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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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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Events for DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival

HAPPY SPRING! Winter is finally gone, so why not celebrate by seeing the blooming of gorgeous flowers? Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from March 20 through April 13, and it is truly the embodiment of everything springtime means.

Cherry Blossom

HAPPY SPRING! Winter is finally gone, so why not celebrate by seeing the blooming of gorgeous flowers? Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from March 20 through April 13, and it is truly the embodiment of everything springtime means. This year, the flowers are expected to bloom from about April 8 to the 12. Take a look at the live blossom cam streaming from Washington Monument for a sneak peak!

Here’s a quick run-down of the best events happening during the festival, but for a complete list you can check out their website or download the official Cherry Blossom Festival app here.

 

  • Cherry Blossomin’ with Art, Wine & a Play: This unique experience includes bottomless wine (yes, bottomless!) for guests ages 21+. Participants are asked to paint sections of stage scenery, which will then be shown to actors who will be put on the spot to act out the play based on the artwork. You will also be allowed to take home your artwork at the end of the night! Tickets are $65 for those participating in the painting and $40 for those who just want to watch the impromptu play and have some wine. March 21 and 22, 6:30 pm, 8:15 pm, and 9:30 pm | March 21: 3047 15th Street NW; March 22: The B Spot- 1123 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

  • Tidal Basin Paddle Boats: Rent a paddle boat and float along the famous tidal basin in full view of both the Cherry Blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial. The cost is $14 per hour for a 2-passenger boat and $22 per hour for a 4-passenger boat. We recommend making a reservation online in advance to save time as well as the hassle of waiting in lines. Please note, life vests are required to be worn at all times and there must be a passenger at least 16 years of age onboard. March 20 through April 13, 10:00am – 5:00pm | 1501 Maine Avenue SW

  • American Art Museum Cherry Blossom Family Celebration: If you’re looking for an excuse to head to a museum, this is it! Celebrate the cherry blossoms by participating in many hands-on activities, such as Japanese screen painting, gardening demonstrations, and scavenger hunts. This event is perfect for adults and kids of all ages, so come along and make learning fun! April 12, 11:30am – 3:00pm | Smithsonian American Art Museum Kogod Courtyard

  • Family Days presented with the National Building Museum: Another free event with great set of hands-on activities for families, this interactive exhibit features activities such as crafting paper cherry blossoms, making your own balloon flowers, origami demonstrations, and more. Additionally, the winners from the Community Art Show will have their artwork on display. For the younger crowd, Cookie Monster will even be making a special appearance! March 22, 10:00am – 4:00pm; March 23, 11:00am – 4:00pm | National Building Museum, 401 F Street
  • Cherry Blast: Art + Music Dance Party: This space was a church in a former life, but it now houses this unique and completely interactive non-traditional art exhibit/dance party combo featuring performance and visual art. If you want to attend, make a reservation now as tickets are expected to sell out! March 29, 7:00pm – 12:00am, $15 entrance fee, 21+ | Blind Whino, 734 1st Street
  • Blossom Kite Festival: Celebrate the arrival of spring by participating in the fourth-annual Blossom Kite Festival. See the kite-flying masters hard at work at features like the Hot Tricks Showdown and the Rokkaku Battle. You can even register to participate in the contents yourself! Watch the kites fill the air, bring your own, or even let your kids make their own kites. With many areas to enjoy including the Competition and Demonstration field, Family Field, and the Public Field, this event is sure to please everyone. March 29, 10:00am – 4:30pm | Washington Monument Grounds
  • Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival: This rain-or-shine event is free to attend and gives guests more than eight hours of entertainment. Between the music, food, and many family-friendly water activities, there is no reason to not attend! April 5, 1:00pm – 9:00 pm | Southwest Waterfront, 600-900 Water Street

 

Get in the spirit of spring and book your bus tickets to Washington, DC today on GotoBus.com!

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Cities with a View!

