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best fall festivals on the east coast

5 Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destinations to Visit

By Bus Travel, California, Leavenworth, McAdenville, New York, New York City, Solvang, Washington

’Tis the season to spend some extra quality time with your family. If you tend to hunker down at home for the holidays, you may want to consider doing something a little different this year. With these fun whole family Christmas break destinations in mind, you can break tradition and establish new ones while making memories that will last a lifetime. Before you book your bus ticket, consider these five spots.

New York City

This one’s a no brainer if you love the magic of the season and want your children to experience it, too. Christmas in New York is truly a wonderful time. The kids will be wowed by the spectacular light displays that illuminate Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, while you’ll be dazzled by the beautiful window display at the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store. This is also a great time to explore some other parts of the city and take advantage of their epic holiday events and offerings. Union Square Holiday Market is a longtime favorite that’s worth braving the chill in the air. There are hundreds of vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to artwork here, along with tasty treats and gifts for the kids. Another must-visit is The Rooftop at Pier 17, where you can do everything from sip festive cocktails to learn skating.

Alexandria

People flock to Washington, DC, during the holiday season, but if you want to escape the crazy crowds, you might consider visiting nearby Alexandria instead. Situated in Northern Virginia just minutes from the District, the small city packs a ton of festive activity within its confines. This is the place to be if you treasure the feel of a charming old town that transports you to another world. Wander along King Street and pop into the dozens of boutiques to find one-of-a-kind gifts for your nearest and dearest, then stop by one of the independent bakeries or coffee shops for a mug of hot cocoa and a bite to eat. Don’t miss the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, which brings the festivities to the water and provides absolutely awe-inspiring views. Naturally, you can also pose for photographs with Santa and Mrs. Claus!

Solvang

The California town of Solvang is truly special, with its old-world Danish charm and eclectic landmarks. The most well-known by far are its windmills and Danish bakeries, which set the tone for a truly European Christmas. Throughout the season, you can experience everything from operas to live animal displays to boutique shopping. Each year, locals celebrate Julefest, a month-long extravaganza that brings the true spirit of the season to town. Here, kids can visit Santa’s Village, and everyone can enjoy a lively candlelight tour and watch the parade. There’s even a beer and wine “stein stroll” perfect for parents to enjoy.

McAdenville

Also known as “Christmas Town USA,” McAdenville is easily one of the most fun whole family Christmas break destinations in the country. This is a small North Carolina town — there are just shy of 700 residents in total — but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in festivities! Each year, some 500,000 lights go up and transform the city into a complete winter wonderland. There are also over 160 houses impressively decorated for the season. It’s hard to resist such beauty, especially when you can partake in all this plus a tree lighting ceremony entirely for no charge.

Leavenworth

No list would be complete without a mention of Leavenworth, which earns high marks year-round for its exquisite beauty and European charm. During the holiday season, the Washington city transforms into a truly fun whole family Christmas break destination. What else would you expect of an authentic Bavarian village that’s known for its “Christkindlmarkt,” along with beautiful caroling, a town tree, and melodic harp concerts? Stay a little while longer and you can also enjoy the Bavarian Ice Festival in January.

Book Your Fun Whole Family Christmas Break Destination Trip Today

Whether you’re traveling with your kids or your significant other, you’re sure to have a great time at these fun whole family Christmas break destinations. Visit BusTickets.com to book your affordable trip today.

References

https://theplanetd.com/new-york-city-christmas/

https://www.visitalexandriava.com/holidays/

https://www.solvangusa.com/things-to-do/solvang-julefest/

https://www.mcadenville-christmastown.com/

https://leavenworth.org/news/2017-11-16/leavenworth-village-lights/

Fall Festivals Across America

The Best Fall Festivals Across America You Won’t Want to Miss

By Bus Travel, Ellicottville, Laconia, Leavenworth, Maine, New Hampshire, Portland, Washington

The Best Fall Festivals Across America

There’s nothing quite as rejuvenating after a long, hot, and humid summer like the arrival of fall. Not only does the season invite pleasant weather and gorgeous scenery but it also signals the beginning of the food and craft festival season. From pumpkins and apples to freshly caught oysters, there are themed events for virtually everyone’s taste and preferences in just about every region of the country. These are the five absolute best fall festivals across America you won’t want to miss.

Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival – Miami, Florida

While Miami’s seasonal changes are virtually nonexistent, the annual Coconut Grove Pumpkin Patch Festival brings a taste of fall to the beachfront city. The family-friendly festival occurs the last weekend of October, offering a plethora of autumn-themed activities for visitors of all ages. The pumpkin patch is one of the biggest draws, featuring thousands of pumpkins to choose from. Once you’ve picked out the right one, head to the decorating tent to give it some personality.

The theme also extends to the many other attractions at the festival. There’s a food court featuring a variety of pies, curries, funnel cakes, and pizza — all using pumpkin. There’s also a scarecrow village, corn maze, and carnival with a selection of rides. After the kids wear you out, head to one of the site’s many pumpkin beer bars to cool off and relax.

Oktoberfest – Leavenworth, Washington

The Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, WA, is undoubtedly one of the best fall festivals across America. Spanning the first three weekends of October, the Bavarian-style village brings Munich’s traditional Oktoberfest to the U.S. Each day of the festival features live music, polka dancing, and of course authentic German food and drinks.

Regardless of which weekend you attend, don’t miss the parade at noon on Saturday, followed by the beloved Keg Tapping Ceremony. While Oktoberfest caters to adults, it’s also a family-friendly event. The Kinderplatz area offers kid-focused activities, including a professional clown and climbing wall. Before you polka out, grab a bratwurst, a beer, and hit the vendor stands to get your hands on some traditional German crafts, artwork, and attire.

Harvest on the Harbor – Portland, Maine

If your idea of a festival revolves around food and drinks, then head to Harvest on the Harbor in Portland, ME. The annual event is a foodie haven, showcasing the region’s rich culinary scene. It also features local spirits, craft beer, and wine. Set for the middle of October, the festival is composed of multiple special events. While each provides a unique offering, you won’t want to miss the Chef + Farmer Harvest Dinner, the Oysterfest, or the Market Brunch.

New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival – Laconia, New Hampshire

The quaint, idyllic town of Laconia, NH, attracts guests year-round for its mesmerizing lake scenery and lush forests. Yet, its fall festival brings in the biggest crowds — over 40,000 people. The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival is a well-rounded event, offering something for all ages. It’s also one of the few pet-friendly fall festivals in the U.S.

Spanning numerous blocks in downtown Laconia, the greatest challenge is making sure you catch all the must-see attractions. The Tower of Jack-o-Lanterns is an icon of the festival, and while it’s eye-catching during the day, it’s truly breathtaking at night. The larger-than-life structure stands over 30 feet tall and features thousands of carved pumpkins. Other popular festival landmarks include the beer garden and Jumpin’ Jack Car Show. There are also numerous food and craft vendors, kid-friendly carnival rides, and horse-drawn hayrides.

Ellicottville Fall Festival – Ellicottville, New York

Ellicottville, NY, offers some of the most spectacular fall foliage in the country. The hilly countryside surrounding the village is transformed into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow to provide the ideal picturesque background for an autumn-themed event. Even though the town is only home to 1,500 residents, it hosts the oldest and largest festival in the state.

Typically held the second weekend in October, the Ellicottville Fall Festival ticks all the boxes of a perfect small-town fair. There are numerous street vendors offerings crafts, art, and food. There are also carnival rides, live performances, a 5K run, and even a mountain bike race. While all these events are excellent from the ground, they’re even better from the sky as there are ski lift rides available throughout the weekend.

Fall Into Autumn With Affordable Bus Travel

Autumn doesn’t truly begin until you’ve made it to a festival. Fortunately, traveling affordably to the best fall festivals across America is a breeze with BusTickets.com. With our user-friendly price comparison tool, you find the most affordable rates for your needs every time. The crisp air of fall is right around the corner, so what are you waiting for? Book your fall festival bus tickets today!

References

https://www.coconutgrovepumpkinpatch.com/
https://www.leavenworthoktoberfest.com/
https://harvestontheharbor.com/
https://www.nhpumpkinfestival.com/
https://www.ellicottvilleny.com/events/2019/10/fall-festival

Plan your romantic getaway to Seattle and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

How to Plan a Romantic Getaway to Seattle

By Bus Travel, Canlis, Oregon

Seattle is synonymous with things like rain, coffee, flannel, and grunge music. Though these are notable features worth exploring, they don’t touch on the city’s softer side. If you’re seeking an unexpected destination to enjoy some quality time with your significant other, there’s almost no better place. If you’re ready to plan a romantic getaway in Seattle, here are some ideas to make the most of your unforgettable vacation.

