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Volume XXXIV, Number 6 • July/August 2014

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Anniversary

Student Tours page 20

Parkersburg, West Virginia page 16

Boston page 14

Nebraska page 4


Offer expires September 30, 2014


contents

JULY/AUGUST 2014

4

STAFF

20 12

Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson Road Polo, Illinois 61064-9015 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site: www.bustoursmagazine.com

10

24

Features

Specials

4

10

GROUP TRAVEL IN NEBRASKA The state of Nebraska is full of groupfriendly attractions, towns and cities from north to south and east to west.

Guides 20

24

28

Central/International bustours@busmag.com – (608) 435-6220 West kara.hail@busmag.com – (815) 990-6667 Midwest midwest@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 Northeast tourgroups@busmag.com – (815) 946-2341 Southeast srickles@aol.com – (770) 664-4567

NORFOLK AND MERCER COUNTY

12

COVER PHOTO

ATLANTIC CITY Come see what is in store for your group in the always exciting entertainment mecca of Atlantic City.

14

BOSTON – TREASURE

AN

AMERICAN

The city of Boston offers a trip to the past with a modern appeal that will please guests looking for history and adventure New England style.

TRY YOUR LUCK Gaming has been one of the most popular bus tour activities for groups since it made its nationwide debut in the 1990s. Now available from coast to coast, casino resorts are attracting bus loads in droves with great incentives, deals and a guaranteed fun time.

16

SATISFYING DINING AND LODGING CHOICES

And More

A good night’s sleep and a satisfying meal is just as important to a tour itinerary as the activities or attractions. Make sure you do your homework and choose the finest for your travelers.

Advertising

Be sure to check out Norfolk, Virginia and Mercer County, West Virginia to explore both the coast and mountains of the Virginias.

STUDENT TOURS AND ACTIVE ADVENTURES Young people crave learning, adventure, even a little bit of both. The sky is the limit when planning a tour for the growing student tour niche market.

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

PARKERSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA This hidden gem is home to an exquisite Victorian Historian District and other charming surprises your group will love.

31

CURIOUS TOUR PLANNER

32

20 TIPS

34

ADVERTISERS INDEX

by Dr. Charleen Jaeb

One of the most iconic sites in the world, the Statue of Liberty in New York City greets millions of student tours every year. LARRY PLACHNO.

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 / July, 2014 • 3


N

ebraska has always been a corridor

for travel. The pioneers traveled westward through Nebraska on the

Oregon Trail, the California Trail or the Mormon Trail in covered wagon caravans. The cowboys drove herds of cattle through Nebraska to the railroads. Do not forget all the road trips Nebraska has seen from the

Group Travel in Nebraska

historic highways to Interstate 80. Today is no different. Nebraska is meant to be traveled. Possibly the best way to experience Nebraska travel is on the road, which offers the best vantage points of the sprawling vistas of the Great Plains. With endless highways, Nebraska was made for road trips. That means bus trips too.

Metro Omaha Explore all that Omaha has to offer. Start with a safari through the world-famous Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium (omahazoo.com), which features America’s largest indoor rainforest and the Desert Dome. The zoo and aquarium offers group rates for groups of 40 or more; reservations are required at least three weeks in advance. There is free on-site bus parking. To make a group reservation phone (402) 733-8401. Experience the culture of El Museo Latino, which highlights the important contributions

by Caitlin Hassler Doorly Aquarium

Photos courtesy of Nebraska Tourism

that the Hispanic population has had on the

offered to one driver and one escort for pre-

along the 10th Street Bridge. Phone (402)

history, culture and development of Omaha.

booked groups. Bus parking is on the east end

444-5071 to learn more.

Groups of 10 or more can enjoy a guided tour

of the parking lot, and groups must load and

and have the option to add an art activity to

unload from the parking area. Phone (402) 346-

(hotshopsartcenter.com) which houses 444

their visit. Phone (402) 731-1137 for more

4002 for more information.

art studios, three art galleries, exhibition

information. Parking is located across 25th

Get an art fix at Hot Shops Art Center

Enjoy a meal and some shopping in the

spaces and a café/coffee shop. Groups are

historic Old Market district (oldmarket.com)

welcome to visit the center and its galleries.

Spend some time outdoors at Lauritzen Gar-

which has a wide range of restaurants and

The center is housed in what was once a

dens (lauritzengardens.org). Wander through

boutiques. Plus, the Old Market has a great

Serta mattress factory. You can phone Hot

the 100-acre grounds, which have an arbore-

nightlife to be explored.

Shops Art Center at (402) 342-6452. There

Street and is free of charge.

tum, bird sanctuary, rose and herb gardens,

Go back in time through the Durham

is more artwork at the Joslyn Art Museum

spring flower walk, Victorian and festival gar-

Museum (durhammuseum.org), which is

(joslyn.org), a world-class museum featur-

dens, and a woodland trail. The indoor visitor

housed in a restored Art Deco train station.

ing exquisite works of art from antiquity to

center offers year-round floral displays. Group

Durham features exhibits from the Union

the present. Groups of 10 or more should

tours have a variety of options including a self-

Pacific railroad. Both guided and self-guided

make advance reservations. Self-guided

guided tour where the group will be greeted

tours are offered. Group rates apply to groups

tours are free of charge. There is a charge

upon arrival, a guided walking tour and a nar-

of 10 or more who book at least two weeks

for private guided tours; the cost depends

rated tram tour. Group pricing can be found on

in advance. The free bus parking location is

on the size of the group. Group meals can

their Web site. Complimentary admission is 4 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014

also be reserved at Café Durham. Phone


Nebraska (402) 661-3823 for reservations and more

includes an Omaha city tour. Meals can be

arrival. Parking is on-site and is first come,

information.

added to any tour. For more details or to

first served. Phone (402) 731-3140.

West Omaha is home to the world-famous

make a reservation, phone (800) 625-1400.

Father Flanagan’s Boys Town (boystown.org).

Explore the outdoors of Fontenelle For-

Tour the grounds to learn about its history

est (fontenelleforest.org) in Bellevue, which

and mission. There are several tour options

shows evidence of diverse American Indian

available to groups: a step-on guide, the stan-

cultures with 70 known sites of Indian lodges

dard tour which highlights main attractions

and mounds. There is a discount for groups

in the village, customized tours tailored to a

of 12 or more wishing to visit the Nature Cen-

theme of your choice and a tour which

ter or Neale Woods. Payment is made upon

Capitol Building

Check #216 on Reader Service Card

Lincoln Head to Lincoln and take a guided tour of the impressive State Capitol building (capitol.org), home of the nation’s only onehouse legislative body. Tours of the Capitol Check #312 on Reader Service Card

DISCOVER

BOYS BOYS TOWN!

Winner of the 201 3 Nebraska Outstanding Tourism Attraction Award

boystown.org/tours ã 1-800-625-1400

303-062-06h

Scan the QR code to learn more.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 5


Nebraska begin on the hour (except noon). To see a bus parking map, log on

able for groups. The group admission rate applies to groups of 10 or

to capitol.org/files/bus-map.pdf. Phone (402) 471-0448 to learn more.

more. Reservations can be made by phoning (308) 385-5316.

The historic Haymarket (lincolnhaymarket.org) offers a wide variety of galleries, restaurants, antique stores, shops, bars and coffee houses in turn-of-the-century buildings. Do not miss the brand new entertainment district Canopy Street next to the Pinnacle Bank Arena with new trendy restaurants and stores. Designed by internationally-acclaimed architect Philip Johnson, the Sheldon Museum of Art (sheldonartmuseum.org) is an excellent modern art gallery housing 20th century American art. The museum is located on the campus of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL). Guided tours are available and can include the museum and/or the sculpture garden. Admission is free. Phone (402) 472-9426. Discover the artistry, science and history of quilt making at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum (quiltstudy.org), which features more than 3,000 quilts from more than 25 countries and across four cen-

Front Street Shootout

turies. This facility is also on the UNL campus. Adult admission is $6 and public guided tours are included in the admission price. For an additional

Spend some quality time shopping any of the galleries or specialty

fee, groups can also reserve private tours, which can be customized. The

stores in Grand Island’s historic downtown district. During the annual

center also offers a behind-the-scenes tour. These tours must be reserved

sandhill crane migration in the spring, come face to face with these

in advance. Phone (402) 472-6549 for more information.

majestic birds at Crane Trust Nature and Visitor Center near Alda

Not far from Lincoln is York. A unique attraction for your group is

(nebraskanature.org) which offers several bird watching experiences

Lee’s Legendary Marbles and Collectables (leeslegendarymarbles.com)

and Rowe Sanctuary (rowe.audubon.org) and Iain Nicolson Audubon

where more than a half-million marbles are on display, including

Center near Gibbon. It is an amazing sight and sound that you will

some very rare ones. The attraction is open seven days a week and

remember forever.

walk-in visits are welcome. Admission is free. You can contact Lee’s

Kearney’s Great Platte River Road Archway (archway.org) is the

at (402) 362-3320. While you are in York browse the shelves of Four

only tourist attraction in the nation to be located over a federal inter-

Winds Indian Books (fourwindsindianbooks.com), the world’s largest

state highway. This impressive, three-story, interactive museum com-

American Indian bookstore, and stop at Chances “R” Restaurant and

memorates the nation’s westward expansion. Group rates apply to

Lounge (chancesryork.com) for great homemade classics like pan-

groups of 25 or more and there is bus parking available in the muse-

fried chicken.

um’s on-site lot. To make reservations or learn more about group tours, phone (877) 511-2724.

