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Montana is stunning. But where to visit in Montana? There are so many options!

5 Montana Destinations You Won’t Want to Miss

By Billings, Bus Travel, Butte, Great Falls, Missoula, Montana

Montana is one of the most scenic states in the U.S. When combined with its rich history, there’s no question why it’s such a popular destination. Yet, the biggest challenge of planning a trip is determining where to visit in Montana. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. Add these five must-see locations to your itinerary for an unforgettable visit to Big Sky Country.

1. Billings

While Billings may be the largest city in the state, it offers a welcoming, small-town vibe that only a Montana city could provide. Diving into the history of the local culture is a great place to start your Billings exploration. The Western Heritage Center offers an in-depth look at the history of Yellowstone River Valley and the people that settled it centuries ago. After learning about how they lived, see a real-life example at the Moss Mansion. Dating back to 1903, the home-turned-museum offers both guided and self-guided tours of the grounds six days a week.

When you’re ready to trek outdoors, head to the Pictograph Cave State Park. Located just south of the city, the park offers insight into the lives of prehistoric hunters over 2,000 years ago. Stop by the visitor’s center before tackling the quarter-mile hike to the three caves. There are picnic tables and grills located throughout the area, so bring a lunch for an unforgettable afternoon.

Back in Billings proper, dive into the arts and culture of the city with a visit to the Yellowstone Art Museum. The gallery offers rotating exhibits as well as special events and classes. Yet, Billings doesn’t conceal its art indoors. A stroll through downtown will get you up close and personal with various exhibits and street art presentations. Plus, there are plenty of delicious eateries and unique boutiques to check out along your walk.

2. Missoula

Missoula, MT, is a diverse, culturally-minded small city. The community places a substantial emphasis on arts and culture, which has spawned a wide selection of galleries, festivals, and concerts. Downtown is of the best places to get in on the celebration. Stop by the Missoula Art Museum to browse the exhibits, support local artists at 4 Ravens Gallery, and then head to Caras Park for live music.

The only thing Missoulians love more than art is craft beer. There are numerous breweries and brewpubs scattered about the city, so if you’re a beer lover, Missoula is where you need to visit in Montana. Stop by Bayern Brewing’s tap room for delicious German snacks and samples of their Bavarian-style brews, or head to the Highlander Beer TapHouse for pizza and a drink. If you prefer to enjoy your craft with live music, then Image Nation Brewing Co. is the place to be. Or, head outdoors with River City Brews Rafting Tours for drinks on the water.

3. Great Falls

Great Falls offers one of the richest histories in all of Montana, making it a popular destination for history buffs. Back in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area. For that reason, a visit to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center is a necessity on any Great Falls itinerary. Other notable historical sites include the C.M. Russell Museum and the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.

Great Falls’ locals know have to have a little fun with history as well. If you’re in town in June, book tickets for the annual Waking the Dead tours. The beloved event covers graves of some of the area’s most famous residents and visitors, including Pris Gibson, Josephine Trigg, and Robert Vaughn. For a slightly spookier adventure, visit in October to catch the Great Falls Historic Ghost Tours.

4. Glacier National Park

If you’re looking for an idyllic outdoor getaway, then Glacier National Park is where to visit in Montana. Covering over 1,500 square miles, the oasis is full of lush foliage, crystal-clear water, breathtaking mountains, and mesmerizing wildlife. The park offers a free shuttle system to visitors, but for full immersion, hiking and biking is the way to go. You can also catch guided tours on land or water, including rafting adventures. Regardless of how you explore, be sure to visit Going-to-the-Sun Road, Lake McDonald, and the Grinnell Glacier.

5. Butte

Founded as a mining town back in the 19th century, Butte is one of Montana’s hidden gems. While mining isn’t the center of modern life, the locals take pride in their heritage and the town’s Wild West past. To understand what makes Butte so special, stop by the World Museum of Mining to explore the exhibits and the Underground Mine Tour, followed by a visit to the Mineral Museum. For a further delve into the past, turn to Old Butte Historical Adventures for a city tour.