Make a Reservation at Canlis

If you’ve ever visited Seattle, then you may be familiar with Canlis. It’s among the most magical and unforgettable restaurants in the city, and it’s renowned far and wide for its amazing views of the cityscape, Lake Union, and the Cascades. The establishment redefines fine dining by elevating expectations considerably: Not only are the views stupendous, but service begins from the moment you arrive and your vehicle is whisked away by the valet. As you approach the dining room, you’re greeted by a polite server who leads you to a refined and understated space that belies the restaurant’s reputation for extravagance.

Don’t be fooled, though; the natural ambiance of the former mid-century modern home is deliberate, and the feeling is one of subtle sophistication. It sets the tone for a memorable date night, as the lighting is warm and inviting, there are countless wine and champagne options, and the eight-course tasting menu provides generous portions of classic dishes. Among the most popular is the timeless Canlis Salad, a family recipe enriched with bacon and lemon. Other highlights include marinated salmon, flavorful carrots, and an array of desserts that range from frozen meringue to mascarpone mousse.

Another bonus? This is easily one of the most obvious places to wear your finest and fanciest attire in the city. You can never be too overdressed for Canlis — and if you’re planning dinner for a special occasion, like an anniversary, a birthday, or Valentine’s Day, book your table several months in advance to be safe.

Book a Private Hot Air Balloon Ride

No romantic getaway in Seattle is complete without a hot air balloon ride. There’s something truly special about this experience, largely because it’s so intimate and secluded from the rest of the city — yet it still provides you both with an incredible vantage point of the magnificent scenery. Several providers offer private rides designed to help you celebrate a special moment, whether it’s an engagement or a birthday. The balloons are spacious, so those who have big plans to propose as they soar over the city can do so comfortably.

The beauty of a balloon ride is that you can opt for a sunrise or a sunset trip, and you’ll enjoy privileged views of many of the city’s most beloved attractions. One of the area’s best known is Seattle Ballooning, which provides you with tours of Mt. Rainier, Tacoma, Bellevue, and the city skyline — and they’ll even throw in a bottle of champagne and some croissants from a nearby bakery. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Pay a Visit to Jack Block Park

There are many ways to enjoy Seattle’s beautiful greenery — it’s everywhere you turn! But if you want to take a more romantic approach, head to Jack Block Park. This is one of Seattle’s hidden treasures — the type of place that even some locals don’t know — and once you go, you’ll want to keep it all to yourself. The story here is the view, and it’s so special that you could easily build your romantic getaway in Seattle around it.

From here, you can see the city skyline and Harbor Island’s industrial properties. The location is unusual, but once you spend some time on the 15-acre grounds and get to know it better, you’ll appreciate it for its seclusion, clean surroundings, public beach access, and walking pier. There’s even an observation tower, where you can snap a few photographs of your memorable experience. Don’t miss a visit to nearby Alki Beach, where you can relax on the sand, watch the sunset, and take a dip in the sparsely crowded water.

Book Your Romantic Vacation Today

It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of Seattle’s most popular attractions. If you’re traveling to the city with your significant other, however, it’s important to take some time for some of the more romantic options that it has to offer — and whether you love quiet walks on the beach or dining in bliss, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to bring out your inner Romeo and Juliet. Head to BusTickets.com to book your vacation today.

References

https://canlis.com/

https://seattleballooning.com/

https://www.portseattle.org/places/jack-block-park

Helen, GA is a beautiful American town that looks like a European City.

5 American Towns That Look Like European Cities

By Bus Travel, California, Georgia, Helen, Iowa, Leavenworth, New Glarus, Pella, Solvang, Washington, Wisconsin

You may harbor fantasies about traveling to Europe someday. But if “someday” has been in the cards for years, then it’s time to make those Euro-travel dreams a reality! You can do just that by visiting a few American towns that look European. You might be surprised by their authenticity and charm. Here are five that you should add to your must-visit list.

