Welcome to the US Coachways bus charter travel blog! Read on to find the latest bus charter travel tips and trends, top city events and special offers from US Coachways.

Wine And Dine Your Family And Friends With An Autumn Wedding In Napa Valley

Posted by Ed • Friday, October 31. 2014 • Category: San Francisco

Destination weddings are memorable for not only the bride and groom but for friends and family, too. If you’re in the San Francisco area or want to plan a destination wedding this fall to the Bay Area, look no further than Napa Valley.

Set among its famous vineyards, hills and mountains, Napa Valley offers a wide range of venues for any number of guests to your wedding. From an intimate guest list to invitations to every extended family member, you can find exactly what you’re looking for not far from the San Francisco metro area. Here are some suggested venues from VisitNapaValley.com:

In Rutherford, Auberge du Soleil offers an ethereal atmosphere for an Autumn wedding and reception for two to 120 guests. Auberge du Soleil features a patchwork of fall colors in the vineyards surrounding the property and allows couples to say their vows amidst the hills and mountains of the Napa Valley. The property can help you decide on a reception dinner and has various options for seating a variety of guests - as long as your guest list isn’t too long.

If you’re planning your nuptials in Yountville, Hotel Yountville can help you make your Napa destination wedding as intimate or extravagant as you want. The staff at Hotel Yountville can make your dream wedding come true and ensure no detail is overlooked. The hotel is in the center of Yountville and is within walking distance of many other Napa Valley staples, so your guests will have side excursions once you start your Honeymoon.

Or if you want to get married at a winery, V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena can make it happen. V. Sattui is one of the only wineries in Napa Valley to host weddings on its grounds. The winery is reminiscent of French and Italian wineries and offers detailed manicured lawns alongside its acres of giant oaks and vineyards. You can even have your wedding reception in the wine cellar.

Special Web Offer: If Napa Valley is where you’ve scheduled your destination wedding, you can save 5% with promo code “VINEYARD.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Jan. 1, 2015. Call 1-800-272-0633 or Request a quote now!

The Old Dominion State's Best Bets For Fall Foliage

Posted by Ed • Thursday, October 30. 2014 • Category: Washington DC

Fall foliage is quickly peaking across the nation, and while its past its peak in some parts of Virginia near Washington, D.C., the end of October is the perfect time to take a tour of foliage in the Eastern third of the Old Dominion state.

According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, October 20-31 is peak season for the most vivid colors in changing leaves. From the swampy areas of the coastline near Virginia Beach to the area further inland near Richmond, the dogwoods, oaks and poplars are showing their hues of scarlet, russet and gold.

Just south of Washington, D.C., in Fairfax County, Virginia.org recommends starting your fall foliage tour on the southern end of George Washington Memorial Parkway. They note Mount Vernon is alive at this time of year with many varieties and shades of your favorite fall colors. Virginia.org also recommends Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and Great Falls National Park as places you might not have thought of to see foliage at its peak. All three areas are just a short drive from Washington, D.C.

For more information on Fall Foliage in Virginia, call 1-800-424-LOVE or see the Fall Foliage Report from the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Get Creative At Chastain Park, a Mysterious Dinner and the Art of Smarty Pants

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, October 29. 2014 • Category: Atlanta

Have you ever wanted to be a part of a huge art movement but never found the time for it? Here's your chance to head over to Atlanta's family-friendly park Chastain Park for its annual arts festival. The popular festival is organized by Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces and they have loads of games and art-istic activities for people of all ages. You can then cap the day off with a mysterious dinner at Dead Men: Murder on Madison Ave. 

If there is still more time left on your itinerary, check out Smarty Pants at Alan Avery Art Company, featuring artwork from Californian artist, Kathryn Jacobi.

Chastain Park Arts Festival

4469 Stella Dr., Atlanta, GA 30327

Saturday from 10.00am - 6.00pm

Sunday from 11.00am - 5.00pm

Along with fall comes friendly, sunny weather and more events in Atlanta for kids and families alike. One of the events that have captured the hearts of local Atlanta residents since its introduction in 2005 is the Chastain Park Arts Festival which is a family-friendly event organized by The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces.

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The Start Of A Witchy Weekend In Salem

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, October 29. 2014 • Category: Boston

Just a short ride from Boston is Salem, Massachusetts, a city long associated with Halloween - kids are taught about the witch trials in history class, and movie producers always like to pick the city as a location for frightening films. So if you’re still looking for the perfect party for your Halloween night, look no further than The Official Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball.

