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Looking for a quirky vacation spot? Check out these top quirky hotels in the US.

10 of the Quirkiest Hotels in the US

By | Bus Travel

Odds are you’ve stayed at your fair share of run-of-the-mill hotels. There are generic inns on every main road in the United States, along with chain properties that promise you the usual reliable amenities and creature comforts of home. If you crave something different, however, you may be intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast. These are the locations that are as much worth the visit as many of the region’s most historic and beloved sites. Here are 10 that you can’t miss.

1. Thornewood Castle

Tacoma, WA

Whether or not you lay claim to any royal ties, you’ll certainly feel the part once you step onto the grounds of Thornewood Castle. The property is Tudor Gothic elegance at its best. The handsome home is resplendent in its beauty, boasting the types of old-world luxuries you would expect of a place so quaint and historic. Shaded by abundant fir trees, the hotel consists of pieces of a 400-year-old Elizabethan manor purchased in England shipped to Tacoma in the early 1900s. Exquisite grounds include a lakefront, plush green grass, and even a charming English garden where you can enjoy a quiet break after a good night’s sleep inside your beautifully appointed suite filled with opulent furnishings reminiscent of Victorian-era glamour.

2. The Charlie Hotel

Hollywood, CA

Once owned by Charlie Chaplin, The Charlie Hotel is worth a visit for its dramatic architecture and intriguing history alone. Beyond the iron gates lies a veritable step back in time: lush greenery, the sound of water crisply falling from fountains, the spacious deck dotted with cozy lounge chairs. It was built in 1924 and taken over by Chaplin some years later. The actor eventually sold the property, and it wasn’t until 2002 that it was restored. Today, it’s home to several decadent cottages that feel as posh as their Hollywood namesakes —it’s worth a stay in the inviting Marilyn suite if you want to enjoy a homey stay. You may be in Hollywood, but you would never know it by your surroundings here.

3. Hotel Figueroa

Los Angeles, CA

It’s humbling to step inside the Hotel Figueroa downtown. It’s a place of deep history and empowerment — it opened in 1926 as a YWCA. At the time, this was an enormous step in a considerably unusual direction. It’s “quirky” for its place in innovation history. It’s essentially a snapshot of a time when such progress was considered heresy — yet it stands today as a model example of what is possible with effort and hard work. It’s as creative as it ever was, and it earns accolades for its artfully decorated rooms, dynamic courtyard, and the area’s only ground-floor pool. The on-site restaurants take culinary art to an entirely new level: masterfully designed interiors vie for the spotlight, but it’s ultimately the creative dishes crafted from local ingredients that rule the dining experience.

4. Mama Shelter

Los Angeles, CA

If mega quirk is what you’re after, you’ll find it in droves at Mama Shelter. Set in Los Angeles, the offbeat property, designed by Thierry Gaugin, earns rave reviews as one of the hippest spots in town. There’s a lot happening here, from the outrageous colors to the lively accents to the killer views from the rooftop bar. The rooms range from compact to jumbo, all sized just right for a stay in the city, complete with all of the amenities you expect of the perfect place to stay. Enjoy a bite to eat, chill on the roof, have a drink or two, or just marvel at your surroundings from up high, where you can see everything from the iconic Hollywood sign to the activity below on Hollywood Boulevard.

5. McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel

Portland, OR

Among the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, this is one you can definitely file under “I can’t believe it’s actually real.” McMenamins Kennedy School Hotel was founded in 1915, but at the time it was an actual elementary school. Fast forward many years, and today it’s a hip boutique hotel that many people specifically visit Portland for. And why not? The interior is dramatic and fun, where former classrooms now serve as guestrooms, and where old-school artwork sets the tone for a vintage-ready stay. Many of the rooms are even equipped with the original cloakrooms and chalkboards. The school’s former boiler room even serves as a vibrant, multistory bar.

6. Hotel Zeppelin

San Francisco, CA

Escape to an edgy hideout that’s equal parts urban-chic, industrial, and contemporary. Whether you’re a creative type, a wallflower, or somewhere in between, you’ll find a home for yourself in the Hotel Zeppelin, whose bohemian roots are evident in its laid-back, welcoming ambiance.

7. The Inn at El Gaucho

Seattle, WA

In a fast-paced world where everything seems in need of an upgrade, it’s hard to believe a place like The Inn at El Gaucho exists. Yet it does, and it’s inside this retro-inspired haunt that you can enjoy a stay in a dramatic guestroom and a cocktail bar that exudes 1950s charm.

