Posts tagged with "lodging"

Memphis, Tennessee, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Memphis × West Tennessee

By Shelby Barbour × Vaughn Lowery

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development held the Memphis and West Tennessee Media tour March 19th-23rd. This trip was filled with amazing food, noteworthy experiences and monumental moments.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 journalists arrived bright and early at the Memphis International Airport and were met by Geiger & Associate staff, and were shortly off to lunch. Lunch was held at The Beauty Shop, which is a hip spot located at the center of the Cooper-Young Entertainment District. The name of the restaurant is the theme. 1940’s beauty dryers are scattered around the salon. Along with this old-fashioned décor, the trendy restaurant also serves amazing, American cuisine. Grilled peaches with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar, herb-crusted trout, cheese grits, and succotash are just a few of the delicious bites they have. After breakfast, the groups split for afternoon activities. The journalists were able to choose between three different activities.

First day activities include taking a tour of Graceland – Home of Elvis Presley, visiting Cooper-Young Entertainment District and Overton Square, and taking a tour of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Dinner was held at Blues City Café, located on Beale Street. Their ribs have been featured on many food channels and in Bon Appetit’s barbeque issue. Then after, having the options to go out for the night.

The following days were very similar to this one. Starting the day with a delicious breakfast, then continuing to do some fun activity. A lot of the activities include touring Memphis’ popular attractions like The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, Shelby Farms Park, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Peabody Hotel; just to name a few.

Beale street is known for its music, and soul so it’s no doubt that was a must-see on this trip.

This trip was full of opportunity. Tennessee has so much culture, soul, and influence that it’s a no brainer why people fall in love with it. Although the trip mainly focused on food and sight-seeing, some history was thrown in there as well. Tours of the National Civil Rights Museum were given. The museum was established in 1991 and is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This museum offered the visitors a full immersion experience through the American civil rights movement.

When exploring Tennessee, it’s hard to not eat everything that comes into view. Luckily on this trip, it offered multiple foods. This trip was all about the food and travel destinations, so without a doubt, there was going to be some great food options. Food varied from fried chicken sandwiches to impossible burgers which are made from plant-based meats and even deep-fried oysters.

What’s a good trip, without good alcohol? Wine tasting, beer tasting, any alcohol tasting you can think of, Tennessee has it. Century Farm Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that is located right on a working farm. Journalists were able to tour the winery and enjoy a selection of handcrafted and award-winning wines. The wine wasn’t the only alcohol being tasted, good olé’ moonshine was available for taste as well. Samuel T. Bryant Distillery was a hot stop on this tour as well. Just like with the Winery, the journalist was able to have a tasting and tour at the Distillery. Samuel T Bryant Distillery tries its hardest to use locally grown produce in their products. The berries in the Blueberry Moonshine and the Blackberry Moonshine come from local farms and the corn they use comes from Madison County farms. They even use local Sorghum Molasses to make a very unique rum product.

The Memphis and West Tennessee Media Tour was filled with so much culture, inspiration, passion, and warmth. Journalists were able to put their creative skills to the test; write and visit places they’ve never been before. When traveling it’s important to try new things and always think outside the box. New foods, drinks, experiences, and great times are what make a trip unforgettable.

Memphis is definitely a place that needs to be on everyone’s travel list. It’s full of so much culture, experiences and food. Memphis is the definition of an affordable visit, foodie town with tons of music history.

Equinox Members Feel Bamboozled

After The Related Companies (parent company of Equinox, SoulCycle, Hudson Yards) Founder/Chairman Stephen M. Ross announced his Trump fundraiser (tickets which will cost up to $250,000) in the Hamptons, all hell broke loose – tons of memberships have been cancelled online, over the telephone and in person. After all, Ross is a ‘passive investor’ for Equinox and SoulCycle which are premier fitness centers for celebrities, political leaders and senior level executives alike whom all seem to be proactively involved within the LGBTQ+ and art communities.

Why are members so infuriated?

Many feel they were a part of a movement of societal justice and equality, not just a fitness institution since its inception twenty years ago. Fast forward to present day, Equinox has popped all over every urbane and metropolitan area’s infrastructure largely in part to real estate mogul, Ross.

Lately, the brand has announced a slew of designer duds, hotel chain and talent agency geared towards their top instructors. Today, more or less of its constituents will gather at the West Hollywood location (8590 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069) at 4PM to protest against Ross’s decision to host such a lavish engagement for one of the most ridiculed US Presidents in modern day times. A man who’s rhetoric has possibly fell upon the ears of young white supremacists like the alleged shooter at El Paso last weekend who gunned down dozens of Hispanic people at a local Walmart.

