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.

Washington, DC is Home Away From Home for Germans Celebrating Oktoberfest

Posted by Ed • Friday, September 19. 2014 • Category: Washington DC

Believe it or not, Washington, DC is host to some of the best Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S! Kate Gibbs, media relations manager at Destination DC, says that Washington, DC is home away from home for many Germans due to the German embassy there as well as the Goethe Institute.

One must-see celebration Gibbs recommends is District Oktoberfest, Sept. 20-21, 2014. This bar crawl takes place in the heart of downtown DC at the museum- and restaurant-packed Penn Quarter. Participants can visit six-plus bars and enjoy a 12-ounce stein of premium Oktoberfest beer at each stop.

Gibbs also recommends Oktoberfest at Biergartenhaus on Sept. 20, 2014. Biergartenhaus is a Munich-style beer hall in the H Street neighborhood servicing 16-plus German beers. They tap a special keg just for Oktoberfest, Gibbs says.

For the “best” Oktoberfest, Gibbs recommends heading to Das Best Oktoberfest on Sept. 27, 2914. Visitors will be able to sample 150-plus beers, wines and schnapps at the DC Armory. Eat sausages and pretzels or take part in a beer belly competition!

Special Web Offer: Take 10 percent off your US Coachways bus charter to Washington, DC with promo code, “D.C.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Oct. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!

Nature, Nurture & Spiritual Renewal: Church Retreats in Washington, DC

Posted by Ed • Thursday, September 18. 2014 • Category: Washington DC

Washington, DC may not be known for its serene, peaceful landmarks. History, politics and sightseeing typically brings most people to the nation’s capital, however, we picked some of the top spots to tour that might be more blissful to enjoy while touring the city. Church retreats, school field trips, capital tours and more, Washington, DC has something for everyone - even some peace and quiet.

StoneSong Awareness and Nature Center

Nestled in the Allegany Mountains in the west part of Maryland, not too far from DC, StoneSong is a beautiful, nature-filled retreat offering sweat lodges, hiking and kayaking trips, simple weekend getaways for individuals, couples and groups. You’ll be surrounded by woods, streams and gorgeous meadows as you renew yourself.

Friends Wilderness Center

1,400 acres of wilderness preserves, trees, ponds and meadows lend itself to the tranquil atmosphere at Friends Wilderness Center, located just an hour and fifteen minutes away from Washington, DC. Sponsored by the Society of Friends but welcome to all people who respect nature, the wilderness center has a variety of scheduled events including meditation, poetry, discovery hikes and storytelling, hiking and exploring on your own or with a group, camping for individuals, families or groups and overnight stays in a cabin with home-cooked meals.

Rising Phoenix Retreat Center

Loyola University’s Rising Phoenix Retreat Center is a cozy, 20-acre retreat in the mountains of Western Maryland. Open to individuals and groups, the retreat has lodging, meeting and dining facilities plus meadows for recreation, beautiful woodland trails and an architecturally designed meditation garden for reflection.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your next US Coachways bus charters to your church retreat with promo code, “RETREAT.” 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!

Cozy Spots For Leaf-Viewing On The East Coast

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, September 17. 2014 • Category: Leisures & Pleasures

The official first day of fall begins on Sept. 22, 2014, meaning it’s time to start planning a road trip to check out the beautiful fall foliage! We’ve listed just a few of some of the coziest, most scenic spots on the East Coast to view the gorgeous fall colors-

Washington D.C.

washington, dc leaf viewing

According to About Travel, the autumn leaves in Washington, DC usually peak in mid to late October. The Mount Vernon Estate, Rock Creek Park, C & O Canal National Historic Park and several other parks around the area are perfect for leaf-viewing. You’ll see an abundance of fall colors along the shores of the Potomac River as well as in the countryside around the city.

Philadelphia

philadelphia leaf viewing

The best time to see autumn foliage in Philadelphia is usually around late October to early November, depending on how wet and warm the year’s seasons are. VisitPhilly recommends going to Benjamin Franklin Parkway (“Philadelphia’s answer to the Champs-Elysées”) or Franklin Square within the city. Other places to visit include Schuylkill River Trail and Bowman’s Hill.

Boston

boston leaf viewing

CBS Boston says that the peak leaf-peeking time in Boston occurs around mid to late October. Take Massachusetts Route 2 for a scenic drive filled with shady red, orange and gold trees or visit the beautiful Berkshires, a continuation of Vermont’s Green Mountain range, for green grass, colorful trees and rolling hills. If you want to stay in the city, the Emerald Necklace Park System is a must for leaf viewing!

