Celebrate the Holidays Across the U.S.

West Coast, East Coast & Other Places in Between. Celebrate the Holidays Across the U.S.

Celebrate the Holidays Across the U.S.
Rockefeller Center in Winter, New York City

GotoBus.com can help take you many places, and during the holiday season there is more demand for quick-and-easy travel options than ever. In addition to just taking you to Mom’s house for your holiday, though, we can zip you to a number of holiday celebrations all across the country! Below are some of our favorite festivities in some of the biggest cities as well as handy links for quick trip booking.

Continue reading “Celebrate the Holidays Across the U.S.”

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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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Unique Labor Day Weekend Ideas

Beach sunset

Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, making it the last chance for many to take advantage of the weather and their time off from work or school. But the traditional vacation itinerary of jetting off to a private, secluded island to drink cocktails on the beach is a little cliche, not to mention out of the average traveler’s budget. There are all sorts of unique events around the country on Labor Day Weekend, and GotoBus.com offers affordable rates to get you wherever you wish to go. Below, we’ve listed some one-of-a-kind cultural events in a few of our favorite cities:

  

Boston, Massachusetts

International Bacon Day (August 31st)

*Sizzle*. Is that the sound of the summer sun burning your skin? No! It’s the sound of succulent strips of bacon cooking on a skillet. International Bacon Day, observed annually on the Saturday before Labor Day, was first established in 2000 by residents of nearby Bedford, MA. While there is no official events commemorating the most delicious holiday, why not take a trip to Boston, the largest city near Bacon Day’s birthplace, and partake in some bacon-filled dishes at any number of the city’s excellent restaurants or food trucks?

Boston Arts Festival

This annual festival, held in Christopher Columbus Park, showcases the best of local visual and performance art. Artists set up kiosks to sell their work, while some kind of performance is always happening. Previous festivals have held exhibits on glassblowing, wood carving, painting, and much more. Many artists also hold workshops on these techniques, allowing visitors to participate and learn firsthand the skills required to, for instance, blow glass. On the second night, the festival is concluded with an impressive fireworks display over Boston Harbor. More information is available on the city of Boston’s website.

 
New York, New York

Labor Day Carnival

New York’s major Labor Day celebration – a.k.a. the West Indian-American Carnival – is an annual festival in Brooklyn that attracts anywhere between one to three million participants each year. The main event is the parade, in which groups representative of the numerous Caribbean Islands (Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.) march down the Eastern Parkway, adorned with splendid, vibrant clothing of their native land. The parade is only part of the overall carnival, with various musical and artistic performances rounding out the bill. You can find the entire schedule for the carnival here.

NYC Unicycle Festival

This has got to be one of the more interesting themes for a festival. Each year on Governor’s Island, participants and spectators gather for two days full of one-wheeled fun. There are races and other competitions, world-famous cyclists giving exhibitions of their tricks, and games of basketball and hockey played entirely on unicycles. While you don’t need to know how to ride a unicycle to enjoy the festival, you will not find a better place to learn how. Find out all you need to know and more about the NYC UniFest from its official website.
 
San Francisco, California

Colorfest

A special feature for Summer 2014 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, an incredible museum whose goal is to “explain how the world works,” Colorfest is a collection of exhibits that all deal with how the human eye interacts with color. With over thirty exhibits, including laser demonstrations, an examination of color in the Mayan world, and a lecture on color in chemistry, there is no shortage of information to interest you. Colorfest is an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about a topic that we generally do not think about too often.

  

Labor Day Weekend is swiftly approaching, so you do not want to miss your chance to experience something new and different. Book tickets through GotoBus.com to find your perfect price and get on your way!

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Make Your July 4th POP!

July 4 fireworks

While many American holidays come packaged with visions of barbecues and beers with family and friends, only the Fourth of July brings to mind so clearly one word: FIREWORKS. Around the country, towns and cities will be lighting up the night sky with those festive explosives we all know and love.

