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					                           Volume XXXII, Number 5 • May/June 2011

  Bus Tours Magazine
             Serving bus and group tour planners since 1979
                      Visit us at


               • 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:

              Advertising                                                                                        Features
         Central/International – (815) 946-2341                                                                            Experience It All in Louisville
                 West                                                                                            Museums, horse racing and world-famous base- – (815) 946-2341                                                                              ball bats are only part of what makes vivacious
               Midwest                                                                                           Louisville, Kentucky a group tour favorite. . . . . . . . .6 – (815) 946-2341
              Northeast – (815) 946-2341                                                                           Explore West Virginia’s Ohio
              Southeast                                                                                          River Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 – (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
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                                                                        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
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                                                                        20 Tips (by Dr. Charleen Jaeb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
dress and computer number) as well as new address.
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   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-
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                                                                        Down the Road . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
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                                                                                                                                                   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 (, 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
(, 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-
(, 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           ( and Holyoke’s Volley-            explore the role that women have played in
(, a series of larger-than-    ball Hall of Fame ( 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 (,            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-, 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                      from around the world about the history and
Springfield’s Storrowton Village Museum                                                                continuing significance of rock and roll music.
(, 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 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                   ❑
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.

      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                                    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
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
   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 for more infor-
building and free parking is nearby (instruc-                                                         mation.
tions will be given). Visit www.sluggermu- 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                       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- 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, 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 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 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
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
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
                                                                                                           professionals/tools/index.aspx.              ❑

                                                                                                                      Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 9
       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 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-

    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

            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-
                                                                                           , phone (800) 331-1467 or visit

12 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011
Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 13
 Outdoor Paradise

       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
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
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

        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
                                                         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- 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                          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
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 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 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            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               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         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
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
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             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
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 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               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 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    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 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 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 or phone (304)             more information go to or              videos on their Web site at
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 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
information on rates and fees visit www.             and its history. Once inside, guests can enjoy                   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 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           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                  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 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

   December 5-9, 2011. NTA Conec-
tion. Los Vegas, Nevada.

  January 6-10, 2012. American Bus
Association Marketplace. Grapevine,
Texas. For more information visit

  February 24-26, 2012. Heartland
Travel Showcase. Knoxville, Ten-
nessee. For more infor mation visit

  There is more in
  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

 • Group Rates • Gift Shop •
   Luncheons • Meetings •

       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-                                                     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                                                             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

                                                                                                                                                                  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 You can
                                                                                                                                                               also phone the Wheeling CVB at (800)
                                                                                                                                                               828-3097.                                 ❑
24 • Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011
Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 25
 A Land of Culture
       and Contrasts

      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 userypark@mail.mari-             ing a memorable encounter with the arts.
minute tours daily of Saguaro Lake with  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- 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                                         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
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

      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 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                                                                                         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                                                                              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 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

                                                                                                                Bus Tours Magazine / May, 2011 • 29
  by the Land,
   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

       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 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 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

   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
         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

DO IT in
The Prehistoric Museum in Price offers you the
            best of BOTH worlds

                   Ice Age &
  For information on this exciting venue or the
         many others Castle Country offers,
call today, an Area Specialist is waiting to assist you.
    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
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           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- The visitor center         rable     size.    Taos    Sacred      Places   logical Tour, Wild West and more.
parking lot is located on the right.                 ( 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 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

   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.            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. - - - - - - - - - (212) 348-5449                     Contact: Waheeda Gines       (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,                                           venirs. Bus tour deals available. FRI.-SUN., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.              historic landmark, senior overnight rates. Book now
                  Middleton Tavern                                                           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           (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.                           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                                 (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

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Bus Tours Magazine
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                     May, 2011

            Elk City, Oklahoma
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         Peace Bridge Duty Free
                  See our ad on page 40

         McHenry County, Illinois
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                                                                                                      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
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                                                                                                      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.

❑ 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 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; or Bonnie                Tours Magazine advertising account executive for details
Branciaroli, Mountain Highlands CVB at (304) 636-8400;                       and availability.