Page 1

Volume XXXIX, Number 1 • September/October, 2017

M i d we s t page 4

Sho p ping page 15

D ining page 18

Ark Encounter

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Corning Museum of Glass

 Niagara Falls

Heartland Travel Showcase FEB. 16-18, 2018 • BUFFALO, NY Register Today at or call Karen Eylon at 1-800-896-4682 Ext. 4


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Volume XXXIX, Number 1


18 22 Features


ESCAPE TO THE MIDWEST Historic castles, towering cityscapes, top-tier lodging and dining, scenic cruises – the Midwest has everything a motorcoach group could want.

ESCAPE TO THE CENTRAL U.S. Texas and our central states offer tour groups breathtaking landscapes, moving landmarks and historic sites, world-class gaming, dining and shopping, cultural centers, live theater and more.

Specials 22

Editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . . Larry Plachno Business Manager . . . . Nancy Ann Plachno Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . Dianne Billquist Typesetting/Page Layout . . . . Sherry Mekeel Office Asst.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nicole Fehler Editorial Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . Karla Nagy Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064-9015 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site:




SPOTLIGHT: WEST VIRGINIA This spotlight of the Cabell-Huntington region – known as the Western Gate of the Mountain State – reveals an array of one-of-a-kind attractions and experiences, from movie locations and places featured on top TV shows to behind-the-scenes artisan tours and a special Hatfield-McCoy Feud experience.

Guides 15


SHOPPING & OUTLET MALLS Finding the perfect souvenir or toogood-to-pass-up bargain is in store for motorcoach tour passengers at these bus-friendly shopping stops.

DINING & LODGING An amazing dining experience and a fantastic night’s sleep are what help to preserve great memories during a motorcoach tour.

And More 14




by Dr. Charleen Jaeb


Advertising Central/International – (815) 946-2341 West – (815) 543-6683 Midwest – (815) 946-2341 Northeast – (815) 946-2341 Southeast – (815) 946-2341


Preparing for Greatness, 2009, bronze, Illinois College Campus, Jacksonville, Illinois, by artists Steven Maxon and Doris Park of Max-Cast Sculpture & Foundry Services, Kalona, Iowa. Located about 35 miles west of Springfield, Jacksonville boasts several Lincoln sites and highlights its Lincoln connections with two interconnected tours: The Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits and the “Voices of Jacksonville” audio tour. JACKSONVILLE CVB. 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. Periodicals 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 / September, 2017 • 3

Escape to The Midwest Castle Farms Charlevoix, Michigan

Castle Farms Tram Tour

Tour operators love Charlevoix, Michigan, and for good reason. Its charming threeblock downtown is easy to navigate and offers unmatched views of the park, marina and drawbridge. Conveniently located just one hour from Traverse City, Gaylord and Mackinaw, Charlevoix is an ideal hub for your tour. Castle Farms is located at 5052 M-66, just five minutes from downtown Charlevoix. Built in 1918 by the president of Sears Roebuck Co., the Castle was originally a model farm used to showcase equipment available in the Sears catalog. Local fieldstone was used to create graceful arches, soaring towers and picturesque courtyards reminiscent of Normandy chateaux. Tour groups love perusing the list of bands who have played in the tumbled ruins of the

as well as up fanciful towers and through

The 25-room renovated inn offers all the charm of an historic country inn along with


former farm, including Aerosmith, The Doo-

For a special treat, add on a lunch or din-

modern conveniences. Each room has its

bie Brothers, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson

ner at the Castle. From soup and sandwich

own unique décor and includes a private

and Tina Turner, to name a few. How did a

to farm-style dinners, menus can be cus-

bath, television, Jacuzzi and fireplace, and

dairy farm become a concert venue? Castle

tomized to your group’s likes and needs.

some rooms overlook the marina and river.

Farms’ tour guides will happily share the story.

Castle Farms has a rich history that its

Breakfast is included.

staff is excited to share with your passengers.

The Historic Afton House Inn & Afton

Your group will be welcomed by Castle

Guided group tours are available year-round

Hudson Cruise Lines welcome tour groups

Farms’ Group Tour Specialist Nikki Louiselle

for 10 or more, and catered meals can be

to the scenic St. Croix River Valley. Built in

and shown a short history video that chron-

arranged for a minimum group of 20. Contact

1867, the Afton House Inn is rich in history

icles the restoration efforts. A narrated tour

Louiselle at (231) 237-0884, ext. 224 or

and provides a perfect setting for group tours.

of the Castle includes a tram tour through, and let her help you

Bus passengers can enjoy luncheon in the

forests and past ponds with fountains. Micro-

to create a memorable stop for your tour

Pennington Room or Wheel Room or take a

phoned guides tailor each tour to the abilities


tour on the St. Croix River on one of three

and interest of the group.

To learn more about Charlevoix and its

dinner boats. Lunch and dinner can be

Castle Farms is handicap-accessible and

many attractions, go to

arranged at one of the inn’s two restaurants.

has wheelchairs available. Museum-quality

For more information about Castle Farms,

The Wheel Room accommodates up to 130

collections and displays are showcased

visit online at

and The Pennington Room seats up to 60 at

throughout, including a WWI Museum, antique toys and royalty memorabilia from around the world. Another fan favorite is Michigan’s

the inn. Also available for groups is the CUR-

Afton House Inn & Afton

RENT Restaurant & Bar, where tour passen-

Hudson Cruise Line

gers can enjoy its outdoor patio in the spring,

Afton, Minnesota

summer and fall.

largest outdoor model railroad. Bus pas-

The Historic Afton House Inn & Afton

Swirl Wine Bar is a great place to stop in

sengers will marvel at the 70-plus trains

Hudson Cruise Lines are located in the town

for a wine tasting and to purchase great

and more than 2,500 feet of track. HO- and

of Afton, Minnesota, along the banks of the

wines from all around the world. Wine tast-

G-scale trains run along historical replicas

Scenic St. Croix River.

ings can be arranged for tour groups Tuesday

4 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Escape to The Midwest through Saturday, and the Swirl Wine Bar & Shop is

Afton Hudson Cruise Lines

the area’s historic inns, take passengers to visit the Afton

available for private parties

Historical Museum and enjoy

Sunday and Monday.

a lunch stop.

Afton Hudson Cruise Lines

Contact the sales office at

offers group tours for 25-300

(651) 436-8883 for group tour

guests on either the Sweet Afton or Afton

information and let the staff at Afton House

Princess, both boarding from Afton, Minnesota,

Inn & Afton Hudson Cruise Lines help to plan

or The Grand Duchess charter boat, located in

your next motorcoach tour. For more infor-

Hudson, Wisconsin. Brunch, lunch and dinner

mation on any of the attractions mentioned,

cruises are offered.


