Posts tagged with "kayaking"

Vaughn Lowery photographs his stay in Door County, Wisconsin for 360 MAGAZINE.

DOOR COUNTY – SUMMER 2020

By Elle Grant × Vaughn Lowery

People might hesitate to think of Wisconsin as a summer destination, but Door County proves otherwise is true. At the end of August, 360 Magazine was able to spend some time in this beautiful area, connecting with nature and the local cuisine. Door County features an array of activities based in its spectacular natural environment, for both those seeking a more tranquil getaway and for the thrill seekers. All this paired alongside local eats made for an outstanding end of summer getaway.

A favorite of summer tourists, Door County becomes a hub between Memorial and Labor Day each year with summer visitors arriving from the more metropolitan areas of Milwaukee, Chicago, Green Bay, and the Twin Cities. Generally, the population is just under 30,000 but swells over the summer with tourists. Ithas earned the nickname “the Cape Cod of the Midwest.” Local industry includes the aforementioned tourism, but their fishing industry as well as local agriculture also are economic staples for Door County. to five state parks and ten lighthouses, Door County is known for its natural scenery above all else, as well as their beaches. Its location makes it the perfect location for all kinds of getaways, from a family adventure, to a couple’s retreat, or even for a late summer wedding destination.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, not all travel is virus friendly. Luckily, as Door County’s out of doors experiences are the area’s focal point, travel to this area is far more in line with social distancing andgovernment advisories compared to other options. Safety and health precautions were taken throughout this experience. The outdoor adventure focus made it the perfect getaway during these complex times.

Starting off our stay at Bayshore Inn lodging, we were immediately impressed with both the indoor and outdoor swimming pool, gym, game room and private beach. Their evening bonfires were especially fun – reminiscent of the best parts of summer camp! Our rooms were also incredibly spacious and featured a balcony along with a full kitchen. A fireplace, while not as helpful in August, would make a winter stay beyond cozy. Our first dinner, at the nearby Fred & Fuzzy’s Waterfront Grill in Sister Bay kicked off our stay perfectly. A purple and orange Wisconsin sunset colored the sky over old-fashioned cocktails.

During our stay, we quickly came to appreciate the raw beauty of Door County. Kayaking at the Door Country Adventure Center proved to be a remarkable experience. Taking a kayak along the Lake Michigan shoreline, we were able to witness the geologic wonders of Cave Point County Park – more natural sights to Wisconsin than we ever expected. Moving along the water felt like we were paddling through a still mirror – gorgeous. After a mile from our start point, the coves and caves of the area began to reveal themselves both above and below the waterline. This can only be experienced from the point of view of the water and navigating this area by kayak seems to be the best option by far to see these phenomenal geological sites.

An immediate standout was a bike ride along the Sunset Trail. This 10-mile bike path through all types of landscapes truly conveyed the varied scenery including Weborg Marsh, cedar and maple tree groves, and cliff communities. It begins near the Fish Creek entrance to Peninsula State Park and would be suitable for most novices but warned the hills can invite a bit of a challenge. Some of our party had to “walk” rather than “ride” up a few hills. Yet the views are worth it and not to be missed! Towards the end of the trail is one of Door County’s ten lighthouses which offers classic coastal charm. For those not faint of heart, there is cliff-jumping as well. Wisconsin’s one and only. Our experience was nothing short of heart-stopping. The thrill of leaping into stunning waters is well-worth facing any fears!

At Wisconsin’s only wildernessstate park, Newport State Park, we had the opportunity to go stargazing. Away from the bustle and pollution of the city, the night skies were flooded with stars. There is something particularly spiritual about the natural world by night.

The next morning, another unique experience along the Door County coast was that of morning paddleboard yoga. Bringing our yoga afloat on the waters of Lake Michigan proved a new experience but was very beginner-friendly and inclusive. The boards were weighted down with anchors to ensure that keeping balance was on us – not the waves! Both breath work and more advanced yoga postures are included with classes with Bay Shore Outfitters, and a paddle along the shore of Sister Bay afterwards was the perfect way to cap the morning.

Door County’s cuisine dazzled throughout our stay, but especially at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria were our tastebuds set alight. A family-friendly restaurant overlooking Sturgeon Bay, their Chicago-style pizzas, tasty appetizers, and pasta dishes all impressed. Another culinary standout included a fish boil at the Old Post Office Restaurant. This dining experience is unique to the region, featuring Lake Michigan whitefish caught by local fishermen, paired with potatoes and a classic cherry pie. It proved to be a meal that was tasty, educational, and true to tradition, fun to share with others. Other treats like cinnamon rolls Grandma’s Swedish Bakery, Door County cherry margaritas, or tacos from Taco Cerveza made for a deliciously varied experience.

