Posts tagged with "tours"

Gigi Vega illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Rising Star Gigi Vega

360 Magazine had the opportunity to ask rising star, Gigi Vega, questions that her fans would want to know. Gigi Vega debuted her hit song “Mistletoe Kiss” taking the holiday music charts by storm. She went viral on TikTok with 10 million views and 15k videos. In addition to writing and producing, GiGi is a dancer and choreographer. Read on to learn more about Gigi!

GIGI VEGA INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: 

1. How has your family inspired you and your music?

GV: I would always do little shows and auditions. My father is a jazz musician. He would play the piano, so I was always surrounded by music, and theater as well. 

2. What or who inspired your song “Watchu Tryna Do?”

GV: It just happened. Actually, had it for a while, but was finally able to come back to it. Originally, the lyrics were supposed to be “in the club”, instead of “in the crib”. But I had to make adjustments due to COVID 19

3. Talk about your producer on this song? 

GV: Jack London. He has worked with the Chainsmokers.

4. Where do you get your ideas for songwriting? 

GV: Melodies just come to me. Melodies come first for me. Lyrics come from everyday life experiences. I’ve always been into dancing and singing. It’s something that just clicked for me, but I got more into it once I started composing my own songs.

5. What charities are you aligned with and why? 

GV: Anti-bullying programs.

6. What acting projects will you be involved with in the future?

GV: I will be in The Drone That Saved Christmas. Production begins in March. After that, I hope the COVID situation improves, so I can be touring.

7. Who are your biggest influences?

GV: Janet Jackson. Definitely into anyone who is super full out, and she is one of them.

8. What advice would you give to a singer starting out?

GV: Don’t let anyone steer you in the direction of what they want you to be – it is not worth it, ever.

9. Talk about your training as a triple threat, what do you do to stay on top? 

GV: Just take a look at my Music video, it is all there. Acting, dancing, singing. I have trained in all three disciplines since I was very young. My dance training was focused on modern dance, but I am schooled in all disciplines. I have always been on stage or behind the camera, so it is second nature.

10. How do you take care of your voice? 

GV: Regular training, like an athlete. Lots of lemon and pineapple juice, as well.

11. If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?

GV: Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Dancer/singer like I am. Janet – anyone who is full out, as mentioned before.

12. What is on your playlist right now?

GV: Omarion, Michael Jackson, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Pop Smoke, Jason Derulo.

13. Who are you currently watching on TikTok?

GV: Everything that comes across my feed.:)

14. When did you know you wanted to be an entertainer? 

GV: Never thought about anything else. I was on stage from an early age. I made the move from stage to commercial work in my teens. Once I learned how to write solid music, I knew I wanted to record music. It was a process. I spent hundreds of hours in the studio as a kid.

15. What artist did you admire as a child?

 GV: I loved watching Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson is my absolute favorite.

16. Do you play any instruments? 

GV: I pluck out notes on the piano and guitar to help my melodies. Had many lessons and music theory, but I won’t be accompanying myself just yet.

17. What’s your fashion style?

GV: I like more tropical vibes, or casual, put-together vibes, but I always like to switch it up. I can be glam or a Tomboy. Get a girl who can do both.

18. What do you do to relax?

GV: I love fashion, always putting fashion pieces together. I learned to sew as a child, went to classes and camps for years. I was one of those kids who got a new shirt, and then I would go to my room and change the shape and design. I love listening to music and writing. Honestly, writing is my happy space.

19. What other businesses do you plan on starting to promote your brand?

GV: I am very into sneakers and shoes. I have so many different designs in my head that need to come out.

20. What’s the one thing you think everyone could do to make the world a more positive place?

GV: Less judgment of others, especially strangers.

Image courtesy of Jodi Jackson
Piso 21 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Piso 21

“From Colombia to the world. I think we are in such a beautiful time that Colombia is shining for good reasons… Maluma, J Balvin, Karol G, Camilo, Greeicy, Us… it is an example of what we represent.”Lorduy

@Piso21 covers @360Magazine – exclusive interview at 7 PM EST
@dimpiso21 @pablopiso21 @profepiso21 @lorduypiso21

Interview on YouTube

Spotify

Instagram

TikTok

Wikipedia

Free Download
Blurb Icon
Buy Print
Apple App
Android App
Piso 21 Album Cover
Meghan Trainor illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Meghan Trainor × NBCUniversal

MEGHAN TRAINOR TEAMS WITH NBCUNIVERSAL TELEVISION AND STREAMING ENTERTAINMENT FOR CROSS-PLATFORM PARTNERSHIP

Grammy Award-Winning Performer to Develop Starring Vehicle Comedy as Part of Overall Deal

Meghan Trainor is coming to NBCUniversal Television and Streaming Entertainment with an NBC comedy series in development as the first project under a cross-platform overall deal between the global superstar and NBCU.

The new alliance is a first-of-its-kind for the company, encompassing potential projects across scripted and unscripted content throughout NBCUߣs larger Television and Streaming Entertainment portfolio, which includes NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, Universal Kids, USA, and Peacock. Within this ecosystem, Trainor will have the opportunity to leverage her talents across network, cable, streaming, and syndication programming.

“In addition to being a phenomenally talented performer, Meghan is a vibrant and hilarious ray of light who is the perfect fit for NBC’s brand”, said Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content, NBCUniversal Television & Streaming. “We love the idea of introducing Meghan into the world of scripted comedy as well working with her to find all the creative and crazy ways she can engage with fans across our brands. With eight distinct platforms, we’re able to provide the ultimate playground for multi-hyphenate artists, and this is just one of the ways we’re leveraging our new structure to benefit both talent and audiences.

