Posts tagged with "hiking"

Canyon Of The Eagles

Looking for an unconventional getaway in the splendor of the Great American Wilderness? The Canyon of The Eagles in Burnet County, Texas, can provide you with that experience, and more.

The Canyon Of The Eagles property is located on the scenic shores of Lake Buchanan, the largest body of water in Texas’s Highland Lakes Region. It is also conveniently accessible by car, just 90 minutes outside of Austin, Texas, and 25 minutes from the town of Burnet.

The big draw to this location? Its breathtaking natural beauty and the chance to escape the everyday and immerse yourself in a peaceful and recharging environment. Guests will enjoy quiet accommodations in cozy cabins on the property, styled with a rustic Texas Southwestern charm. While the cabins are equipped with modern amenities, including wi-fi, the only television access exists at the Eagles Nest Lounge, it’s Hospitality Suite. This encourages conversation and quality time with loved ones and at the same time, inspires communal engagement in ways often lost to the digital age.

On the property, guests can also start the morning off with a rejuvenating Yoga session, or a relaxing lake pontoon ride. If you’re looking to add some more adventure to your stay, there are many opportunities to get out of your room and explore the scenery. You might find yourself mountain biking on Burnet County Trails. Catch breathtaking views on one of the hiking trails. Rent a kayak, and go on a Guided Tour or a solo paddle out on the beautiful Lake Buchanan. Book a spot on one of the Canyon Cruises, a 2 hour sightseeing and wildlife watching journey with the chance to see intricate naturally-weathered rock formations and waterfalls.

Some of the most incredible parts of Canyon of the Eagles comes out when the sun goes down and the night comes alive. The remote location of the resort and lack of light pollution opens up the night sky in ways one could never imagine. Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity, and the activity can be elevated by attending the Eagle Eye Observatory, where an on-site scientist and astronomer can explain to you the constellations. Fireside chats are another evening activity, covering topics such as local snakes and other wildlife to watch out for.

Food and drink options are also plentiful on the property and nearby. Experience authentic barbeque delights from Opie’s BBQ such as mesquite smoked brisket and pork chops or make your way to the best breakfast you’ll find at Bluebonnet Café where you can enjoy 14 varieties of fresh baked pies — including lemon, coconut, fudge and more. The walking tour of downtown Marble Falls features a snack at Choccolatte’s, where you can enjoy premium gelato or if you would like to get a drink and relax, you could head over to Bear King Brewery. Whatever your tastes are, you can be satisfied in the Highland Lakes Region.

Canyon of the Eagles is a family-friendly resort and vacation option for anyone looking to change up the fast-paced routine of modern life and sink into a simpler time. This location allows for great opportunities for families to get back together and enjoy each others company. The resort also offers options for corporate events and retreats, and would provide an excellent backdrop for a wedding or any other celebration. Whatever you make out of your stay, you won’t forget it when staying at the Canyon of the Eagles in the magnificent Texas Highland Lakes. For more information on what Canyon of Eagle’s could provide at your luxury stay, please check out their amenities and book your stay here.

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Surfing x Morro Bay

SURF’S UP TODAY IN MORRO BAY!

First-Ever World Surf League’s SLO Cal Open at Morro Rock Qualifying Series Event Starts Today Though March 1, 2020

Some of the biggest names in surfing are at Morro Rock Beach today through March 1, 2020 to compete in the first ever men’s and women’s qualifying series event SLO Cal Open at Morro Bay. Competitors include Conner Coffin from Santa Barbara, currently rated # 20 on the World Surf League’s Championship, along with the next biggest name in the sport, 24 year old Kevin Shulz from San Clemente. Shulz, pictured here, just won the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach last week and placed 2nd the year before. Cory Arrambide is also competing. He won the Pismo Beach title in 2017. Locally there are have two really good central coast boys competing: Austin Neuman and Braden Jones both from Pismo Beach.

On the Women’s side, it is a very young field with 34 confirmed surfers including 14 year old Sawyer Lindblad. She’s from San Clemente and just won the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach, her first professional surf contest. She is competing in Morro Bay along with local Sydney Beckett, who is a standout surfer from the MB High School Surf Team. More information about the event can be found here. More info about Morro Bay can be found here, www.morrobay.org.

About Morro Bay
A true #outdoorgoals destination, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a fun and funky getaway for travelers who seek great wine, seafood and outdoor adventures filled with wildlife. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Pinterest.