We are just about halfway through winter, and if we aren’t mistaken, some of you must be getting cabin fever and needing some ideas for new adventures. Well, good news! We have done some research, and humbly submit you to our picks for the best city views from some of the most famous big-city locations! Plan a trip and see the sights as never before– from above.

Boston

Boston
Boston skyline
  • Top of the Hub doubles as a restaurant and lounge, AND it is undoubtedly Beantown’s best view of the city. Serving brunch, lunch, cocktails, and dinner, this place is constantly filled with Boston residents and tourists alike. At an astonishing 52 floors above the ritzy Back Bay neighborhood, Top of the Hub sits at the apex of the famous Prudential Tower. Voted as one of the best restaurants in Boston, the Hub also has live jazz music to add to the ambiance. They even have prix-fixe lunch menus Monday through Friday, and are available to host private events!
  • The current Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) building opened in 2006 and was the first art museum built in Boston in over a century. We won’t lie… it’s not necessarily the prettiest-looking building, but it certainly is very unique! The most notable part of the building is the glass section that juts out on top and seems to float above Boston Harbor, giving those visiting a spectacular view! Check out ICA’s website for current information on exhibits and special events. Be sure to keep up-to-date on schedules for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition, where you can see divers from around the world jump (and by jump, we mean gracefully dive) from the top of the ICA building. Trust us, it’s a wonderful spectacle. One of our staff members attended this past summer, and she swears there is nothing like it! Side note: Is it summer yet?
  • Looking for an adventure that takes you a little outside the hustle and bustle? We recommend checking out Blue Hills in Milton! After a hike to the top, you can catch a spectacular view of the city from 635 feet up at Great Blue Hill Observation Tower! Open year-round, this is a great place to hike with your family and pets any time of year. Their easy color-coded trails will help you stay on the right path. We recommend picking up a map (and maple candy, yum!) from the information center if you are less familiar with the trails. You will want to make sure you stay on the loop that brings you to the Observation Tower. You can also visit the Trailside Museum with your kids for a quick educational course on nature in the area– they even have live animal demonstrations.

Chicago

Skydeck Chicago
Skydeck Chicago
  • Step out onto the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower for a view like no other. At 1353 feet in the air, the specially-designed glass-box platform extends about 4 feet from the building. You’ve got nothing to fear- each viewing platform box has 3 layers of 1/2 inch thick glass, all mushed into 1 tempered piece for maximum safety. Have a fear of heights and want to skip stepping out in to the platform? No problem! Experience it virtually with videos to show you what the view would be like if you stood out there.
  • The Signature Room at the 95th is located on top of the John Hancock Center. This restaurant has a fantastic 360 degree view of the city. Be sure to check the dress code for each meal (listed on the restaurant’s web site) for tips on how to dress. Looking to stop by for a quick bite to eat, cocktail, or just to view the city without the full sit-down dining experience? Check out the Signature Lounge. Those under 21 are permitted to attend between the hours of 11am and 7pm with an adult or guardian; after 7pm, the Lounge is 21+ only. Don’t forget to check out its Restaurant Week fixed menu.
  • Promontory Point in Burnham Park is right on Chicago’s lakefront. Come here in the warmer months for a nice stroll around the park, to spark up one of their barbecues, or just to sit on its many rocks and take in the gorgeous city view, or swing by in the winter for a brisk stroll. Many events are also held here, including weddings. Here’s some fun facts- this view was featured in the opening credits of 90s television show Family Matters, and the (in)famous Star Wars director George Lucas had his wedding here this past summer.

New York

Empire State Building
Empire State Building
  • The Empire State Building stands at over a quarter mile above The Big Apple. The famous Observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors have been open to the public since 1931, and you are able to visit them 365 days a year! The last elevators to the top go up at 1:15 am, but if you are looking for exercise or are brave enough, you are welcome to climb its 1,872 steps to the top floor. The 37th Annual Empire State Building Run-Up on February 5th features athletes who race to the 86th floor in under 10 minutes! Wow!
  • The newly-opened Courtyard-Residence Inn Central Park now holds the title for North America’s tallest hotel! This 68 story building contains two joint hotels: 378 rooms for the Courtyard are located on floors 5 through 33, while the upper levels, 37 through 65, in the Residence Inn are for those staying 5 nights or more. Check out this fabulously edited video for a 1-minute time lapse of the hotel being built.
  • The View Restaurant and Lounge is billed as New York City’s only revolving rooftop eatery and lounge. Wine and dine 48 stories above the City that Never Sleeps. The specially-designed signature revolving floor makes a complete turn every hour, ensuring that guests see the most angles of the world-famous city. Open for Dinner seven days a week and brunch on Sundays, their extensive menu is aimed to please. Like other “restaurants with a view,” this spot has many events, including a special Valentine’s Day fixed menu, wine dinners, and their famous Mimosa Brunches. We recommend using OpenTable to make a reservation.

Washington D.C

The White House
The White House
  • Head to the P.O.V. Lounge in the W Washington DC for an amazing view of the nation’s capital! Visit the 11th floor for an elegant and fun atmosphere that includes a direct view of the White House! Specializing in tapas, this restaurant is perfect for having a small appetizer, sharing meals with friends, and even sipping on cocktails.
  • The Washington National Cathedral sits on one of the highest points in DC and offers a 360-degree view of the city. Visit the Pilgrim Observation Gallery where, on most Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can have a traditional English tea after taking a 1-hour Cathedral tour. On the main level of the Cathedral, you can also attend a free organ demonstration on its 10,650-pipe organ every Monday and Wednesday at 12:30pm. Though Cathedral admission is free, there is a suggested donation of $10. The Gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
  • The Old Post Office Clock Tower is considered part of the Memorial Parks and National Mall, and is just about halfway between the White House and the Capitol building. Standing at 315 feet, it’s the third-tallest building in DC. Visit the observation deck for fantastic panoramic city views from 270 feet in the air, or check out the Bells of Congress located on the 10th floor.

If you are looking for transportation to these remarkable picturesque cities, remember we are here to help. Book your bus tickets today on GotoBus.com!

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History and Exploration on Veterans’ Day

Veterans Day Thank You to our Veterans and Troops

History and Exploration on Veterans’ Day

This coming Monday, November 11, is Veterans’ Day in the US. This special day of remembrance is of great importance for people from New York to Seattle and everywhere in between. Originally established to honor Americans who served in World War I, Veterans’ Day now honors veterans of all wars for their patriotism and willingness to serve in the military and sacrifice for our country.

National memorials and other historic locations across the country are putting on shows and ceremonies on this special day, and all national parks are free to enter for everyone the entire weekend! Best of all, if you’re a history buff with the travel bug, GotoBus can help you get there, with Washington DC bus tickets at affordable prices.

Following are some of our picks for inspiring events in the DC area:

  • Arlington National Cemetery is home to the main event in Washington, DC. At 11:00am, there will be a ceremony at the Memorial Amphitheater. The ceremony is free, but guests are advised to arrive very early, as the theater fills up quickly. At 1:00pm, a ringing ceremony will be held at the Freedom Bell outside the welcome center.
  • The American Freedom Festival will be held at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA on November 10 at 7:30pm. This concert features Lynyrd Skynyrd as the headliner, and proceeds will go toward helping the families of those in the armed forces. Tickets range in price from $25.80 to $104.50 after fees and are available online.
  • Most of the major war memorials in DC will be having wreath-laying ceremonies on Monday, but the Vietnam Women’s Memorial is putting on a special presentation: From 9:00am to noon, and again from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, Vietnam veterans as well as current soldiers will be sharing stories about what it is like to have war directly touch your life.
  • At 11:00am on Monday, Mount Vernon will host a small concert by a veteran’s barbershop quartet that is free of charge and open to the public. At 2:00pm, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at George Washington’s grave. All veterans and active-duty personnel are admitted free all day, and civilians can attend the wreath-laying with regular admittance to Mount Vernon.
  • At noon on Monday at the Navy Memorial in DC, authors David Zimmerman and John Gresham will present the book Uncommon Valor: The Medal of Honor and The Six Warriors Who Earned it in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of an ongoing lecture series about authors of military works.
  • The home of the first major battle of the American Revolution, Manassas, VA, will be hosting a Veterans’ Day Parade on Saturday starting at 11:00am. It is the largest parade in the DC area, and features military bands, vehicles, and marching members of the local veterans’ organizations.
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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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It is America’s Birthday