Maybe after today’s outrage, the Miami Dolphins owner, who was shunned for his actions by some of its players, will renege on tomorrow’s elaborate event. According to the LA Times, the soldout venue may raise close to 12 million dollars for Mr. Ross’s friend of over 40 years.

As of late, Equinox has announced the construction of a 20-story hotel and residential building downtown LA which is scheduled to be completed around 2021.

5 Getaway Must-Haves Global Traveler Emilia Taneva Stashes in Her Bag

Before your feet hit the pavement for any getaway vacation you need to pack the must-have necessities for your trip. Traveling light is the only way to go, so choose the items you stash in your bag carefully. One of the worst mistakes people make while getting ready for a trip is leaving something important behind and either have to do without or purchase a new one. That’s why world traveler and influencer Emilia Taneva has put together a guide for getaway must-haves so you don’t forget any of your essentials at home!

Chanel Makeup Base. When you need a versatile makeup that does more than just mask your flaws, choose Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base. Ideal for travelers, this cream-gel bronzer can be used under your favorite foundation, as a spot cover-up, a smoother as well as a highlighter. Unlike other bases, Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup was formulated to leave your skin velvety soft with a light finish and a hint of color.

Love & Positivity Rose Quartz Stud Earrings by Congés. When you have finished traveling, are rested and want to stand out look to Congés. Designer Hasmig “Jasmine” Penna leaves her pieces untreated to harness their natural beauty. These hand-cut rose quartz stones represent love and are made in the heart of Los Angeles. In an evening outfit or daytime ensemble, add these 18k gold studs with a white diamond center to create an elegant look.

Rose Quartz rounded hand cut stone White diamond center (very good quality approximately 1.35 mm for each ear…

Mason Weekend Bag. Sole Society created this trendy tote for the stylish traveler. Made soft enough to sleep on, this bag features soft faux leather that will never leave you feeling stranded. The 19½ x 12 x 10 bag is one of the getaway must-haves that works with every outfit in cognac brown or black. What makes this bag a must-have? The spacious interior shoe compartment with a bottom zipper at the base. The sturdy bag still looks chic when it is packed to the seams so toss in anything you need and don’t worry! There are top carry handles, a removable strap, smartphone pockets, protective metal feet, and a sexy leopard lining so you never feel like you’re away from home.

Clinique Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector. Ideal for daily sun protection the Pep-Start™ Daily UV Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 50 from Clinique meets all of the FDA’s standards for sun protection, stopping both UVA and UVB rays. Formulated with minerals to flawlessly blend into the skin for a better-than-bare finish on any skin tone.

Summersalt Swimsuit. With a colorful made in Italy style, this swimsuit is available in many different color combinations. Bold, elegant and sure to turn heads the colorblock swimsuit will make onlookers expect a cannonball or a swan dive. So, why not make a splash with this getaway must-have?

About Emilia Taneva:

Emilia Taneva is a creative photographer, travel blogger, digital influencer, and Board-Certified Orthodontist. She is ranked as one of the top influencers in North America, with a focus on travel, fashion, and lifestyle. Taneva was born in the medieval city of Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria) where civilizations and cultures have collided throughout its history. At a young age, she was captivated by history and tour books and would daydream about seeing the world one day. Today, Taneva runs the popular travel blog, Bubbly Moments. The Bubbly Moments is focused on the world’s most luxurious destinations and exclusive places. She has traveled to over 40 countries on five continents and knocked some big adventures off her bucket list along the way. Her all-time favorite destinations include Hawaii, the Maldives, Hong Kong, the French Riviera, and Singapore.

Farmhouse Inn Receives its 13th Michelin Star

The Michelin Guide announced, this week, the list of restaurants receiving stars for 2019.  And the Farmhouse team was proud and honored to remain among that elite list for the 13thconsecutive year.  Says Executive Chef, Steve Litke, “to be one of only 90 restaurants to receive one or more stars, out of 657 that are recommended in the state of California makes me so incredibly proud of my entire team.  Every year that we receive our star is just as exciting and nail-biting as it was the very first year”.

For anyone new to the system, one star means “high-quality cooking, worth a stop,” two stars equals “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three stars means a restaurant has “exceptional cuisine and is worth a special journey.”