9th Annual Free Fall Baltimore Begins In October

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, September 16. 2014 • Category: Baltimore

The ninth annual Free Fall Baltimore, which brings free cultural activities to Baltimore, will be taking place on almost every day in October this year. The 2014 Free Fall Baltimore anticipates more than 250 unique events fun for families, friends and students.

Interested in art and museums? Head to Renaissanz Rzen: Artist in Exile, Nature Indoors Exhibition, or Baltimore Museum of Industry: Free General Admission Oct. 5. If dancing’s more your thing, shake it up at the Baltimore Rhythm Festival Oct. 4 or the Baltimore Dance Crews Project Community Dance Workshop Oct. 25. There are plenty of activities for families as well, including the Welcome Winter Family Fair on Oct. 4 and the Baltimore Hoop Love Hula Hoop Festival Oct. 11.

Please note that while every Free Fall Baltimore event is free, some do require registration in advance, so check the official website for details.

Tastiest Fall Apple-Picking Spots Along The Eastern Seaboard

Posted by Ed • Friday, September 12. 2014 • Category: Leisures & Pleasures

September and October means apple picking season! Find out where to go for these delightful treats from apples pies to apple cider along the Eastern Seaboard. We interviewed some of the best apple orchard experts to get the skinny on these delicious apples for fall.

Milburn Orchards

Mara Gorman, founder and publisher at The Mother of All Trips blog and author of The Family Traveler’s Handbook, says that you can’t miss Milburn Orchards in Elkton, Md.

According to Gorman, “Milburn has much to recommend - a wide variety of heirloom apples available throughout the fall (starting in August) as well as the best apple cider donuts I've ever had. There's a sizeable farm market with mums, pumpkins, jellies, cider, fruit, and vegetables. They also offer a huge play area that includes a corn maze, petting zoo, playground equipment, sandbox,and other fun activities (you must buy a wristband to enter).”

Gorman says that the best times to pick there are from late September to early October. Then, the temperature won’t be as hot and there will be multiple varieties of apples available.

The Orchards of Concklin

Natalie J. Maniscalco, who handles public relations and events at the Orchards of Concklin in Rockland County, New York says that its one of the oldest apple orchards in the country. The Orchards of Concklin is located about 25 miles north of New York City and has been around for over 300 years and owned by the same family for 10 generations.

Maniscalco says that the best apple picking there is to be found Sept. 21 - Oct. 19. The orchard will also host a Harvest Festival with games, entertainment and food for families and children on Oct. 18 - 19 from 12 - 5 p.m.

Besides apple picking, the Orchards of Concklin are also known for its fresh-baked pies and apple cider donuts!

Belkin Family Lookout Farm

Anna Rabin, account executive at Solomon McCown & Company, recommends heading to Belkin Family Lookout Farm in South Natick, Mass. for one of the best apple orchards on the Eastern Seaboard. According to Rabin, “Belkin Family Lookout Farm, the closest U-Pick Farm to Boston (only a half hour away) was established in 1651, and is one of the oldest continually working farms in the country. By mid-fall visitors have their selection of 11 different kinds of apples, Asian pears, nectarines and plums. Lookout Farm provides 60,0000 orchard trees throughout its 180 acres of land to support that tradition, and the trees are grown using a special technique that makes them shorter and therefore easier for children to reach. It is also loved for its family entertainment element - including animals, train and caterpillar rides, mazes, moon bounces, face painting, etc.”

Autumn At The Arboretum Begins Sept. 20 In Dallas

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, September 10. 2014 • Category: Dallas

Every year, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Dallas, Texas is transformed into an autumn paradise with thousands of fall florals, autumn crops and decorations. This year, Autumn At The Arboretum will begin Sept. 20, 2014 and continue until Nov. 26, through both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Take your family and stroll through Pumpkin Village, made up of over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash and featuring storybook houses made of pumpkins, a hay bale maze, the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch with pumpkins available for purchase and Cinderella’s Carriage.

The 150,000 blooming fall flowers such as impatiens and chrysanthemums make a beautiful, vibrant and colorful backdrop for a family photo. Stroll through the gardens, have a picnic or take part in scavenger hunts throughout the premises.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10% on your next charter bus rental to your school field trip with promo code, “SCHOOL.” Midweek terms apply. 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!

