Travel + Food

Bucket list: Yucatán

Tianguis Turistico De Mexico, the 45th edition of the most important tourist showcase in Mexico and Latin America, registered record figures, with the attendance of 1,635 buyers from more than 40 countries, which generated more than 57,200 business appointments.

By: Kai Yeo × Vaughn Lowery

The first post-COVID Tianguis Turistico confab kicked off in the Yucatán capital Mérida from November 16 to 19. Participation exceeded expectations with a record number of registrations, presenting an encouraging outlook for tourism in all of Mexico and sending a clear message: Mexico’s tourism industry is united and working towards the recovery of the sector nationwide.

The 45th edition of Tianguis Turístico is the most anticipated and important event in the industry because it represents the post-pandemic rebirth of tourism in Mexico. Yucatán will be the starting point in this new age of tourism. Yucatán welcomed almost 10,000 under strict biosecurity measures, generating ‘health bubbles’ to facilitate safe involvement.

With the participation of 3,825 exhibitors from 41 countries, 928 participating companies, and 1,390 buyers, this year’s Tianguis presented the opportunity to be part of the largest tourism business showcase in Latin America. “This Tianguis will be a sign that Mexico is ready for the recovery of its sector and that our country is also ready to carry out large events with the strictest and most innovative standards,” said Michelle Fridman Hirsch, Secretary of Tourism Development of Yucatán (Sefotur). “This will be a new edition of the Tianguis, with new needs, new behaviors, new circumstances — a renaissance of tourism.”

The Tianguis Turístico de México first emerged 45 years ago as a platform to promote Mexico as a unique and rich destination thanks to its remarkable culture, history, and natural beauty. It eventually became the most relevant event of its kind, in which industry experts meet in a professional, dynamic, and highly productive business forum over three days.

Before the conference, Fridman led a tour of the state’s 150 new tourism infrastructures with international investors, including Xibalbá Park, which will be a circuit of eight cenotes. Fridman reiterated her commitment to promoting the development of new tourism products from the perspective of sustainability. 360 MAGAZINE was invited to attend and explore the exhibits of participating hotels, airlines, fairgrounds, exhibition centers, and more. Before the conventions, we visited Yucatán’s best sites in El Cuyo, Valladolid, and Merida.

Upon arrival, the team checked into Hotel Hampton Inn to relax before the upcoming week of activities. The hotel is not too far from the airport, which makes it an ideal layover spot. As we arrived late that evening, we had a quick bite for dinner and drinks. The service matched the animated style of the restaurant, and the food was delicious. Their menu is simple: Caesar salad, street-style tacos, and an assortment of pizzas – options perfect when traveling with children. Our bedroom featured double beds, a Samsung TV, and a steam shower with doors. Very comfortable and affordable accommodation for business travelers. Additional features include a yard to smoke in and a fitness center to stretch out after a long flight. With a second wind, take a walk down the street to the shopping center, or get lucky at the 24-hour casino.

On the first full day, we transferred from the hotel to our first stop: the El Cuyo beach in the Puerto Maya region for an ATV tour in the San Manuel reserve. Following the day’s activities, we finished with a seafood experience at the Valerios. At night, we received a tour of the Ria Lagartos reserve, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located at the eastern end of the coastal strip. We also viewed the pink tubular salt mines “Las Coloradas,” which also translates to ‘blush red’ in Spanish. The vibrant pink body of water gets its unique tint from red-colored algae, plankton, and brine shrimp that use the salty water as their habitat. Dinner at Casa Palma restaurant and enjoying a bonfire in the sand was the perfect evening before retiring to our hotel for the evening – LunArena.

LunArena Hotel is a 3-year-old establishment that works diligently to offer a whimsical environment. Located between the ocean, lagoon, and jungle, LunArena is the perfect place to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature We had the opportunity to meet the CEO, who took great care of us, on top of a professional staff who made our stay extremely pleasant. With delicate decor coupled with pop design baubles, this hotel offers twelve rooms with couples in mind. Phenomenal experiences are accessible due to the hotel’s convenient location. The picturesque Pink Beach, home to flamingoes, is just 90 minutes by mountain bike, ATVs, or tactical FWD vehicle. The jungle and a plethora of outdoor adventures such as paddle boarding, biking, and hiking are at your fingertips. The compact lodge offers tons of gourmet Italian and Mexican delicacies. They provide breakfast, lunch, dinner on their private outdoor terrace featuring a swimming pool. Read our full review on LunArena here.

We started day two with breakfast at the hotel and hung out on the beaches of El Cuyo before transferring to Zazil Tunich in the magical town of Valladolid. This otherworldly experience connected us to nature in the Xeneba Maya village, home to 500 thousand years of stone formations dripping into crystal clear water. Zazil Tunich has been appointed one of the most spectacular cenotes in the region, with thousands of stalagmites and stalactites, and it was a pleasure to enjoy a private meal there. After, we visited the historic center of Valladolid for a tour and strolled the Calzada de los Frailes – a beautiful and charming cobbled street in Valladolid that runs diagonally from the center of the city to the Sisal neighborhood and the Convento de San Bernardino di Siena. It is lined with colorful buildings full of housing, boutique shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Filled with shopping, nightlife, food, tradition, and opportunities, Valladolid felt like a bustling baby New York in the southern region of Mexico. We got dinner at Los Frappes, situated in the heart of the town in front of the convent. A multi-level venue with live music and good food, Los Frappes is great for celebrations and craft cocktails, with an extremely hospitable team.