This collaboration with NBCUniversal is so beyond a dream come true,” Trainor said. “I’m obsessed with and inspired by Susan and can’t wait to work with her and her incredibly talented team to bring our ideas to life.”.

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Meghan Trainor emerged with her 2014 breakout single All About That Bass; and disrupted contemporary music with nostalgic pop beats and powerhouse vocals that delivered a worldwide anthem for female empowerment. Trainor cemented her rising status as one of the most prominent artists in popular music by charting eight multi-platinum singles, selling millions of albums worldwide, selling out three headline tours, writing multi-platinum hits for top pop and country artists, and receiving countless industry awards and nominations. She is one of only five female artists to receive a diamond certification for her hit single All About That Bass, which shares the RIAA Gold & Platinum Awards top honor with only 15 other singles in history.

World Art Day illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

World Art Day Travels

In honor of World Art Day on April 15, 2021, here are some of the best destinations and hotels for curated art experiences from around the world. Whether it be an outdoor mural scene, a hotel’s private art collection, an artist-in-residence program, or new exhibits scattered throughout a country, there are many ways to celebrate World Art Day! And while safe travel may not be possible yet for everyone, virtual experiences are a great way to show appreciation and support. 

DOMESTIC

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club – Hamilton, Bermuda

Known as “The Pink Palace” from its iconic pastel exterior since 1885, it’s the interior of Hamilton Princess that is inside the hotel that makes it fit for royalty. A little-known secret is that the property is home to one of the most comprehensive contemporary art collections in the world. The vast and ever-evolving collection has an estimated multi-million dollar value. There really is no other resort where you can see an 18 ft tall KAWS sculpture or an original Banksy up close. Hamilton Princess has created the Escape Artist Package which includes a private tour of the contemporary art collection including pieces by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Banksy, KAWS, Julian Opie, Yayoi Kusama, and Ai Wei Wei ,  complimentary passes to the island’s art museums with private tours upon request, complimentary Twizy electric car rental to get to and from the museums, and an assortment of art-inspired amenities and gifts, including a limited edition Mari Andrew print. 

St. Pete/Clearwater

Quickly becoming a museum mecca with 30+ museums in the destination, downtown St. Pete also boasts over 500 outdoor murals created by local and international artists throughout the hip Central Arts District. The newest additions are showcased during the annual mural festival SHINE St. Pete and can be experienced with a guided walking tour. This alfresco art experience has also been modified for COVID-19 safety as travelers can now discover them independently with this comprehensive, ever-growing list and through the app, PixelStix. And not to be forgotten, the most popular museum in the destination, The Dalí Museum, will continue to host the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibit through June 13, 2021. The exhibition features more than 3,000 Van Gogh images at an enormous scale, viewed through high-definition projectors and synchronized to a powerful classical score. Advanced-purchase, timed-tickets are required to visit. 

Providence, Rhode Island

Known as Rhode Island’s creative capital, Providence is one of the country’s most diverse and vibrant cities for the arts, due in large part as the home to The Rhode Island of School of Design (RISD) which cultivates a creative community. Providence’s artistic offerings are best experienced on foot via Avenue Concept, Rhode Island’s first privately funded public art program. They offer two self-guided tours offering comprehensive stops with dozens of murals and sculptures to visit in Downtown and South Side/West End. As of August, a new latinx-led public art banner project honoring the healthcare workers who have helped manage the COVID-19 crisis has launched throughout the city. 

New Orleans – The National WWII Museum

The National WWII Museum’s newest special exhibit “SOLDIER | ARTIST: Trench Art in World War II” explores the unique military pastime of creating art, souvenirs and tools out of the discarded materials and waste of war. Featuring more than 150 artifacts, many of which have never been exhibited, the collection also includes a background on the creators, providing a rare glimpse into the circumstances of war and the ingenuity and resourcefulness of servicemembers in the field. Such items range from souvenirs, such as ashtrays and jewelry made by servicemembers for their loved ones at home, to forbidden items like radios and musical instruments made by prisoners of war. The exhibition will be open to the public through January 2, 2022.

Daxton Hotel (Birmingham, MI) 

Opening in April 2021, Daxton Hotel features a monochromatic palette in rich, saturated color to showcase avant-garde lighting and furniture in bold shapes. This backdrop is juxtaposed with an art collection of over 400 pieces curated from across the world by Saatchi Art. The thoughtful collection is inspired by the street art found throughout the city of nearby Detroit and reflects the movement and energy of Motor City’s local scene. In addition to the distinctive art originating from across the world including Peru, Macedonia and South Korea, each guestroom is outfitted with a custom headboard backdrop from local floral muralist, Ouizi. Art in public spaces includes the restaurant Madam’s large-scale painting series of 12’ portraits in a feminine, a suspended wire installation in the conference room encouraging dialogue, a full-sized mechanical horse and 9’ pink metallic bunny. Art tours for the building are offered the first Friday of the month, providing the opportunity to engage and experience some of the Daxton Hotel’s significant works. 