Bus tour passengers can enjoy the most beautiful and scenic tours along the banks


at,, and

of the St. Croix River aboard themed cruises, a brunch cruise to Treasure Island Resort &

Spirit of Chicago

Casino or narrated cruises May through Octo-

Chicago, Illinois


Chicago is a city full of iconic sights. No

Tour groups will find many things to do in

matter how long your group plans to stay, it

the area. Afton’s historic downtown offers

is a challenge to take in everything. By street

unique shops and businesses, including Lake-

and rail, your tour passengers have likely

land Antiques and Selma’s, the oldest ice cream

seen the skyscrapers and amazing architec-

and candy shop in the state of Minnesota. Tour

ture that make up the city’s towering signa-

planners can book a Chocolate March tour of

ture landscape, but there is still a view of

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 5

Escape to The Midwest Chicago they probably have not seen – a view

trips, company outings, tour groups and more.

super-size Jenga, tabletop shuffleboard and

available only from the water.

Whether you choose a regularly scheduled

more – a variety of activities with something

When you schedule a cruise aboard Spirit

cruise or let a staff event planner customize a

for everyone. Spirit does just about every hol-

of Chicago, your bus tour group will discover

full ship or deck charter, Spirit of Chicago will

iday in true Chicago style, celebrating dates

a perspective not found on land, plus so

provide your group with a special cruise filled

from the Fourth of July to New Year’s Eve –

much more. A Spirit excursion offers delicious

with unforgettable moments.

something in every season.

dining and dynamic entertainment, in addi-

Aboard a meal cruise, tour passengers

Nothing on land compares to the energy

tion to seriously decked out views of

dine in one of three climate-controlled inte-

and experience of a cruise aboard Spirit of

Chicago’s famous skyline, in a uniquely fun

rior decks with panoramic windows for stun-

Chicago. For more information visit

ning skyline views. After dining, they can

and fresh setting. Spirit not only features fabulous dining and

venture out to the open-air rooftop deck,

high-quality entertainment, but also a chance

where picture-perfect moments – and photo

to see famous Chicago landmarks – like the

ops – are in endless supply. Add the height-

John Hancock Center, Navy Pier’s Ferris Wheel,

ened energy and excitement provided by

the Museum Campus and much more – from

onboard DJs, dance floors and full-service

a whole new viewpoint. From the deck of Spirit

bars, and your motorcoach group is sure to

of Chicago, your motorcoach passengers will

have fun from start to finish.

see why there is no better vista of Chicago’s marvelous lakefront than from the water.

Cruising year-round from Navy Pier, Spirit offers lunch, brunch, dinner and holiday

For something special to do with your

cruises to suit groups of all sizes and any

group, Spirit of Chicago throws an event unlike

occasion, plus specialty themed cruises that

any other in the city. It is a unique venue for

are uniquely Chicago. In addition, Spirit offers

all occasions and celebrations: school field

interactive games for tour passengers, like

Spirit of Chicago

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 7

Escape to The Midwest Fernwood Botanical Garden

includes an introduction to Fernwood by a

and Nature Preserve

member of the Visitor Services staff. Guided

Niles, Michigan

walking tours and classroom speakers are

This beautiful naturescape offers motor-

available for a small extra fee, with two weeks’

Located along Michigan’s St. Joseph River,

Fernwood Footbridge

Fernwood’s 105 acres feature more than 15

gallery, library, conservatory, café and plant

The tour fee is $25 per guide. Speaker fees

gardens, a 55-acre nature preserve, an

and gift shops.

vary depending upon the type of program and

coach tour groups a few hours or an entire day of communing with local flora and fauna.

notice. Larger groups will be divided into smaller groups of 15 for guided tours; classroom programs can accommodate up to 50.

arboretum, wetlands and five acres of

Located at 13988 Range Line Road in

restored prairie. It protects at least 10 ecosys-

Niles, Michigan, Fernwood is only minutes

For more information, visit www.fern-

tems and is a birder’s paradise.

from South Bend, Indiana, and southwestern

The cultivated gardens, which encompass

Michigan’s famous wine country and shore

To register your group’s visit, phone (269)

about eight acres, include an herb garden,

communities. It is open May through October


Japanese garden, perennial border, rain gar-

from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sat-

den, railway garden, nature adventure gar-

urday, and Sunday noon-6 p.m. November

den and hardy fern collection, along with

through April, Fernwood closes at 5 p.m.

size of the facility used.

Cleveland Botanical Garden Cleveland, Ohio

other special plant collections and gardens.

Fernwood welcomes visits from groups

Set in the middle of a bustling urban city,

Passengers can also explore four miles of

year-round during normal public hours. A 20-

these 10 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens

hiking trails that pass by numerous springs,

percent discount on admission fees applies

are a natural oasis for motorcoach tour groups.

botanical gardens and a tallgrass prairie, all

for groups of 20 or more, with advance regis-

The Cleveland Botanical Garden, located in the

of which support an abundance of native

tration and payment in one lump sum. Driver

heart of downtown Cleveland, offers 20 unique

wildlife. The visitor’s center houses an art

and escort are admitted free. Group admission

gardens and a controlled indoor setting that

8 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Escape to The Midwest supports two biodomes. It was founded in 1930 as the Garden Center of

that change with the seasons. Choices range from apparel and

Greater Cleveland, the first such organization in an American city.

jewelry to home and garden décor, books, cooking utensils, hand-

Outdoors, bus passengers can stroll along wide paved paths through gardens that feature, among other things, perennials, roses,

bags and more. The Garden Café, a Bon Appétit sustainable food service partner,

topiary and herbs, or take pause in the restorative garden or inspiration

offers a menu featuring from-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches and

gardens. The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse is a controlled

chili, as well as tempting artisanal snacks and pastries.

environment that offers year-

Cleveland Botanical Garden

round escape

The Cleveland Botanical Garden welcomes tour groups with special rates and programming. Groups of 15 or more qualify for a 25-percent discount per person, along with one complimentary ticket for every

into the desert

15 purchased at group rate. Bus drivers receive free admission. A

of Madagascar

portfolio of special programming is available and designed to meet

and the rainfor-

the specific needs of your group.



Cleveland Botanical Garden is located in the University Circle

Rica. Here, 350


neighborhood of Cleveland, at 11030 East Boulevard. University Circle

species of exotic

is home to many more bus-friendly attractions, just minutes from

plants thrive, and 50 different types of butterflies, birds, reptiles and

each other, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the

amphibians flutter, climb and crawl through naturalistic habitats.

Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Museum of Art, Dittrick

Each day has a 2 p.m. butterfly release. The Garden’s second-floor Guren Art Gallery features regularly

Museum of Medical History, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum.

changing works by local and national artists in many media, all

To learn more about bringing your tour group to the Cleveland

inspired by gardens and the natural world. In the Garden Store,

Botanical Garden, visit To

tour passengers can find a carefully curated selection of original

arrange your group visit and purchase tickets, contact Amanda Halmes

and one-of-a-kind gifts and garden goods in a variety of styles

at (216) 721-1600, ext. 100 or

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 9

Escape to The Midwest Green Bay Botanical Garden

Green Bay Botanical Garden Green Bay, Wisconsin Green Bay Botanical Garden is a popular destination for bus tour groups, with display gardens and natural areas that capture the beauty of northeast Wisconsin. Its 47 acres offer amazing spaces to explore year-round, during each of Wisconsin’s four distinct seasons. The gardens are laid out in a series of ovals according to the year they were opened, beginning with more traditional offerings: a perennial garden, English cottage garden and rose garden. Tour passengers can also explore a conifer garden, shade garden, color and foliage garden, an herb garden – and the Larsen Orchard Remnant, which each spring is awash with apple blossoms and flowering spring bulbs. In addition, the garden’s outstanding architecture provides a backdrop for the all-star performance by plants specially chosen for their

include Taste of the Garden Tour, lasting up to 1.5 hours with a

ability to thrive in the upper Midwest. Among them are the Wellhouse;

0.75-mile walk; and the Gardener’s Delight Tour, lasting up to two

Stumpf Belvedere Gazebo; Jenquine Pavilion; Hobbit House; English

hours with 1.5-mile walk.

cottage; Kaftan Lufthause, a Scandanavian-designed gazebo; and various patios and terraces.