When Farmhouse owners, Catherine and Joe Bartolomei, conceived the idea of a European- style hotel and world-class restaurant nineteen years ago, it was with the hope that they would achieve one star status.  “One star is a perfect spot for us.  We are approachable and have flexibility in our offerings, but it recognizes the level of talent that we have in the kitchen.  Our team is second to none.  And the fact that our Chef has been with us for our entire nineteen years, and is like family, makes it all the sweeter.  Congratulations to our entire restaurant team!”

KQED  has compiled a list of this year’s winners.

For packages please visit us at  https://www.farmhouseinn.com/specials

About Farmhouse Inn, Restaurant and Spa

Situated on a serene ten-acre wooded property in Sonoma County’s world-famous Russian River Valley region, Farmhouse Inn combines the hospitality of a family-owned country inn and the amenities of a Four-Diamond luxury boutique hotel to create a casually elegant wine country escape. A charming and romantic property in the emerging and popular destination of the Russian River Valley, Farmhouse Inn celebrates the spirit of wine country by providing guests with an insider’s experience of Sonoma County. The Inn boasts a Michelin- starred restaurant, a full-service farm-to-table spa managed by Francis & Alexander, and picturesque gardens throughout the property. All of Farmhouse Inn’s 25 rooms—including seventeen Barn rooms and suites, eight cottage rooms and suites and two upstairs guest rooms in the original farmhouse—offer relaxing, scenic views with an unparalleled luxury experience.

Awarded in 2019 #3 Hotel in North America, Conde Nast Traveler, #3 Best Hotel in California, Travel & Leisure and Michelin One-Star restaurant 13 years running.

Www.farmhouseinn.com is our website, but this is a great way to get to know us better…

And here to learn all about what this gorgeous region has to offer…

World’s Best Room Honor

Capping this year’s Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award for Bernardus Lodge & Spa and chef Cal Stamenov’s signature dining venue – Lucia Restaurant & Bar- Carmel Valley’s esteemed hideaway for epicures on escape has again raised the hospitality bar with the Forbes 2019 World’s Best Rooms Award, one of 41 hotel properties in 17 countries and just six on the West Coast. Nearly 1700 worldwide hotels were included in the review process.
 
Achieving perfect scores on guestroom and bathroom standards related to luxury, guest comfort and convenience, this award underscores Bernardus’ mantra on superseding guest expectations with meticulous attention to design, ergonomics, and elegance. “This is an incredible honor, one that speaks to our philosophy and passion as well as recognizing our hardworking staff,” according to Sean Damery, vice president and general manager of Bernardus Lodge & Spa. 
 
Opened in 1999 and celebrating its platinum anniversary, the 73-room vine-swept lodge has long set the standard for luxury lodging on California’s Central Coast. Tucked on  28 acres of sweeping lavender, grapevines and olive orchards in Carmel Valley, Bernardus Lodge & Spa speaks to today’s experiential traveler with a showcase of guest accoutrements including spacious 525 sq., ft., to 2100 sq., ft., lifestyle accommodations, many featuring vaulted ceilings, double-sided fireplaces, private patios and terraces featuring vineyard or Santa Lucia Mountain views as well as a complimentary wine bar and butler’s pantry. Standout elements include Suite and Villa accommodations featuring alfresco showers and fire pits, hammered copper free-standing soaking tubs and rain showers. Two pools, an adult-only infinity Jacuzzi, tennis, apiary program, croquet, and bocce courts and the sleek 5,300 sq. ft., Spa at Bernardus round out the property.
 
ABOUT FORBES TRAVEL GUIDE 2019 WORLD’S BEST ROOMS
 
Forbes Travel Guide’s Verified Lists provide guests with an objective, data-driven source for making informed choices. These Illustrious properties have been thoroughly tested and verified to ensure that the rooms are of the highest quality – not just beautiful, but impeccably functional, luxuriously comfortable and elegantly appointed. Elements of luxury standards reflect detailed attention to the level of sumptuous comfort, as well as luxurious choices and conveniences provided to guests including linens of exceptional quality and style, high-quality amenities and/or technology appropriate to the destination, exception attention to interior design, notable pieces of artwork, high-quality soft goods and bathroom amenities that are exceptionally luxurious. Comfort and convenience standards encompass guestrooms that are well-sound-proofed, extremely fresh upon arrival, generously spacious grooming areas, advanced lighting, and technology that is easy to navigate.
 
