Spring is in Bloom at the Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom

It’s that time of year again: after a long winter, we’re all ready for spring to start. Though we’ve been teased with a few warm, sunny days here and there, it’s hardly enough; what we really need is consistent streak of good weather, all the leftover snow to melt, and a quick getaway to relax and refresh. At GotoBus.com, we specialize in selling affordable bus tickets, providing you with a quick and easy way to book a trip, whether you’ve planned for months or waited until the last minute. Once you’ve purchased your tickets, you’ll also be able to book a hotel at your destination, making this a convenient, stress-free process so you can look forward to your trip. Or, save even more by booking your bus tickets and hotel at the same time!

This spring, we highly recommend traveling to Washington, D.C. to take part in the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo at the time gave the city a gift of 3,000 Japanese cherry trees as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. Today, over 100 years later, the citizens of D.C. still celebrate this event with the festival, a three week long celebration scheduled to coincide with the blooming of the flowers. The trees are spread all over the city, especially on the banks of the Potomac River, giving Washington a beautiful pink and white trim that blends perfectly with classically-inspired white marble buildings like the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.

This year, the festival will run from March 20th to April 12th. Each day has multiple events scheduled, from concerts and art shows to parades and free admission to certain museums and attractions located all over the city, making the Cherry Blossom Festival a perfect excuse to see the best parts of Washington, D.C. while at the same time enjoying the increasingly warm weather of spring. Below, we’ve included descriptions for some of the most popular events. For a full schedule of activities, as well as other important information, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s official website.

The festival will kick off with an Opening Ceremony, which will be held in the historic Warner Theater at 5:00pm on March 21st. During the show, several Japanese and American musicians will perform a diverse mix of jazz, soul, funk, pop, and classical tunes. One of the groups, the AUN J Classic Orchestra, exclusively plays traditional Japanese instruments, which is a perfect way to get a taste for that culture. If you’d like to stick with the musical theme, then you should also be sure to stop by one of the performances that are part of the Japanese Jazz Series, held at the Blues Alley nightclub in the Georgetown area. There are acts scheduled on most nights of the festival, and you will get to hear an interesting cross of cultures as Japanese musicians put their own unique spin on the classic American genre.

On March 28th, head over to the Washington Monument, where you can see the Blossom Kite Festival, a showcase for kite-makers to demonstrate their creativity. This event is perfect for children, who will love watching all the uniquely designed kites flutter around the sky. The festival has five distinct areas: the Competition and Demonstration Field, the Family Field, the Kite Club Display Area, Activity Tents, and the Public Field. This event will run from 10:00am to 4:30pm.

To close out the Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be a parade beginning at 10:00am on April 11th down a stretch of Constitution Avenue. Every year, the turnout is fantastic, and the parade ends up being one of the city’s largest spectator events. It’s free to attend, though you can also purchase a $20 ticket to sit in the grandstands. Large, elaborate floats, live performances, student marching bands from all corners of the country, and much more will all march past you in a grand display that brings the festival to a close while simultaneously announcing the arrival of spring in the grandest way possible.

With all those events and more, there will never be a shortage of activities for you and your family or friends to enjoy. Bus tickets to Washington, D.C. from New York City start for as little as $21. At GotoBus, you will be able to find bus routes to cities all across the country, no matter what your budget is. Here’s hoping you kick your spring off in a great way!

Cherry Blossoms

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20

Have a Shamrockin’ Good Time This St. Patty’s Day

everyones irish on march 17

Top o’ the morning to ya! St. Patrick’s Day comes each year on March 17th, celebrating the patron saint of Ireland. In the 1800s, many Irish began to immigrate to the U.S., and, as a result, many Americans trace their heritage back to Ireland. All over the country, cities and towns host parades to showcase the pride and spirit of their Irish communities, from sprawling urban areas like Chicago to smaller towns off the beaten path like Rolla, Missouri. As they say, “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day!” so everyone is welcome to join in the festivities. Now, the only question that remains is where you will travel to celebrate this joyous occasion. Well, you couldn’t be luckier than if you plucked a four-leaf clover from the ground: GotoBus, the best place on the web to find affordable bus tickets, offers routes to cities all over the country. Since you can also book bus tickets and hotels together with just a few extra clicks to save even more money, there has never been an easier time to travel the country.

