Page 1

Volume XXXV, Number 3 • January/February 2015

Dancing Horses Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

New, Improved & Different page 18

Western Wonders page 4

West Palm Beach, Florida

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contents 10



STAFF editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . . Larry Plachno Business Manager . . . . nancy Ann Plachno Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . Dianne Billquist Typesetting/Page Layout . . . . Sherry Mekeel Assistant editor . . . . . . Laura Wagenknecht office Asst.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nicole Fehler

Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson road Polo, illinois 61064-9015 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site:



23 26 Specials




ESCAPE TO THE WEST Head your bus West and see why it is one of the most sought after vacations regions in the U.S. You will find unique treasures around every bend.


THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF GOOD HELP If you are traveling to the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, a stop at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is a moving spiritual experience. The shrine is the only churchapproved Marian apparition site in the United States.

Guides 14


And More 31 32

Escape the present day and take a trip back in time at a historic attraction or museum. Educational and fun, these visits are always a great way to learn about the past and how it has influenced modern days.



MONTEREY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA One of California’s most popular getaways, Monterey encompasses beautiful coastlines and seaside villages, a world-famous wine country and beauty and culture beyond compare.


Hidden gems, new attractions and unique one-of-a-kind niche tours are always a great addition to any tour itinerary.

BRITISH COLUMBIA British Columbia is a place of unforgettable landmarks and fascinating regions featuring outdoor adventure, agriculture, amazing locally made wine and breathtaking scenery.


Central/international – (608) 435-6220 West – (815) 946-2341 Midwest – (815) 946-2341 northeast – (815) 946-2341 Southeast – (423) 525-6042

COVER PHOTO Located in Lake Geneva, Dancing Horses is a favorite of bus and group tours in southern Wisconsin. Here, Sarah Hoeft puts Princess (left) and Finders Keepers (right) through their paces during a special holiday show. Dancing Horses is close to other attractions in Milwaukee, Rockford and Chicago. DANCING HORSES.



BuS TourS MAGAzine (iSSn 0199-6096) is published six times annually by national Bus Trader, inc., 9698 W. Judson road, Polo, illinois 61064. Subscriptions, $15 (in uS funds) annually, Canadian & international $20 (in uS funds). Printed in u.S.A. Second class postage paid at Polo, illinois 61064 and at additional mailing offices. PoSTMASTer: Send address changes to BuS TourS MAGAzine, 9698 W. Judson road, Polo, illinois 61064. Change of Address: Please send old mailing label (or old address and computer number) as well as new address. Advertising: Display advertising rates sent on request. Advertising deadline is the last day of the second month preceding publication. Founded in 1979, BuS TourS MAGAzine is the oldest independent magazine in the bus and group tour market. Circulation includes bus and group tour planners in the united States and Canada regardless of affiliation or whether commercial, private or corporate or group leader. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the written consent of the publisher. The name BuS TourS MAGAzine and the logo incorporating the passengers, bus and destinations are trade marks of national Bus Trader, inc.

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 3

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West

Escape to The West

Scottsdale, Arizona The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation invites visitors to Arizona to explore one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark makes for a unique and unforgettable Arizona visit with its stunning architecture set amid a 491-acre preserve commanding panoramic views of the Sonoran Desert and the Valley of the Sun. The site is featured in numerous “Top 100” lists in architectural history, befitting Frank Lloyd Wright’s status as the most influential architect of the 20th century. Frank Lloyd Wright thought of Taliesin West as his winter home, workplace and architectural laboratory. Today, expert guides lead guests through an immersive tour experience where nothing is left behind ropes or under glass. The tour experience is filled with landscaped walkways, majestic views and intimate interior details that allow visitors to discover the places where Frank Lloyd Wright lived, worked and designed architectural treasures in the Arizona desert. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is not a museum. Featuring the winter campus of The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and resident Fellows who worked with the famed architect, Taliesin West is a living, breathing cultural community. The 60-minute Panorama Tour visits the Cabaret Theater, Music Pavilion and Wright’s Private Office while exploring Wright’s talent for creatively linking indoor and outdoor spaces. The signature and most popular 90-minute Insights Tour, includes all stops in the Panorama

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Summer Tour

Tour along with special trips into the Wrights’ Living Quarters and the gracious Taliesin West

tion about tours and accessibility can be

“Garden Room.” Group tours receive special

found at

Nestled in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains and conveniently located 10 min-

rates for these tours. Bus parking is available

Anneliese’s Bookstore at Taliesin West

utes from Loop 101, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Tal-

on access road (North Taliesin Drive Way), and

prides itself in stocking the largest collection

iesin West is an Arizona must-see. Come visit

depending on visitation, in rear lot on-site.

of Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® products

the winter home of the master architect who

Taliesin West offers a broad range of pub-

and books by and about Frank Lloyd Wright,

conceived and executed the Guggenheim

lic tours every day except Thanksgiving,

his life and his award-winning contributions

Museum in New York and Falling Water in

Christmas and Easter. Additional informa-

to architecture.


4 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

ColumbiaGorgeSept/Oct14_Layout 1 10/14/14 2:58 PM Page 1 Check #349 on Reader Service Card

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COLUMBUS IND IA N A “an architectural mecca”

Experience 15,000 Y Years ears off Histor History! ryy! b 23,000 square feet to explore b Meeting and event rentals

b Family and group rates b Open 10am - 5pm daily 990 SW Rock Creek Dr. Stevenson, WA WA

EXPERIENCES • culinary • history • art SHOPPING! • outlet mall • antique mall EDUCATIONAL TOURS • architecture/art • food • manufacturing • microbreweries • winery



800.991.2338 SPONSORED BY The City of Stevenson and Skamania County Chamber of Commerce

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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West Frank Lloyd Wright came to Arizona and dreamed bigger—your guests will, too. Treat your group to a spectacular tour at legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home. Add Taliesin West to your itinerary today and give your guests the experience of a lifetime.

contact our group tour and marketing manager evan lowry at 602.800.5413 or to arrange your group experience today. group rates available. 12345 n taliesin drive, scottsdale, az 85258

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 5

Escape to The West For more information or to book a group tour, contact Group Tour

Guests will also enjoy the Artist Gallery which features instru-

and Marketing Manager Evan Lowry at (602) 800-5413 or via e-mail

ments played by John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Carlos Santana, Roy


Orbison, Johnny Cash and more. Special and traveling exhibitions are hosted in MIM’s Target Gallery and Beyond the Beat: Drums of

Musical Instrument Museum

the World is on display through June 21, 2015. The exhibition

Phoenix, Arizona

explores the immeasurable cultural and historical significance of

Travel the world through music at the Musical Instrument Museum

drums around the world through the presentation of more than

(MIM) in Phoenix. Ranked Phoenix’s number one attraction on Tri-

100 drums from 45 countries. The collection is accompanied by

pAdvisor, MIM offers an immersive experience, fun programs, monthly

dozens of videos, photographs and other multimedia content.

cultural celebrations and 200 concerts each year in its acoustically superb theater. A welcome addition to Phoenix’s cultural landscape, MIM opened April 24, 2010, and features an expansive collection of instruments from every country in the world. Guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience while they explore the rich diversity of the world’s music in the 200,000-square-foot building, which includes two floors of galleries, the MIM Music Theater, Café Allegro and the Museum Store. With nearly 6,000 instruments and objects on display, MIM is organized into five Geographical Galleries that each focus on a distinct global region. The galleries feature advanced wireless technology and high-resolution video screens, enabling museum guests to see instruments, hear their sounds and observe them being played in their original settings – performances that are often as spectacular as the instruments.

Musical Instrument Museum Check #461 on Reader Service Card

VISIT PHOENIX’S #1 ATTRACTION The World’s Only Global Musical Instrument Museum


Ranked the #1 Phoenix attraction by reviewers on TripAdvisor, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) features a collection of instruments, music, and objects from every country in the world. MIM is an entertaining, one-of-akind experience for visitors of all ages. With state-of-the-art audio/visual technology, a world-class theater, café, and museum store, MIM provides hours of enjoyment. Visitors to Phoenix won’t want to miss it! Guided, self-guided, and behind-the-scenes tours are available. Motorcoach parking is free. For group tour information and rates, e-mail us at MUSICAL INSTRUMENT MUSEUM | 480.478.6000 | Open Daily 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85050 (Corner of Tatum & Mayo Blvds., just south of Loop 101)

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Escape to The West A visit to MIM is an easy add-on for any bus tour. The museum

themed town of Sisters, Oregon is blanketed in

is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days per week. Conveniently

color as more than 1,300 quilts hang from every

located off two major freeways (Loop 101 and State Route 51), MIM

railing, porch and fence. Drawing 12,000 arts

is accessible from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sedona, Tucson, the Grand

and cultural tourists from all 50 U.S. states and

Canyon and beyond. The museum is bus friendly with ample com-

international visitors from more than 17 dif-

plimentary parking in a designated area on-site. Groups can enter

ferent countries each year, SOQS educates and

through the main entrance or through a private side entrance where

inspires the public about fiber arts and quilting

they are greeted by knowledgeable museum guides who will lead

past and present from traditional to modern to

them on a journey of exploration. Custom dining options are also

art quilts. Learn more at

available and can be coordinated through CafĂŠ Allegro. Additional tour add-ons include a behind-the-scenes “VIPâ€? tour, concerts,

Ironstone Vineyards Murphys, California

workshops and more. MIM has a dedicated team member on-site to work with tour oper-

Ironstone Vineyards is the ideal destination for tour groups of

ators and the museum offers incentives including net rates for tour

any size. Nestled in the charming gold rush town of Murphys in

groups and complimentary museum access for drivers and escorts.

the foothills of the central Sierras, it is an easy drive from many

For more information, e-mail or phone (480)

metropolitan areas in northern California. The central location

478-6000. Their Web site is

makes it possible to combine a visit to Ironstone as part of a trip to other major tour destinations such as Yosemite, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Reno.

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Sisters, Oregon Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS), the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, celebrates its 40th anniversary on July 11, 2015.

Family-owned and operated, Ironstone will impress you as a winery that places emphasis on the natural beauty and history of its surroundings as well as the quality of its wines and dedication to excellent customer service.