Morro Bay, Surfing, California, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MagazineSurfing, Morro Bay, California, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine,

IRONMAN 2020 Course Announced

THE 2020 CARILION CLINIC IRONMAN 70.3 VIRGINIA’S BLUE RIDGE TRIATHLON ANNOUNCES COURSE DETAILS WITH A MAJOR PORTION OF THE BIKE COURSE SET TO TAKE PLACE ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Swim to take place in Carvins Cove Reservoir; bike portion from Roanoke County to Botetourt County and along the Blue Ridge Parkway into the Town of Vinton ending in Roanoke City and run portion along the Roanoke River Greenway

The IRONMAN Group, a Wanda Sports Group company (Nasdaq: WSG), announced today course details for the inaugural Carilion Clinic IRONMAN® 70.3® Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon taking place on Sunday, June 7, 2020. The center piece for the 70.3-mile route includes the bike course that will roll along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service filled with scenic views of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Adding to the long history of endurance events throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge region, this year’s Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon will feature epic locations for the swim, bike and run portions of the first year event,” said Keats McGonigal, Head of Operations, North America for The IRONMAN Group. “Specifically, for the bike portion of the event, the scenic byway will offer athletes a picturesque view like no other along America’s Favorite Drive. This event presents a unique opportunity for recreational access to the park and invites participants to share in the stewardship of this special place — the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of our nation’s treasured landscapes. We are excited about the course that athletes will have the chance to experience as they achieve their dreams of crossing the finish line at the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge. We are also grateful to everyone who responded in support of the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, realizing the overall economic benefit of the competition and recognizing the limited access of motor vehicles ensuring a safer experience for bikers.”

The 2020 Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, taking place on Sunday, June 7, 2020, will begin with a rolling start format. The 1.2-mile swim will take place in the clear waters of Carvins Cove Reservoir. After careful consideration, the Western Virginia Water Authority is partnering with IRONMAN to hold its swimming event in Carvins Cove Reservoir because of the extraordinary opportunity this event will have to showcase the entire region to a worldwide audience. The Authority worked closely with IRONMAN to make sure that the water quality and beauty of Carvins Cove will be preserved for the benefit of all residents.

Once out of the water, athletes will take on the 56-mile bike course that is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Athletes will depart from Carvins Cove in Roanoke County and continue east into beautiful Botetourt County towards the Town of Buchanan, a quaint, walkable town with antique shops and a great view of the James River. It is the starting point for an epic four-mile climb on Route 43 to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s 469-miles links Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Athletes will experience breathtaking views of the valley, as they ride and descend 21-miles of completely closed roads to the Town of Vinton at Route 24; Vinton is a gateway community to the Blue Ridge Parkway with small town charm and is adjacent to the City of Roanoke. The ride will end at the beautiful River’s Edge Park, next to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, in the heart of Roanoke, Va.

“On behalf of the National Park Service, we are delighted to welcome triathlon participants to the Blue Ridge Parkway as part of their experience this June,” said J.D. Lee, Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway. “Organizers and sponsors have embraced a shared stewardship ethic in their planning approach, and we are excited to be part of this exceptional regional event.”

After transitioning to the run at River’s Edge Park, athletes will experience the Roanoke River Greenway, a paved trail alongside the Roanoke River Blueway for the run course, providing athletes shade while running through several parks along the course. The finish is conveniently located on the streets adjacent to River’s Edge Park.

Located in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is the largest metropolitan area in Virginia’s beautiful mountain region. It is a hub for outdoor recreation, arts and culture, and business west of Richmond. Roanoke is best known for the iconic Roanoke Star, which sits atop Mill Mountain and is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. For outdoor lovers, Roanoke offers a bevy of hiking and biking trails convenient to downtown and was designated a Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Virginia’s Blue Ridge has staked its claim as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital and is the perfect setting for an IRONMAN 70.3-branded event.

“Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is poised to welcome IRONMAN athletes and fans as the host destination,” said Lee Wilhelm, Chair of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. “The outpouring of support from athletes, longtime residents and community stakeholders who took the time to contact the NPS was truly remarkable. We are grateful to live in a region where the people are passionate about tourism. Visit VBR is committed to working collaboratively with our regional partners and IRONMAN to ensure the race is a success.”

Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, Carilion Clinic, a not-for-profit health care provider that serves more than one million people in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Southwest Virginia regions, has been named title partner of the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon.

“Carilion Clinic is excited about collaborating to sponsor the IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” said Dr. Thomas K. “TK” Miller, vice chair of orthopaedics and chief of sports medicine at Carilion Clinic and Chairman of the IRONMAN Global Medical Advisory Board. “Inclusion of the Blue Ridge Parkway on the bike route completes a trio of scenic natural settings for the triathlon course with unparalleled beauty at every turn. Carilion is looking forward to this unique opportunity to team with IRONMAN to promote the benefits of exercise and fitness and advance our mission of improving the health of the communities we serve.”

For more information on the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon, visit www.ironman.com/im703-virginia-blue-ridge. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Athlete inquiries can be directed to virginia70.3@ironman.com.

The course maps will be available here.

About the IRONMAN Group:
As part of Wanda Sports Group, The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® 70.3® Triathlon Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with more than 235 events across 55+ countries. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Wanda Sports Group:
Wanda Sports Group (Nasdaq: WSG) is a leading global sports events, media and marketing platform with a mission to unite people in sports and enable athletes and fans to live their passions and dreams. Through our businesses, including Infront and The IRONMAN Group, we have significant intellectual property rights, long-term relationships and broad execution capabilities, enabling us to deliver unrivalled sports event experiences, creating access to engaging content and building inclusive communities. We offer a comprehensive array of events, marketing and media services through three primary segments: Mass Participation, Spectator Sports and Digital, Production, Sports Solutions (DPSS). Our full-service platform creates value for our partners and clients as well as other stakeholders in the sports ecosystem, from rights owners, to brands and advertisers, and to fans and athletes. Headquartered in Beijing, China, Wanda Sports Group has more than 60 offices and 1,600 employees around the world.

