Frank Lloyd Wright House on Crystal Bridges grounds to open Nov. 11, 2015

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Bachman-Wilson House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in its original New Jersey location
Photo: TarantinoSTUDIO © 2013; courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Originally published by Group Tour Magazine – September 18, 2015

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — In 2014, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced the acquisition of a rare Frank Lloyd Wright house originally built in 1954 along the Millstone River in New Jersey. Since then, the house has been disassembled, transported 1,200 miles across the country and meticulously reconstructed on the grounds of the museum.

Construction is now in the final stages and the house is scheduled to open to the public on November 11, 2015, the fourth anniversary of Crystal Bridges’ opening.

Crystal Bridges Executive Director Rod Bigelow said, “We are excited to share this historic object that embodies our mission to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites art and nature. As the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Arkansas, it enhances our region’s offerings with unique engagement opportunities for schools, families and individuals with an interest in architecture, all at no cost to the public.”

Known as the Bachman-Wilson House, the home was threatened by repeated flooding at its original location. The previous owners, architect/designer duo Lawrence and Sharon Tarantino, determined that relocating the house was the best option for preservation. After their multi-year search, Crystal Bridges acquired the house in 2013, and the house arrived in Northwest Arkansas in April, 2014.

The house is now situated a short distance from the museum, along the trails, with views overlooking the native woodlands and Crystal Spring. 

The Frank Lloyd Wright house will open to the public on November 11, 2015, with no admission cost, during the same hours as the museum’s art galleries.

“Our goal is to provide as much access as possible while being responsible stewards of the house,” said Crystal Bridges Chief Engagement Officer Niki Stewart. “To that end, we will welcome visitors to see the house on their own with general admission, or take a guided tour. Because of the intimate size of the house, we are requiring reservations to enter, while the grounds around the house are accessible without a ticket.”

Beginning November 2, tickets may be reserved online or by calling 479-657-2335. Crystal Bridges’ members will have an opportunity to preview the house in advance of the public opening. Member preview tickets may be reserved in person at Guest Services or by calling the Member Priority Line at 479-418-5728.

Guided tours will be offered five days per week (no tours Tuesday or Friday) as an hour-long indoor and outdoor experience led by specially trained volunteer tour guides.

General admission will be a self-guided experience, available each day except Tuesday.

GoMotorcoach to Comic Con? Why not?

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comicconThe days of a simple convention for comic book fans are long gone.  With the increased popularity of comics, science fiction, gaming and the like, the comic con has become a huge spectacle across the country.  Allow me to share a story of once comic con experience and let you know why we should have chartered a bus.

If you have ever attended a Con you know that they tend to be quite crowded with all sorts of people.  People enjoy dressing up in imaginative costumes based on their favorite characters, books, movies, etc.  This is known in the industry as Cosplay and the costumes can get very elaborate.

It was not all that long ago when my friends and I decided we wanted to attend a Con that was about a four hour drive from us.  Since none of us owned a vehicle large enough for everyone we looked at two options; charter a bus or rent a large van.  I can tell you now we made the wrong choice with the van.  If only we had spent a few dollars more we’d have had a much better experience.

First of all the gas was expensive and the fuel economy was awful in that van.  A charter bus would have alleviated our need to fork out all that cash each time we had to stop for fuel.  Although the charter would have needed to stop as well, it most certainly would have done so while we were inside and enjoying the festivities.

But that really was not even the main concern.  When we arrived the line to get into any of the nearby parking lots was longer than the lines inside to see an actor that once played a villain on an old Star Trek episode.  We arrived in what we thought was plenty of time to park, get our costumes together and start enjoying ourselves.  Instead we spent almost 90 minutes trying to park this huge van.  Nearby we could see busses pulling up to the entrance to the convention center and dropping off their guests while we sat idle.  It was frustrating to be sure, but at the end of the night the frustration was at its peak when we tried to leave and go to our hotel.  Had we just chartered a bus like some of those other groups we’d have been well rested for the second day of the Con.

