Category

Philadelphia

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/

There are so many cities that you should visit before you turn 30. Make sure to check those off your check list now!

4 Cities You Should Visit Before You’re 30

By Atlanta, Bus Travel, Georgia, Hawaii, Honolulu, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Although we firmly believe everyone should visit iconic American cities like New York City and Los Angeles by the time they are 30, such destinations can get a little tiring, especially if you’ve already experienced them before. Why not switch things up with something new? We’re here to introduce you to four cities you should visit before 30 and a few of the things you can do while in those cities.

1. New Orleans

The energy in New Orleans is distinct and contagious, and this American city — which is unlike any other city in America — offers young travelers so many cultural experiences that it’s hard to fit everything in during one trip. Start by taking a cruise on a Mississippi steamboat and listening to the sounds of a live jazz band as you float down the river. In the evening, go on a delightfully spooky ghost tour through the French Quarter and explore this district’s 300 years of history. If you’re a jazz aficionado, spend an afternoon at the New Orleans Jazz Museum and marvel at the various exhibits and memorabilia (such as one of Louis Armstrong cornets!).

Depending on what time of year you visit New Orleans, plan to attend one of the many festivals happening year-round. Although Mardi Gras is obviously the most famous, there are plenty of other incredible festivals happening, including the Satchmo SummerFest in April, the Oyster Festival in June, and the Voodoo Festival in October.

2. Honolulu

Surf. Sun. Sand. What person in their 20s wouldn’t love an island getaway in Hawaii? Honolulu has been a popular vacation destination for many a tourist over the course of several decades, and its appeal isn’t wearing off any time soon. Although the primary objective of a vacation in Honolulu is to spend some serious time on the beach, there are plenty of dryland activities worth checking out. Explore the stunning street art in the Kakaako district, a formerly rundown part of town that was recently transformed by graffiti artists. What was just a bunch of old, abandoned warehouses is now a hip part of town filled with art, culture, music, shopping, and dining.

To squeeze in a bit of exercise, plan a brisk hiking trip up to the top of Diamond Head, a dormant volcano with breathtaking views of Waikiki. The trail is 3.2 miles round trip and takes roughly two hours to complete. Early birds will be treated to an immaculate sunrise if they make it to the top of the volcano in time. After an invigorating hike, head to Laniakea Beach to hang out with the sea turtles who like to come up to the shore for a seaweed breakfast. Then, drive over to the edge of Oahu, Kaena Point, to snap some photos of the monk seals. Remember to observe from a distance; monk seals can be dangerous! Finally, finish off your trip with a Friday night fireworks show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The fireworks go off every week, so you have no excuse to miss them!

3. Philadelphia

When you’re in Philadelphia, do yourself a favor and get a Philly cheesesteak. Then, work off the 1,200 calories you just inhaled by jogging up the Rocky Steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. For a truly unique experience in Philadelphia, visit the Eastern State Penitentiary, which closed for good in 1971 and was home to some of the most famous gangsters in history, including Al Capone. If you have a sweet tooth, pick up some candy at Shane’s Confectionery, which has been in operation since 1863 and still gives off a vintage vibe.

4. Atlanta

Atlanta is rife with nightlife, good eats, and cultural hotspots that beckon youthful travelers to explore everything it has to offer. Spend an evening at The Fox Theater to catch a touring Broadway show, an acclaimed comedian like Chelsea Handler delivers a hilarious stand-up routine or a riveting concert series. After satisfying your cultural appetite, fill up on sweet and tangy ribs at Fat Matt’s Rib Shack or pick up some juicy bacon cheeseburgers at the Krog Street Market on Old Fourth Ward. A few other notable activities to put on your travel itinerary include snapping photos in front of the colorful Olympic Park Fountains, riding the giant SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, and tubing down the Chattahoochee River.

Ready to start exploring these vibrant American cities? Take the first step and buy your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!

References:

nolajazzmuseum.org

hiltonhawaiianvillage.com

easternstate.org

shanecandies.com

foxtheatre.org

fatmattsribshack.com

krogstreetmarket.com

Halloween will come quicker than you think. Figure out the best haunted halloween attractions to visit this fall.

5 Haunted Houses to Visit This October

By Bus Travel, California, Cincinnati, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pontiac

When but Halloween can you finally indulge your fantasies of visiting the best-haunted houses in the country? If you’re a true scare-seeker with a lust for fear, then it’s worth booking a visit to one or more of the country’s best haunted Halloween attractions. Here are five that will spook you in no time.