In celebration of America’s birthday and the explosive fun that comes along with it, we’ve taken inventory of the firework shows in some of the largest US cities.

 

 

Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular – Boston, Massachusetts

This unique fireworks/classical music extravaganza is broadcast nationwide and has featured performances by those such as Neil Diamond and Martina McBride. This year, the show over the Charles River gets underway at 8:30pm and runs until 11:00pm. Get to the Esplanade early for a good seat, or just watch from afar in your favorite cozy spot on the river! Check out this video from last year’s spectacle:

 

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Live from the Brooklyn Bridge – New York, New York

Now in its 38th year, Macy’s annual explosive celebration is everything you’d expect a New York City party to be: big, loud, and bright! This star-studded event is hosted by Nick Cannon, and features performances by Enrique Iglesias, Lionel Richie, and Ariana Grande. The event is free to attend, with more than two miles of public viewing space along the Hudson cleared specially for the event. Things kick off at 8:00pm, though it’s recommended to arrive as early as possible for the best views.

 

Fireworks at the Navy Pier – Chicago, Illinois

Weirdly, the city of Chicago doesn’t have an official Independence Day display. Fortunately for those in the Windy City and surrounding areas, the Navy Pier has picked up the slack and now hosts an annual show (in addition to smaller fireworks shows throughout the summer). The big event starts at 9:30pm. For a unique twist on the experience, guests may want to look into taking one of the many fireworks cruises offered for a chance to see the fireworks from the water while enjoying a drink or even dinner!

 

Americafest at the Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California

Southern California’s biggest celebration takes place in Pasadena, CA, about 20 minutes outside central Los Angeles. For nearly a century, the Rose Bowl has hosted an Independence Day party like no other. This year, festivities get started at 2:00pm and run through 9:30pm. There will be motorcycle stunt shows, live musical performances, and, of course, the biggest fireworks show in SoCal. Tickets to the event start at about $17 per person for general admission.

 

Fun on the Fourth at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

From the top of the tower at the Stratosphere, visitors to Las Vegas will be able to see both the hotel’s own show as well as any other fireworks shows that might be going on in Vegas. Things open up at 6:00pm, and the celebrations also feature a concert and pool party (admission for the pool party is 21+). Admission to the Tower for the show is $10 for those staying at the hotel and $28 for non-hotel-guests.

 

 

If you’re looking to get to one of the big bangs this holiday, remember to book your transportation with GotoBus.com! But book soon, as seats for this popular travel weekend are filling up quickly.

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Fun February Events

Traveling

February is the last hurrah of winter, and most people are starting to get a little stir-crazy. But never fear! February still offers many activities, outdoor and otherwise, for the enterprising traveller. As always, we here at GotoBus are here to distill the events in major US cities down to their essence for your benefit. Below, check out our picks for top big-market events and activities in the shortest month of the year:

New York City

  • NYC Restaurant Week is a bit of a misnomer- this culinary celebration actually occurs over a few weeks from February 17 through March 7. Check out the official site or Facebook page for full details and a list of the nearly-300 participating restaurants. You can get a 3-course lunch for $25 or a 3-course dinner for $38 at participating eateries. Saturdays are not included in this price, and Sundays are optional. Don’t forget that beverages, tips, and taxes are not included.
  • The ever-popular Rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village has free skating until March 2! Whether you’re an old pro or have never donned skates before, this is a perfect family (or date!) activity. The rink is open Sunday through Thursday, 8:00am to10:00pm; plus Friday and Saturday, 8:00am to12:00am.
  • The New York City Police Museum is featuring a special exhibit showcasing testimonials and artifacts having to do with the NYPD response on 9/11. With a suggested donation for admission of $5, this is a unique chance to celebrate the heroism and appreciate the commitment of those who protected us on that fateful day.