For our final stretch of the trip, 360’s team checked into a character hotel in a unique urban setting. Zenti’k Project is an eccentric immersive property featuring twelve Mayan-style staterooms. The upstairs accommodations have mosquito beds with lounge corners as well as small porches to enjoy the stunning constellations. Its main attraction though? An underground cave six meters below the hotel, containing an adapted heated saltwater pool. As if these healing properties were not enough, the day spa services are superb. At the hotel’s restaurant, décor lined with works of famous artists transforms the space into a sanctuary for the creative. During that captivation, take full advantage of their gourmet menu that includes vegan options. Bartenders are knowledgeable mixologists who excel in their optimal pairing recommendations. The concierge is warm and inviting – they can recommend an abundance of recreational activities. With the city center within a mile, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife are at guests’ fingertips.

The following day, we went on a bicycle tour with “Go Maya” through the center of Valladolid. We visited La Casona de Valladolid for a buffet-style lunch and chose from a fine selection of dishes with the best of traditional Yucatecan food including black turkey stew, Valladolid style pork loins, smoked pork sausage with eggs, and more.

When traveling through Yucatán, it is a must to see at least one cenote. We were lucky to visit Cenote Selva Maya after lunch and experience its water activities, perfect to cool down on a busy and hot day with a restaurant conveniently located. Located in a beautiful hacienda, Selva Maya, another cenote, is another unique treasure of Yucatán. It was a perfect final activity before transferring back to Mérida and checking in to the Hampton Inn Hotel for dinner.

On our very last day, we headed to the Xibalbá reserve experience after breakfast. Xibalbá in Mayan culture is the gate or path to the underworld; in our case it is the gate to the unknown underground world of Yucatán, just waiting to be discovered. Xibalba is a hidden natural reserve surrounded by the mystery and charm of nature. The activities encouraged us to explore the history and culture of Yucatán before returning to Merida for the “Welcome to Yucatán” reception.

In our free time, we visited Galería Mérida – The Mall of Mérida. There is an ice-skating rink in the middle with a total of 77 stores including H&M, Bershka, Pull&Bear , and Zara to shop at. A great mall to hang out, people watch and shop.

We managed to squeeze in a tattoo appointment at TATUAJES OVEJA NEGRA MÉRIDA – they say Rafiki is one of Merida’s greatest tattoo artists, so we could not miss this opportunity. With more than 20 years of experience, he paid special attention to detail, and it stood out in his technique. If you are looking for a nice work of art at an affordable price, this is the spot. Additionally, we also got a quick refresh at Wall’s Barbershop. As people in the fashion industry, we usually would never get our hair cut at a random salon without doing research. However, Wall’s Barbershop felt different. The interior looked like an elegant cigar salon, and it seemed the attention paid to the client was equal, if not greater. Asked if we wanted a bottom or top fade, the cut was fresh, thorough, professional, and hospitable.

Rescheduled four times because of the pandemic, the 45th Tianguis Turistico was an important part of positioning the state of Yucatán on the world tourism stage. Sefotur worked with local business owners to ensure all its tourism offerings were center stage for the event. In a culminating moment, the state’s cultural, gastronomic, and archaeological wealth were presented in an open-air food market. Here, sixteen restaurants offered endemic dishes such as cochinita pibil. Another feature was a Mayan Village where inhabitants from different regions showed their crafts and products. The adventure tourism expo rounded out the experience, where attendees learned about various activities Yucatán offers such as visits to cenotes, Mayan villages, caves, jungles, and archaeological sites. University tourism students and other participants were able to take part in an educational agenda with seminars and masterclasses on the state’s tourism infrastructure and planning.

The state of Yucatán’s pavilion was one of the fundamental elements in the promotion of tourism during the Tianguis Turistico. Divided into 6 regions designated as Ruta Puuc and Mayan Villages, Cenotes and Haciendas, Mundo Maya, Puerto Maya, Mérida Cultural and Gastronomic Capital of the South and Yucatán Riviera. Local tourism providers held over 6,000 meetings with buyers in effects that will be seen in both the short and long-term for this destination.

It should be noted that Yucatán was chosen to host this edition of the Tianguis thanks to its excellent hotel infrastructure and tourist services, its excellent air, maritime and land connectivity, and of course, the wide range of attractions for both leisure and business travelers. Mérida is one of just seven cities in Mexico with the necessary capacity to carry out large-scale events such as the Tianguis Turístico 2021. Yucatán’s beaches, magical towns, andworld-renownedd archaeological sites paired with an incomparable local and contemporary gastronomic scene make for an unforgettable experience.

Mayan temples in Yucatán photo for 360 MAGAZINE article by Vaughn Lowery.
Mayan temples in Yucatán photo for 360 MAGAZINE article by Vaughn Lowery.

Additionally, you can also find many groups of expats living in Merida and the population is ever growing.

Five Accessories You’ll Need this Year

Are you one of those people that booked their vacation for 2022 six months ago? Well, good for you! But in the meantime, what accessories are you going to need this year to complete your look?

Here are five must-haves that will have you looking stylish all season long.

1. Sunglasses

There’s nothing like catching some rays on the beach in 2022, but if you’re going to be lounging in the sand this year, make sure you bring along your sunglasses. Hard or soft lenses? It doesn’t matter. Just make sure they are polarised with UV protection (because that’s what all the cool girls are doing).

Depending on your preferences, you can also go for the clip on sunglasses. These glasses are the perfect accessory for the beach, a concert, or a casual walk. Don’t forget to take beautiful photographs in the sunglasses and reminisce about the good times.

2. Interesting Bag

Who says your purse has to be boring? Here are a few interesting bags that you can carry with you this year.

• Crossbody bags: For the girls who are always on the go, what better accessory to take along than a crossbody bag? It’s also called a messenger because of its design. This allows you to carry your essentials but has a slight slouch that is definitely more stylish.