Find the Best Rates on Montana Travel Today

Now that you know where to visit in Montana, it’s time to make your dream getaway a reality. Fortunately, dreams don’t have to break the bank with BusTickets.com. Simply use our price comparison tool to find and book the best rates on bus travel across the U.S. The Treasure State awaits — book your Montana bus tickets today!

References:

www.ywhc.org/

www.mossmansion.com/

stateparks.mt.gov/pictograph-cave/

www.artmuseum.org/

downtownbillings.com/

www.missoulaartmuseum.org/

www.4ravensgallery.com/

www.missouladowntown.com/caras-park/

www.bayernbrewery.com/

www.highlanderbeer.com/

imaginenationbrewing.com/

rivercitybrews.com/

www.lewisandclarkfoundation.org/home.php

cmrussell.org/

www.the-square.org/

greatfallsmt.net/recreation/waking-dead-tours-0

visitgreatfallsmontana.org/event/great-falls-historic-ghost-tours/

www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm

miningmuseum.org/

Are you thinking about visiting a national park? We highly suggest going and visiting some of the most beautiful parks in the country.

5 Tips for Your First National Park Visit

By Bus Travel, Maine, Wyoming

In the U.S., we love our national parks. In fact, there are 60 sites protected by the federal government across the country. From hiking to archeology, every location offers its own set of adventures, making the parks a prime spot for travel. If you’re ready to take on an outdoor adventure of your own, follow these national park visit tips for a successful trip.

1. Find the Right Fit

While there’s an enormous selection of parks to choose from, each site has its own features and restrictions. For instance, many locations restrict access for pets. If you’re traveling with your dog, then you’ll need to choose a pet-friendly park, like Acadia National Park in Maine. The same sentiment applies to families. A park with a kids’ ranger program and easy-level trails are better suited for families than more rugged terrain. For those reasons, you need to learn more about a site before you delve too far into the planning process.

You also need to consider the type of outdoor experience you want to enjoy. Most sites offer hiking trails, but certain locations also offer other types of adventures, like camping, fishing, and whitewater rafting. First, determine what your ideal getaway entails, and then research national parks to find the right match for your needs.

2. Create a List of Must-See Landmarks

Many parks cover thousands of acres, with each location offering its own set of popular landmarks. However, it’s virtually impossible to see all of the attractions in one trip, and attempting to do so will only create a stressful visit. Instead, review the most popular options at the national park you’re planning to visit and choose three to five that you want to see first. Prioritize the first two, and then fit more in if there is time. This step prevents you from getting overwhelmed and allows you to take in and fully appreciate each landmark you see.

3. Pack the Right Supplies

Wearing the right outfit is one of the most valuable national park visit tips to take to heart. Clothing has a significant impact on your experience, especially in an outdoor setting. For example, wearing flip-flops on the trails in the Grand Canyon National Park is sure to cause blisters as well as a potential serious injury from slips or falls.

To ensure you’re able to actually enjoy your visit, pack clothing that matches your itinerary. Comfortable shoes are a must-have, but if you’re taking on rugged trails, then opt for proper hiking boots. It’s also wise to come prepared for the elements by packing a raincoat or poncho, and dress in layers so that you can easily accommodate changing temperatures.

4. Utilize the Park’s Resources

During your first national park visit, it’s incredibly helpful to seek assistance and guidance from individuals that are well versed in the area. The U.S. National Park Service offers an abundance of online resources for all of the parks, including operational hours, closures, and maps. These are vital tools when planning your trip to ensure you know where you’re going and what to avoid.

On-site, most parks also offer a visitor center or welcome station. In many cases, there are ranger-led walks and programs designed specifically for the needs of first-time visitors. Such services can help you get your feet wet before diving into a self-guided adventure. Some locations also offer safety tools, like Yellowstone National Park’s bear spray rental, and camping equipment for convenience.

5. Respect the Site

One of the most important things to remember when visiting a national park is that it deserves respect. Every location is filled with a plethora of wildlife and plant species, all of which are vital components of the local ecosystem. As a result, you need to care for the park while you’re there. Be sure to take all trash with you, and avoid disturbing wildlife or trekking into restricted areas during your adventures. Additionally, follow all rules set forth by the NPS to limit the impact of human visitors.