8. Madonna Inn

San Luis Obispo, CA

It’s tough to compete with the eclectic charm that the Madonna Inn brings to San Luis Obispo. Boulders are built into the construction, and there are 110 themed rooms with out-of-this-world amenities, like rock showers and stone fireplaces.

9. Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort

Takilma, OR

The serene Out’n’About Treehouses Treesort is quite literally a village of treehouses. There’s a scenic, rustic vibe here that anyone with an appreciation for the great outdoors will absolutely love. Each abode is equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom to lend it a truly homey feel.

10. Inn at Northrup Station

Portland, OR

There are few places more quintessentially Portland than the bright and lively all-suite Inn at Northrup Station. The rooms are obsessively fun, with vibrant pops everywhere you turn. No detail is spared here, and odds are you’ll quickly grow to love the place for its electrifying personality.

Book Your Getaway Today

If you’re intrigued by the quirkiest hotels on the West Coast, it’s a good time to get away from it all and book your trip today. Visit BusTickets.com to find affordable transportation to your destination of choice!

The 5 Most Affordable Vacation Destinations You Can Get to by Bus

By | Bus Travel

Planning a vacation on a budget is taxing, especially when you’re trying to balance the expense of travel, boarding, meals, and sightseeing. Fortunately, choosing bus travel will cut your costs in half, leaving more money for hotels and food. You can reduce your total costs even more without sacrificing fun by choosing a location that offers plenty of free and low-cost recreational activities. If you’re facing a tight budget, buy cheap bus tickets to these five affordable vacation destinations.

1. Memphis, TN

At the top of every music lover’s travel list is a visit to Memphis, TN. Dubbed the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll,” this city has created some of the most influential artists of the 20th century and, as such, music can be found on every corner. Since it’s such a popular city, bus tickets to Memphis are incredibly affordable. Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to take in the views of the Smoky Mountains, Missouri Bootheel, or Mississippi Delta along the way, depending on your departure location.

One of the most popular destinations in Memphis is Graceland, and while there’s an entrance fee for the official tour, you can visit the Meditation Garden during set hours for free. You should also stop by The Peabody Hotel at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day to watch the legendary ducks march between their rooftop home and their favorite swimming hole: the lobby fountain. No visit to this great metropolis is complete without a trip down historic Beale Street, where you can grab food and drinks, and enjoy live music inside the halls and on the street itself.

2. Grand Rapids, MI

The family-friendly town of Grand Rapids, MI, is the perfect destination for parents and kids who love the outdoors. While it’s often praised for its popular winter activities, like ice fishing, the small city offers plenty of spring and summer fun as well. If you’re a family of cyclists, then you don’t want to miss out on the miles upon miles of bike trails. The city itself boasts more than 25 parks, some of which offer public water access and beaches, and hosts free events for all ages.

3. Hannibal, MO

If you’re a literary fanatic or history buff, put bus travel to Hannibal, MO, at the top of your summer to do list. As the home of beloved writer Mark Twain and Titanic passenger Molly Brown, the town offers a plethora of museums and historic properties. While some of these sites charge admission for the official tour, you can avoid spending money at multiple locations by reading up on them during your bus journey. Pick your favorite option to utilize your entertainment budget, and then simply snap a picture of the other tourist hotspots for your scrapbook.

Fortunately for budget-minded travelers, there’s nothing the city of Hannibal loves more than a festival. From their annual Tom Sawyer Days to the Big River Steampunk Festival, there’s a constant stream of family-friendly activities that also offer free options. As for paid entertainment, the area offers many affordable choices, like the Mark Twain Riverboat, which offers one-hour long sightseeing cruises for around $20 per ticket.

4. Portland, ME

Portland, ME, is the East Coast’s best-kept secret. The city has flourished as a tech and financial hub in recent years, but its modern amenities oddly compliment its historic identity as a port town powered by the fishing industry. Marveling at the architecture is enough to keep you busy for a few days, but be sure add in a few trips to the beach and a hike along one of their numerous trails. If you love the feel of the ocean breeze on your skin as you dive into a plate of locally caught (and surprisingly affordable) lobster, then book your bus tickets to Portland, ME, before fall arrives.

5. Eugene, OR

Last on the list—but most definitely not least—is Eugene, OR. Often overshadowed by its big sister, Portland, this Pacific Northwest city offers the welcoming atmosphere of a small town with the rich cultural opportunities of a metropolitan city. Its diverse offerings include art exhibitions, music festivals, and craft breweries, and just outside of town, you can delve into Willamette Valley’s blooming wine scene by spending an afternoon at a local vineyard.