Each year, people all over the country celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, barbecues, parades, carnivals, and more. It is America’s birthday. It is a time ti celebrate and get to know the country a little better; just hop on a bus and go!

4th of July celebrations are uniquely experienced throughout the different parts of the country. No matter where you are planning your 4th of July getaway, GotoBus.com brings you the most affordable bus travel you can find. Hop on a bus with your friends and travel to New York City or historic Washington DC for the weekend. It is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday, and explore the activities the city has to offer!


If you are planning to visit the Big Apple, don’t miss the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty. After eight months of reparation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the symbol of freedom makes its triumphant return, appropriately, this 4th of July!

For those travelers looking to join the traditional Boston Fireworks over the Charles River, bus fares with Yo!Bus start at only $13. This year, the Boston Pop Orchestra will feature Ayla Brown, Howie Day, Susan Tedeschi, and The Tanglewood Festival Chorus.


At GotoBus.com we want everyone to experience ‘America the Beautiful’ no matter the budget. When you book your bus tickets online, don’t forget you can add a hotel booking and get an additional 5% off.

To find more bus routes, bus tours, and hotels for the Fourth of July weekend visit GotoBus.com.

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This Father’s Day, Be Child of the Year!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and we have a few ideas to help you get Dad the be present: you! We understand that you may be away at college, live far from home, or simply just don’t want to do that long car ride alone. What if we told you we know how you can see your dad, save money, and avoid driving?

Booking a bus ticket with GotoBus is the cheapest and easiest way to make that trip for Dad. If you really want to be ‘child of the year,’ you could even take your dad on a weekend getaway. When you book your bus tickets you can add a hotel booking and get 5% off.

To make planning your journey even easier, we’re sharing some of the great hotels we offer in the most-visited cities:
New York City
Los Angeles
Los Vegas
Washington DC
Orlando

To find more bus routes, tours, and hotels for Father’s Day visit GotoBus.com.

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GotoBus Partner, MVP Bus, Launches Daily Service between New York City & Richmond, VA

GotoBus, the leading online bus ticketing service, is pleased to announce the launch of a new route operated by MVP Bus that will provide daily service between New York City and Richmond, VA. Bus tickets are $35 one way or $60 round trip for this new service that will begin on September 1, 2009.

MVP Bus is well known throughout the mid-Atlantic region as an affordable luxury bus service with conveniently located mid-town bus stops. This new route comes as a welcome expansion to MVP’s current bus services which cover Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City. MVP’s fare information is as follows:

NYC – Richmond, VA ($35/$60)
NYC – Baltimore ($20/$35)
NYC – Washington ($20/$35)

MVP Bus is one of over 200 bus and tour operators, including the Chinatown bus whose services are currently marketed by GotoBus. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. Full schedules and ticketing information can be found at MVP Bus.

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Bus Service from NYC/DC to Norfolk, VA

Sprinter Bus is now offering bus service between NYC and Norfolk, VA. Tickets are currently available for purchase on GotoBus.

NYC <> Norfolk VA Bus Service $35/$60

Why check out Sprinter Bus?
– Free wifi
– Electrical outlets
– 1-2 tables per bus
– Free water
– Priority seating for elderly, small children, and other special needs

UPDATE: DC to Norfolk Service is slated to resume in March 2010. Tickets will be available shortly.

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