Boston

Of all the cities in the country, Boston is the most vocal about its Irish history. Even the city’s pro basketball team, the Celtics, borrowed its name and colors from this heritage. The neighborhood of South Boston (affectionately called “Southie”) will put on its annual parade on March 15th at 1PM. This year, because of the incredible volume of snowfall in the Northeast, the city of Boston has decided to run the parade along a shortened route, which will give you more time to enjoy yourself in one of Southie’s famous Irish pubs, like the L Street Tavern, made famous in the movie Good Will Hunting starring Boston natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. If you have a strong interest in U.S. history, especially from the 20th century, you should also be sure to head to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which will host a performance of the Irish Balladeers, a musical group that plays traditional Irish folk music. Bus tickets to Boston are available for the low price of just $18.

St Patrick's Day

New York

The country’s largest St. Patty’s Day parade is held in the heart of Manhattan (don’t tell Bostonians that NYC beat them!), which makes its way uptown along Fifth Avenue, a street known for its upscale shops and boutiques. The NYC parade takes pride in its history of not allowing over-the-top floats and other commercial aspects to take part in the parade, which helps preserve the magic and purity of the occasion. The festive events don’t end there, though, and tourist should be sure to partake in taking a stroll through the historically Irish neighborhoods of Manhattan. If you plan on staying in the city, head on over to the NYC Craft Beer Festival (March 13th and 14th at the Lexington Avenue Armory), where you’ll be able to taste an unlimited amount of beers from over 75 breweries, because what’s St. Patty’s Day without a nice, cold one? At GotoBus, tickets to New York City are available for as little as $21.

St Patrick's Day Parade New York City

San Francisco

If you’re looking to get out to the beautiful West Coast, but still want to deck yourself out all in green and shamrocks, then San Francisco is the destination for you. This year, they will hold their annual parade on Saturday, March 14th. After the parade, you should head over to the Irish Festival at the Joe Alioto Performing Arts Plaza, where you will be able to enjoy traditional music, dance, and a never-ending supply of beer – let’s hope they’ve stocked plenty of Guinness! There are also plenty of local pubs that are hosting parties with performances by DJs, folk singers, and Irish rockers that promise to keep the celebration going all night long. Tickets to San Francisco start for as little as $35

St Patrick's Day Parade

These cities are just a few of the options you have; other places around the country that host large parades and festivals include Chicago, Seattle, and San Diego. And guess what? GotoBus.com offers bus routes to all three of those cities, and many, many more! Book your tickets now to ensure that you and your family have the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Erin go bragh (Ireland forever)!

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20

Dear Winter, We’re Over You!

winter

Is it just us here at GotoBus, or does it seem like nothing is going on, anywhere? We’ve reached the end of February, and winter doesn’t look like it’s ready to be over any time soon. Though it’s been nice to spend some time wrapped up like a burrito in our warmest blankets, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Netflix, we’d love to get out and have a good time. So we spent some time searching the internet, trying to find exciting upcoming events in some of the best cities in the country to help you get some ideas for trips and activities so you can enjoy yourself despite the cold weather. All you need to do is head over to GotoBus.com to book bus tickets and hotel packages in any of the cities around the country where we have routes. Don’t forget, booking round-trip bus tickets with the same bus vendor will usually give you additional discounts too!

San Francisco, California

Avengers Assemble! The Marvel Experience live show is currently touring the country, and from February 27th to March 22nd, it will set up shop in lovely San Francisco. Held in a large inflatable dome in the parking lot of AT&T Park – a baseball stadium that sits right on the bay where the Giants play their home games – this event mixes the best elements of a theme park (exciting rides, actors dressed as superheroes) and a comic book convention (interactive exhibits). For a few hours, you’ll get to fight alongside the Avengers, joining Earth’s mightiest heroes like Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk in a struggle with the most notorious super-villains from the Marvel Universe. For more information on this event that is guaranteed to entertain guests young and old, visit the Marvel Experience’s official website. Los Angeles to San Francisco bus tickets start at $35 one-way.