1. Erebus Haunted Attraction

Since 2000, Erebus has earned a reputation as one of the leading haunted attractions in the country. In 2005, it was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest walk-through Halloween exhibit — and it continued to earn the honor for five consecutive years! At more than half a mile long, the house in downtown Pontiac, MI, features four floors complete with truly spooky effects and visuals that are so authentic you could easily find them on any big-screen movie.

What exactly goes on inside? The house belongs to Dr. Goldberg, a quirky character who developed a time machine. He didn’t test it himself, though — he employed others to be his guinea pigs. Each portion of the house is devoted to a different dimension and period in time. You may encounter a dinosaur in one space and an alien in another. Things definitely don’t go very smoothly in this time machine! There’s plenty of physical contacts, too, so be prepared to be handled as you make your way through this house of horrors.

2. The Dent Schoolhouse

The word “schoolhouse” is hardly likely to conjure up haunting imagery, but one visit to The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH, will quickly change your mind. Often recognized as one of the best haunted Halloween attractions in the nation, the schoolhouse lives up to every expectation you probably have of a terrorizing educational facility. There are the requisite scary schoolgirls singing “Ring-Around-the-Rosie” in a creepy singsong tone, the ghoulish classroom led by a decaying teacher standing before an aging American flag, and the filthy halls lined with unsavory characters of all kinds.

As the legend goes, the school opened in 1894 and was closed for good upon the discovery that Charlie McFree, the longtime janitor, had murdered a slew of students in previous years and hid the bodies in the basement. There’s no actual confirmation about the validity of this haunted history, but it makes for an intriguing backstory — and, for those who can’t get enough of a good scary story, it’s just another reason to make it to class on time this Halloween. (If you can’t make it during October, there are also frightful opportunities during Lights Out in November and A Christmas Nightmare in December!)

3. Eastern State Penitentiary

The ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA, set the tone for a shockingly terrifying time on Halloween. The annual attraction, Terror Behind the Walls, is set within the confines of the notorious prison that opened its cell doors in 1829. The 10-acre facility functions as a museum during the rest of the year and is a United States National Historic Landmark, but you’ll be too distracted by the startling characters and events you encounter during your Halloween adventure.

You have options once you’re inside: You can watch or you can take an interactive approach. If you choose the latter, you could be extracted from your group of friends, sent down a chilling hall, thrown into a cell, or grabbed by an unknown figure in the darkness. There are six attractions in total, so choose wisely — if you love a good fright, you may want to be a real part of the action! Keep in mind that many people think the penitentiary is genuinely haunted. It’s even been featured on paranormal television programs on the Travel Channel and TLC. With that little fact in mind, enjoy your journey inside what could easily be rated the world’s scariest prison.

4. The Queen Mary

It wouldn’t be a true list of haunted attractions without a mention of the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The ship has long been touted as one of the spookiest in the country, and with good reason. The ship’s actual maiden voyage in 1936 set the stage for decades of strife and unusual events at sea. Among them was the occasion when the boat mistakenly sank an escort ship in 1942 by slicing it in half. It’s been reported that more than 45 people have died on board over the years. Ghosts of passengers past reportedly remain in attendance even today. There’s the mysterious lady in white, the engineer who apparently died in the engine room, and the giggling children who run around the pool in first class — an amenity which, it should be noted, has been empty for decades. The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event is among the scariest Halloween attractions in Southern California, and it conveniently runs from September through November.

5. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

If you’re more of an outdoorsy type, you might want to tackle something different in San Diego, CA. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park is a one-mile trek through the park’s twisted, deformed trees. This, of course, is no ordinary hike: There are all kinds of ghouls and goblins who do their best to throw you off the trail — you’ll encounter everyone from Michael Myers to Pennywise, who is very likely hanging out in the sewer just waiting for you to arrive. There’s even a Stranger Things house, along with a beyond-spine-tingling farmhouse possessed by none other than Annabelle and the Nun (you may want to watch the Conjuring franchise in advance of your visit). Before you reach any of that, however, you’ll need to make your way through the notoriously tough “eXperiment” maze, a 3,500-square-foot preview of the scarier things to come. You’ll never look at a hiking trail the same way again!