However parking was not the only reason the bus would have been better.  Inside the bus there was room to move around thus giving riders plenty of room and time to get their costumes and make up done.   Instead, we had to wait in line to get into the restrooms to take care of that.  So before we could ever get started in enjoying the show and meeting the stars we had to impatiently wait for our turn in the bathroom.

A typical Comic Con can cost a lot of money to attend especially if you are the type to gather autographs and memorabilia.  And just where is everyone going to find a place for all of that in the van?  Unfortunately Dalek and R2D2 replicas takes up substantially more space than you’d think.

The charter bus experience is perfect for your group to attend a Comic Con.  You’ll have plenty of room to walk around and get ready, you’ll get dropped off right at the front door and there will be plenty of room for a few extra friends on the way home.  Add in the fact that if you have chartered a bus you can partake in a few adult beverages while enjoying the con and you have a win-win situation.  So the next time you and your friends decide to travel across the state to see 100 people dressed like Doctor Who; take the bus.  You’ll be very happy you did.

Music City, USA

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Live MusicNashville, TN is one of the great American destinations and is a perfect stop for your next chartered bus tour.  Contrary to popular opinion, Nashville is not just for country music fans. The name “Music City” was earned for the many varieties of music that one can enjoy during a visit.  In addition, Nashville has long been known as one of the most affordable cities to visit in the country.  So what makes Nashville such a great destination?  Let’s start with a visit downtown.

Your charter coach can drop you off at the world famous Ryman Auditorium.  Originally built as the Union Gospel Tabernacle, Ryman Auditorium was home for The Grand Ole Opry from 1943 – 1974.  It is still used today for concerts and shows, but you can take a tour and see where history was made.  Take a few minutes and stand on the stage where artists such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton made their Opry debuts.  There are plenty of artifacts from the Opry on display throughout the auditorium.  As you walk around you can really feel the history of this national landmark.

Ernest TubJust steps away from the Ryman is Broadway; however it’s nothing like the Broadway you’d find in New York City.  This Broadway is a street where you can hear music from all manner of artists every night of the week.  You can walk down the street and pass a seemingly endless line of restaurants, shops and bars where live music is always being played.  No matter what your taste you are sure to find something to sit back and enjoy. Another must see place on Broadway is the Ernest Tubb Record Shop.  This shop has been located at the same location since 1947 and still sells vinyl records.  If you are a collector of  vintage vinyl then you will definitely want to visit.  And yes, they too will offer live music.

A couple of blocks away from Broadway you will find the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  All of the greats in the country music industry have been enshrined here with their own bronze plaques.  You seriously do not need to be a fan of country music to appreciate the talents of the individuals honored here.  The museum itself is filled with all sorts of memorabilia from the artists themselves and tells the history of country music.

You’re going to get pretty hungry wandering around downtown and there is no shortage of  delicious places to eat and, of course, hear live music.  Since you are in Nashville then you may want to partake in a bit of BBQ.  There may be no better place than Rippy’s Ribs & BBQ.  Rippy’s is only one block from Ryman Auditorium and they serve up some of the best BBQ in the city, if not the entire south.  Try a slab of ribs with Rippy’s homemade BBQ sauce with a side of onion rings and coleslaw and you will think you were in hog heaven.  Rippy’s can even organize a private party for you and your fellow bus travelers if you wish.  You can enjoy live music in the main dining area, sports on flat screen TV’s in another or try the open air rooftop patio.  Pulled pork, catfish, baked beans; you seriously cannot make a bad choice here.

HermitageNow that you have enjoyed downtown, let your bus take you to see the home of President Andrew Jackson; The Hermitage.  Located just a short drive from downtown, The Hermitage is a fascinating place to visit.  You can start your tour in the museum and then take a short stroll to the home where President and Mrs. Jackson resided.  The tomb of Andrew and Rachel Jackson is located in the gardens by the home.  Numerous log cabins make up the grounds and tour guides take you through the home and provide you with historical facts.