About Carilion Clinic:
Carilion Clinic is a not-for-profit health care organization serving more than one million people in Virginia’s Blue Ridge and Southwest Virginia regions. Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, Carilion’s comprehensive network of hospitals, primary and specialty physician practices, and other complementary services deliver high quality, patient-centered care close to home. Carilion has a robust partnership with Virginia Tech through its creation of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, both located in Roanoke. Carilion’s commitment to advance care through education and research elements in partnership with Virginia Tech and Radford University improves the health of the communities we serve. From leadership in electronic health records and investments in and applications of digital health to developing new and innovative methods to promote health and wellness, Carilion Clinic leads advances in health care that continue to transform the regions we serve and help deliver better patient care, better community health, and lower costs. For more information, visit www.carilionclinic.org

About Virginia’s Blue Ridge:
Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is located on the East Coast of the United States in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Known as America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital, Roanoke has a wide array of metro-mountain adventures. Along with our hundreds of miles of thrilling mountain bike trails, Virginia’s Blue Ridge is best known for the adjacent Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most visited national park systems and memorable scenic drives. The region also offers hundreds of miles of hiking trails, which includes the world-famous Appalachian Trail. The running scene in VBR has an expansive greenway trails system along the panoramic routes of rivers and creeks. VBR offers a multitude of water sports activities including kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding on the Upper James River Water Trail, Roanoke River, Philpott Lake, Carvins Cove and Smith Mountain Lake. Roam the region’s many farmer’s markets or sample the craft beverage scene while exploring the VBR Cheers Trail. After a fun day of adventuring in the great outdoors, visitors can enjoy a farm-to-table experience at one of our many local restaurants. To cap off an adventurous day, catch the sunset from the scenic overlook at the iconic Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain. Come be a #Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge: www.visitvbr.com/ironman

Szemui Ho, camping, hiking, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

How to Go Back to Nature with a Fun Camping Trip

With our lives increasingly being led in fast-paced urban environments, with digital communications and social media being a large part of our lives, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many people are choosing to log-off, switch off, and head into nature for some peace and tranquility. It’s on these trips that you can rediscover yourself, find peace, and reset for the weeks ahead. As such, this guide is concerned with your wellbeing and enjoyment on such trips into the unknown – pushing you to the camping trip of your dreams. 

Pack Light

The impressive thing about serial campers is just how little they take. They know that the secret to a warm night’s sleep is as much about the quality of the fire they make as the quality of the sleeping bag they pack – and that thermals are a lot more efficient at keeping you warm than your biggest, fluffiest jumper. So, the tip here is to pack efficiently, and to pack light. Take only what you know you’ll need. Don’t lug lots of heavy things into the woods, only to lug them back the next day. Enjoy being free of possessions and stripping your life back to its essential elements – it’s all part of the fun. 

The Gear

Still, you will need some gear to truly appreciate the natural world and to make your experience of nature magical and enduringly memorable. One of the key elements of this is your fire-lighting equipment, and here you should consider using Ferro Rods: an old-school way to light a fire. Meanwhile, a small knife can be useful for sharpening sticks and helping to curate your wilderness home, and some simple cooking equipment – like a mug for tea and coffee, and a plate for the sausages and marshmallows you hold over the fire – are other great additions to you camping gear. 

Camping Spots

If you’re new to camping, you may not be well aware of the kinds of spots that are best for camping. Being by a water source can be romantic, but it’s also where flies, mosquitos and other creepy crawlies are most likely to gather. If you’re by the sea, bear in mind the changing tide and how it can raise the water level to flood your tent, even if you’re set far back from the shore. In fact, there general tip here is to camp on high ground, and under a tree for shelter from the worst of the rain – it’s the best way to stay safe and comfortable. 

Enjoy Freedom

This is your trip to reconnect with nature: don’t ruin it by constantly updating your social media, by taking a tablet to watch a film in bed, or by worrying about the world you’ve left behind. Instead, enjoy the freedom that a brief stay in nature can present in your life: dance around the campfire, or go running through a forest, along a beach, or into hills in giddy glee. It’s a wonderful experience – and one you should maximize in your time in nature.

There you have it: your guide to a ‘back-to-nature’ camping trip. 

Portugal’s Paradise: Madeira

Welcome to Madeira- a wonderful destination that has a warm year-round climate, dramatic volcanic landscapes, world-class wines, incredible hiking, a wide mix of lodging and so much more. Now closer than ever to the United States – is a the prefect warm weather winter/spring destination. All the wonders of Europe, the landscapes of a semi-tropical volcanic island, and as close as the Caribbean.

The Madeira Islands, an archipelago 750 miles southwest of Lisbon in the Atlantic Ocean, have a nearly perfect climate—warm in winter and never too hot in summer.