TheMarvelExperience

Chicago, Illinois

If you live in the Midwest, you probably don’t want to spend too much time outside right now. That’s why winter is a perfect time to appreciate fine art. Chicago is blessed to have one of the most prestigious museums in the world, the Art Institute. Fans of classic 80’s teen comedies will remember this museum from a scene in the classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when the title character and his friends visit while they skip school. In addition to collections that represent various cultures from around the world – including large wings dedicated to Asian, European, and African-American art – it houses works by many painters who are considered masters of their craft, like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Claude Monet, whose iconic Water Lilies is one of the true gems in this facility. Some of the temporary exhibits currently running at the Art Institute include Byzantine-Greek mosaics, paintings from the era of Spanish colonialism in the Andes Mountains region, Islamic art, and much more. Browse the Art Institute’s website for a full list of the permanent collections, temporary exhibits, and all the other information you could need. Be sure to reserve yours soon since, since New York to Chicago bus tickets are as little as $40 one-way!

The Art Institute of Chicago

New York, New York

Chinese New Year is a celebration to mark the end of the Chinese lunar calendar. This year is dedicated to the goat (or ram/sheep). Each animal in the Chinese zodiac is assigned lucky directions, and East is one of those for the goat. New York City, the cultural capital of the East Coast is home to one of the largest, busiest Chinatown districts in the country, and puts on a celebration to match. Though the official date of the New Year was February 19th, the festivities last for over 2 weeks, so you can see marvelous displays of traditional paper lanterns strung above the streets. In this popular Manhattan neighborhood, you will also be able to find some of the best Chinese restaurants in the country, which will drive any foodie crazy with delight. Washington DC to New York City bus tickets start at $21 a ticket.

ChineseNewYear2015

GotoBus.com strives to be the top online marketplace for affordable bus travel across the country. We want to provide you with a hassle-free travel experience from the minute you book your tickets to after you’ve checked out of your hotel. Visit our website for a complete list of destinations. Good luck with the rest of winter and stay warm!

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3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!

2015

Well, not quite yet, but the big night is right around the corner, and GotoBus is here to help you travel to some of the most exciting destinations across the country to close out 2014 with a bang.

As always, New York City will host its annual ball drop in Times Square, the largest New Year’s celebration in the world, which attracts an estimated one million spectators. From 6 PM to midnight, the streets are packed with people ready to turn the page to a new chapter in their lives, making resolutions for self-improvement, and seeking out that special someone for a New Year’s kiss. For decades, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will host live musical performances. This year will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and feature the boy band One Direction and America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift.

If you’d like to avoid the crowd at the ball drop, there are a vast number of events and parties you can attend. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is already one of the city’s most popular attractions, but on NYE it becomes even more exciting when it hosts a party among its wax figures, letting you “party with the stars.” The party includes a 4-D cinema, an open bar, appetizers, and entertainment that is appropriate for guests of all ages. In the museum, you will have access to the viewing gallery on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Tower, which provides an excellent point-of-view of the ball drop. This will let you enjoy the iconic celebration far above the crowded streets. Bus tickets to New York City start for as little as $20.

Times Square New Years Eve

Las Vegas is the only other city that can boast a New Year’s celebration as wild as New York’s. Celebrities love to join in the festivities here, so you could be sharing a champagne toast with one of your favorite stars! This year boasts some of the best live shows and concerts that Vegas has ever hosted. At the Chelsea, you can see the legendary Tony Bennett duet with the ever-inventive Lady Gaga. Listen to the greatest hits of Britney Spears as the pop-star performs at Planet Hollywood. For a laugh, check out Joel McHale, star of Community and host of The Soup, at the Mirage. Or perhaps, you want to ask the timeless question of “Turn Down for What?” with Lil Jon at Surrender Nightclub.

The point is, there are a near-endless amount of concerts, shows, and parties to choose from. Vegas is the place to be for NYE, baby! But don’t forget the best part: at midnight, the many casinos on the Las Vegas Strip host a synchronized fireworks display, illuminating the dark sky over the desert with a vibrant display of colors. Purchase your bus tickets to Las Vegas from Los Angeles now, for as little as $25.

Las Vegas New Years Eve

On GotoBus.com, we can also help you book hotels (save even more when booking your bus tickets and hotel stay at the same time!), so you can focus on what is really important on New Year’s Eve: partying

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20

Holiday Gift Ideas for Any Budget

Holiday gift

The holiday season is here again, a time of festive music, ugly sweaters, and traveling long distances to give presents to family members (and who doesn’t love doing that?). Look – we at GotoBus know that it can be a lot of work to keep up with all that holiday cheer, and travel shouldn’t add to the stress. That is why we make it easy to book bus tickets to destinations all over the country at the best prices, whether you’re trying to meet up with your family or get far, far away from them. Since the holidays are quickly approaching, and it is such a busy time to travel, it’s a good idea to book your tickets early on GotoBus.com to guarantee the best prices and seats.