The MC Hotel – Montclair, NJ

Located just 45 minutes outside of NYC, the 159 room MC Hotel is at the intersection of culture and community in the heart of Montclair’s thriving artistic community. With art curated from established and up-and-coming artists in every room, the hotel is part art gallery, part meeting place. Currently on display are pieces from painters Ryan Chin and Siona Benjamin-Kruge as well as mixed-media artist Basia Goszczynska to name a few. At guest check-in, travelers will be met by a sculpture of a flower from Karen Kimmel that stretches across two walls. The sculpture features textiles that were meticulously hand-punched then painted onsite. On the lobby wall of the bar, guests will see a sculpture from Goszczynska which is made from salvaged oyster farming bags, marine rope and steel wire. He also continues this unique interpretation of upcycling to shelves of the bar which displays Rainbow Collections, a piece featuring crowdsourced microplastics and salvaged baby food jars.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Atlantic City, NJ

Within a two-hour drive of New York and an hour drive of Philadelphia, head toward the Las Vegas of the East Coast known for its bustling boardwalk, glitzy high-rise resorts, five-star restaurants, four-mile-long boardwalk, and six-mile-long beach. In search of an indulgent escape, this fast-paced resort is an art lover’s dream. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa features numerous extravagant glass sculptures that seem to drip effortlessly from the ceiling and rise majestically from the resort’s floor. Those colorful works of art are none other than world-famous Chihuly glass, created by master craftsman Dale Chihuly, and some of our guests come to our resort just to take in the signature pieces by the American artist. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa houses a number of stunning Chihuly pieces across the property, from the main entrance of the casino to the corridor connecting Borgata to The Water Club. Take a look at the gallery of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Chihuly, and the next time you visit, play a game of trying to find all of the signature artwork throughout the resort. As the artist himself one said, “Glass has the ability, more than any other material, to bring joy and a certain happiness to people.” Chihuly, who was born in Washington in 1941, has had countless exhibitions of his work across the globe, from Venice to London to the Netherlands, and blew his own glass until he had a tragic car accident in 1976. Afterwards, due to challenges with his eyesight, Chihuly began serving as a director of a team of artists, who have created hundreds of massive glass installations found in buildings across the globe. 

Fitler Club, Philadelphia, PA

Fitler Club is Philadelphia’s ultimate “work/stay/play” destination, where hotel guests are granted exclusive access to all the club’s amenities for the duration of their stay. The club encompasses 136,000 square feet and includes a world-class gym and spa, a 14-room boutique hotel (The Rooms at Fitler Club), collaborative workspace (Offsite), indoor pool and a movie theater. Art lovers will enjoy the Fitler Club’s Collection, which has works by famous artists featured throughout the property. The collection includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pamela Hanson, Mel Bochner and more. Fitler Club’s Artist In Residence program, bringing the work of Philadelphia artists, acclaimed and up-and-coming, to people’s everyday lives. Fitler Club assembled a vast collection by local artists, within a non-traditional gallery space that is Offsite, Fitler Club’s expansive workspace. Artists include King Saladeen, Eileen Neff, Elizabeth Osborn and more. Each of the artworks are on loan by the artists and every piece is for sale. In addition, those who are unable to visit the gallery in person can still enjoy the collection through an interactive virtual experience on the club’s website, which gives information on each piece located throughout the property. 

California

California is gearing up for a culturally enriching year, as various art happenings are slated to open throughout 2021. Peppered across the state, here are some key art events that visitors may enjoy for a uniquely artistic and local experience, showcasing the history and vibrancy of California:

  • Desert X + Outdoor Art in Greater Palm Springs: The third installment of the internationally acclaimed biennial art exhibition, Desert X, returns in 2021, starting March 12 through May 16. The 2021 artist lineup includes a diverse group of 13 artists ranging from locals like Kim Stringfellow to international representatives like Zahrah Alghamdi. Visitors can explore these new outdoor art installations across the desert region for an exciting socially distant experience. While in the region, be sure to check out the region’s booming art scene by walking or driving through various neighborhoods to check out artworks like the “PS I Love You” Sculpture, permanent pieces created for Coachella Music Festival, like “Etherea” and more. Find additional outdoor art in the Greater Palm Springs area here
  • The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA): The OMCA will unveil its newly refreshed garden and outdoor amphitheater space in spring 2021 as part of its multi-phased campus improvement project. This beautiful renovation will include updated outdoor sculptures, revitalized landscaping with native California plantings, new ADA accessible ramps and a permanent stage for outdoor performances- encompassing the Bay Area’s natural beauty. 
  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art:The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will reveal a new, multi-floor wing in spring 2021 that will be home to new photography and contemporary art galleries, as well as renovated galleries, as part of its multi- year, $50 million renovation. The museum hired Kupiec Architects’ Bob Kupiec, who is known for his projects at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Times Square, Bryant Park and more. 
  • Carmel Mission:To mark Carmel Mission’s upcoming 250th anniversary, the Carmel Mission Foundation is renovating the Mission’s main entrance and restoring a 100-year-old adobe museum that sits adjacent to the renowned Basilica. Additionally, The Harry Downie Museum at Carmel Mission is also planned to open in October 2021, showcasing “the Evolution of Carmel Mission” photography exhibit.
  • San Francisco Music Hall of Fame:Slated for this spring, the halls of the music-themed Music City Hotel will feature a gallery of transcendent local musicians including a curated collection of photographs from Getty Images, The San Francisco Chronicle and numerous local, respected photographers. A dozen local and national music writers were hired to create original one-of-a-kind gallery text that accompanies each photo. Visitors can listen to a playlist of songs by artists featured in the gallery, which includes a guided audio tour with local DJ Mike Waterman.