• Fanny pack: The fanny pack is making a comeback, and it’s going to be popular this year! It can also be worn as a belt bag or a waist pack. With its smaller size, it will even fit inside your purse. You can wear these packs at festivals, hiking, and travel or even at the office.

• Purses: Purses are back in style, and people will be carrying small bags again (because bigger is not always better). You can get one of these unique purses, which you can carry on top of your shoulders. They come in different sizes but if you’re looking for something larger, go get a shoulder bag.

• Backpacks: If you don’t want to carry a purse, there’s no need to worry because backpacks are in style again. The backpack is great for work or even school if that’s what you’re into. However, if you’re looking for something casual, get one of these cool bags that can be worn over your shoulders. You can also get a traditional backpack but make sure that it’s light and practical.

• Bucket bag: Nowadays, people are going for the bucket bag or the drawstring bag, which is great if you’re always on the go. They’re very fashionable and practical to carry around because they look better than a regular old backpack.

3. A Floral Shirt

Floral print blouses are so hot right now, and by mid-2022, they’ll be even more popular. So, pick one up before your 2022 trip to the tropics! Plus, what’s better than having a shirt that ties you over for four years?

While you’re at it, pick up a few other shirt styles as well. Trust me, florals are popping’ in 2022, and they’ll be everywhere else too.

4. A Cute Swimsuit

Swimsuits are another wardrobe staple that you’ll need to get before your 2022 trip or be left with diaper-brief tan lines. And while it’s not against the law to wear the same swimsuit multiple years in a row, it’s just not very stylish.

So, grab this must-have accessory now so you can go swimming with dolphins on your 2022 vacation.

5. A Statement Purse

Finally, pick up an eye-catching statement purse to pull together your look for 2022. While it’s fun to be spontaneous, not having a purse together can ruin an outfit. Boring browns and tans may be too drab for the tropics, so pick up your statement purse now so you can sparkle all year long.

Conclusion

By purchasing these five must-have accessories now, you will be prepared for all of your 2022 trips and adventures. Don’t forget to tag along your spirited heart and fun personality.

 

Take These Three Bucket List Vacations Before You Die

Bucket lists are becoming a hot topic again, and with it comes the need for many to decide on their travel plans as soon as possible. Getting out and seeing the world is the best way to ensure you experience as much of this planet as possible before you have to leave it forever.

These are the top three vacation destinations that should be on your list when you’re planning it!

Kerry, Ireland

Although London is one of the top vacation spots globally, it’s time to leave England and enjoy some time in the gorgeous Irish countryside. Kerry, known as the Rose of Tralee, is one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. Endless rugged landscapes, and beautiful stretching water, make it feel like you’ve stepped into the garden of Eden.

This is an amazing space to allow yourself to feel like you’re getting in touch with nature, where deer and stag roam freely and endless tumbling waterfalls crash down onto the craggy rocks beneath them like works of art.  

If you want to take in as much beauty as possible, there’s a scenic drive called the Ring of Kerry, which you can take in just a day to explore picturesque coastlines and beautiful stretching land as far as you can see. This view deserves to be on everyone’s bucket lists, and the delicious food and friendly locals will ensure that you’ll want to add it back to your bucket list time and time again after you’ve left! 

Bali, Indonesia

Warm gorgeous clear waters, bright white sand, and perfect temperatures have made Bali a must-stop destination for years. This beautiful paradise is one of the most popular bucket list ideas for travelers.

You can enjoy beautiful endless beaches while you unwind from the world’s pressures. Friendly locals are excited to help you learn about their home, and the countless resorts ensure that you won’t be bored or wanting for anything while you’re here.

This is also an incredibly affordable option, giving you the chance to set aside the rest of your money for later and possibly sneak in another bucket list vacation!

Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakesh is a gorgeous destination and one of the top vacation areas in the world because of how much it offers. From incredible historical sights and their deep cultural meaning to some of the best food on Earth: every step you take in Marrakesh will feel like you’re walking in paradise.  

This area has something for everyone, from shopping at the souks to enjoying golfing or hiking. If you want a bit of paradise in your life, you’ll find it in Marrakesh. Although this can be an expensive vacation for some, it’s worth it when you consider how much entertainment and beauty is possible from just one visit!

Seeing the World is the Best Bucket List Choice

Although there are some bucket list items people will argue over; the least controversial is travel. Traveling allows you to take in as much of the world as possible before you die, and honestly: who could ask for more?

Lexus Restaurant Gif by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

INTERSECT BY LEXUS – NYC

Eccentric, experimental, exquisite – all are adjectives that best describe dinner at Intersect NYC

Intersect NYC is a co-operative project between Lexus and Union Square Hospitality Group, with additional locations in Dubai and Tokyo. Union Square Hospitality Group collaborates with a wide array of businesses: Anchovy Social (DC), Blue Smoke (NYC) and LoBall (NYC).

Intersect by Lexus is a dynamic and delicious encounter hosted in a handful of tech-forward cities where charismatic epicures, who themselves break the mold, are immersed in the automotive giant’s ecosystem without physically driving nor owning one of their vehicles. The venue can be defined as “a manifestation of omotenashi, a Lexus core value characterized by an unwavering commitment to exceptional hospitality.” Omote means public face, and “nashi” means nothing; omotenashi ultimately meaning that everything produced comes from the heart with honesty and no concealment. 