Boston

  • The Boston Wine Expo on February 15 and 16 at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center is the perfect event for those over the age of 21. There will be over 185 wineries from around the world, 2 celebrity chef stages, and local Boston restaurants and food vendors with booths. Admission ($75 if you purchase on the 14th or before) includes a Boston Wine Expo souvenir glass, a complete guide with all the wine vendors and facts about the expo, access to the wine samples, complimentary food, and the chance to view live cooking demonstrations.
  • What better a way to celebrate President’s Day than to head to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to honor Boston’s very own former president? In addition to having a large amount of Kennedy family memorabilia archived there, they also have the world’s largest archive dedicated to of Ernest Hemingway.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts down by Northeastern University hosts the Cogan Family Foundation Vacation Week Adventures during February winter break. Check this link for the latest on planned activities. They run from 10:00am to 4:00pm on weekdays (except Wednesday, which will run until 8:00pm). There is FREE admission for kids all week, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

Washington D.C.

  • Celebrate George Washington’s 282nd birthday at Mount Vernon. The wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 10:00am. There will also be special music and military performances on the Bowling Green.
  • The Juilliard School has some upcoming stage performances: On February 18, students will play Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 1 and Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1. On the 19th, there is an organ showcase. Attend these performances free at the Kennedy Center or view them online.
  • Attend a play this month! “Richard III” will be at the Folder Elizabethan Theatre through March 9th. With tickets starting at only $30, this is the perfect activity for those looking to broaden their artistic horizons.

California

  • The Concert for Heroes, a benefit for The Seal NSW Family Foundation, is taking place at Belly Up Solana Beach in San Diego on February 18. Doors open at 7:00pm, and you can buy tickets for $15 in advance or $17 at the door. The show is 21+. For a complete list of those performing, please visit the event site.
  • Love flowers? Love music? The Pacific Orchid Exposition in San Francisco, which runs from February 20 to February 23, is the place for you. This year’s theme is “Orchids and All That Jazz,” combining orchids with the classical feel of traditional jazz music. General admission tickets start at just $13.
  • Running through March 16, Cirque du Soleil’s Totem is a must-see in Santa Monica! Described as “a fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind,” tickets and showtimes vary, so be sure to check out their site for the latest information.

Nationwide

  • Across the country, there is FREE admission to all National Parks from February 15 through 17 for Presidents’ Day Weekend! Get out and explore the amazing historical sites our country has to offer.
  • Still not satisfied? Never fear: there are so many things to do wherever you may be. We recommend signing up for Meetup as a way to connect with nearby folks with similar interests who also want to get out and do things.
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It’s Wintertime in the City!

Balloons

Thanksgiving and the rest of the winter holiday season are on our doorstep, and for those who revel in winter festivities, there is no destination like New York City! So for those headed to the Northeast in the coming months, we’ve compiled a list of awesome and fun things to do and see with family and friends. Remember to book your bus to New York as far in advance as possible, as seats sell out quickly, and shows are booked early!

Here are our picks for the best of NYC’s famous winter attractions:

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: November 28, 9:00am

Now in its 87th year, this spectacular parade is viewed by nearly 50 million people at home and in the streets annually. A staple of the holiday season, its famous balloons have served as plot devices on both Seinfeld and Friends. New balloon additions this year include Finn and Jake from Adventure Time as well as a special 75th-Anniversary Wizard of Oz balloon that is more than three stories high and has 90 handlers. This year’s floats include the new Dreidel balloon-vehicle as well as a Cirque du Soleil performance float and the classic “Big Apple” collection of New York landmarks. The NYPD Marching Band, among others, will be providing music. As always, the parade will end with Santa riding down the road and ushering in the Christmas season. If you want to go see the parade in person, you will need to get into the city well before the 9:00am start time to secure a spot on the sidewalk.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular: November 8 – December 30

If you grew up anywhere near New York City, you’ve probably seen this world-famous show multiple times. It began in 1933 and has since become a staple of the NYC holiday season. It features more than 140 performers and includes live animals, but its most well-known act is the Rockettes dance troupe and their renown kickline. The perfect treat for wide-eyed children, this show tells the story of Santa’s journey around the world on Christmas Eve. Tickets for November performances are as low as $39 a head, but the closer the show date is to December 25 itself, the more expensive tickets get, so starting your holiday a little early could be both a fun and cost-effective way to spend a weekend in the city.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

It’s been featured everywhere from Futurama to Serendipity and is at the heart of one of New York’s most famous landmarks. The ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike and offers a one-of-a-kind winter experience. Admission to the rink is $15 for children under the age of 11 and seniors and $27 for adults plus $12 per person if renting skates (though guests are more than welcome to bring their own). Special rates are available by reservation for groups of 15 or more. This is a favorite winter-date activity as well!