Place Your Bets On Belmont Park

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, September 9. 2014 • Category: New York

This year’s autumn horse racing season is off to a quick start Sept. 5 at Belmont Park in New York City. Home to the world famous Belmont Stakes and nicknamed “The Championship Track,” if you’re looking for fall fun, place your bets on this legendary track.

Belmont Park New York City

Opened in 1905 on the border of Queens County and Nassau County, Belmont Park has earned an important place in the history of New York. According to the official website, in 1910, Wilbur and Orville Wright held an international aerial competition at the track that drew 150,000 spectators. Additionally, Belmont Park received its nickname as “The Championship Track” because almost all of horse racing’s most legendary champions have raced at that park, including each of the 11 Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing champions.

Over the decades, crowds have cheered on racing legends such as Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, Sir Barton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, Citation and more.

Currently, you can catch horse races at Belmont Park as well as slew of other events. On Sept. 20, 2014, the park will hold College Day for college students to enjoy the races, and on Oct. 4, 2014, Belmont Park will play host to an Oktoberfest celebration featuring a beer and chili festival.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your bus rental to the Big Apple with promo code, “NEW YORK.” Midweek terms apply. Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Oct. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!

Kick Off Fall Football With These Historic NFL Stadiums

Posted by Ed • Monday, September 8. 2014 • Category: Promotions

It’s now officially football season! Take some time off, rock out with other football fans and see your favorite teams touchdown in person at these historic NFL stadiums-

Gillette Stadium

Located 20 miles away from Boston, Gillette Stadium is home to the New England Patriots as well as the University of Massachusetts football program. Holding a capacity of 68,756 people for football games, Gillette Stadium is one of the smallest NFL stadiums, but since every single seat in the stadium is focused exactly toward midfield, there are no bad seats. The stadium was designed to celebrate New England’s unique heritage and greets fans with a unique stylized 10-story-tall lighthouse, a seascape scene and bridge.

Soldier Field

Chicago’s Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears was opened in 1924, making it the oldest NFL stadium in operation. When not holding football games, the stadium plays host to a variety events from music concerts to charity walks. Soldier Field gets its name from its initial design as a memorial to American soldiers who have died in war.

MetLife Stadium

If you’re a football fan, you’ll want to visit MetLife Stadium at least once in your life. The largest NFL stadium in terms of permanent seating capacity and the most expensive stadium ever built (costing $1.6 billion at the time of construction), MetLife Stadium is home to the New York Giants and the New York Jets. You’ll also be able to see live concerts at the stadium. In the past, Bon Jovi, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and One Direction have all performed.

Special Web Offer: Plan a legendary tailgate with our party bus selection and save up to 10% on your bus charter services with promo code “FOOTBALL.” Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer Expires December 31, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or request a quote now!

Destination Wedding Travel Etiquette

Posted by Ed • Friday, September 5. 2014 • Category: Weddings

When you plan a destination wedding, it’s not always clear what the bride and groom are expected to pay for when it comes to travel and lodging, and what the guests should cover on their own. Tiffany Gillespie, event coordinator at To the T Events & Catering, recently shared her wedding travel etiquette tips to help clear things up.

Gillespie suggests reserving a hotel room block. “When asking guests to travel, you want to ensure that you have a secure place for them to stay,” she said. “Have your planner to contact two hotels near your wedding venue (one with lower rates and one with more costly rates to give your guests an option and to the ability to room according to what they are accustomed to) and negotiate lower rates for your guests. Once the rates have been secured, be sure to include the hotel's information in the save the date.”

Providing transportation for your guests is another good idea.According to Gillespie, “Provide clear directions and contact information from the airport to the local hotels. Also, if your venue is not near the hotel, or if you are in a city that is difficult to navigate (i.e. New York City and the traffic or San Francisco with the steep hills) provide free transportation from the hotel to the wedding venue.”

You can’t let your guests go hungry! “After arriving in the wedding city (we suggest an arrival a day or two before the wedding), host a cocktail hour that evening to welcome all of the early arrivers to the city and to your wedding weekend,” Gillespie said. “Show them that you appreciate the fact that they traveled from near and far to celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion with you.”