Held annually on the second Saturday in July, the 1890s WesternCheck #631 on Reader Service Card

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40th Anniversary 1975-2015


Saturday, July 11, 2015 BNQNr4JTUFST 0SFHPO –PLUS–



For more information: rJOGP!TPRTPSH Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 7

Escape to The West

Check #503 on Reader Service Card

Enjoy lunch in the Gourmet Delicatessen and shopping in the Tasting Room, which features a 42-foot fireplace and a tasting room bar, which was built in New York in 1907. The Heritage Museum and Jewelry Shoppe feature fine

Glass F Factory actory T Tours ours

New Showroom & Factory Tours Tours

jewelry, art

Monday – F Friday riday 8 am – 9:30 am and 1 10:45 0:45 am – 2 pm

740.439.1827 | 866.439.1827

and a col-

Monday – Friday Friday 8 am – 5 pm

Showroom Showroom

9279 Cadiz Road, Cambridge, Ohio 43725

lection of gold rush treasures, including a 44-pound Crystalline

Ironstone Vineyards





Nugget, the largest in the world. Antiques and gold mining artifacts are on display, both inside and throughout the gorgeous 14.5-acre estate. The gardens showcase a stunning selection of trees, flowers and shrubs including more than 48 tons of daffodil bulbs in 120 different varieties and 108 types of tulips. The daffodils and tulips, in conjunction with multi-hued carpets of azaleas, rhododendrons and snowballs, provide the most magnificent show of spring color in northern California. The fall brings a spectacular display of oranges, reds and yellows from a variety of hardwood trees and shrubs. Something gorgeous is always blooming at Ironstone. A variety of tour options are available including a private tour, wine tasting and luncheon package. All tours include the opportunity to listen to the Alhambra Theatre Pipe Organ in the magnificent Music Room. Come for the wine; stay for the day. There is always something amazing for your group to discover while visiting Ironstone Vineyards. Visit their Web site at for more information or phone (209) 728-1251 .The Ronald Reagan Presidential

Library and Museum The American Presidency comes alive at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and 8 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

 Check #216 on Reader Service Card

Escape to The West Museum, where 18 galleries and dozens of interactive displays wait to

and china service, fresh flowers on the tables and professional wait staff

entertain, educate and excite you. Open since 1991, but wholly reno-

to attend to your group. Lunch options range from $10 per person through

vated in 2011, the galleries were designed to bring history to life. Where

the café, up to $54.95 per person for the White House Lunch program,

else in California can visitors walk onboard an actual Air Force One

and everything in between (Price of museum admission and a docent for

aircraft that flew seven U.S. presidents, touch an authentic piece of the

your group is included in the White House Luncheon program pricing).

Berlin Wall, or lay a hand on a real steel beam recovered from the World

From Air Force One to historic photos and video to interactive games to exquisite landscaped grounds, the Reagan Library is truly

Trade Center after 9-11? Visitors will not just learn about the history of the American Pres-

one of the most unique and beautiful travel destinations in southern

idency, but will immerse themselves in Ronald Reagan’s path to the

California. The Library is sure to be a fun, entertaining and educa-

White House. Starting

Entrance to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum

tional experience for everyone, of every age, in your tour group.

back in his days as a

Tour groups should book ahead by phoning (805) 577-4066. The vis-

sports radio announcer

itor services department will book your reservation, greet your bus and

to his years as a

collect your payment upon arrival. Bus parking is available on-site.

Warner Brothers movie

Groups of any size can be accommodated, but tour guides (docents)

actor and then the host

are available only for groups of 15 or more. All groups 20 persons or

of GE Theater, visitors

larger must make a reservation whether or not they elect to have a tour

step into his shoes,

guide. Groups must use one form of payment for the entire group.

through the use of Green Screen technology, and call a Cubs game,

Open seven days a week, the Reagan Library is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. With more than

introduce a GE Theater, and even act in a movie. The Reagan Library is home to two restaurants, Reagan’s Country

100,000 square feet of exhibit space, it is recommended that you plan

Café and The Ronald Reagan Pub. Group tours are encouraged to call

for at least a half-day visit to the Reagan Library. The library is wheel-

ahead and reserve seating. Group tour meal packages are also available,

chair accessible. Audio wands (in English, Spanish and hearing

from sandwiches and salads, to hot chicken and beef buffets, to their

impaired) are available for a separate charge. For a complete list of

upscale White House Lunch program, which comes complete with linen

museum admission pricing and exhibits, visit


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Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 9

Road-Tripping to Roadside Attractions in British Columbia by Margo Pfeiff


e have all seen them on highways and rural byways, mas-

sive roadside attractions that elicit a gasp or a guffaw — buffalo as big as locomotives, a helicopter-sized mos-

quito or a cowboy boot that would fit King Kong. Everybody loves a road trip and these kitschy, small-town landmarks are part of the fun. While they may not be a destination on their own, they offer a quirky target to aim for with the goal of exploring the surrounding region. British Columbia has its share of mammoth landmarks and — since this is Canada — the Guinness Book of World Records’ holder for the world’s largest hockey stick (and puck), seems a good place to start. Recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame, the 207-foot, 33ton wooden goal-maker was created for Vancouver’s Expo 86 and now graces the community center in Duncan, north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. When hockey fans need to refuel, you are in


the heart of the Cowichan Valley, where produce is showcased weekly at the town’s lively Saturday farmers market. A short drive from Duncan promises a lush mini-Provence, where you can nav-

ing wilds since the town sits between the Coast and Cascade moun-

igate scenic, winding country roads along “Gourmet Trail” tast-

tain ranges with dramatic rainforests, alpine meadows and white-

ing routes, dropping in on cheesemakers, wineries, cideries and

water rivers to explore.

organic farms.

Between Vancouver and Hope, the broad Fraser Valley is a fer-

If adventure is your game, head west of Duncan for hiking and

tile rural region where self-guided driving tours, Circle Farm Tours,

paddling around Cowichan Lake, 20 minutes to the south. Shawni-

lead to everything from hazelnut orchards and goat dairies to small

gan Lake is the site of the historic Kinsol Trestle, one of the world’s

wineries like Township 7 and Domaine de Chaberton with its fine

largest free-standing wooden trestles at 614 feet in length and 150

bistro — some of the Lower Mainland’s best-kept secrets. Serious

feet in height. With views of the Koksilah River, this eye-popper

wine lovers will want to continue from Hope 149 miles further north-

can be found on a hiking/biking route that is part of the Trans-

east to Kelowna and the Thompson Okanagan grape-growing/wine-

Canada Trail.

making Mecca where there is another quirky landmark worth search-

While Duncan is renowned for having more than 30 totem poles

ing out: a real pyramid. Summerhill Pyramid Winery is Canada's

that stand tall along its downtown streets, the community of Hope,

largest certified organic winery and owner Stephen Cipes places his

93 miles east of Vancouver along the Fraser Valley, has its own

award-winning products — mostly sparkling wines — into the cool

wooden statue bragging rights. The town is an outdoor menagerie

pyramid as the final step in production. Bonus: visitors can experi-

of more than 30 of Pete Ryan’s giant chainsaw-carved bears,

ence the serenity of the winery’s authentic, sacred geometric cham-

cougars, eagles, foxes and mountain sheep that you will spot on

ber on a tour.

a Carving Walk. Those critters in real life reside in the surround10 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

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Save up to 70% Off Retail Prices


7  " Ê*  ÊUÊ "" Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê /6  ÊUÊ, Ê6*Ê-6 Ê Ê Ê Ê -Ê ," 1, Ê  É"1/ "",Ê  Ê Visit for details and to register your group today.

In Southwest Florida off I-75, Exit 123, Corkscrew Road iÌÜii˜ÊÊ >«iÃÊ>˜`ÊœÀÌÊÞiÀÃÊUÊ­ÓΙ®Ê™{n‡ÎÇÈÈ Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê

Step back in time and visit Adsmore, a living house museum. Leave the present behind and enter into an era of top hats and fans, graphophones, lavender scented sheets, elegant china and crystal, and button shoes. Adsmore, meticulously restored, reflects the lifestyle of the prominent Smith-Garret family at the close of the “Golden Age.” Guided Tours Tuesday-Saturday 11 am to 4 PM

Check #478 on Reader Service Card

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Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 11

Feature: British Columbia Post exploration, continue south along the vineyard-lined shores of Okanagan,

ing and has an extensive hiking and snow-

original Cariboo Wagon Road through

shoeing/cross-country ski network.

wide-open cowboy country — passing

Skaha and Osoyoos lakes, stopping in for

For one of the province’s true epicen-

Williams Lake and Quesnel. Your journey

tastings at dozens of wineries en route.

ters of world-class cross-country skiing,

will take you to the northern British Colum-

Some of the province’s best reds ripen in

drive 280 miles northeast of Vancouver

bia city of Prince George, where the tight-

the hot sun of Canada’s only true desert just

into the South Cariboo region to 100 Mile

knit community is saluted by Mr. PG, a 26-

shy of the U.S. border in the Osoyoos region.

House whose surroundings have one of

foot tall figure made out of fake “logs” (a

That is not all. Winery touring and tasting

Canada’s most extensive groomed ski trail

nod to its forestry roots). Originally

is year-round fun, while opportunities to

networks, about 93 miles with warming

designed as an inclusion for the 1963 Grey

raise a glass mark the seasons, thanks to

huts en route. There are trails for begin-

Cup Parade in Vancouver, Mr. PG became

lively celebrations hosted by the Okanagan

ners to experts, even an Adventure Trail

a proud symbol of the city; he routinely

Wine Festivals Society.

for parents and kids. It is logical that this

took part in many parades that followed

is where you will also encounter the

and has even been featured on a Canada

East of the Okanagan Valley, the Rocky Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop

Post stamp. Today, he sits permanently at

World’s largest hockey stick

along the highway through Revelstoke, Golden and Invermere to Fernie,

the intersection of highways 97 and 16, occasionally waving a flag to wel-

communities known for their

come folks to this outdoor

heaps of snow and prime



downhill and heli-skiing.

where summer beckons

There is another draw

with hiking and biking

that is sure to captivate:

and winter promises

just 30 minutes from the

equal allure with snow

slopes of Fernie, in the

shoeing, cross-country,

mining town of Sparwood,

downhill and heli-skiing.

a colossal roadside attraction

Want more zany roadside

— the world’s largest tandem axel

attractions? There are so many

dump truck — will take your breath away.

across British Columbia. Make a mission

Sixty-six feet long with 3,300 horsepower,

and plan a roadside-attraction-themed road

its box can hold two Greyhound buses and

world's largest pair of cross-country skis

trip — after all, who knows what you might

a pair of pickup trucks — all at once. While

— the poles alone tower 30 feet. Want to

discover around the world’s biggest fly-fish-

here, be sure to explore the history of

ditch the woollies? During warm, dry,

ing rod in Houston or near Alert Bay’s174-

underground coal mining on a Sparwood

sunny summers the region’s trails and

foot totem pole, a contender for the world’s

Mining History Walking Tour and see

backcountry are popular with hikers, bik-


antique mining machinery as well as giant

ers, campers and horseback riders.

murals around town. Surrounded by the

Continue due north from 100 Mile

Rockies, Sparwood is known for its fish-

House on Highway 97 — the route of the

For more on British Columbia’s destinations





Contacts Tourism Cowichan:

Okanagan Wine Festivals:

Pete Ryan:


Circle Farm Tours:

Skiing in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast:;

Domaine de Chaberton Estate Winery:

Township 7 Vineyards & Winery:

Tourism Prince George:

Summerhill Pyramid Winery: 12 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015


Secwepemc_Layout 1 12/16/14 1:54 PM Page 1

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Secw epemc Museum and H eri ta ge P ar k K amlo op s, Brit is h Co lu mbia

Specia l G roup Rates Ava ilable!