Texas

The art in Texas is top notch, specifically noting the art of the major cities along with other safe havens for creatives such as Marfa and which have recently gained traction. A few examples of the major cities and more of the unknown include: 

  • San Angelo, an oasis in West Texas off the beaten path, has quickly grown as a Texas art hub, with a lot of the art outdoors and accessible to the community at all times. Highlights like the Chicken Farm Art Center, where local artists are set up in refurbished farm buildings, as well as Paintbrush Alley, where over 50 artists have donated their time to create artwork in the downtown alley, are stand-alone destinations worth checking out when in San Angelo. Lastly, the Pop Art Museum which is also outdoor murals has been positively received by the community, with 31 pieces done by local artists throughout a former bowling alley, including a piece from James Gill who worked directly with Andy Warhol at the forefront of the Pop Art movement. 
  • The diversity and affordability of Houston has created an internationally acclaimed art scene, home to graffiti parks, modern museums and everything in between. Highlights include: 
  • James Turrell’s Skyspace Structure, an interactive installation which will test your perception of light and color. Wednesday through Monday weekly, the “Twilight Epiphany” sequence will take place, changing colors of lights from the built-in LED system. Guests can peer through the roof’s square-shaped aperture and into the darkening sky. Admission is free and seat reservation can be made in advance
  • Sawyer Yards, a creative campus located in Houston’s historic First Ward is set in a working train yard and made its home in a former industrial complex with several rice silos at the complex’s center. On the second Saturday of each month, the warehouses are open to the public allowing for individuals to meet the artists and explore their work, varying from paintings to sculptures to jewelry. 
  • Many people don’t often think of Dallas as an art-centric destination, but the cosmopolitan city is home to the largest contiguous urban arts district in the nation. Though to experience art in Dallas one never has to enter a gallery; during a quick trek through any of the city’s walkable neighborhoods murals and iconic sculptures will reveal themselves. Here are a few:
  • Fair Park is home to many well-known works of public art, but the Crystal Chandelier at the Music Hall, by artist William Martin is often cited as a favorite.
  • Dallas City Hall Plaza boasts the large bronze sculpture The Dallas Piece by renowned British sculptor Henry Moore. It was given to the City in 1978 by W.R. Hawn in memory of his wife.
  • Deep Ellum is known for its eye-catching murals. The murals give life to otherwise mundane walls and buildings and reflect the life and times of the residents. As a result, Deep Ellum has evolved into its own exhibition of sorts and visitors have enjoyed exploring and discovering them all. Click here for a look at some of the murals and this map provides directions.

Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort

Set within the secluded island’s 90,000 acres, Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort is a one-of-a-kind wellness retreat, founded by Larry Ellison and Dr. David Agus, with the goal of helping people live longer healthier lives. At the heart of the retreat is the Sensei Way, which distills preventive health science, data and research into three simple paths for everyday living: move, nourish, and rest. These principles go beyond just healthy eating and exercise, encouraging guests to nourish their mind, body and soul, starting with an extensive art collection that inspires a creative spirit and enhances relaxation. With design envisioned by Todd-Avery Lenahan of TAL-Studio, the resort blends a sense of seclusion with wide open spaces surrounded by the forests in the spiritual uplands of Lāna’i. Intentionally placed among expansive garden foliage, the retreat houses a premier outdoor sculpture garden that includes larger-than-life pieces from renowned artists like Botero, Plensa, Lobo and more. As guests venture further, Ju Ming’s “Tai Chi Arch” opens to an onsen garden and Robert Indiana’s iconic “Imperial LOVE” sculpture ignites a sense of joy and rejuvenation. The artwork throughout the hotel was commissioned expressly for the retreat and here, art-loving guests will encounter these pieces for the very first time, stimulating thought and reflection. Other featured artists include David Ellis, Miya Ando, Haure Shimomoto, Sky Pape, Brooks Shane Salzwedel and Lauren Collin.


Rapid City, South Dakota

In the small town of Rapid City, South Dakota, where there’s no shortage of bucket list outdoor art experiences, you’ll find Art Alley,a functioning alley that was transformed into a place for artists to create and share their work with the public. The walls are covered in pieces from local artists, many anonymous, and are constantly changing as new works pop up, providing a new experience every visit. Before this area became known as Art Alley, local artists used to hang canvas artworks on the walls and eventually this evolved into painting murals. It wasn’t until a group of passionate artists and community members worked with city officials to nurture this organic art form into the Art Alley we know today. Other art-centric experiences in Rapid City include the City of Presidents, a collection of life-size bronze sculptures of past presidents placed along the city’s streets and sidewalks, the Dahl Arts Center and more.

Hewing Hotel(Minneapolis, MN)

Since opening its doors in 2016 the 124-room luxury lifestyle hotel has provided an unmistakable all-Minnesotan experience in the bustling North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. The former farm implements showroom and warehouse built in 1897 has been reborn as a cultural center for the community retaining its original brick and timber rustic charm. Immersing guests in Minneapolis, the hotel offers unique experiences with Minnesotan flair such as a monthly music series, Alley KAT! Perkins Pop Up Concert in the adjacent alley with season 6 The Voice semi-finalist Kat Perkins. The visual art of the area is on display through regularly rotating installations of local artists. The current collection includes works from Minneapolis-based artists Roko and Toni Gallo reflecting the beauty and talent within the area. 

INTERNATIONAL

Costa Rica

Mesoamerican, South American and Indigenous influences are reflected in Costa Rica’s rich art history and colorful culture. Visitors can explore Costa Rica’s capital city and cultural hub of San José which is home to some of the country’s most important art museums, consisting of diverse collections of painting, drawing, sculpture, pottery, wood carvings and more. 

  • Museo de Arte Costarricense: The Costa Rican Art Museum offers free admission and boasts a permanent fine arts collection of over 6,000 pieces from Costa Rican artists, spanning almost two centuries. One of the most intriguing displays at the museum is the outdoor sculpture garden, where visitors can see works by renowned Costa Rican artists like Jorge Jiménez Deredia, Edgar and Francisco Zuñiga, José Sancho and Max Jiménez. 
  • Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo: Costa Rica’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC) is situated on the site of the country’s old national liquor factory. MADC has four exhibition rooms for rotating and permanent collections of contemporary hispanic art, an auditorium and an open-air terrace for performances and events. There are approximately 900 pieces housed in the museum’s permanent collections. Currently on display at MADC is the “Inferno Tropical” special exhibition, which consists of works by six Latin American women artists from Costa Rica, Cuba, Venezuela, Panama and Brazil. Inferno Tropical is part of a series of exhibitions called “Female Voices of Latin America,” representing the largest mega-exhibition of living Latin American women artists in recent times.

Dominica

Presented by The Waitukubuli Artist Association (WAA) “WhoOosh!! 2” virtual exhibit is the first of its kind in Dominica, showcasing photography, sculptures and paintings created by local artists. The exhibit was filmed using a 360° camera in the abandoned Roseau Anglican Church, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The exhibit is an immersive experience that allows the audience to experience this real place from afar. Just like in a video game, virtual attendees can look around in any direction, interact with objects and people and examine the art up close. The exhibition is themed around the impacts that recent hurricanes have had on the artists’ way of life, interpreting their very own experience of resilience in various artistic forms. To attend, head to kubuliarts.com.

Victoria, Australia

With its brightly-colored bustling laneways, world-class theater district and inspiring art and cultural museums, Melbourne is a city fit to fulfill any art-lovers dreams. The city’s laneways are works of art in themselves while also leading inquisitive city strollers into quirky bars, old-school restaurants and hipster eateries, and hidden art galleries where there’s even more art to absorb. Those looking for a grander stage can find jaw-dropping performances in Melbourne’s theater and musical stages like the Princess Theater and Her Majesty’s Theatre in the East End Theatre District, or the inventive Malthouse Theatre. Melbourne’s art museums span the gamut – from Aboriginal art at the Birrarung Gallery or Ian Potter Centre, to modern and contemporary art at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art or National Gallery of Victoria. When it comes to art – whether it be public, modern, Aborginal or performance – there’s always something inspiring to view in Melbourne, Australia.

Argentina

Known as South America’s capital of culture, Buenos Aires, Argentina, was appointed as UNESCO’s first City of Design with the opening of the Metropolitan Design Center.  Not only that, but the city was also the birthplace of Tango, which first originated in Buenos Aires dance halls in the 1880s. Now, travelers can witness world-class tango each year during the city’s International Tango Festival and World Cup. In 2013, Argentinian artist Alfredo Segatori painted what was then the longest mural in the world, located in Barracas. And, finally, if you didn’t need more artistic inspiration to visit this lively city, Buenos Aires also hosts the world’s most important collections of Latin American art. The Museum of Latin American Art is home to the Fundación Costantini art collection which consists of 400+ masterpieces including paintings, sculptures, photography, and engravings by famous 20-century Latin American artists. 

Las Vegas-Based Tour Provider

When Bindlestiff Tours owner Rachel Urban opened the Las Vegas-based adventure tour company nearly 10 years ago, she sought to offer adventurers the most immersive experiences throughout the Southwestern United States, Alaska and Western Canada. In the days leading up to the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours was doing just that. Business was booming and the company welcomed thousands of international visitors each year.

Then borders closed, shutdowns began and the international tourism industry dried up. As reservations were cancelled and trips delayed, many tour operators opted to close their doors entirely. Yet, Bindlestiff made the bold, yet tough, decision to remain open last year as one of the only fully operating national park tour companies in Las Vegas during the height of the pandemic. Today, Bindlestiff continues to fight challenges created by the pandemic while still welcoming drive-market travelers to keep the business afloat.  

“Like many small businesses in the tourism industry, we’re fighting every day to keep our operation running while safeguarding our staff and customers’ health and well-being,” said Urban. 

With group size limits, mask enforcement rules and social distancing guidelines differing state by state, Bindlestiff’s high operating and cleaning costs for their spectacular multi-state tours through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California have risen while the number of guests they are able to accommodate continues to remain restricted. 

Navigating which national parks and campsites are open also presents another obstacle for Bindlestiff Tours. A spike in COVID-19 cases often leads to sudden park or campsite closures or limited access to certain destinations which creates challenges in how Bindlestiff times tours, according to Urban.

Last-minute tour reservations and cancellations also add to the company’s dilemma of planning how many guests they are able to welcome on a given day. 

“While it certainly has been difficult to accommodate travelers visiting Las Vegas on a whim, it brings us such gratitude knowing there are still domestic tourists searching to get away and immerse themselves in nature,” said Urban. 

The immersive tour operator celebrates the small victories such as welcoming travelers from neighboring states, even if group sizes remain small, and continues to offer flexible booking conditions, value tour pricing and additional traveler options. 

Among these additional options are Bindlestiff Tours’ new multi-day, self-driving camping tours and private, custom single- or multi-day tours from Las Vegas.


The self-drive camping tours, also available with hotel upgrades, offer travelers an opportunity to socially distance under the stars. According to Urban, these tours are designed for guests interested in driving to the national parks of the American Southwest on their own, while still receiving expert guidance and an immersive, personalized adventure. 