 
Forbes Travel Guide is the only global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, and spas. The anonymous professional inspectors evaluate based on up to 900 objective standards with an emphasis on exceptional service. The only way to receive a Five-Star, Four-Star or Recommended rating is by earning it through Forbes’ independent inspection process. A full list of awards is listed at www.forbestravelguide.com.

Hotel Property Management Tips

5 Tips To Choose The Right Property Management System For Your Hotel

Hoteliers and their staff are busy all the time. Anything that can take some weight off their shoulders will help them to work on other important tasks. Property Management System is the solution as it removes repetitive tasks and takes care of time-consuming processes. But the problem is: choosing the right PMS tool to help manage your property. Making a wrong move will result in losing not only money but a great deal of your time too. Here are five tips to help you choose the right property management system for your hotel.

Mind the Costs

Look for what your business needs and then choose a PMS that will meet the requirement. Even though costs will play an essential factor, it’s important to have a system that works with your workflow and meets your needs. Take advantage of the free trial or demo, which in fact is something you should ask first, and see whether it’s suitable for your hotel.

Opt for a cloud-based rather than the premise-based system which is more costly. The cloud-based system will not require you to hire an IT service to manage it. You will only have your computer or mobile to deal with. Remember to find something that favors your pocket.

Security Should be of Concern

To safeguard all the information about your guests’ data and prevent any breaches, security should be your concern. In an era where customer privacy is of utmost importance, and you don’t want to lose them, you should ask for a hotel property management system demo from every provider to see what they have as far as security is concerned.

Security breaches in hotels can involve password theft, network compromise, personal data compromise, etc. All the breaches are dealt with individually. Some need an application firewall to solve the problem while others are more complex and require a closer look.

Form a Plan and a Team

Unless you have a small-home-turned-hotel where you and your spouse are the team, one of the critical things to do is forming an integration team consisting of managers and staff. The importance of doing this is to make sure that the PMS addresses most of the needs in your hotel and it’s evaluated from different viewpoints.

Creating a plan and a team will also allow you to involve the eventual users, who are the staff. For small hotels or lodgings, ma’ and pa’ sit down and discuss the plan because they are the staff. It’s a vital decision to make and not even the activities of the day should make you forget about it. It will make your life easier and allow you to make more money.

Look For a PMS Provider Offering Training

Hospitality is an ever functional industry running 24/7, and you should look for providers who can offer support whenever you need. That should also mean that they are available to troubleshoot any problems you might face. Go for a PMS that provides training for the first-time users and also provides a refresher course in case you need it later on.

Ongoing training and support will help you understand new features and integrations. It’s vital to find a PMS that offers assistance so that you can solve some of the issues you might have.

Find One that Can be Integrated with Other Apps

PMS should be able to perform all the tasks flawlessly with other apps, that means, data from PMS can be transferred to other apps seamlessly so that work can be managed better. Inquire to understand whether the app can communicate and integrate with other systems.

What does this mean? For instance, if you have been storing all your data as Microsoft Excel file then you adopt a new web-based app, the data can be copied accurately and correctly such that no one will have to type it all again i.e. PMS with csv import-export feature.

Think about yourself, your staff and your property. What could make their work easier and boost your profits at the same time? The answer is the Property Management System. Use the tips above to choose the most convenient one.

Royalton Suites Cancún

By Tenzin Tsephel × Vaughn Lowery

Spring Break is creeping around the corner and you know what that means–time to start booking a relaxing place to stay while you enjoy your vacation extravaganza! At Royalton Suites Cancún, this 4.5 out of 5 star resorts aim is to meet and go above and beyond your expectations. With their excellent customer service, you will be taken care of with the highest quality of care. The resort is a little over a month old as of today and is within walking distance from beautiful downtown Cancún. Officers are available onsite both by the beach side as well as inside the lobby. The resort offers breathtakingly stunning views, stylish architecture, and exceptional service. Inside your booked room, you can find luxurious detailing as every piece was designed to make your experience magical. Enjoy a refreshing shower with their waterfall shower head capabilities where the showering area can fit about 2-5 people–pretty spacious! Inside each suite is a beautiful architecturally-built room designed to give you the feel of extreme luxury.

For all you food lovers out there, Royalton Suites Cancún offers seven restaurants and six bars to fuel your taste buds! You can enjoy local and international delights in buffet styles or à la carte dining venues and end it off with a cocktail, or two, or maybe even grab a cup of coffee at their café. The available dining areas are: Gourmet Marché, Hunter Steakhouse, Agave, Jade, C/X Culinary Experience, SCORE Sports Bar and Lounge, Grazie Italian Trattoria, Beach Club Grill, and Coffee Lounge.

