Escape Artists offers up a global discourse ranging from great finds close to home to adventures far afield. You'll find weekly travel deals here, too. Share your road wisdom, rave about great finds and rant about roadblocks that get in the way of a great trip.

Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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Posts about U.S. travel

Megabus moving to Union Depot in St. Paul

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: January 23, 2014 - 2:14 PM

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul is about to get a bit more traffic. Megabus, which famoulsy offers fares beginning at $1 to Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee, will relocate its St. Paul arrival and departures to the depot, at 214 4th St. E., effective Jan. 29. The buses had been using the parking lot of the Midway Shopping Center.

The 1920s Union Depot has been restored and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon, it will also host Amtrak train passengers.  

“We are pleased to offer a more convenient, sheltered location in St. Paul for customers departing/arriving to the area,” said Mike Alvich,’s Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations. “Union Depot is a beautiful facility where customers can safely relax prior to boarding.”

The terminal building offers free Wi-fi, power outlets, comfortable seating, a Greek restaunt and 24-hour security. 

Cowboys explore future of rural communities

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: January 16, 2014 - 10:43 AM

The wonderful, colorful National Cowboy Poetry Gathering convenes for its 30th year Jan. 27-Feb.1 in Elko, Nev., and this time around will focus on the future of rural agricultural communities and the next generation of cowboys and ranchers. Jessie Veeder, a 29-year-old who writes and sings about life on the family ranch in North Dakota, will be among the artists there to celebrate traditions of ranching and cowboy culture in the American West. A gallery exhibition will also bring together more than 50 leather carvers, rawhide braiders, metal workers and the like, all under the age of 40. In addition to poetry, music, handcrafted gear, hands-on workshops and films, the poetry gathering, put on by the Western Folklife Center, will offer discussions about how to keep young people working on the ranch and how those who have stayed are making ends meet.

Tickets to the 30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering can be purchased at, by calling 775-738-7508, toll-free 888-880-5885, or by stopping in to the Western Folklife Center’s ticket office, 501 Railroad Street, Elko.


On the road, for baseball

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: April 2, 2013 - 2:06 PM

The Twins lost their season opener last night, but during the next few months things may look up for them. One thing will certainly be on the rise: temperatures at ballparks and the number of fans at them. When summer gets into full swing, so do baseball ballpark tours.

Bob's Baseball Tours, based in Redwood Falls, Minn., offers two tours. One begins in Phoenix. The second begins in Redwood Falls with a pickup in Bloomington, Minn. It heads west to games in Cleveland (with the Twins), Boston, New York and other Major League parks as well as a stop at the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Sorry, folks, but this one is full, though you can get on the waiting list).

Jack Buckley Baseball Tours, out of LaCrosse, Wis., offers a huge variety of trips, including one that heads west from Phoenix, travels to 7 ballparks and takes in 9 games, including the Twins vs. the Los Angeles Angels at L.A.'s Angels Stadium game on July 23.

Sports Travel and Tours, a New England-based sports tours operator, has announced their trips for the summer, and they cover most of the major league parks and several minor league parks in all parts of the country. “The Wheelhouse” six-day tour includes ball games in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit, with stadium tours, museum visits, and the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. Just have a weekend? The “Beantown Blast” includes three games—all in Boston—coupled with tours of both the city and of Fenway Park.

White House viewing (even though tours are cancelled)

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: March 14, 2013 - 8:53 AM

White House tours are a popular draw for visitors to Washington, D.C., not to mention a highly competetive ticket. You request tickets from your Member of Congress six months before your trip, and you keep your fingers crossed. Unfortunately, due to the budget cuts brought by sequestration -- no matter who is to blame, Secret Service or the White House -- anyone holding highly coveted tickets for a tour today won't be able to admire the porcelain in the China Room or gaze at the portrait of Benjamin Franklin in the Green Room (or have a chance of meeting Michelle Obama, who has been known to stop by to say hello). It's a shame, really. But happily for anyone interested in seeing the inside of the White House, Google at least is not showing signs of budget cuts. Anyone with a computer can see the White House rooms that are open to the public for touring via the White House Google Art Project. It's not the same as walking through those hallowed halls, but it'll have to do. As the White House website says, "Due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration, we regret to inform you that WhiteHouse Tours will be canceled effective Saturday, March 9, 2013 until further notice."

Southwest flies to Branson

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: March 6, 2013 - 1:33 PM

I generally don’t take travel tips from television comedies, but when one of the gay duo on ABC’s “Modern Family” ­— Cam, played by Eric Stone­street — praised Branson, Mo., I took note. The character is a former farm boy from Missouri with a penchant for musicals, so it made weird sense when he dreamily referenced Branson’s “vibrant theater scene, top-notch restaurants, on top of being the jewel of Missouri’s White River.” Southwest Airlines sees the appeal of this town, too. On March 9, it began service from Chicago to Branson Airport, which opened in 2009 (serviced at the time by Sun Country). Skeptical of Cam’s description? What’s more vibrant than seeing the Osmond Brothers, an Abba tribute group and riding a thrilling new wooden coaster?


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