$230, IPSHEWANA package TThe he $ 230, 3-DAY, 3-DAY, 2-NIGHT 2-NIGHT SHIPSHE WANA FLEA MARKET MARKET pack age guarantees Midwest’s largest market, Amish gest flea mar ket, joining an A mish guar antees fun browsing browsing the M idwest’s lar bee,, dining in an A Amish home,, ttouring Quilt Gardens, more! quilting bee mish home ouring Q uilt G ardens, and mor e! Market, Midwest’s largest, TThe he Shipshewana Shipshewana FFlea lea M arket, the M idwest’s lar gest, fea ffeatures: eatures: access, parking • EEasy asy ac acc cess ess,, fr free ee bus park ing and free free admission open Tuesday’s Wednesday’s, October ctober • AB ABA A TTop op 100 EEvent vent op en TTuesday uesday’s & W Wednesday ednesday’s, May thru O food • Restaurant Restaurant vvouchers ouchers and fo od ccarry arryy outs arr Farmstead located Market • FFarmst armstead armst ead Inn con cconveniently onveniently lo cated across across the street street from from the FFlea lea Mark et

OTHER STOPS: AMISH HISTORIC HERITAGE O THER TOP TOP ST OPS: A MISH ACRES ACRES HIST ORIC FARM FARM & HERIT HERITA AGE RESORT live theatre, family-style lodging, RESOR T ffeatures eatures ttours, ours, liv e thea tre, family -style TThreshers hreshers Dinner, Dinner, lodg ing, quaintt shops shops,, ABA TTop Arts Crafts free parking. quain op 100 EEvent vent A rts & C raf afts ts FFestival ee bus par king. estival and fr DAS DUTCHMAN ESSENHAUS seatt A Amish-style mish-style FFamily-owned amily-owned D AS DUT CHMAN ESSENHA US’ 1,100 sea home-style bakeryy ffea feature pie.. TTheir shops,, rrestaurant estaurant and home -style baker eature 30 vvarieties arieties of pie heir IInn, nn, shops cruise-in, Quilt Garden Mural create escape.. classic car cruise -in, Q uilt G arden & M ural cr eate a quiet ccountry ountry escape The QUIL QUILT T GARDENS ALONG THE HERIT HERITA AGE TRAIL ... an ABA Top 100 Event seven years in a row! 19 eye-popping quilt patterned gardens (over 1,000,000 blooms!) and 21 gigantic hand-painted quilt art murals blanket seven Amish Country communities. VIEWABLE FREE OF CHARGE ANNUALL ALLY Y MAY 30 - OCTOBER 1!

ET RKE ARK MA M 0 pp! FLEA ANAy only $23 eewan wanaa ry , Shipsh PSHEW Itinera stead Inn, KE - SHI h gested g at the Farm ge Amis & SPO t vinta HUB Night Suge, including lodgin n abou 2014 /2 peopl een. 3 Day based upon 30 in betw ive, Inclus

t a quil that’s c our tha a ttour her colle ogether and see iece ttogean expert the behind-the Piec P om

and dream lover’s

The Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park is an education center and a tourist attraction which was established in 1986. The museum interprets the history and culture of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) people; it incoporates the oral history and the legends, along with historical photographs, illustrations and artifacts. The Secwepemc Musuem is located in the banks of the South Thompson River on the TK’emlups te Secwepemc Reserve, minutes from downtown Kamloops. Visitors will experience the rich cultural heritage of the Secwepemc people.

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sive, g n Counr is l finds base tradin the Midwest’s e auctio - nodadmis pattern Shipshewa specia l in Amish ping onto30“the to antiqu ment and flock Arriva p.m. home esday edShop ands a ispeop -3:00 for suc leyorWedn There’s excite thous ewan weekl Noon more . and why er. Shipsh tibles., inclu ces first-h collec acres. s.. The ding ience May thru Octobing 100 es and lodg Exper , ing at esday booths cover quality antiqu Qual Wedn 900 ity Inn selling & . with over at once er’s paradise! ntile. ds going shopp Merca Suites, Gosh t groun rings osheen sion fee ned Davis Marke turn. A n nditio every the Flea - no admis ping iful, air-co own on tead.. beaut na Shop farms Arriv on your hewa inside the Amish al Lunch Ships Chec in Nort of a tidy found town hern k-in at the IndiaDown the 24 stores sive cousin expan ntile and na, ing na Depa Merca Qual includ like an ity Inn Goshen a hewa rt looks DavisGosh ewan & Suite Ships inn that Shipsh Inn, en for town room Gosh Napp tead s,154 en :30 p.m. in down anee ming The Farms 3:00-4 you drop -in at welco ‘til Check ne at this Shop 3:45genui 4:45 evening e are pp incl Napp the p.m. servic foranee na - $23 4:45 p.m. tality and rt hotel facto hewa ’s Depa Shop ry for color w , Ships The hospi the 100,0 ping Copp ful histo Amish g Feast onal ry & Histo eddin 00tradities Kitch com ry at mish shopgping en Cabi es alive on a s.f. w reno 5:30 p.m. Copp vated histo ’ famous for local eastin netsmealwhen DAS DUTCHMAN ESSENHAUS Amish family-style withesheaping platters of crispy Amish ryaninto visitin that satisfies Com ly mad factory what mon Just $20pp incl. g Copp :30 p now 30once . the and chicken, with nallJohn theF.trimmings pie flaky-crusted varieties! e, - pick from 6:00-7 bowls brimming r explai taste Kennedy,Coppes Kitchhand crafte houses produced es Com s - no adm 5:00Esthe creat 6:00 while issio vi and d and a variety the famo mons. mad The Napp p.m. shop ens,escape once with: ice-c a peaceful e-fro ive fresh of Family-owned Das Dutchman Essenhaus delivers us “Hoo Originallyn fee a samp m-scratch ream concping this ordered anee bake small busin This sierwith hidd d. Get Cent • 1,000 seat (family-style, plus home-style bakery you’ll enjoy filling youresses basket le of & buffet!) rustic by Frank Cabi the octio en while menu Main er hous Visit .restaurant a glim what baked net,” the andoffering ns com perfe coupons attra gem is still• Six Sinat exclusive good Nappopen until 8pmon-si specialty shops May for after dinner shopping group shopping ’s in store pse of es ct for One ction te.thru Oct. ra e to rambling s, anee main the Evely displ s inclu • Fun life in a peaceful – insid brick and fascin recreational and events for flexible free time - allchee budget andPresi serenethe setting taine ses, friendly nactivities ay Napp Lehm Cent dent e Copp bulk using liquid struc er d ating seve locally-owned anee and the de food free Wi-Finitro ture. 89-room Inn with spacious guest rooms, in-room coffee, and complimentary hot breakfast • Upscale, ral “Hooby the Libra an Culp and the Quilt es Com histo Gard s Watc Herit ric ens & sier” ry mon or look for gen, taste h and Mura John Hartm cabin today and age Colle Gardens s. ls (som sure a good book and buy & Mura is the Midwest’sBe ction tells an HousetsThe madSHIPSHEWANA toopen OTHER TOP FLEA MARKET largest, & Wednesday, e walkSTOPS: enjoy Tuesday . That e. Visit e in Napp the story , founded ls of Napp ing Free the Quilt ’s just parking and admission. their Garden ACRES May thru October. of Visit at and bus the Quilt anee across the street. AMISH boar the Quilt anee, a tribu Nappanee Gard Napp - no family-style Threshers Dinner, Gard & HERITAGE RESORT features tours, live theatre, 80-ACRE HISTORIC FARMding en lodging, anee te adm throu of your to the en quaint shops, and ABA Top 100 Eventbus Artsis & and Crafts city’s gh perm Public Libraission fee meeFestival. six t anen requ ired) your local nationally t, rotat ry in 1971 . amb ing and . assad -known spec carto or for an insid onists, ial displ ays. er’s tour an Air Force of the Noon







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Visit V isit A more information group friendly ffor or mor e infor inf ormation on these g roup fr iendly aattractions ttractions or call SSonya onya aatt 800.262.8161.

20 0 -3 3 0 Ch i ef Al ex T ho ma s W ay Ka mlo o ps , BC , C an a da V2 H 1 H1 Phone: 2 5 0- 82 8 -9 7 49

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 13


isiting historic attractions and muse-

Father FlanaganTomb

ums are a wonderful way to discover

where we came from and to hear

the stories of the men and women who helped shape our nation and create change. Many attractions offer a look at times long past but never forgotten.

Boys Town Boys Town, Nebraska You may know about Boys Town, from the Oscar-winning movie Boys Town but did you know that this world-famous village in Nebraska, which has been giving children second chances for nearly 100 years, is open year-round for tours? This vision came from humble beginnings. In 1917, a young Irish priest named Father Edward J. Flanagan grew discouraged in his work with homeless men in Omaha, Nebraska. He shifted his attention to helping wayward boys, and in December of that year, borrowed $90 to rent a boarding house that became Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys. Father Flanagan welcomed boys of all races

A Journey Back in Time Historic Attractions and Museums

and religions, and by the following spring, a hundred youngsters were living at the Home. In 1921, Father Flanagan purchased Over-

United States every year. Must-see stops for visitors include:

look Farm on the outskirts of Omaha and

• Father Flanagan’s Tomb – Located in

moved his Boys’ Home there. In time, the

Dowd Memorial Chapel, Father Flana-

Home grew into the Village of Boys Town,

gan’s tomb has served as a refuge for

where tens of thousands of boys and girls

many seeking a quiet place of reflec-

have found a fresh start in life and a brighter

tion and inspiration.

future. News of Father Flanagan’s work spread

• Hall of History Museum – The Hall of History Museum presents the unique

• World’s Largest Ball of Stamps – A favorite with all ages, children and adults love having their picture taken with the Stamp Ball. Phone (800) 625-1400 for more information or to book a tour.

Tudor Place Washington, D.C.

worldwide with the success of the 1938

history of Boys Town through perma-

Built in 1816 by Martha Washington’s

movie, Boys Town. Spencer Tracy won an

nent exhibits of audio and video pre-

granddaughter, Tudor Place is an essential

Academy Award for his portrayal of Father

sentations. You will discover how they

piece of the D.C. experience in a prime loca-

Flanagan, which he later donated to the

continue their mission to change the

tion off the Mall in historic Georgetown.

priest. This Oscar is on permanent display in

way America cares for children, fami-

Groups love the house tours and historic

lies and communities.

landscaped gardens, spanning nearly 200

the Boys Town Hall of History Museum. Although Father Flanagan died in 1948,

• Father Flanagan’s House – The former

years of American artifacts, history and sto-

his work – which he called “God’s work” –

residence of Boys Town’s founder fea-

ries, from the first First Family to the 1960s.

has continued, bringing life-changing care

tures décor and furnishings that inter-

Tour rooms where the nation’s early lead-

to children and families across the country

pret the year 1929 and many of Father

ers gathered, slaves and servants labored, and

and around the world.

Flanagan’s personal belongings. A desk

six generations of one family recorded their

Today the village of Boys Town welcomes

made for him by Boys Town youth, con-

piece of America’s story. "You can practically

more than 100,000 visitors from across the

taining 250,000 inlaid pieces of wood,

hear the swish of skirts on the stairs," guests

is the centerpiece of the study.

say. "It's as if the family just left the room.”