For an additional $15 per person, tour planners can upgrade their group’s experience to include a gourmet deli lunch, a private room

Motorcoach groups of 25 or more receive a discounted admission

with convenient garden access and a 10-percent discount for all group

rate, and bus driver and escort are admitted free. Maps for self-

members on WPS Trellis Gift Shop purchases made on the day of the

guided tours are available in the Visitor Center. For an extra $10


per person, tour passengers can explore the array of gardens while

Located at 2600 Larsen Road, Green Bay Botanical Garden is just

a knowledgeable guide shares unique features and history. Offerings

nine minutes from Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

10 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Escape to The Midwest Motorcoach groups can schedule tours of the football stadium and visit the Walk of Legends, a one-mile walk just east of the field, with

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

24 statues celebrating the legends and history of the Green Bay Packers. Among other attractions within five miles: the National Railroad Museum, the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, the Neville Public Museum and the Automobile Gallery. Guided tours of the botanical garden require a $60 nonrefundable deposit and four weeks’ advanced notice. To learn more, visit online at For more information or to schedule a tour, contact the Garden sales team at (920) 491-3691, ext. 113 or

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Madison, Wisconsin This hidden gem is a must-see for motorcoach groups traveling through the Dairy State’s capital city. Set along the shores of Lake

waving ornamental grasses, showy shrubs, ornamental trees, annuals

Monona, Olbrich Botanical Gardens features stunning landscapes

and spring blooming bulbs. This innovative combination of plants is

and Midwest-hardy plants on 16 acres. It also offers a unique tropical

highlighted with a 30-foot tower and fountains of native stone, built

experience inside the Bolz Conservatory.

in the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Sunken Garden, Olbrich’s

Among its 14 distinct outdoor gardens is the Thai Pavilion & Gar-

oldest garden, is a formal, traditional, English-style garden, enclosed

den, the only one in the continental United States and the only one

by a shrub hedge and regional limestone terraces and featuring an

outside of Thailand surrounded by a garden. Olbrich’s two-acre rose

elegant 80-foot-long reflecting pool. Other specialty gardens include

garden showcases all types of roses, blended with colorful perennials,

perennial, rock, wildflower, meadow and hosta. Olbrich’s Bolz Conservatory houses a diverse collection of tropical plants, including banana, coffee and vanilla as well as carnivorous. It also features a rushing waterfall, free-flying birds, blooming orchids and, from mid-July through mid-August, free-flying butterflies, which emerge from chrysalises daily to flutter throughout the conservatory. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is free for self-guided tours. For $5 per person, motorcoach groups can get an insider’s view of the outdoor gardens or Bolz Conservatory during a guided tour led by Olbrich’s expert garden staff. Outdoor tours, which last 45 minutes, will vary somewhat according to the season, to highlight garden areas that are at peak interest. Bus passengers will be split into two groups of 25, with a maximum of 50 guided tour members per day. Bolz Conservatory guided tours are limited to two groups of 20 per day. While in Madison, motorcoach groups can also visit the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and the Wisconsin State Capital, all located within five miles of the botanical garden. Whether planning a self-guided visit or scheduling a guided tour, groups of 15 or more are requested to call at least two weeks prior to their arrival to be added to the daily schedule. Reservations for guided tours must be made at least two weeks in advance and are dependant upon availability. Visit for more information; phone (608) 246-4550 to make a group reservation.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 11

Escape to The Central U.S. Natural Wonders of Our Central States We talk often about national parks and historic landmarks as great places for motorcoach groups, but another type of nationally recognized destination goes largely overlooked: National Natural Landmarks. A National Natural Landmark (NNL) is a site designated important by the National Park Service because it contains excellent examples of specific biological and/or geological features. These natural features include aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; geological processes and resultant landforms; and records of geologic history. Each site is a piece of the larger picture that is the illustration of the great diversity of our nation’s nat-

towering sandstone rock formations, set

junction with your group meal in the Café or

ural landscape.

against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes

on the Café Terrace.

Currently, 599 sites have been designated as NNLs within the 48 states, American

Peak and brilliant blue skies, are only the start of this park’s attractions.

Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Vir-

An array of activities awaits motorcoach

gin Islands. Louisiana and Delaware are the

groups at Garden of the Gods. Its Visitor &

Finish off your group’s visit at the awardwinning gift shop, featuring American Indian pottery and jewelry, geology gifts, books, apparel and keepsakes.

only two states without an NNL site. While

Nature Center now boasts a world-class

Garden of the Gods welcomes motor-

some NNLs exist within national parks, they

museum that brings to life the geology, ecol-

coach tours, with advanced booking. Incen-

do not fall into the same category. Approxi-

ogy and cultural history of the park, through

tives include special group rates; complimen-

mately one-half of NNL sites are administered

new hands-on interactive exhibits. The new

tary meal and movie admission for driver and

solely by public agencies; nearly one-third

Geo-Trekker Theater takes bus passengers

escort; and designated bus parking, along

are owned by private parties; and the rest are

on a wild trip through one billion years in 15

with trash removal and windshield washing.

owned or administered by a mixture of public

minutes, from hot magma, dinosaurs and sea

Located at 1805 N. 30th Street, Colorado

and private owners.

monsters to soaring aerial footage of the park.

Springs, the park is open daily year-round,

Thus, while each contiguous state has

Free nature talks and guided nature walks

although specific hours vary by season; visit

multiple NNLs, not all are accessible or open

are offered daily on a set schedule. Tour plan-

online at for a com-

to the public. A listing of all NNL sites by state

ners can arrange for guided foot tours brim-

plete listing. To book your group’s visit, con-

and county, along with accessibility, can be

ming with information, with one guide for

tact Penny Whalen at (719) 219-0105 or

found in the National Registry of Natural

every 15 passengers. Cost for these person-


alized walks is $75 per guide.