One of the best things about Nashville and the surrounding areas is that it is easily accessed by bus which will make your visit here all the more comfortable and enjoyable.  Why fight for a place to park downtown when the bus can take you there and pick you up when you are done? Get the group together, get on the bus and head to Nashville this summer.  You will have grand ole time.

A Most Pleasant Journey

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Point Pleasant, NJ is most often thought of as a summer destination.  And while the weather is often more conducive to swimming after the fourth of July, there is really no need to wait that long.  Point Pleasant is still there in the spring and early summer and with smaller crowds it ends up being just that much more…well, pleasant.

jenkinsons-boardwalk-header1Located in Ocean County, Point Pleasant has long been a popular getaway for those living in Philadelphia and New York City.  It is a family-friendly spot loved by and designed for kids of all ages.  In recent years as families have been looking for more places to go that everyone can enjoy, Point Pleasant has become just that much more popular.  What is the best way to get there?  Well by motorcoach of course.

Your charter motorcoach journey to Point Pleasant can drop you right off at the boardwalk so you can enjoy the crystal clean beach and all the amenities the boardwalk has to offer without the hassle of having to find a place to park or the expense and uncertainty of a local parking lot.  There will be none of that for you because you planned ahead.  But what to do once you arrive?  That is the best part.

Start with Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, the centerpiece of the Jersey Shore.  While there are boardwalks that have more popularity in New Jersey, none are as fun or as well maintained as Jenkinson’s.  It is about one mile long and contains thrill rides, attractions, restaurants and arcades.  If mini-golf is your idea of fun than look no further as there are three outstanding places to play; Rooftop Golf, Castaway Cove and my personal favorite, Lighthouse Point.

Looking for a little adventure and maybe a scream or two?  Then you must try the Dark Ride at the South Beach Arcade.  The Dark Ride is a 7D interactive experience that makes a 3D movie seem as exciting as using a View-master.  They have two movies to choose from; Zombies and the all-new Gigamon.  Why not try both?

If you’re looking for adventure of a different sort then you can check out the Point Pavilion Antique Center.  The center is stuffed to the gills with antiques and collectibles.  You may find more than you can take with you on the bus as you explore the two floors of treasures, but no worries there as you can always ship larger items to your home.

Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club provides year-round entertainment guaranteed to make you smile.  While this club may not always be family-friendly, they do cater to groups and offer group discounts for both dinner and show packages.  The top comedians in the nation are always featured at Uncle Vinnie’s.

Speaking of food, there are some wonderful places to dine in Point Pleasant.  Naturally you can find all of the requisite boardwalk style food you could ask for including popcorn, cotton candy, sausage & peppers and ice cream.  However if you want the best ice cream you want to make a stop at Hoffman’s.  Hoffman’s serves up some 40 flavors of delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt and they offer tours as well to see how it is all done.  They have all the traditional flavors, but get a little adventurous and try the Sea Salt Caramel Latte flavor.

When it is time for dinner you want something really good and not another serving of fries from boardwalk.  If Italian food is of your liking then visit Spano’s Ristorant Italiano.  Owned and operated by Chef Joseph Spano for over 15 years, the restaurant features authentic Italian food in an authentic atmosphere. Traditional dishes, such as lasagna and chicken Parmesan are available and very popular.  Named for Joseph’s mother, one of the house favorites at Spano’s is the Chicken Zia Carmela; mushrooms, eggplant and roasted red peppers sauteed in a garlic tomato sauce, served over breaded boneless breast of chicken, topped with mozzarella cheese and their award winning marinara sauce.   You will not leave here hungry.

So why not get the family and friends together, leave the car behind and charter a bus?   You can make plenty of memories in Point Pleasant, NJ before the crowds arrive this summer.  You may not want to swim in the ocean, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a nice walk on the beach.