Book Your Halloween Bus Getaway Today

If you’re properly spooked by the best haunted Halloween attractions in the country and ready to make the most of the holiday this year, head straight to BusTickets.com. You can snag tickets to the destination of your choice for reasonable rates. No frights for your wallet here!

References:

http://hauntedpontiac.com/ https://frightsite.com/ https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/ https://www.queenmary.com/ https://hauntedtrail.net/

Are you looking for some Fourth of July Fun? Get your sparklers ready and check out these top locations to visit.

5 Unforgettable 4th of July Celebrations

By Boston, Bus Travel, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New York City, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Washington D.C

Independence Day marks the founding of the United States, and as such, it has become one of the most important holidays we celebrate. Individuals from all over the county come together to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with food, fun, and fireworks. While even the smallest towns host special events, there are a few locations that take their 4th of July festivities to the next level. If you are looking for a celebration to remember for years to come, book your bus tickets to one of these five patriotic cities.

1. Washington, D.C.

Filled with historic monuments and home to the nation’s governing body, Washington, D.C., is the quintessential American city. For that reason, it should come as no surprise that 4th of July is a huge event for the residents. The celebration begins in the morning with the National Independence Day Parade with over-the-top floats, remarkable bands, and well-known faces.

Throughout the day, there are various events around the city, including a Washington Nationals baseball game and the opening of a new Summer Block Party installation at the National Building Museum. Yet, they all lead up to the A Capitol Fourth concert — one of the most popular celebrations in the country. The free occasion features a host of big-name acts, followed by an extravagant fireworks display.

2. New York City

If you want an action-packed Independence Day, then a bus trip to New York City is right up your alley. From Brooklyn to Coney Island, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. For parade fanatics, Staten Island is the place to be. The Travis Parade has occurred yearly since 1911, making it one of the oldest recurring events in the U.S. And music lovers won’t want to miss the Louis Armstrong birthday celebrations in Queens. The event is held on the grounds of the Louis Armstrong House Museum and features live jazz music, refreshments, and cake. There are also all-day events on Coney Island, including Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

The true star of NYC’s 4th of July celebrations is the Macy’s Fireworks Show, which features over 75,000 firework shells. The epic show takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge. Catch the spectacular event waterside at the East River State Park along FDR Drive or WNYC Transmitter Park. If you want to take your experience up a notch, grab a spot on one of the many Hudson River cruises.

3. New Orleans

As their Mardi Gras festivities prove, The Big Easy knows how to party, and that’s exactly why you should plan a bus trip to New Orleans for the 4th of July. In fact, the city loves celebrating so much that its Independence Day events span multiple days. On the day before, City Park hosts Happy 3rd of July. Grab a beer or hot dog at the concession stand, pick a good spot, and listen to the patriotic tunes of The Marine Corps Band while enjoying a vibrant fireworks display.

On the big day, the celebration continues with Go 4th on the River. Located on the riverfront in downtown, the show starts at 6 p.m. with the General Roy S. Kelley fireboat’s red, white, and blue water display. At 9 p.m., the fireworks start, which are choreographed to music. You can even download the app to listen along.

4. Boston

Just like New Orleans, Bostonians go big for Independence Day with a multi-day celebration. Beginning on June 28th and lasting through July 4th, Boston Harborfestis the biggest Independence Day festival in the country. The family-friendly event delves into the city’s rich history with reenactments, entertainment, and cultural experiences. Some of the top activities include Freedom Trail walks, Arts at Harborfest, and Parade of Lights & Fireworks.

The Harborfest offers more than enough to keep you busy on your Boston bus trip, but there are even more events to check out in the area. The beloved Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular occurs on both the evening of the third (concert only) and on the fourth (concert with fireworks display). Both nights of the show are free to the public.

5. Philadelphia

As the birthplace of the United States, there’s no other holiday that Philadelphia takes more seriously than the 4th of July. The city hosts six days of free birthday celebrations for the country with its Wawa Welcome America festival. Beginning on June 29, there are free museum days, block parties, and entertainment. The biggest events are reserved for the fourth, beginning with Party on the Parkway at noon, followed by the Wawa Welcome America Concert at 7 p.m. It’s all finished with an epic display at 9:30 p.m. with the Wawa Welcome America July 4th Fireworks.

Book Your 4th of July Bus Travel Today

Ready to take your Independence Day to the next level? Start your journey to one of these five epic celebrations with the help of BusTickets.com. With a price comparison tool and user-friendly interface, you’re sure to find the best rates on bus tickets quickly and easily. Enjoy unforgettable 4th of July festivities by booking your bus travel today!