Don’t let your guests grow bored, either. Gillespie suggests giving them something to do with a happy mixture of time with the couple, some downtime and time to explore the city. She said, “Host meet-and-greets for family members and friends who may have never met your soon-to-be spouse. Allow time between activities for your guests to rest. This allows the trip to be a vacation with a purpose. When your guests arrive, have welcome to the city goodie bag complete with signature treats (i.e. pretzels for Philadelphia or beignets for New Orleans), information on what to do for fun in the city, bottled beverages, etc.”

Los Angeles Travel Spotlight: Redondo Beach Lobster Festival

Posted by Ed • Thursday, September 4. 2014 • Category: Los Angeles

The end of summer in Los Angeles means the start of the fall lobster season, and with it, some of the best lobster festivals in the country including Redondo Beach Lobster Festival.  The 2014 festival is set to happen Sept. 26 - 28, 2014. There will be plenty of fresh lobster to eat, so make sure you come hungry!

redondo beach lobster festival

Once you get to the festival, you’ll be treated with a lobster bistro, tasty craft beer and activities from mechanical bull rides and paddle board lessons to a bike tour of Rat Beach. If you bring the kids, check out the Kiddie Area which will feature a humongous dual slide that’s 45 feet long and 12 feet high!

In the evenings, rock out to some music with live performances by Barley Legal, Andy & Renee with Hard Rain, Pine Mountain Logs, A Certain Groove and more  Of course, the most important part of the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival is the menu! Taste lobster grilled cheese sandwiches, open face lobster ravioli, lobster rolls, lobster chowder and even lobster tacos!

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your bus rental deals to Los Angeles with promo code, “L.A.” Midweek terms apply. Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Oct. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or Request A Quote Now!

New York Film Festival 2014

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, September 3. 2014 • Category: New York

The 52nd Annual New York Film Festival is just around the corner. This New York City event, which is set to happen Sept. 26 - Oct. 12, 2014, will feature world premieres, award winners, retrospective screenings, spotlights on emerging filmmakers, panels, galas and more.

film festival

This year’s film festival will present some old favorites like the 1955 Western classic The Man From Laramie as well as U.S. and world premieres of such as David Fincher’s Gone Girl, based on the bestselling book by Gillian Flynn, Goodbye To Language, Whiplash and The Wonders. Directors include Martín Rejtman, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard.

NYFF52 won’t just be screening movies. Special events will be present throughout the entire seventeen-day festival, from the 30th anniversary celebration of This Is Spinal Tap to panels discussing everything from producing in a convergent world to indie games and movies.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your bus rental deals to New York with promo code, “NEW YORK.” Midweek terms apply. Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Oct. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or Request A Quote Now!

Chicago’s Best Museums for Back to School Field Trips

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, September 2. 2014 • Category: Chicago

Chicago has some of the best museums in the country, making it a great place for a back-to-school field trip. From natural sciences to art and history, take a look at some of these top museums.

art institute of chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Voted the No. 1 museum in the United States by TripAdvisor, the Art Institute of Chicago is a sprawling encyclopedic art museum with more than 300,000 artworks and historical artifacts. Your students will probably recognize some of its more famous works like American Gothic, Nighthawks and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, they’ll also discover ancient Japanese prints, fragments of some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings and a fascinating collection of Thorne Miniature Rooms.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium holds over 32,000 aquatic animals including jellyfish, beluga whales, sharks, sea otters, penguins and even tiny monkeys along with hundreds of thousands of aquatic plants and coral reefs and polyps. Watch a show featuring incredible tricks from trained dolphins, or touch live stingrays inside of a shallow tropical pool!

The Field Museum of Natural History

Your students can have a close-up encounter with “Sue,” the largest, best preserved and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found or choose from dozens of other fun and educational exhibits. Explore Ancient Egypt, “shrink” to 1/100th of your actual size and discover an underground world or see firsthand what it’s like to live on a tropical island!

Special Web Offer: Take up to 10 percent off your next charter bus rental to your school field trip with promo code “SCHOOL.” Midweek terms apply. 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!

Five Bachelor Party Planning Tips

Posted by Ed • Thursday, August 28. 2014 • Category: Promotions

A bachelor party is one of the most exciting celebrations in a guy’s life (besides his actual wedding), but you can’t have a good bachelor party without some good planning! Whether you’re planning to go all-out with a New York City bash or are just planning a night out on the town in a party bus or limo, you’ll want to have every detail planned out perfectly to make sure the night goes smoothly.

Here are five tips by Greg Jenkins, partner at Bravo Productions and an event/party planner with more than 25 years of experience, to give the groom-to-be a night to remember!

bachelor party

1. Consult the groom. Whoever is planning the bachelor party should consult with the groom and determine what kind of party they want. Don't automatically assume that the bachelor may want to do a boys’ night out in Vegas, a drinking experience until everyone is passed out, etc.

2. Have the bachelor party early. As a suggestion, stage the bachelor party a week or two -- possibly even a month out from the actual wedding date. This will allow time for everyone to recuperate. Staging a bachelor party the night before the wedding is a recipe for disaster, considering the next day is extremely long and requires that the entire wedding party come to the ceremony and reception feeling vibrant and fresh.

3. Pick a destination that is affordable for your guests to attend. For example, a groom residing on the east coast might plan a weekend bachelor party in New Orleans. Well, that requires a great deal of expense for some of the guest who might want to attend. There are lodging, transportation, food & beverage expenses, to name a few. Unless the groom is picking up some of the tab for this type of weekend, it should not be forced on the guests.

4. Keep food easy and simple. Pizza, wings, chili, enchiladas, tacos, etc....all easy cuisine to serve and for guests to nosh on throughout the party. If hosting the party at private residence, have the guys attending bring beer, wine and alcohol.

5. Take the bride and her family into consideration too! She may not want pictures of her soon-to-be-husband posing with strippers or passed out on the floor on their Facebook page for her colleagues and family to see. The groom should also think about those he is associated with who might see unflattering pictures. Everyone has cameras on their mobile devices and video footage and pictures can pop up when least expected. 

Want to win a free five-hour limo ride from US Coachways for your bachelor party? Like us on Facebook and enter now!

2014 World Music Festival in Chicago

Posted by Ed • Wednesday, August 27. 2014 • Category: Chicago

The 16th Annual World Music Festival is returning to the Windy City this September! Head to Chicago and experience this huge cultural event Sept. 11 - 21, 2014, which has presented more than 650 artists and ensembles from over 80 countries since it began in 1999.

world music festival chicago

The festival will kick off with performances by Vieux Farka Touré from Mali and Bombino from Niger at Millenium Park. From there, dozens of concerts from musicians and singers hailing from as far away as Turkey, Morocco, Greece and more will be presented throughout the entire city.

Most of the World Music Festival artists will perform traditional music with a modern twist. You’ll see drummers, dancers, jazz groups, musicians on the acoustic guitar and some instruments you might never have heard of, like the sintir, a three-stringed lute made of camel skin and wood. People of all ages are invited to join in the festival, however, some shows may enact age restrictions for those under 18 or 21. Check the City of Chicago website for a complete schedule and age restrictions.

Special Web Offer: Save up to 10 percent on your bus rental deals to Chicago with promo code “CHICAGO.” Midweek terms apply. Terms and conditions apply with a minimum of a $1,000 purchase and no more than $200 off any booking. Offer expires Oct. 1, 2014. Call 1-800-272-0633 or Request A Quote Now!

Labor Day Weekend Travel Guide

Posted by Ed • Tuesday, August 26. 2014 • Category: Family Travel

Labor Day Weekend is often regarded as the last big weekend for summer travel! Make the most of this year’s weekend by enjoying some top destinations from Las Vegas to Chicago.

Fly.com listed some top Labor Day destinations-

Las Vegas

grand canyon

At first glance, Las Vegas may not seem like a great place to for a family getaway, but there’s plenty for kids to do! Catch some thrills at Adventuredome, America’s largest indoor theme park enclosed beneath almost six acres of glass dome. If your family prefers the outdoors, head to the Grand Canyon, located a short distance from the city!

Denver

Denver

The Mile-High City is gorgeous in the summer. Explore the famous Denver Zoo and Denver Botanic Gardens or see the Denver Art Museum, which contains the world’s greatest collection of Native American Art.

Denver is known for those beautiful mountains! Take a three-hour drive to the mountains where you and your family can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, sightseeing and more.

Chicago

Chicago Navy Pier

If you’re headed to Chicago with your family, be sure to pick up a Family Fun pass! This pass will give you discounted access to top Chicago attractions like Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium Skydeck Chicago and the Classic Lake Tour. Discover delicious food and great shopping at the James R. Thompson Center located in The Loop or eat at a themed, family-friendly restaurant like The Rainforest Cafe or The American Girl Place Cafe.