1. Pella, IA

It’s no wonder that Pella, Iowa, bears such a resemblance to a quaint European town. It was founded in the mid-19th century by 800 Dutch immigrants. Their mission was to escape the religious persecution and famine they suffered in the Netherlands. As they left, they committed to naming the new city “Pella,” a reference to the Jordanian city that was a refuge for Christians during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. The city’s highlight is the Vermeer Windmill, which was built in Holland, dismantled, and brought to America in the early 2000s. It’s now the largest working windmill in the country. Another landmark is the Tulip Tower, another iconic representative of Dutch culture and a key element of the Tulip Time parades that occur in May. Be sure to stop into Jaarsma Bakery, a family-owned area institution that opened in 1898. It’s renowned for its homemade Dutch pastries! There are also compact specialty boutiques carrying everything from gifts to antiques.

2. Leavenworth, WA

Expect magic when you arrive in Leavenworth, Washington. Against the backdrop of the magnificent Cascade Mountains, the city is about 120 miles from Seattle. It offers quintessential mountain living at its very best which is so true to the Bavarian culture that you’ll almost forget for a moment that you’re actually in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a very small town with a population of approximately 2,000 but is packed with curious tourists who want to experience a little taste of Germany in America. The architecture is characteristic of the country, the roads are dusted with snow throughout winter, and wildflowers coat the ground during spring. Festival life is definitely a thing in Leavenworth so you won’t be able to leave without experiencing at least one. There’s Oktoberfest in the fall, of course, along with the Autumn Leaf Festival, the Christmas Lighting Festival, and the Bavarian Bike & Brew during summer.

3. New Glarus, WI

Affectionately known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” New Glarus is among the most beloved small towns in Wisconsin. Founded in 1845 as a Swiss colony, the area became a village in the early 20th century. Since then, it has remained a beacon of Swiss-style heritage and culture in America. You’ll find traditional Alpine architecture at every turn, along with plenty of delicious regional delicacies to whet your appetite. Among the city’s highlights is the delightful Swiss Historical Village & Museum, where you can enjoy a self-guided tour of the area’s most noteworthy Swiss landmarks. Many are replicas, but the 19th-century settler cabin is well worth a glance if you want to get an idea of how the earliest residents lived. Stop into Puempel’s Olde Tavern, founded in 1893, for a pint and a hearty sandwich. Need a place to stay? Pop into the Chalet Landhaus Inn, immediately notable for its traditional, wide, low-pitched roof and classic Swiss décor.

4. Helen, GA

People flock to Helen, Georgia, for its small-town appeal. Home to just a few hundred people, the city enjoys a privileged position in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It replicates a traditional Bavarian village, complete with cobbled pathways and native meals. The city was originally a logging destination for Native Americans before Europeans settled the area during the 19th century. The timber industry dwindled through the years, and as business declined, town leaders decided to transform it into an ersatz German attraction. In 1968, Helen as a Bavarian village was born. Warm colors flooded the streets, dramatic architecture recalled old-world Germany, and imposing towers cast shadows on the cobblestone roads. There are festivals aplenty year-round, from the Bavarian Nights of Summer to the WineFest held every spring.

5. Solvang, CA

Solvang is an actual Danish village founded in 1911. It was during this period that the Danish-American Colony Corporation purchased some 10,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley in California. The new owners named the colony Solvang, or “sunny field.” Settlers quickly made their home here and swiftly transformed it into a vibrant farming town. It was so renowned that it even drew members of the Danish royal family over the decades. Authentic foods and beverages are a tourist highlight here and among the many reasons why people consider it one of the most impressive American towns that look European. Be sure to stop into the Hans Christian Andersen Museum to learn more about the beloved author. If you’re visiting in September, prepare for the Danish Heritage Festival and celebrate the holiday in style, complete with dancing, music, food, and parades.

Book Your Domestic Euro Getaway Today

Why book a flight when you can enjoy the creature comforts of Europe in North America? These American towns that look European are easily worth a bus journey! Head to BusTickets.com to book your trip today.

References:

http://www.cityofpella.com/

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-places/pella-a-window-on-survival/

https://www.pellahistorical.org/

https://leavenworth.org/

https://leavenworth.org/festivals-events/

https://www.swisstown.com/

https://newglarusvillage.com/

http://www.helenga.org/

https://www.solvangusa.com/

http://www.elverhoj.org/history.html

Young woman that loves music dancing on the beach during her vacation.