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Check out these top locations to visit and have the time of your life.

5 Magical Travel Ideas for Harry Potter Fans

By Bus Travel, Chestertown, Florida, Maryland, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

For decades past the traditional entrance age, many Harry Potter fans are still waiting for their Hogwarts acceptance letters in adulthood. Thankfully, the wait is over! The popularity of the series has spawned a massive selection of fun activities for witches, wizards, and muggles of all ages. Grab your wand and broom because you won’t want to miss these five travel ideas for Harry Potter fans.

1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Orlando, Florida

If you long for nothing more than visiting Hogwarts in person, put The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ (TWWHP) by Universal Parks and Resorts at the top of your travel list. While there are now also locations in Osaka, Japan, and Los Angeles, CA, the original attraction in Orlando, FL, takes the House Cup for creating the most immersive fan experience. In fact, the magical destination is so expansive it’s been split into two theme parks — TWWHP Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida and TWWHP Hogsmeade™ at Islands of Adventure.

Head to Diagon Alley first to get all your supplies. Stop by Ollivander’s to find your wand, grab some magical tricks at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and dive deep under the surface on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride. Once your bags are full, step aboard the Hogwarts Express to visit TWWHP Hogsmeade for a bite to eat and a glass of Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks. Be sure to catch the Frog Choir and Triwizard Spirit Rally performances, as well as an airborne adventure on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, while you’re there.

2. Witches & Wizards Festival — Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Every year the Philadelphia’s garden district, Chestnut Hill, transforms into a magical destination for Harry Potter fans with the Witches & Wizards Festival. Formerly known as the Harry Potter Festival, the two-day event is held in October and officially begins with the Brews & Broomsticks Pub Crawl. Consisting of around 10 local bars, restaurants, and beer gardens, adult witches, wizards, and muggles get the chance to mingle while indulging in magical-themed foods and drinks for a $25 fee. Most other attractions over the weekend, like the Chestnut Hill College Brotherly Love Cup quidditch tournament, are free.

3. Wizard & Witches Beer Festival — Various Locations

When it comes to travel ideas for adult Harry Potter fans, the Wizard & Witches Beer Festival is at the top of the list. Rock Star Beer Festivals launched a brand new magical-themed event series in 2019 aimed at the thirstiest of Potterheads. The one-night festival takes place in various cities across the county, including Boston, MA, and Philadelphia, PA. Attendees get the chance to sample over 20 Harry Potter-themed drinks — including craft beers and cider — dance to live music and DJs and even get sorted into their Hogwarts house. Whether you dress up in your best wizard attire or blend in as a muggle, you’re sure to have an unforgettable three hours of fun.

4. The U.S. Quidditch Cup — Various Locations

Even muggles outside of the fandom understand the significance of quidditch, and thankfully, the sport has leaped off the page and into reality. Since officially launching in 2010, the U.S. Quidditch organization has helped the sport spread across the country, inviting players of all ages to hit the pitch. The popularity of the collegiate and community leagues has even launched the U.S. Quidditch Cup tournament — an absolute must-see event for every Harry Potter fan.

Typically occurring in April, the site of the tournament changes each year with past ones being set in locations like Columbia, SC, Kissimmee, FL, and Round Rock, TX. If you really want to bring your HP dreams to life, start your own team and work your way up to the Cup. You might even make it all the way to the Quidditch World Cup, which is held every four years in various locations around the globe.

5. Chestertown HP Festival — Chestertown, Maryland

Occurring the first week of October annually, the Chestertown HP Festival in Maryland is the perfect gathering for magical families. The all-ages festival offers two days filled with activities, special events, and vendor booths. Take a potions masterclass; get measured for a hand-crafted wand at the WandMakers Co-Op; watch paintings come to life at the Magic Hall of Talking Portraits; and show off your canon knowledge at trivia. There’s also an all-day quidditch tournament on Saturday, so don’t forget your broom.

 

Book Your Magical Getaway Today

Ready to get your magic on at one of these five travel ideas for Harry Potter fans? Join your fellow witches and wizards with the help of BusTickets.com. With our user-friendly platform, booking travel is so easy you don’t even need a wand. Simply select your destination, compare prices, and choose the most affordable option. You can even bring your coven along for the ride with our charter bus quote service. The sorting hat awaits — book your bus tickets today!