Posts tagged with "lakes"

O'Connell's Lake via Emily Delarm for use by 360 Magazine

June is National Camping Month

Written by Emily DeLarm

June is National Camping Month, and what better way to celebrate than getting out and camping! In the past year, camping has gained popularity with more people trying it now than ever before because it’s a great way to get outside while social distancing. So why not take the whole family camping this year!

Today’s campgrounds cater to every type of camper, with a range of accommodations to make even the most resolute non-camper comfortable. Combine that with an immersion in nature and a surprising array of amenities, and we think you’ll agree it’s time the whole family went camping. Here’s why:

1.) Being in nature is good for your health

Many have long felt a sense of well-being when out in nature, and research has shown that there is a positive physical response to doing so. Several recent studies have shown that having access to nature reduces stress and enhances a feeling of well-being.

Another study found that people who experience a feeling of awe for the natural beauty of their surroundings have lower levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammatory biomarker which can result in a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and depression.

2.) Skipping the hotel makes it unique

Today’s camping experience doesn’t have to mean pitching a tent in the middle of nowhere or in a state park where the nearest bathroom is a half-mile hike away. There are campground accommodations to suit every type of camper – from those who enjoy “roughing it” in a tent, to those who bring their RV-home-on-wheels, to those who prefer cabins with electricity, full bathrooms, and all the comforts of home.

For those seeking a true “glamping” experience, try a stay in a tiny house vacation rental that is sure to please the whole family – all the comforts of home in a miniature package that is sure to delight every child (and the little kid in every adult). A few to try:

Leavenworth Tiny House Village is located about two hours south of Seattle in the Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth, WA. While you’ll feel a world away, you don’t need a passport to be transported to small-town Bavaria in your tiny house while you enjoy access to 300 acres of beautiful forests and meadows. The five tiny houses, each with their own unique Bavarian theme and decor, are “glamping” style vacation rentals, with all kinds of amenities to enjoy at the campground. Get to know Hanna, Belle, Otto, Adeline, and Rudolf starting at $129/night.

Tuxbury Tiny House Village is located about an hour north of Boston just outside the picturesque town of Amesbury, MA. The village offers vacationers a unique respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life while experiencing a one-of-a-kind vacation. The tiny houses in the village are full of character and personality and range from 180 to 275 square feet. Relax along the tranquil shores of Tuxbury Pond, lounge by the pool, or enjoy a variety of popular local attractions, including apple orchards, farms, and eclectic restaurants. Choose from Emerson, Henry, Clara, Riley, and Murphy, each starting at $135/night.

3.) It’s a great excuse to leave the devices behind

While more campgrounds are modernizing with the installation of amenities such as Wi-Fi, you can still find plenty of destinations where cell service is less reliable. Before you consider that a shortcoming, think about the number of times a cell phone has interrupted a conversation between members of your family, and how nice it would be to hit the pause button on such intrusions.

In fact, studies have shown that just having a cell phone out during a conversation has a negative impact on your sense of connection to the other person, feelings of closeness between you, and the quality of the conversation you experience.

Try vacationing out of reach of a cell tower, and you just might find a real connection and improved reception, with no phone at all.

4.) Be a kid again

In today’s world, adults are burdened and distracted with the responsibilities of being an adult. But even worse, kids seem to be busy trying to be adults. A camp vacation encourages the whole family to set “the real world” aside for a time and focus on having fun with each other. With an assortment of planned events and activities for the whole family, you can let go of the scheduling and planning that are the hallmark of a typical vacation and enjoy what’s happening right on site.

One fantastic destination is O’Connell’s Yogi Bear Jellystone Park in Amboy, Illinois. A dizzying array of activity opportunities include three heated swimming pools, spas, kiddie pools, a beach for swimming, double-flume waterslide, paddle boat rentals, mini-golf, four playgrounds, hiking trails, fishing, hayrides, and a fully stocked indoor activity center with daily planned activities.

5.) Enjoy an immersive destination (without costumed characters)

The best part about summer camp as a kid was all the fantastic fun things to do. Everywhere you turned there was an activity being led or a game being played. Campgrounds offer the same appeal. Many offer your standard fares such as lake access, swimming pool, basketball court, sand volleyball, and activities like the ever-favorite tie-dye. Some of our favorites take it a step farther and transport you to another realm:

Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara, CA offers guests the opportunity to camp on a historic working ranch, complete with horseback riding, lasso lessons, and over 300 acres of scenic mountainside hiking trails to explore. Get as authentic as you wish, with a stay in a cabin, covered wagon, or even a teepee. At Gettysburg Farm in Dover, PA, guests can camp on a working farm, enjoy hayrides, farm animal feedings, vegetable picking, and visits to the farm animals, including horses, llamas, pigs, cows, and adorable pygmy goats.

6.) It’s easy to plan

For an easy, convenient way to plan your trip, visit CampUSA.com or download the CampUSA app. There you can quickly search more than 1,200 of the top campgrounds nationwide, including Kampgrounds of America, Encore RV Resorts, Thousand Trails locations and so many more.

The site and app offer the ability to search by map, by state or search for campsites nearby. Then filter your search to find the perfect spot for you when you sort by camping type (cabins and other rentals, RV or tent) and the amenities you’re looking for, like pet-friendly, waterfront sites, swimming pool, Wi-Fi, and more (even mini-golf!) Once you have your prospects narrowed, the site provides detailed information about each campground and a super easy booking interface, including the option to enter your credit card information by scanning with your camera phone (on the app). It doesn’t get easier than that!

7.) Nature can grease the wheels of bonding

Some vacations can leave us more stressed and less rested than before we left. To truly rejuvenate the whole family, try immersing yourselves in nature. Several studies have reported the positive effects that viewing beautiful imagery of nature has on people’s emotions and behavior.

In one example, when participants in this study were asked to interact with nature every day for a month reported feeling healthier and happier after the study. In another study, after spending just a minute looking up into a scenic expanse of eucalyptus trees, participants reported feeling less entitled and self-important than those who spent the time looking up at a tall building.

Imagine how much easier it would be to bond and connect with your family when each of you is experiencing a boost in gratitude and a dip in self-importance. If simply watching nature can have such a positive impact on our feelings, think of the impact that experiencing nature can have on the whole family.

Need yet another reason? How’s this: Camping just might be one of the least expensive – and most rewarding – vacations you’ll ever take.

See you by the campfire!

OSTHOFF RESORT TURNS 25!

2020 marks the quarter-century birthday of the The Osthoff Resort! Opening May 19, 1995, The Osthoff Resort was constructed on the same location as the historic Osthoff Hotel, a popular resort destination from 1886 to the 1950s. Throughout its 134-year history, the resort has hosted travelers, locals, and industry professionals, with its historic past, beautiful scenic location and local amenities.

In 1995, the newly opened Osthoff Resort consisted of the main building, and a year later, the south building was added providing additional guest rooms and amenities. In 2005, the north building was built featuring additional guest accommodations, world-class Aspira Spa, a 100-seat restaurant with panoramic views of Elkhart Lake, and a state-of-the-art conference center beautifully designed for groups of up to 1,000 people.

Today, The Osthoff Resort is known for its lakeshore setting on crystal clear Elkhart Lake, a total of 245 spacious suites, award-winning Aspira Spa, and an impressive collection of amenities that include two lakeside restaurants, gift boutiques, indoor and outdoor pools, and elegant ballrooms and meeting venues. “As part of our year-long celebration, we are thrilled to announce that we have started to invest in renovations and enhancements across our Resort,” said Jamie Skelton, Marketing Manager of The Osthoff Resort. “In the near future, we look forward to delighting our guests and members of the community with exciting enhancements to guest premiere suites, dining areas, lobbies and public areas.” The Osthoff Resort looks forward to the next 25 years of making memories, and to help kick off the celebration is offering new overnight promotions:

Anniversary Package

Continuing to celebrate its quarter-century mark celebration, The Osthoff Resort is offering anniversary promotions on behalf of the original room rates from the year it opened, with rates starting at $199.50, and additional milestone promotions all year long. For all anniversary specials, visit Osthoff.com/25th-anniversary. To make a reservation, consumers can call 844.566.4392.