As for their international drinks, you can enjoy a glass at Martini Mix, Sands Beach Bar, Level 18, Dips Pool Bar, or at their Lobby bar. Want to experience a FULL-out luxury vacation treatment? The resort offers a Diamond Club Member package that includes the following goodies/experience:

• Preferred room locations

• Butler service

• Exclusive bar, pool and beach areas with waiter service

• Exclusive Diamond Club Lounge access

• Daily, continental breakfast service in lounge

• Upgraded room service menu

• Luxury amenities in room

• 10% discount on spa treatments and hair dresser

• Day Spa facials, massages, therapeutic pools–why not go ahead and relax that body and mind of yours?

The wow-factor does not end there. The resort offers Level 18, a rooftop area for the most magical experience yet.

It is a rooftop cabana lounge with a panoramic view of the most sought-after sight lines. This area is for adults only and also has a pool, available modern dining, and a nightclub experience. For all you party-goers, at Level 18 you can find a dance party every Thursday evening with a live DJ and amazing LED lights that flash the night away. All you do is wear your brightest whites and let it all out! For those who are more family-oriented or on family vacations, Royalton Suites has a Clubhouse Kids Club, a Hangout Teens Lounge, and offers overall sports and recreational activities that include dancing your heart away to Zumba, yoga, a gym facility, and more. So why not bring all the family right on over and enjoy this royal treatment all together?

If you are looking for more special package deals, there are some designed for birthdays, friends’ getaways, anniversaries, and even for spicing up your romance with your significant other. The birthday package deal is set at $249 package rate per room. This includes a special door/room décor at your arrival, breakfast in bed, a complimentary dinner and cake, and to top it all off a reserved beach spot with a couple’s massage. For birthdays directed at kids, there is a $99 package rate per room. This includes a special room/door décor at your arrival, a complimentary birthday cake, breakfast-served, a special meet and greet with the resort’s Kids Character and ending it all off with a family photo for the memories. More into a getaway with your friends? There is a package that offers a $299 rate per quad room, a complimentary section of wine, and unlimited hydrotherapy pool access. For anniversaries, there is a $299 rate for two, a couple’s spa treatment, breakfast in bed experience, one romantic dinner for two, and a bottle of premium wine at your convenience.

Special occasion celebrations are also available at the resort for weddings or even group events. Of course, a little help along the way in the means of transportation to get to the resort doesn’t hurt! That is what Nexus Tours is here for. Tour Nexus is your leading destination management company that arranges your tours and transportation for you so you can have a safe and efficient way of traveling to your destination. Oh, the fun part? Tour Nexus can even arranged parasailing and jet skiing for your outdoor/active lovers! Paradise snorkeling is also in the books near the beautiful islands…So, what are you waiting for? Time is ticking and Spring Break is nearly here! Book your stay now with Tour Nexus to Royalton Suites Cancún and start living life NOW.

Thomson Safaris Announces New 2019 Itinerary

Thomson Safaris, the leading luxury safari operator in Tanzania, has announced a brand-new itinerary for 2019, which will highlight the best of the country’s wildlife, and explore its rich culture from a culinary perspective, including a visit to the “spice island” of Zanzibar. 

Guests will experience remarkable wildlife viewing on a safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and dive into Tanzania’s rich culture with fun, culinary excursions in Arusha, including a colorful local market visit and an interactive Tanzanian cooking demonstration.

For three days, guests will explore the iconic Serengeti plains, and complement the wildlife viewing with an off-the-beaten path visit to the village of Robanda, where they will learn how to make banana beer.  In the afternoon, they will partake in a traditional goat roast with Maasai warriors. The journey continues through the Ngorongoro Crater — one of the only places on Earth where you can see all of the Big Five — and a stay at Gibb’s Farm, the award-winning property owned by Judi Wineland and Rick Thomson, the owners of Thomson Safaris. The itinerary will also include walks through the organic farm where coffee, fruits, nuts and vegetables thrive in the rich, volcanic soil, and over 200 species of bird can be found. Guests will learn about sustainable agriculture through farm-to-table culinary activities in the bakery, gardens and kitchen, and, of course, they will indulge in farm-fresh cuisine.