Guests are provided with all the necessary camping equipment and tour guides assist with camp set-up in scenic locations. Expert tour guides meet guests at key locations throughout the tour and escort groups on remote hiking trails to spectacular viewpoints while providing live interpretive wildlife and nature content throughout the adventure. 

According to Bindlestiff, guides also facilitate evening campfires and locally sourced, fully catered al fresco dining options at camp or for hotel guests. 

To enhance the self-drive experience, Urban says guests can download the recently reconfigured Bindlestiff Tours mobile app. Now featuring tour narrations in English for domestic travelers in addition to multiple languages for international visitors, the app allows travelers to access additional details, instruction and information.


For families or groups of friends of four or more interested in experiencing national parks in a more intimate setting, Bindlestiff also offers private, custom tour options. These tour packages are pre-made and offer exclusive one-on-one attention from a dedicated, expert local guide. Guests may select day tours or multi-day outdoor camping tours or the comfort of hotel accommodation. Guides escort groups on a completely private tour throughout the experience. Guests have the option to choose from classic itineraries or request a custom-tailored tour and add on other areas of interest, according to Urban. 

Despite the overall decrease in travelers resulting from the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours understands the importance of continuing to provide vacationers with spectacular opportunities to visit some of the country’s most breathtaking national parks when they are ready to travel again.

“During the height of the shutdown last year, we were one of the only fully operating tour providers in Las Vegas,” said Urban. “We understand the importance of offering travelers expert guides for incredible experiences they’ll never forget, especially during such a difficult time. It truly brings our team joy.” 

As Bindlestiff continues to expand its tour offerings when more people begin to travel again, the challenges of remaining viable and laying the foundation for recovery in a post-COVID economy remains present. This year, Bindlestiff is excited to launch “glamping” tours that allow families and private groups the peace of the great outdoors paired with more elevated living accommodations.

According to Urban, the tour company remains hopeful about the future. She said guests booking trips with Bindlestiff this year have felt reassured about their health and safety – some even going as far as sharing their uplifting experiences on social media. 

“Our company is beyond grateful we have remained open throughout these challenging times to welcome those searching to get out of their houses and into the wilderness,” said Urban.

For more information about private custom tours and self-drive tours, visit www.bindlestifftours.com

Crown Cruise Vacation Ideas

Great Cruise and Travel Ideas: Visiting Polynesian Paradise Bora Bora,
UnCruise’s Coconut Cranberry Cookies, and Children of the Earth Share Hopes for World Peace

Celebrating Over 10 Years, Sophisticated Cruise Specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, exceptional value & unparalleled service. For those planning a cruise, Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding and his team of travel and cruise specialists are experts at booking families, friends and individuals on their dream cruise vacations.

A great place for inspiration and insight when booking a cruise vacation is the Crown Cruise Vacations blog.

Recent Blogs Give Ideas for Choosing Future Sailings, Destinations and Shore Excursions:

Visiting Polynesian Paradise of Bora Bora

Excerpt: She made it look so easy. A few knots here, some stylish tucks here and there, a loop around the neck. And viola. A beautiful pareo, the sarong-like clothing worn by Polynesian men and women. Asking for volunteers from our group of cruise ship passengers, the Mama Ruta designer created four different sarong styles. That was quite impressive but what I found even more interesting was how the artists at Mama Ruta’s hand craft the colorful fabrics used to make the pareos. See more HERE.

UnCruise Adventures Shares Recipe for Coconut Cranberry Cookies

Excerpt: Part of the pleasure of cruising is the cuisine. Sometimes we get a chance to enjoy dishes that we may never have tried. Or we welcome old familiar standbys. On my cruise aboard the S. S. Legacy for UnCruise Adventures, one of our favorites was the cookies that were served every afternoon. Fresh baked and delicious, the cookies always seemed better than the ones I had at home. See more HERE.

Children of the Earth Share Hopes for World Peace

Excerpt: Standing like ancient druids, the round stones mark the hopes and dreams of children from different nations. Erected decades ago, the messages are even more important today.

“It was meant to be something positive, something that would stand here to remind the world that we all should be friends and live in peace,” tour guide Brenda said. See more HERE.

Travel vicariously with us through our blog HERE.

A Note: Let’s Look Forward. Plan Ahead for Fun!

We might all be staying at home today, but down the road, we’ll all need that getaway. So let’s look forward and plan ahead for fun. There are some fantastic options out there for cruises and land vacations in the fall and for 2021. Let Crown Cruise Vacations help you plan ahead today!

Please note: Many of our cruise and vacation partners have made significant changes to upcoming cruises, tours and vacations. We know that trying to get good information can be a real challenge and we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information on what is canceled and what isn’t.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out to your Crown Cruise Vacations travel advisor and we will help guide you through this difficult period. See more about travel pauses HERE.

To learn more about myriad offerings of cruises and land vacations, too, please contact the cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations – open 7 days a week and most holidays – offering guaranteed lowest rates on cruises and finding the best cruise deals around the world. To book a trip call 1-877-283-1114 (toll-free USA/Canada), +1-609-945-9801 or visit HERE.

About Crown Cruise Vacations:

Celebrating over 10 years, sophisticated cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, exceptional value & unparalleled service and can assist with any cruise information and booking. Crown Cruise Vacations cruise specialists offer exclusive deals for ocean cruises, river cruises and land destinations – all at great value. In addition Crown Cruise Vacations blog gives insight into cruises, destinations and excursions by seasoned travel writers that are writing from recent experience. Crown Cruise Vacations is the recipient of Celebrity Cruises 2019 Top Travel Agency Advisor Awards as the Central Region Strategic Market Account of the Year. The agency also received Carnival Cruise Line’s 2016 Excellence Award for Online Agency of the Year.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Crown Cruise Vacations specialists are comprised of a unique team of experienced, accredited travel agents and managers with a multitude of years selling leisure travel.

