Posts tagged with "outdoor adventures"

Whale watching, San Diego, food, travel, adventure, 360 MAGAZINE

Best of Baja’s Whales, Dolphins & Sea Lions Tour

Five-year Trip Advisor Hall of Fame Award Winner Baja AirVentures offers an active travel program completely unique to the world of adventure travel. No other tour operator combines the best opportunities for marine mammal encounters on both sides of the Baja peninsula in one all-inclusive six-day ground and air-supported package. 
 
The 6-day/5-night Best of Baja’s Whales, Dolphins & Sea Lions Tour departs weekly from Feb.3 through April 11, 2020. The all-inclusive per person rate, including round trip private air carriage from San Diego across the peninsula and back, is $3,695 (exclusive of 13% IVA Mexican tax and 3% Marine Park entrance fee).
 
The package includes private roundtrip air from San Diego with ample opportunity for aerial flightseeing, Pacific whale watching in Scammons Lagoon by motorized panga, two nights at a B&B in the Mexican hamlet of Guerrero Negro and three nights of total seclusion at Baja AirVentures’ Las Animas beachside eco-lodge a scenic hour’s boat ride south of Bahia de Los Angeles on the Sea of Cortez.
 
“The unique combination of seeing marine mammals on both coasts of the peninsula is something no other whale watching operator in Baja is able to offer in one itinerary,” says Kevin Warren, founder and owner of Baja AirVentures. “In fact, the opportunity to view these magnificent creatures from a bird’s eye perspective is a thrill and rarity in itself.”
 
According to Warren, through conservation efforts, the Grey whale population in the Pacific continues to rebound and grow. Last year saw a new record with over 1,800 breeding adults and babies sited at Ojo de Libre (Scammons Lagoon). This prime location has the largest concentration of the Grey whales on the planet.
 
After departing from San Diego in a private plane for Scammons Lagoon, participants spend the better part of three days scanning and interacting with migrating California Gray whales by boat. This is where guests often get to actually “pet friendly whales” in their natural environment. Two nights are enjoyed at a cozy B&B in the small village of Guerrero Negro. Days Four and Five are spent desert hiking, kayaking, birdwatching and snorkeling with sea lions and dolphins. Boat excursions from Las Animas provide an added opportunity to view several types of whales, including Blue and Fin whales (the two largest species in the world).
 
A recent guest had this to say on Trip Advisor about their intimate encounters with the Grey whales, “The small-plane flights alone, with one pilot and five passengers, were a treat. Once on the water of Scammons Lagoon, we did not merely ‘watch’ wales! Instead, our skiff was at times surrounded by these magnificent creatures. Playful and seemingly curious calves met out-stretched hands, allowing themselves to be stroked and patted, while their enormous mothers swam watchfully close by.”
 
After crossing the peninsula via a scenic 2-hour drive through the Valley of the Cirios (Valle de los Cirios), a large wildlife protection area filled with exotic Cirio cactus, guests arrive in Bahia de Los Angeles (Bay of the Angels) on the Sea of Cortez. A boat transfer follows, past bird-filled deserted islands and bays to Las Animas Wilderness Ecolodge. The only boat-in ecolodge along the entire coast Las Animas is a remote, eco-friendly property that accommodates up to 16 guests in eight romantic and private beach-side yurts equipped with bathroom, solar shower, composting toilets, comfortable queen- and king-sized beds, covered decks and skylight roofs. The yurts are built around the spacious main palapa which offers an expansive deck that serves as a central dining area, game area and communal lounge space.
 
The all-inclusive tour price of $3,695 includes double occupancy B&B and yurt accommodations, roundtrip air from San Diego, naturalist guided outings and lectures, boat transportation, healthy homemade meals, beverages (including beer and margaritas) and such activities as kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, sailing and hiking.
 
For details on the Best of Baja tour call 1-800-221-9283 or visit online:
https://www.bajaairventures.com/bestofbaja/
 
For information on other adventure packages offered year-round by Baja AirVentures please go to: https://www.bajaairventures.com/.

Tamara Yomour, illustration, japan, miyagi, 360 MAGAZINE

Miyagi Prefecture

From its dramatic coastline cliffs to its picturesque mountain ranges, Japan’s lesser-known Miyagi Prefecture boasts some of the country’s best terrain and natural environments for adventure travel and fitness aficionados.