Once you’ve finalized your travel arrangements, the next big question is what gifts should you get for your family, friends, and coworkers? With each passing year, it feels like the list of people you need to give presents to gets longer and longer. There’s no way you can spend a fortune on each person! Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s the thought that counts?” It means that the quality of a gift cannot be measured by the amount of money spent on it, but rather the care and mindfulness with which it is given. Below, we’ve included some great gift ideas to fit stricter budgets, helping you save some money and bring a smile to someone’s face:

First, let’s start with a basic coffee mug. You can find stores and websites that will print just about anything (names, picture, quotes, etc.) on a mug, so you can personalize it based on who it’s for. But why stop there? You could turn the mug into a tiny gift basket: fill it with a nice blend of coffee or tea for the friend who loves caffeinated drinks, hot cocoa mix for kids who love a warm winter treat, some chocolates for your aunt with the sweet-tooth, or just fill it with a few gift cards to some shops they love.

Christmas coffee mug

Do you know any film-buffs, the kind of person who lives to see the newest Hollywood blockbusters? Get them a book of movie passes. This time of year is known as “awards season”, when many of the dramas that will get nominated for the Golden Globes, Oscars, and more start to get wide releases in theaters. Any die-hard moviegoer will be itching to see these, and you can provide them with the means to do that.

Movie theatre

If you have a friend or relative who has a passion for pen and paper – that is, writing – then there is nothing quite as thrilling for them as the image of a white sheet. To them, blank paper doesn’t feel empty, but rather filled with potential. Get them a new journal so they can jot down their thoughts and musings. Here’s a thought: in addition, throw in some cheap tickets from GotoBus; they could turn into the author of the next great travel novel, and it will have all started with your gift!

Travel journal

The last idea may be the simplest: bake some sweets, like cookies. A plate of cookies won’t last forever, but whoever you give it to will appreciate the time you took to prepare them. And doesn’t food taste better when it’s made by someone who cares about you?

Holiday cookies

Don’t forget to book your tickets now on GotoBus.com. If you’re also looking for hotel accommodations, save even more by booking your bus tickets and hotel at the same time. Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Christmas Belles at Crown Plaza

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20

Thanksgiving Travel & Events

Thanksgiving

In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after a long, difficult voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from England. After barely surviving their first winter, they feasted after a successful harvest in the following year, sitting down with the local Native Americans who had helped them learn to farm in their new land. This celebration set the foundations for Thanksgiving in the United States, which became a national holiday during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

While the story of the Pilgrims’ hard journey is an important piece of American history, one thing we can all be thankful for is the vast improvements in transportation since their time. Traveling long distances no longer takes multiple months, but only a few days, at most. This is important because Thanksgiving is such a busy time for traveling, with many people trying get to their families around the country. At GotoBus, we want to make it easy for everyone to travel in a relaxed but timely way. Below, we’ve listed some special Thanksgiving events happening in cities around the country. If you see something you like, head over to our website, and book your bus tickets now!

Presidential Turkey Pardon, Washington, DC

Each year since Harry Truman’s time in office, the president has been gifted a turkey on Thanksgiving. But in 1989, George Bush pardoned his turkey (the president has the power to pardon anyone convicted of a crime, allowing them to go without punishment). This act has been repeated annually on the front steps of the White House. This year’s turkey is still in need of a name, and everyone is encouraged to submit their ideas at this website, where they can also find links to the Ohio Poultry Association’s social media pages that post photos of the turkeys as the grow and prepare for Thanksgiving. In addition to this ceremony, there are plenty of other events in the Washington area. Visiting some of the major monuments and memorials in the city is a great way to show thankfulness for the many proud Americans who have helped make this country great! Bus tickets to Washington DC start around $20.

