Posts tagged with "lodging"

#LIVELOVELUBBOCK

By Armon Hayes

Let’s face it: we’re all reluctant and concerned to begin traveling again. Nonetheless, the world is doing its part, implementing tactics and precautions to combat the coronavirus during the reopening process. I encourage you to stimulate your mental health; what better way than to consider exploring during a weekend getaway. Take a trip out of town or stay local, depending on your comfort level. I challenge you, especially in times of heightened anxiety and isolation, to welcome new adventure and engagement. 360 Magazine, on behalf of Geiger & Associates traveled to Western Texas to experience all that the city of Lubbock has to offer.

“Everything’s bigger in Texas;” cliche as it sounds, this experience nevertheless made a grand impact. The three-day media tour refocused the lens of the “new normal.” Hopeful yet cautious lodging at Arbor Hotel & Conference Room, hospitality reminiscent of grandma’s house welcomes you with each encounter. Our first time in Texas offered a glimpse of what’s to come from a revitalized city that’s rich in spirit and overflowing with promise. Each day of our travels filled were filled with culture and inspiration: tours through local wineries, fine dining “Texas style,” and an inspiring visit to the cornerstone of the arts district.

Wine

Believe it or not, Texas is the fifth largest wine producing state in the US. Nearly 90% of the wine grapes in Texas are grown from the high plains, surrounding Lubbock. This robust main ingredient has been the means for families and will be for generations to come. For entrepreneurs like Steve Newsom and Tommy English, owners of English Newsom Cellars, their winery was our first stop. I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Newsom for a tour of their efficient facility and occasional event space, all while wine tasting, of course. Easy going and well-versed on the history of wine and business, Steve’s passion for their product controlled from dirt to glass is ideal. Finding ourselves newly indulgent in wine during quarantine and cultivating a palette, during 360’s visit we enjoyed the distinctive Picardan and Roussanne, while a personal favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon for its woody chocolate notes.

Having undergone a tremendous renovation, Burklee Hill is family owned. The Hill Family is the charming family which owns this vineyard, winery and bistro. Shortly after the pandemic hit, the operation was forced to close, but has since undergone a resurgence. The tasty lunch spread prepared was curated with wine pairings and included a sampler of various aged cheeses and premium cut Italian meats, collaged on a wood slab cutting board. Nestled with nuts and fruits, it made for the perfect Happy hour snack. Rightfully so, Burklee was featured in Texas Wine and Trail magazine. For its trendy and pristine interior, its spot is one to consider for hosting wedding celebrations for its Cathedral stature. As part of the revitalization of downtown, they are reaching new audiences by growing grapes on the Texas High Plains since 2002 on land farmed by the Hill family for five generations.

Like any successful business “focusing on what does well” says Kim McPherson makes entrepreneurship sound simple. Owner of McPherson Cellars, also known for being the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant in the 1930s. Restored, it is located in Lubbock’s depot entertainment district and has been transformed into a world class winery. What started as experimental vine planting in the 1960s, Kim’s father Clint “Doc” McPherson began growing grapes and by 1971 the winery became a reality. Doc was a founder and pioneer of the Texas wine industry, and the family business is respected as such. The cellar blossomed into a small but thriving operation focused on sustainably farmed, expertly crafted, small-batch wines exclusively from the backyard of the Texas High Plains. The renowned James Beard Foundation has twice nominated Kim as a semifinalist in the “Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer” category. McPherson Cellars wines have been recognized and awarded in several international wine competitions, as well. During these times, the future is thriving online through e-commerce allowing individuals to purchase on their website. Yet, visit them in person for a lovely patio view and a taste of wine that has won over 600 medals in state, national and international competitions.

Dining

Lubbock is expanding into a dining destination: from Spanish tapas and locally sourced dishes, to the traditional chicken fried streak and Chilton cocktail. A simple cocktail, pure as the West Texas sun, this drink is tart but refreshing. Make it yourself: 1 lemon, 1 1/2 oz Vodka preferably Lubbock’s Pinkerton Vodka. If not, Tito’s will do. Don’t forget the bubbles, Topo Chico or club soda of your choice. Legend has it that a Lubbockite known as Dr. Chilton requested this beverage at the local country club, and thus the staple drink was born. Inspired by the thriving art scene, the transformation of the city with color and creativity has also translated to its dining experiences.

What better breakfast than pies in Texas! Cast Iron Grill will satisfy your sweet tooth with their homemade pies. So good, locals know that they are sold out if they don’t order a pie before noon. Our guilty pleasures were the Cherry Banana split, the Millionaire, and the Texas delight! Satisfying to the sweet tooth, but not overpowering. In this current moment, baking has become an act of joy Clearly, owner Teresa takes after her pies: she is a treat to whomever she meets. An infectious big smile, with charm that will keep you coming back. She’s most proud of the growth of her ministry. Starting with 55 seats, she now has seating for over 200 at a time. She has learned that ministry doesn’t only apply to church. It happens every single day at the CIG, serving comforting pies and meals of the heart.