14 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

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Winnipesaukee is a Beautiful Lake



Scenic Cruises & Fall Foliage Cruises

Book y


Enjoy a cruise with buffet aboard the historic M/S Mount Washington. From Weirs Beach daily, mid May through late October. Excellent Tour Operator Rates. Complete schedule on line: 603-366-5531 • 1-888-843-6686



s boyst bo yst


ble Points Lig Sa h


Sunday Brunch & Foliage Dinner Cruises


e Keepers ous th

From Weirs Beach and other ports.

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io n

BIG SABLE Leave a Print in May 1 through Oct. 25 the Sand and help us preserve LUDINGTON N. BREAKWATER Big Sable Point Lighthouse May 22 through Sept. 7 and tower by purchasing LITTLE SABLE a Trex® board. May 22 through Oct. 31 These boards will become WHITE RIVER LIGHT STATION the new walkway around May 22 through Oct. 31 Big Sable Point Lighthouse. P.O. Box 673 Ludington, MI 49431


four lights • one mission Preserving Lake Michigan Lighthouses

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Little Falls is the Heart of Central Minnesota… Where the Mississippi Pauses Day One - Mississippi River bridge - Maple Island Park with a dam nestled in the center of downtown - Linden Hill Historic Mansions tours - Rosenmeier Home Historic tours - Pine Grove Zoo - Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site

Day Two - MN Military Museum (Camp Ripley) - MN Fishing Museum - Vintage Courthouse tours Little Falls is Located Two Hours North from the Twin Cities Area on the Bank of the Mississippi

For personalized tours please contact: Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau 606 1st Street SE | Little Falls, Mn 56345 1.800.325.5916 |

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 15

Guide: Historic Attractions A National Historic Landmark, this iconic example of early Amer-

The museum is located at 125 North Main in Aztec and welcomes

ican architecture holds one of the nation’s finest collections of dec-

bus tours. Prior notice is required for all tours. Step-on guides are

orative arts and the stuff and stories of everyday lives. Its Washing-

provided by the museum if requested. Phone (505) 334-9829 for

ton collection is the largest on view outside Mount Vernon.

reservations and information. Admission is $3 per person, payable

From the grand Saloon with its vistas across the unique “Temple

on-site, with driver/escort admission fee waived. Temporary bus

Portico” and South Lawn, tours enter elegant public rooms visited by

parking for unloading passengers is available in front of the museum

famous names including the Marquis de Lafayette and Robert E. Lee.

on Main Street. Buses may enter the west gate of the museum

The dining table, laid with silver and porcelain from the collection,

grounds and park while the tour is conducted and pick up passengers at that point. There is no charge for parking. The museum does

Tudor Place

not have dining facilities, but several dining options are located nearby. To learn more contact or visit At Aztec Ruins, visitors step back in time as they walk a short, self-guided trail through a 900-year-old ancestral Pueblo Great House. The park integrates the perspectives of archeologists and modern Native American peoples into a trail guide that can be purchased for $2. Also on-site are a visitor center with museum, 15minute video, picnic area and bookstore. One to two hours is recommended for these activities. Park hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day; offers more glimpses of historic events and family life across 183

advanced reservations are requested. The entrance fee is $5 per

years. In the servants’ hall and 1914 kitchen, portraits emerge of ser-

adult. The park accepts cash, credit cards and checks with address

vants and the changing nature of domestic labor. The bedrooms

and tax ID number. America the Beautiful pass holders, children

upstairs hold furnishings from Mount Vernon to the Victorian era to

and bus driver/tour director are free. The park easily accommo-

mid-20th century, as well as fine couture, family portraits and toys.

dates groups of 50 or more with

On the grounds, visitors stroll freely through lawns and lovely gar-

a pick-up/drop-off area and

den “rooms,” summer houses, arbors and other features, sheltered

free bus parking just west of the

by the branches of old-growth trees that witnessed the nation’s early

visitor center. All groups will

decades. The 1919 Pierce-Arrow motorcar sits steps away from the

receive an orientation from a

1794 smokehouse, one of Washington’s oldest original outbuildings.

ranger when they arrive. Visi-

Tours can be customized according to client interests, with gar-

tors must stay on the marked,

den tours, group teas (including a popular Downton Abbey program

self-guided trail. Off-trail traffic

and tour), picnics, and curatorial talks on topics ranging from “Women,

is damaging to the fragile archeological resources. No dining is

Love, and Property,” to the Washingtons, to the historic doll collec-

available on-site, but many excellent options are just minutes away

Aztec Pioneer Village

tion. Lively, well-informed docents lead all house tours, offered Tues-

in the historic City of Aztec. Phone (505) 334-6174 or e-mail

days through Sundays. You can visit their Web site at

For tour information visit

Aztec, New Mexico Aztec, New Mexico offers top notch historic attractions which highlight the founding and culture of Western America and explore its ancient wonders.

Old Salem Museum and Gardens Winston-Salem, North Carolina Winston-Salem’s roots date to 1753, when the Moravians, a religious group from Eastern Europe, settled in the area and estab-

Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village features a large collection of local

lished the town of Salem. Located in the middle of bustling down-

and regional historical artifacts displayed in a two-story, multi-roomed

town, visitors can step back in time to the quieter pace of the

main building and a Pioneer Village with replicas of 14 businesses, pub-

18th-century Moravian village at the Old Salem Museums and Gar-

lic buildings and personal dwellings. A new permanent exhibit, Pecos

dens – one of America’s most authentic colonial sites. Considered

West, will open in 2015 featuring a large, three-dimensional diorama of

one of the area’s “must see” places to visit, Old Salem is alive with

the American West featuring many hand-carved pieces of folk art.

dining, shopping, gardens and year-round seasonal activities.

16 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Guide: Historic Attractions The Moravians, a group of Eastern European Protestants, moved to the area in 1766, a decade before the birth of America. Salem’s set-

Bagge Garden Shop to purchase heirloom seeds for planting in your own backyard.

tlers were skilled artisans, cabinet-makers, tinsmiths, gunsmiths,

Speaking of culinary delights, a stop at the Tavern in Old Salem

gardeners and cooks. Today, the cobblestone sidewalks of Old Salem

for the famous Moravian chicken pie, as well as a visit to the Winkler

are graced with more than 100 preserved and restored buildings with

Bakery for sweet sugar cakes, wafer-thin Moravian cookies and more

costumed interpreters, such as tailors, shoemakers and potters, who

is a requirement. Old Salem is also home to the internationally-

perform daily 18th-century tasks.

renowned Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MEDSA), which

While today’s farm-to-table culinary movement emphasizes fresh and local, Old Salem was way ahead of the trend. Moravians

contains rare textile, silver, furniture and paintings crafted by artisans in the early American South.

in early America practiced heirloom gardening, and each family

With a number of adult group tour options (14 in all), you can

grew fruits, vegetables and herbs in their backyard. Your visit may

experience everything from historic buildings and gardens, to

include a visit to some of these gardens, as well as a stop by the T.

MESDA and culinary delights – or even create your own customized excursion. Reservations are required for the tours, and many

Historical Old Salem

require a minimum number of guests. Old Salem Museums and Gardens tours are available Tuesday through Saturday; prices vary, depending on the tour selection. Bus drop-off and pick-up locations are available at the Visitor Center. Bus parking is also available at the Visitor Center. For a complete list of adult group tours available at Old Salem Museums and Gardens and throughout Winston-Salem, visit For additional group tour options in Winston-Salem, phone Kay Calzolari at Visit Winston-Salem at (336) 728-4237 or e-mail her at

Check #417 on Reader Service Card


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Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 17


ure the classics are always a hit, but

sometimes it is fun to mix up your

New, Improved and Different

tour with something your guests have

never seen or experienced before. There are countless properties and attractions offering specialty tours, unique niches or just something that is one-of-kind.

South of the Border Hamer, South Carolina

South of the Border

South of the Border is a tourist complex open seven days a week. These facilities can accommodate your bus tour’s every need. They have a motel with sauna, indoor and outdoor pools, several restaurants and an amusement park with miniature golf, plus the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the United States. You can browse through many gift

The idea was a hit. Holmes went on to

ably the museum’s oldest: a lovingly restored

shops where you can find souvenirs or fire-

make Chattanooga the world capital of tow-

1913 Locomobile that was later converted

works. You may visit the arcade, ice cream

ing vehicle manufacturing. It is only fitting that

into a tow truck. “It’s the oldest towing vehi-

shop or they have two pantries for any spe-

the city today hosts the International Towing

cle we know of in existence,” she says. Glass

cial needs you may have. The spacious con-

and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.

display cases with toy and model tow trucks,

vention center can accommodate your

Opened in 1995, the museum tells the

some dating to the early 1900s, surround the

group’s needs. To assist your driver in fuel-

history of towing and honors the heroes of

trucks along two walls. Four towing-themed

ing up, Pedro’s Truck Stop is the place. Home

the highways. Visitors first view an intro-

quilts hang on the walls.

of Blenheim Ginger Ale, you can tour the

ductory film, then enter the main exhibit

After touring the trucks, visitors walk

plant and wet your whistle with one of three

area, which displays 19 vintage vehicles,

through the museum’s Hall of Fame, a photo

flavors of ginger ale.

ranging from a massive World War II

tribute to industry leaders over the years,

To come and spend some time with Pedro

wrecker to what is billed as the “world’s

before hitting a gift shop filled with souvenir

phone (800) 845-6011 or visit the-

fastest tow truck”—a 1979 Chevy with a top

tow trucks and T-shirts. South of the Border is located at 3346 Highway 301 North (at the NC/SC state line on Inter-

speed of 130 m.p.h. used at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway.

Out front, the museum has created a Wall of the Fallen memorial to honor men and

To many people, the only time a tow

women who have lost their lives in towing

state 95) in Hamer, South Carolina. Tour bus

truck looks beautiful is when it comes into

service. The memorial includes a sculpture

contacts are Rosa Dunson or Timmy Townsend,

view after their car has broken down. The

showing a dramatic rescue from a sinking car.

phone (843) 774-2411 Ext. 168 or 194.

vehicles here, however, display a powerful

The museum attracts about 10,000 visitors

grace that comes in many forms.

annually and hopes to expand its exhibit space

International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame

Take the Bubble Nose. A 1947 GMC that

this year. “The towing industry started right

started life as a beer truck, it was converted

here,” Mish says. “We need to preserve its his-

and Museum

into a tow truck and

Chattanooga, Tennessee

tory as the indus-

now looks like a rel-

try grows into the

“There’s got to be a better way.”

ative of Mater, the

21st century.”

That is what Ernest Holmes Sr. must have

lovable character

thought back in 1916 after pulling a friend’s


car from a creek in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

movie Cars.







important role in

It took six men using pulleys and ropes all

The most popu-

night to do the job. Holmes went back to his

lar exhibit, Execu-

Ernest Holmes

local garage, welded a winch onto an old

tive Director Cheryl

passed away in

Cadillac and created the world’s first tow truck.

Mish says, is prob-

18 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015


International Towing Museum


1943, but his son

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Dancing Horses Open Year Round!

Bus Tours Are Our Specialty.

Visit Wisconsin’s #1 Must See Live Attraction!

