Volume XXXII, Number 5 • May/June 2011 Bus Tours Magazine Serving bus and group tour planners since 1979 Visit us at www.bustoursmagazine.com Cruises • Louisville • West Vir ginia • Taos, Ne w Me xico Volume XXXII, Number 5 May/June, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine Serving bus and group tour planners since 1979 STAFF Guides Editor & Publisher . . . . . . . . Larry Plachno Business Manager . . . Nancy Ann Plachno Smooth Sailing Bookkeeping . . . . . . . . . . . Dianne Billquist Cruises offer unparalleled views, great onboard Typesetting/Page Layout . . Sherry Mekeel dining and entertainment, making them an ideal Editorial Assistant . . . . Laura Wagenknecht addition to any tour itinerary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Office Assistant . . . . . . . Jennifer Driessens Religious and Niche Tours Bus Tours Magazine Religious and niche tours have enjoyed a surge 9698 W. Judson Road in popularity with groups in recent years and will Polo, Illinois 61064-9015 leave your guests informed and inspired. . . . . . . . .28 (815) 946-2341 Fax: (815) 946-2347 Web site: www.bustoursmagazine.com Advertising Features Central/International email@example.com – (815) 946-2341 Experience It All in Louisville West Museums, horse racing and world-famous base- firstname.lastname@example.org – (815) 946-2341 ball bats are only part of what makes vivacious Midwest Louisville, Kentucky a group tour favorite. . . . . . . . .6 email@example.com – (815) 946-2341 Northeast firstname.lastname@example.org – (815) 946-2341 Explore West Virginia’s Ohio Southeast River Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 email@example.com – (815) 946-2341 Your group will be enchanted and enthralled by the scenery, history and hospitality of West Virginia’s Ohio River Valley. Cover Photo Take in the sights and experience the charm that is Louisville, Kentucky from the decks of the always-impressive river- Departments boat Belle of Louisville. LOUISVILLE CVB . Bus Tours News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Utah – Outdoor Paradise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 BUS TOURS MAGAZINE (ISSN 0199-6096) is published six times Howlin’ and Happenin’ Athens, Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 annually by National Bus Trader, Inc., 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064. Subscriptions, $15 (in US funds) annually, Canadian Mesa – A Land of Culture and Contrasts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 & International $20 (in US funds). Printed in U.S.A. Periodical postage paid at Polo, Illinois 61064 and at additional mailing of- ﬁces. Taos, New Mexico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 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 ad- 20 Tips (by Dr. Charleen Jaeb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 dress and computer number) as well as new address. Advertising: Display advertising rates sent on request. Adver- Bus and Group Tours Wanted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 tising deadline is the last day of the second month preceding publication. Founded in 1979, BUS TOURS MAGAZINE is the oldest indepen- Bus Tours Planner’s Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 dent magazine in the bus and group tour market. Circulation in- cludes bus and group tour planners in the United States and Canada regardless of affiliation or whether commercial, private or corpo- Down the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 rate 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 pas- sengers, bus and destinations are trade marks of National Bus Trader, Advertiser’s Index appears on page 37 Inc. Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 3 Bus Tours News Senior Tours Find Plenty to Explore Warner Cable. Women Who Rock will open in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley to the public on May 31, 2011. Senior tours can ﬁnd a wide array of spe- cial interest tours and options for fun in Mass- The exhibition will spotlight more than 60 achusetts’ Pioneer Valley. Located in between artists and fill two entire floors of the the Berkshires (to the west) and central Mass- museum. The exhibit will feature artifacts, achusetts (to the east), the region is 90 min- video and listening stations, as well as a utes west of Boston and just less than three recording booth where visitors can film a hours north of New York City. There are a num- short story or moment of inspiration related ber of sites that are group tour-friendly and to women in rock. The exhibit will move feature easy entries and exits for guests who through the rock and roll eras, weaving a may have mobility issues. powerful and engaging narrataive that demonstrates how women have been the The Valley played an important role in engines of creation and change in popular American history for several reasons, and music, from the early years of the 20th cen- history enthusiasts will enjoy exploring sev- tury to the present. eral key sites. The Springﬁeld Armory National Historic Site (www.nps.gov/spar), located in “This exhibit is going to illustrate the vital downtown Springﬁeld, was the ﬁrst United role women played in shaping the evolution States armory commissioned by President of rock and roll,” said Jim Henke, vice pres- George Washington. Another key spot for ident of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs for military buffs is the New England Air Museum the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and (www.neam.org), in nearby Windsor Locks, Museum. “Visitors are going to walk away Connecticut, where several stunning WWII from this exhibit with a deeper appreciation vintage ﬁghter planes are displayed. The Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts welcomes of how these artists contributed to the rock senior groups to come and explore their many and roll art form and changed our society. The Museum of Springfield History great group-friendly attractions such as the Nai- Women Who Rock will compare and con- (www.springﬁeldmuseums.org), part of the smith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame located trast artist experiences, highlighting the esteemed Springfield Museums, wows in Springﬁeld. PAUL SCHNAITTACHER. female spirit as the engine of creation and guests with an up-close look at antique Indian change in the music.” motorcycles and Rolls Royces that were man- Sports fans can enjoy a visit to not one – ufactured in the city in the early 1900s. Liter- but two – halls of fame. Springﬁeld’s Naismith Throughout the year, the museum will ary fans will be enchanted by a visit to the Dr. Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame offer educational programming that will Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden (www.hoophall.com) and Holyoke’s Volley- explore the role that women have played in (www.catinthehat.org), a series of larger-than- ball Hall of Fame (www.volleyhall.org) feature rock and roll, including interviews, perfor- life bronze sculptures that salute the world of exhibits that salute the popular sports that mances, panel discussions, a symposium the Springﬁeld native and grace the quad- originated in their respective cities, as well as and classes for K-12 and university students. rangle at the Springﬁeld Museums. The life key players and Hall of Fame members. of celebrated poet Emily Dickinson comes This exhibit is being designed by New York alive at the museum in her name found in No matter what the interest, the age level, design ﬁrm Pure + Applied. The exhibit will Amherst (www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org), or the pursuits, group tours of all kinds will be open through Sunday, February 26, 2012. which is part of Museums 10 (www.muse- have an exceptional and unforgettable vis- ums10.org), a consortium of some of the Pio- itor experience in the Pioneer Valley. For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and neer Valley’s most prestigious museums. regional information, visit the Greater Spring- Museum is the nonproﬁt organization that ﬁeld Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Web exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars Early American life is replicated at West site at www.valleyvisitor.com. from around the world about the history and Springfield’s Storrowton Village Museum continuing signiﬁcance of rock and roll music. (www.TheBigE.com), a quaint and compact The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame It carries out this mission both through its oper- village green that features, among the 18th and Museum Will Open Exhibit ation of a world-class museum that collects, and 19th century buildings, a one-room Deducated to Inﬂuential Female preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a gazebo Artists and through its library and archives as well and a meeting house. Rare artifacts, includ- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and as its educational programs. ing the lifejacket that belonged to Mrs. John Museum in Cleveland, Ohio will open a Jacob Astor, tell the story of history’s most groundbreaking and provocative new exhibit The museum is open seven days a week famous doomed ocean liner at the Titanic that will illustrate the important roles women from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Historical Society Museum (www.titanichis- have played in rock and roll, from its incep- the museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum toricalsociety.org) in Indian Orchard. Other tion through today. Women Who Rock: Vision, admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors signiﬁcant items include the nearly nine-foot Passion, Power will highlight the ﬂashpoints, (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), $18 for adult res- Titanic model found at the entrance, authen- the ﬁrsts, the best, the celebrated and some- idents of Greater Cleveland. Children under tic English china and place settings from times lesser-known women who moved rock eight and museum members are free. For the boat and a carved oak chair from the and roll music and American culture forward. general inquiries, phone (216) 781-ROCK dining room. The exhibit is sponsored by PNC and Time or visit www.rockhall.com. ❑ 4 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 5 Experience It All in Louisville Photos courtesy of Louisville CVB The city of Louisville, Kentucky is a place of icons, of legends and of unbridled spirit. Full of group-friendly attractions that are both fun and fascinating, it is no wonder that Louisville is a favorite destination for planners and tourists alike. T here is a place, where a small wood- (502) 574-4125. There is on-site parking for pick-up as well as free on-site parking are con- working shop can become the most buses. For more information visit www.belle- venient features of the property. For more renowned baseball bat maker in the oﬂouisville.org. information on bringing your group to the world, where the greatest fist-fighter of all center contact Brian Winslow at (502) 992- time can create an institution dedicated to Museum Row 5305 or visit www.alicenter.org. world peace, and where you can experience America’s only native spirit right from the Within walking distance of the Belle is If history is what you enjoy, the Frazier Inter- source. That place is Louisville, Kentucky, a downtown Louisville’s growing Museum Row, national History Museum is a must-see. It is the welcoming city with unlimited possibilities. which includes a variety of uniquely Louisville, only destination outside of Great Britain to one-of-a-kind attractions all within a few blocks exhibit artifacts from Britain’s oldest national Brief History of Louisville of one another. museum. The Frazier presents 1,000 years of history and brings it to life every day through Louisville’s greatest natural resource, the Boxing fans have heard Muhammad Ali live interpretations by costumed actors, multi- Ohio River, is the reason for the city’s exis- called “the Louisville Lip” and maybe even media presentations and hands-on learning. tence. When early settlers began the west- heard him proclaim Louisville as “the great- More than 50 historic characters and events ward expansion, the Ohio River was the pri- est city in the world.” That is just one of the including Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, sword mary water link between the West and many reasons he chose his hometown as the ﬁghting demonstrations, Joan of Arc and a Northeast. A series of rapids along the route, site for his living legacy. The Muhammad Ali Civil War soldier are depicted daily making his- however, forced settlers to disembark and Center is an international cultural and edu- tory come to life for your group. Group visits portage around the falls. This stopping point cational center guided and inspired by the can be customized to include a variety of options became a strategic area for distribution and ideals of Muhammad Ali. Ali’s biographical including guided tours, costumed interpreters, eventually grew into the city of Louisville, storyline is presented in interactive “Jour- educational programs and more. Discounted which was named in honor of King Louis XVI neylines” – from his roots to his unprece- rates are offered to groups of 10 or more with of France. Revolutionary War hero George dented boxing career and from his societal comps for drivers and escorts. To learn more Rogers Clark founded Louisville in 1778. and religious convictions to his global human- contact Sara Bachman at (502) 753-1688 or itarianism. Much more than a museum, the visit www.fraziermuseum.org. Fast forward to today. You can cruise the $75 million center celebrates the champion’s Ohio River on the oldest operating Missis- life, achievements and values, while also focus- You do not have to be a baseball fan to sippi River-style sternwheeler steamboat in ing on Ali’s message of peace and conﬂict res- appreciate the enormity of the world’s largest existence – the Belle of Louisville. Nearly olution. The Muhammad Ali Center offers bat marking the entrance to another one-of- 100 years old, the Belle is a National Historic group rates, group packages that can include a-kind attraction, the Louisville Slugger Landmark and offers a variety of themed visits to other Louisville attractions, lunch Museum and Factory. It is just across the street cruises for all ages including lunch and dinner packages, itinerary planning assistance and from the Frazier. The tour begins with an cruises. Motorcoach tour groups are welcome more. Groups wishing to visit the museum inspiring look at the sport of American base- on all public cruises and private charters are receive a $7 per person rate; drivers and ball and its heroes in the 13-minute The Heart also available. For motorcoach rates phone escorts are comped. Curbside drop-off and of the Game ﬁlm. Next is a guided tour of the 6 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 7 factory where the Official Bat of Major League weekend in April until the ﬁrst weekend in Baseball is made and an opportunity for a self- July. The fall meet runs from the last week- guided tour of museum exhibits. The museum end in October through November. Group offers a variety of group packages and can tours of Churchill Downs are available by customize tours. They also offer dining phoning (502) 637-1111. Visit their Web site options. Passenger drop-off is in front of the at www.churchilldowns.com for more infor- building and free parking is nearby (instruc- mation. tions will be given). Visit www.sluggermu- seum.org or phone (877) 7-SLUGGER for More to Experience more information. Louisville is home to a number of nation- Also within walking distance is Glassworks, ally recognized visual artists and is proud to where you can watch artists produce large- claim Kentucky’s largest and oldest art scale commissioned works and smaller, afford- museum, the Speed Art Museum. Its