Situated in the trendy Meatpacking District of New York City amongst chic shops and nightlife, the physical unit of Intersect features an unrivaled open-air market, complete with a lounge, restaurant, and event space. The two-level, square-like locale houses an immersive environment of edible delights and whimsical handmade cocktails. The experience can be best described as living through the magic that is an episode of travelling host and star Anthony Bourdain‘s Parts Unknown. The overall atmosphere emits a decadent, intuitive and contemporary feel. Situated throughout the space are a vast assortment of cookbooks on mantelshelves, including The Thousand Dollar Dinner: America’s First Great Cookery Challenge by Becky Libourel Diamond. One particularly intriguing structure is an accent wall designed by lauded Japanese interior designer, Masamichi Katayama of Wonderwall. The installation, in close proximity to a black metal stairwell, is illuminated with recessed lighting and encased in glass, creating a moment where severe modernity meets the magical. The private dining room is an intimate space where an array of occasions can be held, wedding receptions, corporate gatherings and pop-ups in a reclusive yet bespoke setting. Intersect by Lexus is an ideal place for guests to be entertained, inspired, and educated, and serves as a conduit where ideas, people, and culinary creations unite.

The kitchen interchanges every six months – an ever-growing and evolving list of impressive artisanal cooks fabricate their own menu to challenge and delight visitors. Intersect by Lexus welcomed its seventh Restaurant-in-Residence, New Orleans’ Creole eatery, Compère Lapin. Chef Nina Compton owns and operates the New Orleans restaurant in tandem with Bywater American Bistro (BABs) where it is a well-loved hit in the Big Easy. 

Compton is the third chef chosen this year, and is a James Beard Award-Winner and Top Chef: New Orleans runner-up. Chef Compton graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2001 and first embarked on her remarkable professional career at Daniel in NYC. Chef Compton blends her signature Gulf coast ingredients with island flavors. Compton hails from Saint Lucia and her bill of fare is an array of Caribbean and Cajun-inspired dishes, such as dover sole meuniere and hot chicken. 

Currently, Intersect NYC is led by classically trained Executive Chef Nickolas Martinez, the former executive chef of Foragers. Chef Martinez established his own culinary identity through his Midwestern roots and passion for French techniques. Chef Martinez, like Chef Compton, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. As executive chef, Chef Martinez prides himself in creating a “space dedicated to the ethos of the Lexus lifestyle, and a home to a unique dining experience.” 

This three-star Michelin restaurant remains on the minds some of the most influential critics, as well as in the memories of all those who have explored the flavors and festivity firsthand. The service, presentation and wine pairings are unprecedented in their attention to palettes and details. 360 MAGAZINE had the opportunity to enjoy the pour deux menu among other enticing choices, sampling many of the most acclaimed dishes currently in circulation.

We began with two cocktails: the Ruby Lo-Ball and the Best Bank Punch. The Ruby features a fruity concoction of port wine, apple, ginger, and soda, for something refreshing with a bit of a snap, while the Punch, a drink of vodka, lillet, thai basil, passionfruit, and Sirop JM was both stronger and herbier. While both served up a revitalizing and uncommon flavor dynamic, we preferred the Ruby Lo-Ball as our cocktail of choice. After these early drinks, 360 turned to wine for the remainder of our meal. With a divine wine-list curated alongside the main dinner menu, every choice is certain to impress, and 360 was utterly charmed by our choices. A Bourgone Aligote, a very dry white French wine, as well as a Zind Chardonnary, a white blended with fruity notes that was not very oaky but with a sense of tartness, dazzled.

The food itself surpassed all expectations, proving the multifaceted style of the space extended to the delectable food. For our appetizers, we selected the hush puppies with cilantro crema, a light and delicate take on a classic, as well as the Louisiana barbecue shrimp with chervil and baguette and the stuffed back crab served with uni butter and charred lime. All these impressed – the upscale takes on Southern classics captivated a certain sense of comfort while still being creative, decadent, and extravagant. This tradition continued into the entrees, where 360 pursued the “pour deux” – for two – menu, where one large serving plate is presented to two diners to share. This is not only a meal for romantic evening – everyone from couples, to friends, to business partners took part in this unique savory affair. 360 sampled both the hot fire chicken with red beans and rice as well as the dover sole meuniere with brussels sprouts amandine served with celery root and parsnip puree. The sole, perfectly baked in a warming butter sauce, as well as the succulent and crispy chicken with a fiery side, left our team more than satisfied with its mouth-watering excellence. An airy mango sorbet cooled things off before our main dessert, chocolate with passionfruit and a cashew croquant, an ambrosial finish to a perfectly piquant meal. 

Intersect NYC, from its style to its connoisseurs to its ambitious culinary pursuits, enamored 360 all the way through. For a sleek and satisfying adventure, Intersect NYC is the ultimate dinner venue.

Article by: Vaughn Lowery, Armon Hayes, Elle Grant, McKinley Franklin

South Africa Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

The Royal Portfolio at Birkenhead House

The Royal Portfolio is an award-winning collection of luxury hotels, resorts and lodges in South Africa, has unveiled three new, contemporary Private Residences at Birkenhead House overlooking the spectacular coastline of Hermanus.

Birkenhead House’s Private Residences – named Fernkloof, Kliphuis, and White House – each feature five or six en-suite bedrooms, providing a spacious getaway for large families or friends traveling together, and combining the freedom, privacy and conveniences of one’s own seaside residence with the exceptional service and amenities of Birkenhead House. The villas all boast open-plan kitchens and considerable living and dining spaces, and come equipped with an in-house staff of experienced butlers, chefs, and housekeepers.

Each property offers unique charms, including amenities such as outdoor showers, entertainment rooms, firepits, and swimming pools. As an extra perk, guests have unlimited access to the award-winning Birkenhead House’s outstanding dining and spa facilities. These prestigious villas occupy sought-after locations close to key attractions in Hermanus, such as the Hermanus Cliff Walk, Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Voëlklip Beach, and Hermanus Golf Course.

The Royal Portfolio’s reservations team can assist in booking guests’ stays in the Private Residences, as well as curating unique excursions for all interests in and around the town, ranging from wine experiences to aerial whale watching and culinary tours.

“We are excited to announce these additional options in Hermanus, which perfectly complement a stay at The Silo Hotel’s Private Residences in Cape Town, or [an] intimate safari at Africa House, or The Farmhouse at Royal Malewane in the Greater Kruger National Park,” says Simon Mandy, Director of Sales & Marketing at The Royal Portfolio.

ABOUT THE ROYAL PORTFOLIO

The Royal Portfolio is a family-owned, values-based, and purpose-driven collection of exclusive hotels and lodges that offers restorative and enriching experiences in iconic destinations across South Africa, including: the Royal Malewane safari lodge in Greater Kruger National Park, La Residence in Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands, Birkenhead House in Hermanus, and The Silo in Cape Town.

Yacht Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

&Beyond Yacht Charters

&Beyond Yacht Charters is pleased to announce details on their fleet of yachts for the 2022 season and an exciting new “Stay + Sail” experience with Lovango Resort & Beach Club. The USVI (US Virgin Islands), an easy-to-reach destination for Americans that requires no passport, is the perfect place to escape the winter. &Beyond Yacht Charters wants travelers to reimagine their next Caribbean vacation, charter a yacht and explore further in 2022 with their expert crew of captains and chefs.

The team is dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality and pride themselves on immersing guests in the uniqueness of the USVI while offering experience-rich, fun-filled luxury charters creating memorable vacations for families and friends. With 14 yachts currently available, there is one that will appeal to every group size and style.

Lovango Resort + Beach Club, the first new build resort in the USVI in more than 30 years, opens on December 20th for the 2022 season with luxury treehouses, glamping tents, villas, an enhanced retail village, dining options, and beach experiences. Set on its own private island ten minutes off the coast of St. John, Lovango Resort + Beach Club is accessible by way of private ferry from St. John and St. Thomas or via private boat. Guests can explore 45 pristine acres and winding hiking trails overlooking the sea, coral reef snorkeling, waterfront dining, an ocean-facing infinity pool, and three beach club experiences including the island’s Beach Club and an exclusive resort launch. Guests can relax and then enjoy a 3 to 4 day private catamaran charter direct from the island with &Beyond. The “Stay + Sail” option is the best of Land and Sea that the USVI has to offer.

How It Works

All of the &Beyond crewed yachts are extremely well executed to provide you with a luxurious stay. Each one is uniquely and tastefully decorated, including everything you will need and is equipped with a range of “toys” for your enjoyment. Yachts vary in accommodations and amenities from 2 to 5 ensuite layout options. Planning your trip is simple with an &Beyond consultant who will organize your entire stay from fine dining to land and sea activities. Whether you are interested in diving, snorkeling, learning to sail, fishing, or want to explore on land, the skilled crew will make sure all desires are met and expectations exceeded.

Dining

&Beyond chefs tailor their bespoke menus to your dietary needs and preferences. All meals are carefully prepared, plated, and served with thoughtfully crafted cocktails or curated wines.​

The Crew

All crew members are professional, experienced, and receive ongoing continuing education from &Beyond, ensuring they deliver the best service and hospitality. Their continuing education on the history of the USVI, the local island fauna and flora, the marine life, and its delicate reef systems, allows them to fully immerse visitors in the environment.

Activities & Safety

Yachts are fully equipped with snorkel gear, paddleboards, kayaks, floating mats, necessary safety equipment, and all the extras you will need to ensure your experience in the water is just as great as on the water. Premium amenities like snuba and foil boarding are also available. Certain yachts including Felix, Big Nauti, True Story, and Dream Catcher offer onboard scuba diving. Guests can complete their scuba certification dives or enjoy the Discover Scuba Diving program directly from these yachts. Felix also offers free-diving initiation courses.

Charter rates begin at $410 per person per night, including the services of a Captain and Chef, all meals, beverages, and activities. In addition, the yacht also includes two dedicated seabobs.

About &Beyond Yacht Charters

&Beyond Yacht Charters is a professionally crewed yacht charter and yacht management company out of the USVI. The team is dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality, providing memorable vacations for families and friends that positively impact their lives. They pride themselves on immersing guests in the uniqueness of the USVI and providing experience-rich, fun-filled luxury charters. Their experienced management team provides a fully comprehensive and expert yacht management service to yacht owners, designed to optimize their yacht investments.

Art by Symara of 360 for use by 360 Magazine

Israel Reopens to International Travelers

For the first time in more than 18 months, vaccinated individual and group travelers from the United States are welcome to enter Israel and explore the country’s rich culture, history, and stunning landscapes.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism announced that as of today, vaccinated tourists from the United States can resume all travel to Israel. After kicking off the pilot reopening program in May of 2021, which initially allowed a select number of tour groups to enter the country, all vaccinated travelers may now visit Israel after the extended closure due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“To say we are excited that Israel is reopening to travelers today is an understatement,” said Eyal Carlin, Tourism Commissioner for North America. “Israel has taken incredible steps to protect its people and visitors and we pride ourselves on ensuring a COVID-safe and unforgettable trip to those who will be entering our beautiful country. With leading vaccination rates and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, we are eager to welcome visitors back with open arms — of course, at a safe social distance.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett along with several other Ministers within the country (Tourism, Health, Transportation, etc.), have come together and formed the following plan which has been approved by the COVID cabinet and will take effect today, November 1 – with developments and new COVID variants being monitored closely.