All in all, the experiences 360 magazine had in Door County, Wisconsin have transformed our understanding of the state forever. The natural beauty of the area isn’t to be underestimated – with the striking vistas along Lake Michigan, it was the perfect way to end summer 2020.

Below are links to where 360 Magazine stayed, ate, and adventured!

Bayshore Inn

Fred & Fuzzy’s Waterfront Grill in Sister Bay

Grandma’s Swedish Bakery at Rowley’s Bay Resort

DC Adventure Center

Wilson’s

Taco Cerveza

The Old Post Office Restaurant

Newport State Park

Julie’s Park Café

Bay Shore Outfitters Paddleboard Yoga

Thyme Cuisine

Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria

Ocean View illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

The Gasparilla Inn & Club

The Gasparilla Inn & Club is pleased to announce its 2020 Gasparilla Experience Package. The package offers guests a wide variety of unique Gasparilla Island activities, including exciting golf, tennis, kayaking, paddleboard, tennis, pickleball, fitness and sunset cruise experiences, while the Inn’s Beach Club undergoes a transformative and exciting renovation. 

The exclusive offer includes a complimentary experience each day, a complimentary golf cart to explore the island during your stay and complimentary breakfast in the Inn’s Dining Room. “The Gasparilla Experience Package” will be offered October 8-31, 2020. 

Guests can select one of the following complimentary experiences each day:

  • 18 holes of golf on the Pete Dye Championship Golf Course, including 30 minutes of instruction with a Gasparilla Inn PGA Professional.
  • A guided kayak or paddleboard tour in the waters surrounding Gasparilla Island.
  • Unlimited Tennis and Pickleball, including 30 minutes of instruction from a USTA-Certified Professional
  • A sunset cruise in the Gulf of Mexico 
  • 30 minutes of private fitness instruction with a Certified Personal Trainer.

There are so many ways to enjoy our Island and the great outdoors. Guests can pick and choose whatever experience excites them each day,” said Jon Reecher, General Manager.

Rates begin at $399 per night based upon double occupancy. To book, please call 844.253.1289. 

Entering its 107th season, The Gasparilla Inn & Club has been a premier destination on Florida’s Gulf Coast since 1913. A member of Historic Hotels of America and listed on The National Register of Historic Places, this grand resort offers 142 accommodations in a pristine environment in the heart of Boca Grande, located on Gasparilla Island. Owned by the William Farish family, the resort has played host to many notables throughout its storied history, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Thomas Edison, Katharine Hepburn, the George H.W. Bush family, members of the DuPont family, and others.

Follow The Gasparilla Inn & Club: Facebook | Instagram

Vacation in Mendocino County

Now that shelter-in-place has been modified to allow Mendocino County to welcome visitors, it’s time to plan the perfect escape to bypass the crowds and refresh the soul. Visitors draw strength from redwoods that soar to the heavens and are reinvigorated by stunning views and crashing waves. Communing with nature reduces stress and can boost both mental and physical health. There’s even evidence that it helps build immunity. Here are three charming inns that offer specials and packages that enable guests to take advantage of the wild and wonderful woods and water that make the Mendocino Coast magical, along with a heritage train that offers a Railbikes experience, the ultimate way to get up-close and personal with nature.

Let Fort Bragg’s Noyo River wash life’s cares away. Noyo Harbor Inn & Restaurant, a gracious hilltop property with sweeping views over a quaint working harbor, offers a complimentary Noyo Meander Experience for two (via Liquid Fusion Kayaking) and a bottle of local wine with any three-night stay. Guests can relax with a guided float in a two-person tandem kayak along the placid waters of the Noyo River, where all ages are delighted by curious harbor seals, amazed by gigantic sea lions, teased by mischievous river otters, and intrigued by coastal birds. It’s a dry and comfortable 90-minute ride – no special clothes, previous experience, or equipment are required. The inn itself has refurbished and updated rooms throughout that provide spacious comfort while retaining some of the exquisite features left by the Norwegian shipbuilders who embellished the inn. Many of the elegantly appointed rooms boast fireplaces, soaking tubs, and private balconies. Their charming restaurant is currently serving diners on the outdoor patio overlooking the river and boat docks, and at select tables spread out across the lush grounds, and features pre-Prohibition era cocktails and California Coastal Cuisine, including fresh wild-caught fish from the harbor below and herbs and vegetables gathered from the Chef’s garden. Room service (including signature cocktails) is available. The Noyo Meander Experience special offer is available now through Labor Day weekend.

Information: Noyo Harbor Inn, Restaurant & Tavern, 500 Casa Del Noyo, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 | 707-961-8000 | Website

The iconic Little River Inn has a wonderful package for families who love the outdoors. The Stargazing Family Fun Package comes complete with a blanket and hot cocoa, the better to enjoy the nightly display that is spectacular so far from the lights of the city. Owned and operated by the same family for five generations, the inn is a turn-of-the-century stunner, surrounded by manicured gardens and just steps away from the hikeable Van Damme State Park and the scenic Van Damme State Beach. The Inn is appropriate for any budget, with 65 rooms – from the affordable to the downright luxurious – all with ocean views. Everything needed for a fabulous vacation is right onsite. The full-service resort boasts an Audubon-certified golf course, regulation tennis courts, a spa, and an award-winning restaurant that is currently serving diners in the heated garden area or at the ocean-view picnics tables set up in the front of the property. The Stargazing Family Fun Package includes two nights lodging in a Traditional Ocean View Room with two queen beds; a Little River Inn travel blanket; the loan of their stargazing kit (including special binoculars and a star map, star guide, and flashlight); hot chocolate to enjoy while stargazing; and information on stargazing for the area. The Stargazing Family Fun Package for four starts at $438 for a two-night stay, exclusive of tax and gratuity. More luxurious rooms are available for an additional price. Available year-round.

Information: Little River Inn, 7901 N. Highway One, Little River, CA 95456 | (707) 937-5942, | Website

The folks at the Brewery Gulch Inn know that no outdoor sojourn would be complete without a bonfire on a (mostly deserted) beach. Their Big River Bonfire Package finds guests watching the sun slip below the horizon and if they’re lucky, they will catch a glimpse of the mythical green flash while enjoying toasting marshmallows on Mendocino’s most beloved beach. As darkness falls and the stars begin their dance across the sky, a warm bonfire crackles, custom-built by the inn’s dedicated Fanner of the Flame. If the night is clear and moonless, stargazers may be rewarded by a picture-perfect view of the Milky Way. Included in this package are all the fixin’s for s’mores; beach chairs; a beach blanket; a Bluetooth speaker; and Northern California’s version of the Map to the Stars. Crafted from eco-salvaged redwood on a bluff high over stunning Smuggler’s Cove, Brewery Gulch Inn is an architectural masterpiece. Named as one of California’s Top Destination Resorts in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards (2020 marks their 4th time making the list), the property encompasses three acres of mature pines and redwoods, wooded glens, wetland ponds, and gardens for strolling. Inside there is warmly glowing arts and crafts furniture and a four-sided glass and steel fireplace. In the rooms, there are feather beds cloaked in Sferra linens, Molton Brown products, Himalayan bath salts, and thick Abyss towels. Their full-time executive chef prepares complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts and a coveted nightly dinner buffet and wine hour that highlights locally-sourced, organic ingredients. For an additional $75, guests can add the Big River Bonfire Package to any room. Available year-round.

Information: Brewery Gulch Inn, 9401 N. Highway One, Mendocino, CA 95460 | (707) 937-4752 | Website.

The California Western Railroad’s Skunk Train, a 135-year-old heritage train line that takes visitors deep into ancient Redwood forests, offers an additional and highly unique way to enjoy the tracks – riding them on specially designed Railbikes. The Railbikes run in-between trains and sit securely on the tracks, allowing passengers to enjoy the redwoods in a peaceful, quiet, and highly personal way, observing trees that are more than 1,000 years old. Electric-powered and virtually silent, these custom-built, two-person Railbikes breeze along the world-famous Redwood Route, wending their way along scenic Pudding Creek, crossing over majestic wooden trestle bridges, and journeying into the heart of the ancient redwoods of Mendocino County. Bathed in dappled sunlight and a light breeze, without the need to steer, riders are unbound, able to look around at the wonder of this untouched stretch of the natural world, spotting wildlife such as blue herons and osprey, an occasional lounging turtle, and perhaps a playful river otter. The Skunk Train offers the only experience in the US where riders can enjoy electric-powered railbikes (vs pedal-powered; though riders can choose to pedal as well, or do a mix of both). The Railbikes run out of the Fort Bragg station and cost $250 per bike, with room for two riders. To elevate the experience, there is a luxury picnic package that includes a picnic basket with an assortment of charcuterie for two, a picnic blanket, two go-anywhere wine glasses, and a beverage of choice for $395 for two. The first ride of the day at 8:30 am is offered at an early-bird rate of $195 per bike. For a more traditional experience, the Skunk Train has carried passengers along the Redwood Route since 1885. Riders travel over bridges and deep into the heart of the redwoods, through terrain that has remained essentially undisturbed for centuries. Beginning on June 20, the Skunk Train reintroduced the Pudding Creek Express train out of Fort Bragg. This 7-mile round-trip journey to Glen Blair Junction snakes along the Pudding Creek Estuary, as riders travel over some of the first tracks laid down by the California Western Railroad in 1885. Or take the Wolf Tree Turn train out of Willits. This 2-hour round-trip train from Willits climbs up to the highest point of the line (elevation 1,740 feet), through Tunnel #2, and down into the Noyo River Canyon.

Information: Skunk Train, 100 W. Laurel Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 | 707-964-6371 (Fort Bragg Depot) || 299 E Commercial St, Willits, CA 95490 | 707-964-6371 (Willits Depot) || Website

As Mendocino County reopens to outside visitors, they are very mindful of their role as stewards, and ask all visitors to do their part to help keep the area safe. The businesses above have all been self-certified to host visitors to the utmost safety standards and strictest cleaning protocols, above and beyond what is mandated by the June 12 order of the Mendocino County Public Health Office. Masks must be worn in the county when not eating and drinking and people are asked to stay six feet away from anyone not in their household group.

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Hotel

Road Trip Hotels

Three hotels around the country are ready to safely host road-tripping guests

The Shore Club Wisconsin, The Inn Hotel, and The Penn Stroud have recently joined Choice Hotels International, Inc.’s Ascend Hotel Collection,  a global portfolio of resort, boutique and historic hotels. All three hotels are just a few hours’ drive from major U.S. cities and bustling suburbs, making them optimal destinations for guests who are looking to hit the road and start exploring again.

“Research shows that more than two-thirds of consumers miss traveling and can’t wait to hit the road again, and many people will take more trips by car as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dianne Taylor, head of brand, Ascend Hotel Collection, Choice Hotels.

“The addition of these hotels to our Ascend Hotel Collection reaffirms that the road forward is paved with opportunity – both for guests ready to return to travel, and for the hotel owners who are ready to welcome them,” said Mark Shalala, senior vice president of development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “Guests value both the security of brands they trust as well as individuality, and the Ascend brand brings them the best of both. Backed by Choice’s industry-leading technology, robust distribution and reservation channels, and comprehensive Commitment to Clean initiative, Ascend hotels are poised for continued success in the months and years ahead.”

All Choice-branded hotels are participating in Commitment to Clean, which is the company’s global, holistic approach to supplying franchisees and their employees with the tools to address health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative enhances existing best practice guidance for deep cleaning, disinfecting, hygiene and social distancing.

About The Shore Club Wisconsin:

Located at 276 Victorian Village Dr. in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, this recently renovated hotel provides guests with convenient access to charming attractions surrounding the shore and boasts 600 feet of private beach. Guests can lounge lakefront or try out a number of entertaining watersports, such as paddle boarding, kayaking, water skiing, wakeboarding or tubing. The Cottonwood Social and world-famous Tiki Bar are also on-site for guests seeking a drink or bite to eat.

About The Inn Hotel:

Found at 15 Dam Rd. in Arnolds Park, Iowa, this hotel channels the storied history of the building’s predecessor, which was an epicenter for social life along Lake Okoboji from the late 19th century until 2018. The new hotel leans into an Art Deco style that transports guests back to the Roaring ’20s, while still delivering the modern amenities that today’s leisure travelers seek. Embraced by tranquil lakes on three sides and quaint attractions and eateries to the south, The Inn Hotel is a true midwestern gem.

About The Penn Stroud:

Located at 700 Main St. in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, this hotel reflects nearly 200 years of history while offering guests upscale amenities in a premium location following a multi-million-dollar renovation. The Penn Stroud, nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, is close to the Appalachian Trail – one of the country’s most traversed hiking routes. Downtown Stroudsburg is home to several art galleries, cafes and historic sites, and the hotel is also close to attractions including Mountain View Vineyard and Alpine Mountain Skiing.

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

Baby Sea Otter Reunited With Mother

Watch Video of Baby Sea Otter Reunited With its Mother in Morro Bay

Morro Bay Harbor Department Saves the Day for This Otter Family

In between cloudbursts yesterday, a baby sea otter was reunited with its mother. The baby, spotted alone by one of the community’s commercial fishermen, got assistance from the Harbor Department, the Marine Mammal Center and Mike Harris of Fish & Wildlife. The city of Morro Bay caught this video of the baby being released before swimming to its mother.

As the Harbor Department commented, “All in a day’s work.”

For the last couple years, thereߣs been an abundance of pure unadulterated cuteness going on in the seaside town due to an increase in California Sea Otter families that call Morro Bay home. Mommas and babies are everywhere eating and grooming each other as if no one is watching. But we are and we canߣt look away – they are so dang cute! Now is the perfect time to catch a glimpse of these sea creatures in their natural habitat since Morro Bay harbor is experiencing the highest count to date of these adorable critters. A survey taken last May of the Morro Bay harbor documented adult sea otters and nine pups, a significantly higher number than the typical five or fewer otters frequenting the harbor in the early 2000s.

“Large gatherings of otters throughout the harbor have attracted tourists and locals all along the waterfront to experience them in their natural habitat,” explains Jennifer Little, Executive Director of Discover Morro Bay. “You can watch along the shore or rent paddleboards and watch from a safe distance on the water as they forage for food and groom their young. They use rocks and other tools to break open crab and local food sources and are so fun to watch. We’ve seen up to 30 or 40 of them at a time floating around on their backs and enjoying life in Morro Bay.”

Just plop down a beach chair along the Morro Bay Harbor Walk and start watching – they’re everywhere and easy to find. If there isnߣt a family of otters hanging out already, they will soon appear. The southeast side of Morro Rock is a great landmark for sea otter viewing as is Coleman beach at the intersection of Embarcadero and Coleman Drive. There are also public viewing spots all along the Embarcadero for wildlife viewing in between the plethora of restaurants, boutique shops and wine bars. To get an even closer look, paddle out in a kayak or rent a boat at Bay Cruisers and Electric Boats. Visitors can also take a ride on the Lost Isle Tiki boat to see the otters and the ever-barking sea lions, which includes a quick detour to the Morro Bay natural sand spit. Kayaks can be rented at Kayak Horizons and the Kayak Shack.

Experts say what’s really driving the population increase is the abundance of food they find in the waters of Morro Bay. Sea otters are integral to the health of the Morro Bay harbor environment. When viewing otters be very careful as they are wild animals and may react poorly if approached. When viewing from the water, it’s best to stay at least five kayak lengths away at all times and enjoy them in a responsible manner.

Huba-Huba Cambodia

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Cameron Michael Parkes was born in Vancouver, Canada (in British Columbia). He graduated from the University of Calgary, majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in petroleum. While working at a consulting firm, the oil prices dropped and he used his severance package to travel the world.

Throughout his two year journey in Southeast Asia, he found himself at Koh Rong Samloem – a small island just off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Two main places to stay are Saracen Bay (dense more modern filled with tourists) or Mpei Bay (rustic village area with tons of locals). After a few weeks in both places, Cameron decides to trench through the hot and sticky jungle (with snakes, wild monkeys and insects) to the most desolate yet serene part of the island, Sunset Beach. He quickly becomes acquainted with paradise and decides to plant his feet at Huba-Huba where he enjoys perfect sunsets with unobstructed sea views.

After a brief trip to Sri Lanka, he returns to Huba-Huba to discover that the owner’s husband had passed in a tragic motorcycle accident. The widow offered to sell and Cameron decided to purchase. Looking back he says, “I like the beach-jungle vibe which isn’t perfect. I love this spot. Right on the beach, beautiful bay, monkeys come around, geckos.”

Huba-Huba Cambodia

Situated at the end of the beach, it contains 4 bungalows, 1 family bungalow, 4 private double rooms and 1 dorm – 8 beds and 3 tents. Their kitchen is armed with one of the best cooks on the entire island. Their “BBQ Nights” serve up sensational samplers of pork ribs, tofu, prawns and chicken. Polite waitstaff, heavy handed mixologists and free painting station where you can repurpose instruments as well as pieces of wood to build a sculpture from scratch. Snorkeling gear is available for rental.

Sleeping Trees owned by Yves Chalot

Yves (a notable bartender from Brittany) came to Sunset Beach as a dive instructor and fell in love. One day after speaking with his bosses, he discovers a beachfront property for rent. Then he invites his brother (a carpenter) and they decided to erect ‘Sleeping Trees.’ The name derived from only having tree tents and the idea of ‘sleep in’ trees arose. The vacation area has two newly renovated bungalows, four tipis and four tree tents. Each space can accommodate up to two people. In addition, there’s a 4-room dorm which can host eight. At the present moment, both owners want to focus on better gardening and overall aesthetics of the property. Best attributes are their crepes, homemade rum shots and Reggae Night on Saturdays.