For more information, please visit us HERE.

Crown Cruise Vacations – Follow Us:

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Xanterra Travel Collection Sale

As COVID-19 regulations ease, many are wondering where to travel. Of course, it needs to be a special destination and it never hurts to get a good deal.  Luckily, you can find all of that at xanterra.com/week-of-wanderlust-sale.

The Xanterra Travel Collection, an award-winning globally diversified travel company offering unforgettable experiences in some of the most Beautiful Places on Earth®, Week of Wanderlust Sale will happen from July 3-9, 2020. This year’s sale also features generous cancellation policies so travelers can book now with confidence and travel when they’re ready.

National Parks

  • The Oasis at Death Valley: 30% off hotel stays at the beautifully renovated historic AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley and newly revitalized, family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley. Valid for select overnight stays between Oct.1, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021 for the Inn at Death Valley and July 10, 2020 and Jan. 15, 2021 for the Ranch at Death Valley.
  • Grand Canyon South Rim: 30% off in-park lodging at Maswik Lodge North, Thunderbird Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Bright Angel Lodge, and 20% off the crown jewel, El Tovar during select dates July 10, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021 and Oct. 15 to March 1, 2021. The lodges are either in or within walking distance to the Historic District and rim of the Grand Canyon that includes Lookout Studio and Hopi House.
  • Zion National Park: 30% off overnight stays inside the park at Zion National Park Lodge on select dates between Nov. 2, 2020 and March 5, 2021.
  • Cedar Creek Lodge, the gateway to Glacier National Park: 30% off room rates on select dates from Aug. 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
  • The Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel (Williams, AZ): 30% off train tickets on one of America’s great train rides within steps of the Grand Canyon’s fabled South Rim. Up to 30% off on overnight stays at The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, AZ where the trains begins for select dates between July 10, 2020 to March 1, 2021.
  • The Grand Hotel (just outside of Grand Canyon National Park): 30% off daily rates at the only AAA Three-Diamond hotel near the Grand Canyon in Tusayan (just one mile from the South Rim entrance) on select dates between July 10, 2020 and March 1, 2021.

Luxury Five-Star Hotels

  • The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO:  A special golf package with rates starting as low as $595 per night. Package Includes: Classic accommodations per night (upgrade options available), unlimited golf for each person each night of the package (includes cart, weather permitting), personal locker, club storage and range balls. Suites available at 25% off of published rates.
  • Sea Island, Georgia on the Georgia coast – 25% off stays from Aug. 2-Dec. 26, 2020 at The Cloister or The Lodge (excluding Lodge Cottages). Booked online only.

Luxury Yacht-Like Cruises

  • Windstar Cruises – NOW is the best time to plan an unforgettable cruise with some of the best savings of the year. Windstar’s fleet features six ships with fewer than 300 guests per ship, you’ll experience more of what you travel to see, in private yacht-style. Plan ahead for 2021 with these incredible fares and see how Windstar makes your voyage 180 degrees from ordinary. Destinations include Tahiti, Iceland, Europe, The Mediterranean Sea and The Caribbean, and more.

Guided Travel/Tours (Bikes, walking and more)

  • VBT  – European Bicycling Tours: Get a group of your family or friends together to take the ultimate small-group biking vacation. Receive the cash equivalent of one free trip with a group of 11 people for Guided Biking Vacations.
  • Country Walkers – Worldwide Walking & Hiking Adventures: Travel with your own group of family or friends of 14 on a Fully-Guided Adventure or 17 on a Flex-Guided Adventure and receive a thank-you check of $100 per group member. Travel with a group of 8 or more on a Self-Guided Adventure and receive a thank-you check of $100 per group member.

Holiday Vacations

  • Save $500 per person on the 2021 Wonders of Australia, $500 on the 2021 Holland in Bloom, or $250 per person on a 2021 Glacier, Yellowstone & Grand Tetons tour.

For a complete list and to take advantage of Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliates’ Week of Wanderlust offers, visit xanterra.com/week-of-wanderlust-sale/.

360 Magazine, Hotel

The King David Hotel Reopens

The King David, the Dan Hotels flagship hotel, will re-open its doors on July 2nd, 2020, 90 years after its original unveiling in 1930. Known worldwide as Israel’s “official” residence for visiting presidents, world leaders, royalty, heads of state, celebrities and sophisticated travelers, the King David has long been considered Israel’s most prestigious hotel.

The reopening will coincide with the appointment of its new General Manager, Tamir Kobrin, succeeding Haim Shkedi who oversaw Israel’s most iconic hotel for a quarter century. Tamir Kobrin has over 20 years of experience in luxury hotels worldwide and comes back to Israel after managing the Anantara Hotel in Portugal, the Leila Palace in Udaipur, and Leila Palace in New Delhi. Early in his career, Kobrin was Reception Manager at the King David, so his appointment brings him back to his hotelier roots. 

In the wake of Covid-19, the Dan chain has initiated a health charter “Stay Safe & Enjoy,” detailing a mass of requirements to maintain social distancing, hygiene and to safeguard all guests and staff while upholding the high level of service and cuisine associated with Dan Hotels. Prior to re-opening, each Dan Hotels property is undergoing “deep cleaning” of all public, service, kitchen areas and guestrooms,utilizing state-of-the-art disinfectants. 