Autumn Overnight Package

September 2 – October 29, 2020: Stay one night in an elegant guest room from $236 in September and $210 in October and receive a $25 dining credit and 25% discount at Aspira Spa (Sunday – Wednesday only).

About The Osthoff Resort
The AAA Four Diamond Osthoff Resort is a Wisconsin tourism landmark featuring elegant suites and guestrooms, a stunning lakefront setting, two restaurants, Aspira Spa, year-round recreation, spa and gift boutiques, and grand conference rooms and meeting spaces. It is located just one hour north of Milwaukee, less than two hours from Madison and approximately three hours from Chicago. For additional information about The Osthoff Resort, visit www.osthoff.com, call 844.566.4392, or follow The Osthoff Resort on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Chilko Lake in BC

The end of summer heralds one of nature’s most enjoyable spectator sports – brown bear watching in British Columbia.

From mid-September and into October, the Chilko River hosts one of the region’s most dramatic salmon runs that in turn attracts furry visitors who wander in to dine on a veritable feast of spawning Sockeye.

Meet the Chilko Lake grizzly bear (Ursus arctos ssp.), a large subspecies of the North American Brown Bear. Adult female grizzlies weigh around 290–400 lbs., and adult males about 400–790 lbs. with an average length of 6.50 ft.

The congregation of hungry bears can number up to 100 or so, providing a visual feast for human visitors to this remote region who are hungry to see one of Nature’s annual spectacles.

Proprietors and owners of The Chilko Experience, Phil and Anne Huston, satisfy guest appetites with friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness on their private estate. Plus, they ferry their guests onto the river in boats that are positioned to witness the feeding frenzy — but at a safe distance.

These bears are concentrated on a three-mile river segment beginning at the river’s mouth and extending downstream, an area where in some years the salmon numbers exceed one million. The result is that the Chilko River has some of the finest bear viewing anywhere in North America. The reason for this concentration is that the river is located deep within the BC interior and is the only salmon-feeding option for bears within a 200-mile radius. While there may be more bears located along the coast, with the many feeding options that exist, they are more dispersed and harder to observe.

Phil Huston explains that most viewing is done by low-draft river boats with experienced guides who know to stay at least 50 meters away from the bears in order not to stress them.

“Of particular interest are the mother bears and cubs. Two cubs are common but families of three are seen also. Photographers from around the world come to Chilko to seek the perfect brown bear photo,” he says.

While the bear get to feast, fishing for salmon on the Chilko River is restricted to all but those of First Nations decent. “However, the salmon spawn draws large rainbow trout populations that challenge and reward both the novice and experienced angler,” Huston notes.

Only 12 guests a week (up to 22 if they’re extended friends and family) have the privilege of lodging on the estate in the six custom log and timber frame homes that took center stage on HGTV’s Timber Kings a few years back. Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to their exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques. Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her collectibles. See: http://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

This season (June 1 through Oct. 21), it’s fun as usual fly and spin cast fishing, canoeing, lake cruising, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending (five million acres) forests of native pine, splashed by the world-famous Chilko River and Chilko Lake. Complimentary guided activities are conducted directly from the estate. Optional river rafting and guided fly-fishing outings come with an extra fee.

Rates per person for this boutique and all-inclusive hospitality are based on the number of nights. Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. A per person three-night stay is $2,950 and a six-night stay $5,950. See: http://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

Most guests access the Chilko valley via private charter flights originating in Vancouver, BC. The flight time is one hour. Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

About The Chilko Experience

The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. The staff practice sustainability, including recycling, at every level. A 48-panel, 12 K solar system generates 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs. On premise are a greenhouse and a 140-foot freshwater well. The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt, so pure that residents can drink right from the lakes and streams.