Posts tagged with "nature"

Kaelen Felix illustrates Elkhart Lake for 360 magazine

Elkhart Lake WI

By Elle Grant x Vaughn Lowery

As summer winds down and fall arrives, many find themselves itching for one last summer getaway, or rather, that first autumn weekend away. 360 Magazine was able to take advantage of such a trip, visiting Wisconsin’s Elkhart Lake this past September. Located in the heart of Moraine State Forest, Elkhart Lake is the ideal natural getaway, being home to lake activities as well as canopied hiking and biking trails.

Elkhart Lake, located on the East side of Wisconsin, is both a stunning sojourn into nature and also a historical destination. With a population just under one thousand, the village maintains a cozy quality, with local shops, restaurants, and activities maintaining a small-town, yet polished feel. Yet during the summertime, the town swells and comes to life. First inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians, the name Elkhart stems from the description Native people had of the area, that the lake resembled the shape of an elk’s heart. Native American culture can easily be explored in the area through local tours and at the Henschel’s Indian Museum. Elkhart is also a significant historical definition in terms of its relationship to racing, reaching its peak in the mid 1950s.

Our stay at the Shore Club was nothing short of superb. The new owners, Tom and Kristin Pagel, have done an incredible job renovating the hotel. Renovations including adding updated technology to enhance guest stays: Netflix, Alexa, a digital concierge through the Whisper app, Peloton bikes will soon be available, and luxury motor sports for those interested. Furthermore, the site also boasts an indoor pool, a game room with ping pong tables and vintage arcade games, and a gym. For those interested in seeing Elkhart on two wheels, free bikes are available for guest use at the front desk. The restaurant on site, the Cottonwood Social, offered consistently well-done meals, including the perfect weekend brunch.

We began our lake escape with a pontoon cruise on the namesake of the area, Elkhart Lake. Before departing, we sipped and snacked on the Osthoff’s signature cocktails and hors oeuvres. On the pontoon boat, we were able to view the lake’s crystal-clear lake waters and receive a tour that included information of the area’s history, legends, and folklore. The evening air aboard the boat made this the perfect way to begin a stay. Following the pontoon ride, dinner at the Osthoff Resort’s newest restaurant, Concourse Restaurant and Lounge, proved to be a unique culinary experience. With specialties such as the honey balsamic trout, seared scallops with sweet pea risotto, and the veal schnitzel with pickled cucumber relish, there was a delicious and refined option forevery set of tastebuds. The restaurant’s décor, a tribute the area and Osthoff’s vintage racing roots, also deserves special note.

Elkhart lake is famed for its historic roots as a racing circuit in the 1950s. During this decade, the village of Elkhart Lake transformed into an open-road race circuit where top sports car drivers traveled from all around the world to take on the unique terrain. Likewise, thousands of fans were drawn to the area, eager to see the athletes and vehicles alike. The racing today is focused at Road America,but the historic circuit is marked with signs denoting Wacker’s Wend, Kimberly’s Korner, and Dicken’s Ditch. This auto focused tour of the area isn’t to be missed. Road America also offers an opportunity to join in on the fun with options such as go-karting and ATVs at this world-acclaimed facility.

Road America and Elkhart Lake are famous as one of the oldest, largest, and most iconic tracks in the world. Currently, its original course is registered on the National Register of Historical Places, emphasizing its significance. Gaining popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, the post-World War II economy spurred on the influx of sporting luxury automobiles. For Elkhart specifically, the notable Sports Car Club of America were the main organizer of their races. Incredibly popular races such as the RoadAmerica 500, SCCA National Sports Car Championship, the United States Road Racing Championship and the IMSAGT Championship. Today, it continues to host luxury races and draw motorsports fans and can even be found in numerous racing video games!