“We have been awaiting this moment, to bring back international travelers into our country, for a very long time now,” said Yoel Razvozov, Israel’s Minister of Tourism. “We’re ecstatic to share our country with everyone once again and I’m proud to be working closely with our Prime Minister Naftali Bennett among other Ministers within the country to ensure a thoughtful, safe return to tourism.”

As of today, the guidelines for entry include:

Taking a PCR test 72 hours before an outbound flight, filling out a passenger declaration, and a taking a PCR test upon arrival in Israel (needing to quarantine in hotel until results return or 24 hours pass – the lesser of the two).

To enter the country, one must:

  • Have been vaccinated with two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 14 days prior to the day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since receival of second dose upon arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon leaving Israel – I.e., if it has been six months since the second dose, you will need the booster shot to enter).
    • Those that have received the booster vaccine dose, and at least 14 days have passed since received, can enter Israel.
  • Have been inoculated with one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 14 days prior to the day of entry into Israel (14 days must have passed since second dose receival upon their arrival into Israel, but no more than 180 days upon leaving Israel – I.e., if it has been six months since your second dose, you will need the booster shot to enter).
    • Those that have received the booster vaccine dose, and at least 14 days have passed since received, can enter Israel.
  • Have recovered from COVID-19 and who present proof of the results of a positive NAAT test at least 11 days prior to the day of entry into Israel (no more than 180 days upon leaving Israel).
  • Have recovered from COVID-19 and have received at least one dose of the WHO-approved vaccines.

In-depth guidelines can be found HERE. For more information, please visit the official website for all updates on entry protocols and forthcoming answers to FAQs.

Pumpkin Patch Illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Fall Fun In Tennessee

As the leaves begin to change and the air grows brisk, that can only mean one thing; fall is upon us in Tennessee. So carve out a good time and add these joyous farms, festivals, events, and pumpkin-spiced treats to check off your Fall bucket list.

1. Pick the Perfect Pumpkin of the Patch

The River Maze – Ocoee

Located on the banks of the Ocoee River, The River Maze is celebrating its 20th year of Spookley the Square Pumpkin with a wide array of fall-tastic activities, including corn and soybean mazes, bonfires, hayrides, farm animals, pumpkin basketball, and ziplines.

Falcon Ridge Farms – Bolivar

Falcon Ridge Farms is an expansive family farm in West Tennessee where visitors can take a shot at a corn cannon and visit its pumpkin patch. This fall destination includes a corn maze, tractor-drawn wagon rides, pony rides, food at the market, tire swings, giant slides, tether pole, cornhole, and bounce houses.

Lucky Ladd Farms – Eagleville

A petting farm, pony rides, and more than 70 activities and educational adventures are the norm on the 60-acre Lucky Ladd Farms in Eagleville. Farm-themed playgrounds, mega slides, wagon rides, tire climbs, games, and tractor trains entertain for hours. Visitors can choose from more than ten varieties of picked pumpkins or visit the patch to handpick their own. The farm’s corn maze is named “Tennessee’s #1 Corn Maze” four years in a row.

2. Take a Fall Weekend Getaway

Embark into the woods to find some of the coziest fall getaways in Tennessee to lay your head. Spend the weekend surrounded by fall foliage, breathing in fresh air, and being steps away from some of the state’s best hiking trails. Whether at Pickwick Landing State Park or Chickasaw State Park in West Tennessee, Montgomery Bell State Park in Middle or Norris Dam CCC State Park in East Tennessee, these lodging options are perfect for a fall break or weekend escape. 

3. Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Sunset Valley Farms – Huron

Celebrate Tennessee’s 225th anniversary and Henderson Country’s 200th anniversary with Sunset Valley Farm’s a-MAZE-ing corn maze at its 2021 Fall Festival. Capture Instagram-worthy photos in the farm’s large sunflower fields, munch on freshly made apple cider donuts and pulled pork, take a ride on the grain train, climb abroad a tractor, and pick the perfect pumpkin. Stay until sundown to experience the stunning Tennessee sunset against the ample woods of the west. 

Myers Pumpkin Patch and Farm – Greeneville

Deemed East Tennessee’s largest corn maze, Myers Pumpkin Patch and Farm delivers 500-acres of fun for the whole family with tractor rides, s’more stations around fire pits, and its epic Fall Farm Market. At the market, guests can handpick the farm’s freshly grown fruits, vegetables and homemade baked goods, including pumpkins, squash, corn, pumpkin pie, and fudge.

Honeysuckle Hill Farm – Springfield

Venture out to Springfield for a fall-filled day at Honeysuckle Hill Farm’s fall festival, where its guests can get lost in this year’s Loretta Lynn-themed country music corn maze, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, hear chickens sing, and watch pig races. Snack on the scrumptious food they have on-site, including caramel apples, kettle corn, and chili cheese nachos.

4. Get the In-Cider Information on Tennessee’s Hottest Apple Orchards

Wooden’s Apple House – Pikeville

Wooden’s Apple House offers over 100 acres to pick a wide selection of apples for the perfect day spent in the orchard. Grab a few bottles of apple cider to take home and stop by the pie shop that has delicious apple dumplings and meat-and-three restaurant. Take it easy and chill among the rolling hills and enjoy the nature at their vineyard.

Morning Glory Orchard – Nolensville

Located right outside of Nashville, Morning Glory Orchard offers everything from apples, peaches, and honey, to vegetables, cider, and fresh baked goods. Make a day out of your visit and enjoy a picnic in the orchard while snacking on a charcuterie box and sampling their fresh produce.