Here are two fantastic NNL sites for

Tour passengers can dine on site in the

motorcoach groups to visit in the Central

Café of the Garden, assisted by a staff that is


experienced and efficient in serving large groups. Individuals can order from the menu,

Garden of the Gods

or tour planners can arrange for a catered

Colorado Springs, Colorado

meal or box lunches, served either indoors

A public park, Garden of the Gods was

or outside on the terrace, with its stunning

designated a National Natural Landmark in

scenic views. For an extra fee, a 20-minute

1971, because of its amazing geological fea-

American Indian Dance performance can be

tures. However, dramatic views and 300-foot

scheduled in advance, and take place in con-

12 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Nearby group-friendly attractions: • Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: eight minutes from Garden of the Gods • National Museum of World War II Aviation: 13 miles from Garden of the Gods • Western Museum of Mining & Industry: 15 miles from Garden of the Gods • Colorado Springs Trolley Museum: 11 minutes from Garden of the Gods

Escape to The Central U.S. Longhorn Cavern Burnet, Texas Located within Longhorn Cavern State Park, Longhorn Cavern was formed in limestone at least 450 million years ago, and now boasts unsurpassed natural features such as calcite crystals, potholes, solution domes, channels and pits. It became a national park in 1932 and was opened to the public in 1938. The cavern, which was used by Burnet County citizens as a speakeasy during Prohibition, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. As one of few river-formed caverns in the state, Longhorn Cavern is full of natural wonders such as Crystal City, an area adorned with calcite crystals formed by standing pools of calcium-saturated water. Other natural formations in this underground wonder include the Queen’s Watch Dog, which is so detailed that many believe it to be carved.

Longhorn Queen’s Watchdog



inspected it for tool marks but found none.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 13

Escape to The Central U.S. The Indian Council Room is so named from early records indicating that the Comanche Indians were the first to use the cavern.

Down The Road

Nearby group-friendly attractions: • The Exotic Resort Zoo: 34 miles from Longhorn Cavern State Park

Also on site are an exhibit center, gift shop

• The Falls on the Colorado Museum:

and a grill, open daily during cave hours,

eight miles from Longhorn Cavern State Park

with daily summer specials, in-house cater-

• Highland Lakes Squadron WWII

ing and a snack bar. Private parties can be

Museum: 10 miles from Longhorn Cavern

held above or below ground. The Museum

State Park

of the Civilian Conservation Corps is next door. Longhorn Cavern State Park is located at 6211 Park Road 4 S, Burnet, Texas, about two hours north of San Antonio and about two hours southwest of Waco. Groups with more than 20 people are eligible for a group discount and a specially assigned guide for your tour through the cavern. Reservations are required for all large group tours, secured by a deposit, with the remaining balance paid on site via a single form of payment. Contact the park about group bookings by phone at (512) 715-9000 or e-mail

14 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

• Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park: 50 miles from Longhorn Cavern State Park

Coming events of interest to readers of BUS TOURS MAGAZINE. Submissions for the department should be directed to the editor. Unless otherwise indicated, events are not open to the general public. November 5-8, 2017. OMCA Conference and Marketplace. Westin Harbour Castle Hotel & Conference Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For more infor mation visit December 14-18, 2017. NTA Travel Exchange. Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas. For more infor mation visit January 26-30, 2018. American Bus Association Marketplace. Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information visit February 16-18, 2018. Heartland Travel Showcase. Hyatt Regency, Buffalo, New York. For more information visit


Shopping and Outlet Malls hopping stops are a staple of most


including Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5 TH, Vera

Outlet, Dillard’s Clearance Center, Field &

motorcoach tours. From small bou-

Bradley, Nike Factory Store, Tommy Hilfiger,

Stream and more. The center features cov-

tique districts and one-of-a-kind spe-

Vera Bradley, GUESS Factory Store, The PUMA

ered breezeways that provide natural airflow,

cialty stores to malls with high-end retailers

Store and Cole Haan, among many others.

a beautiful fire and water fountain, soft seat-

and discount brand-name merchandise, the

Additionally, another 20 stores are located on

ing areas and year-round events and enter-

shopping destinations highlighted here will

site at MarketPlace at the Outlets including

tainment. Asheville Outlets is conveniently

enhance any group itinerary.

Nordstrom Rack and Old Navy. Palm Beach

located at the intersection of interstates 40

Outlets offers free bus parking and is conve-

and 26 at Brevard Road (Route 191). For more

These five shopping destinations from

niently located directly off Interstate 95 on exit

information visit

New England Development all feature con-

71. Just a five-minute drive from the airport,

or contact

venient coach parking for large groups and

the center boasts a beautiful, tropical atmos-

tours; meet & greet programs with VIP wel-

phere perfect for group shopping. For more

Outlets Of Little Rock

come for guests and tour operators; coupons

information, visit or

Little Rock, Arkansas

and discounts from retailers; privileges for


Palm Beach Outlets West Palm Beach, Florida

Outlets of Little Rock is Arkansas’ only outlet shopping center. Motorcoach tour

drivers and organizers; and more.

Asheville Outlets

groups will save up to 70 percent on Amer-

Asheville, North Carolina

ica’s most desired brands at 65 outlet stores,

Nestled in the mountains of Asheville,

including Banana Republic Factory Store,

Located in the heart of West Palm Beach,

North Carolina, Asheville Outlets is an open-

Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Clarks Outlet,

Palm Beach Outlets is surrounded by hotels,

air outlet center that features more than 70

Cole Haan, Gap Factory Store, J.Crew | crew-

museums, attractions and more. Palm Beach

outlets and restaurants, including name-

cuts Factory, LOFT Outlet, Le Creuset, Tommy

Outlets is the county’s only outlet destination

brand favorites Coach, J.Crew Factory, Nike

Hilfiger, Nike Factory Store, Old Navy Outlet,

and features more than 100 outlets and restau-

Factory Store, SKECHERS, Brooks Brothers

RH Outlet, Under Armour and more. Located

rants. The center offers top name stores

Factory Store, Vera Bradley, Cole Haan, RH

at the intersection of interstates 30 and 430, Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 15

Guide: Shopping adjacent to the only Bass Pro Shops and Dave & Buster’s in Arkansas, Outlets of Little Rock is an open-air lifestyle destination located just 10 miles from downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. The area boasts numerous attractions, including the Arkansas River Trail System, Hot Springs National Park, River Market District and William J. Clinton Presidential





visit or contact

Outlets Of Des Moines

Vidler’s 5 & 10

Des Moines, Iowa Outlets of Des Moines, in Altoona, Iowa will open October 20, 2017. It is located at an exciting destination for entertainment and

fabrics – the list is endless. It is no exaggeration to allow at least 1 to

shopping, the intersection of I-80 and US-65 in Altoona, at the same

1.5 hrs. in this sprawling store, so that your tour passengers have time

exit as Adventureland Amusement Park and Prairie Meadows. For

to discover all of the unique items in their various nooks and crannies.

more information, visit or contact

Vidler’s historic buildings date from the 1870s, and one was originally the site of Millard Fillmore’s law office before he became the 13th president of the United States. Over the years, celebrity shoppers


at Vidler’s have included Katherine Hepburn, Peter Graves, Jim Nabors,

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Rene Russo and too many Buffalo Bills football players to list. Many

Named No. 1 among Boston’s Best Malls and Shopping Centers

think the store is reason enough to visit East Aurora, but there are

by USA Today 10 Best, CambridgeSide is located along the scenic

several historic sites in this quaint village for tour groups. The Roycroft

Charles River. CambridgeSide is home to more than 100 great stores

Campus of arts and crafts and the Millard Fillmore home are desig-

and 20 dining spots, including H&M, Macy’s, Sephora, Apple Store,

nated National Historic Landmarks, and each is less than one mile

Best Buy, P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, World of Beer and

from the store. Numerous restaurants within easy walking distance

more. The enclosed center is just steps from downtown Boston,

range from fine dining to family style to casual pub. Indeed, East

Museum of Science, Boston Duck Tours, Charles Riverboat, Boston’s

Aurora’s historic upper Main Street is the antithesis of the strip malls

North End and other area attractions. For more information, visit

and big-box stores, and Vidler’s and all of the local shopkeepers offer or contact

motorcoach passengers an entertaining shopping experience, along with excellent service.