Obama Thanksgiving turkey Pardon

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York City

This annual march through Manhattan has been celebrated since the 1920s, and features giant inflatable balloons depicting beloved cartoon characters and various other floats. Some of the most popular balloons are icons like Snoopy, Pikachu, Spongebob Squarepants, Shrek, and many more. There are performances from notable pop musicians and celebrities, as well as a material from newly released Broadway shows. The parade has become as much of a celebration of American popular culture as it is about Thanksgiving, making it a perfect event for families with younger children, who will be absolutely thrilled and amazed to see giant versions of their favorite characters. It is one thing to watch the parade on television, but it’s another to witness firsthand the immense size of these balloons, many of which require up to 90 handlers. The parade runs for about 3 hours beginning at 9:00am on Thanksgiving morning. Make sure you’re in town for it by booking your bus tickets to New York, which can be found for as little as $18, as soon as possible!

Macy's Thanksgiving day parade

Black Friday in Barstow, California

The day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday, and it is become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Stores nationwide have special markdown sales on some of their best items, and many open their doors from midnight to midnight. The Tanger Outlets in Barstow, California (about midway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas), will open at 6:00am on Friday and have extended hours all weekend. Some of the Tangers’ most popular stores are offering amazing deals, like 50-75% off everything at the Gap Outlet! Visit the website to find an extensive list of the sales, and bus tickets to Barstow are available for around $30.

Black Friday

No matter where you plan on going for Thanksgiving this year, you are sure to find some great events around you. GotoBus.com is always happy to help you get there (and find a hotel, too!), so visit our website and book now. Have a happy and safe holiday!

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20

Honoring Veterans Around the U.S.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day was founded to celebrate the peace treaty that ended World War I, but has since evolved into a day to honor all the brave men and women who have served in the American military. Because many workers and students get the day off, Veterans Day weekend is a popular time to travel, allowing travelers to get a much-needed break.

With some of the best prices for bus tickets, GotoBus.com makes it easy for anyone to get around the U.S. For those who love exploring the great outdoors, we have even more good news: all national parks offer free admission on the holiday, Below, we’ve included descriptions of some of the Veterans Day celebrations going on in two of the country’s most historic cities- Washington DC, and Boston:

Washington, DC

Full of memorials and monuments dedicated to its servicemen, there are countless ceremonies dedicated to veterans in the nation’s capital, and the grandest of all is the one at Arlington National Cemetery. Free to the public, the ceremony begins with a wreath-laying at 11:00am, but guests who arrive early will be welcomed by a performance from the United States Marine Band. Smaller ceremonies are held at the other memorials around the city, like the World War II Memorial at 9:00am and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 1:00pm. In the evening, head to the National Mall for the special “Concert for Valor,” a 3-hour live show put on by HBO, which is being hyped as one of the largest live events ever. Will it live up to this billing? With a lineup that includes performances from superstars like Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, and the Black Keys, it is hard to imagine the concert being anything less than extraordinary. Be sure to get there early; the Mall is expected to get crowded quickly. Finding the best prices for Washington DC bus tickets is easy, and tickets start at just $15 per person.

Boston

This northeastern city was the birthplace of the American Revolution, and as such has a great deal of pride for anyone who has served in the military. Boston hosts two Veterans Day parades that run back-to-back; the Official Parade marches first, followed by the Veterans for Peace Parade. The reason these parades are separated is because some groups in the first parade did not want to march with the Veterans for Peace. Another activity is happening on Saturday, November 15th, a few days after the holiday itself. A cruise of Boston Harbor and its islands will depart from Long Wharf. The boat sails to Fort Warren on Georges Island, a Civil War-era defensive structure in the harbor. Veterans are welcome to attend free of charge, while all other guests will be charge $5. Bus tickets to Boston will cost you around $20, not a bad deal!

There are many great discount deals offered to veterans no matter where they are in the country, from shopping to dining, and they should check the local event pages online for whatever city they plan to be in during Veterans Day for a detailed list of events and discounts. It is a small way to repay them for their service to this country.

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20

Halloween Weekend Across America

Halloween

Isn’t it a little disappointing when Halloween ends up being on a Wednesday night? Kids have to go to school, adults have to work, and there is hardly any time to really enjoy and celebrate this fun holiday. Good news! Halloween 2014 is a Friday night, giving you the whole weekend to flaunt your creative costume and celebrate the scariest time of year with friends and family. It also means that you can take some time to travel and experience the Halloween festivities in different cities around the country. Check out the following locations, read about their spooky attractions, and then head to GotoBus.com to book bus tickets. Halloween should be frightening, but travel should not.