As the cherry blossoms begin to bloom across Japan this spring, Miyagi will get ready to host two of the biggest marathons in the country. The Tohoku Food Marathon in Tome City is one of the biggest events in the region with hundreds of participants, including many from overseas. Inspired by France’s whimsical Marathon du Medoc, the multifaceted event features participants in costumes from their favorite shows and video games. The marathon events begin on April 25, 2020 with a relay marathon, followed by a full marathon, half marathon and several smaller races for teenagers and children on the April 26, 2020. Multiple food festivals are held in conjunction with the races, allowing runners and spectators to sample regional delicacies including over a hundred varieties of sake.
For those looking for more of a challenge, the Sendai International Half Marathon will be held in Miyagi’s capital on May 10, 2020. The annual marathon hosts over 10,000 runners from around the world. The route begins in Kohshin Rubber Athlete Park, traversing the city’s parks, lush avenues and stadiums. The race has several divisions, including 5K and 2K races, and is accessible to those in wheelchairs.

From the big cities to the picturesque landscapes of mountains and forests, Miyagi’s title as the “Land of Contrasts” comes from the prefecture’s incredibly varied environments. One of the best way to experience its diversity is by hiking the Michinoku Coast Trail, one of Japan’s longest hiking trails. This 560-plus-mile trek runs from Fukushima to the Aomori Prefecture, passing through four of Miyagi’s inner regions. The most sought-after hiking location is the Northern Kesennuma Section on the Sanriku Coast, which features a scenic rocky coastline and the Ogama Hanzo Monolith and Dairiseki Coast, a shore composed of natural marble. 

Along the trail, hikers can take a break at Matsushima Bay, one of the great views of Japan, and paraglide along the bay’s iconic islands. At Shobutahama Beach, Takeshige Yamaya, a three-time paragliding national champion, offers tandem paragliding experiences. These experiences last around twenty minutes and offer incredible bird’s eye views of Matsushima Bay and, at higher heights, the city of Sendai and Mount Zao.

While the Michinoku Coast Trail and Matsushima Bay provide the best views along the coast, the Zao Hill Climb Eco event on May 24, 2020 is one of the best ways to see Mount Zao. Every spring, Miyagi Prefecture hosts this mountain biking tournament on two of Mount Zao’s roads: the Zao Echo Line and the Zao High Line. The challenging courses reach an altitude of 43,000 feet and a total length of 11.6 miles, starting from green terrain and ending at the snowy mountaintop. While many participants race, others go at their own pace to admire the incredible landscapes of Miyagi, including a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and the Asahi Mountain Range (only accessible from the peak).

North of Mount Zao, the Onikobe Ski Resort offers the best ski runs with a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes and boasts the longest ungroomed powder run in Miyagi. Skiers can also hit the slopes after dark, as night skiing is offered on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Many of the lodges feature on-site onsens – a cozy way to unwind after an eventful day of skiing.

For more information on Miyagi, please visit http://www.visitmiyagi.com

Morro Bay, 360 MAGAZINE

Morro Bay – Holiday Activities

Have a Nautical Holiday in Morro Bay: Citywide Crab Pot Tree Lighting, Lighted Boat Parade Weekend, Artisan Shopping along the Embarcadero & Paddling Fun in the Bay

Whatever Morro Bay creates, they do it in their own style. This goes for holiday events, gifts for everyone on your list, and fun new ways to get moving outdoors! Brimming with 15 holiday trees made from old crab pots, brightly decorated boats sailing the harbor, and Santa Claus hanging out in his house on the waterfront Embarcadero, Morro Bay celebrates its true nautical roots during this festive period. 

This year the Friends of the Harbor Department will build a huge Crab Pot tree made of commercial crab pots on the waterfront in Anchor Park.  Anchor park is in the heart of the Embarcadero with uninterrupted views of the bay and Morro Rock – perfect for the family holiday photo-op.  

Getting out of town during the holidays can offer a much-needed change of pace, and the chance to make completely new and unforgettable holiday memories.  Take part in any of the Morro Bay holiday events during December, complete your holiday shopping in Morro Bay’s unique boutiques, and find the perfect outdoor activity for everyone in your family along the Embarcadero.    