Buffalo Trail Orchard – Greeneville

Since 1890, the Buffalo Trail Orchard has been providing crisp fruits and vegetables to those in East Tennessee. During the fall month, guests enjoy the orchard’s pumpkin patch and take hayrides while spending the day with friends and family picking apples.

Jones Orchard – Millington

Here at Jones Orchard you can not only go apple picking, but the family can also enjoy everything from a 10-acre corn maze, hayrides, and pumpkin patch, to a farm scene investigation, monster mysteries, and other haunted attractions at their Festival of Fear.

5. Get Spooked at these Historically Haunted Tennessee Destinations

Unique spooks are what makes your travel to Tennessee exhilarating and the scary tours are full of excitement. Immerse yourself in the sights and thrills of haunted hotels, theaters, and homes where wicked stories and chilling surprises are tied to the stories of the past. 

6. Taste the Flavors of Autumn

The Apple Barn Cider Mill – Sevierville

Guests can pick apples in the orchards, then peruse the delicious homemade items in the general store.

Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant – Cosby

While in Cosby, stop by Carver’s Orchard and Applehouse restaurant, where you can load up on freshly picked apples, fried pies, homemade candies, and apple butter.

Fairlane Hotel’s Falling for Fairlane – Nashville

Head to downtown Nashville and ascend to the top of the Fairlane Hotel for their latest fall-inspired pop-up bar, Falling for Fairlane. Get in the spirit with their delicious infused cocktails, such as The Drunken Pumpkin, Not Your Mother’s Mulled Wine, Maple Old Fashioned, and feast on their shared plates like the goat cheese and savory pear tart, apple pie, and pumpkin spiced donut holes.

Old Millington Vineyard – Millington

Only 14 miles outside of Memphis, the Old Millington Vineyard captures the flavors of autumn in their seasonal plum wine. Cap off Sunday afternoon by having a picnic and enjoying the sights and original wines.

7. Explore Outdoors and Experience Tennessee’s Fall Colors

Kick up the fallen leaves and cruise along the state’s scenic byways to catch a glimpse of the colorful ridges, charming destinations, and outdoor treasures. Add these relaxing hikes, scenic drives, and leaf-peeping places to your fall bucket list.

8. Attend a Fall-tastic Event

“Once Upon a Pumpkin” – Discovery Park of America in Union City

Get lost in the stories of fairy tales at Discovery Park of America’s Pumpkin Village with this year’s “Once Upon a Pumpkin.” Climb through 40,000 pounds of pumpkins constructed along with hay bales and flowers to create displays that showcase childhood tales such as “The Three Little Pigs” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”

Goblins and Giggles – Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville

Fall at the Gaylord Opryland Resort makes for the perfect child-friendly getaway with their highly anticipated Goblins and Giggles. From Sept. 10 until Oct. 31, visitors to the resort see Spooktacular décor, play hide and seek scavengers hunts with Spookley the Square Pumpkin, go on the trick or treat expedition trail or Jack-o’-Lantern Walk, and win the haunted Hidden Treasure Escape Room. Other enticing events include Ghouls Night Out Riverboat Ride, Wicker Brews Spookeasy, the Monster Mash Bash, Frightfully Fun Zone, Bedtime Stories with Morgana, Spooky Animal Encounters, and the Fall Fountain Show.

Autumn at Anakeesta – Gatlinburg

Escape into wonderland this season with Autumn at Anakeesta from Sept. 24 – Oct. 31. Breathe in the Great Smoky Mountains while enjoying the live music, food, drinks and decorations. Go leaf peeping in the sightseeing Chondola, zipline through breathtaking fall greenery, and engage in the delightful beauty of East Tennessee.

Harvest Festival – Pigeon Forge

Dollywood goes all out to celebrate this time of year with its annual Harvest Festival. Running from Sept. 24 until Oct. 31, travelers cherish the lovely decorations, feast on seasonal treats, and listen to first-class entertainment. Stay until the sun goes down to see Dollywood’s ornaments come glowing to life at the LumiNights.

Cheer on Your Favorite Tennessee Football Team

Football is a big deal in the South. With the onset of changing leaves and the flavors of pumpkin spice on store shelves, that means that football fans everywhere are rejoicing and cheering on their favorite teams. While visiting Tennessee during the fall, schedule sometime to watch what football season is all about. Whether it’s the University of Tennessee Volunteers or the Tennessee Titans or the University of Memphis, there’s many teams to entertain all autumn long.

LOS ANGELES TOURISM KICKS OFF MEGA SPORTING EVENTS

LOS ANGELES TOURISM & CONVENTION BOARD CELEBRATES LA’S COMEBACK, KICKS OFF THE DESTINATION’S HISTORIC DECADE OF MEGA SPORTING EVENTS WITH SERIES OF EVENTS IN NEW YORK INCLUDING A LOS ANGELES-THEMED TAILGATE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

For its first client, media and consumer events since the beginning of the pandemic, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Los Angeles Tourism) set its sights on New York, LA’s largest domestic visitor market. Aligned with the timing of the Rams vs. Giants game taking place at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, October 17, Los Angeles Tourism is hosting four days of activity beginning this Friday, October 15, with a preview of the Los Angeles-themed tailgate experience that is open to the public on October 16 and 17 and concluding on October 18 with an intimate luncheon for key sales clients.

Serving as a kickoff to the decade of mega sporting events LA is hosting beginning with Super Bowl LVI in February 2022, Los Angeles Tourism officials will visit with key clients and media to share information on the destination’s safe and responsible reopening and LA’s seemingly endless supply of new hotels, restaurants, venues and cultural exhibitions.

