Are you excited to return to campus? but before doing so, kick back on a cool trip!
Unless you spent the past few months at a research station in Antarctica, you will have probably noticed that we’re in the dog days of summer when the weather is at its muggiest, and the next school year is looming overhead like a dark shadow. Yikes! Pretty soon, all you college students out there will be saying bye to Mom, Dad, and your friends from back home, and either returning to your buddies on campus or heading there for the first time. It’s such a fun, yet challenging experience. At GotoBus, we think we’ve got a great idea: why don’t you grab a few of your friends together to set out on an affordable trip to one of the country’s best cities? There are so many hip activities happening all over, from music festivals to interactive exhibits at museums and more. We’ll be happy to help you kick back on a cool trip before returning to campus with a few last-minute event suggestions occurring across the U.S.A.
The Palace of Fine Arts is an absolutely beautiful monument, originally built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition. These days, it hosts art exhibits and other events, but any groups going to San Francisco should check out some of the games the facility hosts, such as scavenger hunts, which are fun for families, and friends. For a more intensive game that will test how well you and your friends can work together as a team, reserve tickets for the Great Houdini Escape Room. This puzzle challenge was originally designed by Harry Houdini himself, the most famous illusionist of all time, for the 1915 Exhibition, and is now celebrating its 100th year. Your group will have 80 minutes to solve a series of puzzles in an effort to get out. Keep in mind that only about 25 percent of teams are successful, so be sure to call your smartest friends!
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.
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.
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.
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
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Playtime for the whole family. One more trip before the summer ends, please!
Alas! Summer is coming to an end, and, as always, it was too short. Kids are dreading the approach of the school year, and their parents are wishing they had one last opportunity to escape the stresses of work and enjoy the beautiful weather. Fortunately, there is still time to book a perfect family getaway and end the summer with a bit of playtime for the whole family. Below, we have listed some of our favorite cities, each with one amazing playground for the kids and a nightlife event for the adults.
A section of the larger Tribeca, Manhattan, this is not a traditional playground, with swings and jungle-gyms, although there is a large slide that is sure to leave your kids laughing. Teardrop Park is marked by heaving rock formations that help to hide the surrounding city, giving this place an atmosphere of calm seclusion amid the hustle-and-bustle of the country’s busiest city. Along with the slide, the park features a large sandbox area, a tunnel under one of the rock formations, a reading circle, multiple sitting greens, and the “water rocks,” a fountain built into one of the rocks.
Founded in the Alphabet City neighborhood of Manhattan in 1973 to give the city’s large population of Puerto Rican writers a venue to showcase their talents (“Nuyorican” is a term for a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent), this is one of New York’s best performing arts venues. Striving to give voice to artists who would otherwise be underrepresented in mainstream culture, the Nuyorican hosts a diverse array of events, from theater and music pieces to slam poetry every Friday night.
Wow! This is a one-of-a-kind playground, located in Berkeley across the bay from San Francisco, and is sure to make parents envy their children. It features forts, boats, and towers, all designed by children, for children. Kids can go wild on the zip-line, or get in touch with their creative sides by painting. It is recommended to wear sturdy shoes (no sandals or flip-flops!) and clothes that can get wet and dirty. See the park’s website for a full list of rules and other information.
Held at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, a facility showcasing “how the world works” through engaging, interactive scientific exhibits After Dark is a nighttime series for adults only that mixes science, art, cocktails – a winning trio. Each night focuses on a different topic, with names like “Tricks Are Treats” and “Decay.” This show offers it all: live performance, film, music, technology, alcohol, stimulating conversation – there is something for everyone. Visit the Exploratorium website for a full event schedule and a list of After Dark themes.
A newly redesigned playground that still retains the look of an older, wooden playground, Kemp Playground, north of Harvard Square, has structures built on small hills and sand that facilitate climbing, swinging, and sliding, with areas suitable for all young ages from toddlers up. The mission of its designers was to create a space that incorporated both playing and learning about the surrounding world.
The second stage of Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater (ART), Oberon mixes theatrical performance into a nightclub setting, featuring many shows, both temporary and regular, that usually would not get the same attendance on the ART’s mainstage. Many of these shows are interactive, such as the highly popular “Donkey Show,” a disco-reimagining of William Shakespeare’s beloved play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, complete with divas, roller skates, and glitter, held every Saturday Night. Visit the ART’s website for a full event schedule and other information.
Don’t miss out on your chance to be the “cool parent” and book an awesome trip to one of these cities, or any of the other destinations you can find on GotoBus.com, where you can easily book both your bus tickets and hotel stay together to save even more!
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:
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you thinking about where to go for Labor Day Weekend 2013? Do you like to party? Have you thought about visiting San Francisco? If they answer to all of those questions is YES, then you need to check out what is happening in San Francisco this Labor Day Weekend. The construction on the new Bay Bridge has finally been completed and they will hold an enormous celebration both for Labor Day as well as the completion of such a monumental bridge (they will even be closing the bridge for this event).
Bring your dance shoes and empty stomachs; this is one event you don’t want to miss. Book your ticket today to visit San Francisco.
The well known bus service provider, CA Shuttle, is resuming their operations from Los Angeles to San Francisco, starting July 11th. Starting at only $15, travelers can enjoy upscale bus services between Greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Greater Bay Area including free wifi service.
CA Shuttle allows passengers to bring up to two pieces of luggage (30 lbs each) convenient for the longer vacations or to those indecisive on what to wear. If your preferred mode of transportation is bicycling, you are able to bring your bikes on the trip as well, for a small additional fee. Passengers are also allowed to bring their loved ones: small pets can be transported in a pet cage when not taking up an extra seat. They have daily operating services between Los Angeles, San Francisco and greater Bay Area to be convenient with your busy schedule. CA Shuttle makes it easy to bring the important things of your life with you as you travel the coast of California.
Customers booking their CA Shuttle bus tickets on GotoBus.com are welcome to stay green, and bring their e-tickets on a smartphone to board the bus.
GotoBus.com features the best selection in affordable bus transportation options in the United States. This Memorial Day Weekend, you can save hundreds by choosing to travel by bus over plane, train, and automobile. Our low rates beat other means of transportation and leave more money in your pocket for whatever you’ve planned this holiday weekend.
Spending the weekend in New York City? Want to let the good times roll in Las Vegas? We’ve got great fares to popular destinations all over the country!