For a pick me up, look no further than Monomyth Coffee, a friendly and inviting craft coffeeshop. Started by Randell Jackson and his brother in June 2019, the first-time business owners are adapting to a pandemic. On a mission to make people happy, the brothers write quick encouraging notes on coffee cup sleeves for guests. In light of reopening, tables are monitored with marker mats indicating whether they are clean. Locals and the university community share this downtown converted antique shop, a gathering place for all kinds. A bright atmosphere makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a morning brew with cozy seating arrangements. The iced latte w/ almond milk and gluten free peach cookie were the best selections to start a morning on a day full of travel.

For lunch, craving BBQ we visited Evie Mae’s who has been listed as a top 10 best in Texas Monthly. After Arnis, the owner, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and became Gluten free, it became necessary for them to prepare all of their meals at home to avoid contamination. Ahead of the curve, now all sides at the restaurant are served gluten free. Satisfying with comfort, Evie Mae’s is named after his daughter and started out in Arizona with an electric smoker on the patio. A chef at heart, Arnis took on the challenge of making his take on the reverse-flow to perfect the cooking process. Affectionately called the Black Pearl, it was completed in February 2014. “We want people to like the sauce but not be what they come back for” says Arnis. Holding tightly to the secret, we did learn it consists of three recipes, and the based is coffee. Serving pounds of certified grain feed angus daily, ribs tender to the touch, and smoked sausages, all cuts are prepared in the Central Texas style.

Arts

If you ever find yourself in Lubbock, Texas be sure it’s the first Friday of the month. Why, you ask? Lubbock is home to the first cultural arts district recognized by the state. A trail of fine art galleries and print studios to enjoy, as well as food trucks to complete the experience on these first Fridays. We delighted in exploring the trail despite it not being a First Friday, nonetheless it proved educational and inspiring to unearth a cultural area dedicated to the arts. A creative myself, I found the Charles Adams Studio most intriguing. It is an inclusive environment that is mutually beneficial for working artists, curators, galleries and students. The successful collaboration has led to four live-work studios open monthly, on the first Friday of the month, allowing visitors to connect with individual artists.

While visiting the cultural district, I encourage you to learn about Rock N’ Roll and a pioneer of the genre, Buddy Holly. Lubbock’s native son, there is a tribute center at The Buddy Holly Center which features a chronological exhibition on Holly’s life and music. It features Holly’s Fender Stratocaster guitar, glasses, stage clothes, photographs, letters, tour itineraries and much more. If that wasn’t enough, a documentary film on the life of the entertainer and his impact on the Beatles, the Rolling Stone and worldwide is available for viewing.

Places of Interest:

Buddy Holly statue & West Texas Walk of Fame: Formerly located in front of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, it is now located in the park on the northeast corner of 19th and Crickets Avenue, named after the band Buddy played in. Witnessing the bronze statue coming in at 2500 pounds, it is notable for its strong presence and the jubilance it brought when it was unveiled September 5,1980.

Lubbock High School: Where Holly attended from 1952 to 1955 and where he wrote an autobiography near the end of his sophomore year; “I have thought about making a career out of western music if I’m good enough, but will just have to wait and see that turns out”. After graduation in 1955, the school features a small exhibit in the main hallway that includes Buddy memorabilia.

Buddy Holly’s Home in 1957: 1305 37th Street where he and his family were living when “That Will be the Day” became the #1 record in the country. If visiting, simply drive by and please do not impose on those living in the home now.

Lubbock Entertainment / Performance Arts Association is proud to announce that the community vision for the Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Science is now becoming a reality. The Buddy Holly Theatre was built to accommodate and become a cultural hub of Lubbock while being the cornerstone of downtown revitalization. Expected to open Nov/Dec 2020, it is meant to become an inclusive event space for all acts of life. Furthermore, it hopes to fuel the economy for years to come. The hard hat tour explored the luxury suites and amenities that will be available but were delayed due to COVID-19.

Art and culture permeate throughout the city of Lubbock. The Public Art Program at Texas Tech University was initiated by the board In 1988. Yes, there’s an app for that, with the intention to enrich the campus environments and extend their educational and artistic mission. The Texas Tech public art collection features over 100 items displayed by some of today’s leading artists. It was named one of the top art collections in the US by the Public Art Review. The Agave Dreams piece in particular resonated with me because of the positioning and the color of choice of the figure; navy blue, kneeling and tending to the earth. Part of the biology building, standing 10ft by 12ft long, Agave Dreams was created by Julian Voss-Andreae in 2015. Completely made of triangles, simple but complex, it encourages us to question our attitude toward nature and web of life. A fulfilling viewing experience to anyone interested in art.