Savannah, Georgia

Full of historic homes that date to before the Civil War, the quaint city of Savannah loves to show off its many haunted houses. As night falls, the pleasant, colonial charm is overtaken by a thick darkness and heavy silence, decorated with Spanish moss that hangs from the local trees, making the area seem like the perfect plce for creatures of the night. Visitors to the Sorrel Weed House have reported strange activities, like a sense of nausea and shortness of breath in the basement. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the former owners and their poorly treated slaves. For other Halloween events and attractions in the Savannah area, visit the city’s event page.

Savannah, Georgia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Prisons are scary places, even when they are populated by living inmates. Throw in intimidating architecture and the ghosts of countless dead prisoners, who were mainly kept in solitary confinement, and you end up with one bone-chilling facility. Eastern State Penitentiary was once home to the legendary criminal, Al Capone, and you can even visit his cell! Around Halloween, this infamous Philadelphia prison operates the “Terror Behind the Walls,” a haunted house fundraiser, so you can get your pants scared off while supporting the local historical society. More information on this and other Philadelphia Halloween activities can be found here.

Eastern State Penitentiary

San Francisco, California

The energetic atmosphere and nightlife of the Bay Area is only highlighted around Halloween. This site lists some of the major costume parties and themed nights at the local bars leading up to October 31st, a seemingly endless list of exciting events. If you plan to be in the area, you could always check out Queen Anne Hotel. Built towards the end of the 19th century as a boarding school for girls, this Victorian building is said to be haunted by the school’s former headmistress. Room 410 is located where her office once was, and guests in that room have reported waking up to find their clothes unpacked or their blankets tucked around them as they sleep. To be honest, this ghost actually sounds very pleasant. Maybe she’ll make you a cup of tea, if you pass in your homework on time!

San Francisco Halloween

Los Angeles, California

For certain cultures, Halloween is not as important as the following day. November 1st, for Christians, is known as All Saints Day, but in Mexico it is better known as Dia de los Muertas – the Day of the Dead. With its large Mexican community, Los Angeles hosts several colorful festivals and events commemorating this day. One of the largest Day of the Dead celebrations is held in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. It is hard to think of a more fitting place for such a festival: the dreariness of the cemetery is erased, because in Mexico, death is seen as a celebration. Instead of mourning, Mexicans dress in a splendid display of colors, sing, dance, and wear traditional masks. This, or any of LA’s other Day of the Dead festivals, offers visitors a unique perspective on how the Halloween season is regarded in other cultures.

Day of the Dead

Louisville, Kentucky

This city puts up plenty of haunted houses, like a “Wacky Clown Asylum,” which sounds like something adapted directly from a nightmare. But there is one location in the Louisville area that tops the rest in terms of its horror: the Waverly Hills Sanitarium, which is only open around this time of year as a haunted house. Considered one of the scariest places on Earth, the building was once a hospital to house tuberculosis patients, before antibiotics made the disease more manageable. An underground tunnel was used to discretely remove the bodies of the deceased. Now, the grounds are totally abandoned, making the building itself look like a ghost, though there are current efforts being made to restore the property.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

As always, GotoBus.com is here to help you reach your destination. It’s no trick – treat yourself to a Halloween weekend getaway, and please, remember to be safe if you’re out at night.

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20

Columbus Day Celebrations on the East Coast

Mayflower

Compared to other holidays, Columbus Day is somewhat low-key. Many people use the long weekend to travel with their families, allowing for a nice break in the middle of fall. Most major cities around the country host a parade to honor Christopher Columbus, who in 1492, discovered what we now know as America. What exciting news will you bring back from your travels? Below, we have described the Columbus Day celebrations going on at some of the most-visited cities in the country, along with other events happening over the course of the weekend.

New York City

New York City’s annual parade gets far less coverage than the much larger St. Patrick’s Day Parade or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and though there are no balloons depicting beloved cartoon characters, this parade is a fun way to experience the city without having to deal with excessive chaos. It begins with a 9:30am mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, before the parade ends at 11:30, marching down the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 44th and 72nd Streets. The parade ends near Central Park, which always provides fun exploration opportunity. If you head to the Flatiron District, bring your kids to the four day grand opening of the brand new Lego Store location. They will be hosting fun activities here all weekend, like building a 20-foot tall replica of the Statue of Liberty.