exten- able gifts of art. Visitors to Glassworks observe sive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging the artists in three studios as they bring ﬂuid from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art. pieces of glass to life as art and architectural The museum has signiﬁcant holdings of con- pieces. You will see glassblowers, flame- temporary American painting and sculpture. workers, cutters and designers creating mag- African and Native American works also rep- niﬁcent pieces of art in an open-air atmos- resent a growing segment of the museum’s phere. Both self-guided and guided tours are collection. The museum offers group pack- available. Group guided tours are by reserva- ages at a discount over regular prices. For infor- tion and cost $5 for adults. Phone Amanda mation phone group sales at (502) 634-2960. Sobiech for more information at (502) 992- For more information on exhibits and upcom- 3266. You can visit their Web site at Louisville’s entertainment district, Fourth ing events visit www.speedmuseum.org. www.louisvilleglassworks.com. Street Live! is always jumping. With many fun restaurants and music venues to enjoy, Whether it is cultural, visual, musical or Museum Row also includes the Louisville it is sure to please a variety of interests and theatrical, the arts in Louisville offer a mem- Science Center and IMAX Theatre with hands- tastes. orable experience. An entertainment tradi- on activities for the kids, the Kentucky tion for more than 30 years, Derby Dinner Museum of Art and Craft where in addition Day where visitors can experience the power Playhouse offers live stage productions, a to seeing an ever changing collection of art, and speed of three-year-old Thoroughbreds plentiful buffet featuring classic American cui- you can buy some of your own and 21C Hotel in the “fastest two minutes in sports.” Start sine and desserts that are so big you will need and Museum where contemporary art is with the 360-degree high-definition “The two spoons. Derby Dinner is one of the largest always on the cutting edge. Greatest Race,” taking you behind the scenes dinner theaters in the country seating 500 from dawn to dusk on Derby Day. Allow 15 guests and entertaining more than 200,000 Entertainment Options Abound minutes for the show, 60 minutes to explore people a year. Group rates are available for the exhibits and 30 minutes for the guided groups of 20 or more members. Visit In the heart of downtown Louisville is the walking tour of Churchill Downs. The walk- www.derbydinner.com for more information. city’s premier dining and entertainment dis- ing tour takes your group into the Grandstand For customized tour planning assistance trict – Fourth Street Live! With more than a and Winner’s Circle with views of the ﬁnish phone (877) 898-8577. dozen restaurants to choose from the options line. You will visit with the resident Thor- include American fast food chains as well as oughbred and his companion, a miniature The expansive Mellwood Arts and Enter- sit-down dining. The world’s first Maker’s horse. The Museum captures the pride, tra- tainment Center features 360,000 square- Mark Bourbon House and Lounge is one of dition and excitement that is the Kentucky feet, more than 200 artists and entrepreneurs 14 bars/restaurants along the city’s Urban Derby. Group tours start at $15 per person including a café, gift shop, studios, storefront Bourbon Trail and is located just a few doors with complimentary admission for drivers and specialty retail, galleries and more. The com- down from the internationally recognized escorts. Additional activities can be added to plex has been host to many exciting art fairs, Hard Rock Café. tours. Bus parking is on site. Contact Cheryl ﬁlm festivals, music concerts and numerous Whitehouse at (800) 273-3729 or visit other creative events. Walking through the Visitors to Fourth Street Live! enjoy live, www.derbymuseum.org for further details. vast complex, you can watch artists in their open-air concerts by local musicians and studios, purchase their artwork, shop the national acts featuring many types of music Adjacent to the museum is Churchill stores and enjoy a meal. For more informa- like country, rock and alternative. Inside the Downs, where you can spend a “day at the tion visit www.mellwoodartscenter.com or establishments you will ﬁnd bowling, billiards, races.” The spring meet runs from the last phone (502) 895-3650. dancing and more live music. Fourth Street Live! is not the only place in the city that you can experience live music. The Louisville Slug- From jazz to country, the offerings will meet ger is the official bat just about any taste. of Major League Baseball and its sta- The Derby City tus has become iconic in the game. You sure do not need to leave downtown, Your guests can tour but a visit to the Derby City would not be com- the famous factory where these hard- plete without a tour of the Kentucky Derby hitting beauties are Museum. Located just south of downtown and manufactured. the city’s Old Louisville Neighborhood it is the only museum in the world dedicated to a single horse race. Here every day is Derby 8 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 The American Printing House for the Blind are open for tours. Whitehall is an antebel- tillers put out the welcome mat for tourists on is the largest printer of Braille material in the lum-style mansion, circa 1855/1909, sur- a quest for a taste of a product totally unique world and offers free, guided tours. Visitors rounded by 10 acres and with a formal Flo- to Kentucky. All of this is available through see the production of Braille publications, the rentine Garden. tours at the various distilleries that are inde- recording of talking books and a demonstra- pendently owned – many by families with gen- tion of special educational aids for visually Distinct Dining erations of expertise in the ﬁne art (and sci- impaired students as well as tour the museum ence) of bourbon-making. You can drive that features a rare collection of artifacts relat- Louisville has steadily gained notice as one yourself on this excursion and can easily make ing to the educational history of blind people. of the country’s most vital restaurant scenes. a whole day (or more) of it. If you do not want Visit www.aph.org for more information. Visitors from around the world are astounded to drive, then Mint Julep Tours can handle by the variety and quality of ﬁne dining by chefs that for you. The distilleries of Bourbon Coun- Louisville’s Historic Homes who have taken regional cuisine to a nation- try, of which six are on the Kentucky Bour- ally-recognized level. There are quiet cafés, cof- bon Trail, is made up of two regions: I-65 due The history surrounding the third largest fee houses, ethnic restaurants, bourbon lounges, south and I-64 east of the city. From Inter- collection of Victorian homes in America is casual eateries and popular national chains. state 65, you can visit Jim Beam’s American all located in 45 city blocks and is a National Outpost, Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Preservation District that remains vibrant with Visitors often ask, “Where do the locals Heritage Center and Maker’s Mark Distillery. quaint residences, outstanding mansions, eat?” For the answer, they often turn to the From I-64, you will ﬁnd Woodford Reserve offices and restaurants making this a charm- “Louisville Originals,” 50-plus restaurants Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Wild Turkey ing district. The Old Louisville neighborhood where patrons are likely to be greeted and Distillery and Four Roses. At each you will boasts an impressive display of architectural seated by the owners. Louisville Originals is learn about the bourbon-making process, but styles from the late 1800s and early 1900s. one of the largest chapters of the Council of even more fascinating you will hear stories On this tour, local guides share lore and leg- Independent Restaurants of America. about what makes each so unique. end alike as the group explores the quaint St. James Court. Also included is a sweet visit to The Hot Brown originated at the Brown After experiencing America’s only native Ron and Jane Harris’ 1894 mansion on Mil- Hotel in downtown Louisville in the 1920s. spirit at one or all seven distilleries along the lionaire’s Row, where guests are treated to The open-faced turkey and bacon sandwich trail, you will enjoy putting your new Bour- one of their handmade bourbon candies is topped with a rich cheese sauce, ﬁrst served bon expertise to use along Louisville’s Urban known as Happy Balls. to late night revelers. Many Louisville restau- Bourbon Trail – 14 bars and restaurants serv- rants now offer their own version of this home- ing up 50 or more varieties of bourbon. For The city is also home to many historically town favorite. One of those restaurants is each location you visit, you will be given a signiﬁcant properties. Visit the 1850s shot- Lynn’s Paradise Café. A Louisville ﬁxture since stamp. After you complete six stops, you can gun home of Thomas Edison during years he 1991, Lynn’s has since become a national turn in your passport and receive a free t-shirt worked as a telegrapher for Western Union. attraction and local treasure. Unique and for your hard work. For a full listing and the The Thomas Edison House has many of his quirky, Lynn’s Paradise Cafe offers the tasti- addresses, visit www.justaddbourbon.com. inventions on exhibit. Historic Locust Grove est “down home” cooking, the wackiest decor is a National Historic Landmark site that and genuine Southern hospitality. Louisville is alive with potential and inspired includes the 1790 home of George Rogers with a progressive spirit of possibility. The Clark, museum, gardens and a gift shop. The Gateway to Bourbon Country surface has only been scratched. Museums Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, is and parks, sports and attractions, a historic a 300-acre historic Ohio River farm site. The Rich in history and enriched with only the Victorian neighborhood and a modern down- 1837 Farnsley-Mooremen house and grounds very best ingredients, Kentucky’s bourbon dis- town – there is a lot to do in Louisville. For more information visit the Louisville No city celebrates the Sport of Kings like Louisville. As host to thoroughbred horse rac- ing’s most famous competition, the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is legendary and CVB Web site at www.gotolouisville.com. revered. You can also contact Director of Tourism Development Nicole Twigg at (502) 560-1477. The Louisville CVB has profes- sional staff that can assist with planning the perfect visit for your group. You can down- load their free group tour planner at www.gotolouisville.com/travel- professionals/tools/index.aspx. ❑ Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 9 C ruises are a great way to relax, see the sights and enjoy good conversation. Many water excursions also offer edu- cation and adventure. Guests can ﬂoat their cares away as they journey through waters that often have historic signiﬁcance and fas- cinating tales associated with them. In addi- tion, many cruises cater to groups and offer some attractive incentives and packages to tour planners. St. Lawrence Cruise Lines Kingston, Ontario by Kim Lunman Imagine an idyllic voyage aboard a cruise ship that sails past some of Canada's most beautiful scenery and takes you to cities includ- ing Montreal and the nation's capital. The Canadian Empress, a replica riverboat that Smooth Sailing gives passengers a breathtaking view of the Thousand Islands along the St. Lawrence River, combines old world charm with mod- Float your cares away on a relaxing cruise. The stylish Canadian Empress is a replica ern-day comforts. riverboat, which carries passengers on a scenic journey through the St. Lawrence River and the Ottawa River. ST. LAWRENCE CRUISE LINES. This replica steamboat features a heritage- style grand saloon, fine dining, live enter- Biloxi Shrimping Trip The 70-minute Living Marine Adventure tainment, quaint staterooms and decks offer- Biloxi, Mississippi Cruise is navigated in the calm, protected ing passengers spectacular views. waters between Deer Island and the Biloxi For more than 55 years the Biloxi Shrimp- shoreline for your comfort. The Canadian Empress showcases the ing Trip has been delighting visitors from sights of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa around the world. The pride and heritage of The Sailﬁsh can accommodate up to 49 River with tours taking in attractions during Biloxi, Mississippi comes alive aboard this passengers per tour. If you have more than stopovers in Montreal, Upper Canada Vil- unique and interesting cruise. The Biloxi 49 persons, they will take half of your group lage, Prescott, Montebello, Cumberland, Shrimping Trip exposes guests to the spec- for a 70-minute shrimping tour and the other Gananoque, Brockville, Rockport and Trois- tacular world of sea life – caught on a real half will be taken on your motorcoach with a Rivieres. The ship starts its spring cruises shrimping expedition. The cruise is aboard professional private guide to give your group in May continuing through its fall tours in their boat, the Sailﬁsh. Upon leaving the har- a tour of old town Biloxi. They will enjoy a October. bor, the shrimping net is set out with full details guided tour through old town or they can get of how and what makes the net spread and a “Katrina Tour.” Each tour will last 70 min- The St. Lawrence is one of the world's operate correctly. The net will catch any and utes so that the groups can switch and every- largest rivers and home of the Thousand all sea creatures in its path along with the one gets both tours. Islands. It straddles New York State, actually shrimp. The varieties range from blue crabs, has 1,870 islands and is the birthplace of ﬂounder, stingray, oyster ﬁsh, squid, puffer You can also add a dockside shrimp boil the famous "1000 Island Dressing." Here fish and numerous other species of local to your group tour. A crew of “boilers” sets passengers can take in the sights featuring marine life. The entire catch will be identiﬁed up all the equipment and boils the shrimp fabled castles and historic cottages. The and presented for inspection by the Captain. right in front of your eyes. Included in the Canadian Empress, operated by boil is big “Gulf caught” shrimp, Kingston's St. Lawrence Cruise corn, potatoes and sausage, For a fun jaunt out to sea, take a cruise with Biloxi Shrimping Trip. Lines, has 32 staterooms and a You will actually witness and be a part of an actual shrimping expe- sausage/chicken Jambalaya, rolls capacity of 66 passengers. It offers dition and get to see some fascinating sea creatures. BILOXI SHRIMP- and drinks, all served buffet-style. up to six-night cruise packages ING TRIP. After you ﬁll your plate, you including tours of popular attrac- will enjoy your dinner aboard the tions such as the 1000 Islands Sky- Sailﬁsh. deck, Fort Wellington in Prescott and Fulford Place, an Edwardian Biloxi Sunset Cruise is a mansion and national historic site n e w a d d i tion to the Biloxi in Brockville. Shrimping Trip schedule. April through October you can enjoy This vintage-style cruise ship has spectacular views of the sunset like been a fixture along the St. no other. This two-hour cruise will Lawrence River and Ottawa River amaze you. A sunset is never “just since 1981. The Canadian a sunset” here on the Mississippi Empress does not disappoint Gulf Coast. Your group will go tourists who come from around the around to the Back Bay to see the globe for a unique cruising experi- new beautiful Bay Bridge. While ence reminiscent of another era. cruising back in, you better have your cameras ready because the For more information go to scenery is breathtaking. Provided www.stlawrencecruiselines.com or also is live musical entrainment phone (800) 267-7868. aboard for your listening pleasure. 