Robinson Bungalows

Sebastian Straub, former social worker in Switzerland, has now owned the property for 5 years alongside of his wife Julia. Their location is pet-friendly and includes 7 bungalows and 7 tipis. Each bungalow is constructed from wood with straw rooves perfect for a cozy and tropical stay. Their reimaginged family bungalow or ‘Cozy Kikki Lu’ is an ideal choice for guests seeking modern-like amenities. Tents make for a perfect glamping experience since they’re about thirty feet from the ocean. We enjoyed soaking up the sun in one of the 20 hammocks on the premises. Take advantage of the full bar and $1 beers during happy hour. The onsite restaurant takes advantage of seasonal local produce and fresh catches when possible. Our favorite menu items were the English breakfast, hearty fruit bowls, red snapper and barbecued pork & chicken skewer. You may enjoy meals upstairs (two-stories high) in an outdoor covered dining patio and/or at the beach bar. Every morning, a taxi boat for guests cost $10 to go to the city and is easily accessible.

Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Karlo and Parisa Zahipour Moarefi both came from Austria, borrowed money from friends and invested in Sunboo. There are 6 Bungalows and a dorm with 8 beds. The beach or garden bungalows have ceiling fans and newly renovated bathrooms and sinks. With a strong Italian influence, everyday dining is delightful. For breakfast they make french toast, pancakes, crispy bacon and homemade baguettes. For lunch fresh gnocchi, burgers and triple fried french fries. The dinner menu is westernized with our favorite thin crust pizza. And of course the Sunboo beach bar is the party area where we sip and socialize. One of the only establishments which serve wine on Sunset Beach.

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop

They offer a full array of outdoor activities on the island with two locations – Saracen Bay and Sunset Beach. We took their half-day diving class (for all levels) and their master instructors were extremely attentive. The rock climbing experience offers amazing views of the sea. Kayaking trips are a must-try with a guide to discover the wonderful island and underwater world. The most intriguing activity on the island is the nighttime plankton tour which allows one to witness and capture their bioluminescence.

Lazy Beach Resort

A private tropical hideaway on Koh Rong Samloem. The vacation area has 1 private beach, 22 bungalows and 1 guest house. The wooden bungalows all have two large double beds, en-suite bathrooms and a spacious balcony offering waters edge views of the warm tropical ocean. Paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities to do, but also board games, snorkeling and dive sites. The infamous bar is a must visit with the number one drink being the ‘Bahama Mama.’ All sorts of signature drinks like brown and white rum malibu, grenadine and juices. This private beach getaway is breathtaking.

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

The most amazing experience on the island and also its highest point. We recommend you take a taxi boat to the drop-off or trail which leads up to the lighthouse. Rumored to have been an old military watch tower, the views are spectacular. Be prepared to climb at least 7 to 8 stories to the top. The smell inside the lighthouse is a tad overwhelming and rancid. Be willing to pay at least $1-3 USD for the private tour. That price does not include the taxi boat.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 magazine, Huba-Huba cambodia

Vaughn Lowery on a taxi boat to Mpei Bay

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 magazine, Cambodia

Ping pong at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Koh rong samloem lighthouse, Cambodia, koh rong sanloem lighthouse, 360 magazine

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Vaughn Lowery dives w/ Sunset Adventures

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, southeast Asia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sleeping Trees at Sunset Beach

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sunset at Sunset Beach

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach,  koh rong samloem,  Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop on Sunset Beach

Sleeping trees, sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Inside Sleeping Trees newly renovated bungalow

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 magazine

Sleeping Trees tipi

Owners of sunboo bungalows, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Owners of Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sweet & sour tofu at Sleeping Trees

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tempura battered chicken at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Robinson bungalows, 360 MAGAZINE

English breakfast at Robinson Bungalows

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Huba-Huba Cambodia staff member

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tents at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Cameron Michael Parkes, Huba-Huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Cameron Michael Parkes of Huba-Huba Cambodia

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor area at Huba-Huba Cambodia

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360 MAGAZINE × TENNESSEE

Story × Photos by Ryan Johnson

360 Magazine visited the Upper Cumberland Area of Tennessee this October. Just in time to catch the transformation of the leaves into fall colors. This region of Tennessee is located between Nashville and Knoxville, 1 hour drive each way. The flagship towns in the area, Crossville and Cookeville, not only capture beauty of small towns on the fringe of picturesque landscapes, they provide access to a multitude of incorporated businesses. The combination of affordable shopping with the low cost of living and no state tax make this a hidden gem prime to visit for the traveler interested in an authentic experience, maybe more. If this isn’t explicit enough, it’s the only place I’ve been in the states I’m seriously considering moving to. That realization stuck in three days.