Stop the Bus and Smell the Roses – Portland, OR

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100_2512Whether you realize it or not, one of the greenest and most economical ways to see the USA is via a charter bus.  And whether you want to travel near or far the motorcoach can take you there.  So with a wink and a smile it is time to literally stop and smell the roses in Portland Oregon.

Portland is known as the “City of Roses” and it has been given this name for a very good reason; Portland is home to the International Rose Test Garden.  The Rose Garden, located in Washington Park, is home to over 7000 rose plants of some 550 varieties.  Your motorcoach can drop you off at the entrance so you can walk through the gardens on paved paths, enjoy the beauty of the flowers and get an outstanding view of the Portland skyline.  There are fountains, statues, plenty of photo opportunities and the park has access ramps so no one is left out.  Public tours are offered free of charge daily at 1:00 PM, but self-guided tours are always available.  Groups of 11 or more can arrange for guided tours in advance.

Each year Portland is home to the annual Rose Festival from late May to early June.  The festival includes activities for all ages.  There are several parades including the nighttime Starlight Parade and the centerpiece of the festival, the Grand Floral Parade.  But the fun does not stop there; concerts, golf tournaments and a rose show are also great activities to enjoy.  A dragon boat race takes place every year on the Willamette River where over 80 teams compete for the title of champion.  However, what may be the most enjoyable activity of the festival is the Milk Carton Boat Race.   Both children and adults enter their homemade human powered boats that float only by recycled milk cartons and milk jugs to vie for the coveted Best in Show Milk Can.  And yes, sometimes they sink.

Located right next to the Rose Garden is the beautiful and tranquil Portland Japanese Garden.  It is a traditional Japanese Garden consisting of five sub-gardens spread over five and ½ acres.  Be sure to put away your cell phones because they are not allowed in this land of peace and harmony.  A stroll through these gardens will give everyone a deep connection with nature. 100_2498

If animals are more of your liking the Oregon Zoo is about two miles away from the Rose and Japanese Gardens and features over 260 species to admire and enjoy.  And right next to the zoo is the Portland Children’s Museum; the sixth oldest children’s museum in the world.  Although designed for children, the museum is a joy for families of all ages.

One of the other benefits of visiting Portland is their unique light rail system known as MAX.  Sometimes getting downtown in a large city is not always easy for a bus and that is where MAX comes in.  MAX has four lines; Blue, Green, Red and Yellow, and all of them run through downtown Portland.  So if you are up in the Washington Park area and want a bite to eat downtown you can easily hop aboard the Red or Green line and find yourself a great meal.

100_2497And speaking of great meals there is no shortage of delicious places to dine in Portland.  Have you ever wanted to try a bison or elk burger?  Well then Deschutes Brewery is where you want to go.  It is a great place for large groups and the food and atmosphere all have a distinctive Portland flair.  Start your meal off with the Fried Pickled Cauliflower and then just try and decide what you should have for your main course.  If you are a fan of beer you will most definitely find several here to your liking.

If a little Italian food is what you are craving and you are not afraid of ghosts then Old Town Pizza is a fantastic place to din  .  Old Town Pizza sits in the original lobby of the old Merchant Hotel.  You place your order at the hotel’s original reception desk.  There is an old legend that tells us this place has been haunted for well over 100 years.  Go for yourself, hear the story and enjoy the food.  The pizza is all natural, local and handmade.  The sauce is made from scratch daily and is indescribably delicious.  If pizza is not your favorite then dive into a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, but whatever you do, do not leave without trying an order of garlic knots.

So why not get your family or maybe those old friends you’ve been meaning to get together with and charter a bus to Portland.  The roses are waiting for you.

Christmas Lights Gallore!

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The hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us.  Everyone is running around trying to get that one last gift purchased, wrapped, and given to that special someone.  Why not take a little break from all of that and enjoy the scenery?  Many communities take tremendous pride in their holiday light displays.  Hours of work, and millions of lights later, the displays are ready to be enjoyed.  Here are the Top Ten Holiday Light Displays according to our friends at America’s Best & Top Ten:

1. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland – Tennessee
In West Knoxville and Bristol, Tennessee, Shadrack’s Water Sports puts on two of the most awesome Christmas light show you’ve likely ever seen. Shadrack’s Water Sports has transformed the large hillside behind their boat showroom into a Christmas wonderland with hundreds of thousands of brightly colored lights dynamically synchronized and dancing to Christmas tunes.

2. Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO – November 1 – December 30
Millions of Christmas lights cover the whole park. Plus, the entire City is transformed into a holiday wonderland each evening at 5:30 p.m. as guests join together on the Square for the lighting of the dazzling, five-story Special Effects Christmas Tree. Adorned with over 250,000 lights coordinated to blaze to the musical movements of Christmas songs, this unique Special Effects Christmas Tree presents classics such as “Carol of the Bells” and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in a spectacular light and sound show.

3. Oglebay Festival of Lights – Wheeling, WV – November 4 – January 5th.

In 1985 a holiday tradition began at Oglebay and spread throughout the city of Wheeling. That tradition is the Winter Festival of Lights celebration. The first year, displays and landscape lighting covered about 125 acres over a three-mile drive throughout the resort. Since then, the show has grown into one of the nation’s largest Christmas light shows, covering more than three hundred acres over a six-mile drive throughout the resort.

4. Smoky Mountain Winterfest – Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, TN.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest is a magical celebration that begins in late fall.  Ride the Trolley Tour of Lights around Pigeon Forge and claim a spot on the sidewalk  for Gatlinburg’s “Fantasy of Lights” Christmas Parade, featuring lighted floats, marching bands and giant helium balloons.  This event combines 3 Tennessee cities: Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. These neighboring Smoky Mountain towns are ablaze with 5 million lights thru February.

5. Trail of Lights – Austin, TX – December 14 – December 23
The  Trail of Lights is a mile long display of 42 lighted scenes, US Post Office, Santa’s House, the Yule Log, and an entertainment stage. The festival begins with the lighting of the Zilker Tree, a 155 feet tall, 180 feet diameter lighted tree consisting of 3,309 bulbs on 39 streamers strung from Austin’s historical Moonlight Tower. Since 1987 the honor of lighting the tree has been bestowed upon the winner of the city-wide children’s tree coloring contest. The tree lighting ceremony takes place on the first Sunday of December.

6. Magical Nights of Lights – Lake Lanier, GA – November 22 – December 30
Rekindle an old tradition or create a new one at Lake Lanier Islands Resort’s 16th annual Magical Nights of Lights holiday celebration. Known as the world’s largest animated light extravaganza, the fun kicks off November 22 through December 30 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm. nightly! Bring the whole family a drive through tour of over six miles of twinkling, holiday light displays and a live nativity scene complete with live actors and animals!

7. Holiday Festival of Lights, Charleston, S.C. – November 14  – January 4.  In 1990, Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission created the Holiday Festival of Lights to bring families and friends together and to raise support for the Charleston county park system. With over 600 individual displays located throughout the park in 132 power locations, the Holiday Festival of Lights is a magical sight to see!

8. Enchanted Garden of Lights, Chattanooga, TN – November 21 – January 3.
See Rock City! The gardens’ natural beauty is complemented by more than 25 holiday scenes as half a million lights illuminate rock formations along the Enchanted Trail.

9. Louisville MEGA Cavern, Louisville, Kentucky
Every year, the Louisville MEGA Cavern will be transformed into a Christmas light spectacular for all of Kentuckiana to experience. Lights Under Louisville will feature 35 displays, 300 LED Light characters- over 1,000,000 points of light.
In 2009, the MEGA Cavern’s Lights Under Louisville allowed the public to drive their own vehicles inside the cavern to experience this unique Christmas wonderland.

10. Southern Lights – Lexington, Ky. – November 22 – December 30
The annual Southern Lights event is the largest fundraiser held for The Kentucky Horse Park. Over 25,927 vehicles passed through the electrical wonderland in 2006 alone! Everything from petting zoos, model railways, arts, crafts, and Santa Claus fill the Indoor Attractions section free of charge to guests.