This itinerary wraps with an adventure to Zanzibar, exploring the spice farms for which the island is known, along with excursions to Stone Town and the bustling Forodhani Gardens night market. Guests will cap off their final night with a sunset dhow cruise, featuring classic Swahili Coast dishes, drinks and a vibrant equatorial sunset. 

BEST CITIES TO VISIT IN 2019

From cities that may be closer to home to exciting overseas destinations, these are some of the top places to visit in 2019.

Auckland, New Zealand

The vibrant capital city of New Zealand recently became one of just 31 cities that are part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network for music. This trending travel destination is home to many of the nation’s renowned artists and institutions. No matter when you visit you can expect to find fabulous live tunes and there’s likely to be a music festival or special event to enjoy too. Visitors can also look forward to the famous panoramic vistas from the iconic Sky Tower and exploring countless museums like the Auckland Art Gallery, the largest art institution in the country featuring more than 15,000 works of historic, modern and contemporary art.

Chicago, Illinois

The Windy City has been popping up on lists of top travel destinations everywhere in recent years, and for good reason. It’s one of America’s top foodie cities, with high quality dishes served at all price points from deep dish pizza to hot dogs and fine dining at the two Michelin-starred Acadia. Chicago is also home to one of the world’s greatest museums, the Art Institute of Chicago and five pro sports teams: the MLB’s White Sox and Cubs, the NFL’s Bears, the NHL’s Blackhawks and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls making it easy to catch a game just about anytime of the year. There’s so much to do in this midwestern city you might just find yourself browsing through Chicago real estate looking for your next new home.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires is a place everyone should visit at least once and 2019 may be one of the best times to check this Argentinian city off your travel bucket list. Airfares are lower than ever thanks to low-cost carriers and emerging airlines, and the dollar is incredible strong against the Argentinian peso too, making that famously tasty Malbec more affordable than ever. Look forward to walking through the delightful pedestrian areas and watching tango dances in the streets as you explore the wealth of wine bars, cafes and steakhouses.

Berlin, Germany

There are two important anniversaries in Berlin that will be marked in 2019, including the 30-year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the centenary of the Bauhaus, with its festival held from January 16 to January 24. Stroll through Berlin Mitte, the historical heart of the city. and you’ll be able to check out many of its top sites like the Brandenburg Gate, the iconic symbol of Berlin that symbolizes the reunification of the West and East. If you visit in September, the weather is not only likely to be ideal, but you can attend the Lollapalooza Berlin, hosted on September 8 and 9 in 2019. It’s sure to bring plenty of big-name artists – last year’s lineup included headliners like Imagine Dragons and Liam Gallagher. It also features an open-air art gallery, street theater, wine bars and a festival for kids.

FREDERICKSBURG

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Fredericksburg, Texas the destination of historical sites and culture welcomes us. With the hidden treasures of food, wine and goods the Texas Hill Country is a must-visit.

Beginning with a stay at the one and only Hanger Hotel. This hotel has a WWII hangar of the romantic 1940’s to it’s design with fine woods and custom carpets. Famous for the Observation Deck on the second floor with views adjacent to the airport to see the planes come and go from one end of the runway to the end.

Later a stop to the Pioneer Museum Complex preserved from the 19th century German Pioneer days. In the mid-1840s Germans faced every obstacle to come to Texas and create a unique German colony in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Museum strives to preserve and tell this story. With a combination museum and historical site, it reaches over 3.5 acres on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg.

Dinner at Das Peach Haus that houses delicious jams, jellies and sauces made by Fischer and Wieser Speciality Foods. The Historic roadside fruit stand offers gourmet products with unique flavor combinations. The Tasting Room offers tastings from two Texas wineries, which change out every two months. Vintage wines are paired with international assortment of cured meats and cheeses. Fischer and Wieser include more than 70-award-winning products, which each inspire culinary adventures around the world by being able to purchase online.

Clear River Ice Cream and Bakery does things differently with hot-from-the-oven baked goods, homemade ice cream and house deli. Homemade ice cream with high-quality ingredients has been voted as the third best ice cream in Texas. For a bite to eat the deli and salad selection is notable with house favorites like the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap. Fresh baked goods can satisfy any sweet tooth with an Apple Strudel, Peach Cobbler and everything in between.

Tour at the George H.W. Bush Gallery at The National Museum of the Pacific War dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater in World War II. The Museum is noted for its historic materials with iconic elements of the Pacific War era. Guided tours debut the newly renovated Pacific Combat Zone, a realistic environment for a deep understanding of the momentous struggle between Allied Forces and Japanese forces.

For lunch we enjoy an Arts District Stroll through the Peach Tree Gift Gallery and Tea Room. With the Cottage style restaurant, you will find a combination of fresh, homemade breads, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. For over 39 years this family owned business has been a destination in Fredericksburg, because of the seasonal fruits and vegetables they use.

After lunch, we took an art tour through the streets of Fredericksburg to meet with the area’s top galleries. Insight Gallery represents the cities artists and sculptors that today work on landscape, figurative, impressionistic, still life, wildlife and western art. The Good ART Company is beautiful with a contemporary fusion in a restored 4,000+ square foot historical building with high ceilings and limestone walls. The gallery features an array of genres with some of the best regional, national, and international artists. Koch Gallery owned and operated by Bert E. Koch a trader/broker for traditional, contemporary and modern Native American Art. For over 30 years it continues its long tradition of providing important works of art from all major cultural regions in North America. Artisans Gallery makes your artistic dreams reality with unique pieces that come in every medium, size and price range. RS Hanna a jewel for fine arts with original works of acclaimed artists. Workings range from oil, watercolor, bronze and wood. Gallery 330 is the newest addition to the art scene representing contemporary established artists whose works include sculpture, painting and prints, serigraphs and watercolors.

The Holiday Wine Trail takes us to Texas’s countryside to travel along Wine Road 290 with visit to award winning wineries.

The trail begins at Stout’s Trattoria at Grape Creek Vineyards a 100-acre vineyard estate. With oaks and vines surrounding the tasting rooms there is a romantic Tuscan setting that is truly unforgettable. The Vineyards have won over 100 medals in the last two years for their wines.

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 4.0 Cellars offers a relaxing and elegant setting to discover the infamous Texas Wines. In a private tasting room we enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. With four award-winning chocolate truffles from local chocolatier with four carefully selected dry red wines.

Dinner at August E’s, known for it’s organic produce and superb local suppliers. August E inspired by his Thai roots and years in various culinary pursuits throughout the world has created a Nouveau Texas Cuisine. Utilizing ingredients like: Niman ranch Natural Premium Aged Angus steaks and local farmers fruits and vegetables year round. Menu specials change seasonally based on the creative mood of Chef Leu like duck from Maple Leaf Farms and Sashimi Grade Fish.

A favorite in the Texas Hill, we enjoy dinner at Otto’s German Bistro. Menu changes weekly with the season so each visit is an exciting adventure. Dedicated to local, organic produce ingredients that are always fresh and the highest quality.

We enjoy breakfast at Java Ranch a locally owned coffee stop. The ranch serves the finest hot or iced coffee drinks anywhere including lattes, cappuccinos, Hill Country roasted brewed coffee, Americanos and mochas. To start the day off we dive in a breakfast taco or kolaches, house favorites.

We take a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park for a “Texas style” morning. During his administration, Johnson signed more education bills into law than any other president. In respect to that we see his first school where he signed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. Other stops include the family cemetery and the LBJ Ranch Show.

In the afternoon we endow in lunch and a beer tasting at Altstadt Brewery Fredericksburg’s newest brewery an authentic Bavarian brewery. Dedicated to creating the purest drinking beers the 120-acre old world destination features a fine dining restaurant, brewery tours and a beautiful venue. Brewery exclusives include traditional brews like Schwarzbier, a traditional German “Black Beer.”

With over 150 specialty shops, shopping is one of the primary reasons visitors come to Fredericksburg. In store we see everything from clothing, upscale home accessories, to unique collectibles and more perfect items for holiday shopping. Blackchalk Home and Laundry originally an old laundromat had been transformed into an electric home goods store. The hip store features gifts, kitchen goods, and one of a kind rugs. The infamous Christmas Store open year round specializes in collectibles. For collectors, this store is paradise with Department 56 miniature villages and Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments. The Hill Country Outfitters and The Grasshopper offer products to fit the hill country lifestyle in downtown Fredericksburg. Brands like Ugg and The North Face are housed in the Outfitters. The Narrow Path Tasting Room inside is an intimate space with French cafe feelings in the air.

To continue the Holiday Wine Trail, a stop at Signor Vineyard in the rolling hills of Central Texas. Where the Pedernales River meets Grape Creek, established by a friendship spanning three generations of two Texas families. Their focus is growing premium varietal fruit with soulful wines reflective of the unique terroir.

