Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus


Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Back to School

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.

San Francisco

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!

The Exploratorium is a science museum whose mission is to “change the way the world learns,” and it more than meets that goal with a vast collection of interactive exhibits that combine science, art, and human thought into one of San Francisco’s best experiences. Located at Piers 15 and 17 in the city’s Embarcadero district, the venue hosts an After Dark event every Thursday night for anyone aged 18 and up, mixing the best parts of science and nightlife for an eye-opening evening. Their event on September 3rd is called Figuring (6-10pm, $15), and will preview some of the Exploratorium’s new math-based exhibits.

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California


Miami was a big venue in the 1950s for Latin musicians and lounge jazz singers, and you can relive those glory days by attending An Evening at the Copacabana on September 26th. A 10-piece Latin band will perform the music of legends like Tito Puente, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and much more, accompanied by singers, dancers, showgirls, and artists in an exciting throwback show.

Food trucks are a huge success these days, and it’s no surprise. They are like traveling restaurants, stopping at key locations throughout cities to provide people on the go with quick, delicious meals. It’s a really special moment when a group of them gather together, letting customers sample a wide variety of different cuisines. And after getting a large sampling of food, doesn’t it sound like a great idea to sit down and enjoy some killer tunes? That’s what you can do at the Miami Beach Food Truck and Music Fest, which is held on the 4th Wednesday every month in the North Shore Bandshell-Ocean Terrace area. The food trucks will be out from 5-10pm, and the participating local restaurants have fantastic names, like Ms. Cheezious, Catered Bliss, Health Nut, Fireman Derrick, Hip Pop, and Coffee Break, among many others. The music will last from 6-9pm.

Located in the heart of Miami Beach’s famous Art Deco district, the Wolfsonian-FIU is a museum affiliated with the local Florida International University. Though normally open from 10am-6pm for $7 admission, the Wolfsonian hosts a Free Friday Happy Hour every week from 6-9pm. Visitors at these times will be treated to free tours of the facility’s permanent and temporary collections. On top of that, there is usually some kind of musical performance involved to provide pleasant background noise while you admire the museum’s artwork.

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Miami, Florida


Though it’s never gone away, jazz music is making a huge comeback in mainstream popularity. It’s a highly diverse genre, and one of America’s most important cultural movements. Knowing even a little bit about jazz will make you seem really cultured to all your new college friends. Historically, Chicago has always been a haven for these skilled musicians, and if you’re planning to travel to Chicago in early September, you can head the Shedd Aquarium, Chi-town’s amazing venue for showcasing marine life, to see Jazzin’ at the Shedd every Wednesday night at 5pm until September 9th. Admission is $18 when you book online ($20 at the door), and allows you to hear a wide sampling of fantastic jazz musicians. On top of that, your admission will grant you access to some of the aquarium’s best features, including the Abbott Oceanarium, the Polar Play Zone, the Amphibians special exhibit, Wild Reed, and a few more. Though you wouldn’t think that swinging tunes and learning about aquatic life could go together, the Shedd Aquarium is out to defy all expectations.

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Chicago, Illinois

New York City

Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art is one of the coolest places to go in the city. There are always special exhibits and events running in this huge facility. On September 2nd and 3rd at 1:30pm, the MoMA will be hosting an interactive discussion called Word/Image/Word as part of its Gallery Sessions series. In the sessions, the group will be examining the paintings of Jacob Lawrence, a painter who is best remembered for his depictions of African-American life in the 20th century, specifically his Migration series. The talk will focus on understanding the relationship between the images in the paintings and the way you as an audience reacts in your own words, represented by the writing session that follows. There, guests will record their personal experiences with the art. This will be a great story in your Art History 101 class!

The MoMA also hosts film screenings on a daily basis. One of its current series called Scorsese Screens runs until September 6th. Centered around the films of acclaimed director Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Departed, Goodfellas), this series will show many of the classic films that influenced his style of quick-paced gangster films, as well as some of the director’s own work, including the iconic Taxi Driver on September 4th and 6th, which stars a young Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle, a troubled and sleepless young man prowling the streets of New York each night in his yellow taxi. This disturbing tale of alienation in a dirty, urban environment is famous for the often-quoted scene in which Travis asks himself in a mirror, “Are you talkin’ to me?”

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Times Square, New York City


Known as a center for learning, Beantown is home to a large number of college students. Those new to the city should be sure to check out the Museum of Science, which can found on a piece of land that sits above the Charles River in Boston. All the standard exhibits are interesting, such as the Lightning! Room, which explores how electricity acts. The Museum is proud to announce a special world premier performance of The Hidden Code in the Charles Hayden Planetarium. Much like San Francisco’s Exploratorium, this show combines art and science in a way that’s never quite been done before. Mixing richly-toned electronic music and poetry with the scientific fields of astronomy, biology, engineering, and psychology, the show will feature new music by DJ Spooky, a performance by theoretical physicist and saxophonist (wow!) Stephon Alexander, and a reading of original poetry by physicist and author Marcelo Gleiser. This is a can’t-miss experience! Ticket sales begin September 3rd.

LEGOLAND recently opened up its Discovery Center in Somerville, MA in May 2014, and in the little, over a year it’s been open, the center has already proven to be a huge hit. From 7-9pm on September 16th, LEGOLAND will host an Adult Night for any grown-ups who don’t feel too old to play with these amazing building blocks, for $22.95. This night will include games, prizes, and a bar for anyone at least 21 years of age. On top of that, guests to this event may also earn the chance to compete in the upcoming Brick Factor, an LEGO-building competition.

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Boston, Massachusetts

Los Angeles

This one for all you hipsters who want to expand their record collections before heading off to school. Origami Vinyl in Los Angeles is now hosting a free Record Club every Tuesday starting at 9pm. This 21+ event will be held at El Prado Bar. Guests are encouraged to bring a record of their own to play for the group’s appreciation. If you do, you’re eligible for a free drink for spreading the joy of music. However, you have to be on your toes to sign up to bring a record, since you must do so a week in advance. This is the perfect event for music lovers who will be out in the City of Angels!

Kick Back on a Cool Trip Before Returning to Campus
Los Angeles, California is a leading online marketplace for affordable bus tickets. Adding new routes all the time, we make it our goal to provide you with the most convenient travel experience possible. Since you can also purchase your hotel stay right on our site, and save even more when you book your bus tickets and hotel together, GotoBus is your one-stop-shop for all travel needs.