In the heart of Lubbock, Texas you’ll surely be smitten at the unmatched hospitality the “Hub City” provides. A pioneering spirit will certainly have permission to live and love Lubbock.

Sunset illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

7 Most Amazing Travel Destinations in Europe

With most of Europe now opening back up to tourists and travelers after the impact of COVID-19, many of us are starting to think about planning an upcoming European adventure. If you are thinking of going on vacation and want to visit Europe this year after months of uncertainty in quarantine and lockdown, the good news is that most countries on this continent have managed to get control of the coronavirus and are safe to visit once again. Here are some of the top destinations in Europe that can’t be missed. 

Portugal:

Portugal is a vibrant, diverse country with so much to see and do that it can feel like you have visited several different countries during your time there. With so much to see and do you will struggle to decide whether you want to enjoy a fun and adventurous city break in magical Porto or explore the sandy beaches and traditional resorts of Albufeira in the Algarve. Or, with trains in Portugal that run regularly, connect the country and can easily be booked online, why not travel to various different Portuguese destinations – don’t restrict yourself to just one place. 

Scotland:

With vibrant cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh and rolling countryside including picturesque views in untouched rural areas like on the Isle of Skye, Scotland is the perfect choice for anybody who is looking to visit Europe. While much of Scotland is still in lockdown due to COVID-19 compared to the rest of the UK and Europe, this might be a destination that you want to plan your travel to further in the future – but it will be worth the wait. Get starting putting your trip together with this Scotland trip planner

Spain:

There’s a reason that Spain is the most popular destination in Europe for tourists. This gorgeous county has just the right combination of cities, villages, and beaches and there really is something for everybody. You can explore the architecture and art in Barcelona, delve into history in Madrid or Seville, or party on the beach in Ibiza or Tenerife – the choice is yours! While Spain was particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus, it is now recovering and ready to welcome visitors once again. 

Italy:

Italy is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and indeed in the world. This gorgeous country has a lot to offer, from amazing city breaks in Rome, Florence, Milan or Venice to adventures in the countryside with stunning vineyards and gorgeous beaches to explore. No matter where you go, you will certainly be met with some of the best hospitality that you have ever experienced, not to mention the amazing food and wine in this country that is second-to-none. 

France:

Home to Paris, the City of Love, if you are looking for a romantic and intimate getaway with somebody special after the pandemic, there’s no better choice than France. And, since this country is closely bordered with several others in Europe, you can easily get there from destinations in Spain, Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, and even the UK, with the Eurail train that travels along a tunnel under the English Channel. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant city break exploring the big attractions like the Lourve and Eiffel Tower in Paris or want a more relaxed vacation with summer vibes in Marseilles, there’s something here for every type of traveler. 

Malta:

This European island might be small but it certainly has a lot to offer. Visit Malta for the sand, sea, and some of the most delicious food that you will ever taste. And, there is plenty of gorgeous scenery to enjoy; head to Comino for some of the clearest, bluest sea water you will have ever seen or head into the mountains to explore and enjoy a horseback riding adventure. When it comes to things to do, there’s certainly no shortage of activities that you can enjoy amidst the stunning backdrop from quad biking to gun range shooting, or simply sipping a cocktail on the beach. 

Greek Islands:

Last but not least, the Greek islands offer some of the most unparalleled beauty in Europe with white, sandy beaches, clear blue seas, and traditional white-domed churches. Santorini is well-known for being one of the most gorgeous of the Greek islands to visit and is very popular with weddings, but the other options including Corfu, Crete, Paphos, and Thessaloniki are all stunning choices for anybody who is looking for a relaxing vacation surrounded with beautiful nature. 

Hotel Boulderado Summer Packages

2020 ushered in the 111-year anniversary for Hotel Boulderado, an iconic property located in downtown Boulder, Colorado, and this year also brought the first time in the hotel’s history that it would shutter for business. However, with the community’s support, the Boulderado re-opened on June 1st, 2020. With the increasing news and concern around the COVID-19 pandemic, Hotel Boulderado would like to assure the community that the health and safety of guests and employees is their top priority.

Since re-opening on June 1st, 2020, Hotel Boulderado is pleased to announce new Summer hotel packages for travelers of all ages. Encouraging the exploration of the beautiful community that Hotel Boulderado calls home, guests have the opportunity to enjoy a romantic lobster dinner for two with luxury accommodations, play like a pro at Flatirons Golf Course, or learn about the rich history of the iconic property. In addition, the Boulderado is offering a new Elopement Package for those looking to tie the knot in a more intimate manner.