Book Your National Park Visit Today

Put these national park visit tips to use with the help of BusTickets.com. Our convenient service provides a one-stop shop for bus travel. Browse route options, compare prices and make your purchase — all within minutes. Your great escape is only a click away — book your bus tickets today!

References:

www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

The best national parks are located here and all around America. Check out this beautiful shot of Olympic National Park in Washington.

The 5 Best National Parks to Visit

By Arizona, Bus Travel, Nevada, Utah, Washington

Spending some quality time at any of the national parks in the United States is a wonderful way to experience some of the country’s most wondrous attractions. With 60 official National Parks locations, it may take some time to narrow down your choice. If you’ve given some thought to traveling to one of these destinations, here are the best national parks to visit in the country.

1. Arches National Park

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast with an affinity for hiking, rock climbing, and bike riding, or merely someone who appreciates the beauty of natural sandstone arches, you’ll be mesmerized as soon as you approach Arches National Park in Utah. The beautiful grounds are a celebration of dynamic colors and striking land formations marked by rich textures. Delicate Arch is the park’s most renowned attraction — it measures a whopping 46 feet high! You can also visit Wolfe Ranch, which was crafted by John Wesley Wolfe in the early 20th century. For a serious challenge, hike the Devils Garden trail system. There are periods of flat terrain — approximately two miles worth — but as you progress to the Landscape and Double O arches, you’ll find that your journey becomes significantly more difficult. Come prepared with water — and your camera, of course.

2. Crater Lake National Park

It’s no exaggeration to state that Crater Lake National Park is jaw-dropping in its appeal. There’s a certain majesty about this Oregon park, whose 1943-foot deep lake formed some 7,700 years ago when Mount Mazama collapsed. There’s more here to see, but the sight of the astonishingly clear lake alone makes this one of the best national parks to visit in the nation. With over 183,000 acres of forests, mountains, and water, the grounds provide countless activities to enjoy whenever you plan to visit. Often, the hiking trails are packed with snow, but you can explore them at your leisure if you rent a pair of snowshoes at the on-site shop. During summer, you can even enjoy a guided boat or trolley tour to delve deeper into the area’s fascinating history and surroundings.

3. Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019, and that’s more than enough reason to visit this Arizona landmark. The park is beloved for its rich kaleidoscope of autumnal hues, which is only part of the immense charm of this 1.2-million acre park. Those with an adventurous side may be tempted to hike over six miles to the floor of the canyon to observe their surroundings from an entirely different, almost intimidating — and most certainly humbling — vantage point. If you’re visiting during summer, you might consider heading to the North Rim. It’s a little cooler there, and it’s one of the area’s less traveled landmarks — a mere 10 percent of visitors make the journey to this part of the Grand Canyon. No matter where you choose to explore, you can reach there by hiking, on a mule, or via a river flat.

4. Great Basin National Park

Some parks in the system don’t receive nearly the celebratory adulation that they should, and Great Basin National Park is one of them. Located in Nevada, this park isn’t typically crowded, which means visitors have ample opportunity to explore its alpine lakes, crisp mountain streams, bristlecone pine trees, and 40 beautiful limestone caves at their leisure. Among the most noteworthy is the Lehman Hill cave system, which is packed with stalactites, stalagmites, and other eye-catching formations. Drive through the park and you’ll eventually approach Mount Wheeler in all its majestic glory. The 200,000-square-mile Great Basin itself plays host to hundreds of plant species and many mammals. Keep your eyes open for bighorn sheep, porcupines, mountain lions, and woodpeckers!

5. Olympic National Park

One of the country’s most impressionable areas to learn, explore, and sit in peace, Olympic National Park is easily among the best national parks to visit in the country. The Washington park contains a triad of ecosystems — mountain, forest, and coastal — which provide visitors with opportunities to fish, hike, comb beaches, or simply gaze at crystal clear lake waters. A highlight is Hurricane Ridge, known for its spectacularly clear views. It’s also worth a trek to Staircase Loop Trail, which brings you to more remote areas of the park. You’ll see the aggressive waters of the Skokomish River, a dramatic rock with a tree jutting out like something out of a fairytale, and a bridge providing fantastic views of the river rapids.