Vidler’s 5 & 10 East Aurora, New York

Located in the rolling hills of western New York, East Aurora is a 20-minute drive from downtown Buffalo and 45 minutes from Niagara

Well-known in western New York, Vidler’s 5 & 10 in East Aurora

Falls. The village is readily accessible from major highways and is also

is now in its 87th year of continuous operation, with the third gener-

on the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway. With four distinct

ation of the Vidler family running the store on a daily basis. An area

seasons – including spectacular fall foliage – motorcoach tour groups

landmark, the store is easily recognized by its iconic red and white

can plan a full day’s stop around a visit to Vidler’s and East Aurora.

awnings, gold-leaf lettering and the larger-than-life “Vidler on the Roof” greeting passersby on Main Street.

A large, free parking lot directly behind the store easily accommodates motorcoaches and buses, and passengers can be dropped off

Opened in 1930 by Robert S. Vidler, Sr., the store has grown from

and picked up at either the front or rear entrance. A member of the

two rows of counters to four connected buildings on two levels. It is

Vidler family normally meets and greets every coach, giving a five-

among the last of a vanishing breed: the independent five-and-dime

minute overview of the store and its history, and handing out some

variety store that used to be on virtually every small town’s Main Street.

penny candy to all. Handicap accessible with a lift, the store has public

At 15,000 square feet, it is quite possibly the largest five-and-dime in

restrooms, and Vidler’s can handle large groups without a problem.

the world, and a stop at Vidler’s offers motorcoach tour groups a unique shopping experience that is also a walk down memory lane.

For more information, e-mail or phone (716) 652-0481 and ask for Don or Beverly Vidler or their cousin, Cliff

The original wood counters and shelves overflow with a wide variety

DeFlyer. For a virtual tour of the store, visit online at

of merchandise, from nostalgic candy, novelty toys and kitchen gadgets

or go to Vidler’s Facebook page. Tour planners who mention they

to the newest items for the recreational shopper. Distinctive shops

read about Vidler’s in BUS TOURS MAGAZINE will receive a $25 gift cer-

within the store feature crafts, jewelry, candles, gifts, seasonal décor,

tificate to the store.

16 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017


shopping destinations nationwide

Group amenities available at all locations: FREE gift & coupon book ......................... easy drop off ......................... meet & greet ......................... coach parking

West Palm Beach, Florida

Asheville, North Carolina

Over 100 outlets

Over 70 outlets

Little Rock, Arkansas

Des Moines, Iowa

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Over 65 outlets

Opening October 20

Over 100 stores and restaurants

For more information or to add a shopping stop to your itinerary, email or visit


ust as important to an itinerary as the destinations and attractions are the places in between, where bus passengers rest and reju-

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare

venate. Check out these places for a good night’s rest and a sat-

isfying meal, to find the best fit for your tour group.

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare Des Plaines, Illinois The Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare Airport hotel provides a great stopping place for bus tour groups traveling in northern Illinois, whether for an overnight stay or an extended visit. Located just 18 miles from downtown Chicago, its 252 well-appointed guest rooms offer quiet, comfortable lodging away from the urban bustle, while still providing easy access to the city and its suburbs. Group discounts are available, and the sales staff can customize packages to include a cooked-to-order breakfast in a private banquet space each morning. This hotel features 7,000 square feet of divisible private space for a potential group luncheon or dinner. In addition, the sales team can assist with booking a group rate to include vouchers for Rivers Casino, located within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel features The Garden Grille & Bar restaurant, evening room service, complimentary group bus parking, mini fridge,

Dining and Lodging

microwave and Keurig coffee maker in all guest rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour business center, indoor pool, whirlpool and a fully

Head about 20 minutes west to Schaumburg, for a visit to the Wood

equipped fitness room. Check-in is a quick and easy process for bus

Library Museum of Anesthesiology and a shopping excursion to Wood-

groups, with pre-made keys distributed with assistance from hotel

field Mall, the state’s largest mall, which boasts the country’s largest

staff. Luggage assistance is available for a portage fee. Hilton Garden

Sears store. With more than 2 million square feet of retail space, its

Inn Chicago O’Hare is handicap-accessible and offers rooms with

selection of department and specialty stores includes Coach, Michael

special enhancements, such as roll-in showers, visual alarms and

Kors, Oakley, Swarovski, Swatch, Lord & Taylor and Columbia. Its

notification devices for door and telephone.

wide selection of sit-down restaurants and quick-bite eateries has

Adjacent attractions include the Rivers Casino, featuring six restau-

everything to satisfy a busload of hungry passengers.

rants; Fashion Outlets of Chicago; Allstate Arena; Rosemont Theater;

About 20 minutes east of Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare is

and the MB Financial Park, an entertainment district with eight restau-

Skokie, where passengers can visit the Skokie Heritage Museum and

rants, a movie theater, comedy club, bowling alley and iFly, an indoor

the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Continue about 11 minutes east to

skydiving experience that creates true free-fall conditions inside a

Evanston, home of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian as

vertical wind tunnel.

well as Northwestern University.

Centrally located at 2930 South River Road in Des Plaines, Hilton

Also within a 30-minute drive: Billy Graham Center Museum at

Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare is the perfect home base for your motor-

Wheaton College; Cernan Earth and Space Center at Triton College;

coach tour group’s exploration of the Chicago area (aka Chicagoland).

Naper Settlement in Naperville; and Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Many

A variety of cultural attractions, historical and nature sites and shop-

more nearby attractions, along with the hotel’s array of amenities

ping venues are all within an easy 30-minute drive.

and services, make Hilton Garden Inn Chicago O’Hare the perfect

Just about 20 minutes southwest, in Oakbrook, bus passengers

lodging choice for your motorcoach tour of Chicagoland.

can tour the Mayslake Peabody Estate and Graue Mill & Museum,

Learn more about the hotel at For

and shop in the open-air Oakbrook Center, the second-largest mall

package options and reservations, contact group sales, at (847) 296-

in the Chicago area. It features more than 160 stores that include

8900, fax: (847) 954-2384 or

upscale retailers such as Nordstrom, Aveda, The Container Store, Pirch and Pottery Barn. The mall recently opened The District, an

Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

exciting 14,000-square-foot dining destination. Oakbrook Center cel-

Indianapolis, Indiana

ebrates the outdoors with a fountain that operates year-round and beautiful flowers planted throughout the outdoor mall. 18 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

Tour groups in Indianapolis will find deluxe accommodations in a central location at Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites. Located in

Guide: Dining and Lodging the heart of downtown, the property is near multiple diverse tourist attractions that welcome tour groups, including great shopping, amazing dining options, sports arenas, world-class museums and top performing arts venues. These include: Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts; Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers and

Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites

the Indiana Fever; Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400; the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; Indianapolis Zoo; Circle Center Mall; Hilbert Circle Theatre, home of the Indianapolis Symphony; Monument Circle, with the Sailors & Soldiers Monument, housing the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum; the Murat Theatre in the Old National Centre; and more. Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites, 120 W. Market Street, is known for its high level of customer service and guest satisfaction as well as its spacious accommodations. Even though guest rooms are already generous in size, more than half of them are oversized suites, allowing tour passengers the benefit of enough space to enjoy all the comforts and spaciousness of home.

