Tickets.com!

References

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/PresqueIsleStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g52607-d734605-Reviews-Smuggler_s_Wharf-Erie_Pennsylvania.html

https://www.jackfrostdonutsusa.com/

https://www.greatwolf.com/

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateParks/FindAPark/KinzuaBridgeStatePark/Pages/default.aspx

The best places to stargaze in the US are all around you. Go book a bus ticket today!

Love Stargazing? Three Areas You Have to Visit

By Arizona, Bus Travel, California, Pennsylvania

Whether you’re an astronomy buff or you simply appreciate the beauty of a full moon, there are always opportunities to explore the night sky on a deeper level. You may have a favorite spot in your town where you go to stargaze but planning your vacation around this celestial activity is an easy way to elevate your experience. As you plan your bus journey, consider adding the best places to stargaze in the U.S. to your must-visit list.

1. California

The Golden State offers countless stargazing opportunities throughout the state. To begin, the most obvious destination: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which is the state’s largest park and one of the most respected in the country for stargazing. Even nearby communities limit their lighting to avoid polluting the starry skies here. It’s the state’s first International Dark Sky Community — a designation afforded only to those districts that are dedicated to preserving the night sky. Book a tour with Dennis Mammana through Borrego Night Sky Tours if you’re new to stargazing, or set up camp and enjoy the beautiful views with your own equipment.

Death Valley National Park is recognized as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the nation. Once known as the Inn at Furnace Creek, the park is approximately two hours from Las Vegas and just shy of four hours from Los Angeles. This distance from the largest nearby cities allows for clearer sky views undisturbed by obstructions. The park regularly hosts stargazing opportunities, but it’s just as eventful to go on your own or with fellow enthusiasts.

2. Arizona

Arizona is one of the most incomparable states in the country for stargazing. The combination of clear skies and great weather contributes to a wonderful environment for observing the stars. The key is to avoid more populated areas in order to evade light pollution that might take away from the experience. If you don’t have much experience, a visit to Kitt Peak National Observatory is a smart choice. The privileged location hosts numerous radio and optical telescopes, and you can even take part in a program held by the visitors’ center if you don’t know quite where to begin.

Among the clearest and most pristine areas to gaze at the stars is Sedona. It’s one of the few Dark Sky Communities on the planet, a significant distinction that it earned for its continuous efforts to minimize light pollution. There are dozens of observation areas throughout Sedona: Turkey Creek Trailhead, which you can hike and explore during the day and set up your star station in the parking lot come evening; Crescent Moon Picnic Site, which is an ideal for a spot of lunch or dinner before you walk the trails in search of the perfect stargazing spot; and the one-mile Centennial Trail, which leads to the Cultural Park trailhead and provides flawless views of the surrounding mountains.

3. Pennsylvania

Officially the only Dark Sky Park in Pennsylvania, Cherry Springs State Park is one of the best places in the state to observe the stars in complete darkness. Although it’s one of the best places to stargaze in the U.S. at any time of year, it’s best to schedule your visit during prime stargazing season: fall and winter are especially appropriate because it’s cooler, humidity levels are lower, and there’s more time to enjoy the night sky. It’s also a bit busier during the warmer months, so you’ll have more opportunity to explore in solitude when temperatures drop.

Another option is the Sproul State Forest. It’s a dream for nature lovers who want to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, leave the cell phones behind, and avoid the creature comforts of home. When you’re here, you’re at one with your surroundings. Thick forests and winding trails create a challenging environment that is both fun and humbling. There’s ample safe space to set up camp and enjoy the stars above when the sunsets.

Book Your Stargazing Getaway Today

The best places to stargaze in the U.S. are only a few clicks away! Whether you’re new to stargazing or have been at it for years, you’ll be enthralled by the beautiful surroundings in these unforgettable locations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable getaway today.

References

https://www.visitcalifornia.com/attraction/stargazing-anza-borrego-desert-state-park

International Dark Sky Communities

http://www.borregonightskytours.com/

Stargazing

https://www.noao.edu/kpno/

The Ultimate Guide to Stargazing in Sedona: When, Where & How
Stargazing at Cherry Springs

https://www.dcnr.pa.gov/StateForests/FindAForest/Sproul/Pages/default.aspx