Aurora, Grand Island and Kearney – The Heart of Nebraska

Housed in a historic 1911 Renaissance revival post office, the Museum of Nebraska Art (monet.unk.edu) features 11 exceptional

Aurora’s Edgerton ExplorIt Center is dedicated to Aurora native

galleries and more than 5,000 works of art highlighting Nebraska

Harold “Doc” Edgerton, the inventor of the strobe light. The museum is

and the Great Plains. Admission is free and docent-led tours are

full of fascinating exhibits and hands-on activities. Group tours include

available with advance reservations. Phone the museum at (308)

two 30-minute science demonstrations and some free time to explore

865-8559.

the museum. Groups of 20 or more receive a group rate; advance reservations are required. Phone (402) 694-4032. Noted as one of the top 10 living history museums in the country, Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (stuhrmu-

The Nebraska Firefighters Museum and Education Center (nebraskafirefightersmuseum.org) recognizes the history and dedication of Nebraska’s many brave firefighters and EMTs. Visit their Web site or phone (308) 338-3473 for more information.

seum.org) will transport you back to the early days of the pioneers. Guided group tours can include the Stuhr Building and Fonner

Lexington and North Platte

Rotunda, Railroad Town, the Farm Machinery Building, the 1890s

Lexington is home to Mac’s Creek Vineyards and Winery (mac-

Farmstead, views of special exhibits and behind the scenes tours.

screekvineyards.com) where your group can enjoy great wine and

Boxed lunches, special programs and entertainment are also avail-

exquisite ambiance. There is also an on-site bistro where meals and private parties for groups can be arranged.

6 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


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 lbalough@parkco.us www.southparkheritage.org Check #455 on Reader Service Card

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 7


Nebraska The Heartland Museum of Military Vehi-

largest railroad classification yard, from atop

gallery specializing in ancient woods, fossils

cles (heartlandmuseum.org) has an impres-

the 95-foot-tall, eight-story Golden Spike

and American Indian artifacts. Ogallala also

sive collection of military equipment and

Tower and Visitor Center. Historical and

is home to Lake McConaughy, the state’s

machinery which includes helicopters, mil-

regional railroad memorabilia can be pur-

largest lake. The Lake McConaughy Visitor

itary ambulances, jeeps from every branch

chased in the gift shop. The North Platte

and

of service, weapons, military uniforms,

Convention and Visitors Bureau is a great

(ilovelakemac.com) is the state’s first water-

engines and other artifacts. Admission is free.

resource of information about these and

related facility and houses interactive edu-

Phone (308) 324- 6329 to arrange your group

other local attractions. To view their many

cational exhibits highlighting the Platte River

visit.

group tour offerings go to visitnorth-

and High Plains Aquifer. From late Decem-

platte.com/group-tours.

ber to early March, the Bald Eagle Viewing

Stop in North Platte for a tour of Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s house and his-

Water

Interpretive

Center

Center below the dam is one of the best loca-

Ogallala

toric barn at Buffalo Bill State Historical Park.

tions to view these majestic birds.

During the third week of June, don your west-

Ogallala embraces its colorful Western

ern duds for NEBRASKAland Days and 10

past at Front Street, where you can catch The

days chock full of western fun and enter-

Crystal Palace Revue and Shoot Out

tainment. Fort Cody Trading Post is one of

(ogallalafrontstreet.com/CrystalPalaceRevie

recreation, Nebraska has a group tour for

the state’s largest, and most eclectic, gift

w), Nebraska’s longest-running summer the-

every kind of group. For more information

shops. Explore the Old West Museum in the

ater. They welcome groups of all sizes year-

or inspiration for a bus tour through

back of the store and watch a 20,000-piece,

round and have a museum, a large bar and

Nebraska,

hand-carved animated miniature version

plenty of room for group meals. For show

visitnebraska.com for itineraries, group

of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Enjoy a

times and rates phone (308) 284-6000.

attractions, group hotels and more. Plan

spectacular 360-degree view of Union

Visit the Petrified Wood and Art Gallery

Pacific Railroad’s Bailey Yard, the world’s

(petrifiedwoodgallery.com), a natural history

Check #892 on Reader Service Card

More Nebraska Information From agriculture to wildlife to outdoor

go

to

grouptravel.

an adventure today that everyone will ❑

appreciate.

Check #482 on Reader Service Card

Stop. Pllayy Stay S

CLASSIC CAR COLLECTION

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Make the most of your stay by experiencing the variety of dining, shopping, entertainment and attractions that Kearney has to offer. The Archway is an exciting stop to experience the adventures of the Oregon and Mormon Trails as well as the Lincoln Highway and beyond 12 unique wa walk-through alk-through immersive environments! “Must See Attraction.”

ARCHWAY















SCAN QR CODE FOR MOBILE WEBSITE

KEARNEY visitors bureau N E B R A S K A

800-652-9435 • www.visitkearney.org

8 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


Check #459 on Reader Service Card

Check #302 on Reader Service Card

Upgraded Experience Experience Upgraded

SPECIAL GROUP GROUP R RATES AT TES

1-800-242-9287 www.agawacanyontourtrain.com

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 9


Experience Norfolk and Mercer County Mercer County, West Virginia Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, the Bluefield-Princeton area of southern West Virginia is home to a magnificent coal story. Rich deposits of coal were discovered deep in the mountains. Immigrant laborers traveled thousands of miles to become coal miners. They worked long hours in harsh conditions deep in the earth picking away at the lustrous black rock. A unique culture emerged as

Norfolk, Virginia

many different nationalities, races and religious beliefs meshed

Norfolk, the heart of the Virginia Waterfront, is known for its scenic

together to create a community that survived by the steady heartbeat

waterways, lush landscape, thriving port, moderate climate and diverse

of the mine. These hardworking miners left a rich legacy behind, one

outdoor and entertainment opportunities. Attractions celebrate the

of genuine American values, hard work and camaraderie.

many facets of life in this historic city, one of America’s oldest.

View historic Victorian architecture listed on the National Regis-

The 400-year-old city has a rich military history. The world’s largest

ter of Historic Places in downtown Bluefield. Start your day at the East

naval base, Naval Station Norfolk, calls this city home. Guided bus

River Mountain Overlook which tops the city at 3,500 feet above sea

tours are available at Naval Station Norfolk narrated by naval per-

level. This attraction provides a breath-taking view of the city of Blue-

sonnel. The tour includes a look at Atlantic Fleet training centers, air-

field and surrounding area. Take in a walking tour of the city of Blue-

craft carriers and submarines, and features historic homes from the

field, “West Virginia’s air-conditioned city” where cold lemonade is

1907 Jamestown Exposition. For more information visit

still served when temperatures go above 90 degrees.

cnic.navy.mil/norfolksta or phone (757) 322-2337

Visit the Princeton Railroad Museum and feel the passion of the guide

Norfolk is the hub of music and performing arts not only for Vir-

who describes the history of The Virginian Railway. The museum dis-

ginia, but the entire mid-Atlantic region and is home to several per-

plays more than 100 railroad lanterns, houses exhibits of railroad arti-

forming and visual arts companies, including the Virginia Symphony,

facts, artwork, books, photographs and corporate railroad material. If

Virginia Stage Company, Virginia Opera and Virginia Arts Festival.

you are into Civil War, a must-see is the McNutt House located in Prince-

The Chrysler Museum houses more than 30,000 original works of

ton, West Virginia. Listen as the guide shares stories of where the town

art that span more than 5,000 years of history in 62 galleries. Named

of Princeton was burned by 300 Rebel defenders with the McNutt House

after automobile heir and art collector Walter P. Chrysler, the museum

being the only remaining Civil-War era home in Princeton.

was founded in 1939. The museum possesses one of the greatest glass

The Mercer County War Museum – “Dedicated to Those Who

collections in America. The Tiffany collection is world famous and nearly

Served” – con-

comprehensive in the area of blown glass. The Chrysler Museum Glass

tains

studio is a modern, 7,000-square-foot facility across the street from the

from the Civil War

museum. The facility is equipped to accommodate aspiring and mas-

to present day

ter artists alike. The Glass Studio provides free public demonstrations

wars. Experience

for groups. For information visit chrysler.org or phone (757) 333-6969.

the tour of duty

For more information on Norfolk, phone (800) 368-3097 or visit

“from those who

artifacts

the Web site at visitnorfolktoday.com. The Norfolk CVB offers com-

served” and listen

plimentary group tour planning services and can help with every-

to their stories.

thing from hotel availability to activities, attractions and group dis-

Discover America’s coal story; walk back into the earth and feel the

counts. A Norfolk Group Tour Planner is available for free download

dampness of the mine. Begin your journey in the miners’ town of Poc-

at www.visitnorfolktoday.com/group-tour-planning. The guide fea-

ahontas. Hear the stories of miner’s hardships and operators prosper-

tures information on local attractions and events, dining and lodg-

ity. “Step back in time” and recapture the Gilded Age in Historic

ing guides, information on regional attractions, sample itineraries,

Bramwell. Once home to multiple millionaires and their families who

contact telephone numbers for various services, city information and

made their fortunes from the Pocahontas coalfields, hear the history

much more.

of Bramwell, visit the homes and be greeted by a costumed guide who

10 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


Norfolk/Mercer County

Check #382 on Reader Service Card

will share the story of the original home owner and his family. Stop by the Coal Heritage Trail Interpretive Center located in the reconstructed train depot and explore the museum which houses relics and exhibits of West Virginia’s coal history. Here you will find mementoes of an era that helped West Virginia emerge as a national leader in energy production. The Bramwell Soda Fountain and Corner Shop offers a restored soda fountain, old fashion ice cream and malts. The Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau (visitmrcercounty.com) is available to assist tour operators in planning a memorable tour groups will not soon forget, including, but not limited to group-friendly lodging and dining ideas, sample itineraries, available comps for driver and escort, and step-on guides for groups of 20 or more. The area’s attractions are group-friendly and ready to welcome tour groups. Contact Marie for assistance in planning your next group tour at (304) 325-8424.