10 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 11 A package is offered that includes the shrimping tour, the private motorcoach tour, the dockside shrimp boil and the sunset cruise for a price of $60 per person plus tax. You can also book the above tours separately. Prices are on the Web site, www.bilox- ishrimpingtrip.com If you just want to wet your line, for just $35 per person you can ﬁsh for three hours. Everything you will need to ﬁsh is provided and you will be fishing for such species as ﬂounder, white trout and ground mullet. In addition to providing bait, tackle, poles and licenses, the ﬁsh are also cleaned for you. If you have never fished the Mississippi Gulf Coast, there is no time like the present. For more information phone (800) 289- 7908 or visit www.biloxishrimpingtrip.com. Riverboat Twilight LeClaire, Iowa A long time ago is just a short cruise away. Considered the Midwest's best kept secret, the Riverboat Twilight is one of the last river- boats to offer overnight cruises on the majes- Cruise the mighty Mississippi in grand fashion aboard the Riverboat Twilight. The trip tic Mississippi River. The journey begins at starts out in the charming river town of LeClaire, Iowa and overnights in historic Dubuque, the charming river town of LeClaire, Iowa, Iowa. RIVERBOAT TWILIGHT. situated along a beautiful bend on the Upper Mississippi River. On the trip you will dis- cover the Upper Mississippi River valley, a the Captain is provided during both days of the National Mississippi River Museum and place that Native Americans, fur traders and the cruise. Aquarium, a treasure house of historic arti- lead miners once called home. Huge ﬂocks facts and displays of Mississippi River history. of pelicans, islands of cormorants, great blue The Twilight docks for the night at River's Stops are also made at the 4th Street Eleva- herons and snowy egrets show little more Edge Plaza at the Port of Dubuque, Iowa. This tor, Diamond Jo Casino and Cable Car Shop- than casual interest in the passing riverboat. plaza is conveniently located within walking ping Area. As the boat winds its way upstream, the river distance of the Grand Harbor Resort, where unfolds into many different forms, from shal- comfortable overnight accommodations are The maximum capacity of 140 passen- low marshes teaming with wildlife to the pal- provided. After a full breakfast in the hotel gers allows for an intimate and quality-driven isades and high cliffs as you approach lead restaurant, complimentary shuttle service will experience for bus tour clients. Once on mining country. Onboard entertainment and be provided to the many Port of Dubuque board, the crew takes care of everything, leav- informational and educational narration by attractions. The cruise fare includes entry to ing your escort free to focus on passengers or to just relax. The all-inclusive fare includes all meals (three each day), snacks, overnight lodging, onboard entertainment, admission to the National Mississippi River Museum and shore transportation. Meals are prepared fresh onboard in the below deck, fully-stocked gal- ley. Plated lunch and dinner meals are served on china at comfortable reserved tables. There is no standing in buffet lines or sitting at cramped long dining tables here. The Twi- light chef can accommodate most special needs diets given adequate prior notice. Attrac- tive group rates start at 20 passengers with one escort per group complimentary. The cruise season begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through October. Departures are every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from the Port of LeClaire. Convenient, free bus parking is available and luggage handling is provided from the boarding area in LeClaire to the Grand Harbor Resort and return. E-mail Carrilynn Miller for group availability at Carrilynn@riverboattwi- light.com, phone (800) 331-1467 or visit www.riverboattwilight.com. ❑ 12 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 13 Utah Outdoor Paradise F rom national parks to ski resorts and golf courses, beautiful Park City to historic Temple Square, sunny St. George to bustling Salt Lake City and tranquil Lake Pow- ell, Utah will surprise you with its variety. Whether you come to ski or snowboard The Greatest Snow on Earth®, to mountain bike ‘slickrock’ in Moab, to take a whitewater raft- ing trip down Cataract Canyon, or to visit the Old West with a tour of outlaw hideouts and stickups, Utah has adventure waiting. Utah is grand, spacious and sublime – a land of wild adventures, ancient myths and the most beau- tiful landscapes in the world. Utah is a place of unsurpassed natural wonder, fascinating culture and is a haven for outdoor Utah’s ﬁve national parks are the crown adventure. The scenery near Moab is some of the most unique in North America. MOAB CVB. jewels of its scenic places. As you encounter the breathtaking landscapes of Arches, Bryce To the north in the Ogden area, you will three museums, Utah State Railroad Museum, Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and ﬁnd Snowbasin, another Olympic venue with which includes the Eccles Rail Center and a Zion national parks, you quickly come to big mountain terrain and ﬁrst class amenities, model railroad, John M. Browning Firearms appreciate why these five natural settings Powder Mountain and Wolf Mountain. Far- Museum, Browning-Kimball Classic Car are protected by law. Each one is unique in ther north, Beaver Mountain is a locals' Museum, three ﬁne arts galleries and War- its own right. Whether you visit one or all favorite in scenic Logan Canyon. Other Utah ren's Train Shop, Union Grill Restaurant, the five of Utah’s national parks, you will be gems include Sundance Resort in Utah County U.S. Forest Service Information and the Union grateful for those who recognized the impor- and Brian Head Resort in southern Utah. Station Library. It plays host to conventions, tance of preserving such beauty for all visi- weddings, banquets and events. tors to enjoy. Utah has more than 40 state Utah is a premier destination for Nordic parks, many of which rival national parks. and cross-country skiing. Nordic skiers look- Beautiful Logan Canyon National Scenic With so many state parks spread out all over ing for groomed skating and classic track Byway between Logan and Garden City is a Utah, the variety of recreation opportuni- should not miss Soldier Hollow in Midway, spectacular 40-mile drive past limestone cliffs, ties they offer is almost endless. Utah. Soldier Hollow is another Olympic the Logan River and forested canopies to the legacy venue with world-class snowmaking, turquoise-blue waters of Bear Lake. Along Utah has The Greatest Snow on Earth. grooming and a training facility for the next the way, hike to the Wind Caves, the 1,500- Whether you are carving a turn, chest deep generation of Nordic skiing Olympians, rank- year-old Jardine Juniper or the grave site of in powder, or gliding through white meadows ing as the top destination in North America Old Ephraim, the largest grizzly bear in his- on skinny tracks, Utah’s backcountry, down- for cross-country skiing. tory at the time of his death in 1923. Logan hill and cross-country skiing will take your is the most scenic route to Yellowstone and breath away. After all, Utah is home to 14 Visit Utah’s Castle Country and take a Grand Teton national parks. For more infor- world-class resorts covered in The Greatest trip along The Energy Loop: Hunting- mation go to www.visitloganutah.com Snow on Earth. ton/Eccles Canyon's National Scenic Byway. This trip provides breathtaking views. Along If you are looking for culture, this is the In the Park City area, you have a three- the way you will ﬁnd a series of kiosks ﬁlled place. Utah has been inﬂuenced by an eclec- resort ski town with a rich silver mining his- with information. Some of the most incred- tic mix of people and cultures since before it tory. Park City is home to Deer Valley Resort ible rock art is located in Nine Mile Canyon, officially became a state in 1896. Native (multi-year recipient of SKI Magazine's #1 the world's longest outdoor art gallery. American tribes, Mormon pioneers, Latinos, resort in North America), Park City Mountain Another beautiful canyon is Range Creek. Polynesian and Paciﬁc Islanders, miners and Resort and The Canyons Resort. Both Deer Granaries, wildlife and natural wonders await ranchers have all been drawn to this land. Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort you. The San Rafael Swell offers rock art Each has added to the rich tapestry of cultural were venues during the 2002 Olympic Win- and slot canyons and endless sightseeing offerings now widely available throughout the ter Games. opportunities. Ten museums compliment state – music, dance, theater, visual arts, per- the area as well as some of the most well formance art and so much more. The Salt Lake City metro area claims four kept parks including Basso’s Dino Mine world-class resorts: Alta and Snowbird in Lit- Adventure Park, a dinosaur-themed park If you would like more information on tle Cottonwood Canyon, and Brighton and that will delight your entire group. the many possibilities for your next group Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon. These tour to Utah, visit www.utah.com. four resorts each claim a 500-inch average Ogden’s Union Station and Historic 25 You can also phone for a visitor’s guide at (800) annual bounty of the Greatest Snow On Earth. Street have much to offer. The Station houses 200-1160. ❑ 14 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 15 16 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Howlin’ and Happenin’ Athens, Georgia A re your customers looking for some- thing new, fun and different? Then direct your motorcoach off the beaten path and head to the colorful college town of Athens, Georgia. This small, vibrant city is most famous as the home of the University of Georgia and for its lively music scene but there is also much more. Tour operators will ﬁnd it a treasure trove of incredible group- friendly activities, attractions and services. Located in northern Georgia, Athens is about 60 miles east of Atlanta and accessible by major highways. While the city has many great options for day trips or a “just passing through” visit, there is so much to see and do, it would be very easy to create a multi-day itin- erary based in and around Athens/Clarke County. by Laura Wagenknecht Photos courtesy of Athens CVB The city of Athens from its very beginning was a college town. The ﬁrst campus of the University of Georgia was established in 1801 on 633 acres of donated land located on the banks of the Oconee River. Athens was incor- porated as a city in 1806 to help support the growing commercial and intellectual interests that the new university attracted to the area and the community grew rapidly. Many his- toric 19th century structures still stand, recall- Life unleashed is what your group will enjoy when they visit the vivacious city of Athens, ing Athens’ days as an early Southern acad- Georgia. As the home of the University of Georgia, a world-famous music scene, historic emic and business center. Named after Athens, homes, glorious gardens and more, Athens is a place worth discovering. An exhibit of Greece, a place often associated with knowl- “Dawg” sculptures pay tribute to the Georgia Bulldogs and Athens’ creative spirit. edge and learning, many buildings and resi- dences in the town feature elegant Grecian- quil setting. It is also adjacent to Athens’ down- often feature the works of minority and female style architecture with stately pillars. town area, which features an eclectic variety artists, as well as Georgia natives. The of shops, restaurants, bars and galleries. museum offers docent-led group tours free of Go to the “Dawgs” charge and reservations are a must. Your In addition to higher education and athlet- group can be dropped off at the turnaround Today the University of Georgia (UGA) has ics, UGA is also an important center for the between the Performing Arts Center and the nearly 35,000 students and is one of the most performing and visual arts. The university is School of music and the bus will be parked in highly regarded higher learning institutions in home to the UGA Performing Arts Center, designated parking by Redcoat Band practice the country. The university encompasses many which offers theatrical performances, music ﬁeld . To schedule a group tour contact Melissa parts of Athens and lends the town a youth- concerts and recitals by both students and pro- Rackley at (706) 542-4552. ful vibrancy and energy. Prominent in the town fessional artists. The Lamar Dodd School of are sights paying homage to the pride of Geor- Art is an excellent place to enjoy the work of Nothing says “Southern” like beautiful gar- gia, the UGA Bulldogs (affectionately called student artists and well as catch a lecture or dens and Athens is proud to be the town in the “Dawgs” by fans.) UGA athletics events special exhibit by some of the visual arts ﬁeld’s which America’s ﬁrst garden club was founded from football games to gymnastic meets and most esteemed masters and educators. in 1891. If you want to enjoy four seasons of everything in between draw enthusiastic crowds horticultural beauty, the State Botanical Gar- and visitors to Athens. Located in the same area of campus as the den of Georgia features some exquisite theme Performing Arts Center and the School of gardens and an enclosed tropical conserva- The North Campus of UGA is the location Art is the Georgia Museum of Art (www.geor- tory, which can be enjoyed in all weather. The the school’s older historic buildings and fea- giamuseum.org). As the official art museum garden has recently expanded, offering space tures a very walkable, park-like setting. Here of the State of Georgia, this esteemed insti- for group dining, receptions (the breathtaking you can see the Chapel, New College, Old Col- tution owns an impressive permanent col- Heritage Garden is a popular place for wed- lege, the original campus quad, the Law School lection of paintings from many historic peri- dings) and more. There are also walking trails, and the famous Arch, which marks the entrance ods and artistic styles. In addition, their galleries a gift shop and art exhibit space. Also located to UGA. A lot of the student hustle and bustle include noteworthy works of print, sculpture, on the grounds are the headquarters of the takes part in the newer campuses of UGA so craftwork and other media from artists both Garden Club of Georgia. Your group can enjoy the North Campus is great place for a stroll famous and obscure. The museum also hosts both guided and self-guided tours. The facility and to experience the university in a more tran- an ongoing series of temporary exhibits, which is walkable and there are many pleasant seat- Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 17 18 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 ing areas that offer inspiring views. If you would like to schedule a guided tour, advance reser- vations are necessary. To schedule a group visit phone (706) 542-6195. To learn more about the State Botanical Garden of Georgia Athens combines the visit www.uga.edu/botgarden. best of the present and past and is home The Classic City to historic proper- ties. When driving through town, you Many visitors to Athens are amazed at the will see some gra- beautiful architecture and historic houses that cious and grand have been preserved and restored. An enjoy- Southern homes that able way to see and get a good overview of feature many classic the city’s historic properties is a guided bus styles of architecture. tour with Classic City Tours. The 90-minute tour takes place on a 19-passenger bus or can be conducted on your bus with a step-on guide. You can see some of Athens’ most notable historic homes and museums, the UGA campus and drive by some of the city’s Eat, Drink and Be Merry arranged by e-mailing Julia@terrapinbeer.com. quirky landmarks such as the world’s only dou- For more information go to www.terrapin- ble-barreled cannon and the “Tree That Owns Athens offers many outstanding places for beer.com or phone (706) 549-3377. Itself.” Classic City Tours also offers special groups to enjoy a meal. With restaurants serv- themed tours such as African American Her- ing up a variety of cuisine from good ‘ole South- Unleash and Unwind itage, Museums, Music/Nightlife and more. ern fare to ethnic delights to soul food, there is something for every palate. If your group Athens offers a large number of hotels If your group would prefer to explore on wants to enjoy some great Southern cooking ready to welcome your group with hospitable their own, the Athens Welcome Center can in a retro diner-like atmosphere, check out service and comfortable accommodations. If help guide the way. They offer brochures fea- Mama’s Boy. This casual eatery offers a deli- you wish to be right in the heart of things, the turing a variety of walking and driving tours cious menu of regional favorite dishes. They Holiday Inn Athens is located just a short walk in and around Athens as well as the UGA cam- have ample seating for a group and can be away from downtown’s many hip shops, pus. The center is a great resource for infor- reserved for private meals and events. The cafes, pubs and galleries as well as the UGA mation, ideas and suggestions for making the restaurant’s parking lot has plenty of room for North Campus. The hotel features 222 guest most out of your visit. To learn more about your bus. Go to www.eatatmamasboy.com to rooms as well amenities such as a restaurant Classic City Tours and the Athens Welcome learn more and see their menu. You can phone and lounge, an indoor pool, exercise rooms Center visit www.athenswelcomecenter.com. the restaurant at (706) 548-6249. and more. The parking lot is spacious enough Director Evelyn Reece will be happy to answer for buses and groups can be picked up and your questions. She can be reached at (706) If your group enjoys an excellent cup of dropped off conveniently at the lobby 353-1820 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. coffee then Jittery Joe’s is sure to please. This entrance. Phone them at (706) 549-4433 rustic store features a tin roof, is decorated Where Music Lives with antique bicycles and wood benches, and Country Inn and Suites [(706) 612-9100] is roasts its coffee beans on-site. The fresh- a brand new property that is great for groups Athens has been moving and grooving as brewed coffee comes in a variety of ﬂavors, and located in a bustling area of town with plenty a live music Mecca since the 1970s and has blends and roasts and it smells as delicious as of stores and restaurants. For some stylish bou- given rise to wildly popular alternative rock it tastes. Learn more at www.jitteryjoes.com. tique accommodations located near the UGA groups such as R.E.M., the B-52s and Wide- North Campus, there is the new and “green” spread Panic. Music is everywhere in this For a beer experience like no other, treat Hotel Indigo – Athens [(706) 546-0430]. Many town, from live bands rocking in iconic your group to a visit to a brewery that is a local more group-friendly lodging options can be groundbreaking clubs such as the 40 Watt icon. Terrapin Beer Company started out as found at www.visitathensga.com. Club to acoustic guitarists serenading from a venture by two friends with a passion for the sidewalks downtown. Amazingly creative beer looking to create the perfect brew. Now, Plan On an Amazing Time talents regularly visit and perform in Athens nearly 10 years later, it is a 40,000-square and quite a few call Athens home. foot facility that has produced numerous This only scratches the surface of what award-winning, not to mention delightfully Athens can offer your group. If you want to dis- A music venue that is sure to make a great flavorful, beers. Terrapin Beer Company cover more, the Athens Convention and Visi- impression is the Melting Point. Located in a opens its doors for public tours and tastings tors Bureau is a superb resource for ideas, infor- historic 1850s foundry, the Melting Point still Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. mation and best of all, comprehensive planning features details of the original building, includ- to 7:30 p.m. For $10 guests get a souvenir services. The CVB has dedicated group tour ing exposed bricks and original masonry. The glass and 10 tickets good for samples of the staff who will help you every step of the way, seating is set up in tiers and guests can have beers of their choice. A spacious outdoor beer making it a breeze to plan and run a enjoyable a great view of the stage no matter where they garden is available for guests to sip, talk, relax, tour. Amy Clark, group tour manager, can assist are seated. The venue is large enough for hun- play volleyball or sway to live music. A family- with all your arrangements, scheduling and dreds of people yet offers an intimate atmos- friendly place, do not be surprised to see peo- many other planning details, both large and phere. A full-service restaurant and bar pro- ple bringing their kids or even their dogs to small. You can contact her at (706) 357-4430. vide both eats and drinks that can be enjoyed the Terrapin beer garden. While there you For more information on all there is to experi- before and during performances. An excep- can take a complimentary tour of this off-beat ence in Athens, visit www.visitathensga.com tional roster of musicians has graced the stage brewing facility and learn about the compa- including nationally touring acts and local ny’s history. You can share your memories For information on bus maintenance and favorites. There is on-site bus parking and the with friends back home with the gift shop’s lavatory dump service contact David Bloyer at building is a short walk away. For more infor- fun and funky Terrapin apparel, glasses and the Athens/Clarke County Public Utilities, Water mation visit www.meltingpointathens.com. other merchandise. Private tours can be Reclamation Center at (706) 613-3487. ❑ Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 19 20 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Huntington, West Virginia Welcome to the Greater Huntington, West Explore Virginia area, the gateway to the western side of the great state of West Virginia. Cabell County and the Greater Huntington area are ready to West Virginia’s welcome your group and show you all there is to see and do. The convention and visitors bureau staff is here to connect you in any way that they Ohio River Valley can and will be glad to help plan all or part of your visit, whether it is one night or one week. If you are like a lot of guests, your group is looking for unique dining and shopping experiences as well as interesting activities and events. Check out some of the area’s group-friendly locations: Marshall University’s beautiful campus, home of the Thundering Herd, lies astride the Midland Trail between Hal Greer Boulevard and 22nd Street and 3rd and 5th avenues. Certain spots in Huntington are included in Enjoy scenic and historic wonders in the beautiful Ohio River Valley of West Virginia. Hunt- the tour from the 2006 movie We Are Mar- ington’s Heritage Farm Museum offers a look into Appalachian pioneer life. The site fea- shall, which depicts the tragic 1970 plane tures log homes, a schoolhouse, blacksmith shops, country stores and more. CABELL-HUNT- crash which was carrying the Marshall Uni- INGTON CVB. versity football team and many community members and boosters. The ﬁlm chronicles the Huntington community’s recovery from Dining in Huntington will give your group sales and demonstrations throughout the year a disaster and their determination to rise from a variety of options to choose from which will and a Festival of Glass in August. the ashes. For more information on Marshall please even the pickiest eater. You can enjoy University visit www.marshall.edu. To sched- a family-style meal or kick back at Hillbilly Greater Huntington is also proud to house ule a campus tour phone (304) 696-6833. Hotdogs, which was recently featured on The a 150-passenger riverboat, the Mark Twain. Food Network. Check out this fun and unique Recently opened at Adams Landing in Guyan- At the historical Heritage Farm Museum restaurant at www.hillbillyhotdogs.com. dotte (a three-minute drive from downtown and Village your group can experience the Huntington), Schooner’s Waterfront Grille is charm and simplicity of days gone by. This Built in 1903, Camden Park, the state’s only a new restaurant on the Ohio River. Dine on popular group attraction allows guests to expe- amusement park, is a must-see. You will love the Mark Twain for dinner cruises as well as rience life as it was in an Appalachian pio- riding on one of the few wooden roller coasters sightseeing tours for your group. For more neer community. Featuring a one-room left in the U.S., riding the log ﬂume, or taking a information visit www.schoonerswv.com or schoolhouse, blacksmith shops, country stores tour around the park in a train. Guests of all ages phone (304) 529-3663. and log homes, 16 different buildings and vir- love this amusement park offering more than tual tours, the Farm teaches visitors about the 30 rides and attractions. Groups of 26 or more Downtown Huntington provides many major inventions that changed everything to receive a discount off the $21.99 general admis- choices for your group. Pullman Square offers create the quality of life we have today. Group sion rate. The park also can provide a catered a Cineplex, dining, coffee shops, bookstore and rates start at $5 per person and can include picnic for your group in one its picnic pavilions several specialty shops. Whether you are look- a variety of tour options. They also offer a for an additional charge. Go to www.camden- ing for a special gift for your best buddy, that motorcoach package that includes a fully park.com or phone (304) 429-4321. elusive video game or a toy for your favorite catered meal for $25 per person. Advance youngster, Pullman Square has all of this to offer reservations for groups are required. A 50 An antique paradise and a lively farmer’s and so much more. While your group is in the percent deposit is due at the time the reser- market await shoppers at Old Central City downtown area, please stop by the Visitors Cen- vation is made with the balance due 30 days and Central City Market on Huntington’s 14th ter and say hello. The center is located in a ren- before the visit. For more information visit Street West antique district. Once a ﬂourish- ovated train depot built in 1887 and it is worth www.heritagefarmmuseum.com or phone ing manufacturing town, Central City became the visit just to see that. Staff will give you maps (304) 522-1244. part of Huntington in 1909. This area’s suc- and visitors guides of local and statewide attrac- cessful revitalization anchored around the tions, which you can look at while enjoying a In Huntington’s south side neighborhood, Central City Market and a beautiful gazebo pastry or a croissant at the new River and Rail enjoy unwinding at the 70-acre Ritter Park area for concerts and outdoor events. If your Bakery. They are just across the street from the with a walking trail, play areas for children group is looking for antiques and bargains, entrance to Harris Riverfront Park, where you and a picnic area. The Ritter Park Rose Gar- then Central City is a must-see on your list. can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Ohio River. den is a lovely place for your group to stop Just look for the big Visitors Center sign. and smell the roses – literally. Nearby Hunt- See art come to life as the artisans at Blenko ington Museum of Art features 10 exhibi- Glass ﬁre up beautiful and delicate glass pieces. There are many possibilities for your group tion galleries, nature trails, sculpture garden, Over the years, talented designers have devel- to explore while you are here. The Cabell café and gift shop. The museum offers guided oped contemporary new designs for their skilled Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau tours free of charge. A two-week notice is artisans who have learned the skilled art of glass hopes you will try them all, either now or on required. E-mail Cindy Dearborn at cdear- blowing through many years of hard work. Take a return visit. They encourage you to share email@example.com to schedule a tour. For a tour with your group and watch the fascinat- your thoughts and experiences and will even more information on Huntington Museum ing process of creating a piece of glass art. For include clips from your personal pictures and of Art visit www.hmoa.org or phone (304) more information go to www.blenko.com or videos on their Web site at www.wvvisit.org. 529-2701. phone (877) 425-3656. Blenko also features You can phone the CVB at (800) 635-6329. Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 21 Greater Parkersburg, West Virginia With the majestic Ohio River as a backdrop, Visitors take in some your group is invited to come escape, discover awe-inspiring views and play in Greater Parkersburg, West Virginia. of the Ohio River in the Parkersburg Just south of Parkersburg, West Virginia, area. The romance your group will feel like Tom Sawyer as they of the river, stern- paddle down river in an authentic sternwheeler wheelers and grand, to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. stately mansions are prominent in this charming area. Listening to the steady churning of the GREATER PARKERSBURG engine and feeling the occasional spray of the CVB/JIM OSBORN. paddle wheel, everyone will be quietly lulled into believing they have escaped every care in the world. The mystery and romance that shroud the island’s original owners are intrigu- ing and entertaining. As your group tours the exquisite reconstructed mansion, they will Bearse for group sales information at (304) to groups with a full lunch and dinner menu of hear the tale of Harman and Margaret 865-8650. pastas, steaks and more. A surprise item on the Blennerhassett and the couple’s ill-fated rela- menu is their trademarked German Pizza. Learn tionship to Vice President Aaron Burr that As the sun begins to set, take a self-guided more at www.villadavinci.com or phone the eventually cost them their beloved paradise. or guided stroll through the Julia-Ann Square restaurant at (304) 375-3633. Visitors to the island (open May through Octo- Historic District – West Virginia’s largest res- ber) also enjoy wagon rides and the mansion’s idential historic district – where oil barons dis- Wrap up your visit to the area with a stop at sprawling lawns – the perfect location for a played their newfound wealth in gleaming Fenton Art Glass Gift Shop, Museum and Fac- box lunch from Parkersburg’s very own Third splendor. You can also take in a panoramic tory. View the world through cranberry colored Street Deli [(304) 422-0003]. view of the valley atop Fort Boreman His- glass at Fenton’s century-old factory. Browse torical Park. The park features original Union through the Fenton Gift Shop and take the free New to the island is the recently renovated Civil War fort trenches, magniﬁcent views of factory tour named one of America’s top 10 and restored Putnam-Houser House. The the Ohio River and interpretive signage. factory tours in USA Today. Watch spellbound home has a unique story to tell and is no addi- as master craftsmen using traditional tools and tional cost to tour. On day two of your journey, travel north techniques skillfully bring glassware to life amid (WV Route 14) and make a stop at Holl’s Swiss a roaring baptism of ﬁre. A special glass museum The island hosts a variety of special events Chocolatier in Vienna. Bring home a taste of and video are also available year-round. Drivers throughout its season. Most notable is the annual Switzerland. Holl’s uncompromising com- and escorts receive a $10 gift certiﬁcate and Mansion by Candlelight event in early October. mitment to sourcing the ﬁnest ingredients and passengers receive a coupon good for 20 per- All electricity is banished from the island and the attention to detail that comes from a clas- cent off items in the gift shop. All coaches are guests are transported back to the early 1800s sically trained Master Chocolatier ensures you greeted upon arrival and advance reservations with pig roast, period dancing and games. an extraordinary chocolate experience. Holl’s are required. Phone Tour Coordinator Jena does not offer tours but is an excellent shop- Blair at (800) 319-7793, Ext 311 to schedule Groups of 10 or more need to phone ping stop for groups. The owners will greet a visit. For more information online, visit (304) 420-4800 for reservations. For the bus and give a brief overview of the store www.fentonartglass.com. information on rates and fees visit www. and its history. Once inside, guests can enjoy blennerhassettislandstatepark.com. samples of chocolate and coffee while brows- There is a great deal more to see and do ing the store’s merchandise. Advance notice in this community of Ohio River towns, so Back on the mainland you may continue of at least two weeks is required for a group visit again and often to discover the other your exploration into the region’s history by visit. Contact Dominique or Michelle Holl at unique shops and specialty stores, scenic touring the Oil and Gas Museum. It is here that (800) 842-4512, Ext. 101 or 102. There is parks, restaurants, art centers and theaters. one truly feels as if they were an eyewitness to parking for motorcoaches on-site. the development of the early boomtowns as For more information visit www.Greater- extensive photographs and videos, equipment Further up the road in Williamsburg, West Parkersburg.com or phone (800) 752-4982. and other artifacts are on display. The story of Virginia you will ﬁnd one of America’s ﬁnest the industries’ early beginnings will come to life heritage assets, Henderson Hall Plantation, a Wheeling, West Virginia and it becomes evident how they inﬂuenced 17-room mansion built in 1859 as the crown West Virginia’s bid for statehood. Learn more jewel of a 2,600-acre plantation. The Hen- If the thoughts of a “friendly city” sound at www.little-mountain.com/oilandgasmuseum derson family has an inspiring legacy that impossible to you, then you have not been to or phone (304) 485-5446. reaches back to the nation’s founding fathers Wheeling, West Virginia. Wheeling is the per- and up through the highest ranks of the Civil fect place to plan you next group adventure. Enjoy a savory lunch (and an unsurpassed War. Generation after generation of this fam- Wheeling’s scenic riverfront location, century- wine list) at Spats in the historic Blennerhas- ily meticulously preserved clothing, documents, spanning historical sites, shopping that will sat- sett Hotel. Built in 1889, the hotel is known household items and much more. Self-guided isfy anyone’s taste, and fun and entertainment for its impeccable service and gourmet cui- tours are available daily. Admission is $4 per both indoors and out solidify the area’s repu- sine. The hotel can also cater to your group’s person. Visit www.mariettaohio.org/ tation as both memorable and affordable. morning or evening meals within its dining directory/henderson_hall_plantation or phone hall, outdoor patio or various banquet rooms. (304) 375-2129. Are you looking for the fast life of gaming They offer group rates and on-site parking or a slow walk through a bountiful garden? for buses. Phone (800) 262-2536 for gen- All the locals love da Vinci’s Italian Restau- Does a historical landmark spark you inter- eral information or visit their Web site at rant and your group will too. Located just a few est? Are you looking to indulge your artistic www.theblennerhassett.com. Contact Robin miles from Henderson Hall, the restaurant caters side with a great show or a visit to a classic 22 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Down The Road Coming events of interest to readers of BUS TOURS MAGAZINE. Submissions for the department should be directed to the editor. Unless otherwise indicated, events are not open to the general public. November 6-9, 2011. Ontario Motorcoach Association Confer- ence and Marketplace. Windsor, Ontario. For more information visit www.omca.com/events/conference.ht ml. December 5-9, 2011. NTA Conec- tion. Los Vegas, Nevada. January 6-10, 2012. American Bus Association Marketplace. Grapevine, Texas. For more information visit abateameventmanagement.com. February 24-26, 2012. Heartland Travel Showcase. Knoxville, Ten- nessee. For more infor mation visit www.ohiotravel.org/heartland.html. There is more in Hershey than Chocolate The Museum of Bus Transportation has the largest collection of historical buses dis- played under one roof in the United States. Museum of Bus Transportation 161 Museum Drive (Route 39) Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033 Phone: (717) 566-7100 Ext. 119 www.busmuseum.org firstname.lastname@example.org • Group Rates • Gift Shop • Luncheons • Meetings • Banquets Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 23 museum full of local flare? Does the word “shopping” make your eyes wide with excite- ment? Does the question, “What time is tee/tea time?” pique your interest? If you Wheeling, West Vir- answered yes to any of those questions, then ginia is a riverside Wheeling is your place to play. Come see all community full of fun the thrilling experiences Wheeling has to offer. shopping, dining and history. Your group Wheeling, West Virginia is known for its can spend many hours incredible history. The Wheeling Suspension exploring the down- Bridge is the true gateway to the West and an town or even enjoying amazing sight to see in both day and night. a trip to Wheeling Island Casino and You can take a tour of Victorian Old Town or Racetrack. WHEELING visit the Capitol Theatre for a Broadway show, CVB. concert or Wheeling’s Symphony. Go back to your childhood at Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum or check out the place where West Virginia became a state at the historical West Virginia Independence Hall. The hall’s courtroom was used for the debates that estab- Wheeling has been known for years to have 151-room luxury hotel, six restaurants and lished statehood and is completely restored something fun for everyone. Oglebay Resort was voted the #1 greyhound track in Amer- and full of interesting artifacts from the era. has world-class golf courses that welcome begin- ica. It also has the Oasis Room that is host to ners to pros as well as indoor and outdoor entertainment events. Motorcoach groups Historic National Road is full of landmarks. pools. At the resort your group can enjoy a zoo are always welcome. Learn more at It was the ﬁrst federally-funded highway. Its featuring more than 80 species of animals nes- www.wheelingisland.com For information on 16-mile stretch is uninterrupted by modern tled in 30 acres of ﬂowers, trees, hills and val- scheduling a group event or visit phone (877) construction. Along this, there are many sites leys. Oglebay Resort welcomes motorcoach 946-4373, Ext. 1751. to see starting with the crest of Wheeling Hill, groups to visit for the day or even stay which has been the home of a bronzed Mingo overnight. For information on group visits and If you enjoy a walk through a museum or Indian for close to 100 years. To the left would group rates phone (800) 445-2778. You can a theater, Wheeling offers many. Carriage be McCulloch’s Leap. Major Samuel McCul- visit their Web site at www.oglebay-resort.com. House Museum has beautiful glass and glass loch took the terrifying leap with his horse to blowing shows and the Victorian Vaudeville save the residents of Fort Henry from reign- Wheeling Island Hotel Casino and Race- Theatre. The Wheeling Jamboree has a show ing Indians. He and his horse survived the track is a place for fun and excitement. It has every Saturday. The Stifel Fine Arts Center leap and are honored still today. more than 2,000 slots, 63 table games, a offers exhibits and musical performances throughout the year. Wesbanco Arena hosts shows from concerts to ice shows to the local symphony as well as the Wheeling Nailers hockey team. FOR TOUR PLANNER RESOURCES CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW .BUSTOURSMAGAZINE.COM Wheeling is also home to unique shopping. Centre Market is West Virginia’s longest con- tinuously operating market house. Whether you are looking for a beautiful piece of furni- ture, a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or imported cheese, Centre Market has it all. Cen- tre Market is also the home of Coleman’s Fish Market. Fresh ﬁsh is delivered and cooked daily. It serves what has been named the number one ﬁsh sandwich in the country. (Do not forget to ask for tartar sauce; it is the secret). If shopping for old treasures is not what you are looking for, then The Highlands is the unique shopping experience. In 2004, Wheeling joined an exclu- sive club when it became home to Cabela’s Outdoor Outﬁtters. Since the construction of this anchor store, the surrounding area known as the Highlands has blossomed into a retail/recreation destination, which is unmatched in a 50+ mile radius. New attrac- tions are built daily so do not miss out on all of this shopping, dining, lodging and entertain- ment. Check out all there is to see and do at The Highlands at www.the-highlands.com. This is only the beginning of what Wheel- ing has to offer and you can ﬁnd more infor- mation as well as sample tours and itiner- aries at www.wheelingcvb.com. You can also phone the Wheeling CVB at (800) 828-3097. ❑ 24 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 25 Mesa A Land of Culture and Contrasts E mbraced by the Sonoran Desert, Mesa is surrounded by a rich, vibrant and ver- dant playground for sought-after out- door recreation. Within minutes from a col- Take a trip to the extraordinary with a visit to Mesa, Arizona. With so many attractions and lection of resorts and hotels, guests can natural wonders to inspire and entertain, your guests will surely be delighted with the immerse themselves into a legendary land- Southwestern treasure. The Superstition Mountains, shown here, offer breathtaking visu- als for sightseers and photographers. MESA CVB. scape – a region full of intrigue and awe that continues to inspire and amaze every day. Exploring the area’s scenic byways will weave hunts, to edible cactus lessons and even yoga performing arts studios and classrooms, infor- motorcoaches through an inter-connected in the desert. Guests can purchase snacks and mal performance areas, administrative sup- region of lakes, calm rivers, majestic moun- cold beverages, souvenirs and outdoor neces- port space, and a 700-foot Shadow Walk that tains and stunning canyons. sities like sunscreen, hats and water bottles. creates an inviting, shaded outdoor oasis plaza. Unique features of the Nature Center at Usery Bus tours can take in numerous complimen- Even though Mesa is in the heart of a Mountain include the Desert Hawk loop trail tary concerts at Mesa Arts Center including desert, visitors can take advantage of the that extends from the visitor center’s back the Out to Lunch series offered each spring city’s close proximity the ﬁfth largest forest patio – an area perfect for educational out- and fall on Thursdays at noon. In addition in the United States, the Tonto National For- reach programs. Other features include an there are live musical acts that perform on est. One of the most-visited “urban” forests outdoor amphitheatre for scheduled lectures the Shadow Walk as part of downtown Mesa’s in the U.S., the forest service oversees all and programming and a garden rooftop with “Second Friday” events held after dusk. the Mesa-area lakes including Saguaro and 12 solar panels and native plant species that Groups who want an experiential offering can Canyon lakes, and the lower Salt and Verde help with insulation, retention of rainwater, book time in the artist studios. Mesa Arts Cen- rivers. Groups love the serene setting at and helps reduce storm water runoff on the ter now offers a variety of classes and work- Saguaro Lake where there are more than site. Discount entry fees apply for large groups shops taught by talented instructors and 22 miles of cactus-studded shoreline to that will want to take advantage of the open- nationally-known artists speciﬁcally for groups. explore. Special discounts are offered to air ramadas. There are more than 70 sites to Experiences can include painting, printmak- motorcoach tours that book the Desert Belle choose from. Tour operators will want to ing, jewelry, glass blowing, ceramics and so experience. This 143-passenger, two-level inquire about tailored programs for their much more. These mini-workshops, recently vessel features two bathrooms, a snack bar groups that can utilize their scenic outdoor featured in AARP magazine, are tailored to and is fully air-conditioned for the guests amphitheatre and so much more. Phone (480) all skill levels with every experience promis- comfort. The Desert Belle offers two 90- 984-0032 or e-mail email@example.com- ing a memorable encounter with the arts. minute tours daily of Saguaro Lake with copa.gov for more information. There is on-site parking. To learn more about detailed narration on the Arizona wildlife, the Mesa Arts Center visit www.mesaarts- towering canyon walls and dramatic desert After a day in the desert, head to down- center.com. You can contact the box office vistas. Private charters are also available. town. Here, you can explore the stunning at (480) 644-6500. You can pack a lunch and bring it on board, Mesa Arts Center, a 212,755-square foot per- or plan to have it catered. Desert Belle works forming arts, visual arts, and arts education Rounding out Mesa’s top to-dos for groups with groups to make sure their food and bev- facility and the largest and most comprehen- are the numerous entertainment choices in erage needs are met before they set sail. For sive arts center in the state of Arizona. Located all corners of the city. From world-renowned information on group rates and reservations in the heart of downtown at Center and Main performers, The Duttons, who call Mesa phone (877) 749-2848. You can visit the streets, Mesa Arts Center reﬂects the city’s home each winter, to the showstoppers on Desert Belle’s Web site at www.saguro- rich tradition of family, community and pride. stage at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Mesa lake.com. An inviting oasis by day and a luminous bea- shines as a premier Southwest stop on any con by night, this central gathering place is tour. The city now boasts three of the largest To explore and learn about the vast Sono- designed to showcase a world of arts and cul- country music nightclubs in the Phoenix area ran Desert, a stop at the Nature Center at ture – everything from art exhibitions to world- including the 18,000-square foot Denim and Usery Mountain Regional Park is a must. This class performances to state-of-the-art studios Diamonds and continues to add attractions is the newest offering for Mesa-bound visitors for art education. The design of Mesa Arts each season for tourists and residents. For seeking insight into this magical landscape. Center was inspired by the unique character information on the Mesa, Arizona contact the Inside, rangers are on hand to guide guests of the Sonoran Desert – a rich desert, moun- Mesa Convention and Visitors Bureau at (480) on the best routes for exploring the 3,600- tain and canyon environment. The campus 827-4700 or online at www.VisitMesa.com. acre park. You can sign up for some unique includes a complex of four theaters, Mesa Tour planners, be sure to ask for your programming – everything from stargazing Contemporary Arts’ galleries and exhibition complimentary 2011 Mesa Planner Guide sessions, group guided hikes and scorpion space, two art studio buildings with visual and and Kit. ❑ 26 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Religious and Niche Tours T wo fast-growing markets for group tours are religious tours and niche tours. Tours that focus on special interests offer a wide range of potential attractions and activities for tour guests who often wish to expand their knowledge and faith with new experiences. Cross in the Woods National Shrine Indian River, Michigan The Cross in the Woods is one of Michi- gan's best known and most visited shrines. The shrine is located at 7078 M-68, two min- utes west of Interstate 75 exit 310 (Indian River). The Cross in the Woods is staffed by Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart, St. Louis, Missouri Province. It was declared a national shrine on September 15, 2006. The highlight of the shrine is a large wooden cross and bronze ﬁgure of Christ. It is one of the largest cruciﬁxes in the world at 51 feet high. The site also includes outdoor and indoor churches, numerous smaller shrines and a nun doll museum. The Cross in the Woods is open 365 days a year and the church built at this loca- tion holds masses every day, year-round. Each year between 275,000 and 325,000 people Your guests will be inspired and awestruck with a visit to a religious or niche attraction. come to visit the Cross in the Woods Shrine. The breathtaking Cross in the Woods National Shrine features the world’s largest cruciﬁx and is a wonder to behold. CROSS IN THE WOODS NATIONAL SHRINE. Motorcoach groups are welcome and encour- aged to visit this unique site of inspiration and Mary Immaculate, has the distinction of being more. Additionally, the Shrine Visitors Cen- faith. The site also features a gift shop offering the largest outdoor Catholic shrine in the ter, hotel, restaurant and gift shop offer groups a variety of beautiful religious items. There is no United States. The facilities and amenities are a complete experience on-site. Guided tours charge to visit the shrine. For more information enjoyed by people of all faiths, totaling more and meeting/banquet space are easily and details about the fascinating history of the than a million annually. Situated in a peace- arranged for groups. Cross in the Woods visit www.crossinthe- ful atmosphere on more than 200 beautifully woods.com or phone (231) 238 8973. landscaped acres, the shrine has a wide array Throughout the year, the shrine hosts of services to keep you spiritually and physi- many events that attract visitors from all National Shrine of Our Lady cally refreshed. over the world. Scheduling a visit around of the Snows one of these events makes your experience Belleville, Illinois The devotional areas include the Lourdes that much more enjoyable. Youth Sing Grotto, Shrine Church, Stations of the Cross, Praise in June and the Annual Novena in The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Millennium Spire, Annunciation Garden, November are favorites. From mid-Novem- Snows, owned by the Missionary Oblates of Agony Garden, Resurrection Garden and ber through early January, tours feature the 28 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Way of Lights, which tells the Christmas has become a destination for inspiration and story along a one-mile drive. This display shopping. features more than a million white lights, electro-art sculptures and life-size figures The Wreath Factory began in1983 to of the Nativity. Inside the Visitors Center raise funds for a small Wisconsin 4-H Club. are Christmas tree displays, choir perfor- Owner Michael Beeck made Christmas mances and activities for families. Outdoors wreaths for the group to sell at Christmas is a petting zoo and camel rides. A full and planted the seed for what today are The schedule of events can be found at Wreath Factory and Otter Creek Home and www.snows.org. Garden. While in the area, groups can include The Wreath Factory opened its current downtown Bellevlle, St. Peter’s Cathedral, location on Highway 57 just north of Ply- Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site, shop- mouth, beginning as a small, seasonal show- ping in Fairview Heights and many other his- room. It quickly grew a following from area toric sites and museums. locals and tourists visiting Elkhart Lake to the north and Kohler to east. The showroom For more information about the National was followed by an award-winning Garden Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows or other Center, blooming with unique plants, inno- sites in southwestern Illinois, phone the vative outdoor living ideas and creative Tourism Bureau at (618) 397-1488 or visit design. Creativity, premium select products www.thetourismbureau.org. and customer service are the trademarks at this now 16,000-square foot home and gar- The Wreath Factory den showroom. Menasha, Wisconsin and Plymouth, Wisconsin The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Nestled in downtown Menasha you will is situated on 200 beautifully-landscaped find a gem: The Wreath Factory of Whether it is during the blooming of acres. The outdoor shrine is the largest in Menasha. Opened in 2006, the location spring’s ﬁrst bulbs or the falling of winter’s the country and offers a wide array of services has already expanded into a second vintage ﬁrst snow, traditions have been made at The as well as tours and year-round events. storefront and opened a courtyard garden. NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF THE SNOWS. Wreath Factory. For some, it is a therapeu- Working alongside Menasha’s downtown tic visit in spring to see the ﬁrst signs of color re-vitalization efforts, the charming bou- after a long, gray winter. For others, it is buy- holiday season. Whatever the tradition is, tique stores offer the same imaginative ing a fresh Christmas wreath to initiate their no matter the season, The Wreath Factory product and customer service that defines all the other businesses. Both the Plymouth and Menasha locations have become regular stops on the bus tour circuits. Plymouth’s close proximity to sea- sonal favorites like Kohler’s Holiday Market and Elkhart Lake’s Old World Christmas at the Osthoff make it a Christmas time must. The Menasha store is equally favored at Christ- mas having the Fox Cities so close at hand. Yet no matter the season, inside or out, The Wreath Factory is a destination worth mak- ing a tradition. Visitors to the Learn more at www.wreathfactoryon- Wreath Factory can shop and browse a line.com. Phone the Menasha store at (920) delightful variety of 886-9989 and the Plymouth store at (920) colorful plants and 893-8700. ❑ decorations. With two locations, The Wreath Factory has become a popular stop on the bus tour circuit. THE WREATH FACTORY. Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 29 Be Transformed by the Land, Light and Legend of Taos, New Mexico Taos, New Mexico beckons travelers with its history, people and surreal beauty. The San Francisco de Asis Church has inspired many works of art and is a favorite subject of photographers. GERAINT SMITH. T aos land has beckoned for centuries. quistadores, from Kit Carson and the tales of Historic Taos Plaza has been the center of Native people built their adobe homes the Wild West, to Mabel Dodge Lujan, Geor- local trade and gossip for centuries. Today, the here more than 1,000 years ago, cre- gia O’Keeffe, Lady Dorothy Brett, Ansel Adams, old mercantile stores house colorful galleries, ating Taos Pueblo. In this high desert valley D.H. Lawrence and R.C. Gorman, become restaurants and shops. The plaza with its shaded and its mountains, people have found abun- immersed in the stories of the people, places central courtyard is the living, breathing heart dant resources and beauty. Their stewardship and history, - the tri-cultural lore that continues and soul of the old Spanish settlement in the of this land has created a year-round paradise to build today. Whether you come to experi- Taos Valley. Kit Carson Road, Bent Street, and for outdoor recreation, adventurists and those ence the tales of coyote or the Santa Fe Trail LeDoux Street lead to even more historic simply seeking to rejuvenate in sacred places. or current literary maters like author John homes, neighborhoods and shopping areas. Nichols, Taos it seems, has always been part of Contact the Taos Visitor Center at (575) 758- Taos light is like nowhere else. Particularly the memory and imagination of the Southwest. 3973 for more information. There is free park- when dawn breaks or at sunset, a special ing located behind the plaza on Camino de la “artists’ light” illuminates Taos, awakening Taos treasures its wild land covered in sil- Placita between Our Lady or Guadalupe Church the mind and spirit. The crisp mountain air very sagebrush, aspen, cottonwoods, ever- and Taos Elementary School. breathes life into a community of creators, greens, red clay earth and black volcanic rock thinkers and innovators. Taos is home to con- – and all the other high desert waters, air ﬂora, The Governor Bent Museum and Gallery temporary artists of all types and ones that and fauna that connect with it. The wonder- was once home of Charles Bent, New Mexico’s practice age-old traditions. This “light” also ful isolation has helped preserve the clean, ﬁrst territorial governor, who was killed during invigorates a community of physical and spir- high outdoors. If your group enjoys the out- the Taos Uprising of 1847. Inside you will ﬁnd itual health practitioners, and provides the doors, the recreational and sightseeing oppor- memorabilia and relics of the uprising, includ- background for retreat, meditation and inno- tunities are endless. ing a hole in the wall where some family mem- vative, rejuvenating spa treatments. bers escaped. The museum also includes the Attractions Bent Gallery of Western Art. Tours are self-guided The light is special here – and the region and are $1 for adults. The museum is a small enjoys an average of 300 days of it each year Taos Pueblo is the only living Native Amer- building so large groups will have to be split. – even between rain or snow. The skies and ican community designated both a World Her- Phone (505) 578-2376 for more information. light are brilliant and they feed an open, inde- itage Site by United Nations Educational, Sci- pendent western attitude, creative inspiration entiﬁc and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) A short distance from the Bent Museum is and a sense of rejuvenation. Whether you are and a National Historic Landmark. You will Kit Carson State Park and Cemetery. Many seeking a travel experience of cultural classes, find many shops and galleries along the famous Taos citizens are buried within the 25- art, unique shopping, museum strolling , spir- ground level of the multi-storied adobe acre grounds, including Kit Carson, Padre Mar- itual exploration or many other unique expe- dwellings that have been continuously inhab- tinez and art patroness, Mabel Dodge Luhan. riences, come to Taos and relax into it. ited for more than 1,000 years. Taos Pueblo Village has a parking lot on-site. Groups often Another notable historic site is San Fran- Taos legends abound and include Native take a self-guided walking tour; a suggested cisco de Asis Church, also known locally as St. Americans, traders, trappers, Spanish explor- map is located at www.taospueblo.com. The Francis Church or Ranchos Church, which is ers, a broken wagon wheel and all the inde- village is open daily for tours but closes for located in nearby Ranchos de Taos. This beau- pendent characters who followed with their tribal rituals and for a 10-week span in late tiful structure is one of the most photographed stories. The threads of these tales woven winter/early spring. The group rate is $8 per and painted churches in the world and is an together create the fabric of Taos lore today. person and there is a $6 camera fee (this important stop for visual artists around the includes cell phone cameras and video Taoseños and their stories are legendary. recorders). To learn more contact the Taos Continued on page 36 From the Pueblo peoples to the Spanish Con- Pueblo Tourism Office at (575) 758-1028. 30 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 31 20 Tips for Bus Tour Planners by Dr. Charleen Jaeb 20 Tips for Gathering Feedback must be approached carefully. You can offer identify the needs and suggestions to accom- coupons, discounts or freebies to those cus- modate them. When you have accurate, balanced and tomers who post a review online or ﬁll out worthwhile information from your customers an evaluation form; however it should not 8. Use questionnaires or surveys. Get- and employees, you put yourself ahead of be stipulated that it must be a positive review. ting customers to put their thoughts in writ- your competition. It is important to discover If worded “Leave us a great review, and you ing on a questionnaire or survey is one of the customer wants and needs before you spend get $5 off your next trip,” it is a bribe. A most well established feedback techniques. time and money planning a trip. You may popular incentive is to put respondents’ That is because when well conducted, they deliver the best service and trips in the world, names in a monthly drawing for a chance to work. Ideally surveys should be personalized but if it is not what people want, you may be win money, a discount off a trip or a small by name, short (one page), fast and easy to wasting your time. gift. complete, clear and easy to read (5th grade level), conﬁdential and from a trusted source Feel free to use some or all of these 20 5. Solicit customer testimonials. (you or your company). tips to get more customer reviews. It shows When a client or customer offers praise or people you care about their opinions. It is a positive verbal feedback, ask whether they 9. Request information on ques- great way to improve your visibility and rank- would be willing to be quoted online and e- tionnaires. Included on trip survey forms ings and remind folks you are still in busi- mail them a link where they can post a review. distributed on the bus should be a place for ness. Your service, product and sales will If they make a positive comment on your Web information about the responder (name, improve rapidly. page or trip evaluation forms, ask if you may address, phone number and e-mail address), quote them. You would be surprised how name and date of trip, rating of the services 1. Plan the what, why, who, how, many people are happy to recommend a and personnel on the trip, how they heard when and where of collecting your feed- product or service they really like. To increase of the trip, recommendations of organiza- back. Put it in writing; e.g. what infor- credibility ask permission to use their name tions that could beneﬁt from being contacted mation you want, what you plan to do with or initials or location. You might put together and suggestions for new trips. Include space it, who you want it from (customers, poten- a little booklet for your office that includes tes- for open-ended feedback such as comments, tial customers, employees, public), how it will timonials along with information about the suggestions or why they chose your com- be collected (surveys, observation, conversa- history, trips, officers and publicity about your pany’s trip. tion), when it will be collected (most often on organization. a constant basis) and where you will collect it 10. Keep usage statistics. The most (online, on the bus, at meetings, in the media, 6. Be your own customer. One of the important current information on whether by mail). Involve other knowledgeable peo- most obvious but underused ways to ﬁnd out your customers are satisﬁed with your service ple in making your decisions. Look at cus- what your customers experience when they is whether they continue to buy from you or tomer feedback forms from other companies. use your service is to be a customer your- use your services. However, it is no guaran- self. You can take a trip your bus company tee that you are delivering the product or ser- 2. Ask them. The simplest way to ﬁnd sets up as a passenger or on another bus vice that the customer really wants. It may be out what people want from your service or company to see what they do differently. that you are at present the only supplier in product is to ask them. That is what the cor- Successful retail stores and fast food chains the market, or that you are the cheapest or ner drugstore does when I pick up my pho- often use “secret shoppers.” The TV show the most convenient. If some trips ﬁll on a tographs, the department store does when I “Undercover Boss” is a fun example of this yearly basis, read their evaluation forms to make a purchase, the travel company does technique. see what they liked the most and if changes when I exit the cruise ship and the bus com- were suggested. Contact past passengers who pany does when I return from a trip. Ask and 7. Use focus groups. Focus groups are took those trips if a similar trip is booked act on the answers. made up of customers, potential customers because many satisﬁed passengers go again or employees whose job is to provide you and/or recommend it to their friends. 3. Respond to feedback promptly with information on their needs and prefer- and appropriately. Do not let the conver- ences. Focus groups usually deal with one 11. Use your front-line staff, your sations online or on evaluation forms go unan- project or problem such as dropping sales drivers, and your escorts. This group swered. Thank users for positive reviews in a certain area, increased complaints, of people is the most resourceful and reli- posted. Contact reviewers who post negative turnover or new destinations. When dealing able, as well as the least costly, of your cus- comments with an incentive to change their with employee groups, involve people from tomer feedback sources. Front-line staff review. Consider offering them a discount on different areas such as sales, trip planners, should be encouraged to build strong rela- a trip or special services that will help them accounting, drivers and officers. Different tionships with customers so that customers change their opinion about your company. customers have different wants and needs – feel free to share how they feel about the some only want one-day trips or weekend service. It is then possible for the front-line 4. Offer incentives – not bribes. For trips or trips with certain escorts or trips that staff to feed back important information for those customers who hesitate ﬁlling out forms can accommodate handicapped individuals improving customer care and for managers online or on the bus, a small incentive could or certain pick-up locations or trips that offer to make use of what they tell them. There give them the push they need. Ethically, this something new or exciting. Focus groups is also a value in looking after front-line staff. 32 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 20 Tips for Bus Tour Planners Businesses where customer satisfaction is it to many groups. Test runs can pinpoint “K.I.S.S., Keep it simple, stupid.“ –Anony- high are invariably the same businesses the omissions or weaknesses in your survey. mous where staff satisfaction is high. It can also suggest added questions and bet- “You have to know what to do with the ter wording of questions. Send a reminder stuff before you collect it.” – Mark Twain 12. Put a customer response box on to people who have not responded to mail “Inquiring minds want to know.” The your Web site, Facebook page and/or or e-mail surveys. Enclose another copy of National Enquirer trip receipts. Put it on the front page and the survey in case the original was deleted make it appealing. Monitor them daily and or thrown away. Thanks for reading the column and send- provide fast feedback. ing me your feedback. I would like to devote 18. Consider using a professional my September 2011 column (which is due 13. Cut down on negativity. Compa- survey company and/or use previously from me in July) to answering your questions nies have little control over what is posted about collected information. Googling “Collecting about planning bus tours or about me. My e- them online but by engaging directly with your Feedback” can ﬁnd names of professional sur- mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. My home public, you can respond to negative reviews vey companies such as Survey Monkey or address is 7619 Saratoga Road. Middleburg quickly and minimize their impact. Almost every Zoomerang. Some do it for free. Previously Heights, OH 44130. ❑ business creates a couple of dissatisﬁed cus- published information includes information tomers, and the more malicious ones could from the Census, surveys made by trade orga- post negative reviews that harm your business nizations and your own internal records. reputation. The best way to minimize their With degrees from four universities, Dr. impact is to get many more positive reviews 19. Keep up to date on travel Charleen Jaeb has been a business pro- than negative ones. Correct misinformation trends. Read travel publications like this fessor at Cuyahoga Community College. immediately and tactfully. If you are wrong, one, business magazines, newspapers, bus After her retirement in 2000, she became admit it, agree it should not have happened company catalogs, travel messages from a trip planner for the CCC retirees and and tell them what you will do about it. your inbox and mail, and stories and articles Middleburg Heights Women’s Club, ﬁll- on the Internet. Keep your eyes and ears ing as many as 15 buses each year. Jaeb 14. Provide a suggestion box. Sug- open when watching TV and talking with and her husband now escort trips for gested locations are the reception area, travel friends and travel professionals. Lakefront Lines in Cleveland, Ohio. She office or the bus company waiting room. It says, “It is wonderful and somewhat unbe- should be checked regularly and acknowl- 20. Quotes to note: lievable in retirement to be able to do what edgement given to the person making the you love to do and get paid for doing it.” suggestion. A well-known large grocery store “Trust but verify” -Richard Nixon on the East Coast emptied their suggestion box daily, had it typed up and distributed to the managers of all departments the next day. To get meaningful ideas (although many might be critical), anonymous suggestions should be allowed. Back when I was a secretary at The Timken Company, we not only had sugges- tions boxes, we had a Suggestion Department that interviewed everyone who made a sug- gestion, evaluated the ideas, and gave recog- nition and monetary rewards for the best ones. 15. Evaluate the responses. Did you get the quantity and quality of responses you expected? Were the results worth the time and money it took to get them? Were your objectives met? Were there problems brought up you were unaware of? Were there sug- gestions to reduce costs, increase sales, cus- tomer satisfaction or services that should be implemented? 16. Recommend, record and imple- ment changes. Keep written records of the survey from conception to completion. To make surveys more credible record the num- ber, names and type of people surveyed, responses received, the cost of the survey and actions taken as a result of the survey. Possi- ble actions will vary and could include adding new destinations or pick-up points, adding eliminating, or training personnel, changing services or trying new promotion methods. 17. Make a trial run of the survey. Try it out on a smaller group before sending Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 33 Bus and Group Tours Wanted PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP WITH US Dine • Stay • Visit The locations listed here invite your bus and group tours to stop in for a visit and enjoy what they have to offer. Please contact them for additional information. If you would like to place advertising in this section, please contact a B U S TOURS MAGAZINE Account Executive at 815.946.2341. DO IT in The Prehistoric Museum in Price offers you the best of BOTH worlds Dinosaurs, Ice Age & Archaeology For information on this exciting venue or the many others Castle Country offers, call today, an Area Specialist is waiting to assist you. castlecountry.com 435-636-3701 - 800-842-0789 Taos ontinued from page 30 world. It was visited by such arts legends as Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. While there, be sure to visit the famed Mystery Paint- You can visit a unique ing, which is housed in an adjacent building. earthship home when The church and it grounds are surrounded by you visit Taos. These specially-built a plaza of historic adobe homes and shops. To dwellings are made of schedule a group visit contact the Parish Office recycled materials and at (575) 758-2754. The church has a large, allow their owners to on-site parking lot and has a visitor center live in harmony with located to left of the church itself. environment. COURTESY OF GRIFFIN AND ASSOCI- The awe-inspiring Rio Grande Gorge Bridge ATES. is the second highest cantilever bridge in the U.S. The bridge towers 650 feet above the river. The bridge has viewing areas on both sides with ample parking and turnaround areas. The view from the center of the bridge is not for those with fear of heights but is one of the 1800s. The museum parking lot is located Native American neighbors, adventure tours, most spectacular sights to be found anywhere. on-site. For more information phone (575) art immersion, ﬁne dining, indulgent spa expe- 758-0505. riences and spiritual quests. A program can be From the bridge you can continue two miles customized for your target audience that is sure west on US 64 for the Greater World Earthship The Museum Association of Taos offers a to provide them with wonderful lifelong mem- Biotecture Tour. The earthship is a radically sus- combination package which includes admis- ories. In addition, the location makes a perfect tainable home made of recycled materials. It cre- sion to the Millicent Rogers Museum, La “jumping off point” for many kinds of Four ates electricity from the sun and wind, collects Hacienda de los Martinez as well as Taos Art Corners area adventures offering programs water from rain and uses it four times. These Museum, Harwood Art Museum and Blu- just two to three hours from Taos. homes manage sewage in botanical planter treat- menschien Museum and House for $25 dol- ment sites, generate cooling from the sun and lars a person. Visit www.taosmuseums.org Sample tour itineraries can be viewed the earth and grow food for their owners both for more information. atwww.taossacredplaces and include themes inside and outside. Such dwellings can be built such as Mabel Dodge Luhan’s Taos, Sacred anywhere in the world and allow their owners With a rich a history and an amazing pres- Architecture, Spiritual Quest Encounter, Taos to live in harmony with the environment. To ence, Taos offers more at a workable price- Adult Learning, Taos Alternative Technolo- learn more contact (575) 751-0462 or e-mail point, than almost any destination of compa- gies Tour, Taos Southwest Cultural/Archeo- email@example.com. The visitor center rable size. Taos Sacred Places logical Tour, Wild West and more. parking lot is located on the right. (www.taossacredplaces.com) offers more than 19 individualized or customizable tours, from You can also visit www.taosvaca- The Millicent Rogers Museum, named for half-day, self-guided programs to multi-night tionguide.com for information about these and art patron Millicent Rogers who settled in Taos stays. These feature everything from eco- many other attractions in the area as well as a in 1947, contains one of America’s foremost tourism and “voluntourism,” to educational listing of dining and lodging properties. For plan- Southwestern arts and design collections. It immersion programs including everything from ning information and assistance contact the Taos has grown to include traditional and con- ancient archeology to the living present of Visitor Center at (575) 758-3873. ❑ temporary Hispanic religious and domestic arts, pottery, painting, photography and graphics, plus a wide range of arts and crafts from the many cultures of northern New Mex- ico. The group rate is $4 per person and reser- vations should be made at least 30 days in advance. Docent-led tours are available at no additional cost. The museum is set up for self- guided tours as well. The site’s parking lot can accommodate buses and is located next to the museum. Groups can be dropped off and picked up at the building’s entrance. Contact Carmela Quinto at (575) 758-2462 to make a reservation. For more information visit www.millicentrogers.org. La Hacienda de los Martinez is one of the few late Spanish Colonial “Great Houses” in the northern New Mexico style remaining in the American Southwest. Built in 1804, many believe this trading center was the end of El Casino Real (The Royal Road) from Mexico. Severino Martinez built his hacienda with thick adobe walls in a fortress style. It was also head- quarters for ranching and farming operations. Today the hacienda’s 21 rooms, surrounding two courtyards, provide the visitor with a rare glimpse of the rugged frontier life of the early 36 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 Bus Tours’ Planner’s Guide NEW YORK CITY – The Big Apple 10128 FLORIDA– Orlando 32819 MISSISSIPPI – Natchez 39120 Harlem Specialists, The Bronx, Brooklyn. Expe- Formerly Quality Inn Plaza, newly renovated and upgraded to AAA Largest collection of most extravagant antebellum mansions & rienced Tour Planners/Operators. Receptive 3 Diamond features many group-friendly amenities: fridge, micro, gardens in America on 200 ft. bluffs overlooking Mississippi River; Services including Licensed Step-On Guides. free Wi-Fi, buffet with group discount, bar, 24 deli/mkt., coffee bar breathtaking views. Beautiful historic downtown & garden district; *Groups booking 3 or more services get a Free & playground. Free parking. 1/20 comp. www.roseninn9000.com. exquisite churches. Southern charm, great food, fall & spring home Central Park or Ground “0” Walking Tour. Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando tours; custom tours year-round NEW YORK: CITY OF SPLENDOR GROUP TOURS 9000 Int’l Drive (866) 847-8585, Ext. 1026 Natchez Pilgrimage Tours www. equator3.com- - - - - - - - - - (212) 348-5449 firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Waheeda Gines www.natchezpilgrimage.com (800) 647-6742 MARYLAND – Historic Annapolis 21401 FLORIDA – Kissimmee 34744 ILLINOIS – Staved Rock/Utica 61373 Established in 1750, the tavern is full of historic charm. View Experience a real ﬂea market! 900 booths under 1 roof. Free “Tribute to the Stars” musical matinees, great our group menus for your next historic tour. Plenty of shopping entertainment•parking•admission! Specializing in antiques, shopping, located at the crossroads of I-80 & I-39. and sightseeing. Contact Banquet Dept. – Chris. collectibles, new & used merchandise, FL and Disney sou- Free coach parking. Group discounts. Trolley tours, www.middletontavern.com venirs. Bus tour deals available. FRI.-SUN., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. historic landmark, senior overnight rates. Book now Middleton Tavern www.osceolaﬂeaandfarmersmarket.com. for 2011. 2 Marketspace – On the City Dock Osceola Flea and Farmers Market Starved Rock Lodge (410) 263-3323 (410) 263-9771 2801 E. Irlo Bronson Hwy. (407) 846-2811 www.starvedrocklodge.com (815) 220-7386 MARYLAND – Crisﬁeld 21817 TENNESSEE – Kingsport 37660 MISSOURI – Branson 65615 Wonders of the Chesapeake. For a quick bite or Conveniently located in northeast Tennessee. Branson Vacation Company/Edgewood Receptive Service has the full course, discover one of the East Coast’s Enjoy a wedding, a murder and a meeting with over 25 years of experience in Branson hospitality and leads best kept secrets. www.oldecrisﬁeld.com wolves. Come experience true Southern the way in negotiated wholesale FIT and group packages. hospitality in Kingsport. Branson Vacation Company and Old Crisﬁeld Crabhouse Edgewood Receptive Service 204 S 10th St. Kingsport Convention and Visitors Bureau P.O. Box 2290, 2315 Green Mountain Dr. (800) 627-4596 (410) 968-2722F visitkingsport.com (800) 743-5282 Contact: Marilyn Mahoney or Reta White Advertiser’s Index AZ State Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Mississippi Explorer Cruises . . . . . . . .35 Adirondack Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Mountain Ranch Resort . . . . . . . . . . .15 Algoma Central Railways . . . . . . . . . .11 Mt. Lemon Sky Center . . . . . . . . . . .36 Bear Lake CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Muhammad Ali Center . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Belle of Louisville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Museum of Bus Transportation . . . . .23 Berkeley Chamber of Commerce . . . .20 National Shrine of the Cross Biloxi Shrimping Trip LLC . . . . . . . . .20 in the Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Blennerhassett Hotel, The . . . . . . . . .23 North Dakota State Tourism . . . . . . .16 Buca di Beppo Restaurant . . . . . . . . .18 Orange Blossom Trail Music Hall . . . .24 Cache Valley Visitors Bureau . . . . . . .15 Peace Bridge Duty Free . . . . . . . . . . .40 Captain’s Quarters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Piccadilly Restaurants LLC . . . . . . . . .18 Carbon County Travel Bureau . . . . . .34 Pinnacle Peak Restaurant . . . . . . . . .33 Celebration Belle River Cruises . . . . .34 Queen Creek Olive Mill . . . . . . . . . . .34 Chautauqua Institution . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Rio Cibolo Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Dublin Dr. Pepper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 River Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Dubuque River Rides . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 San Antonio Rose Live Durbin & Greenbriar Productions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Valley Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Schnepf Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 East Troy Railroad Museum . . . . . . . .13 Shrine of Christ’s Passion, The . . . . . .2 Elk City, OK CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Spirit of Peoria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Emery County Travel Bureau . . . . . . .34 Starved Rock Lodge & Conf Ctr . . . .25 Georgia Dept. of Economic Dev . . . .39 Statesboro, Georgia CVB . . . . . . . . .18 Goodtime Lake Erie Island Cruises . . .11 Tamarisk Restaurant, The . . . . . . . . .37 Intercontinental Tampa . . . . . . . . . . .35 Tennessee Riverboat Company . . . . .35 Jacksonville, IL CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Town of Taos, New Mexico . . . . . . . .31 Kane County Travel Council . . . . . . .34 U.S. Naval Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 King Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Uintah County Travel & Tourism . . . .13 LaQuinta Inn Lexington South . . . . .31 Union Station, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Living Word Outdoor Drama, The . . .29 Utah Festival Opera Company . . . . . .15 Louisville Stoneware . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Visit Norfolk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 McHenry County CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 West Virginia State Parks . . . . . . . . . .35 Mesa CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Wreath Factory at Otter Creek, The . .31 Miromar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 37 Luxury Made Affordable Peace Bridge Duty Free When travelling to the United States, be sure to include Peace Bridge Duty Free on your itinerary. Located on the Canadian side of the Peace Bridge crossing into Buffalo, NY. The fastest, most convenient border crossing in Niagara with direct routing to Interstate 90 East and West. 28,000 sq ft of Tax & Duty Free shopping Dedicated Motor Coach clearance lanes through US Customs Full service Tim Hortons & McDonald’s Sit-down Food Court Modern, touchless restrooms Dedicated Motor Coach parking ATM, Currency Exchange Our Premium Motor Coach Incentive Program includes: Curbside welcome and brief store overview 2 Duty Free Gift Certi cate drawings for your passengers 10% on-the-spot cash commission, split between the motor coach driver and tour leader Bonus complimentary gift Our entire team is ready to serve you and your valued clients. Call or email to pre-register your motor coach today. Toll Free 1-800-361-1302 email@example.com The Fastest Way to the USA ~ Follow the QEW to Fort Erie / Buffalo – Exit Duty Free Way 1-800-361-1302 www.dutyfree.ca Visit us at www.bustoursmagazine.com Bus Tours Magazine 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064 May, 2011 Elk City, Oklahoma See our ad on page 38 Mesa, Arizona See our ad on page 27 Town of Taos, New Mexico See our ad on page 31 Peace Bridge Duty Free See our ad on page 40 McHenry County, Illinois See our ad on page 07 Fill out the Reader Service Card on the back wrapper. Tour planners may be eligible to win an interesting personal fam tour. Reader Service Card Complete and return for more information on products and services Mail to: Bus Tours Magazine, 9698 W. Judson Road, Polo, Illinois 61064 or fax to (815) 946-2347 Are you interested in participating in a Tour Planner Fam Tour? Use your Reader Service card to obtain more information on the products and Check out the tours available on the reverse side and check the boxes services advertised in this issue. below if you are interested in winning one of these fam tours. 1. Check the items on your reader serv- ice card for which you would like more ❐ North Dakota Badlands -- Medora, North Dakota information. ❐ Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad – West Virginia 2. Print or type your name in the box at left. 3. Detach card from magazine and mail or fax. Please print all information to insure correct response. 4. Your name and address will be given to the advertisers you have selected and Name/Title they will send you more information on Firm/Organization what they have advertised or will contact Address you by phone. 5. If you are interested in participating in a tour planner fam tour, check out the City, State, Zip available trips on the reverse and check the Area Code & Phone No. appropriate box at the upper left. Comments ❑ AZ State Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 ❑ Goodtime Lake Erie ❑ Piccadilly Restaurants LLC . . . . . .18 ❑ Adirondack Museum . . . . . . . . . .13 Island Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 ❑ Pinnacle Peak Restaurant . . . . . .33 ❑ Algoma Central Railways . . . . . . .11 ❑ Intercontinental Tampa . . . . . . . .35 ❑ Queen Creek Olive Mill . . . . . . . .34 ❑ Bear Lake CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 ❑ Jacksonville, IL CVB . . . . . . . . . .25 ❑ Rio Cibolo Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . .20 ❑ Belle of Louisville . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 ❑ Kane County Travel Council . . . .34 ❑ River Cruises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 ❑ Berkeley Chamber ❑ King Ranch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 ❑ San Antonio Rose Live of Commerce . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 ❑ LaQuinta Inn Lexington South . .31 Productions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 ❑ Biloxi Shrimping Trip LLC . . . . .20 ❑ Living Word ❑ Schnepf Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 ❑ Blennerhassett Hotel, The . . . . . .23 Outdoor Drama, The . . . . . . . . .29 ❑ Shrine of Christ’s Passion, The . . .2 ❑ Buca di Beppo Restaurant . . . . . .18 ❑ Louisville Stoneware . . . . . . . . . . .9 ❑ Spirit of Peoria . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 ❑ Cache Valley Visitors Bureau . . . .15 ❑ McHenry County CVB . . . . . . . . .7 ❑ Starved Rock Lodge ❑ Captain’s Quarters . . . . . . . . . . .34 ❑ Mesa CVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 & Conf Ctr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 ❑ Carbon County Travel Bureau . . .34 ❑ Miromar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 ❑ Statesboro, Georgia CVB . . . . . .18 ❑ Celebration Belle River Cruises . .34 ❑ Mississippi Explorer Cruises . . . . .35 ❑ Tamarisk Restaurant, The . . . . . .37 ❑ Chautauqua Institution . . . . . . . .34 ❑ Mountain Ranch Resort . . . . . . .15 ❑ Tennessee Riverboat Company . .35 ❑ Dublin Dr. Pepper . . . . . . . . . . . .5 ❑ Mt. Lemon Sky Center . . . . . . . .36 ❑ Town of Taos, New Mexico . . . . .31 ❑ Dubuque River Rides . . . . . . . . .12 ❑ Muhammad Ali Center . . . . . . . .35 ❑ U.S. Naval Academy . . . . . . . . .13 ❑ Durbin & Greenbriar ❑ Museum of Bus Transportation . . .23 ❑ Uintah County Travel & Tourism .13 Valley Railroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 ❑ National Shrine of the Cross ❑ Union Station, The . . . . . . . . . . .16 ❑ East Troy Railroad Museum . . . . .13 in the Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 ❑ Utah Festival Opera Company . . .15 ❑ Elk City, OK CVB . . . . . . . . . . .38 ❑ North Dakota State Tourism . . . .16 ❑ Visit Norfolk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 ❑ Emery County Travel Bureau . . . .34 ❑ Orange Blossom Trail ❑ West Virginia State Parks . . . . . .35 ❑ Georgia Department. Music Hall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 ❑ Wreath Factory of Economic Dev . . . . . . . . . . . .39 ❑ Peace Bridge Duty Free . . . . . . .40 at Otter Creek, The . . . . . . . . . .31 Fill out and return the Reader Service Card on the reverse and check the appropriate box to be eligible to win one of the compli- mentary fam (tour planner familiarization) tours listed below. Tour planner is responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the departure/arrival point. Durbin & Greenbrier Experience the History of Railroad – West Virginia WIN the Wild West in the WIN Day 1 – Confederate County North Dakota Badlands The four-day, three-night tour West Virginia Mountain Highlands adven- ture begins in Romney, West Virginia. Recount tales of bygone times Medora, North Dakota among the tombstones of unknown Confederate soldiers at the Indian Mound Cemetery where you will see the first monument erected to the This two-person, one and one-half day, two-night fam trip includes Confederacy. See Stonewall Jackson's headquarters, West Virginia meals, lodging, transportation and an array of group tour sights and School for the Blind, and the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad depot. activities throughout Historic Medora in the North Dakota Lodging is at South Branch Inn in Moorefield with dinner. Badlands. Day 2 – Gems, Cave, and Giant Cliffs Day 1 Shop for treasures at Southside Depot offering everything from aromat- Upon arrival you will be taken on a tour of Historic Medora to see the ic candles to antiques and fine art. Make sure you visit the caboose, too. number of historic buildings and features of this Badlands town. Then, it is on to the rustic elegance of Smoke Hole Caverns and Resort. Many aspects remain the same or have been renovated to reflect the look and feel of the 1880s when Theodore Roosevelt fell in love with Visit the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, learning about the Native the area. After the tour of the city, you will be taken on a tour of the Americans and rocky cliff formations. Lunch is at Seneca Caverns Chateau de Mores, which is the historical home of the founder of Restaurant. Step beneath the earth into Seneca Caverns for an enter- Medora, the Marquis de Mores, and his wife, Medora herself. After taining tour specifically designed with seniors in mind. Then, try your exploring this Palace in the Badlands, it will be time to head up atop hand at panning for gems. Find just about anything you would need the buttes to the Tjaden Terrace for a truly unique dining experience, to stake your WV claim at Harper’s Old Country Store. Arrive in the Pitchfork Steak Fondue. After the Fondue you will have the Elkins and check into Holiday Inn Express for a two-night stay. Have a opportunity to take a guided tour behind the scenes of the “Medora mouth-watering dinner at 1863 Tavern at Elkins Motor Lodge. Musical.” After this final tour of the day, the “Greatest Show in the West” starts promptly at 8:30 p.m. MDT. Day 3 – A Steam Train, Memorable Music and Extraterrestrials Day 2 Historic Beverly in the Tygart Valley, was the crossroads of Indian trails Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Chuckwagon Buffet to start the day and the movement West. In Durbin, hop on board the Durbin Rocket right. After breakfast you will be taken on a drive through the Excursion Train. Your ride offers many beautiful views in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park's 36-mile scenic loop. After expe- Monongahela National Forest. Visit the National Radio Astronomy riencing the beauty of the Badlands, take a tour of the Billings Observatory in Green Bank, one of the world's premier research facilities County Museum and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame to dis- for radio astronomy, where they are "listening" for life on other planets. cover the history of the area between Teddy Roosevelt’s and the Marquis' time to the present. For lunch take in one of the downtown Make a stop at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, an old lumber camp dining locations including the Chuckwagon Buffet, Badlands Pizza town to see exhibits and to visit the old general store. The town is vir- Parlor or Maltese Burger. After lunch, enjoy either the one-man show tually unchanged since its boom days. exploring the life of Theodore Roosevelt called “Bully the Play,” or a comedy and magic show called “Comedy Corner” depending on This afternoon, you will think you are on the top of the world at the day of the week. If you are in Medora on the weekend there is Snowshoe Mountain Resort, one of the premier ski resorts of the East. also the opportunity to attend the “Footsteps into Medora's Past: Return to Elkins before dinner at Graceland Inn. Recollections of Murder and Mayhem” show at the Billings County Museum which explores the trial of the Marquis de Mores charged Day 4 – Where the Deer and the Artists Play with the murder of Riley Lufsey. After the show explore the many What a great way for a day to start at the morning show at American gift shops throughout Medora. At the end of the day, you will enjoy Mountain Theater, travelling through America’s musical past. dinner at one of the downtown dining locations that you missed for lunch, or experience fine dining at Theodore's Dining Room in the Visit the depot of the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad where you Rough Riders Hotel. will watch the boarding of the New Tygart Flyer. See the amazing art- work and crafts at Artists at Work, a co-operative of local artisans. For more information on Medora visit www.Medora.com or phone (800) MEDORA-1 Do not be surprised if a deer walks up to you at Canaan Valley Resort. Have lunch and tour the resort that offers skiing, wagon rides, marsh- mallow bonfires and a chairlift ride for your groups. If you would like to offer your own fam tour to tour For more information contact JoAnn Peterson, Mountaineer Country planner readers of Bus Tours Magazine, contact your Bus Tours at (304) 329-6330; firstname.lastname@example.org or Bonnie Tours Magazine advertising account executive for details Branciaroli, Mountain Highlands CVB at (304) 636-8400; and availability. email@example.com.