The theme of this year’s ball is Voodoo Visions and is hosted by Salem’s modern day warlock, Christian Day. The ball will also feature an assortment of bewitching events including a DJ and laser light show, psychic readings and a variety of potions and provisions to sate your appetite.

The Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball begins Friday, October 31st at 7:30 p.m at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. Tickets and more information can be found on the official website.

Special Web Offer: Venture to The Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball in style with the Salem Witch Special and save up to 10% with promo code “SALEMWITCH.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or Request a quote now!

A Vision Into Visionary Art And a Grounding Show

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, October 28. 2014 • Category: Baltimore

Looking for inspirational and moving activities in Baltimore this fall? Or are you hunting down a place to bring the kids to during the weekends. Consider gathering a group of your friends for an enlightening visit to AVAM as they showcase Saint Francis to Finster. In another corner of Baltimore is the humble Everyman Theater which is showcasing Grounded, a story about the kind of struggle we can easily relate to. In the meantime, unleash the curious kids this fall at Port Discovery Children’s Museum at the Curious George: Let’s Get Curious event.

The American Visionary Art Museum and Everyman Theater brings visitors touching and enlightening experiences. Port Discovery Children’s Museum features Curious George

The Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster
Venue: The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM)
Add: 800, Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230
Tel: 410.244.1900
Date: October 4th, 2014 - August 30th, 2015
Time: 10.00am - 6.00pm Tuesdays - Sundays
Admission: Adult $15.95; Senior $13.95; Student/Child $9.95; Children under the age of 6 gets in for free. 

Fall is also a great time to organize school or college trip to AVAM in Baltimore to catch the ultimate Visionary Experience: Saint Francis to Finster. Touted as the country’s best place for artistic contemplation and flexing of creative muscles, founder of the museum, Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, is proud of the raw art that comes with untamed emotions. She believes that the artwork in the museum are muse-based and considerable efforts are made into ensuring that the exhibits have the ability to connect viewers to the heart of inspiration. 

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A-List Tips To Make Your Party A VIP Experience

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, October 28. 2014 • Category: Parties

The phrase VIP is thrown around a lot in the party scene, and the definition of it can be pretty vague depending on who you ask. But if you want a true red carpet experience for guests of your next party, we have some great tips on how to make a VIP experience whether you're in San Francisco or Boston.

According to Jennifer Beaver from Branded Management, VIP treatment begins long before the party starts with invitations. Beaver said, “Write each guest a letter with full event details. Don’t leave anything out. Include a map of the event space, a schedule of events, dress code, directions to the event, a contact number and any pertinent info your guests might need to know.” Beaver said there are times when she has written over 2,000 invitations to make guests feel VIP, so keep an eye on your guest list if you don’t want to have a huge number of invitations to send out.

Once guests arrive at the party, you want to make sure they are true guests. Inna Lapin from AvantGarde Communications Group, said to make sure your guests never have anything to do. Lapin said, “This includes parking their cars. Valet should and must be offered, and there should be a spot to bring cars around in case of inclement weather.”

Farrah Parker, event strategist at FD Parker & Associates, recommends to make sure everything is free flowing. Parker said, “Indulgence is key. Guests shouldn’t have to ask if they can have something and wallets should be an unnecessary accessory.”

But what should you serve at your VIP party? Chereese Jervis-Hill, president of Events to Remember, said, “Think outside the box. Offer different experiences in food. VIPs want something new and original.”

Parker echoed the sentiment and added, “Guests must feel as though the ticket to your experience is a double experience rolled into one.”

Once the night is over, gift bags should be handed out to guests as they leave. Ingrid Hansen, director of corporate events at Launch Media, said, “Wow them on the way out. While your event’s first impression must be flawless, a gift bag filled with goodies leaves a lasting impression. If you don’t have anything exciting to include, don’t waste the money, or it will work against you.”

Lapin added to make sure to include a note inside each bag to thank your guests and telling them you hope to see them again.

Whether your VIP party is a small shindig or a glamorous affair, there are many ways to make sure all of your guests go home feeling like very important people.

Indie Film Festival and D.C. National Cathedral Christmas Concert

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, October 28. 2014 • Category: Washington DC

Have fun learning about D.C. Indie Film Festival in early 2015 (you can start planning now) or soak up the warm Christmas atmosphere at the Washington D.C. National Cathedral Concert which begins its Christmas programs as early as December 5th, 2014. Read on to find out more about these events and how you can be a part of the fun!