Book Your Bus Trip

If you’re ready to explore some of the country’s most impressive national parks, don’t hesitate to plan an unforgettable summer trip. Now is a wonderful time to enjoy many of the most scenic spots in the United States! Visit BusTickets.com to get started on your great park adventure.

Summer is coming up and it's time to start planning your summer vacation bucket lisr!

5 Things to Add to Your Summer Vacation Bucket List

By Bus Travel, California, Florida, New Mexico, Oklahoma

Any time is a good time for a vacation, but the summer season makes an adventurous getaway even more appealing. With warm weather and sunshine, there are countless more ways to make lasting memories and have unforgettable experiences on your vacation. And all throughout the United States, travelers will find an extensive selection of bucket-list-worthy adventurous from riding through the sand dunes of California deserts to parasailing over the Miami coastline. In this post, we’ll introduce you to a few things you should consider adding to your summer travel bucket list.

1. Dune Riding Through the Desert

You don’t have to book a flight to another country to do some serious dune riding. Whether you’re an avid motocross aficionado or someone who’s looking to take an ATV out for a spin for a first-time dune riding experience, the United States offers plenty of landscape that is perfect for riding. Imperial Sand Dunes in Glamis, California, boasts an extensive dune system with massive dunes reaching up to 300 feet! Two other popular dune systems in the state include Oceano Dunes SVRA in Pismo Beach and Dumont Dunes in Baker. If you’d prefer to stick to midwestern dune systems, a few favorites include Silver Lake State Park in Michigan, Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Kanab, Utah, and Little Sahara Dunes in Waynoka, Oklahoma.

2. Bungee Jump off the Bridge to Nowhere (and Everywhere Else)

The Bridge to Nowhere in El Segundo, California, is a popular bungee jumping location and certainly one of the highest, most adrenaline-inducing spots in the country. When you jump off the bridge to nowhere, you’ll fly through 100 feet of air above the San Gabriel River in a gorge surrounded by the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. If you’re not in Southern California, there are still many other bungee jumping destinations all over the United States. Travel to Boise Idaho to experience what it’s like to jump through over 300 feet of air off the Crooked River Bridge. Other great bungee jumping spots that come with scenic views include the Navajo Bridge in Marble Canyon, Arizona, Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Rio Grande Bridge in Taos, New Mexico.

3. Ski in the Summer

There is something supremely refreshing about being high up on a mountain surrounded by snow during the middle of summer when temperatures are typically sweltering hot. If you’re a fan of skiing and snowboarding, why not take to the slopes to beat the heat? For travelers headed to the west coast, take on Mammoth Mountain in California where you’ll be able to ski well into July. Colorado visitors will want to stop by Arapahoe Basin for some serious snow activities. Just keep in mind this resort only stays open until June. Even if you aren’t a snowboarding or skiing enthusiast, spending a few days at a ski resort provides the opportunity for many other relaxing activities, like a drink by the pool or a hot tub to unwind in.

4. Parasailing Over the Ocean (or the Great Lakes)

Although a great deal of parasailing is typically done on oceans, anyone visiting the Great Lakes area will also have an opportunity to get in some parasailing. Head to Mackinaw City to parasail over the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. In Key West, you can find plenty of parasailing opportunities on the Key West Bight and Smathers Beach with tandem trips costing anywhere from $29–$49. Miami is another great spot in Florida for prime parasailing, treating you to views of the ocean and city skyline—all from about 400 feet up in the salty sea air.

5. Rock Climbing in National Parks

You don’t necessarily have to be an avid rock climber to enjoy scaling some boulders and getting in touch with your primal side. Provided you’re with an experienced climber, you can get your start in bouldering and rock climbing while being surrounded by some of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. Joshua Tree National Park in California is home to over 8,000 climbing routes. If climbing isn’t your thing, you can stick to the hiking trails and boulders, both equally invigorating and enjoyably challenging. Leavenworth, Washington is another must-visit park for avid climbers, especially for climbers who have a penchant for bouldering. Finally, both beginner and advanced climbers will get a real thrill out of Shawangunk Ridge, just a 90-minute drive outside of New York City. The park boasts over 1,000 climbing routes, all of varying lengths.