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 19

Guide: New, Improved and Different built tow trucks until the company was sold in 1973. Its name was

Reservations in advance are required. No advance payments or

later purchased by Miller Industries, which continues to be the world’s

deposits are required.

largest maker of recovery vehicles at its plant in nearby Ooltewah – all because one man thought of a better way to do a tough job.

Food service is not available at the site. However Minden’s historic downtown, with the original brick streets, boasts quaint restau-

The museum hosts group tours. It is recommended you reserve a

rants, 10 antique shops, and wonderful boutiques. Meals for the dri-

date at least 30 days in advance. Learn more at internationaltowing-

ver and escort will be provided by the Webster Parish Convention and or phone (423) 267-3132

Visitors Bureau. Minden is located four hours east of Dallas, Texas and 28 miles

Germantown Colony Museum

east of Shreveport, Louisiana on Interstate 20, exit 47.

Minden, Lousiana

Starline Tours

Tour the Germantown Colony State Museum and newly con-

Los Angeles, California

structed welcome center with Jean Doerge, curator. While touring the existing original buildings, the Germantown Colony Museum

How can I peek into the celebrity lifestyle of Hollywood’s movie

offers the visitor the opportunity to step back in time and experience

stars? That has been a question curious star seekers have asked for

how the German settlers lived in the early 19th Century. The welcome

80 years, when Starline Tours was the first tour company in the world

center houses historical artifacts, a gift shop and handicapped acces-

to pioneer the concept of seeing where movie stars lived, and the

sible public restrooms. Admission is free.

possibility of catching a glimpse of the famous homeowners.

This “historical gem” of Webster Parish is one of three German Har-

The popular tourism trend of celebrity sightseeing turns 80 years

mony Society colonies founded in the U.S. in the early 19th century. In

old in 2015. Showman Sid Grauman, developer of the world-famous

1835, a group from Pennsylvania, under the leadership of "Countess

Germantown Colony Museum


Chinese Theatre, mused to his chauffeur that he thought tourists


might pay to see where the stars lived. What began as a limousine

established the

tour in 1935 is now one of the most popular activities in Hollywood


operating daily every half hour. Starline Tours is the largest tour com-

Colony. Of the

pany in Los Angeles.

three Harmony

Starline Tours shares its 80th birthday with several celebrities,

Society Colonies,

including Woody Allen, Julie Andrews, Donald Sutherland, Diahann


Carroll and Peter Boyle. These celebrities – and anyone else cele-

was the most

brating their 80th birthday in 2015 – are invited to hop aboard four

successful and

popular Starline Tours for free during the month of their birthday –

operated on a

as often as they like – and bring a friend.

communal basis for 36 years, finally dispersing in 1871.

Tour options include the original Movie Stars’ Homes Tour; the

The Germantown Colony State Museum was placed on the offi-

CitySightseeing Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour; the new Movie Locations Tour

cial list of the Nation’s Cultural Resources Worthy of Preservation by

in partnership with Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and the One Hour Fun

the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Conservation and Recre-

Trolley Tour. To make a reservation for any of these special tours, phone

ation Service in 1979. It is the most recent addition to the Louisiana

(323) 463-3333 or (800) 959-3131 and present valid picture identifica-

Department of State Museums and a major asset to the recently devel-

tion at the Starline Box Office in the

oped “Heroes and Heritage Trail” throughout the state of Louisiana.

forecourt of the Chinese Theatre to

The Germantown Colony is nationally recognized by the National

collect the complimentary tickets.

Geographic Society and can be seen on their new "geotourism" Web site:

Starline Tours is also taking the birthday celebration to Social Media

The Germantown Colony Museum has ADA-compliant, handi-

with its “Snap, Tag, Win!” photo

capped-accessible bathrooms and handicap ramps. The Colony has

contest. Visitors and passengers

bus access directly in front of the welcome center and bus parking

may submit pictures, videos and cre-

immediately adjacent to the entrance. Additionally, there is a cov-

ative collages of their best Starline

ered area with tables and chairs for visitors. Admission is free.

Tour moments for a chance to win

Arrangements should be made in advance for groups of 40 or more

a monthly prize of $80 and a grand

by contacting Lynn Dorsey, director of the Webster Parish Conven-

prize of a GoPro video camera and

tion and Visitors Bureau at (800) 2MINDEN or

action mount (valued at $500).

20 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Starline Tours


About NTA




79% 7

NTA operat package off NT A tour operators trav ravel within North h America. Americ

40 40% 4

package acka travel el into into North N America A from abroad. o oa

50% 5

package travel trav ravel outbound ou utbound fro om North America a to countr untrries r aro ro ound un the he world.

The NT TA A Online Onl e member me search s eng engine gine is used ed nearly rly 8,000 times a month.

NTA tour operator member businesses serve all ages of travelers.

3 NT TA tour tou opera rators o mov more move than a 13.6 13.6 million million

travelers tr avelers a year.



NTTA members member represent more travel product and have access to more business-to-business networking than in any other association in the industry. That includes product product in every ever y U.S. state, ev every er y Canadian pr province ovince and mor more e than 40 countries.

700+ tour operators, 1,100 tour suppliers and 500 destinations from around the world e all chosen NT TA A as have their avenue for expanding their businesses.


As a group, NT TA tour operators do more than $8.8 billion in annual sales.

7 Insta nst

Find out ut mor more re e at NT Aonlin

ogram is the only program that can NTA’s China Inbound Pr Program register tour operators as approved for working with the Chinese A has bound-to-U.S. market. NT TA h consistently group leisure inbound-to-U.S. maintained about 160 registered operators with the program. Chinese trade show participation for all NT TA offfers discounted disco member segments and provides consulting, training and translation services.

Guide: New, Improved and Different Social media channels accepting entries are

This second phase of the design process

Permanent and revolving multimedia

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and

adds aircraft exhibits on the rooftop deck of the

exhibits will tell compelling stories of the past,

You Tube with any of the following handles:

building, as well as outdoor exhibit space in

the present and the future as they evoke the

#starlinetours, #hoponhopoffla, #starline80,

Waterfront Park and adjacent docks. As the

Coast Guard’s critical role and mission in mar-

@hoponhopoffla and @starlinetours.

drawings illustrate, visitors will get to know the

itime security, safety, protection of natural

missions and heroes of the U.S. Coast Guard

resources and national defense. The museum

both indoors and out with hand-on exhibits.

will use interactive and modern technology to

Artist’s rendering of National Coast Guard Museum

Guard men and women as they serve our

Starline Tour buses and vans are a Hollywood icon, appearing in more than 50 movies and television shows including American Idol, the Muppet movies, Iron Man 3 and NBC’s Today Show. Recently, the original

engage the public, veterans and present Coast

nation now and into the future.

Movie Stars’ Homes Tour van was invited by

The National Coast Guard Museum Asso-

Ellen DeGeneres to drive onto her stage and

ciation, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization

watch the show, and America’s Got Talent

dedicated to the preservation and promotion

judges Howard Stern and Heidi Klum took a

of the United States Coast Guard history and

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour to find Stern’s star on

tradition. The museum will open in 2018 based

the Walk of Fame.

on the raising of 50 million dollars in private

Today, Starline Tours shows off the Los

donations to match the same dollar amount

Angeles area by tour to more than two million

The new renderings for the museum show-

in government grants. For more information,

people annually, with 400 employees, many

case a four-story 54,000-square-foot building

contact the National Coast Guard Museum

with more than 40 years of service, and 250

with four floors for interactive exhibits, event

Association at (860) 443-4200 or visit coast-

vehicles. Starline Tours created the first open

space and lecture rooms, as well as a recep-, and follow @USCGMu-

top van with personal headsets to allow max-

tion area with gift shop, café and direct access

seum on Facebook and Twitter.

imum viewing while preserving the peace and

to America’s tall ship, the Barque Eagle.

tranquility of the exclusive neighbors they visit.

The interior exhibits are also beginning to

The company operates a Welcome Center at

take shape. The board of directors also

Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center on

approved engagement with Patrick Gallagher

Hollywood Boulevard, and terminals at Santa

and Associates for the first phase of interior

Monica Pier and Anaheim, across from Dis-

planning. The interactive, multimedia exhibits

neyland. The company is privately owned and

will highlight the dedication and heroism of

is operated in conjunction with TourCoach,

the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard

the company’s bus charter division.

through its 225-year history. The Gallagher

For more information on Starline’s 80th birthday



museum designers have wide experience in translating military history into an informative, interactive and delightful visitor experience. Some of their most notable American

National Coast Guard Museum

projects include the National World War II

New London, Connecticut

Museum, the Gettysburg National Military Park,

The board of directors of the National

the International Spy Museum and the United

Coast Guard Museum Assocation reviewed

States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Addi-

and approved new renderings of the build-

tionally, their work for the Smithsonian Muse-

ing that will encompass all facets of the

ums is well-known and highly regarded.

United States Coast Guard – land, sea and

The public is invited to view the designs

air. The museum will take full advantage of

for the National Coast Guard Museum on its

its location on the New London, Connecti-

Web site at

cut waterfront by incorporating a pier for

The National Coast Guard Museum will

America’s tall ship Coast Guard Cutter Bar-

honor the heroism of the men and women who

que Eagle and soar to the skies with Coast

answered the call to always be ready, as in the

Guard aircraft on the rooftop.

Coast Guard motto: Semper Paratus.

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Check #610 on Reader Service Card


Apparition Site Grotto

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help The First and Thus Far Only Church-Approved Marian Apparition Site in the United States by Larry Plachno ost bus and group tour planners

parents to the United States in 1855. They

pilgrims. In 1861, Adele’s father built a larger

are aware of the huge numbers of

settled in what was then Robinsonville, Wis-

church on an expanded five-acre site that

pilgrims who visit Marian appari-

consin, a rural area northeast of Green Bay.

had been donated.

tion sites around the world every year. The

In 1859, one year after the 1858 apparitions

On October 8, 1871 the famous Peshtigo

best-known sites are Guadalupe, Mexico;

of the Virgin Mary to Saint Bernadette at

Fire rolled through the area in a firestorm


Lourdes, France and Fatima, Portugal. What

Lourdes, Adele three times saw a lady

regarded as the worst in U.S. history. More

many tour planners may not know is that

dressed in white. When asked who she was,

than 1,200 lives were lost and approximately

one of the 11 approved Marian apparition

the beautiful lady said: “I am the Queen of

1,875 square miles of forest were consumed.

sites is located near Green Bay, Wisconsin

Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sin-

Refusing to leave the chapel, Adele Brise was

and is easily accessible by tour coach. It

ners, and I wish you to do the same.” She

joined by nearby residents who brought their

makes an excellent center point or addition

gave Adele the mission of teaching the local

families and some brought their livestock to

to a faith-based tour.


the chapel grounds for protection. Adele

Adele Brise was born in Belgium and had

Adele’s father built a small chapel on the

organized a procession to beg the Virgin

plans to enter a convent but came with her

site, but it proved inadequate for the visiting

Mary for her protection. Miraculously, the Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 23

Feature: Shrine firestorm jumped over and went around the chapel property. The chapel, its grounds and all the people who had taken refuge there survived unharmed and the chapel property looked like a green oasis in a world that had been left devastated by fire. Adele originally traveled the countryside while teaching children but eventually formed a community of sisters under the Third Order of Franciscans. A convent and school were built in 1885 and the current chapel was built in 1942. Virtually from the start, the chapel and property became popular with pilgrims. As with other Marian apparition sites there are numerous reports of miracles, healings and other unexplained events. Several people have left crutches,