*A Night Away Package*

For this limited-time summer package, guests can choose from a room in the hotel’s historic wing, which features Victorian décor inspired by the year the hotel opened, 1909, or the contemporary North Wing, which offers beautifully appointed rooms and sweeping views of the Flatirons. This romantic package includes a Lobster dinner for two with clam or corn chowder, a house salad, steamed potatoes, fresh sweet corn on the cob, house-made biscuit strawberry shortcake, and of course fresh steamed live Maine lobster. Guests will be able to choose a bottle of house wine based on their preference. Rates start at $229 per night, based on double occupancy. Available through July 31, 2020. Call 303.442.4344 or visit https://reservations.travelclick.com/13070?ProdID=718835&LanguageID=1 to book.

Guests and locals alike are also welcome to enjoy a weekly Lobster Pot Patio Pop-Up menu Thursdays through Sundays on the al fresco Pine Street Patio. Each week offers different specials, with a full lobster dinner and surf-n-turf options available. Two additional restaurants are open on property, including Spruce Farm & Fish and The Corner Bar.

*Stay & Play Package*

Stay and Play like a pro with this fabulous package featuring two nights of deluxe accommodations, breakfast for two each morning, and 18 holes of golf at Flatirons Golf Course. Guests are responsible for booking tee-times direct with Flatirons Golf Course (303-442-7851). Guests should note that current COVID guidelines require pre-booking and payment of fees prior to the day of play at Flatirons Golf Course. Cart rental and practice facilities are closed at this time. Walking-only play for now. Please let Hotel Boulderado know about any shuttle needs in advance. Rates start at $349 per night, based on double occupancy. Available through December 30, 2020. Call 303.442.4344 or visit https://reservations.travelclick.com/13070?ProdID=711062&LanguageID=1 to book.

*Boulderado History Package*

Explore the history of Hotel Boulderado during your stay in Boulder, Colorado. Enjoy accommodations in a deluxe room, wake-up to breakfast for two at Spruce Farm & Fish, and explore the award-winning self-guided history tour of the property with a complimentary history pamphlet and a copy of “Legend of a Landmark,” which details the history of Hotel Boulderado. Guests may reserve a guided history tour with the hotel’s in-house historian through the Front Desk. Rates start at $160 per night, based on double occupancy. Available through December 30, 2020. Call 303.442.4344 or visit https://reservations.travelclick.com/13070?ProdID=718939&LanguageID=1 to book.

*Elopement Package*

Brides who are looking for an intimate wedding experience need look no further than the Hotel Boulderado’s Elopement Package. The romantic package includes:

· The Night Before

o   Fresh flower arrangement and in-room amenity upon arrival

o   Cocktails and appetizers for Happy Hour in the Lobby

· On Your Wedding Day

o   Breakfast for two at Spruce Farm & Fish

o   Explore Boulder! Inquire about guided hikes, bike tours, and other activities (not included in pricing)

o   Hair and Make-Up services for one person (on-site, or at one of our partner salons within walking distance)

o   Personal florals (Bouquet and Boutonniere)

o   Late afternoon ceremony at your location of choice: Grand Staircase, Boulderado Courtyard, or Juniper Room (additional locations available, not included in pricing)

o   Professional Wedding Photographer for two hours

o   Romantic 4-course dinner at Spruce Farm & Fish, complete with Petite Wedding Cake

This package is priced at $3,000.00 and is available to guests who book two or more nights at the hotel. Accommodations are not included in the price. You may include up to eight additional people in your ceremony and celebratory dinner. Food and beverage charges for additional guests will be billed accordingly. Custom and partial elopement packages are also available. Based on availability. Expires December 31, 2020. Call 303.442.4344 or visit https://www.boulderado.com/elopementpack/ to book.

Hotel Boulderado’s health and safety measures address disinfecting for a broad spectrum of germs and viruses, including COVID-19, and include everything from employee hygiene and handwashing to cleaning products and procedures for guest rooms and public spaces and requiring masks on all employees and guests. For more information on all safety measures Hotel Boulderado is taking regarding COVID-19, visit https://www.boulderado.com/covid-19/.

ABOUT HOTEL BOULDERADO

The Beating Heart of Downtown Boulder. Since 1909, Hotel Boulderado has offered Rocky Mountain elegance in the heart of downtown Boulder. Located one block from the famous Pearl Street Mall, Hotel Boulderado features 160 guest rooms decorated with either a modern mountain style or historic Victorian style. Hotel Boulderado exudes the welcoming, friendly and unconventional charm that makes the “People’s Republic of Boulder” so beloved. Stop in for coffee, cocktails, and conversation in Hotel Boulderado’s famous atrium lobby. Ride the original Otis elevator. Sit on the patio of locals’ favorite, The Corner Bar. Climb the grand staircase where thousands of Boulder brides and grooms have said “I do.” Enjoy creative, contemporary cuisine and brunch all day, every day in Spruce Farm & Fish. Check out License No. 1, the first Boulder bar to sport a liquor license. If you want real Boulder, you’ll find it at Hotel Boulderado.