We spent most of our time in the state parks. Natural beauty wasn’t the only consistent theme. Each park was fitted with Jackson Kayaks, a local company that not only leads the sport but also the industry. The kayaks provided to the parks were offered at a massive discount to ensure everyone visiting would have the opportunity to try it themselves. A philosophy that says everything about the community and values of Jackson Kayak. This company created by Eric Jackson, a lead competitor in the sport, started the company with a kayak for his son. A product which at the time did not exist for someone that young, giving all kids the change to try it out.

In true pay it forward style, this collective effort in the community is full circle. One direct example being the contribution of outdated signs and details from the state parks to furnish a local brewery, Happy Trails Brewing Company. This brewery, headed by Jessica, a working Kindergarten Teacher in the community. Similar to all good breweries is a product of its surroundings. Another notable taste is Red Silo, a brewery that started as the winner of the home brew contest at the local WCTE PBS Station Blues & Brew fundraiser. Calf Killer is another local legend that brings a taste that will make your taste buds melt. These obvious must tries are only half the adventure, you could spend the day with the home brewers and be the judge yourself.

It’s easy to follow the well-traveled highways in between Nashville and Knoxville. You won’t regret taking an exit and heading to the green on the map. The state parks are vastly accessible, overlooks and access is a high priority brought forth by the pioneering effort of the CCC. The Civilian Conservation Corps healing gesture was an organized effort by the Roosevelt Administration in the wake of the great depression. If this doesn’t paint the picture, don’t worry. There’s a set of tourist binoculars that give people who are colorblind the ability to see colors for the first time, which in the fall will bring a loved one to their knees.

While most of the sites are accessible to all, there’s another layer for the more adventurous. Fairly strenuous hikes to the base of the many waterfalls are always buried beyond the overlooks. Some that were only made accessible by Disney in the production of the 1994 film “The Jungle Book” which created roads to some surreal and recognizable locations in the film. Justifiably integral to the jungle aesthetics the film demanded. Likewise, Tennessee is the one of two places in the world that offer the spectacle of synchronous fireflies. The other being in Southeast Asia.

With solid views and tasty beer, naturally comes great food. The care and attention restaurant owners put into their work makes the meals feel family style without the crockpot. Notably the buffet at Homestead Harvest in Cumberland Mountain State Park carries as much depth as the hike on Pioneer Trail around Byrd Lake. If you really feel like earning your meal, rent a Jackson Kayak to enjoy the cool breeze off the water. Whether you’re camping or staying in the luxury cabins at the top of the hill, wake early and catch the fog on the lake first thing in the morning.

Great things are made in Tennessee, you could be too.

As always, reach out on Instagram @360travelfood to see the best spots. Here’s a listed on vetted local flavors and experiences:

• Jackson Kayak, founded in 2003 based in Sparta, TN (jacksonkayak.com)

• Cumberland Mountain State Park, Crossville, TN (tnstateparks.com)

• Broast, TN Coffee Roasters, Cookeville, TN (broasttn.com)

• Blues & Brews Craft Beer Festival, Cookeville, TN (wcte.org/brews)

• Sunset Marina & Resort, Monroe, TN (sunsetmarina.com)

• Rock Island State Park, Rock Island, TN (tnstateparks.com/parks/rock-island)

• Fall Creek Falls State Park, Spencer, TN (tnstateparks.com/parks/fall-creek-falls)

• Ozone Falls State Park, Crossville, TN (tnvacation.com/local/crossville-ozone-falls)

• Black Mountain Overlook, Crossville, TN (cumberlandtrail.org)

• Homestead Harvest Restaurant, Crossville, TN (tnstateparks.com/parks/restaurant)

• Happy Trails Brewing Co., Sparta, TN (happytrailsbrewing.com)

• Red Silo Brewing LLC, Cookeville, TN (tnvacation.com/local)

• Calfkiller Brewing Company, Sparta, TN (calfkillerbeer.com)

• CrossFit Mayhem, Cookeville, TN (crossfitmayhem.com)

• Cumberland County Playhouse, Crossville, TN (ccplayhouse.com)

Laundreez

No matter where you are headed this summer, whether it be a trip to the lake, camping for the weekend or a new travel destination, you’ll want to pack light for easy travel. Thanks to an inventive new way to wash your clothes, you can just pack the essentials because you can have clean clothes wherever you go!