Ancient volcanic cliffs that rise dramatically from the sea dominate Madeira’s fascinating landscape. When Portuguese explorers came upon the Island of Madeira in 1420, they thought its dark cliffs signaled the gates of hell. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The steep rise creates six unique climate zones, each with its own beautiful flora and fauna that contribute to comparisons of Madeira with Hawaii.

The US and Madeira have long had strong bonds. Back in 1665, the British said all goods sold to its American colonies had to be shipped on British vessels from British ports, except products from Madeira. So, Madeira became the wine of America. America soon imported one-fourth of Madeira’s production of wine. George Washington supposedly drank a bottle a day. His inauguration was toasted with it, as was the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the launching of the USS Constitution. And, it became a popular destination for wealthy Americans, including US President Franklin Pierce, who spent three months on Madeira after leaving office in 1857.

Today, visitors come for the natural beauty, and they stay to experience the climate, cuisine, hiking, fishing, surf, and the old world charm of its cities and small towns. Madeira is the authentic jewel of European charm, where a visitor can experience fine wines, mountain hiking, or city culture—or easily all three in one day. Madeira has more than 200 years of hospitality traditions, famous visitors in the past included George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill. And, let me add that Madeira is a real value too, especially on the high end – with affordable lodging options, a wide range of dining, and overall very fairly priced.

American travelers are looking for a new destination. One that has a warm climate, history, wines, sun, great food, and a mix of the cosmopolitan with nature – that is Madeira. Please let me know if we can get you any additional information, or news about Madeira.

The Madeira Promotion Bureau promotes Madeira as a unique travel destination, with a focus on the travel trade. The Madeira Promotion Bureau is a non-profit association founded in August 2004 by a public entity and a private entity – the Regional Tourism Board and the Funchal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. www.apmadeira.pt/en

Getting to Madeira

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic on the 32nd parallel north. It lies southwest of Lisbon, and several hundred miles west of the coast of Morocco. It is made up of the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, as well as the Desertas and the Selvagem Islands.

Madeira has never been easier to get to. TAP Portugal offers easy connections from Lisbon – and with non-stop service to Portugal from 9 US cities on five airlines, getting a connection is easy. TAP now has a 1 stop from Boston, DC, New york and Newark, Miami, Chicago and San Francisco. It is a 1.5-hour flight from Lisbon, Porto or the Azores and it takes about 15 minutes to fly between the two islands in the group—Madeira and Porto Santo. Madeira’s Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport and the Porto Santo Airport serve the archipelago. The airport on Madeira is about a 30-minute drive to Funchal, the archipelago’s capital. Madeira has also become a major stop for cruise ships.

An overview

Madeira is a semi-tropical island rising from sea level to over 6,000 feet. Its steep pitch gives the island six distinct climate zones. The ancient Laurissilva cloud forest at the highest elevations is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, 2/3rds of Madeira is conservation land. It has mountain plains, valleys, high peaks, streams, rocky coastlines, and tidal pools. The island has a unique landscape accessed by a modern roadway system of new tunnels, and the older mountain roads they replaced that wind along the hillsides.

The south coast is sunny, and home to the cultivation of bananas, sugar cane, and grapes. Quaint fishing towns rise off the coast, where small hotels and villas welcome guests. The east coast is home to the historic towns of Caniçal, Machico and Santa Cruz. The wild Ponta de São Lourenço reserve snakes out into the ocean with great hiking and impressive views. The north coast is rugged, and features small towns and great surf. Santana is known for its straw roofed homes and great hiking and Sao Vincente has a series of lava caves. Inland, the massive peaks of Pico Ruivo and Areiro make for wild valleys and cliffs, with lots of grazing sheep and sweeping views. To the west lies the massive flat mountain plain of Paul da Serra, which feels like the surface of Mars, and the crater valley of Curral das Freiras. The sunny west coast runs from the tidal pools of Porto Moniz to the cliffs on the point at Cabo Girão.

Some 30 miles from Madeira is the smaller island of Porto Santo, famed for its long sandy beach, dunes, and vineyards. Porto Santo was where Portuguese ships first landed in 1419. Today, it earns the nickname the “Golden Island” from its undeveloped beaches and features a handful of hotels. Porto Santo’s beach is said to be one of the best in Europe, and its golden magnetized sands are famous for healing sore aches and pains. A new set of spas has recently opened to feature the sands, joined by a new golf course. Dry and sunny Porto Santo gets very little rain, perfect for a relaxing beach getaway any time of the year.

The uninhabited Desertas and Selvagens Islands are southwest and south of Madeira. The Desertas Islands’ three small, volcanic islands are a nature reserve. They serve as the last refuge of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus), the rarest seal in the world. Another 180 miles south of Madeira are the Selvagens Islands, two groups of small islands also serving as a rich nature reserve for some of the rarest plants on the planet. Ideal nesting conditions make the islands a perfect bird sanctuary. Boat trips can be arranged, but environmental laws limit visitor numbers.