Check #123 on Reader Service Card

ALLL SUMMER LONG

History, theater History, theater, r, dining, dining museums and shopping make Norfolk a distinct destination of offering ffering f a va variety of itineraries for your gr group oup to enjoy enjoy.. With so much to see and do, the possibilities ar are e just endless. ss. T To o learn mor more, e, visit us online or contact Melissa sa Hopper Hopper, r, Associate Dir Director ector or of T Tour o our & T Travel. ravel. visitnorfolktoday visitnorfolktoday.com .com | 1-800-368-3097

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 11


GET A GOOD LOOK AT THE RICH HISTORY OF

Atlantic City

    tlantic City, New Jersey has a long

walk. Each of the resort’s casino hotels offers

list of attractive amenities to see and

their own style and theme and everything

do from award-winning, free sandy

from high stakes poker to penny slots.

A

beaches and historic four-mile Boardwalk,

A year-round destination resort, Atlantic

to world-class gaming, dining, shopping,

City is alive and growing with exciting attrac-

spas, entertainment and iconic events.

tions. The iconic Steel Pier offers loads of fun

Deluxe accommodations are at every turn

with more than 25 themed and extreme rides,

as Atlantic City’s 11 casino hotel resorts offer

games, food and family pub and bar over-

more 18,000 luxurious guest rooms, plus

looking the Atlantic Ocean. Steel Pier’s three-

there are an additional 2,000 first-class resort

phase, $102-million renovation project has

hotel guest rooms both on and off the Board-

added 15 new, state-of-the-art rides over the

Check #679 on Reader Service Card

If the walls could talk they would tell you about the Jake Bird, Francisco Guldice, Deputy Claude Daily, prohibition bootlegging and more. Council Bluffs is proud to have one of the only three remaining rotating jails in the country.      

      

past two years and anticipates a 200-foot observation wheel, complete with 42 fullyenclosed gondolas featuring air conditioning and heat for year-round use in early 2015. Historic Gardner’s Basin features the popular Atlantic City Aquarium, a 14,000-squarefoot, three-story marine life educational center. Experience the thrill of dolphin-watching or enjoy calm, back-bay sunset relaxing cruises or schedule an exclusive fishing charter. Atlantic City was recently named The Travel Channel’s “Best Beach Boardwalk� and for good reason. While strolling along the Boardwalk, food is plentiful with many eateries featuring pizza, hot dogs, burgers, soft pretzels, ice cream and the Atlantic City favorite, salt water taffy, along with eclectic

The Rails West Railroad Museum is housed in the 1899 Rock island Depot and showcases all the lines used to run through Council Bluffs, has rolling stock in the yard to explore and has the best model train layout around.       !        

shopping and people-watching. While on the Boardwalk, be sure to take a ride on an Atlantic City unique “rolling chair,� around since 1887 and a great way to take in the sights and sounds and get a breath of fresh sea air. For more information on Atlantic City

events

and

doatlanticcity.com. 12 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014

attractions,

UPCOMING EVENTS

Please Call us at (712) 323-5182

visit â?‘

Check #593 on Reader Service Card


IF A PICTURE’S WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, IMAGINE THE STORIES. DO ATLANTIC CITY.COM

For information contact Heather Colache at 609.449.7151 or hcolache@accva.com


Boston An American Treasure USS Constitution ith a mix of colonial charm,

about the trail and the types of tours offered

early part of the 19th century and is one of

urban sophistication and world-

log on to thefreedomtrail.org.

only two presently commissioned ships in

W

the U.S. known to have sunk an enemy ves-

class attractions, Boston is

dynamic as well as historical. A place that

The Black Heritage Trail

sel, today her role is that of a “ship of state.”

played an important role in shaping United

Another walking tour, The Black Heritage

The vessel has a crew of 55 that participates

States history, Boston offers visitors a chance

Trail, explores the history of Boston’s 19th

in ceremonies and special events as well as

to see the places where the American Rev-

century black community as it guides the vis-

educational programs that promote the U.S.

olution was conceived and began. From Paul

itors past 10 historic sites along the north

Navy.

Revere’s House to the Boston Tea Party Ship

slope of Beacon Hill. The heart of the Her-

The USS Constitution is open for tours

to the Old North Church, history is on every

itage Hill is the African Meeting House, the

to the public year-round. Tours are con-

corner in Boston. Boston is also the “Hub of

oldest standing black church in the United

ducted every 30 minutes and are free of

New England” and major highways link

States. The Meeting House became known

charge. Since this is a working military ves-

Boston to points throughout the Northeast.

as the “Black Faneuil Hall” because of its sta-

sel, there security measures in place and

With its proximity to so much of New Eng-

tus as the center of political activity. The

guests need to show a valid photo ID to take

land, Boston offers a wide variety of activi-

African Meeting House has been recently

the tour. For more information visit

ties within a short range for a group tour.

restored and is open to the public for tours,

history.navy.mil/USSconstitution/.

special exhibits and group functions. The

The Freedom Trail One of Boston’s premiere attractions, The Freedom Trail, is a 2.5-mile walking tour

Black Heritage Trail is run by the Museum of African American History. To learn more visit afroammuseum.org/trail.

through historic Boston encompassing 16 of the most treasured sites in American history.

Boston Duck Tours A fun way to tour Boston is to climb aboard one of the authentic, renovated World War II amphibious landing vehicles

USS Constitution

at Boston Duck Tours. Groups will be

The Freedom Trail is an actual red line

History Buffs and ship enthusiasts will

greeted by their ConDUCKtor who will be

painted on the sidewalks and streets of

not want to miss seeing what is perhaps the

narrating the tour and providing interest-

Boston. Besides guiding a visitor to the his-

most famous vessel in American naval his-

ing insights and little-known facts about the

toric sites, The Freedom Trail is an excellent

tory. The USS Constitution, also known as

sights along the way. The journey begins on

way to tour the city as it winds through many

“Old Ironsides” because of cannonballs

land and takes passengers past famous

of the city’s diverse neighborhoods. Private

bouncing off her sides during battle, is the

Boston landmarks such as the State House,

tours for groups are also available and can

oldest commissioned ship afloat in the world

Bunker Hill, Boston Common and many oth-

be booked by phoning the Freedom Trail

and is still in service in the U.S. Navy.

ers. Then it is time for a “splashdown” on

Foundation at (617) 357- 8300. To learn more

Although she saw a lot of action during the

the scenic Charles River and passengers can

14 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


Special: Boston enjoy some spectacular views of the Boston and Cambridge sky-

exhibits and attractions to keep a group enthralled for hours. Some

lines as they cruise on the water.

of the highlights include an IMAX theater, a planetarium, live pre-

The Ducks operate from March through November and tours run

sentations and more. There more than 700 permanent displays,

seven days a week, rain or shine. Tours last about 80 minutes and

exhibits of scientific topics such as animals, dinosaurs, the human

depart every 30 or 60 minutes depending on the season. They depart

body, electricity, the history of computers, natural mysteries, as well

from the Prudential Center, the Museum of Science and the New Eng-

as an ever-changing variety of temporary exhibits.

land Aquarium. Locations, hours, directions and parking informa-

The museum offers on-site dining, group rates, packages and edu-

tion can be found on their Web site, bostonducktours.com. Group

cational programs. Contact group sales at (617) 589-0447 for infor-

rates are offered as well as private charters that can include meals.

mation and to make a group reservation. Buses can drop off and pick

They offer one comp for every 20 paid. Phone (617) 267-3825 for more

up passengers directly in front of the museum; however, there is no

information.

on-site bus parking at the museum itself. Extended bus parking is available at the Boston Autoport in Charlestown. Fees range from

Boston Ducks Tours

$10 to $20 per bus. Please note that space is limited. You can download a PDF with more information about bus parking at mos.org/group-visits/tips.

New England Aquarium Life in the ocean is as fascinating as it is beautiful. Visitors can learn about and view aquatic creatures up close at the New England Aquarium. The facility features live animals and exhibits, promotes conservation and research, conducts educational activities and offers programs which delve into the mysterious and enchanting world found underwater. A centerpiece of the museum is its Caribbean Coral Reef Exhibit. This 200,000-gallon tank accommodates sharks, sea turtles, barracudas, moray and hundreds of trop-

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

ical fish. It is considered one of the most scientifically accurate recre-

The culture and beauty of the arts has a grand showcase in the

ations of its kind. The Aquarium Medical Center Exhibit is a live

Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The museum owns approximately

working animal hospital where veterinarians and staff care for

450,000 objects with new ones arriving all the time. There are many

aquarium animals as well as sick and stranded animals that were

permanent and special exhibitions to enjoy as well as daily activ-

rescued from local beaches. It is the first exhibit of its kind to put

ities such as gallery talks, films, concerts, artist lectures and other

real staff and medical treatments on public view. To learn more

programs. The museum’s collections include art from around the

about all there is to see and do at the New England Aquarium visit

world, ancient and contemporary art, musical instruments, prints,

neaq.org.

drawings, photographs, textiles fashion arts and more. The museum is open seven days a week. There are on-site

Group pricing, packages and programs are offered. Details of the different

options

can

be

found

at

dining services available as well as shops. Groups enjoy discounted

neaq.org/visit_planning/groups/index.php. They can include meals,

rates, a dedicated group entrance and other group privileges. Both

special programs and more. A bus parking permit and parking instruc-

guided and self-guided group options are available. Group

tions will be issued. For more information e-mail groupsales@neaq.org

tours are by reservation only and must be made at least four

or phone (617) 973-5206.

weeks in advance. The dedicated Group Entrance is located on Museum Road on the west (left) side of the museum. Limited,

Greater Boston Convention

complimentary bus parking is located just outside the entrance

and Visitors Bureau

for visiting groups. For more information visit mfa.org. or phone (617) 267-9300.