Rita Azar, illustrations, travel, 360 MAGAZINE

Planning a US Trip After the Quarantine? Here’s What You Need to Prepare

Traveling is good for people’s souls as it reduces stress to most of us. But with this current pandemic happening around the world, people can’t even go back to their normal life and it really affects everything. It is like a nightmare that everyone’s wishing to end. Many flights these days are postponed and canceled and traveling is very limited for essential goods only. Quarantine and lockdown are implemented globally and it requires social distancing.

We all know that most people dream to travel across the US. It is the most popular travel destination throughout the world. You can still pursue your American dream when the virus is not present anymore. Planning a US trip for a vacation after this pandemic can be very exciting after a long period of staying at home, but we have to be more careful than usual and prepare everything needed to travel safely because as they say this is the new normal.
Here are the things you need to prepare for your future US Trip.

Passport and Visa

When traveling to other countries, it is important that you have a valid passport with at least a minimum of 6 months’ validity for most of the countries requirements. It is also important to obtain a visa if the consulate requires you to have before you enter the country. This depends on the regulation for every passport type. Some countries will be asked to obtain ESTA or the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which replaces the American express visa system in the US for certain countries. https://www.estaform.org/ was formed by the Department of Homeland Security of the United States, allowing 39 nations the freedom to travel to the US without needing to apply for an official American visa.

TSA Approved Lock

When traveling to the US it is a must to buy a TSA approved lock before packing your luggage. Transportation Security Administration or TSA implements strict baggage procedures for safety and security. All bags are screened and sometimes need to be physically checked so they are allowed to break your bag lock. It is helpful if you buy a TSA approved lock to avoid losing or breaking it and to keep your bags safe to your final destination.

Itinerary

The United States is a very big country and it has many states. Before your trip, it is essential to plan your itinerary so you can fulfill your American dream. Consider exceptional and thrilling destinations with rich histories and cultures. Of course don’t forget to list down the popular places like New York, LA, and Vegas. Prepare for the activities you might want to visit and try like Universal Studios. List down everything so that you will not miss out on anything on your trip.

Accommodation and Pocket Money

No one wants to cram at the airport with their heavy luggage and ruin the trip because of stress. Book your hotel or accommodation before your trip so that everything will go smoothly upon arrival in the US. You have endless options for accommodation so you can choose whether you prefer the luxurious or the budget time lodging. Most prices in the US are listed excluding the tax and it also depends on where you are visiting. So be prepared to have enough budgets as everything will have additional costs.

All things will run smoothly if you will be well prepared for your dream US trip. You just have to keep in mind that this time you also have to be extra careful and practice proper hygiene to prevent any health risk. Don’t forget to always bring alcohol and sanitizers and of course, always wash your hands to keep yourself traveling healthy and COVID free.

Rita Azar, illustrations, travel, 360 MAGAZINE

4 Travel Goals You Need to Check Off in 2020

2020 has been a tough year so far. With lockdowns, isolation and social distancing, it has been difficult to really live life to its fullest. 

If you are feeling a bit itchy to get out, know that you are not alone. In fact, research shows that 72% of Americans are already booking their trips now for when restrictions are lifted, with 35% of those willing to head out during the summer. 

Has 2020 become the year for people to finally start ticking off their travel bucket list items? It sure seems so! With this in mind, we thought we would take a look at some of the most popular and most memorable experiences you can do this year, and most of them will not involve huge crowds of people. 

RV Through the US

This particular trip tops the list of almost everyone who has a serious drive for adventure and travel. The beauty of RVing through the US is that you can choose the length of your trip, as well as decide which route you want to take. 

Whether it would be taking in the majestic Rocky Mountains and stopping in at museums, diners, and, of course, Yellowstone, or a trip through the south to revel in some music, food, and incredible scenery through Florida, New Orleans and of course, Texas, you definitely won’t regret it. 

There are endless possibilities that will lead you on totally different adventures, through vastly different scenery. 

RVing is something that you will need to prepare for thoroughly because you can never know what might happen and whether you’ll have the right resources at the time being to fix it. This is easily avoidable if you just have everything at the ready so you can enjoy your trip to the max. One of the more important things to consider is to make sure you have enough fresh water and a good RV water softener solution that will tie you over in even the most desolate areas. Remember that water should always be your top priority,  Make sure you also plan your trips in detail before heading out so that you are not caught in the middle of nowhere without supplies and emergency services. 

Explore the Wonders of Cape Town

Although Cape Town has been listed as one of the top beauty spots to visit globally by various sites, it is still one of the most chronically underrated spots to visit in the world. What makes Cape Town so special you ask? Well, it has almost everything you want out of a trip. This South African city, perched at the tip of Africa, has a uniquely international feel to it, and for the most part, you will forget that you are in fact, in Africa. 

Besides boasting one of the seven wonders of the world, Table Mountain, the city has long stretches of white beaches, a bustling city life; bursting with art and culture, and sunsets that will make you want to live there forever. 

Not even an hour out of Cape Town, you will find the sprawling Winelands, tucked into spectacular mountain ranges with some of the best wine in the world. Might we add that the food in South Africa is something not to be missed, from the fresh seafood to the world-famous braais, you will be in for a treat. 

The city is steeped in history, and even if you are after a safari experience, you can also find this within a short drive out of the city. If you are a foodie, a wine snob, a coffee connoisseur, or an art fanatic, this city has it all!

Trek Through Peru 

This is certainly not for the faint-hearted nor the chronically unfit. But, if a spiritual journey and soul-freeing trip is what you are looking for after months of cabin fever, this is for you. There are a plethora of trails and treks to choose from in this tourist popular region, each with its different levels of difficulty and challenges. 

One of the most popular trails, the Inca trail is an iconic four-day hiking trail which leads you through the steep high mountains, from km. 82 all the way to the majestic Machu Picchu. You will follow the route taken by the original Incas to the historic World Heritage Site. 

What do you need to be prepared for? Because of the height of the mountains that you will be hiking, you are most likely to suffer from altitude sickness, insects, dehydration, and of course, the blisters, injuries, and pain that comes from trekking through deserted mountainsides. But, it is totally worth it once you cross the last mountain and come face to face with Machu Picchu. 

Take it Easy in Thailand

If this all sounds like too much effort, and what you feel like right now is just lying back on a warm beach, drinking cocktails, Asia should be your next destination. 

Not only is Thailand incredibly affordable, but it offers visitors endless adventures and activities. The beauty of the islands is indescribable, with long, white beaches, still blue waters and dotted palm trees to really get you in the holiday spirit. 

The food is incredible, the people are warm, friendly, and accommodating, and the weather is hot and humid at all times. 

You can choose to island-hop to the various idyllic islands spotted around the crystal blue waters, including the iconic island that featured in the movie, The Beach. There are a number of other islands to visit, including Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan, and Ko Phi Phi Don. 

Alternatively, you can head up into the jungle and trek up through the mountains on an elephant adventure, or on foot to explore the rivers and waterfalls on this amazing island. 

Wrapping Up 

From world-class beaches to bustling cities, there are endless options for you to choose from. A desert adventure in Morocco could be down your alley, or a Northern Lights display on the tip of the Arctic. Whether you are a foodie or looking to take in some good live music and dance the night away, choose something that suits your unique personality and that will create memories that will last a lifetime. If it is unwinding in the sun after this stressful time, or feeling alive in the crisp mountain air, you know what your soul needs to ensure that 2020 is a year to be remembered. 

Istanbul’s Hagia Irene

A contemporary historic museum in the first courtyard of the Topkapı Palace near Hagia Sophia, Hagia Irene is renowned not only as the first church in Istanbul but also as the birthplace of Turkish museology. Today, Hagia Irene is used as a concert hall particularly for classical music concerts, hosting doyens of music ranging from world-renowned chamber orchestras to piano and violin virtuosos.

Giants of classical music play the world’s finest notes in Hagia Irene

Having served as a concert hall since 1973, Hagia Irene is among İstanbul’s most cherished treasures with its history and splendor. Having hosted concerts by respected musicians and ensembles of classical and contemporary music including the world-renowned mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, Mischa Maisky, Amsterdam Sinfonietta Orchestra, Yuri Bashmet, St. Petersburg Russian Chamber Philharmonic, and London Chamber Orchestra as well as American singer and songwriter Raul Midon, who was nominated for the Grammy awards with his 2018 album, Turkish ney player, composer and producer Mercan Dede, who also produced the score of the campaign film promoting Turkey’s natural beauties entitled ‘Turkish Therapy,’ one of the hottest names among classical pianist in recent times, David Fray, rising star of jazz, Karsu, world-renowned violinist and the founder of Kremerata Baltica, Gidon Kremer, and violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova, it is ideal for a delightful end of day event surrounded by history, culture and art on the historic peninsula right next to the Topkapı Palace.

A historic magnum opus in Istanbul

Hagia Irene, which means “Peace of God” or “Holy Peace” in Greek, is noteworthy as the biggest Byzantine church that was not converted into a mosque in İstanbul. Drawn with a basilica plan as a classical Roman place of worship, Hagia Irene is comprised of narthexes and abscissas. Its main dome is carried by four colossal 35-meter high elephant feet while its central courtyard is empty, like that of the Hagia Sophia. The upper floor of the structure was designed in the shape of a big Roman cross. When it was built, Hagia Irene was not only the first church in İstanbul, but also one of the biggest structures of the Roman Empire.

Turkey’s first museology work started at Hagia Irene

During the Ahmed III era, artifacts sent from all across the Ottoman Empire were collected at Hagia Irene under two categories including Mecma-i Esliha-i Atika (Ancient Guns Collection) and Mecma-i Asar-ı Atika (Ancient Relics Collection), making the venue the birthplace of museology in Turkey. Watch an exclusive video on Hagia Irene HERE.

About Turkey

Located in the Mediterranean and connecting Asia and Europe continents that are separated by famous Bosphorus, Turkey is a unique destination that welcomed last year about 40 million tourists. The country that has always been a hub for cultural interaction and home to varying climates inspires the visitors today with its history, nature and gastronomy that reflect the diversity of civilizations for centuries. Located at the crossroads of cultures, Turkey has a distinctive understanding of art & fashion which is the synthesis of tradition and modernity and its extremely dynamic shopping & entertainment life also attracts the visitors from all over the world. For more about Turkey, visit www.goturkey.com

National Park Exclusive Savings

Availability in the National Parks this summer, up to 30 percent savings for a limited time at some lodges and resort.

“There is rare availability in the national parks this summer,” observes Betsy O’Rourke, the Chief Marketing Officer for Xanterra, the company that runs the concessions, lodging and many of the activities in national parks including Death Valley, Grand Canyon (South Rim), Zion. There are even the occasional cancellations, and thus availability of lodging in Glacier and Yellowstone.

“The fact is, people come from all over the world to experience the U.S. national parks, and with limited air travel and closed borders this year, those vacationers are not able to come, freeing up rooms in some of the greatest outdoor places on earth.” Now that parks are officially opening, for a limited time savvy travelers can book and save up to 30%

For information about what’s open, what services will be available, reservations as well as any travel guidelines in this post-quarantine world, access HERE.

For example, vacationers can stay on the south rim of the majestic Grand Canyon in the renowned and historic El Tovar hotel and receive 30 percent off for a limited time. Even the legendary Grand Canyon Railway that runs from Williams, Arizona on Route 66 to within footsteps of El Tovar and the South Rim of Grand Canyon is 30 percent off. The same is true at The Oasis in Death Valley, a true American
oasis with water bursting from the ground (the resort even has a golf course, the lowest on earth) and bask in a 30 percent savings. And Zion Lodge is also offering 30% off for a limited time.

So, pick your park, save up to 30 percent and take advantage of what nature has to offer, and rare summer openings when the skies are quiet and we’re all looking for someplace great to go that’s outdoors, beautiful and happens to be the trip of a lifetime. Visit HERE for reservations and information.

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Knowledge is Power: The Secret to Stress-Free Travel

Travelling is great. Whether it’s a road trip within your own borders or a transatlantic adventure, the act of getting out and exploring is something we all enjoy doing. But, before you can relax and have a care-free experience, you need to protect yourself and anyone that’s with you. Basically, the aim of travelling is to see new places, have fun, and escape the stresses of daily life. However, you can only be stress-less by getting your affairs in order before you go travelling. In today’s tech-first world, the internet has the prevention and solution to almost any problem. With this in mind, we’ve outlined the travel essentials you need to know before you pack your bags.

Know Your Flight Rights

If you’re planning a trip abroad, one of the most stressful hurdles you need to overcome is the flight. Just getting to the airport, making it through security on time, and boarding the plane are stressful enough. However, when delays strike and you’re stuck not knowing whether you’re going to fly, things get even worse. Fortunately, you’ve got rights. The team at Flightright are experts in all things travel-related. Using their 10 years’ of experience, the team not only fight for your travel rights in court (with a 99% success rate), they’re on hand to arm you with knowledge. When it comes to delays and flight cancellation compensation, their advice is evidence.

Collect proof of expenses related to your trip, alternative ticket costs and, of course, flight details. As long as you’re able to provide evidence on demand, you’re entitled to compensation of up to €600/$660 per person for delayed and cancelled flights. As you’d expect, getting something back from an airline isn’t easy. However, there are laws in place to protect you. So, by simply knowing that you’re entitled to compensation, without affecting your right to fly, you can sit and wait without any stress.

Be Sure to Insure

Although you don’t need travel insurance to claim compensation for delayed/cancelled flights, you will need it if anything else goes wrong. Medical coverage is the obvious expense you’ll need travel insurance for. However, the best policies will cover a variety of potential problems. MoneySuperMarket is just one comparison site that allows you to scan through dozens of insurance options. Perhaps the most important thing you need to consider when you’re purchasing insurance is what could go wrong. Standard policies will cover medical expense, personal liability, emergency assistance, and lost baggage.

However, what the average scheme won’t cover are things like extreme sports, pre-existing medical conditions, and natural disasters. Obviously, if you’re going skiing, this means you’ll need to take out extra cover. Additionally, if you’re going to a place that’s known for its tropical weather, such as Thailand during the stormy season (April to October), you might want to bolt on extra cover. Again, it all comes down to knowledge.

If you’re armed with the right information, you can react accordingly in all situations. What’s more, you can protect yourself from things before they go wrong. Even if you can’t stop every eventuality, you can at least be ready for them. That’s the best way to have a stress-free experience and get maximum enjoyment from your travels.

Return to luxury in Israel

Tourism has been halted globally by the development of the coronavirus ​pandemic. The sharp reduction in domestic and international flights have derailed the travel sector and the hotel industry bears the brunt of this downward trajectory. However, Israel’s largest luxury hotel chain, Dan Hotels, has remained persistent in its effort to serve its guests through this time. The company’s CEO Ronen Nissenbaum explains, “We have been working hard during this period to ensure our guests return to the highest level of safety and comfort, and we have developed a detailed health protocol, covering all areas of the hotels and all meeting the strict guidelines set out by the Israel Ministry of Health.”

Dan Hotels’ premier property in Tel Aviv, The Dan Tel Aviv, has remained open throughout the pandemic while Dan Caesarea and Dan Eilat will also be opening over the next week. The rest of the chain’s 17 luxury properties will open their doors within the next couple months after a disinfection and cleaning process. Dan Hotels hope to hit their target to reopen all locations between the months of July and August. The chain has also developed an innovative app named ‘App to Dan’ which will allow guests to perform various actions during their stay without making physical contact with hotel staff.

The gyms, pools, entertainment venues, the Danyland Clubs, and synagogues will be fully sanitized to assure safety of the patrons. Certain activities for the guest children in the properties will be held outdoors. Breakfasts at the Dan Hotels, an integral element of the luxury of the stay, will remain as buffets, however guests will be shielded from the food by a transparent partition and hotel staff will be wearing gloves and face masks to fill the guest’s plates. Dan Hotels is pursuing its objective of providing accommodations of high luxury even in these testing times. It is imperative that the leading chain maintains its high standards to serve patrons in a safe way during their stay.

Door County, Wisconsin, Travel, Food, Geiger PR, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor Adventures for Your Next Vacation

There’s nothing like quality vacation time to help you recharge and enjoy the important things in life. While it’s the perfect chance to disconnect and catch up on your rest, it’s also a great opportunity to add some adventure to your life. The truth is, most people long for exciting and meaningful experiences, but it can be difficult to find them in the day to day. If you’re preparing for an upcoming trip, take advantage of the journey and try something new and exhilarating. Whether it’s a family getaway or adults only, there are plenty of outdoor adventures you can choose from to broaden your horizons.

White Water Rafting

If you’re looking for an exciting activity that’s great for exploring nature while working as a team, white water rafting can be a great choice. It works well for groups of practically every size, whether you’re going alone or want to bring several friends or family members along for the ride. While most people assume you need to be a good swimmer to stay safe with this kind of activity, there are actually several levels of intensity to choose from. As long as you work with a company of highly trained professionals who provide quality safety gear, being a strong swimmer isn’t necessary to enjoy the adventure. However, many locations offer more relaxed options for those who are looking to float over gentler waters so they can take in the sights.

Ziplining

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush with a bird’s eye view, Denver ziplining is a unique and exciting experience for adventure lovers. A series of cables are suspended, usually over scenic locations, from forests and rivers to mountains and cliffs. Participants travel along the cable through the air from one base to the next while experiencing the beauty of the outdoors from an entirely new perspective. Some locations even offer nighttime packages so you can explore under the stars. Most trips usually last between two and three hours and some courses are open to children as young as four or five. However, the age requirements and duration will vary based on location and company, so be sure to check ahead before you book a package.

Camping and Hiking

For a more accessible approach to trying something new, camping and hiking are great options for the entire family and virtually every age. To keep things exciting, find parks and campgrounds with unique options, like treehouse cabins, beach grounds or even dark-sky zones for the best view of the stars. While you can plan your own hiking trip, consider hiring a guide to take you off the beaten path for a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you choose a location with historic significance or scenic waterfalls, a professional can help you get the best views while pointing out unique flora and fauna along the way. If you do desire to plan your own itinerary, be sure you research the local guidelines and make the necessary safety precautions, especially when traveling alone or in small groups.

Water Sports

Whether you’re traveling to the coast or visiting a lakefront destination, water sports are a great way to add some extra fun to your vacation. From kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skis and sailboats, playing on the water is a rare treat for most people, so take advantage of it if you’re vacationing nearby. If you want to relax, enjoy a casual lunch and take a swim, renting a pontoon boat is a great option. However, if you’re looking for an extra adrenaline rush, give parasailing a try. 

As you plan your next vacation, why not add an outdoor adventure to your itinerary? There’s something for every age, interest and group size out there, so give something new a try. You can enjoy a unique experience while creating life-long memories.