“New York is an important market for us, both in terms of leisure and group business, so when the time was right to host our first mission since the pandemic, we knew it had to be in the Big Apple,” stated Adam Burke, the President & CEO for Los Angeles Tourism. “While technology has been instrumental in keeping us connected during these challenging times, I think we can all agree there is no replacement for meeting in person. We are elated to see our industry colleagues and share all that’s new in the destination as LA continues its comeback.”

On Saturday, October 16, and Sunday, October 17, Los Angeles Tourism is hosting an “LA Tailgate,” which is open to the public, at the aptly named TailGate Outdoor Sports Bar in Brooklyn. The experience features tacos from Enrique Olvera’s new LA taqueria, Ditroit; beer and wine from LA brands Golden Road Brewing and Angeleno Wine Co.; LA trivia hosted by dumbfoundead; major trip giveaways including round-trip air transportation to LA courtesy of American Airlines; and a limited-edition merch drop from LA Tourism x Obey Clothing by House Industries and Studio Number One.

Over the next decade, Los Angeles plays host to an historic line up of sporting events including the 2022 Super Bowl LVI; 2022 MLB All-Star Game; 2023 College Football Playoff National Championship; 123rd U.S. Open Championship at LA Country Club; 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball West Region Championship; and, the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To learn more, visit @discoverla on TwitterInstagram or Facebook. Visitors are encouraged to #TravelResponsibly and follow all guidance from Los Angeles County Public Health.

ABOUT LOS ANGELES & LOS ANGELES TOURISM

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Los Angeles Tourism) is the non-profit destination marketing and sales organization for the Los Angeles tourism industry and the ultimate resource for where to stay and play in the L.A. area.

Los Angeles is a dynamic, ever-evolving destination – where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Discover the true L.A. by exploring its more than 30 culturally rich neighborhoods, each one offering a distinct vibe. L.A. is home to more than 300 days of warm sunshine, 75 miles of idyllic shoreline, more museums and performing arts venues than any other U.S. city, and an innovative culinary scene led by influential tastemakers. A global creative capital and the epicenter of the sports universe, L.A. presents limitless possibilities for visitors from around the world. For more information, visit discoverlosangeles.com, follow at facebook.com/DiscoverLosAngeles, or @discoverLA on TwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Adventure created by Heather Skovlund from 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Difference Between a Good vs a Great Vacation

Eager travelers are increasingly convinced that getting the right help when planning a vacation is priceless in today’s confusing travel atmosphere.

Andra E. of Indiana completed her first Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park getaway in July with Austin Adventures, a Montana-based boutique tour operator. Between the pandemic and a cancer diagnosis, her journey to the perfect vacation wasn’t easy. Austin Adventures sympathetically navigated multiple rebookings for her. The result? Her highly anticipated trip exceeded expectations.

“We were looking forward to not having to make all the decisions and arrangements while exploring a large and beautiful part of the country. What we got was a great trip with guides who were knowledgeable, personable, and thoughtful. They planned out the meals and activities; they truly handled every detail. We were completely spoiled! (The Austin Adventures) team has been nothing but kind, helpful, and accommodating.”

COVID-19 aftereffects rage on in the travel industry in the form of volatile border reopenings, record-setting crowd numbers in National Parks and worldwide iconic destinations, and availability shortages due to the soaring travel comeback.

But planning experts like Active Adventures and Austin Adventures, newly merged brands as of August 2021, are proving their worth by easing the stress of traveling in today’s era.

​​“Our numbers are definitely showing that travelers are anxious to get back out there,” said Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures. “Between January and September, we’ve seen a 200% increase in travel inquiries compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019. Bookings are also breaking records, up 130% over 2019.”

Active Adventures and Austin Adventures have covered all the bases of vacation planning and execution for over 60 collective years. In the last year, their time-tested expertise has proved priceless as more and more travelers turn to professionals for travel planning help.

Professionals and agents find partnering with a reliable tour operator just as valuable. Kristin Cless of Houlahan Travel concurs: “As Travel Professionals, we are extremely concerned about the safety of our clients when they are traveling. Working with Austin Adventures takes all the guesswork out of that process. We know the great lengths they go to ensure the safety and well-being of their clients and it is a huge weight off our shoulders.”

The menu of helpful services offered by tour operators and travel professionals is endless:

  • They are travelers’ number one fans and advocates. Operators and professionals are there to clean up the pieces when previous vacation plans have been destroyed and they can provide an extra layer of protection when facing confusing rebooking and cancelation conditions. What they always want for travelers is a seamless, stress-free experience from start to finish!
  • Operators and professionals alike serve as the eyes and ears on the ground at clients’ desired destinations. They are nimble navigators, in tune with the ever-changing environment, and they are vital insiders’ resources into border openings, restrictions, and inventory. When plans seem bleak, operators and professionals have a plan B, C, D, and are more ready to fill in last-minute requests.
  • Years of operating and finding time-tested good practices result in genuine expertise on how safe travel really works. Whether there is a global pandemic or not, operators and professionals know what it takes to pull off a safe vacation.
  • All logistics are handled and mapped out for groups of all traveler types: Families, adults, couples, and solo adventurers. Operators and professionals can round up all the details needed to plan high-end requests and distribute the information and paperwork needed for each traveler, making it easy to check those items off the planning list. Travelers who may have relied on their own independence when planning their getaways in the past are also increasingly recognizing the priceless value travel professionals and agents bring to the table. Having professionals and agents on their side amplifies travel planning security and confidence.

360 Magazine is excited to see so many travel options and to enjoy active adventures. The future of travel and all the requirements and planning that come along with it may continue to evolve, but help from travel professionals and tour operators is here to stay.