Where to Vacation If You’re a Serious Music Lover

By Austin, Bus Travel, California, Los Angeles, Memphis, Nashville, Seattle, Tenessee, Texas, Washington

There’s nothing like traveling to another city to see your favorite musician live — not only do you get to see the concert, but there are also many ways you can enjoy the city itself. Arguably, there are many fantastic travel destinations for music lovers, whether you’re attending a concert at an iconic music venue or want to explore exhibits with pieces that belonged to famous musicians, each of these cities has something for music lovers. Here are the top 5 cities for vacation for music lovers.

1. Austin, TX

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin, Texas, has more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the country. You’ll find music from nearly every genre performing somewhere in the city, including indie rock, folk, country, jazz, and more. In particular, there are a number of attractions for country music fans, such as the Willie Nelson statue, Allens Boots, and iHeart Country Fest.

In addition to music venues, Austin hosts some of the largest music events and festivals in the world, including South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL), The Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Pachanga Festival, and more.

If you’re wondering which Austin music venues you should visit, consider:

  • ACL Live at the Moody Theater
  • Skylark Lounge
  • Elephant Room

2. Nashville, TN

Often called “Music City,” Nashville is known for being a destination for country music fans, but the city itself is incredibly diverse in attracting music lovers and musicians of many genres.

Depending on your interests, you can venture to Honky Tonk Highway, visit the Johnny Cash Museum, the GRAMMY Museum Gallery, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, or attend a Nashville Symphony concert — the opportunities are endless!

As for music venues, there are countless places to go with two of the most famous being the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, or if songwriters are more your taste, visit the Bluebird Café to hear writers perform.

3. Memphis, TN

“Put on my blue suede shoes/and I boarded the plane” … remember that tune? Just a few hours south of Nashville, Memphis is famed for Beale Street, the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis, the home of the blues, and the birthplace of rock and roll.

A few must-see attractions for music lovers include:

  • Walk down Beale Street — From live music to shops to restaurants, visitors can find a lively piece of Memphis history in a just under 2-mile stretch.
  • Visit Graceland (sign the wall!) — Graceland was home to Elvis Presley and now serves as the largest Elvis museum in the world.
  • Tour Sun Studios — Artists such as Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis all recorded here, and this is also where Elvis got his start.
  • Visit the Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum — Located on Beale Street, the museum tells the story of the birth of rock and soul music.
  • Tour the Gibson Guitar Factory — Whether you’re a musician yourself or just an admirer, it might be worthwhile to take a tour of the factory to see the guitar-making process.

4. Seattle, WA

Home to many of the greats like Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, Seattle offers a multitude of opportunities for music lovers. You can visit the Jimi Hendrix statue or perhaps make a stop at Viretta Park, the unofficial Kurt Cobain Memorial. For official exhibits, visit the Museum of Pop Culture to see “Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses” or “Hendrix: Wild Blue Angel.”

You also won’t want to miss A Sound Garden, a large outdoor art installation made from steel pipe structures that create musical sounds when the wind passes through them.

For famous music venues, you can check out live music at either The Crocodile or Re-bar. And if you want to stay or visit a hotel once graced by the presence of legends such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones, check out The Edgewater Hotel.

5. Los Angeles, CA

Finally, last but not least, the City of Angels offers a number of reasons for music lovers to book a vacation. Not only is the weather beautiful, but there are also a ton of iconic music venues and locations to visit that have hosted countless bands or musicians at one point in time. Here are just a few places to visit.

  • Hollywood Bowl
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall
  • Amoeba Records
  • The Grammy Museum
  • Capitol Records Building

Book Your Trip to One of These Music-Lover Travel Destinations

If you’re feeling inspired to visit one of these cities, easily book your trip with BusTickets.com. Our service will help you search route options, compare prices, and book your trip in a matter of minutes. Check your next travel destination off your list and book your bus tickets.

References:

www.austinrelocationguide.com/Live-Music-Capital-of-the-World/

austin.com/15-things-every-country-music-fan-must-do-in-austin/

www.tripsavvy.com/best-live-music-venues-in-austin-254914

www.mopop.org/

www.edgewaterhotel.com/