Book Affordable Bus Tickets to Portland, Memphis, and More!

If you’re ready for an adventure this spring or summer, turn to BusTickets.com for a hassle-free and affordable approach to travel. Our convenient service allows you to compare tickets from the industry’s top carriers so that you can find the most budget-friendly option.  So what are you waiting for? Tick off the next destination on your bucket list by booking your bus tickets today!

Three friends enjoying a girls’ weekend bus trip to the city

Girls’ Weekend? Plan Bus Travel to These 4 Locations

By | Bus Travel

While time with family and partners is incredibly important, sometimes you need to relax, unwind, and recharge with your best friends. A girls’ weekend bus trip is the perfect way to reconnect without the distractions of everyday life. To ensure your group enjoys an unforgettable weekend away, book your bus travel to one of these four fabulous destinations.

1. Portland, ME

Regardless of the season, Portland, ME, is an excellent location for a weekend getaway. One of the first stops on your adventure should be a brewery. There are 13 breweries just in the Portland Metro area, so register for one of the city’s many local brewery tours to get the most out of your visit.

No girls’ trip is complete without some much-deserved self-pampering. For this task, visit Soakology Foot Sanctuary and Teahouse. Enjoy a foot soak and massage in a tranquil atmosphere while sipping on unique tea blends and chatting with your best friends. If you’re daring, finish off your weekend with commemorative custom matching tattoos at Wicked Good Ink.

2. Portland, OR

Just like its namesake on the East Coast, Portland, OR, is home to an incredible amount of breweries. There is also a large number of distilleries and wineries in the city. A guided tour will help you sample the best based on your group’s tastes, but if you want to pick just a single location, opt for one of these local favorites: Bridgeport BrewingFreeland Spirits, or PDX Urban Wineries.

Along with drinks, the City of Roses boasts an impressive culinary scene. One of the most popular styles of dining is food carts. In Portland, food carts are sectioned into pods that offer you a wide selection of cuisine options in one spot. For the most well-rounded offering, stop by the Alder pod downtown to enjoy dumplings at Dump Truck, authentic fish and chips at The Frying Scotsman, and Jian Bing at Bing Mi!

For those in your party with a sweet tooth, a trip to Voodoo Doughnuts is a must. Since 2003, the eatery has crafted creative and unique donuts that you’re sure to fall in love with. Plus, the doughnut shop is open 24 hours a day, making the ideal stop after a night on the town. If you’re not a fan of fried dough, hit up Rose City Sweets for a selection of traditional candy favorites or The Meadow for artisanal chocolates.

3. Austin, TX

For a truly memorable girls’ weekend bus trip, book your bus tickets to Austin, TX. With an unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird,” there are plenty of unique adventures to be had. Start off your weekend with an in-depth exploration of the unusual at the Museum of the Weird downtown, followed by a visit to the Cathedral of Junk on the south side of the city. Next, take the weird level up a notch with a haunted hearse limo tour from Haunted ATX.

Aside from the city’s eclectic tendencies, Austin’s over 250 live music venues have earned it the title of “The Live Music Capital of the World.” As such, it’s an unwritten rule that live music is included in your girls’ weekend getaway. Enjoy top country acts at the Broken Spoke, acoustic sets at the Cactus Café & Bar, and blues at Antone’s Nightclub. Or, catch some of the best stops all in one night with local guidance by grabbing tickets to an Austin Live Music Crawl tour.

4. Ruidoso, NM

If your group of friends needs a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, then bus travel to Ruidoso, NM, is the way to go. The small town is nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range, offering a plethora of outdoor activities from spring through winter. Immerse yourselves in nature by booking a cabin at Rainbow Lake or enjoy wide-open spaces with a traditional tent arrangement at Lincoln National Forest. The latter offers easy access to a long list of spectacular trails for wildlife viewing and hiking.

After working up an appetite in the great outdoors, head back into Ruidoso city limits for local craft beer and gastropub dishes at The Hidden Tap. Wine aficionados, on the other hand, won’t want to miss a trip to Noisy Water Winery, which specializes in unique New Mexico blends, like Green Chile Wine. For a broader range of drinks and food, try Sacred Grounds Coffee and Tea House. The eatery serves an assortment of delicious dishes alongside locally sourced craft beer and wine.

Save On Your Girls’ Weekend Bus Trip

At BusTickets.com, booking your girls’ weekend bus trip is a breeze. Select your destination, compare prices, and choose the best options for your needs — it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Traveling with a large group of friends? Find out how to score big savings with our charter bus service. A weekend of fun and adventure awaits, so book your bus tickets today.