Prayer walk and Stations of the Cross

canes and other items behind after visiting the shrine apparition site.

crowded on days with special events.

groups have meals catered. Some groups

Today the complex includes the beauti-

Restrooms suitable for groups are adjacent

come in time for the 11 a.m. Mass and then

ful chapel. Mass is celebrated at 11 a.m.

to the parking lot. The upper Apparition Site

enjoy a catered lunch.

daily. The Apparition Site is accessible from

Church is handicapped accessible, but there

The Shrine is open year around, and the

inside the Shrine church or from an outside

are stairs going down to the lower Appari-

staff mentioned that some groups like to

entrance close to the gravesite of Adele and

tion Site Grotto.

come in the winter months when things are

is open to the public. It has become a

With sufficient prior notice the staff at the

quieter and there are fewer pilgrims. While

solemn place of prayer. Adjacent to the

shrine may be able to provide guided tours.

weather may preclude going outside, the

chapel in what was once the school is a

They typically break larger bus groups into

chapel, apparition site, gift shop, School-

very nice gift shop and food is available in

two smaller groups of about 25. While seat-

house Cafe and rooms for groups are all

the Schoolhouse Cafe. Next to the chapel

ing in the Schoolhouse Cafe is limited, there

indoors. For current information you can

is a small graveyard with the burial loca-

are two rooms available to groups and many

phone the shrine at (920) 866-2571.

tion of Sister Adele Brise, Sister Maggie from the congregation and a few children. There is large open area behind the buildings that includes the stations of the cross. In addition there is long prayer walk very popular for meditation and saying the rosary. Several statues and prayer areas are located around the site including a beautiful grouping depicting Our Lady of Fatima and the three children.

Bus Tour Information The Shrine is easily reached from Green Bay by coach. Take exit 185 from Interstate 43 and follow highway 57 northeast. Turn right on highway K and follow it east to the shrine. There is a fairly large parking lot that will easily accommodate buses but may be 24 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Prayer area depicting the Fatima apparition

Feature: Shrine Nearby Attractions

A very popular stop for pilgrimage bus groups is the Basilica of

The Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is located close to major

the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill. It is situ-

attractions in Door County, Green Bay and Manitowoc. There are

ated on 435 beautiful acres in Hubertus, Wisconsin, just northwest

other shrines and religious locations nearby that could be included

of Milwaukee. More than 500,000 people visit here annually. For more

in a bus tour.

information phone (262) 628-1838.

On the south side of Green Bay in De Pere is St. Norbert Abbey,

The Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau can pro-

located on 160 acres of natural and landscaped beauty, as well as

vide additional information on these and other popular bus and group

the National Shrine of St. Joseph. The Abbey, completed in 1959 is

tour locations in the area as well as nearby dining and lodging. They

majestic and lovely. On the level below the Abbey church is the

can be reached by phone at (920) 494-9507.


National Shrine of St. Joseph, an outgrowth of devotions to St. Joseph that started in 1888. Also located there is a museum of mem-

National Shrine of St. Joseph

orabilia and the remains of Abbot Bernard Pennings, who had a strong devotion to St. Joseph and was the first abbot for the Norbertines in the United States. There are limited restroom facilities. Groups are expected to schedule in advance by phoning (920) 3374300 and are typically accommodated on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral and Green Bay Diocesse Museum in downtown Green Bay is also popular with bus groups. Group tours are typically scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and include both the church and the museum. Groups can also visit the Cathedral Book and Gift store located just behind the Cathedral. Phone (920) 435-5068 for information. Check #342 on Reader Service Card

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 25


hen your county is as large as

some small Eastern states (think Delaware), your visitors might

reasonably have high expectations. Fortunately for Monterey County, it is easy to deliver on those expectations. With so much ground to cover, travelers are increasingly discovering the ease and allure of exploring it all aboard a motorcoach tour. Monterey’s coastline has been called “the greatest meeting of land and sea” by someone who ought to know – a well-traveled artist named Francis Macomas. Its hotels and restaurants are raved about by reviewers from Bon Appetit to Zagat. It has produced or nurtured some of the world’s best-known creative minds, including John Steinbeck, Ansel Adams, Henry Miller and Edward Weston. As a “featured player,” Monterey’s towns and countryside have appeared in scores of films from 1898 to today, including Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Play Misty for Me, Basic Instinct, East of Eden, Turner & Hooch, and National Velvet. Many of those locations are on the itinerary of the distinctive Monterey Movie Tour, too. Go to mon- They offer customized group options and can create the perfect movie-themed tour for your group. Phone (800) 343-6437. Monterey Bay, forming most of the county’s 100-mile-long shoreline, is part of America’s largest National Marine Sanctuary, and certainly the deepest – deeper, at two miles, than the Grand Canyon. Its sparkling waters are inhabited by creatures rare and remarkable, including traveling pods of great whales:

Monterey County, California Fertile Ground

blues June through November, grays Decem-

for Specialty Tourism

ber through April, and humpbacks between April and December, plus dolphins, porpoises and killer whales year-round. Closer to shore, visitors walking or biking along the Coastal

along famed 17-Mile Drive, marine creatures

Area) designations. Some grapes soak in the

Trail can spot sea otters, harbor seals, noisy

and seabirds vie with the gorgeous scenery for

day-long sun, some thrive in cool foggy

sea lions and silent swooping pelicans. The

the attention of camera-carrying visitors.

mornings – but all produce excellent quality wines, thanks to the energy and creativity of

crown jewel of Cannery Row, that once raucous street of sardine canneries, is, of course,

Wine Country

the region’s winemakers. Vineyards cover

the superb Monterey Bay Aquarium, a magnet

Let us start with Wine Country ideas. The

hillsides undulating away into the distance,

for those curious about marine life from around

Salinas Valley, flanking Highway 101, com-

and some wineries maintain tasting rooms

the world. From the shore-side parking areas

prises several AVA (American Viticultural

of varying degrees of sophistication.

26 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Feature: Monterey County High up among the grapes, reached by a long narrow private drive,

One of the valley’s best-known landmarks is Chateau Julien, its

is Hahn Estates/Smith and Hook Winery. Here the mood is charm-

white chateau-style tower evoking the Loire Valley. One of the most

ing and a little rustic. The tasting room resembles an updated farm-

popular group des-

house kitchen, complete with modern catering facilities. The deck

tinations in the

looks out over the vineyards, but it is just as tempting to browse

county, it features

among the hundreds of poultry-themed gifts and ornaments; “Hahn”

a huge Chai (barrel

means “rooster” in

room) and tours of

Hahn Estates

German. Among

the home vine-

the best: beautiful

yards and winery

Pinot Noir and

itself. The tasting

Cabernet Sauvi-

room also displays

gnon, a luscious




Chardonnay, and

themed gifts; an

the lighthearted

adjacent conservatory adapts for comfortable group tastings. The


wines, which appear on many local menus, include Chardonnay, Mer-

brands. Hahn Estates/Smith and Hook Winery are located at 37700


lot and less common varietals such as Syrah, Pinot Grigio and San-

Foothill Road, Soledad and can be contacted at (866) 925-7994 or

giovese. Chateau Julien is located at 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel.

(831) 678-4555 or by going to They offer on-site

Their telephone number is (831) 624-2600 and their Web site is

parking and winery tours are available. You can also e-mail Bus

Monterey County’s other major wine-producing region is Carmel

parking is on-site and winery tours are available.

Valley, extending due east from Carmel along Carmel Valley Road.

Chateau Julien marks the half-way point between Carmel and Carmel

This sunny region seems almost immune to coastal fog, making it

Valley Village. Once the coach is parked in the Village (at Del Fino Place,

popular with ikders and hroseback riders, golfers and winemakers.

just off Carmel Valley Road), guests can stroll between the wine-tast

Check #577 on Reader Service Card

Rugged Colorado

Help your travelers experience the wild and natural West in South Park National Heritage Area and its gateway communities. Let us custom design experiences that fit your group, whether staying on a working ranch, visiting an old mining town, learning to pan for gold, meeting artists at work, enjoying stories of local outlaws and heros, or being able to pet a wolf – and many more options. Linda Balough (719) 836-4298

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 27

Feature: California ing rooms of Chateau Sinnet, telephone (831) 659-2244, Bernardus

are welcome at the off-the-beaten-path mission-plus-museum, but

Winery (831) 659-1900, Georis (831) 659-1050), Talbott (831) 659-3500,

should phone ahead to confirm open days and documents needed to

Heller Estate (831) 625-8466, and Joullian (831) 659-8100.

enter Fort Hunter Liggett. They can be contacted at (831) 385-4478 or

Midway between the Salinas Valley appellations and those of

view Parking buses is available on-site. Return-

Carmel Valley is the tasting room for Ventana Vineyards. The hands-

ing to Highway 101 at King City, it is possible to detour to the Monterey

Mission San Antonio



County Agriculture and Rural Life Museum for a look at its surprisingly

love entering wine

large collection of country bygones, curiosities and preserved buildings.


For more information contact the museum at (831) 385-8020 or go to

Their Cabernet


More important, and more accessible than San Antonio, is Mis-


sion San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, otherwise known as

Merlots and other

Mission Carmel. This beautiful and historic Minor Basilica was res-

wines won scores

cued and restored in the 1920s and 1930s, and is one of Californi-

of gold, silver and

a’s jewels. Fountains play in both the courtyards and flowers sur-

bronze medals. The fieldstone building has ample space for groups

round the graves of the mission padres and their Native American

to get down to serious wine-tasting. It adjoins Tarpy’s Roadhouse.

converts. There is an excellent museum in the original cloister; do

Built in 1913, it is now a surprisingly elegant restaurant for such a

not miss the massive bronze cenotaph dedicated to Father Serra,

rustic name. Tarpy’s Roadhouse can be contacted at (831) 647-1444.

founder of California’s missions. Carmel Mission is located on Rio

Ventana Vineyards is located at 2999 Highway 68 at Canyon del Rey,

Road, Carmel and can be contacted at (831) 624-1271. More infor-

Monterey and they can be contacted at (831) 372-7415. Their Web

mation can also be found on their Web site,

site is On-site bus parking is available.

Group reservations are required.