There are many more exciting attractions to explore and a host of group friendly lodging and dining establishments in Boston. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a wide assort-

Museum of Science Boston The fascinating world of science entertains and educates visitors at the Museum of Science Boston. This impressive facility has enough

ment of resources, maps and publications to make planning your group tour to the Boston area easy and fun. For more information phone (888) SEE-BOSTON or visit bostonusa.com.

Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 15


Blennerhassett Museum

State of West Virginia decided to reconstruct this romantic legend of a home and make it the centerpiece of the new Blennerhassett Island State Park. Since its completion in 1991, thousands of visitors have enjoyed a tour of this opulent re-creation. Mansion tours meet at the circle in front of the mansion. Your group will be greeted and guided by period dressed docents. Plan on about 45 minutes for a tour. Another group favorite on the Island are the wagon rides. These horse-drawn journeys are a fun way to see the interesting and beautiful sites of the park and hear fascinating narration about the island’s history. The wagon rides are about two miles long and last approximately 30 minutes.

A Step Back in Time Parkersburg, West Virginia

A detailed motorcoach group tour planner can be downloaded at blennerhassettislandstatepark.com/group.html. The planner gives hours, prices, directions, group arrivals and departures instructions, bus loading and unloading information, on-site lunch options,

f your group is looking for a hidden gem

museum, which contain archaeological and

general information and much more. You

of a location with fascinating history,

historical exhibits.

can also phone Lori Lawrence, group coor-

I

great hospitality and abundant attrac-

After the museum tour it is time to check

tions, then check out the Parkersburg, West

the stunning 1800s mansion built by the

Virginia area. This welcoming small city with

Blennerhassetts who emigrated from County

For another trip back in time, take a trip

a population of about 31,000 is located on

Cork, Ireland in 1795. The wealthy couple

to Williamstown, West Virginia to Hender-

the confluence of the Ohio and Little

made sure their new American residence

son Hall Plantation. You can tour this 1859

Kanawha rivers, a beautiful and serene sec-

was the finest around and spared no

tion of northwestern West Virginia on the

expense with exquisite landscap-

Ohio border.

ing, the most innovative archi-

Blennerhassett Island Historical State park

dinator,

at

(304)

420-4800

or

e-mail Lori.L.Lawrence@wv.gov.

plantation which features a 17-room pre-Civil War mansion with all its original furnishings. For

tecture, as well as luxurious

information phone (304)

is a great start to any day in Parkersburg. This

and stylish interiors and

375-2129. Group and pri-

picturesque locale will transport your group

decors and furnishings

vate tours are available

back to a simpler, more elegant time. The

from all over the world.

by appointment.

visit includes a relaxing and scenic 20-minute

The estate was con-

sternwheeler ride on the Ohio River to and

sidered so splendid it was

industries

from the island.

often referred to as “Eden”

important role in the

A good first stop is the Blennerhassett

The oil and gas

or the “Enchanted Island.”

play

an

history of Parkersburg

Museum. Here your group will get an

However this fairy tale cas-

overview and orientation of what they will

tle in the wilderness was not

see during their visit. The museum experi-

to last long. The Blennerhassetts

ence starts with a video, which explains the

fled their island home in 1806

and you can learn about the impact these natural resources had and continue to have at the Oil and Gas

Henderson Hall Plantation

life of the property’s founders Harman and

after becoming entangled in

Margaret Blennerhassett. After the video,

the disastrous Aaron Burr Expedition to the

toric 1874 building in downtown Parkers-

you can explore the three floors of the

Southwest and the home burned to the

burg, the museum has many rare antiques

ground in 1811. It was not until 1984 that the

used in the practice of pumping for oil.

16 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014

Museum. Housed in a his-


Special: Parkersburg, West Virginia spectacular views of Parkersburg and the

Oil and Gas Museum

Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers. It is a great place to enjoy a boxed lunch. The Parkersburg CVB can refer you to some places that can provide them. Best of all, admission to the park is free. Vaudeville is an old-fashioned form of theater, once considered rather rowdy and bawdy for polite society. Well, Parkersburg has its own Vaudeville theater, the Smooth Theatre, which began entertaining audiences back in 1926. It was nearly demolished after a period of being shut down but was saved from demolition at the last minute in 1989 by a volunteer group who thought the historic venue was a too much of a historic treasure to destroy. The volun-

Some of them include antique pump jacks,

tour and concerts, all of which are held

teers cleaned and fixed up the dusty old the-

a 1905 steam engine, a circa 1910 gas

annually. Phone (304) 422-9861 for more

ater and brought it back to life. Now it pre-

engine, a 16 horsepower gas engine used

information or visit juliannsquare.org to

sents a five-show season every year from

in the West Virginia oil fields, a standard

learn more and see pictures of some of

August to May. Live entertainment includ-

drilling rig, an antique wooden oil tank, a

these amazing homes.

ing music, comedy, dance, one-man shows

portable gas engine and compressor, a circa

Civil War sites abound in the Parkers-

and their backstage tours with their famous

1924 drilling and service rig, lithographs of

burg area. One of the most well-known and

desserts are some of the highlights your

1860s Parkersburg, a Civil War display, plus

popular locations for group visits is the Fort

group can enjoy. Phone 304-422-PLAY or

much more. The museum welcomes tour

Boreman Historical Park. Located two miles

visit smoottheatre.com.

groups. To reserve a tour, phone (304) 485-

from downtown Parkersburg off US 50 at

If your time permits, there are many other

5446. You can learn more about the

the Marrtown Exit, the park features a par-

activities and attractions that your group can

museum and view some great pictures of

tially reconstructed Union Civil War fortifi-

enjoy on their “Step Back in Time” day in

their indoor and outdoor displays at

cation, trenches, interpretive signage, pic-

Parkersburg. They can enjoy “An Evening

oilandgasmuseum.com.

nic

with Margaret Blennerhassett” (historic

shelters,

nature

trail

and

Parkersburg is home to some breathtakingly beautiful Victorian homes and your guests will be amazed at these architectural marvels when they tour the Julia-Ann Square Historic District. Comprised of approximately 126 homes, it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977 and is one of the oldest historic districts in the state of West Virginia. In the district, many styles of Victorian architecture are represented and most of the homes have exquisitely landscaped lawns and gardens. The historic district works not only at preserving these magnificent homes but showing them off with several events throughout the year. These events include a walking tour, a Christmas tour, a garden

Julia-Ann Square Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 17


Special: Parkersburg, West Virginia intepreter), Parkersburg City Tours, Haunted

The Greater Parkersburg Convention and

nearby area. All tours can include lodging at

Parkersburg Ghost Tours, shopping at some

Visitors Bureau can help you create a cus-

the hotel of your choice and any meals you

of the historic and unique shops in the city

tomized itinerary for your group which

wish to include. For more information con-

and much more.

explores many themes and even explores

tact the Debbie Zyla, group sales, at

some of the outstanding attractions in the

dzyla@parkersburgcvb.org. Learn more about other attractions in the Parkersburg area as well as dining and lodging options by logging

Fort Boreman Historical Park

on to GreaterParkersburg.com. You can also phone the CVB at (800) 752-4982. Check #343 on Reader Service Card

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South Padre Island

Student Tours and Active Advent growing niche market, student tours and active adventures

side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. It is perfectly situated for

are movers and shakers in the group tour industry. Whether

the perfect vacation, whether you plan lazy days on the beach or a

it is spring breakers looking to unwind and have fun or kids

vacation filled with activity. Condé Nast Traveler named South

A

of all ages looking for thrills and adventures, these tours will fill your

Padre

bus with the young and the young-at-heart crowd.

(cntraveler.com/beaches/2006/02/America-s-Best-Beaches). South

Island

one

of

America’s

Best

Beaches

Padre was listed as one of TripAdvisor/FlipKey’s top 10 Gulf beaches.

South Padre Island, Texas Long stretches of white sand beach, blue water, palm trees swaying in tropical breezes, surfing, kiteboarding, fishing, shopping. It all sounds wonderful, especially when compared with polar vortices, frozen pipes and traffic stalled in ice and snow of winter. The best part is that you do not have to head to the Caribbean to enjoy spring break. It is all available in South Padre Island, Texas (sopadre.com/index.html) and you do not have to be a spring breaker to take advantage of it. Any time during the spring, March through June, is a wonderful time to visit. Only one-half mile across at its widest, South Padre Island nestles just off the southern tip of Texas, with the Laguna Madre on one 20 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014

South Padre Island


Guide: Student Tours Do not worry about finding a place to stay.

to have the opportunity to see and experi-

There is a something for every taste and

ence things at Discovery Park that they might

every budget, and no matter where you are

not otherwise have.”

you will not be far from a beach or from great

On the Go

attractions.

The $100 million dollar project features the 120-foot lookout tower, providing a 360

South Padre Island’s restaurants include

degree view of this rural farmland, a Star-

fast food to fine dining, with offerings rang-

ship Theater where guests will “blast off” into

ing from burgers to Mexican to Italian to (of

outer space to experience a realistic space

course) fresh seafood and more.

voyage experience and much more.