Laundreez is a self-contained laundry system – no washer, no dryer needed! Just throw your clothes in the bag, add a few drops of detergents, let it sit, shake and drain. You rinse in the same bag, drain, squeeze and hang to dry.

Laundreez is also a great product for water conservation. Many international backpackers who travel to cities such as Cape Town in South Africa experience many water shortages. With Laundreez, you are not only saving money but also doing good for the environment at the same time.

When you aren’t using Laundreez to wash your laundry, the durable, waterproof bag makes an ideal place to carry a wet bathing suit or fill Laundreez with ice and use as a handy cooler. Laundreez also makes a great place to store your phone and wallet when you’re kayaking or at the pool.

More Reasons to Love Laundreez:

Wash and Go – Made with a strong, resilient PVC outer material and soft, yet durable inner mesh, Laundreez is the perfect laundry solution for traveling, when your washer breaks at home or when you don’t want to wash a big load

Great for Really Dirty and Delicate Items – With Laundreez, the soak cycle is as long as you want, so really dirty things can get a good pre-soak. You also control the amount of shaking, so it’s perfect for the most delicate of garments

Saves Money – Eliminates extra baggage fees or pricey hotel laundry services

Environmentally Conscious – Uses less water than traditional washers

Not Just for Laundry – Doubles as a cooler, waterproof storage for your phone and keys poolside, or bag for your wet bathing suit

For more information visit http://laundreez.com/

GRINGO IN GRANADA

Gringo in Granada

By Robert Grant

Parque Central is the perfect inception to your exploration of Granada on a summer day. To stand here is to truly be transported back in time. As one of the oldest European settled cities in the Americas, the remnants of the colonialist era endure here brushed in a palette that seemingly exploded from an artist’s wildest imagination. The square, encased by Spanish-style churches and government buildings is a busy place. Horse-drawn carriages line the perimeter awaiting tourists to hire them and vendors fill the center offering a bit of the place to take home.

Old meets new in Granada. A quick stroll down the avenues will expose you to the beautiful provincial architecture whose brilliance is not lost by the splash of color that the locals have introduced. The vibrance of the city is best experienced on foot and you’ll easily fall in love with this bike-friendly town.

Like most of Nicaragua, the city of Granada is surrounded by lakes and volcanoes offering a real treat for the adventurer in you. After grabbing a bite near the square (plenty of eateries nearby) take a tour using one of the local services. If you haven’t booked an itinerary beforehand, most restaurant and shop owners can point you in the direction of a tour agency. Leo Tours comes highly recommended and takes groups to Las Isletas de Granada (Islets of Granada) and the nearby volcano Mombacho. If you’re touring the volcano it’s advised to arrive early in the morning (around 5 am) as this is an option that consumes an entire day.

The trek to Las Isletas begins with a bike ride from the city to the nearby port from which you can board a motor boat or kayak to traverse the waters of Lake Nicaragua. Wear comfy shoes and be sure to pack a bathing suit as things are soon to get a little wet and wild. Leo tours offers both bilingual and Spanish guides -depending on your proficiency- who will help you navigate the lake and provide tons of historic information.

The best way to experience the beauty and tranquility of Las Isletas is to go via kayak. If you haven’t kayaked before be advised that this tour is not for the faint of heart. There are no rapids, but lake Nicaragua is a massive lake-the 2nd largest in Central America and 19th in the world- that reaches depths of 85 ft. The tour itself takes about 3 1/2 hours with 2 1/2 of that spent on the water.  Once underway you’ll sail past some of the most beautiful wildlife and flora you’ve ever seen. Formed by the eruption of nearby Mombacho thousands of years ago, the islets are numerous are very unique ecologically. Various species of birds and particularly monkeys can be seen here before arriving at the famous isla de mono (monkey island). The islets on the periphery of the lake are also home to many wealthy Nicaraguans. Former presidents, executives and foreign diplomats take residence in the many mansions that line the path.

A good guide will make this tour very memorable for you and take great photos while giving you lots of information. If you opt to take the tour later in the day (last leaves at 2:30 pm) it’s the ideal time to enjoy the sunset on the lake.

Your visit to Nicaragua is not complete without a stop in Granada, the crown jewel of this volcanic nation. A less known oasis is quickly becoming a well known tourist attraction. For a stop a that’s affordable and gringo friendly, look no further.