Our stay is perfect timing for the Fredericksburg’s 61st Annual Holiday Home Tour. A self guided tour showcasing unique local homes decorated in their holiday finest. With more than 22 vendors each year selling personal gifts, homemade foods and holiday items.

For dinner we dine at Navajo Grill, which encompasses an unusual blend of Hill Country craftsman design. Enjoying Southern cuisine composed with old and New Mexican flavors with a touch of Creole & Caribbean influences. Specialties like the Sunday Chicken Fried Steak dinner are served with housemade sauces and dressings.

After dinner drinks at Elk Store Winery & Distillery. Since 1895 the business has carried a family tradition that pays homage to the spirit of realizing the American Dream. In the footsteps of their great grandfather Todd Smajstrla along with Scott Hladky, produced moonshine, gin, rum, and whiskey. Since then, the business serves Incredible wines from all over the world. Along with small batches of handmade liquors by the bottle or cocktails.

Dinner at Rathskeller a full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in downtown Fredericksburg. The menu selection is extremely versatile featuring German dishes and daily specials. On Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live music that house the restaurant.

Nothing better than the taste of handmade tortillas for breakfast at Hilda’s Tortillas. Hilda’s is a small family owned and operated business. Specializing in authentic Mexican fare their breakfast tacos and burritos are a must try. Twice a week 300 or more pounds of tortilla chips are produced within the restaurant.

For some fresh air we bike the quiet country backroads with Jack and Adams Bicycles. At Jack and Adams you can rent out Road, Tri-bike, Cruisers and even kid bicycles and accessories from a variety of brands. The Hill Country scenes with its rolling hills and panoramic views, is considered the cycling capital of Texas.

In addition to the speciality shops we visited above there is a collection of shops specializing in different festive treats. Emma + Ollie bakeshop takes classic treats we grew up loving and elevated them. The shop prides themselves on using only fresh ingredients; no processed foods, no artificial sweeteners, just pure dessert. The founder Rebecca Rather wanted the shop to feel as if customers stepped into an upscaled version of their own grandma’s kitchen. Chocolat store creator, Lecia Duke, was the first to introduce European-Style, liquid centered chocolate in the U.S. The truffle chocolates are of course a house favorite as the delicate shell gives way to the pure liquid flavor casades in your mouth. In addition there is also colette’s, creams, silk fudges, nut clusters, barks, and caramels. Fredericksburg Pecan Company provides fine quality of pecan products grown in the Texas Hill Country. Owners are dedicated to providing excellent quality pecans available for online order at reasonable prices with the best customer service. Pecans are flavored and glossed in everything from pecan brittle to pecan coffee.

Rustlin Rob’s Texas Gourmet Food is not your ordinary gourmet food, not limited to people who cook but to “foodies” of all ages. The store is enjoyable because it caters to anyone who loves to eat. With over 350 gourmet foods we can sample from ranging from peanut butters, mustards, bread mixes, and some 5 Alarm hot sauces.

Fredericksburg Pie Company mission is to serve pie that is as good as, or better than your mothers or grandmothers made. In store pies are made from scratch and selections change daily with up to 20 kinds of pie. While here, we enjoy an option of coffee, milk, and more with our slice of pie and even a book selection. Sugar free pies are also available with a call in a day before.

Lunch at the Farm Haus Bistro in the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, with an American menu with French and Italian influences. Owners Dick and Rosemary Estenson take us on a tour of the B&B Cottages based upon the design of the early historic Fredericksburg “Sunday Houses. These houses are inspired by German settlers who built these small “city houses” to use on the weekends to buy provisions and attend Sunday church. We also visit the Nature Spa area dedicated to a truly unique relaxing experience.

Exploring Main Street is incredible when we can enjoy Eisban, an outdoor ice skating on real ice. Alongside Marketplace and the Christmas Pyramid. Afterwards a trip to Luckenbach, Texas made famous by Waylon Jennings’ and Willie Nelson’s 1976 classic country hit.

For our last destination Dinner and wine pairing at local Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant. Chef/Owner Ross Burtwell’s wish is to create a lasting impression of culinary craft where guest feel at home. Known for his speciality in preparing the freshest seafood, Certified Angus Beef, wild game and ranch fare. The wine selection is also superb with over 75 selections from around the State of Texas. Tripadvisor has ranked the restaurant Top 10 in the nation and we know why.

The good art company, gallery, art, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE

August E's, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg Texas

War museum, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Altstadt Brewery, Fredericksburg Texas, 360, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Chocolat, lecia Duke, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg, Vaughn Lowery