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 19

Guide: Dining and Lodging Group rates are available. For more information, phone (317) 972-9699.

Dave & Buster’s, 1322 Celebrity Circle

the brand is known. Tour planners can take

Dave & Buster’s Myrtle Beach celebrated

advantage of Dave & Buster’s event pack-

its grand opening on June 5, 2017. Anchoring

ages, or let the restaurant’s planners create

Broadway at the Beach

a key spot at the end of Broadway’s enter-

an event customized for their group. For

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

tainment district, it is the chain’s 99th location

information, visit

Broadway at the Beach, South Carolina’s

and its third in South Carolina. The restaurant


No. 1 tourist destination, attracts millions of

and entertainment center offer a variety of

visitors annually. The Avenue (formerly

food and drink items as well as hundreds of

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen,

Celebrity Square) is a fun and happening

dynamic arcade games. It stands in the for-

1202 Celebrity Circle

gathering place with an architectural design

mer spot of the Hard Rock Café, which moved

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen opened on

resembling a repurposed warehouse district.

to a new location in October 2016. Its iconic

June 12, 2017 in Myrtle Beach, serving

It is set on 350 acres in the heart of Myrtle

pyramid, a focal point of the Grand Strand

breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first level

Beach and features world-class shopping,

for more than two decades,

dining and entertainment in a series of

was demolished and the

unique, interconnected villages surrounding

two-story Dave & Buster’s

the 23-acre Lake Broadway.


Recent changes to The Avenue include




the addition of a popular chain and two new

designed to look like a

celebrity restaurants whose offerings will

warehouse, boasts more

please many tastes, and the relocation of

than 40,000 square feet and

some familiar favorites.

offers the signature “Eat, Drink,

Wahlburgers, 1320 Celebrity Circle Wahlburgers was founded in Hingham, Massachusetts in 2011, by Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg, celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie and other investors. Its planning and opening were the subject of the A&E reality show Wahlburgers, which featured several family members and friends. The Myrtle Beach restaurant is the chain’s first in the Carolinas. Opened in November 2016, this Wahlburgers is styled just like the original, with a casual counter, full-service dining room with bar, mezzanine seating and an outdoor patio. The chef-inspired menu features a variety of fresh burgers, crispy haddock, seared chicken and salads, as well as condiments made in-house. Other signature items include Mom’s Sloppy Joe, mac ‘n’ cheese, thin crispy onion rings and tater tots, as well as healthy, gluten-free and vegetarian options. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Wahlburgers offers full-service dining, counter service, take out and a full-service bar offering an impressive selection of adult frappes, cocktails, wines and beers. For more information, visit 20 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017




Sports” options for which

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen

Guide: Dining and Lodging of the building is a 4,000-square-foot Paula Deen retail store, with a 300-seat dining area on the second floor overlooking Lake Broadway. Motorcoach groups can enjoy familystyle, all-you-can-eat dining and classic Deen family recipes while enjoying a beautiful view of Lake Broadway. Southern-style breakfast choices, entrées and famous sides include chicken and waffles, biscuits and sausage gravy, Southern fried chicken, pepper steak, fried catfish, coleslaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, grits, collard greens and more. After their meal, tour passengers can stop in the Paula Deen Store on the first floor to shop cookware, cookbooks, recipe mixes, home accessories and gifts.

Hard Rock Café, 1313 Celebrity Circle Hard Rock Café Myrtle Beach opened at its new location on Oct. 7, 2016, in the former


The contact information for Jim Dykes in the Northeast Section of the July/August 2017 BUS TOURS MAGAZINE was incorrect. It is

home of Broadway Louie’s, which has moved two doors down. Hard Rock’s new digs offers seating for 528 guests, private event space, patio seating and a live music stage in more than 15,000 square feet. The fully renovated, state-of-the-art facility showcases Hard Rock’s updated look, with an almost entirely new collection of rock memorabilia and the signature 40-foot tall, red guitar atop the main entrance. The menu features made-to-order items such as savory burgers, tender steaks, mouthwatering barbecue and fresh salads, which can be paired with one of Hard Rock’s signature cocktails. Tour planners can take advantage of staff event planners who can provide an experience customized to fit your group’s tastes. For information, visit Learn more about the culinary delights, unique sights and memorable activities awaiting motorcoach tour groups at this must-visit Myrtle Beach locale, at

Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 21

Spotlight: West Virginia Cabell-Huntington CVB Huntington, West Virginia Huntington, West Virginia welcomes motorcoach tour groups. Recently awarded the title of America’s Best Community in a nationwide competition, it is your gateway to the western side of the Mountain State. The experts at Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau would love to have you bring your next tour group to Cabell County and the Greater Huntington area. They know that groups want one-of-a-kind experiences, and that is just what they offer. Groups can begin their Huntington experience with the CVB at the Visitors Center, located in Heritage Station, a renovated train depot built in 1887. While here, tour passengers can visit the locally owned shops and eateries.

Heritage Farm

They can even see the former Huntington Bank

smith shop and an old-time country story,

building. Rumor has it the bank was robbed

seven award-winning museums and more.

tinues to grow, with two converted school bus

West Virginia’s largest nationally accredited

dining rooms, an ice cream shack and, most

by the infamous Jesse James Gang.

their story and their food. The restaurant con-

Not far from Heritage Station is Marshall

art museum, the Huntington Museum of Art,

recently, the Weenie Weddin’ Chapel. Hillbilly

University. It might sound familiar because

is just over the hill from Heritage Farm. One of

Hot Dogs can promise your tour members an

of the film We Are Marshall. In 1970, a plane

the favorite activities at the museum is the

experience they will never forget.

crash claimed the lives of the Marshall foot-

“Taste of the Conservatory Tour.” Tour groups

Cabell-Huntington CVB offers multiple

ball team, its coaches, boosters and flight

get a taste – literally – of what is growing in the

options for groups, such as a Hatfield/McCoy

crew. The film depicts how the college and

conservatory, not to mention a view of the orig-

tour, and the staff will happily help to cus-

community came together to heal and rise

inal glass sculpture from world-renowned

tomize an itinerary to fit your group’s tastes

from the ashes, by fielding a full team for an

artist Dale Chihuly, right in the center of it all.

and needs. The people and businesses of

emotional 1971 football season. The CVB

About 20 miles east along Interstate 64,

Huntington and the region look forward to

offers the We Are Marshall Tour, incorporating

in Milton, West Virginia, is the Blenko Glass

meeting your tour group and sharing all that

downtown Huntington, key filming sights,

Company. This family-ran factory has been

America’s Best Community has to offer.

the Memorial Fountain on campus and the

in business for more than 100 years and car-

Spring Hill Cemetery Memorial. A compli-

ries on the tradition of handmaking glass-

mentary tour guide will give your group per-

ware. A behind-the-scenes tour, available

sonal insights and behind-the-scenes infor-

only for groups, allows bus passengers to


witness glass creation firsthand, up close and

Only a short drive from downtown is West Virginia’s first Smithsonian affiliate, Heritage

personal and see the factory process, before visiting the gift shop.

Farm Museum & Village. Featured on the

On the way back to Huntington, a must-

History Channel’s “American Pickers,” Her-

stop is Hillbilly Hot Dogs, featured on Food

itage Farm allows you to experience life as

Network’s “Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”

it was in an Appalachian pioneer community.

Sonny, a self-proclaimed West Virginia hillbilly,

It is home to more than 15 log structures,

and Sharie, a California city girl, have been

including a one-room schoolhouse, black-

together more than 17 years and love sharing

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

So much, so close!

No matter your interests, Huntington has something for everyone!

Let your folks nuzzle a llama, celebrate Appalachian heritage in a variety of historic museums, catch a show at the Keith-Albee Theatre, or enjoy great meals and local shopping! Take advantage of one of our popular itineraries, or let us customize one for you!


THE REAL HATFIELD AND MCCOY FEUD Adventure through actual feud sites on the real Hatfield and McCoy tour. From romantic entanglements to property disputes, learn how two families’ mountain pride led to the most famous feud in American history. MOVIES, MINERALS AND MINING TOUR Stops include a wide array of fun from Blenko Glass, one of the finest glass-making facilities in the world, to Hillbilly Hot Dogs, a restaurant like no other featuring gourmet hot dogs with quirky, down-home charm. Visit actual “We Are…Marshall” movie set locations and the Marshall University Memorial Fountain before heading over to West Virginia’s only Smithsonian-affiliate, Heritage Farm Museum & Village!

C AB EL L C OU N T Y | V I S ITHU N TIN GTO N W V. O RG | 304. 525. 7333

Contact Anna at to set up your visit to Huntington! Visit us online for a complete listing of Cabell County’s attractions, events and festivals.

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

20 Tips for Botanical Trips Botanical bus trips can be made in almost every major city, state and country. They include tours of greenhouses, botanical gardens, zoos, butterfly houses, national parks, state parks, arboretums, retail gardens and desert gardens. Almost all offer unique shopping experiences. Some are open year-round and others attract most of their tourists in less than a week, like two of my favorite botanical bonanzas – Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan in May and the Rose Bowl Parade and Float Decorating in Pasadena, California, which occurs around New Year’s Day. Other botanical themed events that last less than a week and are worthwhile for bus tour planners to consider are: city home and garden shows, garden club plant sales, garden club conventions, state and county fairs.

or have special events for families and children,

bus company catalogs, your group’s newslet-

This column will let you know where many

students and traveling shows. The 250-acre

ters and bulletin boards.

top botanical gardens are located, when they

New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York

3. Research botanical gardens that

are open and what makes them unique, as

has the famed Chihuly Glass intermingled with

have scheduled Chihuly glass exhibits in

well as what to do on the bus – before you

the gardens now and until October 29.

their indoor and outdoor gardens. Chihuly

board, along the way and when the trip ends.

2. Identify and contact prospective

has outstanding museums in Seattle, Wash-

To find out more about a garden you are inter-

customers. Examples of prospective cus-

ington and St. Petersburg, Florida, where you

ested in, go to the Web site. Most of the infor-

tomers include past customers; garden clubs;

are permitted to take pictures of their museum

mation presented here came from my trips,

garden club members; Red Hat Ladies; hiker

and garden exhibits. I took many that decorate

talking to garden club members, botanical

and walker clubs; Learning in Retirement

our home and homes of our friends.

garden owners and online research.

classes; and teachers and students from ele-

4. Use quotations about gardens and

Here are 20 tips to assist you in planning

mentary schools, vocational schools, colleges

flowers. Some of my favorites: “Flowers are

botanical bus trips and examples of places to

and high schools, especially those taking field

restful to look at. They have neither emotions


biology, botany and horticulture related sub-

nor conflicts.” —Sigmund Freud; “After women,

1. Book botanical trips in advance,

jects. Publicize your trip in newspapers, on

flowers are the most lovely thing God has given

especially to large gardens that request them

radio and TV, social media, your Web site, in

the world.” —Christian Dior; “The earth laughs

24 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

20 Tips in flowers.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson. Use them

could be large candy bars, lottery tickets,

13. Tulip Time Festival, Holland,

on flyers about your trip or descriptions in the

seed packets, magazines, floral lapel pins

Michigan, May 5-13, 2018. The Tulip Time

bus company catalog. Another use would be

and prizes from places you stop.

Festival is located throughout the City of Hol-

to create a matching game where quotes

10. What to do when the trip ends.

land. It was named for the homeland of its

would be one side of paper and authors on

Pick up brochures of places and areas you

Dutch settlers. Every May, from the first Satur-

the other. Make them easy to figure out by

visited and return them to your employer.

day to the second Sunday, the city takes on the

intelligent adults. One garden club used them

Up-to-date information is appreciated when

appearance of a village in the Netherlands.

on its 12-month calendar, captioning monthly

planning future trips. Return to your employer

Thousands of bright tulips bloom in their gar-

photographs taken by members.

your evaluation of the trip as well as evalu-

dens and line their streets. Many Holland res-

5. Research botanical trips in your

ations from your passengers. Thank passen-

idents are of Dutch descent and dress in Dutch

city and state, within two hours of you or near

gers and bus driver on the bus microphone

costumes during the festival. Hundreds of peo-

a city to which you are planning a trip.

for making the tour successful. Opt to give

ple line the streets watching parades. It features

Research places to dine and shop with a

small gifts to them such as a group photo, or

Dutch cuisine, windmills, fireworks and fun.

botanical theme, e.g., peach or orange groves

mail them a thank-you letter enclosing the

14. Bellamy-Ferriday House & Gar-

photo and a schedule of your future trips

den, Bethlehem, Connecticut. Open for

later. Take time to smell the flowers.

tours May-October. Made famous by best-

or Rainforest Cafés. 6. Arrange “make and take” trips. For a fee, some botanical gardens and commercial

Here is a mixture of botanical gardens,

selling novel Lilac Girls by Mary Hall Kelly,

greenhouses are willing to offer lessons and

botanical-themed festivals and places rich

who after visiting the house, garden and his-

materials to make corsages, flower arrange-

in botanical sights, many of which we have

toric museum, based her book on the life of

ments, holiday wreathes or centerpieces. Ask

visited over the past 50 years, in jaunts to

owner Caroline Ferriday. Ferriday was an

them, and check out Pinterest for ideas.

more than 40 countries and 45 states. The

actress, heiress and a philanthropist, a World

nice thing about travel is you always have

War II heroine who brought a group of Polish

7. Provide botanical-themed entertainmet on the bus. Show movies like The

an interesting place to visit on your bucket

women from Ravensbrück, a German con-

Secret Garden or Greenfingers, and instruc-

list (Longwood Gardens is on mine) and

centration camp exclusively for women,

tional DVDs on how to make things like

memories of past bucket list trips taken.

where they were scarred and experimented

miniature gardens or flower arrangements.

11. Longwood Gardens, Kennett

Use talents of escort or group leaders for

Square, Pennsylvania. Rated the No. 1

telling stories, leading songs or instructing

Botanical Garden in the United States. “Best

Florida. This is the world’s largest butterfly

drawing in adult floral coloring books.

garden I have ever visited,” says one TripAd-

park, home to more than 20,000 live butterflies

on, to the United States for treatment. 15. Butterfly World, Coconut Creek,

8. Create ways to enhance the

viser review. See exotic plants from around

from every corner of the world. You can walk

botanical environment. Examples are

the world, spot wildlife in their meadows,

through a 6,000-square-foot screened tropical

name tags with flowers on the front and cell

view towering fountains in 1,077 acres. It is

rain forest where butterflies fly free. The aviaries

phone number on the back, escorts wearing

near Philadelphia, and Longwood includes

and gardens cover 10 acres. It is my favorite

floral hats/caps and/or carrying batons with

some of its local attractions in many of its

butterfly house, a “serene sanctuary of calmness

bright floral tips to lead walking tours. Some

packages. Longwood Gardens has an excel-

and beauty,” as one Yelp reviewer so aptly puts

escorts and group leaders move small stuffed

lent website that lists its upcoming events,

it. It is a lovely place for photographs and an

animals from door side to driver‘s side for

which include musical and theatrical pefor-

awesome experience for children. It is located

passengers to know which side gets off the

mances, fountain light shows and more.

just 15 miles north of Fort Lauderdale.

bus. I carry birthday cards and anniversary

12. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens,

cards for when passengers announce them.

Sarasota, Florida. This is the only botanical

States 2016 not previously mentioned in this

9. Play games on the bus but allow

garden in the world dedicated to the study and

section: Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Rich-

quiet time, too. I bought Entertainment On

display of orchids and bromeliads. Focuses

mond, Virginia; Franklin Park Conservatory

16. Top Botanical Gardens in United

Wheels by Barb Koss and Sue Neuschel and

on botany, horticulture and environmental

and Botanical Gardens, Columbus, Ohio;

refer to it as a handbook for Get Acquainted

education; features kayak tours, historic walk-

Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona;

Games (Find person who___); Games of

ing trails and children’s rainforest garden on

ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Albuquerque,

Chance (Bingo); stimulating games for adults

Sarasota Bay. Its 15 acres include nine acres

New Mexico; United States Botanic Garden,

like riddles and the matching the quotation

of display gardens. Open to the public every

Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Botanical

game suggested in Tip 4. Prizes to winners

day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas.

Garden, San Francisco, California; Atlanta Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017 • 25

20 Tips Botanical Garden, Atlanta, Georgia; Missouri

vation areas in 2017, in honor of

Hollywood and a tour of movie stars’ homes

Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri; United

Canada’s 150th birthday. All of Canada’s

in Beverly Hills, including where Jimmy Stewart

States Botanic Garden, Kauai, Hawaii; New

10 provinces except Prince Edward Island

bought the home next door to build a flower

York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

have multiple botanical gardens. They are

garden for his wife. It was the first trip on my

worth seeing, even if you have to pay.

bucket list.

17. Petitti Garden Center, Strongsville, Ohio. This family-owned, 14-acre retail garden

19. National parks in United States

Thank you for following my column and

center is a Victorian conservatory, one of the

I have toured with my family or on bus trips

sending kind comments. My next column

first of its kind in the United States. It stocks

include: Yosemite; Yellowstone; Grand

will include a review of past columns and

plants grown in northern Ohio, gardening

Canyon; Glacier; Zion; Grand Tetons; Carls-

titles of trip and issue dates since September

equipment, patio furniture, unique home acces-

bad Caverns; Mammoth Cave; Everglades;


sories and clothing; sets up lectures and

Petrified Forest; Great Smoky Mountains; and

demonstrations for groups; and offers discounts

Denali in Alaska and Volcanoes in Hawaii.

for military and seniors. Last year’s group Christ-

The Senior Pass is a lifetime passport to

mas visit included a lecture on the care of hol-

United States national parks for those 62

Cuyahoga Community College. After her

iday house plants like Christmas cactus, poin-

years and older. To get one, go to any

retirement in 2000, she became a trip plan-

settias, cyclamen and cymbidium; tour of

National Park Service facility that charges an

ner for the CCC retirees and Middleburg

gardens; discounts; and views of hundreds of

entrance fee with proof of your age.

Heights Women’s Club, filling as many as

decorated trees and ornaments. Expert guidance is freely given.

20. Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena.

15 buses each year. Jaeb and her husband

Our bus tour there not only included a shaded

escorted trips for Lakefront Lines in Cleve-

18. National Parks of Canada are

seated view of the parade but watching parade

offering free admission to their national

floats being decorated and stops at the Living

parks, the botanical gardens inside

Desert Botanical Garden in Palm Desert, Cali-

them, historic sites and marine conser-

fornia, Disneyland, Universal Studios, Planet

Advertiser’s Index Afton House Inn & Cruise Lines . . . . . .5

Heartland Travel Showcase . . . . . . . . .2

American Bus Association . . . . . . . . .27

Hilton Garden Inn O’Hare . . . . . . . . . .19

Atlantic City/Meet AC . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites . . .20

Aurora Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

Jacksonville Area CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Be Native Tours LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

Lewis County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Cabell Huntington CVB . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Miromar Outlets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Castle Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

New England Development . . . . . . . .17

City of Ft. Madison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Old Sturbridge Inn

Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center . .13

& Reader Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Conway CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

Our Lady of Consolation . . . . . . . . . . .11

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad . . .14

Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home . . . . . .8

Dancing Horses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers . . . . .8

Elkhart County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Starved Rock Lodge

Entertainment Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Galesburg CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

26 • Bus Tours Magazine / September, 2017

With degrees from four universities, Dr. Charleen Jaeb was a business professor at

& Conf Center

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Warren County Historical Society . . . . .8

land, 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.”

Columnist Wanted BUS TOURS MAGAZINE is looking for a passionate travel professional to give our readers insightful tips for planning great bus tours. Our popular column, “20 Tips for Tour Planners,” has been written for many years by our dear friend and learned mentor Charleen Jaeb. The retired bus tour planner has decided to really retire, and her last column will appear in our November/December 2017 issue. Successful candiates must have a passion for travel, extensive experience in the motorcoach tour industry and a wealth of knowledge on both that they wish to share with our readers. A modest stipend per column is offered. For more information, contact BUS TOURS MAGAZINE at (815) 946-2341 or Fax (815) 946-2347.







My Bucket List



Put Atlantic City At The Top Of Your List! Imagine all of the things you could check off your Bucket List when you visit Atlantic City. From our world-famous beach and Boardwalk to brand name tax-free shopping, award-winning dining and non-stop entertainment, Atlantic City provides the perfect setting for a memory filled getaway. Heather Colache is available at 609-449-7151 or to help you discover everything there is to experience in Atlantic City.

Bus Tours Magazine September/October 2017  
Bus Tours Magazine September/October 2017