The City of Funchal

“The sea on one side, the mountains on the other, and between these two majestic splendors, the city smiles like a child sleeping, safe and warm, between its parents.” – Júlio Dinis

Funchal is a bustling city that rises from the Atlantic like an amphitheatre. It boasts forts, an historic old town, well-preserved churches, inviting museums, and regionally crafted wines. It is a walkable city with a pleasant harbor and a medieval cathedral more than 500 years old. Funchal is also perpetually sunny, but when the sun goes down, it’s easy to find entertainment, fine cuisine and music in its nightclubs, restaurants, and casino. The black cliffs surrounding Funchal are dotted with world-class hotels. There is an art museum, wicker toboggan rides, wineries, an open market, seaside parks… and so much more. The Lavradores Market features the colors, aromas, flowers, fruit and fish of Madeira. On the Rua de Santa Maria, a Painted Door Project has highlighted the oldest part of the city and its historic streets. Santiago Fort is the home to the Museum of Contemporary Art. And the Madeira Story Centre offers an interactive look at the archipelago.

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the Monte Palace high above the city, is one the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world. Alongside the flowers inspired by them, the island is known for its embroidery. Unique, handmade pieces come form a team effort that includes designers, perforators and skilled embroiderers.

Wines and Hiking

Madeira is famous for the wine that bears its name and, today, is produced in a number of varieties. Funchal is the center of wine production. Madeira can be a dry table wine, a sweeter dessert wine, or a classic after-dinner drink. Its production is part of the social and economic life of the island. Each September, festivals celebrate the grape harvest. Along the warm south coast, grapes are grown on tiered terraces.

From its earliest days as a producer of wine, the island built a system of water channels, called Levadas that brought water to the vineyards. Today, they also serve as a vast network of hiking paths that run passed waterfalls and spectacular views.

Declared World Heritage in 1999, the Levadas lead to amazing scenery that includes valleys, mountains and ocean views. The most famous include: Caldeirão Verde, 25 Fontes, Risco, Balcões, and the one that goes to Pico do Arieiro from Pico Ruivo, the highest point on the island, which rises to 6,100 feet.

If you go..

Madeira is an Autonomous Region of Portugal. The archipelago has two main inhabited islands, Madeira and Porto Santo, and two groups of uninhabited islands, Desertas and Selvagens. With a total area of 310 square miles, its capital is Funchal.

Madeira has a population of 255,650, which represents 2.5% of the total Portuguese population (10.5 million). The majority of the islanders live in and around Funchal. Santa Cruz, Câmara de Lobos, and Santana are the next biggest cities.

From the United States, direct (1-stop) flights are available out of cities including Boston, New York, Newark, Providence, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Miami, and Atlanta. Azores Airlines and TAP are the main Portuguese operators flying directly and at the best rates. United, American, Delta, Norwegian or British Airways also fly to the island via connections.

Traveling from the mainland, Porto, Lisbon and Ponta Delgada airports all have non-stop flights to Funchal. And, the low-cost airlines Easyjet and Transavia also offer good deals and service.

Why Knoxville Rocks

360 Magazine Culture Editor, Tom Wilmer explores Knoxville—the third largest city in Tennessee.

When people think of Tennessee, Nashville and Memphis get the prime spotlight, and they most often make the top of the to-do list for travelers. But Knoxville has an abundance of attractions that are alluringly unique.

Knoxville’s first iteration as a world-class travel destination happened with a bang when the town hosted the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. Today the two remaining iconic vestiges are the Sunsphere tower, and a stunningly beautiful riverside performance amphitheater.

Knoxville is graced with historic architecture, both in the urban core, and surrounding residential neighborhoods, but its the friendliness of the people is an essential ingredient that makes the town so attractive.

Most of the businesses are locally owned. There’s been a recent explosion of new upscale eateries (more than 80 in the urban core) and trendy brew pubs that keep the downtown core hopping in to the wee hours of the night. Festivals like the annual Rhythm and Blooms Blues Festival in May is just a sampler of the live events that take place downtown throughout the year.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW KNOXVILLE VIDEO SLIDE SHOW

Outdoor hiking, biking and kayaking are viral endeavors for locals and visitors alike. Knoxville rightfully touts its super popular Urban Wilderness with more than 1,000 unspoiled acres right in the heart of the city.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR One/KCBX PODCAST INTERVIEW with Angie Wilson at Visit Knoxville to hear the backstory on just why this vibrant town bustles with new, locally-owned businesses.

Carol Evans shares insights about the city’s Urban Wilderness adventures for hikers, bikers. and kayakers. Sam Carlton at the four-star The TENNESSEAN Hotel talks about the Knoxville World’s Fair back in 1982, and how the momentum instilled by the fair continues today.

Tom Bugg, general manager at the city’s two historic theaters—the Tennessee and the Bijou Theatre—paints a vivid picture of Knoxville’s past and present, and how the renovation of the theaters served as an economic stimulus for other downtown revitalization projects.

David Butler, executive director at the Knoxville Museum of Art talks about community engagement through showcasing regional art, educational outreach and gratis admission.

