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Washington

4 Best Destination Vacations for Cyclists

By Arizona, Boulder, Bus Travel, Colorado, Oregon, Portland, Seattle, Tucson, Washington

Top Bicycling Vacation Destinations

What is better than a vacation? A vacation that allows you to spend most of your time doing the things you love. If cycling is one of your favorite hobbies and you are planning a much-needed vacation, why not combine the two? To give you some inspiration, here is a list of four of the best destination vacations for cyclists.

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon, is considered one of the greatest destination vacations for cyclists in the United States. It offers the best of both worlds in that you can bike around the exciting downtown area and venture into more secluded natural settings and trails surrounding the city. Not only that, but there are also over 350 miles of bikeways to explore and a variety of scenic routes you are going to want to ride should you visit Portland. A favorite among both locals and visitors is Kelly Point Park, which straddles the border of Washington and Oregon. It’s a breezy eight-mile route that takes you to a secret riverside beach where you can jump in and cool off after an invigorating bike ride.

Another adventurous ride that is well-loved by cyclists is the Skyline Boulevard pathway to Sauvie Island. We should warn you that this route comes with one of the toughest hills in the city, but once you reach the top, it’s nothing but flat riding the whole way to Sauvie Island. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the city.

Tucson, Arizona

There are over 6,000 bike trails in and around the city of Tucson, so a lack of variety will never be a problem. If you are a serious cyclist, consider doing some road biking up to Mount Lemmon, a route Tour de France riders have used for training. It’s a 20-mile uphill ride along a cactus desert until you reach the top of the summit. The best part about this ride is after getting to the top, you have an exhilarating 30-minute downhill ride to look forward to.

If you want a shorter ride, take the 10-mile journey through the Saguaro National Park East, a winding loop with lots of descents and sharp turns. For cyclists looking to make their Arizona trip almost exclusively about cycling, consider booking a stay at the Cycling House’s six-day Mountain Bike Camp. It’s a wintertime retreat that includes cycling lessons, fun activities such as trips to local breweries, and—the best part—a daily massage after a long day of riding.

Seattle, Washington

There are so many different biking trails throughout Seattle, Washington, that boast spectacular views of the natural surroundings, so it may seem overwhelming when it comes to picking which ones you’ll ride. If you want a nice, long ride, embark on the tried-and-true Burke-Gilman Trail, arguably one of the most popular trails in Seattle. You’ll ride 20 miles to Kenmore and cycle along Lake Washington and the Ship Canal before getting to your destination.

If you want a leisurely, laid-back bike ride, take on the South Lake Union Trails and Ship Canal Trail, where you’ll do a loop around Lake Union. The entire ride is almost exclusively bike trails, so you won’t have to worry about traffic on the roads. Finally, if you just want to fit in a quick, brisk ride, try the five-mile Seattle Waterfront Trails. You’ll ride along Elliot Bay and have a chance to revel in the beauty of the waterfront while getting in a bit of invigorating exercise.

Boulder, Colorado

One of the best ways to explore the natural wonders surrounding Boulder, Colorado, is to hop on a bike and pedal your way through the region.

If you’re looking for a ride that’s not too hard and not too easy, you’ll love the Spring Brook Loop, a 12-mile loop that takes you along the foothills of the mountains and has minimal ascents along the way. If you are looking for a more challenging ride with rougher terrain, you’ll enjoy the Walker Ranch Trail, a 7.8-mile loop with a 1,500-foot ascent up and along a mountain.

Another great option is the Betasso Preserve ride, a 7.4-mile loop that takes you along hard-packed dirt (easy for riding) and through bike trails into forests with lush towering trees. If the Betasso Preserve ride isn’t long enough for you, opt for the slightly more challenging Super Betasso ride that begins in the city center and goes through the trails on the outskirts of town.

Head to These Destination Vacations for Cyclists

Ready to start planning your trip to one of these destination vacations for cyclists? Begin by buying your bus ticket on BusTickets.com today!

References

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=209&action=ViewPark

Cycling Trips & Vacations

http://www.seattleoutdoorsinfo.com/hiking-and-biking/seattle-biking/seattle-bike-trails/seattle-waterfront-trails

Betasso Preserve

Small Town Travel: 5 Must-See Small Towns

By Bus Travel, Carmel By The Sea, Ellicottville, Harpers Ferry, Leavenworth, New York, Stuart, Washington

5 Cute Small Towns You’ve Never Heard of—Until Now

When it comes to vacation and travel in the U.S., there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the classics. Infamous cities like Miami, Las Vegas, and New York are all tourist traps for a reason—they’re bursting at the seams with energy and excitement.