Following a wild time racing, time winding down at the Aspira Spa was well-needed. Inspired by local Native American practices and traditions, but fused with modern technology and science, the spa offers the ideal treatment for any interest party. The inside space of the Aspira is thoughtfully designed and embraces the concept of Feng Shui as well as the natural elements. Personally, we enjoyed the Element Facial; this facial is a mask focused in traditional Chinese medicine representing the five elements. These five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Harmony can be restored through the combination of colored light and essential oils inspired by these elements. By exalting the healing practices of indigenous cultures around the world, Aspira is able to provide a holistic, organic, and thorough approach to healing and relaxation.

Traveling back in time once again, visiting the Carriage Museum at Wade House transported us even further back – back to the 1860s stagecoach era located within this Wisconsin Historical Site. To get a full experience of the period, we were able to travel in that manner: horse-drawn carriage! The museum also features Wisconsin’s most diverse collection of transportation of this manner with over 100 horse-and-hand drawn vehicles. For the transportation enthusiasts, this isn’t to be missed.

When one thinks of wine country, Wisconsin might not exactly spring to mine. Yet award-winning sommelier Jaclyn Stuart operates Vintage Elkhart Lake, a charming shop where she hand-selects all wines available. The tasting at her bar came paired with cheese plates, potato chip flights, and other delectable pairing bites. The shop, beyond wine unique to the area, also sells other local delicacies for those interested in bringing home a taste of Wisconsin.

It would hardly be a trip to the lake without time spent on the lake fishing. Elkhart Lake is 119 feet deep and 292 acres wide, providing the perfect home to a variety of fish species: musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and crappie all inhabit the lake. Going with a licensed guide like Jay Brickner will aide in explaining all those numerous species. Below the surface isn’t the only place to find remarkable species – a variety of endangered bird call this estuary home including bald eagles. Whether or not fishing is an interest, time spent on this beautiful, blue lake is worth taking a boat out for. A little closer to shore also boasts the best of the lake’s charms. From the time when Native Americans lived along its banks, Elkhart’s pristine quality has been appreciated. Taking advantage of more advanced activities like a hydrobike or other watersports can be a more adventurous way to embrace lake life. Other options including standup paddleboard, jet skis, and speedboats. Even taking a walk in the sand along the shoreline is another greatway to take advantage of all the lake has to offer.

The natural beauty of Elkhart Lake region is its most obvious draw, but the culinary seen isn’t to be underestimated. Lake Street Café, serving California Bistro style fare, also offers Wisconsin’s third largest wine list ensuring the perfect pairing for any dish. Quit Qui Clubhouse features classic pub and grill fair with a Wisconsin twist, including homemade soups, chili, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Siebkens Resort and 67 Saloon are also phenomenal dinner options reflecting inspiration from the area.

Elkhart Lake proved to be a much-needed September getaway. The natural beauty paired with the historical aspects of the Native American culture in the area as well as the history of luxury racing makes this an incredibly well-rounded destination.

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.

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

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

CVB Virtual GO 92.0 

The Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a virtual race called GO 92.0.  The CVB is inviting outdoor enthusiasts to join this virtual 92.0-mile run, walk or bike challenge that begins September 1, 2020 and ends September 30, 2020. Participants choose how to trek the 92.0 miles, while keeping tabs on progress using a favorite tracker app. For every 9.20 miles completed, participants will earn a virtual “badge” to celebrate their accomplishment. The CVB’s “virtual road team” plans to keep motivating those participating in the GO 92.0 by highlighting fun facts about Green Bay landmarks and tourist attractions.

“Many people have become active in the outdoors. Whether you’re biking a trail, walking your dog or hiking a path to see a waterfall, you’re challenging yourself to get out into nature,” says Toni Jaeckles, CVB Partnerships Director. “This virtual challenge can be done anywhere, whether you are at home or on the road,” she added.

“We’ve even created a version for our youngest athletes. There’s a 9.20 Kids Movement Challenge. We hope everyone in the family will participate,” says Jaeckles.

Proceeds for the virtual event go back to support Green Bay area tourism.

Follow Go 92.0: Facebook

Allison Christensen is an artist and specializes in illustration art.

Allison Christensen

Allison Christensen, is a New Jersey-based illustrator, attending Moore College of Art & Design. She is heavily inspired by plants and nature. Her style tends to be lighthearted with clean lines and a minimalist neutral color palette. Illustration has always been an outlet for her to express herself. Ever since she was a child, drawing fun and silly pictures have always brought her joy no matter what situation she was in. Allison was bullied excessively and at one point, she even had to be homeschooled for a year.

She always knew she wanted to do something artistic as a career. It wasn’t until her Junior year of high school when she knew what that would be. When she was visiting art colleges and getting portfolio reviews, one of the students introduced her to illustration design. Allison immediately knew that illustration art was what she needed to do for the rest of her life. She wants others to be able to look at her art and make their day brighter, even if it is just for a brief moment.

ARB Base Rack on car in forest

New ARB BASE Rack

For the first time in 20 years, ARB has revolutionized the product on which the company was founded: the BASE Rack.

In 1975, the roof rack was the first product manufactured and sold by ARB. 45 years later, ARB engineers have continuously improved stronger, lighter, and more versatile racks to carry all of your adventuring needs.

On can mount a basket for the weekend camping trip, run side rails only for the construction project, then strip down to a flat rack for the canoe. The BASE Rack stands apart as the most modular design in the market. Fully-customizable side-rail configuration, and a suite of new accessories leveraging a dovetail style attachment system provides adventurers the speed and flexibility they need to transform the weekday workhorse into the weekend explorer.

The ABR dovetail system provides flexibility to attach a wide range of accessories where you need them. The side-mounting profile also provides full use of the beams’ top surface and allows the beams to support cargo without protruding tie-down points.

The BASE Rack, build, attach, set, explore, is a full-welded, aluminum design providing weight savings without sacrificing strength and durability. The fully-welded beams that run the width of the vehicle, gives the BASE rack the strength of the steel racks, at a fraction of the weight. In addition, the sleek design integrates into the vehicle’s overall appearance. Because of the strength in the cross beams, there is no requirement for a sub-frame, lowering the rack height of the vehicle.

Born and bred in the Australian outback, ARB 4×4 accessories continue to push the limits of what explorers and adventurers can do with their 4WD vehicles. The BASE Rack demonstrates how ARB continues to evolve, innovation, and build on their overlanding heritage.

About ARB:

ARB is Australia’s largest manufacturer and distributor of 4×4 accessories. We also have an international presence, with an office in the US and an export network that extends through more than 80 countries around the globe. Our philosophy, however, has never wavered from its original course – quality, reliability, and practicality above all else.

ARB base rack carrying surfboard
ARB base rack birds eye view
NYBG illustration by Ivory Rowen

NYBG Reopening

The New York Botanical Garden has announced plans to reopen the grounds of its 250-acre site to the general public on Tuesday, July 28, in a gradual process as the City enters New York Forward’s Phase Four, projected to begin July 20.

Since enacting the temporary closure on March 15, 2020, due to COVID-19, Botanical Garden leadership has been proactively developing and implementing new safety protocols in accordance with State and New York Forward requirements for businesses and cultural institutions, CDC guidelines, and OSHA standards. (Note: The Garden’s reopening dates are contingent on New York City receiving permission to enter Phase Four.)

NYBG is among the most comprehensive botanical gardens in the world—an urban oasis and integral part of the cultural fabric of New York City, anchored in the Bronx. The verdant landscape currently features a trove of vibrant daylilies, hydrangeas, water lilies, and lotuses among its one million plants. Walking paths and trails crisscross the Garden providing opportunities for discovery through encounters with nature. The reopened gardens, outdoor collections, and natural features include the Native Plant Garden, with its meadow, woodland, promenade, and centerpiece water feature; Bronx River, with its waterfall, which runs through the 50-acre Thain Family Forest; layered and colorful patterns and plant groupings of the Perennial and Herb Gardens; lushly shaded Chilton Azalea Garden; award-winning Rockefeller Rose Garden; tropical and aquatic plant-filled Conservatory Courtyards and Pools; inviting paths through the Ross Conifer Arboretum; Benenson Ornamental Conifers; Burn Family Lilac Collection; and more.

Tram Tours, public programs, and group tours are suspended temporarily as a safety precaution. The Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, LuEsther T. Mertz Library, Edible Academy, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Hudson Garden Grill remain closed. The public reopening will be prefaced by Appreciation Week July 21‒26, when NYBG will welcome Garden Members; Bronx health care heroes from the eight public and private hospitals in the borough; and Bronx Neighbors with first access and complimentary tickets. Communities in the Bronx are among the most severely impacted by COVID-19 in New York City. Through its Appreciation Week initiative, the Garden seeks to acknowledge, with gratitude, the dedication, strength, and resilience of Bronx frontline health care workers and residents. Complimentary admission for those groups will continue through September 13.

The reopening incorporates enhanced safety measures based on best practices and guidance from health authorities and government agencies. New measures include requiring staff and visitors over the age of two to wear face coverings; increasing sanitization of public and staff areas; daily health screenings for on-site staff; supporting social distancing practices; requiring timed-entry tickets purchased in advance; operating at a reduced capacity; and more. The new, limited timed-entry ticketing system will stagger visitors’ arrivals, promote social distancing, and mitigate the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas.

Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket. Visitors who do not purchase advance tickets will not be guaranteed admission at this time. Garden Patrons and Members must also reserve timed tickets in advance. For more information, visit the NYBG website. To further facilitate social distancing, visitors will find new wayfinding signage and pavement markings at admissions points and where queuing is necessary. Some pathways will be designated for one-way foot traffic to help avoid congestion. New hand sanitizer stations on the grounds and touchless restroom appliances will be available. There is ample parking on-site and in NYBG’s Parking Garage, just steps away from the Mosholu Entrance. Other visitor amenities include: Pine Tree Café (10 a.m.–6 p.m.; limited menu and outdoor seating), Hudson Garden Grill Terrace (12–5 p.m.; snacks and refreshments, including water, beer, and wine) Pine Tree Café Pop-up at the Rose Garden (11 a.m.–4 p.m.; snacks and refreshments, including water, beer, and wine) Clay Family Picnic Pavilions, “My Day at the Garden” kids and family activity guide, Self-guided audio tours, which are available by cell phone, and NYBG Shop (per social distancing protocols).

The reopening plan is subject to change based on government guidance and in response to altered circumstances. Subsequent phases of the Garden’s reopening will be announced at a future date online and via the Garden’s social media channels.

Rita Azar, 360 MAGAZINE, travel, illustration

Natural Lithuania Attractions

Historically a forest country, Lithuania has much to offer travellers looking for sustainable outdoor adventure. Under-the-radar wonders of nature draw into new experiences perfect for adventure-seekers looking for ways to safely travel.

“We are a forest country,” explained Indrė Trakimaitė-Šeškuvienė, Head of Marketing at Lithuania Travel. “Forest is an important symbol of Lithuanian history and culture. Despite industrial development of the 19-20th centuries, we have preserved large spaces of natural forest. With the rise of eco-tourism these locations are turning into sites of meditation, natural health practice and other ways to achieve the deeper sense of unity with nature.”

Eco-tourism is on the rise and people who decide to travel in post-quarantine world are looking for nature experiences rather than big cities. Here are seven amazing outdoor attractions in the lush forests of Lithuania, according to Lithuania Travel.

  • Herb picking: In North-Eastern Lithuania, in the forest-surrounded town of Anykščiai, professional herbalist Ramūnas Daugelavičius combines traditional Lithuanian experience with knowledge of other cultures and scientific methods to provide unique experience of herbs. From herb picking for spices to special tea ceremonies, fire rituals and seed root coffee, travelers can follow the Lithuanian tradition.
  • Butterfly and dragonfly watching: Lithuania is the only place in the world where dragonflies are professionally monitored and marked.At Ventė ornithology station, the secrets of dragonfly migration are only now being uncovered. Not far from the station, in the Western part of Lithuania, ecotourism enthusiast Daiva Stanislovaitienė offers butterfly, dragonfly and bird watching trips combined with cozy stay in a comfortable villa.
  • Forest bathing: The Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing is a way to heal and restore the human spirit, which tires of work and rush of the technology-dominated world. For example, a certified guide of shinrin-yoku Mila Monk gives both private and group tours in different Lithuanian forests which visitors can join in on. 
  • The largest dreamcatcher in the world: Those with serious nightmares should visit the pine forest in Asveja regional park in Eastern Lithuania. The dreamcatcher is located in the territory of the eco-resort Golden Forest. The resort also houses a forest labyrinth of four elements which can be passed only using the intuition, and holds the annual Masters of Calm festival for active and conscious community.
  • The forest gramophone: The forest sound catcher may be found in the Curonian Spit – the natural seaside reservation in the Western Lithuania. Here, a 3 meters high gramophone-like construction enhances the natural sounds of forest which visitors can spend about half an hour inside.
  • The forest dunes: Sand dunes are the usual sight of the Baltic seaside, but, some of them are located far from the sea and deep in the forests. In the pine forests of South-Eastern Lithuania, the dunes totally transform the landscape and provide unique experience of the raw nature.
  • Meteorite crater: 165 million years ago a huge meteorite landed near Vepriai in Central Lithuania. Now, visitors can explore the site by biking along one of the many routes across the crater.

The deep, green and magic Lithuanian forest is the place to enjoy peace and solitude traveling on foot, by bike or by camper. Now, with the necessary cautions for traveling during the coronavirus pandemic, a forest-filled oasis like Lithuania is a perfect spot for globetrotters.

Plants illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Mammalz

Mammalz, a new mutli-media nature-niche community platform with a mission to reconnect people to nature announces a free trip giveaway that will send the winner and a guest on an adventure of a lifetime. Each of the travel opportunities offer a unique, up close and personal experience with nature. The lucky winner will get to choose from an African safari to Botswana, a wild tiger safari in India, or a liveaboard scuba diving trip to Indonesia. Travel will take place after the world reopens to safe international travel.

“Mammalz is all about connecting people to nature and each other, not just on our iOS app and web platform, but in real life,” says Alex Finden, COO and co-founder of Mammalz. “Any one of these trips will provide the winner incredible opportunities to capture nature live streams, videos, and photos, perfect for sharing with the global community of nature enthusiasts on the Mammalz app.”

How to Enter the Free Trip Drawing: Entry into the free trip drawing is a perk offered to investors in the Mammalz crowd equity campaign on Wefunder which ends on Friday, July 31, 2020 at 11:59pm PDT. The minimum $100 investment level translates into one entry into the drawing. Higher investment levels provide multiple entries. For every $250K raised on the Mammalz Wefunder campaign, there will be a random drawing for a free trip. Learn more about investing in Mammalz and the free trip drawing at Wefunder.com/mammalz.

The Mammalz founding team are professional filmmakers and photographers with insider tips to share on what to pack if you’re the lucky winner. “Part of the fun of travel is the anticipation and planning,” says Finden. “We chose destinations for the giveaway that we’ve experienced in person, so we have some little-known real-life tips that will make the winner’s trip the best ever.” Watch the founding team share their travel tips in three short videos.

The Mammalz offers a centralized place for today’s generation of socially savvy nature content creators, scientists, and consumers to connect with each other and create a global community around anything that advances the human-nature relationship. Every visit to Mammalz brings a new possibility to encounter nature like you’ve never seen before. Join a live stream with a young zookeeper, watch a timelapse video of a dragonfly emerging from its larval stage, or feel relaxation flood over you as you watch colorful fish dart in and around a coral reef. Mammalz is a place for curiosity and discovery to flourish.

“Our need to reconnect to nature is much more than just getting outside and enjoying the outdoors. It is understanding our place in nature,” says Rob Whitehair, CEO and co-founder of Mammalz. “We need to hear from multiple perspectives around the globe to widen the understanding of what nature means to the global community. This will help us gain not only more knowledge and understanding of life on earth, but more compassion and empathy for our fellow humans.”

Founded by biologists-turned-wildlife filmmakers, Rob Whitehair, CEO, and Alexander Finden, COO, Mammalz is the “Twitch for Nature”; a mobile- and web-based media streaming and social platform dedicated to nature storytelling and driven by community. Whether you are a professional media maker, scientist, educator, artist, writer, or one of over 600 million nature enthusiasts across the planet, Mammalz provides you with the tools to personalize your experience, share your love of nature, and truly make a difference.

Mammalz, PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation founded in May 2018 and headquartered in San Diego, CA, USA. The Mammalz mission is to promote a greater global public understanding of nature and the environment while acting as a bridge between science, media makers, and the public.

Follow Mammalz: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Yacht, Kontiki, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery

Kontiki Small-Yacht Expeditions

New Kontiki small-yacht expeditions will launch this fall and is now accepting bookings for sailings along Ecuadorian coast

After an extensive planning and construction period, the start-up Kontiki Expeditions will launch their maiden voyages this fall. A new concept in luxury ocean vacations focusing on conscious travel and immersive experiences, Kontiki small-yacht expeditions include both under-the-water and on-land richesse. Kontiki’s first two itineraries, The Toquilla Expedition and The Spondylus Expedition, travel along the Ecuadorian coast and take full advantage of the country’s wealth of birds, animals, flora, fauna, indigenous foods and cultural traditions while adhering to a philosophy of sustainability and giving back to communities.

“We are pioneers in offering luxury sea expeditions along seldom-traveled routes,” commented Carlos Nuñez, Founder and CEO. “Our new expeditions reveal the beauty and authenticity of coastal Ecuador, passing through small, uncrowded towns and historical sites; forests and wetlands; pristine beaches; and protected ecological reserves,” he continued.

A fundamental part of the Kontiki program is supporting the communities visited while also enriching the guest experience. “We believe strongly that conscious travel is especially important as we connect our guests with local communities. Giving back is as important as receiving,” Nuñez noted.

The first ship is scheduled to set sail in December. Initially introducing with two eight-day itineraries, Kontiki will transport guests to untouristed areas in Ecuador to explore and celebrate the indigenous cultures within a context of wellness. Kontiki’s luxury boutique yachts, which have only nine staterooms each, are able to visit smaller ports.

The programs are led by 10 crew members and two local experts committed to sustainability and conscious travel. Onboard, wellness professionals, naturalist guides and a local chef add to the distinctive Kontiki experience. Guests can expect to see the country’s beloved blue-footed boobies along with sea lions and howler monkeys. Gastronomic experiences featuring local chocolate, seafood, and produce will be enjoyed both onboard and on land.

The yachts are 128 feet-long and include nine staterooms, a sundeck, a gourmet salon, two outdoor lounges, bar, Jacuzzi, and a gym and fitness area. Guest and crew health and safety are priorities and sanitization and wellness protocols are summarized on Kontiki’s website here. Pricing begins at $7245 per person per week, based on double occupancy, and includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrances, guided expeditions and more. Solo traveler rate and private charter rates are also available.

“Ecuador is home to our first expedition and we look forward to expanding our concept of small-yacht luxury to other countries as well. We are excited about sharing our beautiful yachts and destinations with adventurous travelers who share our passion for exploration and conscious travel,” he added. For more information and reservations, visit www.kontikiexpeditions.com/en.

About Kontiki Expeditions:

Kontiki Expeditions are pioneers in conscious luxury travel, offering immersive and sustainable small-yacht expeditions. Sailing the untouristed Ecuadorian coast, the nine-stateroom Kontiki yachts introduce a maximum of 18 guests to the richesse of the land and sea. Multi-stop itineraries feature hiking, snorkeling, meetings with locals, in-depth cultural explorations, wellness activities and gastronomy. Kontiki travelers experience the area’s flora, fauna and animals including indigenous blue-footed boobies and howler monkeys, all in a protected environment where sustainability and uncrowded venues are paramount. Kontiki prides itself in giving back to the communities visited with resources and education. For more information, visit their website, call +5933984364149, or email Kontiki Expeditions.

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