On arrival at the King David or at any Dan Hotel, guests’ temperatures will be remotely checked and if over 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit), the guest will be transferred to a private testing area. If a second reading remains high, the visitor may not enter the hotel and medical care will be sought. A sealed package will be provided to every guest containing masks and disinfecting materials. Sanitizing gel dispensers with touchless sensors will be positioned at the hotel entrance and throughout public areas. 

The hotel pool and gym will operate according to the guidelines of Israel’s Ministry of Health. Furniture has been rearranged and floor markings installed to maintain social distancing. The King David’s legendary buffet breakfast has been reformatted so that it is protected by glass. Certain items will be offered in individual covered containers, and masked and gloved waiters will fill guests’ plates. 

The King David will continue to provide full room service under the strictest sanitary conditions. After reopening, the King David will offer special weekends that include a sunset cocktail reception on the hotel’s newly configured rooftop with its mesmerizing 360-degree view of the entire city of Jerusalem, along with a talk on “The Story of Jerusalem from the Beginning to the New Age.”

Special tours are also being offered to hotel guests during the weekends:

  • Tour of the Old City and the Yemin Moshe neighborhood – a journey to the heart of Jerusalem, visiting the Armenian Quarter, Mount Zion’s David’s Tomb, the Room of the Last Supper, the Church of the Dormition and finally a visit to the Western Wall.
  • A tour of the ancient walls and the western side of the city beginning in the quaint Nahalat Shiva neighborhood, from there to the National Institutions, the Bezalel School of Arts, the Nahalot neighborhood and ending at Mahane Yehuda market. 

In addition to the reopening of the King David, the Dan Accadia Herzliya will reopen on June 25, and the Dan Carmel in Haifa on July 7. These hotels will join the Dan Eilat and Dan Caesarea Resort which reopened at the end of May, the Dan Panorama Eilat and the Ruth Safed Hotel (opening this week), and the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel which remained safely open and operational throughout the pandemic.

The Dan Hotels chain was founded in 1948 and has grown up alongside the State of Israel, earning its place as the longest established luxury hotel chain in the country, with a reputation for excellence in accommodation, service, and cuisine. The King David is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World.

Follow Dan Hotels Facebook | Instagram | Youtube

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

travel, 360 MAGAZINE

What are the best places to travel to on your own?

Travel is one of the best things that you can do to broaden your mind, experience new cultures, and have lots of fun. Many people, though, do not have friends to head off with, which makes traveling on your own a must. Before you go, you have to plan appropriately to get the most from any trip. If you chose to head to New Jersey on a break, it would be wise to look at sites, including the Tropicana Online Casino, so you had something fun to do in your hotel room during chill time. The same is true for other destinations within the USA or around the world. Looking at what the nightlife is like, what sights there are to see, and what there is to do in the day is sensible. 

Of course, before you delve into the finer details of any resort or city, you need to pick the right place first. That is often a little trickier for solo travelers who have a slightly different set of priorities than those holidaying in a group. But which are the best destinations for solo travel around the world?

Cannes

Beautiful Cannes is in the South of France on the fabled Cote D’Azur. However, like most other destinations around the world, it has been hit by COVID-19 lockdown measures recently, Cannes plans to revive tourism soon. But what makes this place so great? First of all, the weather is superb during the summer months, and this makes it perfect for relaxing on the gorgeous beaches there while doing some people watching. 

The café culture is also evident, so you will feel very comfortable when sipping a latte alone while watching the world go by. Cannes is also a very safe and welcoming destination, which makes it ideal for solo travelers. With a buzzing atmosphere and many other single travelers around, it is a fabulous place to holiday on your own. 

Stockholm

If you fancy heading somewhere where Scandi cool is in full effect, Stockholm in Sweden is a reliable choice. Stockholm just has an air of laid-back charm that allows you to slow down and recharge your batteries. The city that you access via a series of bridges is spread across 14 islands, which makes it simple to get around.

It is also full of lovely parks and stunning architecture to marvel at while having plenty to keep you occupied. If you need help getting around, there is a fun guided Vespa Tour you can take. If you are a real foodie, there are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around the city where you could dine alone in true style. With a friendly and cozy feel, this is a real gem for solo travel. 

New York 

You might not immediately think of New York as a solo travel hot-spot, but it is. With so much to do and so many people around, you never actually feel isolated. New Yorkers are famous for their particular charm, and this means you will always find a friendly face in cafés, bars, or shops. If you want a city that will also keep you busy, the Big Apple is it.  

The shopping here is excellent (especially Fifth Avenue), and it gives you every chance to pick up cool souvenirs to bring home. Also, New York has many fabulous sights to see – from lovely Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. If you fancy a change from dining and drinking each night, why not check out the best plays on Broadway? 

Dominica 

One surprising choice for any single traveler may be the Caribbean – after all, it is known as a honeymoon spot or a cruise destination. Dominica is a little different, though, and is somewhere that feels perfect for traveling alone. If you like an adventure when away, it is a great choice. The island has lakes to trek alongside and massive gorges to cave through. The wildlife here is naturally fantastic, and there is also some excellent accommodation for a reasonable price. You will always feel safe here, thanks to the welcoming local community, and it is an island that is very easy to walk around. With delicious local food and some charming bars to enjoy a shot of rum at, Dominica is a real hidden gem. 

Solo travel spots are worth researching first

No doubt, checking out the best places to go alone before booking any trip is worthwhile. Doing so will ensure that you end up in a place where there is plenty to do, and that makes you feel comfortable being there as a single person. Hopefully the above has given you some fresh ideas on the most exciting places to try.