Kick back with a cool drink, rock out with

The 50-acre complex boasts an enter-

great music or enjoy the variety of activities

taining “grounds-and garden” experience,

from beach volleyball to water sports.

as well as an iconic 100,000-square-foot Dis-

For more information on South Padre Island, visit sopadre.com.

covery Center featuring 10 learning galleries. Freedom Square, The Chapel, The Depot, The Settlement, The Barn and Mill Ridge, four

Discovery Park

gardens and a shrub-lined maze and grand

Union, Tennessee

pavilion sprinkle the Discovery Park grounds.

Discovery Park of America Union City, Tennessee, a multi-million dollar new tourist and educational attraction, is now open.

Inside Discovery Center, the giant human slide and the earthquake simulator encourage active

Discovery Park

learning as well. American history

Discovery

and technol-

Park of America

ogy exhibits

was by

are also dis-

local residents

played, cap-

founded

Robert

turing the coun-

and

try’s historical past

Jenny Kirkland. The

tures

through interactive

attraction is expected to be a major boost for the local

and technological visions.

economy and tourism by providing an attrac-

Discovery Center welcomes tour buses.

U.S. News and World Report ranked it the

tion that has been described as “Smithson-

Preregistration is required for a group dis-

number one Spring Break destination

ian-like” and offering experiences normally

count. Phone the Marketing Department at

travel.usnews.com/Rankings/Best_Spring_B

found in large metropolitan cities.

(731) 885-5545 for details. For more infor-

reak_Destinations.

The reason that Discovery Park of Amer-

mation visit discoveryparkofamerica.com.

You can spend your stay on South Padre

ica is sitting in the middle of a cornfield in

Island lazing at the beach, but for those in a

Union City, Tennessee is because of the vision

Free Things To Do With

more active mood, there is windsurfing and

of these native Obion County residents. “We

Student Groups in Atlanta

parasailing. Rent a bike to explore the island,

have been blessed, and see it as a mission

sail out for a day’s fishing, ride horseback

to bring this exceptional experience to this

1. Centennial Olympic Park – Not all

along the beach at sunset, play 18 holes on

area. But learning should never be boring,

cities can boast the honor of having hosted

an ocean-side golf course and more. Nature

so one of our goals of Discovery Park is to

the Olympics, so it is essential visitors

lovers can hike, dive, bird-watch or enjoy a

entertain and delight our guests while pro-

carve out some time for Centennial

dolphin-watching cruise. If your student

viding information about history, science, art

Olympic Park.

group does not get enough water at the

and the area in which we live,” Kirkland

2. The King Center – You cannot visit

beach, check out Schlitterbahn Beach Water-

explained. “Our tag line ‘See Beyond’ pretty

Atlanta without seeing The King Center, a

park schlitterbahn.com/spi, a great place to

much sums it up. We want people to see

facility dedicated to the memory and aspi-

spend a day.

beyond their current level of knowledge and

rations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 21


Guide: Student Tours center offers a free self-guided experience including following the

Pacific Science Center

Civil Rights Walk of Fame and visiting the crypt of Dr. and Mrs.

Seattle, Washington

King.

Photo courtesy of the Soprintendenza Speciale

3. First Thursdays Art Walk – There is no better way to experience

per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompeii

a city than through its local artists. Every Thursday from 5-8 p.m.,

Picture this: a vibrant city, rich in commerce and culture, steeped

visitors to Downtown Atlanta can peruse the creations of local arti-

in luxury and leisure, yet destined for a cataclysmic fate. Yet, what

sans while taking in the sights. Parking is free at the United Way park-

nature destroyed, it also preserved. POMPEII: The Exhibition opens

ing garage, and some restaurants offer discounts to tempt guests. In

at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center February 7, 2015 for a limited

addition to traditional galleries, do not miss The Window Project fea-

engagement in

turing six projectors totaling more than 80 feet in length with syn-

its final U.S.

chronized displays.

s h o w i n g

4. Autrey Mill Nature Preserve – Natural areas, historic buildings and community events make Autrey Mill Nature Preserve a great

before returning to Italy.

destination for both locals and visitors alike. In addition to the park

POMPEII:

and grounds, access to the exhibits is free. Though spring con-

The Exhibition

struction may prohibit some from seeing the animal exhibits, the

tells the tale of

duck ponds and Native Ectotherm exhibit are just as educational and

a forgotten city

entertaining.

hidden until its

Pacific Science Center

rediscovery more than 250 years ago. Each gallery immerses guests in the cul-

Atlanta Skyline

ture of Pompeii with garden frescoes, marble statues, religious alters and shrines – all set in original surroundings. Relive daily life in this bustling Roman city with coins and currency, cooking vessels, gladiators’ helmets and shin guards. Witness the impact and devastation, evidenced by full body casts (plaster casts made from the hollows left in the ash that hardened around the now disintegrated bodies of the victims, found upon excavation), eerily preserved in their final moments. The exhibition, produced in cooperation with the SSBA of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae and the SSBA of Naples, includes more than 150 spectacular artifacts in all. Do not miss POMPEII: The Exhibition, on display for the final time in the United States. Due to the limited engagement of this exhibition,

5. Underground Atlanta – Experience Downtown Atlanta from

reservations are now being accepted for groups interested in making

a different perspective by heading underground. Self-guided tours

plans early in order to secure their preferred date and time. For more

are free and enable you to experience the area in your own time.

information about group opportunities, phone (206) 443-2925, e-mail

Underground Atlanta is rich in history and not to be missed. Con-

groupevents@pacsci.org or go to pacificsciencecenter.org.

struction of the bridges and linear mall occurred in the 1920s, and

Pacific Science Center began as the United States Science Pavil-

select merchants turned their basements into speakeasies and juke

ion during the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Millions came to explore the

joints during Prohibition. Today, the mall continues to offer shop-

wonders of science during the World's Fair and upon closing cere-

ping and entertainment to visitors.

monies, the Science Pavilion was given new life as the private, not-

6. Center for Puppetry Arts – With more than 350 puppets from

for-profit Pacific Science Center, becoming the first U.S. museum

around the world, the Center for Puppetry Arts is sure to dazzle and

founded as a science and technology center. On July 22, 2010, Pacific

delight. Groups with puppet-loving folks can peruse the Center for

Science Center was declared a City of Seattle Landmark. On Octo-

Puppetry Arts museum exhibits for free between 1-3 p.m. on Thurs-

ber 22, 2012, Pacific Science Center celebrated 50 years of inspiring

days. Fulton County residents get free admission to the exhibits dur-

curiosity, creativity and critical thinking for people of all ages through-

ing the first Saturday of every month.

out Washington and guests from around the world.

22 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


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F I N A L U. S . S H OW I N G SPECIAL GROUP RATES AVAILABLE (206) 443-3611 | groupevents@pacsci.org

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800.991.2338 Pr Produced oduced b by y Pr Premier emier Exhibitions, Inc. in partnership wit with h the S SSBA SBA of P Pompeii ompeii and the S SSBA SBA of Naples. Phot Photo oc courtesy ourte esy of the Soprint endenza Speciale per I Beni Ar cheologici di Soprintendenza Archeologici Napoli e Pompeii Pompeii

pacificsciencecenter.org p ac if i c s c i en c e c en t er . o r g

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

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Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 23


parking structure. Staff will greet all groups upon arrival and hand out voucher books. The casino has several on-site restaurants offering a variety of dining options including a very popular buffet. To reserve a group meal, planners should phone the restaurant of their choice directly to make arrangements. Potawatomi has partnered with a number of preferred hotels, which offer group packages. For more information phone group sales at (414) 847-7910. You can also learn more by visiting paysbig.com.

Sol Casinos Tucson, Arizona It is a vision like no other in southern Arizona – stylish, unique and eclectic. There is something for everyone, whether it be gaming, entertainment, food or fun. Welcome to

Potawatomi Bingo Center

Try Your Luck

Sol Casinos – southern Arizona’s place to play, for live entertainment and everything you can imagine under the Sun. Heaven on earth? Pretty close. You can stay awhile at the Casino Del Sol Resort, Spa and Conference Center, adjacent to Casino

aming is always a fun activity for the

bingo, poker, more than 3,100 slot and video

Del Sol and carry the same themes and archi-

bus tour crowd. The delightful ding-

poker machines, off-track betting and table

tecture styles as the casino. There are 1,300

ing of the slot machines, the shuf-

games. The 1300-seat Nest of Life Bingo Hall

slots and a great selection of table games,

fling of the cards, the clattering of the dice,

is one of the largest in bingo facilities in the

including 24-hour blackjack and poker. There

the clicking of the roulette wheel and of

country and features television monitors,

is also a 600-seat bingo room.

course everyone loves the cheers when

snack bar food service and a non-smoking

someone hits that big jackpot.

area. Guests can play a fun variety of bingo

G

Sol Casinos

games on paper, or enjoy modern electronic

Potawatomi Bingo Casino

bingo. In addition, Potawatomi has an off-

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

track betting room featuring exciting horse

If you have a group that enjoys a variety of

and greyhound racing on its 115 televisions.

casino games, then be sure to visit the

Groups should make a reservation at least

Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee. As

three days in advance. Groups of 50 or more

one of the premier gaming facilities in the Mid-

receive free admission. Groups of less than

The hotel will features 215 rooms, includ-

west, Potawatomi welcomes bus groups from

50 pay an admission of $5 per person. All

ing 10 suites and 15 junior suites; a confer-

all over the country. Owned and operated by

groups receive vouchers good for game play,

ence center capable of holding more than

the Potawatomi tribe, this expansive property

food and other great deals. You can phone

2,000 people; a fine-dining steakhouse; an

opened in 1991 and features 780,000 square

for details about this incentive. Drivers

international buffet area, complete with live

feet of gaming space, four restaurants, a food

receive comps, which vary depending on

action cooking stations from around the

court, a bar, a 500-seat theater that features

group size and can include food vouchers

world; a fully-equipped spa and exercise facil-

top name live entertainment and a poker

and discounts. The casino has 10 designated

ity and an arcade room.

room. New in 2014 is a 380-room hotel.

parking spaces for buses in their parking

It hosts An Del Sol, a Japanese and Chi-

The stylish, modern casino features a

structure. Groups are dropped off in the meet-

nese fusion restaurant, featuring the ubiqui-

wide range of gaming options including

and-greet area located on the first floor of the

tous Mr. An, one of the most recognized faces

24 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


Guide: Gaming in southern Arizona. Southern Arizona’s oasis in the desert will soon

for everyone. This includes a non-smoking section for those

become the ideal spot to “play and stay’’ after a big night at a high-

who prefer a smoke free environment. You will find more than

profile concert, a big night at the casino or just a getaway to the resort.