There comes a time, however, when you begin to crave something new. Something different.

As opposed to the bright lights of a big city, you begin to crave the gentle lure and cozy atmosphere that only a small town can provide. And there are thousands of small towns all around the country worth exploring—each one unique in its own way.

Perfect for families in search of wholesome fun, couples looking for a romantic getaway, or solo travelers en route to new adventures—there’s no demographic left out when it comes to finding the perfect small-town travel destination.

But, the best thing about going to explore small towns is also the worst thing about small towns—they’re hard to find. The very nature of a small town is hidden, exclusive, and quiet. This makes it difficult to know where to go.

Here at BusTickets.com, we pride ourselves on being your go-to source for everything about U.S. travel. So for those looking to explore small towns, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five of the cutest small towns you’ve never heard of—until now.

Leavenworth, Washington

Located in central Washington state, the small village of Leavenworth is a beautiful sight to behold. The architecture and atmosphere of Leavenworth are styled like an authentic Bavarian village, with Alpine-style buildings featuring German restaurants and shops.

The village serves as a gateway for wineries and ski resorts, as well as many unassuming and unique attractions like the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, which features a vast collection of nutcracker figurines, some of which are centuries old.

Leavenworth’s cozy atmosphere and old-world aesthetic drip with charm, making it the perfect low-key travel destination for families and couples alike.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Settled upon California’s Monterey Peninsula, this beach city is a hidden gem within the Golden State, attracting a loyal following of leisure-loving travelers.

Unlike most cities in California, what Carmel-by-the-Sea treasures most is its history, offering a cornucopia of interesting museums and historical sites. The Carmel Mission Basilica Museum is the most notable of these, as the historic landmark in which the city was founded around.

Satisfyingly quiet, Carmel-by-the-Sea is perfect for those who love to explore small towns. Decorated with fairytale cottages and home to many boutique restaurants and shops, this coastal city combines a small-town atmosphere with beachfront relaxation for a most enviable vacation experience.

Ellicottville, New York

New York is a state largely defined by the Big Apple. But tucked away in the western region of the state and far from the hustle and bustle of NYC, is the small village of Ellicottville, which promotes an entirely different mode of thinking.

Outfitted with boutique shops, breweries, and charming little restaurants, Ellicottville exudes the classic image of small-town America. These small-town creature comforts aren’t the only thing available to Ellicottville, however. The village is also home to two ski resorts, including Holiday Valley, that feature cross-country trails and an adventure park.

Additionally, outdoor enthusiasts will be pleased to know Ellicottville offers close proximity to Rock City and McCarty Hill state forests, where hiking trails and wildlife draw many curious explorers.

Stuart, Florida

Popular tourist cities like Orlando and Miami first come to mind when thinking about the Sunshine State, but the gorgeous landscape and year-round warm climate in Florida benefit more than just the tourist traps.

Small towns like Stuart, located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, are well-kept secrets among many local Floridians. Therefore, if you’re making your way to Florida intending to explore small towns—you’d be best advised to head to Stuart.

Known to many as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” the vibrant small town of Stuart gives its visitors a slow-paced atmosphere amongst gorgeous coastal scenery. Historic homes, pastel-colored and half dilapidated from the salty air, set the charming aesthetic and tone of Stuart, where many water sports enthusiasts travel to fish, boat, and kayak.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Landscape artists live to paint places like Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Carved into mountains and intersected by rivers, this gorgeous small town offers the perfect escape from the modern world.

Harpers Ferry is the ideal archetype for a low-key getaway with a cute, downtown aesthetic. A handful of eclectic shops, restaurants, and breweries are available for some healthy indulging, and some great historic landmarks like Harpers Ferry National Historical Park feature walking trails, a Civil War museum, and John Brown’s Fort.

If visitors to Harpers Ferry are seeking adventure in the outdoors, you don’t have to look far, as the town serves as a gateway to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Jefferson Rock.

Hop on a Bus to Explore Small Towns

There’s a whole world of small towns across the U.S. where charming atmospheres, friendly locals, and humble attractions converge to create unforgettable experiences. Don’t waste any time; start exploring these small towns with BusTickets.com. Purchase your tickets and start planning your trip today!

References

http://www.nutcrackermuseum.com/

Museum

https://www.holidayvalley.com/

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

https://www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/historyculture/jefferson-rock.htm

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