New York City Columbus Day Parade

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. does not host a parade on Columbus Day, but it does host a special ceremony each year at the Christopher Columbus Memorial Fountain, located in Union Station Plaza. Representatives from the embassies of Spain and Italy, as well as members of the public, lay wreathes at the base of the statue in his honor. Members from local chapters of the Knights of Columbus are always in attendance, while many other organizations, such as the US Army and Navy, have also taken part in the past. The statue itself is worth examining for its symbolism. Standing in front of the depiction of Columbus himself is a winged-figure, a depiction of “Discovery,” while two men, an old one and a Native American, are positioned on either side, representing the “old world” and the “new world.” If you’re around DC for Columbus Day weekend, be sure to catch this ceremony. On the 11th and 12th, you should also stop by the Taste of DC, a street festival that takes up five blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue, offering local eateries a chance to showcase some of their best-tasting dishes, which lasts from noon to 7pm both days.

Christopher Columbus Fountain - Washington, D.C.

Boston

For those of you heading to Boston this Columbus Day, the North End hosts the liveliest events. Though Columbus sailed for Spain, he was originally born in Genoa, Italy. Because of this, Columbus Day in this country often serves the dual-role of being an Italian-American pride day. Boston’s annual parade runs through the heart of the North End, the city’s historically Italian neighborhood, ending in the appropriately named Christopher Columbus Park, where there will live music, games, and other activities, like a storyteller, magician, and juggler to entertain children. Once the parade is over, head down any one of the narrow streets of the North End to explore one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of the city, where you will find some of the best restaurants around.

North End, Boston

Wherever you wish to go this Columbus Day weekend, GotoBus is always ready to help you get there! Visit GotoBus.com to find out more information regarding schedules and rates.

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20

Coastal Fall Travel

Fall in New England

For all of its beauty – the changing leaves, the cool breezes, the ready-to-harvest crops – Fall can be a stressful time. Suddenly, school is back in session, the weather is colder, the days are shorter, and you just can’t shake the feeling that your time to get outdoors and take in the season’s dynamic magnificence is quickly running out.

Here’s what you need to do: grab a pumpkin-spiced latte, sit down at your computer, and head to GotoBus.com, where you will find the best rates on round-trip bus tickets, and choose from the many destinations listed, so you can get a nice, relaxing break amidst the vibrant foliage of Autumn.
 

New England is probably the one region most closely associated with the Autumn season, as it features the most visible changes to its foliage, as well as a long tradition of harvest fairs, Halloween thrills, and various other seasonal celebrations to herald the season. The city of Boston loves to celebrate fall in style with the Head of the Charles Regatta, a two-day rowing race that attracts over 9,000 participants and countless more spectators each year, making it the largest race of its kind in the world. You can watch the boats pass by underneath the leisurely shade on the banks of the Charles River. Another classic New England activity during this season is the month-long Halloween festivities in Salem, MA, the site of the infamous witch trials in colonial times. This small, coastal city, a short train ride from Boston, has retained much of its colonial demeanor. There are numerous “spooky” tours you can choose from; themed museums, haunted houses, and eateries; as well as not one, but several psychics who all promise to see into your future. That’s right – if you don’t like the sound of your fortune, you can just get a new one from a different psychic. Round-trip bus tickets from New York to Boston start at just $36.

Head of the Charles Regatta

 
Another potential idea, for those customers on the West Coast, is exploring one of the absolutely breathtaking parks located in that region. Okay, maybe the mammoth California redwood trees of Muir Woods, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, don’t change colors in the fall, and their humbling size and majesty remain constant year-round. But these trees are each hundreds of years old, and this fact, coupled with the inherent otherworldly atmosphere of Autumn, creates a truly mystical quality in Muir Woods. Even the name of the region itself – “Muir” – seems to come straight from The Lord of the Rings (John Muir was actually a 19th-century environmentalist and early proponent of wilderness preservation). While there will not be a vast number of visual changes to the scenery, for those of you on the West Coast this fall, an excursion to Muir Woods, or any one of California’s many other redwood sanctuaries, makes for an enticing outing. Bring the kids, and let their imaginations run wild in this fantasy landscape! Bus tickets from Los Angeles to San Francisco start at just $80.

Muir Woods National Monument

 Don’t let yourself feel all cooped up indoors; get out now to capture the exquisite beauty of Autumn. There is no reason to wait! Visit GotoBus.com and choose your perfect destination now.

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