Ready to start checking items off your summer vacation bucket list? Start your adventure by buying a bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!

Looking for the best place to camp? Check out these top beautiful camping destinations and book your bus tickets today.

Most Beautiful Camping Destinations in the Country

By Arizona, Bus Travel, California, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Washington

The United States could easily be considered one of the top countries in the world for incredible camping experiences. After all, the country is 3.8 million square miles, with much of that being natural regions perfect for camping. If you are trying to find your next camping destination, look no further! In this post, we’ll introduce you to some of the most beautiful places to camp in the country.

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is home to the deepest lake in the country as well as Mount Mazama, a collapsed volcano. Both of these natural wonders make this park a picturesque destination for nature photographers and anyone else looking to snap a few amazing photos! During your stay in the park, take a boat over to Wizard Island to hike the trails around the island’s volcano. If you’re still looking for more hiking opportunities, take on Mount Scott, the highest point in Crater Lake. For a delightfully eerie experience, explore Phantom Ship, a small rock island in Crater Lake. Other spots to visit around the park include Castle Crest Wildflower GardenCloudcap Overlook, and National Creek Falls.

Olympic National Park, Washington

With breathtaking coastal views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and views of the magnificent Olympic Mountains on the other, Olympic National Park is a nature lover’s dream come true. Making up over 1,440 miles, this national park is a camping paradise that invites visitors to explore the Pacific Northwest. Take a hike through the Hoh Rainforest, ski through Hurricane Ridge, take a dip in Lake Crescent, go salmon fishing in Sol Duc River, and relax on the sands of Ruby Beach.

Joshua Tree State Park, California

Although Joshua Tree is getting something of a reputation for being the perfect backdrop of Instagram-worthy photos, there is so much more to this state park to explore. If you can, limit the amount of time you spend taking photos and instead be in the present moment in this highly protected natural wonderland. Pitch a tent or park your RV at the Jumbo Rocks Campground, comprised mainly of mini-canyons and big boulders. After a good night’s rest, get up in the morning to stroll through Cholla Cactus GardenIndian Cove Road, and the one-mile Hidden Valley Nature Trail. If you’re up for a seven-mile hike, make your way to Lost Palms Oasis Trail. Complete your camping trip with a stop off at Arch RockWonderland of Rocks, and the Fortynine Palms Oasis Trail.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is more than a place to bask in exquisite views. It’s an excellent camping option for anyone who wants to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery for more than a day. The South Rim is easily accessible, however, it can get pretty crowded because of this. The North Rim is a bit more remote, and camping in the backcountry is another option (with a permit). Plan to camp in the area for a few days so you have enough time to get in as much hiking, river rafting, and sightseeing as possible. Go for a swim in the enchanting blue-green Havasu Falls, watch the sun rise or set over Hopi Point, cross the Navajo Bridge, and spend the day basking in the beauty of Beaver Falls.

Assateague Island Campgrounds, Maryland

Does the idea of camping out on an island surrounded by beautiful, wild horses sound perfect to you? It’s all possible on Assateague Island in Maryland. This gorgeous island just nine miles away from Ocean City provides visitors with the chance to enjoy island living, camping, water sports, seafood, and brisk ocean air all in one trip. On dry land, you can camp out on the beach and spot the horses, and in the water, you can paddle board, boat, jet ski, kayak, and engage in just about every other water activity that comes to mind. Don’t forget to eat plenty of fresh crab during your stay.

Big Bend National Park, Texas

If only for the night sky lit up by hundreds of thousands of stars, that’s reason enough to camp out in Big Bend National Park. Of course, there are still many other sights to see and things to do in this national park. Hike to Cattail Falls, raft down the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, visit the Homer Wilson Ranch, and check out the Mariscal Mine.

Start planning your summer camping trip today by buying your bus ticket from BusTickets.com.