1. D.C. Indie Film Festival 2015
Date: Feb 25 - Mar 1, 2015
Contact: (202) 737-2300

Goethe-Institut Washington
812, 7th Street Northwest, Washington D.C. 20001
(202) 289-1200

Naval Heritage Center, 
Pennsylvania Ave., 
NW, Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 737-2300

Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20515

GALA Hispanic Theater
3333 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 234-7174

While mainstream films and movies often get the lion share of the spotlight, there are many interesting, fun and thought-provoking topics and themes explored in the indie film industry. DCIFF got its start back in 1999 in an effort to support and nurture this young industry. DCIFF is also one of the ways for indie filmmakers and actors to discover and be discovered in the competitive industry. 

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Top Philadelphia Fall Festivals To Go To By Bus

Posted by Ed • Monday, October 27. 2014 • Category: Philadelphia

An arts and craft shows At the Pennsylvania Convention Center, a languid visit to Longwood Gardens and a creative explorative adventure at La Salle University Art Museum could be in the travel itinerary this fall. Visitors who are game for some activities involving art and craft, painting and nature walks in Philadelphia, read on for more information about the following events. 

Remember to give us a call to book a charter bus if you are heading out to these events in a large group. A charter bus will definitely save you time and money during the trip.

It is all about Philadelphia arts and crafts events and nature walks in Longwood Gardens this fall. Be ready for some creative action

1. 38th Annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

Venue: Pennsylvania Convention Center - N. 12th Street and Arch Street, Philadelphia PA 19107
Date: November 6th - 9th, 2014
Time: 11.00am - 9.00pm
Tickets: $5 - $20

The organizers of the event, show chair Carol Blank Barsh and its manager, Nancy O’Meara, have recently announced that for the show’s opening night and premiere, there will be a full gala feature during its preview party. So, for those who wish to make a grab for some of the art-by-hand items, you can definitely get an early bird look at the items by making a spot for yourself at the preview party which is happening on Nov. 5, 2014.

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New York City Music Festivals To Check Out This Fall

Posted by Ed • Thursday, October 23. 2014 • Category: New York

music festival in New York City

It is now fall and the weather is perfect for events like music, art and film festivals. There is plenty of them to choose from in The Big Apple and we have shortlisted and highlighted some of them, which we think you might want to organize a group trip for. 

It’s time to put your dancing shoes on for these exciting New York music festivals - CMJ Music Marathon, Time Warp 2014 and WHITE WAVE’s Wave Rising Series

CMJ Music Marathon

Date: Oct 21 - 25th, 2014
Type: Daytime conference and night time live entertainment

CMJ Music Marathon is one of the country’s oldest and most important music festivals and have served as a launching platform for new artistes, bands and singers in the past. The festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors and attendees from all over the country. Typically, the festival is held for a whole week in the month of October. Throughout seven days, CMJ Music Marathon will feature thousands of live performances in nearly a hundred different locations throughout New York City, in clubs and theaters. 

Every year, the event attracts approximately a hundred thousand fans, artists and professionals from the music industry, making it one of the world’s biggest and most recognized music festival.

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The Eastern Seaboard’s Most Spirited Historic Cemeteries

Posted by Ed • Thursday, October 23. 2014 • Category: Atlanta

During the Halloween season, ghosts and spirits are making more appearances than usual. That means it’s the perfect reason to visit places where ghosts and spirits are sure to apparate - cemeteries!

Eastern Seaboard Cemeteries

Civil War cemeteries have long been associated with hauntings and sightings, so why not check out Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery? Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of the ghost of Margaret Mitchell, so she can tell you more about Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Or maybe you’ll be followed by the ghost of a Civil War soldier or former Georgia Governor.

Katie Reeder, Director of New Media and Communications at Laurie Rowe Communications, said, “Oakland is the final resting place of 70,000 people from all walks of life. It also serves as a cultural resource for lifelong learners.”

Whether you’re in the mood to learn, scream or both, Oakland Cemetery offers many Halloween options.

If you’re in the Boston area, be sure to check out some of the nation’s oldest cemeteries. Some of them even date to 2300 BC! According to historian Dorothy Thayer, “Excavations have revealed an Archaic Village in Middleborough. The date of 2300 BC has been substantiated by radiocarbon dating.” Thayer also said when the waters of Lake Assawompset are low, you can see mysterious carvings on rocks from what’s thought to be people from the Mediterranean. Middleborough is also home to the Nemasket Hill Cemetery with stones dating back to 1692. In the Middleborough area, you’re sure to see a ghost or two from different periods of time.

Or if you live in Washington, D.C., be sure to take a trip to the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Va. According to Jeffrey Smallwood from Liberty University, “Hollywood Cemetery is so haunted that former guards kept a blog of things they saw.”