2,000 slot machines, from penny to high stakes progressives.

For additional entertainment, do not forget the Pascua Yaqui Tribe’s

If table games are your pleasure, Northern Quest Casino has

original Casino of the Sun, just one mile East of Casino Del Sol. Casino

the best – blackjack, craps, roulette, Emperor’s Challenge pai

of the Sun features state-of-the-art slots and two dining options.

gow poker, Spanish 21, three-card poker and Ultimate Texas

Additionally, there is the popular Club Sol, the player’s point-saving,

Hold ‘Em. In addition you can try your luck at live poker, live

money-saving way to earn free food and merchandise while playing

and multi-game Keno and off-track betting. All of this and more

any game at either site.

are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Pascua Yaqui Tribe is a federally recognized tribe with more

For guests not wishing to miss a moment of the exciting action,

than 17,000 enrolled members. The reservation is located in south-

there are floor servers there to bring complimentary coffee, tea,

west metropolitan Tucson. The Tribe owns and operates two casi-

cocoa and Pepsi products. For a nominal charge you can order

nos: Casino of the Sun and Casino Del Sol. Non-gaming enterprises

from a wide selection of beers, cocktails, wine and energy drinks.

include the Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater, a 5,000-seat open-air

If gaming builds up an appetite, your server can also bring you

concert venue and the Del Sol Marketplace, which includes a gas sta-

a deli favorite from the resort’s Turf Club and more.

tion and car wash, convenience store and smoke shop. It is also the

For more information on group sales and reservations

future home to Casino Del Sol Hotel, Spa and Conference Center, a

phone (877) 871-6772. You can also learn more at

215-room, 161,000-square-foot facility that includes a meeting and

northernquest.com.

convention center. For more information, visit solcasinos.com.

Gold Strike Casino Resort Northern Quest Resort and Casino Airway Heights, Washington

Tunica, Mississippi Hit the mother lode at Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi. This 32-story, self-contained luxury hotel and casino offers

Northern Quest Resort and Casino welcomes visitors to

award-winning restaurants, an entertainment facility and a Vegas-

the Spokane, Washington area with a contemporary urban

style casino floor with entertainment, dining, gaming and hotel rooms

setting and 250 luxurious guest rooms and suites. Be pam-

all under a single roof.

pered in the upscale spa and salon. Satisfy your hunger at one

The resort's 50,000-square-foot casino features a completely

of 14 restaurants and lounges offering everything from burg-

reconfigured state-of-the-art gaming floor which has everyone’s

ers to fine dining, including the AAA, Four Diamond restau-

favorite table and video machine games. The casino boasts 55 table

rant Masselow’s, one of only six restaurants to receive the

games and 1,300 slot machines including 120 video poker machines

prestigious award in Washington. Cheer on your favorite team

and more of the newest, most popular high-tech games including

on the largest HDTV screen (measuring 30 by 10 feet) east of

more penny machines. They also have illuminated roulette, the first

the Cascades or enjoy world-class entertainment.

of its kind in the area, The new High Limit Room is the only one in

Of course many visitors come for the resort’s dazzling casino. With 46,000 square feet of gaming space there is something

Tunica with mini baccarat. The newly renovated poker room has 16 tables and is a smoke-free environment. When the time comes to kick back and relax, the casino features

Northern Quest Resort and Casino

comfortable seating with more than 50 LCD televisions spread throughout the property, along with a new 30-foot by 40-foot outdoor digital LED display at the resort’s entrance. Gold Strike also offers a great selection of dining options. Whether your group is in the mood for a juicy steak, homestyle meals, buffet dining or just a quick bite on the go, there are restaurants and a food court offering something for every taste and palate. For the non-gamers in your group, they offer live headline entertainment at the 800-seat Millennium Theatre. For some pampering, guests can enjoy the Golden Reflections Spa, which offers a variety of personal services. Other relaxing options include a dip in the indoor pool or a soak in the Jacuzzi.

26 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


Guide: Gaming The property also features a luxury hotel

Visit their Web site at goldstrike.com for

with more than 1,000 oversized comfort-

more information on this top-notch resort.

able rooms and world-class amenities,

Bus operators can get more information

making it a great place to spend the night

by phoning (662) 357-1111. Gold Strike

– or several nights.

Casino Resort is managed by MGM Resorts International.

Check #145 on Reader Service Card

Gold Strike Casino Resort Check #493 on Reader Service Card

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Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 27


Guggisberg Swiss Inn

N

o matter what activity, events or

attractions you put on your itinerary, if the food and lodging are bad,

your guests will remember that about the trip most of all. That is why it is vital to make well thought-out and researched choices in these areas. Here are some ideas that might be just what your guests are looking for.

Guggisberg Swiss Inn Millersburg, Ohio The Guggisberg Swiss Inn is located up the road from the small town of Charm, which is surrounded by Amish communities and lush farmland. Charm also features a few quaint shops, where you can find charming gifts to take back to your friends and family. Also close by is the famous Guggisberg

The Guggisberg Swiss Inn accommodates

With an unconventional, often irreverent

Cheese factory, home of the original Baby

up to 50 plus people and offers group rates

attitude showcased through its interior décor,

Swiss Cheese, where the Amish farmers have

for 18 rooms or more. This includes a comp

and rare music and pop-culture memorabilia

been bringing their milk for more than 50

for the driver and the tour gruide if there are

from Boston’s heritage, supplied and curated

years. Guggisberg Cheese has a gift shop and

more than 20 people reserved for the meal.

by the Boston Phoenix archive, the concept

will gladly accommodate any bus groups.

Bus groups are required to submit a $250

seamlessly melds the best of Boston’s past,

For your outdoor enjoyment, bus groups

deposit, 30 days prior to check-in date. There

with the spirited culture of modern-day Fen-

may schedule a hay ride in the evening,

is also a 45-day cancellation policy. All bus

way. Managed by Crescent Hotels and

weather permitting. The inn’s grounds fea-

groups are greeted by a representative of the

Resorts, the property will feature 94 guest

ture wooded rolling hills and the ambience of

inn, and provided a cheese and cracker wel-

rooms at an affordable luxe price point, along

nearly two dozen horses grazing during the

come reception inside the glassed-in break-

with an outdoor pool and signature restau-

morning and evening hours. From the break-

fast room. Adequate parking will be avail-

rant and bar.

fast nook you can view a pond which is home

able close by with drop off and pick up at the

Crescent Hotels and Resorts is a nation-

to dozens of ducks and a majestic swan.

front entrance of the inn. Baggage handling

ally recognized, top 10 independent third-

Wooden picnic tables, gazebos and swings

is offered for an additional fee.

party operator of hotels and resorts. Cres-

are scattered throughout the grounds to pro-

The staff at Guggisberg Swiss Inn strives

cent currently operates 88 hotels and resorts,

vide relaxation when needed and a sand vol-

for excellence and the best of hospitality

with close to 19,000 rooms in 29 states and

leyball court is available for more energetic

for their guests. To learn more phone (330)

Canada.

For more information, visit

guests. An evening snack and Swiss conti-

893-3600 or (877) 467-9477 or view at

chrco.com. The Verb is now accepting reser-

nental breakfast are always provided to guests.

guggisberswiss.com.

vations for July 15, 2014. Go to their Web site at theverbhotel.com to learn more.

Visitors to the area will find their focus turned towards fine foods, handmade crafts,

The Verb Hotel

finely made furniture and most importantly,

Boston, Massachusetts

the experience of gaining a deeper meaning

The Verb, opening summer 2014, sees the

Thunder Bay Resort Alpena, Michigan

dynamic reimagining of a classic mid-cen-

Thunder Bay Resort is an all-season des-

Dinner for guests can be scheduled at The

tury motel, which will reconnect it with the

tination nestled within the hardwoods of

Chalet in the Valley restaurant, which features

rich musical and artistic roots of the Fenway

northeast Michigan. The resort is nationally

homemade Swiss, Austrian and Amish cuisine.

neighborhood. Located at 1271 Boylston

recognized for its award-winning Elk View-

Groups may choose to experience one of the

Street, the property will build on the legacy

ing, Carriage Ride, Gourmet Dinner and Wine

restaurant’s fine varieties of specialty buffets.

of the Fenway Motor Hotel that first opened

Tasting Event. Here, guests experience a real-

Another option the Inn provides is dinner in an

its doors in 1959, fully restoring its now iconic

life fairy tale as a horse-drawn carriage couri-

Amish home, offered only to the inn’s guests.

modernist architecture.

and knowledge of the Amish culture.

28 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


come them into the log cabin filled with antiques and trophy mounts

Satisfying Dining

– a charming atmosphere. Guests will be seated fireside as culinary artists prepare a gourmet five-course meal in front of them on their pair of antique wood cook stoves. It really is like taking a step back

and Lodging

in time. During dinner, guests will be provided a fun, casual wine tasting of locally produced wine from Stoney Acres Winery of Alpena, Michigan. Following dinner, guests are delivered back to lodging

Choices

for the evening. In the morning, guests are treated to a full hot breakfast in the Clubhouse Grill before heading on their way to their next destination. Thunder Bay Resort’s Elk Viewing Carriage Ride, Gourmet Dinner

ers them over the river and through the woods where they witness

and Wine Tasting Event is the perfect attraction for any winning itin-

majestic elk in their natural environment.

erary. One- or two-night packages are available for groups; the event

Family-owned and operated, Jack and Jan Matthias built Thunder

is also a perfect four-hour midday stop-over for groups on the go.

Bay Resort knowing the beauty of the area and wanting to share it

Event Coordinator Carrie Kuzewski is glad to help any operators add

with all of their guests. Carved from mature forest, the resort boasts

area attractions to their itineraries to ensure a trip that will provides

a challenging 18-hole golf course and spacious, well-appointed lodg-

lasting memories for guests.

ing. Featuring suites, villas and chalets, the lodging is perfect for group of all sizes and welcomes them year-round. All units feature decks

For more information, contact Carrie Kuzewski at carrie@thunderbaygolf.com or by telephone at (989) 742-4502.

with views of the resort. DiNapoli’s Firehouse

When groups arrive at Thunder Bay Resort, they are welcomed by a friendly employee who will hop on the coach and guide the group

Barstow, California

to their lodging. Once at the lodging, guests will be given their room

Apple Valley, California

keys and information about the resort while staff is busy delivering

Come enjoy great food and good times at DiNapoli’s Firehouse

luggage to the guests’ rooms. Ample parking is available for the coach

featuring unforgettable salads, brick oven pizzas, pastas, subs, entrees,

right at lodging.

desserts, beer, wine and cocktails. DiNapoli’s Firehouse is an authen-

After guests have a chance to relax in their rooms after a day of

tic Italian restaurant focused on delighting every guest with a gen-

travel, they can listen out their windows for the clip-clop of mas-

uine Italian dining experience. Family-owned and operated for more

sive Percheron and Belgian draft horses as they arrive at lodging

than 14 years, DiNapoli’s is loved by locals and travelers alike. The

to whisk guests

original DiNapoli’s is located in Barstow, California just off Route 66.

off to a magical

A second location is located 30 miles south of Barstow in Apple Val-

evening. First, it

ley, California.

the

DiNapoli’s is proud to serve absolutely fresh, simple, delicious

Thunder

Bay

homemade Italian food at great affordable prices served in a com-

River

and

fortable, firehouse-themed atmosphere. Give your group a great din-

through

the

ing experience while enjoying the Italian traditions of food, friend-

is

over

woods to the

ship and hospitality.

Anchor Creek

Hungry busloads of tourists can dine on the same cuisine as solo

Elk Preserve, a

travelers. With a great staff and more than 4,000 square feet that can

160-acre pre-

accommodate the biggest of groups, your tour guests can dine with-

serve occupied by Rocky Mountain Elk. Once inside the preserve,

out losing the cozy atmosphere that people love. Whether your mouth

guests will marvel at the sheer majesty of the elk. During the ride,

waters for an authentic brick oven pizza or their famous diner entrees

guides on the carriages provide guests information and answer

or even vegetarian, you and your entire busload of friends can sit down

questions about the area and the elk, and provide a few laughs

together to an affordable meal.

Thunder Bay Resort

along the way. Be sure to bring your camera, as the carriages make

Upon arrival, DiNapoli's staff (kitchen and front of the house)

a stop inside the preserve for guests to capture unique moments

will be waiting. Buses can pull up to the front entrance where a

with the elk.

friendly host will guide them to their tables. Bus driver and tour

Then it is onward to the cabin. Once guests have viewed the elk,

guide meals will be complimentary. Advance reservations are

they are taken to the Elk Antler Log Cabin, where friendly staff wel-

necessary for groups so they can prepare for your visit with extra Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 29


Guide: Lodging and Dining staff to help provide the best service

For bookings of 30 or more rooms an addi-

requested, they are on standby for a nomi-

possible. Phone (760) 256-1094 for more

tional discount may be available.

nal fee for this service.

information.

An advance deposit of one night’s room

Ample parking is available for the tour

and tax per room is all you need to book

bus and a specific area will be marked and

Coast Inn

your tour group. It is due at least two weeks

designated especially for you.

Waveland, Mississippi

prior to your arrival date. In addition they

Coast Inn is easy to find. From Interstate

request a rooming list at least 72 hours in

10, take Exit 13 South. Within five min-

If it is comfort, convenience, value and Southern hospitality you are seeking for your tour guests, look no further than the

advance. Several restaurant

Coast Inn. Located in the Bay St.

options are avail-

Louis/Waveland area on the beautiful Mis-

able

sissippi Gulf Coast, each of the newly ren-

within walking

ovated 75 rooms provides two beds with pillow-top mattresses so comfortable you will need a wake-up call in the morning. A

fets, fast food

microwave and refrigerator is provided in

franchises and

every guestroom . If you bring your com-

family-owned

puter and need wireless Internet, they have

favorites.

that too at no additional charge.

Each tour is greeted with a

Coast Inn

utes you will be at their convenient location at the intersec-

many

tion of highways

603

distance and

and

90.

include buf-

Southern hospitality and

a

wel-

come that is as warm as the Mississippi sun is what your

Coast Inn welcomes tour groups with

fresh baked cookie reception and on depar-

group can enjoy when they stay at Coast

open arms. Each booking includes one comp

ture they provide a goodie bag with fresh

Inn. For more information phone (228)

room per 20 rooms booked and rates are dis-

fruit to enjoy. If baggage handling is

467-8334.

counted up to 20 percent off the regular rate. Check #575 on Reader Service Card

30 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


THE CURIOUS TOUR PLANNER Number 2 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. When does the new seat belt law take effect and how will it impact our tours?

–– Several Readers A. The new rule from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires three-point (lap plus shoulder) seat belts on new intercity coaches starting in November of 2016. It should be specifically noted that there is no requirement to retrofit existing and older coaches, nor is there a requirement for passengers to use the seat belts. Three-point seat belts became available in about 2009 and have been increasingly popular on new coaches. Today they are specified on almost all new coaches. In addition, seat belts have been retrofitted on numerous coaches including about 1,000 Greyhound coaches. My guess is that by the time November of 2016 rolls around, close to half of the American coaches on the road will have seat belts, including most of the newer ones. From a practical standpoint, seat belts will have little impact on tours. The primary reason for installing seat belts on coaches is to prevent passengers from being ejected during a rollover, which is often fatal. Tours statistically are not plagued with rollover accidents. Rollover accidents are

more likely to occur on charters running in darkness because driver fatigue is often a major factor. Most conventional tours spend the night in a hotel or motel which tends to minimize the opportunity for driver fatigue. On the other hand, you might want to consider the legal ramifications of seat belts. There have been numerous lawsuits filed after bus accidents naming the lack of seat belts as a contributing factor. Hence, there are obvious reasons for running your tours on coaches with seat belts. I might also add that since there is no mandate, you cannot make passengers click their seat belts on coaches. However, either the driver or tour escort can mention at the start of the trip that the coach is equipped with seat belts and that their use is recommanded. Hence, in the event of an accident, the passengers can not claim that they did not know about the seat belts and were not told to use them. Q. We specialize in small group tours but have a problem finding buses that are the right size for our groups while still offering the same features and amenities as the big coaches. Any suggestions? –– Small Group Tour Planner A. This is a common question from both tour planners and bus operators. More than 90 percent of new coaches sold in the United States and Canada are 45 feet long. All of them offer a great ride, luggage space and passenger amenities but are too large for many smaller groups. Some tour planners and bus operators have used shuttle-type buses for smaller groups but reports are mixed. Some say that they work fine for city tours but do not have the ride quality for longer trips. Others are concerned over the lack of luggage space on these buses and some comment on the lack of amenities, although some of these smaller shuttle buses do have restrooms. Temsa, an established European coach builder, became aware of the need for a short coach on the United States and Canadian market and began offering their 35foot TS 35 coach in 2008.

The TS-35 will seat about 40 passengers and is built just like the big coaches. It has stainless steel integral construction, underfloor luggage compartments, air ride suspension, parcel racks, a restroom and other big coach features and amenities. In 2012, Temsa introduced a shorter 30foot TS 30 model that seats approximately 30 passengers. It has the same features as the 35-foot model. Both have been well received on the market. CH Bus Sales handles sales, service and support in the United States and Canada. If you are looking for information on the nearest operator or are interested in purchasing, you can phone them at their office in Minnesota at (507) 331-7911. Q. I am planning a European tour and would like to know whether it would be practical to transfer trains between the Europa and Flandres train stations in Lille, France? –– International Tour Planner A. Located in northern France near Belgium, Lille has two primary railroad stations. The smaller Europa station is used by through trains including the Eurostar trains to London, TGV trains between Paris and Brussels and some other long distance trains. The Flandres station is a stub-end terminal mainly for trains going south towards Paris (including some TGV trains), although some local Belgian trains terminate there. There is almost constant foot traffic between the two terminals. On the surface it is slightly downhill from Flandres to Europa but an easy walk crossing only one street. Some people tell me that there is an underground passage but I have never used it. My wife and I have made a 16-minute connection between a TGV at Europa to a local Belgian train at Flandres. I would not recommend this transfer for any but a smaller group capable of pulling their luggage behind them.

Answers not credited to other individuals are provided by Larry Plachno, editor. ❑ Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 31


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

20 Tips on Faith-Based Trips

a pilgrimage to have a spiritual experience,

and college reunion groups, political groups,

expect a healing or miracle, show gratitude

religious singles clubs and faith-based

Religious travel, sometimes referred to as

for a favor granted, or because their faith

churches are your target markets.

faith-based travel, is one of the biggest forms

requires a once-in-a-lifetime visit. Mission-

2. Identify popular destinations of faith-

of tourism in the world. People travel individu-

aries and volunteers attempt to educate and

based sites and pilgrimages abroad. World-

ally or in groups for pilgrimage, missionary, edu-

convert people, help people hit by natural dis-

wide tourists and pilgrims flock by the mil-

cational, leisure and social purposes. There is

asters and provide medical and humanitar-

lions to Paris and Lourdes, Holy Lands, Israel,

an increase in religious tours as the main pur-

ian services. Many groups such as African

Jerusalem, Fatima in Portugal, Our Lady of

pose of their trip and as a side trip on their multi-

Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native

Guadalupe Shrine in Mexico City, Poland, Ire-

day tours. Most include time on a bus.

Americans take faith-based trips to learn more

land, Shrines in Spain and Italy, Vatican City,

According to the Religious Conference

about their heritage and travel in the footsteps

Greece and Greek Islands, Meiji Jingu, a Shinto

Management Association, the religious meet-

of their ancestors and leaders. Others go to

Shrine in Tokyo, Mecca in Saudi Arabia,

ings market has grown from 4.4 million atten-

view spectacular architecture and art, to gain

Lumbini in Nepal, birthplace of Buddha and

dees in 1994 to an estimated 15 million atten-

cultural and historical perspectives, witness

the Ganges River and Golden Temple in India.

dees today. In researching major sacred

natural wonders of the world or because it is

3. Identify major sacred sites in

destinations, I was surprised to discover I have

included in the packaged tour. Some travel by

North America: Believe it or not the eight

visited many of them. The gamut of religious

busloads to conventions and rallies to sup-

major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam,

travel runs from international pilgrimages to

port a cause they believe in. Many Catholic

Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shinto

one-day trips to nearby churches or shrines.

churches and dioceses have yearly overseas

and Taoism) have holy sites in the United

When choosing a religious trip, survey your

trips accompanied by priests. For bus group

States.

group to see what they want. Trip surveys can

leaders it is an economical, educational, often

sacred-destinations.com/usa/sacred-sites.

be made by a show of hands or surveys writ-

inspirational adventure for which they usu-

A few good ones not mentioned are the Sight

ten and distributed at meetings and/or sent

ally receive a free trip if they gather as few as

and Sound Theater in Lancaster, Ebenezer

to members by e-mail. Written surveys are

10 to 20 passengers. Television and the Inter-

Baptist Church in the Martin Luther King Jr.

better to keep for future reference.

net have made us aware of our diverse global

National Historic Site in Atlanta, Holocaust

You

can

find

many

at

The purpose of this article is to report

community and how easy it is to reach them.

Museum in Washington D.C., Creation

trends in religious travel, examine the rea-

People are living healthier longer and have

Museum in northern Kentucky, Billy Graham

sons why people chose these trips (often at a

the time and money to travel.

Library in Charlotte, North Carolina and the

financial sacrifice), who they are and how to

1. Identify people who take faith-based

National Underground Railroad Freedom Cen-

reach them. I will identify famous holy desti-

tours. People of all ages and religions take

ter in Cincinnati. Big cities like New York City,

nations here and abroad and offer 20 tips on

them. Students from parochial grade schools,

Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Washing-

making trips to them successful.

high schools and colleges as well as religious

ton D.C. have a wide variety of cathedrals,

Why do people take faith-based trips? Reli-

groups, retiree groups, employee groups, vet-

shrines and sacred sites and often have cus-

gious travelers usually visit a shrine or make

erans groups, community groups, high school

tomized religious tours.

32 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014


20 Tips 4. Contact a tour company that specializes

attended by monks residing there, visited

gospel choir singing “Amazing Grace” still

in religious trips of your denomination espe-

several historical buildings, gardens, a ceme-

give me chills.

cially if you or your group wants to make a

tery and a unique gift shop.

15. Advantage of joining most religious

religious trip overseas. Check references from

10. If a religious site has acres of ground

tours. Many feel secure because they believe

others who have booked trips with them

find out if the bus can take you on part of the

a divine power watches over them. Many

recently. Many advertise in church newspa-

tour or if golf carts are available. It is a backup

people enjoy a sense of kinship with their fel-

pers and on the Internet. For example, 209

in case of inclement weather or if some pas-

low believers. They feel that religion gives

Tours conducts Catholic pilgrimages, Jewish

sengers are physically unable to walk a great

meaning to life. People of faith like to gather

Heritage Travel conducts Bar and Bat Mitz-

distance. If grounds are extensive, make sure

together with an expected code of conduct

vah, Israeli Family and Synagogue tours. Fam-

passengers are furnished a map and deadline

and religious rituals. Some hope to meet a

ily-owned Christian Tours in North Carolina

to return to the bus. Accommodate handi-

mate. Some do.

send 400 tours a year from one to 31 days.

capped passengers; however, require them to

16. Observe religious dietary restrictions

5. Get answers to your questions on

notify you of their special needs before the trip.

on included meals and snacks on the bus and

safety, currency, immunizations, trans-

11. When making a trip of more than three

meal stops. For example Fridays in Lent

portation, accommodations, attire, etc.

days at one destination, check out what reli-

should be meatless for Catholics, Jews do not

before you book. Proximo Travel advertises

gious spots are nearby. While visiting Bard-

eat pork, etc. On meals for trips with three

in newspapers of more than 60 Catholic Dio-

stown, Kentucky, we stopped at the Abbey

or more offerings, one should be vegetarian,

ceses in United States. It has an excellent list

of Gethsemani which housed monks from

one fish, one chicken or red meat.

of answers to questions you need to know

our area. On the way home from Mackinac

before taking a religious trip abroad on their

Island, we stopped at Cross in the Woods.

Web site. Refer to my July 2011 column on Traveling Abroad.

17. Plan bus activities that match the destination, purpose of the trip and its passengers.

12. If you are on any trip where you will be

For example, start and end the trip with a

gone over a weekend, know where churches

prayer. Sing hymns or seasonal religious songs

6. Bus tour companies might consider fur-

are located, time of services and possibility of

on the bus. Have games with religious themes.

nishing a bus to the port of departure or

attending. On denominational religious trips

Show “sanitized” videos, play wholesome

arrival of religious tours. It could be to an air-

schedule a stop for a religious service. This is

music. Tell funny jokes. Have stops where keep-

port to welcome tourists to your city and

important to strict Catholics, although most

sakes and religious items are sold by natives.

transport them to nearby religious events or

priests will give dispensation from attending

18. Charter a bus or set up a bus tour for

sites, possibly offering a tour of your city. It

Mass if asked permission in advance.

groups who want to participate in rallies,

13. Approach your pastor to sponsor,

conventions, retreats or to places where well

ship. More faith-based groups are choosing

accompany or lead a trip. Some religious

known religious persons are visiting the

as their “fellowship vacation.”

leaders enjoy leading and/or accompanying

United States or Canada.

could be to a port where they board a cruise

7. Consider a one-day tour of local

trips to foreign countries they otherwise could

19. Make reservations early for major reli-

churches. Four churches plus a lunch is the

not afford. It gives them a chance to interact

gious events or holidays early. Examples

maximum suggested by most group tour coor-

informally with parishioners, to share faith,

include St. Patrick’s Day parades; Christmas

dinators. There should be time allowed for vis-

knowledge and history of their religions and

parades on land and on water; World Youth

itors to browse afterwards. Some churches are

learn more about it themselves. Our priest

Day in Krakow, Poland on July 25 to August

happy to provide lunches. The ones I have

escorts Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises

1, 2016 and Going on Faith Conference in

eaten were very good and reasonable.

where he conducts a daily Mass. Parishioners

Cabarrus, North Carolina on August 5 to 7,

often go on a trip with their religious leaders

2014. Rooms and buses fill fast.

8. Give a donation to religious destinations you visit and let them know in advance

because they like and trust them.

20. Set up a religious bus tour for students.

you will be doing so. Tour coordinators in

14. Include inspiring native music on

They may be Catholic high school juniors

bus companies do this and back in up with

some of your stops. Hearing taps played at

who want to visit Catholic colleges;

the company’s reputation and confirm the

Arlington, young Amish children singing

Methodist Youth Fellowship members who

donation and appointment in writing.

hymns, an Australian Aboriginal playing a

want to visit different faiths; students of Com-

9. Allow time for visitors to browse around

didgeridoo, a young man in kilts playing a

parative Religions classes offered for college

the building and grounds afterward and time

bagpipe appearing mystically at the end of a

credit; lifelong learner classes. Parochial and

to visit the gift shop. We visited an abbey in

service from the back of the church, a vio-

public schools usually have eighth grade

France where we heard a Mass sung by and

linist playing in Fiddler on the Roof, and a

weekend trips and bus trips throughout the Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014 • 33


20 Tips school year to sports events, science fairs and band trips. We hosted an American Field Service exchange student who was touring United States on a bus. Mark Twain summed it up when he said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” If you would like a break in the day that would give you peace, love and joy, just google “religious travel quotes.” Share your experiences and comments with me at ❑

cdjaeb@wowway.com. God bless.

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.”

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Wild Horse Saloon/ General Jackson 34 • Bus Tours Magazine / July, 2014

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Bus Tours Magazine July/August 2014  
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