Another tasting option should also be noted, with very conve-

Old Monterey is a California history lesson in itself. It served as

nient locations for tucking wine-tasting into more general sight-

the capital under Spanish, Mexican and American governments.

seeing. A Taste of Monterey pours only Monterey County grown or

Fisherman’s Wharf has seen everything from Boston whaling ships

bottled wines – more than 40 wineries are represented. The wine

to Japanese abalone divers, Sicilian sardine fishing boats to salmon

market and bistro overlooks Monterey Bay and its resident otters

and tuna boats; in modern times, restaurants, shops and whale

and seals at the crossroads of Cannery Row. They offer group tast-

watching boats.

ings and can be booked for group events. Phone (888) 646-5466

It is easy for guests to absorb Monterey’s nautical history, art and

or visit for more information. Bus parking is

innovation at the Museum of Monetery at Stanton Station. The mod-

available nearby; inquire for directions.

ern building, located at the foot of Fisherman’s Wharf, is easy to

All of the county’s wine-tasting rooms are accessible for handi-

spot. It has a huge, original, Fresnel lens from Point Sur light sta-

capped visitors and provide bus parking on-site or close by. For addi-

tion in Big Sur visible through its two-story glass façade. Their vast

tional information about Monterey County wines and wineries, browse

collection of historic maritime artifacts, costumes and intriguing

the extensive Web site of the Monterey County Vintners and Grow-

art will be a thrill for those who love seafaring adventure. Phone

ers Association at

(831) 372-2608 to arrange a group visit and log on to for more information. Free bus parking is available in adja-

Cultural Heritage

cent Fisherman’s Wharf lot.

Tourists interested in cultural heritage, history and literature are

Two buildings close to the Museum of Monterey also warrant a

a boom sector for coach touring, spending almost a third more dur-

visit for history buffs. Pacific House displays trace the basic history of

ing their trip than typical visitors. They are spoiled for choice in Mon-

the region from Native American settlement up to statehood. Next

terey, with dozens of museums, historic buildings, and landmarks to

door, Custom House is the original trading post set up by the Span-

keep them interested for days.

ish in the late 1700s and formalized by the Mexican government as

One option is to follow the California Mission Trail or the Anza Trail

a port of entry in the 1820s. Its bales of goods demonstrate the com-

(both visit similar sites in Monterey), tracing the route of the earliest Span-

mon trade items of the day, while an “old salt” in vintage garb enter-

ish settlers as they colonized California. From the southern reaches of

tains children with his tame capuchin monkey on the verandah. Mon-

the county, the first stop might be Mission San Antonio. Always remote,

terey State Historic Park can be contacted at (831) 649-7118 and their

it now carries an air of quiet mystery, its roses nodding in the sun-drenched

Web site can be viewed at

cloister courtyard, the mission church cool beneath its tile roof. Groups

Phone for tour and group information.

28 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

Feature: California In their free time, guests can be encour-

The National Steinbeck Center, dominat-

vintage Victorian house and wheelchair access

aged to pick up a map to Old Monterey. The

ing the top of Main Street in Oldtown Salinas,

is limited. Steinbeck House is located at 132

Path of History passes more than 30 vintage

was constructed just two blocks from the

Central Avenue in Salinas. Telephone (831)

adobe houses and buildings – more than any

Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author’s

424-2735 or go to for

other Californian city – several of which are

birthplace. The center is devoted to Steinbeck

more information. Passenger drop-off area is

open and furnished in period style. Colton

and his works through interactive displays

on Stone Street at the side of the house. Bus

Hall is among the most important on the tour.

and life-size exhibits, and is also an explo-

parking is available nearby; inquire about loca-

It was California’s first official civic building

ration of the farms and farm workers Stein-

tions. Reservations are essential.

and hosted the state’s Constitutional Con-

beck immortalized in titles such as East of Eden

vention in 1855. More information is avail-

and The Grapes of Wrath. The center also fea-

able at

tures an expansive exhibition hall and an

So far, the path of discovery has taken us

Another important site on the Path is

excellent museum store. National Steinbeck

indoors for the most part, into wineries and

The Great Outdoors

Stevenson House located at 530 Houston

Center is located at One Main Street, Salinas.

museums. However there is a world of out-

Street. It was once the home of novelist and

Telephone (831) 775-4726 for more informa-

door activities and natural beauty that is

poet Robert Louis Stevenson as he courted his

tion on group tours. You can also visit them

equally easy for guests on motorcoach tours

lady love, Fanny Osborne. Local lore says that

on the Web at Buses may

to discover.

he modeled locations in his blockbuster novel,

unload passengers in the loading zone to the

The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanc-

Treasure Island, after his favorite walks at Point

left of the entrance to the National Steinbeck

tuary offers nature buffs a vast array of expe-

Lobos. Literary memories abound in the

Center on Central Avenue.

riences, off and on the water.

county, from Henry Miller’s connections to Big

With advance planning, groups can go on

The perfect place to start is the superb Mon-

Sur and poet Robinson Jeffers’ hand-built Tor

to enjoy a very special luncheon at the great

terey Bay Aquarium. Its award-winning dis-

House in Carmel, but all are overshadowed by

author’s birthplace, Steinbeck House, which

plays including the Ocean’s Edge section, with

hometown hero John Steinbeck.

now houses a restaurant and gift shop. It is a

walk-through wave crash and touch pools,

Check #494 on Reader Service Card

Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 29

and the beautiful exhibits – can fill half a day

rienced captains, with naturalist-guides on

budget and taste. There are also many more

easily. The aquarium’s roly-poly sea otters can

board every voyage. Their rates vary greatly

amazing attractions and hidden gems wait-

rivet the attention for hours all by themselves.

by the season, the number in the group and

ing to be explored. The Monterey County

Other resident aquatic birds, mammals and

the day of operation. Operators in Monterey

Convention and Visitors Bureau can assist

fish are sure to have your group mesmerized,

are listed on the Fisherman’s Wharf Associ-

tour planners with choosing hotels, restau-

entertained and educated. As you would

ation’s Web site,; in

rants and itinerary planning that will make

expect of an operation of its size and stature,

Moss Landing at

a perfect trip for your guests. Their Web site

the aquarium is excellent with groups, pro-

There is also a chance to experience

is an excellent source of planning infor-

viding reduced prices, express entry and ori-

unique window-shopping or gallery hopping

mation at You can also

entation, optional guided tours and programs,

in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Carmel’s white sandy


all by reservation through the groups depart-

beach is a long way down a steep hill and

ment. Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at

hundreds of galleries and boutiques, cafĂŠs

886 Cannery Row, Monterey and can be con-

and restaurants are waiting to be discovered.

tacted at (831) 648-4800 or at monterey-

Motorcoaches are restricted from most of The Web site has a detailed

Carmel’s tiny, tree-lined streets. Even coaches

tour operator section that gives information

approaching hotels for drop-off must get

on parking, helpful hints for drivers and guides,

advance clearance from the village police.

tour options, maps and much more.

Contact the City of Carmel at (831) 620-2000

Several whale-watching operators, sailing from both Fisherman’s Wharf in Mon-




e-mail q

Check #491 on Reader Service Card



or view for motorcoach parking information and regulations.

terey and the marina at Moss Landing, introduce guests to whales, pinnipeds and


countless other sea creatures daily. The two-

The area is home to many group-friendly

and four-hour cruises are operated by expe-

lodging and dining establishments for every Check #459 on Reader Service Card

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015


THE CURIOUS TOUR PLANNER Number 5 of a Series “The Curious Tour Planner” is a question and answer column that provides simple answers to simple questions involving bus and group tours. It is patterned after a very successful similar column in our sister publication, National Bus Trader, that has run for about 20 years with more than 200 installments. We will accept reasonably simple technical or operating historical questions on bus and group tours and their operations by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone. Unless otherwise indicated, the simpler questions will be answered by our editor, Larry Plachno, who has owned buses and planned tours for more than 50 years. If our staff is unable to answer them, we will call upon our panel of experts. Names and addresses should be submitted with your questions, but we will withhold names from publication on request. We reserve the right to modify questions to make them more useful to our readers. Q. Why all of the concern recently over the licensing of local tour guides? –– Several Readers A. For as long as I have been involved with bus tours, there have been requirements or licensing and testing required for some local tour guides. This is mainly found in major cities in the Eastern states as well as in New Orleans and in some national parks. Over the years, most of us running tours simply complied with the regulations and hired local tour guides. For the most part, I found that the local guides were well worth their pay since they pleased the passengers with their knowledge of local information and history. I specifically remember one local guide I had on a bus in the east who knew how to get our bus into an unusual location for photography. What has happened is that several of these cities have had their licensing requirements challenged for various reasons. In some cases, the licenseing requirement is seen as a violation of First Amendment Rights and free speech. While the intent may be to protect tourists from misinformation from tour guides, the same cities do not protect larger groups from the same

misinformation by licensing TV commentators, radio announcers and others who speak to residents and tourists. In New Orleans, the licensing requirements were seen as onerous, unfair and discriminatory as well as a violation of First Amendment rights. Since local court decisions have been both negative and positive to these tour guide requirements, there is a movement underway to bring the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court to get a decision at the highest level. Q. I was looking for unusual ideas for tours when a mutual friend suggested that I ask you about a tour you ran years ago that involved several cities in Wisconsin. –– Midwest Tour Planner A. When we were located in Delavan, Wisconsin, we ran a bus company called Wisconsin Illinois Stages from the same office as the magazines. In addition to running two scheduled routes, we also planned and operated tours. At one point we were faced with a typical problem of tour planners when our loyal tour passengers began complaining that they wanted us to provide something that was new, different and unusual. Based on a comment from a friend, we realized that Wisconsin was blessed with several cities named for countries in Europe. What resulted was a tour we called “Europe in Wisconsin.” The tour was substantially tongue-incheek and light hearted. We stopped at five or six communities in Wisconsin named after European nations. If my memory is correct, in the various communities we visited a canning plant, a tree nursery, a cheese outlet and two of the stops were for meals. It was a two-day tour with an overnight in Green Bay plus a stop at the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. One of the selling points of the tour was that the participants could return home and rattle off a list of places visited that sounded like a tour of Europe. My memory is that the highlight of the tour was our lunch stop on one day. The head of the family-owned restaurant we stopped

at entertained our passengers while eating with a history of the community, a history of his family and a history of the restaurant. Those on board returned with smiles and positive comments although we never did run the tour a second time. Q. Why have you said that driver fatigue is less of a problem with bus tours than with other types of bus operations? – Reader in New York A. A common thread among several major bus accidents is driver fatigue or shift inversion. When it is a single vehicle accident involving leaving the roadway in the middle of the night or early morning hours, driver fatigue becomes suspect as the cause. While there are hours-ofservice laws to limit what a bus driver can do, those laws are somewhat lax in the areas of preventing driver fatigue and shift inversion. That having been said, the reports and statistics show that typical tours tend to be somewhat immune from driver fatigue and shift inversion problems. The major reason being that the typical tour bus pauses every night for several hours in a hotel or motel. This should give the driver a good night’s sleep and fairly regular working hours. Likewise, these same driver fatigue and shift inversion problems are less likely to be found in long distance scheduled bus service. The reason for this is that in spite of unusual shift hours, the regular drivers tend to change their sleep habits to match their work hours and hence still manage to get the sleep they need. The big problem comes with charter coach operations, particularly those that run all night. Since charters are typically unique, it can be more difficult to assign a driver whose sleep habits match the trip schedule. Asking drivers to drive during hours when they would normally be sleeping is asking for trouble. There has been some recent discussion on these problem areas and changes may be forthcoming in the future. Answers not credited to other individuals are provided by Larry Plachno, Editor. q Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 31

20 Tips For Bus Tour Planners by: Dr. Charleen Jaeb

Topic: 20 Tips for Marketing

Newspaper ads, email promotions to cus-

4. Include Who, Where, Why, What, When,

on a Shoestring Budget

tomers, positive experiences on previous trips

How and How Much in all your sales promo-

increase individual sales.