Winterfest 2019 Events

Visit Santa’s House
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday | December 6 – 22, 2019
Santa’s coming to the Embarcadero! Come visit and get a picture with Jolly ol’ Saint Nick.  Take a photo with St Nick with you, your kids or your fur-kids at no charge. You can find the man of the season in his house located next to the Giant Chess Board on the Embarcadero every weekend in December until Christmas. Hot coco and snacks will be available for purchase by various non-profit organizations.

City Wide Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration
December 6, 2019 | Beginning at 3:30 pm | City Park & City Wide
Starting at 3:30 pm in City Park, enjoy holiday performances and festive treats.  There’s a chance to visit with Santa, and of course the main event…the lighting of the City Park tree for the holidays. Crab pot trees throughout town will also be lit, so after the celebration explore the village and see if you can find them all. 

Lighted Boat Parade Weekend! Participate or just enjoy the fun.

Friday Night Lights
December 6, 2019 | 6 – 8 pm | Embarcadero
Make your dinning reservation for a night of great food and holiday sights as local large vessels and commercial boats cruise up and down the Embarcadero waterway.  U.S, Coast Guard Cutter, Pappagallo, Chablis, Black Pearl, Sub Sea vessels 1 and 2, Morro Bay Harbor Patrol and the crowd pleaser Bonnie Marie. The parade of holiday spirit starts at dusk. A local affair, Friday Night Lights is brought to you by these waterfront restaurants: Blue Sky Bistro, Dutchman’s Seafood House, , Giovanni’s Fish Market & Galley, Hofbrau, The Libertine Pub, Port House, Toggnazini’s, STAX Wine Bar & Bistro, Window’s on the Water. Be sure to call and make reservations in advance! The public is welcome to join in the fun with their lighted vessels from 6-8 pm but this is not the official lighted parade.

Lighted Boat Parade
December 7, 2019 | 6 – 8 pm | Embarcadero
Don’t miss the 34th Annual Lighted Boat Parade along the waterfront. The Morro Bay fishing, leisure, and yachting community compete for cash prizes by stringing up mesmerizing lights that celebrate holiday cheer.  It’s the night to celebrate holiday wonder along the Embarcadero. The parade is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Morro Bay. Watch from a waterfront hotel room, restaurant or on a commercial vessel offering tours. Register your own boat for a chance to win! 

Holiday Paddle Parade
December 8, 2019 | 11 am – 1 pm | Embarcadero
The 3rd year of the non-motorized paddle parade rounds out a great weekend of festive parades on the bay. Open for anyone to join, Kayaks, Standup Paddleboards, small sailboats, surfboards, or any craft that floats take to the water. Sign-up to paddle a vessel for a chance to win cash prizes or come watch the spectacle and feel the holiday spirit. Either way, costumes, boat décor, and lots of fun are in store!  The Annual Paddle Parade is brought to you by The Rock community radio station – a local Morro Bay non-profit. All funds raised from the paddle go to support the station. Your Grand Marshall on the water will be The Paddleboard Co owners Sandi and Ken Twist. To register click here.

Locally Made Artisan Holiday Shopping #morrobaymakers 

If you’re looking for gifts outside the big-name box shopping centers, discover Morro Bay’s artisan makers. From handmade glass beads, craft olive oils, baked goods to custom leather goods and fresh saltwater taffy, Morro Bay has a distinct #craftculture and is filled with unique products that make great gifts for the holidays. Click here for more holiday shopping ideas!

Fantastic #OutdoorGoals Holiday Destination

If you like to travel, get out and make waves in the winter, Morro Bay is your holiday destination! Mild weather and an abundance of outdoor activities keep locals and visitors moving and shaking over the holidays. From hiking, cycling and kayaking, to kite surfing or paddleboard yoga, there is an adventure to suit everyone in your active family. Check out these #outdoorgoals video shorts!

Click here to find rates and availability!

For more travel information follow Morro Bay Tourism on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.
 

About Morro Bay
A true #outdoorhub, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a fun and funky getaway for travelers who seek great wine, seafood and outdoor adventures filled with wildlife watching. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California.  From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. 

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Pinterest.