The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair “Sunsphere”still graces the skyline in the heart of town

10 Ways to Keep the Family Physically and Mentally Active This Summer

With summer break upon us, many parents will be scrambling for ideas of how to keep their families active over the next couple of months. Staying active, both physically and mentally, can help families avoid the dreaded summer brain drain, where kids tend to lose some of what they learned during the school year, and it can help keep the body healthier. Plus, you can make some great family memories and everyone can learn something. There are numerous ways for the whole family to keep active this summer in the Pigeon Forge area.

“Summer is a great time to engage your family in something new,” states Ed Shaffer, General Manager for WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. “By seeing and experiencing different things over the break, their mind and body will stay active and challenged. The Pigeon Forge area offers plenty of opportunities for the family to make memories together.”

Here are 10 ways to keep the family physically and mentally active this summer in the Pigeon Forge area:

  1. Explore Art. Check out the illusion artwork at WonderWorks, some of which have hidden objects. You can also play brain games by answering riddles along the way.
  2. Get climbing. WonderWorks offers a 50-foot tall indoor ropes course, where you can be challenged and have fun. The four stories of ropes over over 50 different obstacles and activities.
  3. Play tag. There’s nothing like a family-friendly game of laser tag to create fun memories. WonderWorks offers offers an interactive laser tag option that is a great experience for the whole family.
  4. Be awed. Don’t miss The Wonders of Magic show at WonderWorks, starring Terry Evanswood. Considered the best magic show in the state, it won’t disappoint!
  5. Start digging. Visit the interactive sandbox at WonderWorks, where every hand motion and sand movement leads to more to explore.
  6. Take a hike. The wonders of nature and benefits of spending time out in it cannot be overlooked. Pick a trail that is appropriate for all ages of those in your family, and head out for a nice hike.
  7. Learn something new. Visit a nature center, where you can take part in guided activities, learning about things in the environment.
  8. Family bike ride. Head out on one of the area’s paved bike trails, such as Riverwalk Greenway, and explore by bike. Those who are not local can rent bikes for the journey.
  9. Visit goats. Give the kids a hands-on experience with animals. Families love stopping by to see and feed the animals at Goats on the Roof.
  10. Go downriver. A fun family experience for everyone, head out for a couple of hours of family tubing or rafting. This experience provides an exhilarating experience for all.

“We are blessed to live in an area that offers many family friendly activity opportunities,” added Shaffer. “Combining WonderWorks with some outdoor activities will help keep your loved ones physically and mentally strong and growing over the summer break.”

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. They offer over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters, space discovery, an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone, a far out art gallery, and a light and sound zone. WonderWorks is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, log onto their site: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge/.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits – there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is also home to Wonders of Magic, starring Terry Evanswood, the award-winning and longest running performer in Pigeon Forge. WonderWorks hosts birthday parties and special events seasonally. Open daily from 9 a.m. until midnight. https://www.wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge.

Easy Ways to Plan Mother’s Day

Unforgettable Mother’s Day Getaways

Forget breakfast in bed–this Mother’s Day, treat the ladies in your life to the vacation they deserve. From weekend hiking excursions in the Catskills to phone-free retreats in the stunning mountains of Alaska, we gathered the most wonderful ways to show your love to the mom who deserves more than a day to celebrate.  

For the Brand New Mom

Separation anxiety need not apply–give Mom a break while making beautiful family memories with the Baby’s First Holiday package at Martinhal Cascais Family Hotel in Lisbon. You’ll be greeted with a baby welcome pack and a special gift for the baby, then guided to your Deluxe Room complete with a private balcony, baby cot, bottle warmer and sterilizer, and changing mat. The package includes plenty of ways for new parents to unwind with a spa treatment for Mom and Dad, a 3-course romantic dinner with a babysitter included, and two hours of childcare per day. Spend quality time dolphin-watching, hiking, or kayaking on the vibrant Lisbon coast, or explore the region by bike with Martinhal Cascais’s convenient on-site Bike Station. Martinhal’s first water experience for baby and parents rounds out this once-in-a-lifetime vacation.  If the beachy Algarve is more your style, the same package is available at Martinhal Sagres.

For the Mom with a Favorite Pair of Hiking Boots

Nature is a Mother, too, so she knows what moms need. From upstate in New York’s scenic Finger Lakes to the ancient beauty of Machu Picchu, Discover Outdoors plans excursions for families with every time frame and skill level. Moms can hike, bike, hang glide, and more through the world outside of their metropolitan life. The premier guide company scouts the country’s most scenic locales, plans expeditions, and provides transportation out of the city.  All you need to do is sign up, get outside, and let Mother Nature do the rest. For the adults, plenty of adventures end in beer, wine, or whiskey. If Mom needs a break from the kids, send her off on an all-women Morning Meditation, Nature Photography Course, or Overnight Backpacking adventure, or sign up for the Women in the Outdoors week.

For the Mom Who’s Up for an Adventure

Come to the Tordrillo Mountain Lodge for the blue skies of Alaskan summer and stay for the thrill of adventure in the unparalleled mountain scenery of the Tordrillo Range. The volcanic peaks are known for stable weather conditions, creating ideal opportunities for Alaskan heli skiing–in June, ski in your t-shirt through carvable corn snow and 75-degree weather. Other sporty summer pursuits include world-class fishing, mountain biking on glaciers, whitewater rafting, glacier and alpine hiking, rock and ice climbing, canoeing, water skiing, and more. After a full day of fun, unwind by the fireplace while Mom enjoys a glass of wine from the 500-bottle cellar or soak in the luxurious lakeside wood-fired hot tub and sauna.