The 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting: December 4, 7:00pm

This star-studded event completes the ambiance of holiday fervor that settles over New York City during December. The lighting of the tree has been a yearly event since 1933 and is broadcast nationwide. The tree is selected very carefully, and in the past has come from as far away as Ottawa (although usually it is from somewhere in the American Northeast). The tree averages just over 70 feet, and is covered in more than five miles of lights. The star at the top is nine-and-a-half feet in diameter and weighs in at just over a quarter-ton. Like most events in New York, those who wish to attend should arrive well before the official start time if they hope to get a good seat for the ceremony itself.

So bundle up and enjoy the cheer! The most wonderful time of the year is on the doorstep, and New York is ready to celebrate.

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Labor Day Weekend Deals!

Happy Labor Day Weekend – Check Out the End of Summer Deals

Labor Day Weekend Deals!
Philadelphia skyline and Ben Franklin Bridge at dusk, USA

Are you planning on going away for Labor Day Weekend? Don’t forget we have some great deals on bus tickets to bring you to some popular destinations around the country for Labor Day Weekend.

Check out these schedules to travel around the country:

Boston to New York – Starting at $11

Washington DC to New York – Starting at $20

Charlotte to New York – Starting at $59

Orlando to New York – Starting at $90

Los Angeles to Las Vegas – Starting at $25

Los Angeles to San Francisco– Starting at $40

Book your tickets today to enjoy an end of summer getaway! For more information visit http://www.gotobus.com/bus-tickets/

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Bus + Hotel packages can save you a bundle!

You know that GotoBus.com is the one-stop shop destination for bus services. Our schedules provide you with up to the minute bus info for all of your favorite routes. But what you might not know is that GotoBus is also a great place to book your hotel reservations. In fact, when you book a hotel along with your bus ticket, you automatically save an additional 5% off our already low prices!

Packages to Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Boston, Washington, DC, and more! With hotel options all over the world, you’ll always be able to find accommodations to bundle with your next bus trip. Perfect for holiday weekends, casino trips, or just spending time in the city… bus and hotel services from GotoBus are a match made in heaven!

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The Grand Canyon – Springtime Beauty

Springtime is a great time of year to visit the iconic Grand Canyon. The clear air and moderate daytime temperatures during the Spring make for great views and a very comfortable environment. And with our fantastic Grand Canyon deals, you’ll be able to save big on your vacation.

For a limited time, you can take a 3-Day Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Grand Canyon Tour for $95 per person using this special coupon code. To make the deal even better, the 3rd member of your group gets their ticket for free! Along with many other Grand Canyon Tours on GotoBus.com and TakeTours.com, the semi-guided format provides structure for the tour but also enough free time to enjoy the sites.

4-Day Grand Circle National Parks Tour – From LA/Las VegasFrom $268

4-Day Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Tour from LA – 3 nights in Las VegasFrom $149

SF to Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon 4-Day TourFrom $269

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Adventures in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is an authentic slice of American wilderness. As the country’s first national park, Yellowstone is home to some incredible iconic sights. Old Faithful Geyser, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Mammoth Hot Springs attract millions of tourists every year.

Yellowstone National Park

Did you know that Yellowstone is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined? There’s just so much to see, let GotoBus and TakeTours make it easy for you. GotoBus.com and TakeTours.com are bringing you the best selection of tours to Yellowstone. Make use of our special promotions on select tours! You can earn 5% off for large groups or even get a free ticket when you book two!

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