Honorable Mention
Fantasy of Lights – Pine Mountain, GA – November 14 – December 30
100 Miles of Lights – Virginia Beach, VA
Bright Nights at Forest Park – Springfield, MA
Christmas Lighting Festival –  Leavenworth, WA –
Clot Family Christmas – Pinecrest, FL – Thanksgiving
Festival of Lights – Galveston, Texas
Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Garden –  Huntsville, AL
RHEMA Christmas Lights – Broken Arrow, OK
Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights –  Clemmons, N.C
Mission Inn – Riverside, CA
Temple Square in Salt Lake City
Lexington Fire Station 20, Lexington KY
Hyatt’s Extreme Christmas Home, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Ghosts, Goblins & More!

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ghostHalloween is the perfect time to experience a haunted tour.  Across the country, motorcoach tour companies are offering up this once in a lifetime (or past lifetime…) experience for you and your friends.  Below are a few of our favorite tours to consider.

  • LaZoom, Haunted Comedy Bus Tour (Asheville, NC): ‘Get on the Bus’ after dark and explore Asheville’s strange and sordid past with LaZoom.   Laugh and scream along as your adventurous tour guide uncovers mysteries, tells tales of murder, deceit, scandals, and ghosts, spilling Asheville’s blood right before your very eyes.
  • Ursula Bielski’s Chicago Hauntings Tours (Chicago, IL) Chicago Hauntings offers fully narrated, historically based ghost and paranormal tours to haunted spots throughout Chicago – some of our most common stops include murder sites, disaster sites, a serial killer’s body dump, gang sites, haunted houses, and abandoned graveyards. Passengers get off the bus to look for ghosts several times per tour – and sometimes they find them!
  • Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours (Boulder, CO): Banjo Billy’s gives history tours of Boulder and Denver, as well as brewery tours in Denver, from an old school bus tricked out to look like a traveling hillbilly shack.  Hear ghost tales, crime stories, and history while sitting on a couch, recliner or saddle as the bus rolls through the core of the cities.  You won’t forget this bus tour!
  • Gray Line Tours (New Orleans, LA): New Orleans has been referred to as “The most haunted city in America.” After this tour, we’ll let you be the judge! You’ll visit several haunted sites and hear about the stories featured on The History Channel and The Discovery Channel. Hear ghostly stories about our haunted hotels and the courthouse where our state supreme court is based. We even visit a former slave exchange. Each guide has researched these “other spirits” of the Vieux Carre, so no two tours are exactly alike.

Common Questions

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Unless you are a meeting planner or tour coordinator, chances are you aren’t ordering charter buses on a regular basis.  There are some questions that you should remember to ask, before you book your motorcoach with a company.

1. Years in business.  This is important simply because companies who have been in business for a long time, know the ropes.  You can better trust that they won’t take your money and run, or unexpectedly close their doors.

2. What is their safety record?  Companies who have good safety records tend to brag about them, and they should.  Knowing the company’s safety record is like viewing a snapshot on how they conduct business.  Do they have driver’s hours violations?  If so, that could indicate they don’t take the hours of service laws seriously.  Driver fatigue is a real issue and has the potential of causing a terrible accident.  Better to be safe than sorry.

3.  Maintenance and cleaning.   Imagine this: You schedule a motorcoach for a large business function.  The bus shows up dirty, and half-way through the trip it breaks down.  Ask your sales person about how they maintain the buses, from cleaning to oil changes, it all makes a huge difference.

4.  Cancellation and deposit policy.  What if you change your mind?  What if you don’t have as many people RSVP to your event that you thought?  Most companies understand that things happen and have cancellations policies in place to help you out.  Some operators may require a deposit to hold the buses.  This most likely would be refunded if you cancel within the time frame.

5.  Rates.  Each company figures their services on different factors.  Some may add a fuel tax, some a clean-up charge.  Rates can range from a hourly minimum to a daily charge.  Ask you sales person to break down the costs per bus and per passenger.  It can make it easier to understand the cost savings of traveling together when you see it broken down in that way.

Just asking  a few key questions can make or break your trip.  Your sales person will be there every step of the way, helping create a positive experience for your group.

Ahhhh, Summer!

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There is no better way to celebrate summer and our nations birthday than a road trip to some unusual All American places, with friend/family, on a motorcoach.

This great nation of ours is home to thousands of great travel destinations that would make a memorable vacation for any group.  Below you will find our Top 5 Places You May Not Have Thought Of As A Summer Destination list.  Enjoy! #GoMotorcoach

5.  Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska.  Many have heard of England’s Stonehenge, but have you heard of Carhenge?  Thirty-eight, gray spray painted cars placed as a life size replica of the ancient formation.  Created by artist Jim Reinders in 1987, Carhenge now boasts 80,000 visitors per year.  It’s free to the public and open year round.


4. The World’s Largest Twine Ball in Darwin, Minnesota.  In 1950, Francis Johnson began winding twine for 4 hours per day until the he passed away in 1989.  What resulted was a 17,400 pound ball of twine that was nearly 40 feet in diameter.  Darwin, MN celebrates each August with its Twine Ball Festival in which visitors can create their very own twine balls.  The attraction is open year round and free to the public.

3.  The Desert of Maine in Freeport, Maine.  Enjoy camping, hiking and a tram tour of Maine’s very own Sahara-like desert.  Scientist believe that a glacier left this 300-acre stretch of sand, that was buried for centuries, until poor farming techniques exposed it in the 1800’s.  The park is open May through October with admission cost of less than $10 per guest.

coral-castle-22.  Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida.  For over thirty years, Ed Leedskalnin carved his castle out of solid coral, using only basic hand tools.  Leedskalnin who was only 5 feet tall and weighed 100 lbs. worked mostly  during the night, to prevent prying eyes from seeing his creations.  The castle consists of over 1000 tons of coral and has a 9 ton revolving gate.

1.  Marfa Lights in Marfa, Texas.  On clear nights, onlookers can oooh and ahhh over the mysterious lights that appear over the Mitchell Flats.  Scientists have yet to explain why the light phenomenon happens.  Some say the lights are car lights and others say they are alien spaceships or ghosts.  Whatever they are, each Labor Day, Marfa celebrates the lights with the three-day Marfa Lights Festival.  Enjoy music, food, craft and art vendors and a night parade during the festival.

The Summer Road Trip.

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Nothing says summer more than a road trip.  There is something about the good old American road trip that’s romantic to us.  Perhaps it’s the memories of us as children, piled in the back of our parent’s station wagon with no seat belts on, and if/when it was your turn to sit backwards you felt like the king of the road!  Perhaps you were traveling with a group of family or friends, each of you in your own vehicles, driving for hours and only getting to meet and visit at a road-side gas station during bathroom breaks while your Dads fueled their vehicles.  After the break, you would hop into your own car, and wait to chat until the next break time.

Fast forward to 2014 where you don’t have to wait until someone has to gas up or relieve themselves to talk to each other.  When you choose to use a motorcoach, instead of separate cars, everyone can travel together, the whole time!  Not only do you save time and money, but you save wear and tear on your individual vehicles.

Today’s motorcoaches are designed with your group travel in mind.  They have plush amenities, including Wi-Fi on board and outlets.  No more running into the gas station and begging for an outlet to charge up your dead cell phone.  No more using your data plan up on the first day of the trip.  We have you covered!

Here is the best part: You tell us what you want to do, where you want to go and what you want to see, we do the rest.  Motorcoach companies are well versed in travel and can help groups of all sizes get tickets, hotels and meals all lined up – and if they can’t, they know who can.

Summer is almost here, don’t wait to plan that fun group getaway, call your local motorcoach company and begin planning your epic summer vacation today!  Go Motorcoach and leave the driving to us!