For the Mom Who Rocks a Five Iron

Hit the links in Vail, Colorado, at the Sonnenalp Hotel’s semi-private, 7,100-yard championship links style golf course. Take the whole family for 18 holes that cater to golfers of every skill level, with everyday playability as well as opportunities to find challenges for those who seek them. Add in some extra time to take in the breathtaking Rocky Mountain views, as the Sonnenalp Club is fabulously located to allow dramatic morning and afternoon sun to highlight the mountains’ natural radiance. Back at the Sonnenalp Hotel enjoy an exquisite spa experience, relaxing indoor and outdoor whirlpools with views of Gore Creek, and luxury lodging that perfectly captures the rustic charm of the Sonnenalp’s surroundings.

For the Mom Who Wants Her Children Off of Social Media

Get off the grid at Sheldon Chalet, a luxurious home away from home in a corner of Denali National Park so remote that you can only get there by helicopter. At an atmosphere of 6,000 feet, the troposphere above Sheldon Chalet is some of the thinnest on the planet–not great for cell signal, but ideal for jaw-dropping views of jagged snowy mountains, shooting stars, and the purple, green, and blue hues of the Aurora Borealis. Venture out onto the Ruth Glacier with a mountaineering guide or explore the crevasses of the surrounding Alaska Range, then return to the Chalet to indulge in gourmet, fresh Alaskan cuisine in a cozy lodge setting that only holds up to ten guests at a time.

For the Mom Who Loves to Learn

Culture, history, and conservation come together in one incredible place at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize. The Resort’s on-site guides entertain and educate while exposing guests to the tropical beauty of Belize. Explore ancient Mayan ruins that haunt the jungle, venture into San Ignacio for a taste of the local culture, or join a birdwatching tour to seek the elusive Crested Caracara. Discover the biodiversity of surrounding ecosystems while horseback riding, ziplining, or rappelling through caves. Book a stay in the River View Suite and enjoy complimentary access to the Resort’s Green Iguana Conservation Project, an interactive exhibit educating guests about the endangered Green Iguana, and the Medicinal Trail tour that investigates rainforest plants and herbs utilized by the Maya community for healing.

For the Mom in Need of Pampering

Moms are always looking after everyone else–give Mom some “me time” at a spa unlike any other. The Spa at Al Bait Sharjah UAE opens the door to traditional Middle Eastern beauty and wellness secrets, incorporating the most effective healing of the Far East. Using organic artisan products, the spa pampers and restores through body polishes, nurturing body wraps, rejuvenating beauty rituals, and therapeutic massages. Guests have access to separate relaxation lounges, hammam, steam rooms, and saunas. Your mom will return home relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the world.

Morro Bay Bike Ride

Public Invited to Ride across Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish at the Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event and Party at the Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet

Cycle through the Stage 4 Finish Line on Race Day, Meet Former Professional

American Cyclist and Author Bob Roll and other Pro Cyclists at The Siren, Volunteer and Watch the Race Front and Center, Book Race Day VIP Lodging Packages or Hotels along the Race Route

The public is invited to participate in Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 race day fun in #cyclingmecca Morro Bay. The 2019 Amgen Tour of California announced Morro Bay will host the Stage 4 Finish of the men’s race on May 15, 2019 following the scenic route the Amgen Tour took in 2017, when Peter Sagan won the sprint finish. After passing through picturesque Morro Bay State Park, where riders get their first glimpse of iconic Morro Rock, Morro Bay’s busting waterfront before sprinting uphill into downtown Morro Bay for the big finish.

“Of all sports, it is cycling that has the most beautiful stadium and this ocean front Stage 4 Finish in Morro Bay is a stunner,” according to Bob Roll, former professional American cyclist and author. “With perfect year round riding weather, the world will get its chance to experience what the locals have enjoyed for years: varied terrain, wide open roads, first class dining and drop dead views. Can’t wait to be there!”

Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event: Ride Across the Amgen Stage 4 Finish Line

Join event producer RaceSLO on race day for the Morro Bay Bike Ride May 15, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. This ride ends with a sprint through the Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish line on Harbor Street! All levels are welcome to this celebratory cycle pep rally with three participation options: kid-friendly, recreational rider or seasoned cyclist. Enjoy vendors, food and beverages as the crowd awaits the professional racers to start crossing the finish around 3:40 pm. Participants receive a collectible event t-shirt and free bike valet. Ride proceeds go to local non-profit partner Bike SLO County.

Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet at Siren Rhythm & Booze

Stick around after the race and head to the FREE Bob Roll Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet Event at The Siren May 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm, produced by RaceSLO. Get some cool cycling swag and raise some cold craft pints while helping raise funds for Bike SLO County during a LIVE Auction. Enjoy live music and catch a glimpse of Amgen competitors up close and personal. The event is over 21 only and FREE, but seating is limited so you must pre-register and present a ticket at the door.