Smallwood said the blog noted the noises of horses walking, tin cups banging and people talking and laughing. However, the blog mysteriously disappeared when the guards died. Maybe a ghost is to blame? Smallwood said many Civil War generals are buried at the Hollywood Cemetery, and there is also a mass grave of soldiers thought to be moved from Gettysburg.

No matter where on the Eastern Seaboard you are, you’re never far from a haunted cemetery sure to spook you and cause you to see some spirits.

Dinner on a Dime: Houston’s Cheap Eats

Posted by Ed • Thursday, October 23. 2014 • Category: Houston

When you’re travelling on a budget, you don’t have to skimp on quality. Houston has a wide range of restaurants to satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank.

Downtown Houston

In the mood for southern cooking? Steven Lindell, Freevestor contributor, said Treebeards is the place to go. Lindell said, “They offer daily Meat and Two specials for $8.95 to $10.95. You can pick from three different entrees (chicken, fish or meat) every day of the week along with two side dishes (red beans and rice, dirty rice, mustard greens and more).” Lindell said Treebeards also offers a variety of Creole favorites and a lunch will run someone about $11, but you will get a lot of bang for your buck.

If Asian cuisine is more up your alley, Lindell has a recommendation for that, too. He said Doozo Dumplings and Noodles is a low-priced, well-kept secret in downtown Houston at The Shops at Houston Center. However, Lindell said you better know what you want when you get to the front of the line, or else it could become like a Seinfeld soup experience.

According to Lindell, “The experience of purchasing their delicious dumplings operates like an assembly line. It’s a unique experience tourists will want to tell their friends about. Just have your money ready to pay, and don’t be digging around for change.” Doozo, more commonly written as douzo, means “welcome” in Japanese, and this spot is a great way to welcome your tastebuds to the Space City.

Or you could be up for an experience of a different kind: fried chicken and champagne at Max’s Wine Dive. The restaurant was named one of the 50 breakout brands in the United States by Nation’s Restaurant News, and according to Rebecca Spence from Lasco Enterprises, it’s a great place to start or end a trip to Houston.

Spence said, “Max’s Wine Dive on Fairview offers a ‘No Shift Brunch’ every Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The brunch menu changes every week, but always features 10 dishes under $10, as well as mimosas, wines from around the world and micheladas.” With menu items like a pumpkin waffle benedict or Frito crusted pork chop, it’s easy to see why Spence said Max’s Wine Dive is a hot spot in Houston’s culinary scene.

No matter what kind of food you are looking for, Houston has a wide variety of offerings to please any palate without loosening your purse strings.

Washington, D.C.’s Presidential Hauntings

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, October 22. 2014 • Category: Washington DC

Washington, D.C.’s past is brimming with presidents, politicians and scandals, so it’s no surprise that there’s a presidential haunting around almost every corner!

According to The History Channel, some presidents may have never left the White House once they passed away. Andrew Jackson’s ghost has been reported by everyone from Harry Truman to Mary Todd Lincoln. The ghost of Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, can sometimes be seen clad in a cap and lace shawl, headed toward the East Room as though carrying laundry.

Lincoln’s ghost is said to peer out of a window in the Oval Office.

Most famously and most frequently seen, Abraham Lincoln is said to be seen in the Oval Office and the upper level of the White House. He’s been seen or heard by famous figures such as First Lady Grace Coolidge, Lady Bird Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Washington, D.C.’s hauntings aren’t just limited to the White House. Around every Halloween, DC Ghost Tours gives tours of two other haunted sites in the district: Lafayette Square and Capitol Hill.

Special Web Offer: Take a tour of our nation’s capital with a focus on the secret hauntings that took place on many spooky, historic landmarks and save up to 10 percent on your bus charter rental from US Coachways with promo code “GHOSTLYDC.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!

Take A Haunted Halloween Hayride At Los Angeles’ Griffith Park

Posted by Ed • Monday, October 20. 2014 • Category: Los Angeles

Billed as one of Los Angeles’ most buzzed about Halloween attractions and featured on FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, MTV, G4, E! and Access Hollywood, the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park is no ordinary hayride.

The attraction takes participants through a 25-minute journey through armies of demonic forces, ghosts and ghouls and dark presences frantic to strike at the hayriders. This year, the event is bringing brand-new sets and special effects that haven’t been seen before in a live haunted attraction.

The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will be frightening visitors every Thursday - Sunday in October 2014 from 7 p.m. - 12 a.m. or from 7 - 10:30 p.m. depending on the day. Various tickets and ticket packages are available online on the official website.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your US Coachways limo rental to Griffith Park with promo code “HAUNTEDLA.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Nov. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!

Scary Fun: Discover Houston Tours’ Ghost Walks At Donnellan Crypt

Posted by Ed • Friday, October 17. 2014 • Category: Houston

Scare yourself silly this year at Discover Houston Tours’ Ghost Walks, which will feature the historic Donnellan Crypt. The 90-minute tour through Houston's Downtown Historic District will guide visitors through urban legends and true tales of deceased Houstonians.

Photo Credit: Mike Kees

Sandra Lord, owner of Discover Houston Tours, shared the eerie story behind Donnellan Crypt’s alleged haunting with us-

“Shortly after Houston’s first bridge was built across Buffalo Bayou at Milam Street in October 1838, the Donnellan family immigrated from Ireland. They settled along the bayou near the intersection of Franklin and Louisiana. When the father Timothy, died in 1849, his wife, Emily, buried him in the family crypt, a large, underground room dug into the side of Buffalo Bayou, fashioned out of red brick and sealed by a small wooden door with an arched header.

“In 1856, Emily remarried and moved across Franklin Avenue. Her son, Henry, and his friend A. C. Richer boarded with the family. Emily’s husband died in January 1867. By this time, the bayou under Milam Street Bridge had become an accident waiting to happen. Ordnance had been dumped there in 1865 to prevent it from being used by the Union army. It was also home to a sunken ship and two abandoned barges. When the bayou water was low, the debris would reappear, tempting young men like Henry and A. C. to explore.

“On February 10, 1867, the pair retrieved a shell from under the bridge on their way home from work. As Henry worked on the detonator cap to defuse the shell, Emily, blissfully unaware of their activities, prepared their meal. Suddenly, the bomb exploded, tearing off Richer’s arms and legs, badly mutilating Henry’s left arm and elbow, wounding his abdomen, lacerating his left leg and tearing off several fingers. What remained was interred in the family vault. Poor Emily died later that year and was buried with them in the crypt.”

Though the tour isn’t specifically a paranormal tour, everyone will receive a copy of Sandra Lord's Short Guide to the Paranormal, and participants are encouraged to bring EMF meters and cameras to see if any spirits are present.

Castle Chicago: A Paranormal Favorite For Halloween Visitors

Posted by Ed • Thursday, October 16. 2014 • Category: Chicago

According to Neil Tobin, necromancer and the star of Supernatural Chicago, Castle Chicago, located at 623 N. Dearborn, is a must-see for any of Chicago’s tourists in October. He gave us the inside scoop on what makes this historic building-turned nightclub so spooky.

Tobin said, “Late-night guests of the club have reported seeing a repeating cast of spirits through the years. These include a tuxedo-clad man who haunts the upstairs bar, a beautiful woman in a Victorian dress and hat and a little girl who runs around the second-floor balcony.

“Much of the staff has reported inexplicable events as well,” he continued. “Some have felt cold spots in specific areas of the club, heard voices when nobody else was around and captured inexplicable surveillance footage.”

Photo courtesy of Neil Tobin.

Castle Chicago looks like a decommissioned cathedral that’s been awashed in colored lights and is practically bursting with riotous nightlife. The building has been featured on TV's Ghost Adventures and Dead Famous as well as on the DVD release of the Michael Keaton feature film White Noise.

Tobin said, “Why the building is haunted can be attributed to a number of events, including the Great Chicago Fire, which claimed the prior building on the site (and the guests trapped within it). The remains of murdered Chicago pioneer James Lalime were also housed on the site. And according to legend, some of the bodies drowned in the Eastland disaster were kept in this building for identification.”

Tobin is the star of a paranormally themed theatre show called Supernatural Chicago. The performance has been entertaining theatergoers for over a decade. As the show’s resident necromancer, Tobin blends local spirit lore with interactive psychic and magic demonstrations. He will be performing the show for only four weekends in October. Tickets can be bought online.

About Neil Tobin:

Neil Tobin, necromancer, is the star of Supernatural Chicago, which has recently completed its record-breaking 10th straight year of performances at the landmark (and reputedly haunted) Castle nightclub. He has been profiled in Time-Out Chicago and the Chicago Tribune and has performed on broadcasts for The Travel Channel, The Biography Channel, WCKG-FM, WBEZ-FM, KISS-FM, WGN-AM (with Jonathon Brandmeier) and WGN-TV (opposite Oscar-nominee Gary Sinise). He can also be seen on the DVD release of the Michael Keaton thriller, White Noise, and heard on CD as narrator of Peter and the Werewolf with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Neil Tobin serves on the Board of Directors for the Psychic Entertainers Association and is the recipient of a Presidential Citation from the Society of American Magicians.