tions. Who is sponsoring the trip, Where is it

The best planned trip in the world is use-

You can increase sales and save money by

going, Why is it going, What the trip includes,

less unless someone takes it. Half the job of

considering these 20 tips, most of which cost

When is it going (date, time), Where is it

a bus tour planner, whether an individual or

little or nothing to implement.

company, is setting up the trip; the other half

1. Memorize a brief, soft sell sales pitch

is filling it. This column is a requested update

you can use at social functions. Use plain, sim-

of my March 2006 column.

departing from, How much does it cost, and How you can make reservations. 5. Set up e-mail directories for your past

ple language and keep it under 20 words. E.g.,

customers, group leaders, group members

“I plan bus trips for people who like to travel

and the media. It is one of the fastest, most

12 years as a group leader, 10 years as a trip

to interesting places without the hassle of dri-

inexpensive, up-to-date ways to communi-

planner, trip escort and marketing associate

ving.” Keep it short. It allows people to ask

cate. More than 70 percent of my people have

at Lakefront Lines, 12 years as a marketing

questions if interested.

computers or access to them. The recipients

This article is based on my experience from

professor, 10 years as a World Book sales

2. Know successful words to use in adver-

have a detailed written message they can refer

manager, books, magazines and Internet arti-

tising and selling. “You” is the most powerful

to and print. Some large bus and travel com-

cles plus being married 55 years to an insur-

word in every study reviewed. My favorites

panies deal with online marketing companies

ance sales manager and agent.

that pertain to bus travel are: Economical,

like Constant Contact and MailChimp to cre-

Results, Guarantee, Discover, Love, Fun,

ate, send and track e-mail newsletters, Face-

Before the trip is planned, identify your target market(s) and decide the appropriate “mar-

Proven, Safe, Safety, Save, New, Discount,

book promotions, etc. Group leaders can eas-

keting mix” (product, price, place and pro-

Free, Quality, Value, Friends, Service, Trust,

ily make directories at home. They can learn

motion) to reach them. Target markets for bus

and Comfort.

how to send messages to their travelers with-

tour planners could be individual travelers,

3. Flyers and business cards are two of

out disclosing names and e-mail addresses

group leaders, group members, schools or

your top sales weapons. Flyers cost only pen-

(send them as“bcc” with the “to” to your

businesses. For example, bus companies marketing to

nies to reach prime prospects. You can fur-

address headed with the group name). Fol-

nish them to group leaders, put them in your

low AOL guidelines to avoid being flagged as

group leaders would furnish them a group tour

office, on the bus, in the bus waiting room, at

spam; e.g., Get written permission to use

catalog with prices that vary with pick up

stores, libraries, club meetings and public dis-

addresses. Make it easy to unsubscribe. Delete

points, number in the group, etc. Flexibility,

play racks. Business cards are cheap with mil-

unsubscribers immediately. Possibly limit numbers in your directories.

control, FAM trips, training, travel shows and

lions of uses. Always carry them with you.

personal contact are good marketing tools to

Consider writing something on the back of

increase group sales. Bus companies should

them, such as your cell phone number, when

computer savvy, ask a professional to design

mail past individual customers a retail cata-

you hand them to prospective customers.

it, with your input. Have them install it. To help

log with fixed prices, sometimes allowing dis-

Consider adding your photo. Some friends

decide what features it should include check

counts by age, frequency or early payment.

print business cards on their computer.

out the Web sites of other bus or tour com-

32 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

6. Develop a Web site. Unless you are very

20 Tips panies. Your site should be easy to find; e.g.

e.g., $71 should be replaced with $69. Busi-

14. Utilize the advertising acronym AIDA It should feature

nesses should not be tempted to get together

and the marketing 80-20 rule. AIDA means

your publication(s). Make it colorful, infor-

with competitors to set prices. Price fixing is

successful advertisements attract Attention,

mational, up-to-date and easy to use, with a

a federal offense.

spark Interest, provide Descriptions and

spot to make bus reservations and contact

10. Offer price discounts. People love bar-

inspire Action. The 80-20 rule says 80 per-

you. It is like keeping your office open 24

gains. On retail trips, consider allowing dis-

cent of your business comes from 20 percent

hours a day, seven days a week. When using

counts for age, paying in full early, frequency

of your customers. Be good to your regulars.

Web sites and social media such as Facebook

or booking as a group. Discounts should be

Focus on them. They will stick with you and

and Twitter that encourage contact and com-

publicized in your catalog or advertised if

bring along their friends.

ments, monitor them daily.

offered seasonally; e.g., two-for-one casino

7. Turn your telephone into a marketing

trips in bad weather months.

tool. A customer’s first impression of a busi-

11. Do good by doing good. Volunteer to

15. Classified ads have an advantage. Potential customers who seek them out and read them are in the mood to buy. Classified

ness is often a telephone call. You do not get

speak at local organizations. Become active

ads can be placed in the travel section of

a second chance to make a first impression.

in church, school or community service orga-

large newspapers, in small local newspa-

Ideally your phone will be answered by a live,

nizations. Donate excess product or capac-

pers, in travel publications, the yellow pages

friendly voice – that alone could set your

ity to worthwhile causes. I cannot believe

and the Internet.

company apart. Otherwise have an answer-

how excited people get when they win a trip

ing machine that makes it simple to connect

to a casino. Generosity promotes goodwill

ing, interesting, comfortable and clean. Get

with a live person and a fast way to get to the

and is good publicity.

rid of trash, clutter, dirt, frayed magazines,

16. Make your office attractive, welcom-

operator if that does not work. Instead of

12. Choose advertising and publicity

dead plants and bad odors. Wash the win-

music while the caller waits for a phone pick-

within your budget. Both are delivered to

dows. Coordinate the colors. It is nice to pro-

up, have a friendly message about your com-

large groups of people through the media.

vide coffee and reading material, especially

pany and its services. Return all phone calls

Advertising is paid for. Good publicity is

if they may have to wait before talking to you.

within 24 hours.

prayed for. Research media results. Most big

17. Promote your tours on your bus and

8. Train employees on telephone etiquette

cities have a media booklet or online site that

in your office. Inexpensive ways to promote

and customer relation skills. Training could

includes information on all newspapers,

tours on the bus are to have extra tour books,

include effective, efficient ways to answer

radio and TV stations and magazines in the

trip schedules, flyers or small gift certificates

the phone; e.g. Smile and say “Hello, this is

area. Publicity is more credible than adver-

for future trips as prizes on board. Furnish

Marty in group sales. How can I help you?”

tising but less controllable as to wording,

the trip escort or driver with new trips to

Other topics could be on composing mes-

placement and time. Press releases, letters

announce. In addition to flyers, posters and

sages for their answering machine, telephone

to the editor, big giveaways, awards, expan-

catalogs in your office and waiting room,

courtesy, how to handle complaints, how to

sions and providing free community services

have an outdoor marquee that gets the atten-

add sales, how to find information, how to

generate good publicity.

use all the features on the phone and customer relations methods.

13. Write your own press releases. Find out who they should be sent to, the pre-

tion of drivers and pedestrians. You can purchase a lighted sign or rent one. Check sign ordinances first.

9. Price the trip right. Most trip planners

ferred method of sending them, how far in

18. Suggest or make a brief promotional

use a cost-based price to which a predeter-

advance they need to be received, and what

or safety video to show on the bus. Drivers

mined percentage for profit is added. Other

information is preferred. Type “Press

could be required to show it on each trip. It

pricing considerations are the competition,

Release” on the top followed by your name,

might include information about the com-

economic conditions and the planner’s objec-

phone number, mail address and when you

pany, brief shots of people on some of the

tives. Objectives could be to (1) gain market

want it published; e.g. “For immediate pub-

tours, illustrating the safety rules, and end-

share, (2) maximize profits, (3) maintain the

lication” works well. The press release

ing with a thank you to passengers for trav-

status quo, (4) build a solid reputation, or (5)

should be typed double space and include

eling with you. I helped script and produce

simply survive. To gain market share, set a

the major Hs and Ws mentioned in Tip 4. If

a safety video for Lakefront using informa-

price lower than others, increase promotion

photographs are included, captions are

tion from a sample safety video, surveying

and/or add services not offered by compe-

required. I usually put mine in the press

owners, managers, drivers and passengers,

tition. Many marketers believe prices end-

release and also stick one on the back of

and working with a proven video produc-

ing with one or two should be marked down;

each corresponding picture.

tion company. Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015 • 33

20 Tips

Check #622 on Reader Service Card

19. Have promotional items that can be

zines, Internet articles, newspapers and

worn, carried or displayed promote your busi-

books about marketing without money.

ness when you are not present. Hats, shirts,

Share ideas with other group leaders. Learn

badges, shopping bags, photo albums, small

that treating people the way you want to be

digital clocks with your name on them can

treated is the main way to earn respect and

usually be purchased for less than $5. Some

return customers.

customers may be willing to buy them or they

Your comments are welcome. Suggestions

can be given as awards, incentives for sales

for columns are appreciated. My next column

or as gifts at an annual travel show.

may be a brief list and review of my columns

20. Practice lifetime learning. Take classes, travel, read books, bus tour maga-

written since 2005. My e-mail address is Happy New Year.


Check #438 on Reader Service Card With degrees from four universities, Dr. Charleen Jaeb has been a business professor at Cuyahoga Community College. After her retirement in 2000, she became a trip planner for the CCC retirees and Middleburg Heights Women’s Club, filling as

!" !# "

many as 15 buses each year. Jaeb and her husband escorted trips for Lakefront Lines in Cleveland, Ohio. She says, “It was wonderful and somewhat unbelievable in retirement to be able to do what you love to do and get paid for doing it.”

Check #679 on Reader Service Card

Advertiser’s Index Adsmore House and Garden . . . . . . . .11

Mosser Glass Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Amish Country of Northern Indiana . .13

Mt. Washington Cog Railway . . . . . . .30

Atlantic City CVA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

Mt. Washington Cruises . . . . . . . . . . .15

Boys Town USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Musical Instrument Museum . . . . . . . .6

City of Aztec, New Mexico . . . . . . . . .17

National Tour Association . . . . . . . . .21

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Columbus CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Palm Beach Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Park County Colorado Tourism . . . . . .27 Ronald Reagan Presidential

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad . . .11

Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Dancing Horses Theatre, The . . . . . . .19

Russell Orchards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Depot Theater Company . . . . . . . . . . .17

Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers . . . .15

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chiense Garden . . . .11

Secwepemc Museum

Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad . . . . . . .34

& Heritage Park . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Elk City CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Shore Line Trolley Museum, The . . . .34

Fair Oaks Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Sisters Quilt Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation . . . . . .5

South of the Border . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Huble Homestead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Starved Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Ironstone Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Tropicana Casino & Resort . . . . . . . . .35

Little Falls CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Tudor Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Mid-Lakes Navigation Co. . . . . . . . . . .30

Wild Horse Saloon/

Miromar Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 34 • Bus Tours Magazine / January, 2015

General Jackson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29



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Bus Tours Magazine January/February 2015  
Bus Tours Magazine January/February 2015