Volunteer at Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish

Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. Tour officials say the 2019 race will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history. Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success. You don’t have to live in Morro Bay to participate. Click here to sign up and see the race up close!

Book Lodging Along the Race Route or Amgen Tour of California VIP Packages

Book your stay at a hotel along the Amgen Tour of California route to get a front row seat as the riders pass by. Or, book a suite or waterfront room in one of the participating Morro Bay hotels and receive exclusive access into the Amgen Tour of California VIP tent filled with perks and goodies! Hospitality Passes provide exclusive access into the main VIP Hospitality Tent located adjacent to the FINISH Line. VIP Hospitality Includes:

  • Swag bag of goodies that you’ll receive upon check-in
  • Premium Viewing Location right at the finish line
  • Gourmet foods catered from local restaurants throughout the area
  • Open Bar (includes beer and wine)
  • Lounge Style Seating with closed-circuit tv viewing
  • Live Race Coverage (last two hours of the broadcast)

For additional information on hotels in Morro Bay check out our booking engine here. Recently named one of the Best Small Towns in CA by Country Living Magazine, Morro Bay offers year round mild weather, perfect for epic outdoor adventure all year long. For more information on visiting Morro Bay, go to www.morrobay.org. #multisportmecca

About Morro Bay

A true #outdoormecca, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture-perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in nature. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Moab Adventure Center

Two popular multi-day adventure vacation packages invite active travelers to explore the wonders in and around the red rock playground of Moab, Utah, during the 2019 season. But visitors take note: due to the growing demand for quick escapes, space will go fast!

Moab Adventure Center (www.moabadventurecenter.com), the go-to specialists for all the outdoor pursuits Moab is famous for, has seen bookings increase every year for its four-day Southwest Sampler and their 4-day Westwater Canyon Multi-Sport vacation packages.

“We’ve experienced unsurpassed growth over the past several years on our multi-day tours that include activities and lodging,” reports Brandon Lake, company CMO. “For 2019, we took action and have doubled our guest capacity on the ever popular Moab, Utah vacation package, the Southwest Sampler.”

There’s good availability now for the spring and summer on all Moab Adventure Center’s offerings, but Lake suggests booking soon for the coming season.

“These popular programs fit perfectly into the type of escape visitors are now into,” explains Lake. “They are short (just four days and three nights), the activities are thrilling but easy enough for most everyone to enjoy, as multisport programs the action never stops (think Hummer Safari, an Arches National Park Tour, and whitewater rafting), one package offers a mix of camping and hotel lodging, and with both, there’s ample time to fill out the week by further exploring Moab and the surrounding region pre- or post-trip.”

Bundling the activities rather than reserving a la carte also saves money.

Keeping pace with increased sales and demand, new for 2019 is a partnership between the Moab Adventure Center and the newly opened SpringHill Suites by Marriott for lodging. Offering twice as many guest rooms as the previous property utilized, it has enabled the tour operator to double guest capacity on its Southwest Sampler package. Widely considered to be the best family hotel in Moab, it offers multiple pools, hot tubs, and a kid’s canyon, complete with a splash pad and waterfalls.

Moab Adventure Center’s Southwest Sampler captures the best of the Southwest over four days and three nights from May through August. Guests lodge the first two nights at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott that enjoys the closest proximity to Arches National Park of any lodging in town. From here, guests enjoy an off-road Hummer Safari through a fantasyland of slickrock. Then comes a two-day, 19.6-mile river rafting adventure through Class I and II rapids, with one night of pampered beach camping on the banks of the Colorado River. The per person rate is $690 for ages 16 and up and $595 for ages 5-15. Thanks to the amenities and easy river passage this is a program that can suit the needs of young families with children as young as age 5. See: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/southwest-sampler

Westwater Canyon Multi-Sport engages Moab’s breathtaking backcountry via a red rock Hummer Safari and rafting the Class III-V rapids of the Colorado River while coursing through Westwater Canyon. This is a four-day getaway available from June through September. The package includes three luxury nights of lodging at Red Cliffs Lodge situated on the banks of the Colorado River. National Geographic dubbed the 26-mile rafting adventure through Westwater Canyon “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip.” There’s an optional horseback ride in Castle Valley where movies and commercials are frequently shot. The package for ages 16 and up is $705; for youth 12-15 $675. Included are three breakfasts, accommodation, one dinner, one on-river lunch, activities and transfers to and from the raft put-in. For details see https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/westwater-canyon-package

About the Moab Adventure Center
Moab Adventure Center is at the epicenter of nature-themed rather than theme-park-style adventure, promising activities that include rafting, jet boating, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking and hot air ballooning. Hummer safaris, rock climbing, canyoneering and horseback riding are also very popular pursuits. Many of these activities are conducted with guides, an arrangement that helps preclude the kind of damage to the land that can happen when uneducated visitors venture into sensitive areas. Guides help people understand where they can move through backcountry with the least impact possible.

The Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations please call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs.