Posts tagged with "tourism"

Travel story illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

Setouchi in Japan

The region of Setouchi in Japan is curious, cool, creative and boasts an impressive level of experiences. It’s the authentic side of Japan that awaits with a restorative element that is unparalleled, offering countless experiences to choose from. Seven prefectures spanning the idyllic Seto Inland Sea, making it the iyllic blend of explorations across land and sea…close your eyes and begin to dream after considering inspirational ideas…

  • Eat your way through Setouchi…Kagawa is known as the Udon Prefecture. Home to these slurp-worthy thick white noodles and boasting the highest number of udon restauuranst in Japan. Sanuki udon has a square shape and flat edges and is native to Kagawa, comprised of wheat, salt, soy sauce and dry sardine- try your hand at creating them with a master chef or hop around to sample it at multiple eateries. And, naturally, no journey to Setouchi is complete without tasting the famed Wagyu Beef in Shimani, known the world over. Juicy, tender and stellar. Consider pairing it with a glass of Japanese wine at the Chateau Misen winery
  • Luxe it up overnight…Aman + Adrian Zecha have teamed up on a stellar collaboration to launch a new ryokan-inspired hotel brand in Japan called Azumi- the first will open on an island in Setouchi along the Seto Inland Sea- a fusion of culture, harmony, wellness and exceptional design
  • Hit all the power spots where mystical energy flows on a northern drive route, stopping at temples, shrines and cultural sites in Tottori, Shimani and Yamaguchi, or take the eastern route for the most ridiculously gorgeous views through Okayama, Hyogo and Tokushima (NB- a power spot for romance as it’s shaped like a heart)
  • Pick fruit in Yamaguchi! Apple, Mandarin orange; Blueberry; Pear; Strawberry; Grape and wrap it up at a stay at Nagato Yumoto Onsen and the Otozure ryokan, welcoming guests for 600 _ years and truly the setting of a brilliant love story from hundreds of years ago. A gorgeously designed property with a true sense of place, focused on toji, hot spring recouperation.
  • Chill in a hot spring and completelty surrender to a natural therapeutic experience at Kaike Onsen in Tottori, the highest hot spring source in the prefecture, and take a stroll on the beach afterward before digging into a huge pot of fresh rich meaty snow crabs, a specialty of the region (best season Nov- Mar). Misasa Onsen is a great hot spring alternative, with water rumored to be extremely healing.
  • Cycle the famed Shimanami Kaido….do all 70 KM or book a support car or boat bike ride back if you just want a taste. This exceptional route is a cyclist’s paradise, treating riders to impossibly gorgeous views between the islands of Shikoku and Honshu.
  • Get your Sake on with a hop around 7 of Hiroshima’s best breweries along Saijo Sakagura Dori and the Fujii Shuzo Brewery Exchange Hall in Takehara city. Sample to your delight and compare with the contenders for the winner of the day.
  • Get greeted by a white rabbit at Hakuto Beach in Tottori…just one of the ubiquitous sculptures and art installations found across multiple islands in Setouchi. The legend has it the rabbit of Inaba was crying because it suffered from threats from alligators but today, it’s a welcoming symbol to travelers who arrive to dig into watersports or trek through caves, across cliffs, discovering unusual rock formations

Connect with Setouchi Tourism in Japan for more info.

Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa by Preferred Hotel Group

New Sustainable Hotel Brand, Beyond Green

Guided by an inherent passion to transform travel as a force for good,Preferred Hotel Group, Inc.– the family-owned company that manages and operates global travel and hospitality brands includingPreferred Hotels & Resorts,Historic Hotels of America,Historic Hotels WorldwidePHG Consulting and Beyond Green Travel– proudly announces the launch of Beyond Green. This innovative hospitality brand debuts with a global portfolio of 24 founding member hotels, resorts, andlodgesthat exemplify sustainable tourism leadership. Driven by purpose, the new brand represents Preferred’s steadfast commitment to building a better and brighter future for travel in a way that also helps to protect the planet for future generations.

Born through an inspired, natural synergy between the Ueberroth Family – the owners of Preferred Hotel Group, Inc. – and ecotourism pioneer and global sustainability expert Costas Christ – the founder of Beyond Green Travel, which Preferred acquired in February 2020 – Beyond Green brings together forward-thinking properties around the world that are committed to delivering on the three key pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contributing to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities.

The name itself –  Beyond Green – was chosen in recognition of not only the immense importance of environmentally friendly practices, but also the paramount responsibility that the travel and tourism industry has towards protecting biodiversity, preserving cultural heritage, and improving local people’s livelihoods in travel destinations around the world, all while delivering an enjoyable and meaningful traveler experience. 

“Never before has there been a greater need to promote a kinder and gentler way to explore our beautiful, yet fragile planet. Driven by our brand promise, Believe in Travel, which guides every decision we make as a company, we believe that now is the time to go big and be bold as we look to the future of travel,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Preferred Hotel Group, Inc.

“We are humbled by the opportunity to partner with so many inspiring leaders in sustainable tourism to launch our newest brand, Beyond Green, that was built with purpose, gratitude, and respect for nature, communities, and culture, continued Ueberroth.” 

“While there may be a tendency to think of sustainability as just the latest travel buzzword, its roots are long and deep. What we are witnessing is an evolution of travel, not a passing trend,” said Costas Christ.

Beyond Green is about reconnecting with our common humanity and understanding that the diversity of our cultures and different ways of life are what create the rich fabric that makes travel so enjoyable and fascinating. In that same context, nature brings inspiration and renewal to our lives. Sustainable tourism is not about giving something up, it is about gaining something more – a great vacation that it is also a force for good,” said Christ.  

The Beyond Green platform will support the needs of its member properties by providingglobal connectivity, distribution technology, marketing, sales, quality assurance, branding, and sustainability solutions, as well as access to participate in I Prefer Hotel Rewards, the world’s largest global points-based loyalty program for independent hotels. Beyond Green will also enhance visibility for its global portfolio and champion sustainability storytelling through its brand website, StayBeyondGreen.com, which launched today in an interim state prior to the brand’s official consumer debut in Q1 2021. Beyond Green member properties will also be bookable on a common GDS chain code, to be announced in early 2021, which will be linked under Preferred Hotel Group Inc.’s master GDS chain code – PV.  

With plans for strategic growth over the next 24 months, Beyond Green celebrates its launch in collaboration with 24 inspiring founding members located across 15 countries:   

  •         &Beyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya) 
  •         &Beyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania) 
  •         &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia) 
  •         Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece) 
  •         Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland)  
  •         Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA)  
  •         Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize) 
  •         Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy) 
  •         Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa) 
  •         Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA)  
  •         InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia)   
  •         Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama) 
  •         Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA)  
  •         Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA)  
  •         The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia) 
  •         The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA)   
  •         Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)  
  •         Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize) 
  •         Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda)  
  •         Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana) 
  •         Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia) 
  •         Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe)  
  •         Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana) 
  •         Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana) 

To be considered for Beyond Green membership, a property must demonstrate leadership in the three key pillars of sustainable tourism as part of a rigorous vetting process and show progress in meeting more than 50sustainability indicatorsthatalign with global sustainable tourismstandards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Examples of these requirements, among others, which form part of an ongoing, biennial on-site inspection process, include management of overall environmental operations to establish benchmarks and set additional sustainability goals including carbon emission reduction targets; elimination of plastic water bottles and reducing single-use plastics; support for biodiversity conservation initiatives and restoration and protection of natural habitats; embracing local cultural vernacular in design and décor and supporting the preservation of cultural heritage sites, a demonstrated priority to hire locally according to fair wages, benefits, and non-discrimination policies that meet or exceed legal requirements; and priorityto purchase goods and services from locally owned and operated businesses. 

To help build Beyond Green as a dynamic, digital-first platform that serves travelers through authentic storytelling and wholesome sustainability stewardship, Preferred sought expert direction from two strategic agencies – Robert Louey Design and Spherical. Robert Louey Design was tasked with the branding work, inclusive of brand development, positioning, and strategy, as well as graphic design and language. Spherical has been charged with building a digital identity for Beyond Green to coincide with its consumer launch in Q1 2021, which entails creative direction and channel strategy, the production of a variety of digital assets for advertising, marketing, and social media use, and the creation of a standalone consumer-facing website. 

Travel advisors, media, hotels interested in membership, and travelers can learn more about Beyond Green and its founding members by visiting www.StayBeyondGreen.com. Prior to debuting its brand website with full booking capabilities in Q1 2021, Beyond Green invites all travelers who want to book a stay within its unique portfolio of hotels, resorts and lodges to email Book@StayBeyondGreen.com.   

Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Christmas In Croatia

By Patrick T. Cooper

This year has been anything but ordinary. Extraordinary would even be an understatement! Most who dare to read this article are grappling with the thought of where your first travel destination will be post-pandemic. Well, forget pulling out all of those dusty ornaments and slaving in the kitchen to prepare the family meal. Croatia is calling you to blend your love of travel with holiday traditions to make your season a memorable one.

Croatia offers a unique old-world feel with a hip awareness that locals will eagerly share while illustrating the countries fair and flare. The gift of travel is evergreen and never antiquated. Give the gift of lifetime memories well beyond the impact of material goods. This past year should be your throttle boost to knock off the destinations of the world that you have always hungered to see. Christmas in Croatia is not just a catchy title but a rhythmic vibe that will have you singing in the city streets.

The aha moment is forthcoming once you maneuver through the city cafes at the center of Zagreb. Beyond the city’s annual Festival of Lights is a community that is welcoming, warm, genuine and excited to educate you on the rich culture of this region in the world. While travel has been practically extinct this year, this story gives you ample time for planning to experience The Ultimate Holiday Gift – Christmas in Croatia.

Christmas in Croatia by Patrick Cooper for 360 mag

The Bucket List

Positioned on the Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country at the intersection of Central and Southeast Europe. The Croatian economy is dominated by the services and industrial sectors as well as agriculture. Tourism is the paramount source of revenue, ranking Croatia among the 20 most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country measures 21,851 square miles and a population of 4.07 million, most of whom are Catholic.

Zagreb, Croatia’s northwestern capital, is riddled with distinguished 18th and 19th– century Austro-Hungarian architecture contributing to your eyes dancing as you wonder about the city. Most infatuated upon my arrival, I, of course, had to make the 13th-century St. Mark’s Church and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as my initial stops. From the colored rooftop of the church to the edifice of the cathedral, I hastened to mark three destinations off of my travel bucket list.

At this point, I have piqued your curiosity, similar to anxious adolescents on the night before Christmas. Never fear, I will be the calming hand to give you a Croatia travel cheat sheet. The path is now lit!! Continue reading and start preparing to soar into the unknown and craft memories to enhance your personal journey.

Lights in Zagreb

By day, Zagreb’s main square is perfect for people watching. A brief stop in Dolac’s open-air market will intensify your cultural submersion. Prepare to indulge in the ultimate Christmas experience by evening. The city literally lights up!! The splendid display of the holiday spirit is like no other in the world. Advent on European Square, Advent on Zrinjevac, Ice park, and Advent in Tunnel are all close in proximity and offer an array of souvenirs, decorations, food and beverages to heighten the beginning of your fairy-tale in Croatia.

Truffle Hunt in Istria

Everyone loves a day trip to Istria which includes phenomenal hunting. Fetching some of the world’s most renowned mushrooms is quite an adventure. Prior to exiting the field, fuel up with your personalized truffle cooking class at Karlić Tatufi. Opting for the scrambled truffled eggs and a variety of truffle-infused pastries is the perfect breakfast to start the day. Excitement ensues watching the eagerness of canine energy to hunt the delicacy of the Croatian culture. The benefits of eating, education and exposure culminate in creating a magical endeavor.

Truffle photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Rest in Rovinj

From the sleek curbside appeal, the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is perhaps one of the sexiest hotels that I have visited. Modern, yet minimalist furnishings and features make this property award-winning. Beyond the architecture, you prepare to be rewarded with elegantly appointed seafront views overlooking St. Katarina Island and the Old Town of Rovinj. Completed in 2019, this hotel represents a collaboration with Milan studio Lissoni Architecture by Piero Lissoni. From its beaches, pool, dining and spa the Grand Park Hotel Rovinj is an unforgettable designed stay.

Grand Park hotel photo by Patrick Cooper for 360 magazine

Chocolate in Opatija

A chocolate Santa Claus is such a treat!! Literally one of Opatija’s sweetest events happening the first weekend of December is when you should be ready to taste and experience the finest chocolates from the world’s best chocolatiers. Everywhere the eye can wander, you shall see white, milk and dark chocolate creations that elevate from edibles to works of art.

By all means, secure your global selfie stamp by posing with famous individuals like Gustav Mahler and Isadore Duncan of Opatija at the Open Air Theatre at the Park Angiolina.

Chocolate Santas by Patrick Cooper for 360 Magazine

Castles in Rijeka

Korzo is the main promenade in Rijeka. It is the focal point to capture the hustle of the city and a quick coffee in a multitude of cafes. At nightfall, it is the climb to the Trsat Fortress that will illuminate your love for Rijeka, Croatia. Never before have I seen such a delicate display of holiday savoir-faire. From carriages to castles dripping in bright lights, prepare to spend your upcoming holiday in this historical winter wonderland. Croatia is certainly worth planning an entire year in advance.

Rita Azar illustrates travel article for 360 MAGAZINE

Cozy Winter Retreats

Enjoy delicious food, spectacular accommodations, and seasonal activities this winter

As temperatures drop and winter nears, a sweet escape may be closer than you think! If you’re yearning for a weekend getaway, look no further than the scenic Hudson Valley for a charming winter retreat. Located just an hours’ drive from New York City, Orange County, N.Y. offers acclaimed restaurants and accommodations with seasonal packages for couples, singles, and families looking for a home away from home this season.

“The perfect winter getaway can be found close to home with a visit to one of our cozy inns or B&Bs — all just a short drive from the area’s ski resorts, ice rinks, riding stables, hiking, biking, and mountain trails,” said Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana. “Unwind with loved ones or a good book by a crackling fireplace after a day outdoors. Or, warm up with a delicious meal from one of our many acclaimed restaurants offering indoor dining and seasonal menus, too.”

Below are some winter getaways available in Orange County, N.Y. Before visiting any of the locations, please contact the venue directly to confirm that they are open and practice safe social-distancing.

Cedar Lake Estates, 1 Team USA Way, Port Jervis: Cedar Lakes Estate offers 500 acres of Winter Wonderland for you to explore. Stay for a long weekend, or grab a seat at one of the venue’s Saturday dinners. Whether just for a toast by the fire, or a snowshoe around the property, explore all there is to do in the beautiful Hudson Valley. cedarlakesestate.com

The Thayer Hotel, 674 Thayer Road, West Point: Experience the luxurious accommodations at the Historic Thayer Hotel at West Point with one of many seasonal packages available. Visitors can enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner prepared by the Culinary Institute of America team of chefs with an overnight stay, or choose the venue’s holiday brunch package that includes an exquisite feast for two, luxurious overnight accommodations, and a souvenir Thayer Hotel holiday ornament. Ring in the New Year with overnight accommodations, a cocktail reception at MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant, a four-course meal, open bar, DJ, champagne toast at midnight, and a New Year’s Day champagne brunch. thethayerhotel.com

The Waterstone Inn, 62 Sterling Road, Greenwood Lake: Skiers won’t want to overlook one of Orange County’s hidden gems, The Waterstone Inn. Located just three miles from Mount Peter, a full-service mountain offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing, the beautiful inn offers visitors a peek back in time to the Golden Age of Greenwood Lake when affluent New York families would flock to the lake for leisure throughout the 1800s and early 1900s. Accommodating parties of all sizes, guests can choose from studio rooms, suites, or the entire third floor. thewaterstoneinn.com

Bear Mountain Inn, 3020 Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain: Built in 1915 upon a plateau overlooking the shores of Hessian Lake, this natural beauty of local stone and timber is a national treasure. Its 15 deluxe guest rooms and suites combine rustic mountainside elegance with all the creature comforts of home to make it the quintessential romantic Hudson Valley destination. Relax and recharge with the inn’s shop, stay, and spa package that includes a gift card to Woodbury Common Premium outlets and a $100 credit to the Spa at Bear Mountain. visitbearmountain.com

Cromwell Manor Historic Inn, 174 Angola Road, Cornwall: Relax at this elegant 1820 mansion with additional guest rooms in a charming 1762 colonial cottage. Decorated with period antiques and furnishings, all rooms have private baths and many have working fireplaces. Enjoy homemade breakfast each morning, overlooking the seven-acre private estate, before heading out to explore nearby parks and trails, world class shopping at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, and many vineyards and wineries. cromwellmanorinn.com

Stagecoach Inn, 268 Main Street, Goshen: The Hudson Valley’s premier inn and restaurant can be found within an elegant mansion built in 1747. Despite its historic past, the five-bedroom inn features private baths and all the modern updates and amenities for 21st-century travelers. The on-site restaurant offers casually elegant dining in several sitting rooms and a stone veranda overlooking three acres of manicured lawns. During the day, explore all that Orange County has to offer with local museums and art galleries, parks and outdoor activities, and shopping galore. stagecoachny.com

As the world reopens, Orange County, N.Y., invites residents and visitors to escape, enjoy and explore its wide-open spaces. For a full list of attractions, lodging and dining options available at this time, please visit orangetourism.org/fall-fun. Additionally, a fun, free, 56-page travel guide is available for digital download at OrangeTourism.org/travel-guide.

About Orange County Tourism

Orange County Tourism, based in Goshen, N.Y., is the county’s tourism headquarters and a participant in the I LOVE NY program. A comprehensive listing of area attractions, lodging and events can be found at OrangeTourism.org. Like Orange County Tourism on Facebook for the latest news on local happenings.

#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.

Rustic and beautiful suite at The Refuge de la Traye

The Refuge de la Traye 

Experience an authentic take on French living at The Refuge de la Traye.

Once COVID cases diminish and we begin to travel safely again, this French oasis should be at the top of your list. In the heart of the ski area of Les Trois Vallées, nestled in a green haven between the lake and the mountain, the Refuge de la Traye offers its guests a mesmerizing experience. With meditative spa services and a stunning natural surroundings, the Refuge de la Traye is a must-see luxury resort for your travels.

The buildings themselves hold plenty of charm and sustainable features. Constructed using local natural materials like stone, old larch wood, and lauze, the Refuge evokes the authentic style of the original 1982 mountain refuge. Also, nestled in a fabulous preserved natural site, the Refuge advocates for an eco-responsible approach through active and preventative actions such as solar panels and electric vehicles.

In terms of what to do beyond enjoying the grounds, the Refuge offers many exciting activities and outings for guests. Skiing trips, dog sled rides, snowshoe hikes, zipline adventures, and hot-air balloon trips are all offered at the Refuge. In addition, the on-site animal pen so visitors can learn about the innerworkings of bee hives or the gentle manner of Valais Backnose sheep.

For those looking for a more mellow stay, guests can enjoy fine dining with both cozy indoor and vast outdoor seating options. Others will enjoy fine wines in the wine cellar or artisan cheeses at the cheese counter, nestled under a stone vault.All in all, Le Refuge de la Traye is the first prestigious mountain refuge present to today with a restaurant, spa, tearoom, wine cellars, gift shop, conference room, chapel, and more. Before dining, guests can enjoy a hay bed, a milk bath, an outdoor Jacuzzi, and other relaxing spa and meditative practices. But, for those who cannot travel to the Refuge now, check out some of our favorite at-home spa treatments.

The Refuge de la Traye can arrange accommodations for events such as weddings, baptisms, seminars, product launches and conferences with a chapel and conference rooms on-site. In terms of dining, guests have many options to dine in style by enjoying a meal in an igloo, a marquis or even a teepee at the Refuge.

From business to leisure, the Refuge offers anything and everything guests could want in a vacation. Enjoy an unforgettable trip at the Refuge de la Traye by going to their website and booking your stay now.

Meditative spa at The Refuge de la Traye Stunning rooftop dining view at The Refuge de la Traye Quaint and charming indoor dining at The Refuge de la Traye Authentic French Mountain lodge designs at The Refuge de la Traye

Travel illustration by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE.

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Vacation At Home

While traveling regulations and personal comfort levels vary, Virginia’s Blue Ridge, VBR, has devised a plan to allow you to travel from the safety of your home. With a new digital campaign, VBR remains a top-of-mind destination through Six Imperfect Substitutions. With Six Imperfect Substitutions, VBR turns some of the region’s popular attractions into easy and fun DIY experience with common household items.  

Shannon Terry, marketing manager at Visit VBR created the campaign. “With my favorite local establishments temporarily closed, I personally started to feel the effects of cabin fever and began brainstorming ways to entertain myself,” said Terry. “What started as a personal joke turned into a light-hearted way to showcase the cool spots in the region that people are missing.” 

The  Six Imperfect Substitutions to experience Virginia’s Blue Ridge from home include: 

  1. Cyclocross Substitute – a fast-paced, off-road bike race including various obstacles and barriers. 
  1. DIY Dixie Caverns – Living rock formation in Salem, VA. 
  1. Makeshift McAfee  – most photographed spot along the Appalachian Trail, a bucket list hike. 
  1. Not Quite Texas Tavern– a 24/7 classic lunch counter and late night eatery that seats 1,000…10 at a time. 
  1. Roaring Run Replacement – waterfall hike near a historic 19th century iron ore furnace. 
  1. Simulated Stiles Falls – stunning 40-ft waterfall hike in Shawsville, VA. 

Check out Six Imperfect Substituations yourself at VisitVBR.com so you and your loved ones can travel and craft without even stepping outside of your home. 

Rita Azar illustrates a story about wine vineyards in Isreal for 360 MAGAZINE.

Israel Tourism × Wine

On August 19, the Israel Wine Producers Association (IWPA) will host “A Sip of Israel in North America” in partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism in North America (IMOT) for a virtual wine tour of Israel. Believed to be the first such event of its kind for travel advisers, this virtual tour will illustrate how extensive and deep-rooted winemaking is in Israel.

The tour will feature wines from each region of Israel – Tel Aviv, Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem and the Negev – with commentary from the director of each corresponding region in North America (Western, Midwest, Canada, Northeast and Southern respectively). Each will share highlights of activities and attractions tourists can discover in these regions. In addition, the directors will be joined by the winemaker of each of the five wines as well as host, Joshua Greenstein, Executive Vice President of the IWPA.  

“We have done a number of collaborations with the IWPA on a regional basis, but with webinars and virtual tours on the rise, Josh and I saw an opportunity to do something much bigger,” said Chad Martin, IMOT Director of the Northeast Region. “The Ministry of Tourism has long wanted to get the point across that not only is Israel a wine destination, but with the convenience of Israel’s small size, a wine experience can easily be added to almost any day of touring.” 

To help round out the experience for the travel advisers, IWPA is offering a special wine package so that participants wanting to taste the wines and really have a “A Sip of Israel in North America,” can get the full virtual experience. 

The event is on August 19th and begins at 4:30 p.m. EST, 3:30 p.m. CST, 1:30 p.m. PST, and 9:30 p.m. BST. The five-bottle wine package is $99 with free shipping and is available across the continental US, Canada, and the UK.

To stay up-to-date with future travel to Israel or to plan your trip when the country reopens to international travel, visit https://israel.travel/. To stay inspired, follow IMOT on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.

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

Sun and Cloud illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

IGTO Canada × ACTA

As a proactive initiative to begin the reopening of the international tourism industry and travel abroad – and more importantly to Israel from Canada – on July 21, 2020, the Israel Ministry of Tourism / IGTO Canada signed a corporate partnership with ACTA.  

The Israel Ministry of Tourism was eager to build a stronger collaborative relationship in Canada’s travel industry and with ACTA retail travel agency members and their clients from coast to coast. The ACTA partnership with the Israel Ministry of Tourism will promote education, Israel specialist accreditation and other public relations and sponsorship avenues designed for Canadian companies to learn just how broad  a spectrum Israel niche experiences offer – and the bottom line revenue that can be generated.

Through the agreement, ACTA and Israel Ministry of Tourism will support each other in growth through their mutual commitment to work together in the best interest of the travel agency community.

Gal Hana, Consul for Tourism, Director for Canada – Israel Ministry of Tourism stated: “I am pleased to sign another significant cooperation agreement with a main stakeholder in the Canadian market such as ACTA. With this, Israel continues to increase our investments in the Canadian market as a result of the record tourist numbers of the last three-to-five years and with the Canadian travel industry understanding the potential of Israel. When it comes to responsible tourism, ACTA is a natural and meaningful partner to promote such an important topic within the industry. We cannot wait to open the borders between Israel and Canada and to welcome tourists back into both countries.”

Wendy Paradis, ACTA President stated: “It is fantastic that Israel and ACTA will be working together to educate travel agents across Canada on this very unique and intriguing destination, as well as jointly promoting Israel and the value of working with a professional travel agent when planning for a trip of a lifetime.”

ACTA is a national member-based trade association that represents the retail sector of Canada’s tourism industry. Over 24,000 travel agents across the country work with member travel agencies representing more than 80% of the travel businesses booked through a travel agency in Canada.

ACTA is an industry led, non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of members with governments, regulatory agencies and travel suppliers in the best interests of the retail travel sector and consumers who benefit from the professional services provided by our members.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT), is Israel’s national tourism agency responsible for planning and implementing marketing and promotional initiatives to position Israel as a preferred travel destination. IMOT aims to increase tourism traffic to contribute to Israel’s economy, and to enhance and diversify the visiting experience.  IMOT offices in North America are in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Toronto.