Posts tagged with "tourist"

The Hotel Concord Receives AAA’s Four Diamond Rating

Just 6.3 percent of more than 27,000 AAA Inspected & Approved hotels receive the prestigious rating


The Hotel Concord, the Capital City’s newest boutique hotel, has received the coveted AAA Four Diamond designation. Opened in August 2018,  The Hotel Concord  is honored with this prestigious designation in its first year in operation.

“From its inception, The Hotel Concord was conceived as a premier property with high-end amenities and a premium level of service,” said David V. Shamoian, President & CEO of the Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group. “We are exceptionally proud of the work the ownership group, the design team, and the hotel staff has put into making The Hotel Concord a standout property.”

Hotels at this level are committed to providing every guest with a high degree of hospitality and attentive service in upscale surroundings, according to AAA. Four Diamond rated properties typically offer an extensive array of amenities and guest services.

The Hotel Concord is part of a select group of establishments within North America. Currently, just 1,722 hotels hold the AAA Four Diamond designation and is one of only 8 hotels in New Hampshire

“AAA is pleased to recognize The Hotel Concord as a Four Diamond hotel,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “These establishments dedicate a significant amount of attention to detail that helps ensure a consistent and memorable guest experience. To uphold the exceptionally high standards required on a daily basis to attain this rating is an outstanding achievement.”

The Hotel Concord is a 38-room boutique hotel located on the fourth and sixth floor of the Capital Commons building in the heart of downtown Concord. It was conceived by developer Michael J. Simchik, managing partner of NH-based 100 Market Group, and is run by Bravo Zulu Hospitality Group, headed by David V. Shamoian, who has brought his 40 years of hospitality industry expertise to the new property, making it the premier hotel in Concord.

The Hotel Concord stands out in the Capital City for its unique rooms and high-end amenities. Each of the spacious rooms is a different shape and size offering guests a distinctive luxury experience, with high-tech features like state-of-the-art climate control systems, wall mounted flat screen televisions, high-speed internet and Amazon Echo Dots. To ensure the highest level of guest comfort, the rooms are also sound-proofed and feature luxury bed linens and bathrobes, California-style closets, mini fridges and well-appointed oversized bathrooms. Some rooms feature balconies with views of New Hampshire’s Capitol Building, Concord’s Main Street and the Merrimack River.

At The Hotel Concord, guests will enjoy a welcoming lobby, comfortable lounge and The Lobbyist Bar, where a light breakfast is served each morning. Executive lounges, function rooms, on-site restaurant O Steaks and Seafood, 24-hour gym and 24-hour certified chief concierge service aim to provide guests of The Hotel Concord with all their travel needs during their stay.

Those interested in an upcoming stay at The Hotel Concord can find booking information at www.hotelconcordnh.com, or by calling 603-504-3500.

About AAA Inspections

For more than 80 years, AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property evaluations. AAA offers the only rating system using comprehensive, on-site professional hotel and restaurant evaluations guided by member priorities. With a far greater inventory than any other rating entity, AAA’s rating system covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments and inspector insight in AAA’s trip planning products: the AAA Mobile app, the online AAA Travel Guides and Travel Planner and the AAA TourBook guides available to members at AAA offices.

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 35 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

About the Hotel Concord

Michael Simchik, the developer of The Capital Commons office building, had a vision for a multi-use building complex with a hotel being the last component of his master plan. The Hotel Concord, along with O’s Steak and Seafood, corporate meeting and event facilities, Red River Theater, attached covered parking, and premier  executive office space completes this landmark development.    https://www.hotelconcordnh.com

Top 20 Most Expensive Tourist Destinations

From Wizardry to Westminster: The Tourist Destinations that Magic your Money Away

 

A comparative study reveals the top 20 most expensive tourist destinations worldwide, with Harry Potter Studios ranking higher than the Houses of Parliament.

 

Berlin, 30 April 2019 – The online comparison and search portal, TicketLens, has published a list of the 20 most expensive attractions around the world according to admission costs. The findings aim to help diligent travellers budget their itineraries ahead of schedule. Researching and planning a holiday can be a tricky and exhausting task. From the cost of travel, accommodation, sightseeing, and food – it’s wise to start counting pennies in preparation long in advance.

 

Table: The twenty attractions in the world with the highest admission prices.

#
 Country
City
Attraction
Entrance Price
1
UK
London
Warner Brothers Studio Tour –

The Making of Harry Potter

$58.57
2
China
Hengdian
Hengdian World Studios
$57.48
3
UAE
Dubai
Burj Khalifa
  $55.65
4
UK
London
Madame Tussauds
$45.58
5
USA
New York City
Spyscape
$42.24
6
USA
New York City
Trolls: The Experience
$39.80
7
USA
New York City
Empire State Building
  $39.79
8
USA
New York City
Top of The Rock
$39.29
9
USA
New York City
Color Factory
$37.81
10
UK
London
Palace of Westminster
$36.46
11
USA
New York City
One World Observatory
$34.82
12
USA
Las Vegas
Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.
$33.83
13
Iceland
Reykjavik
Perlan: Wonders of Iceland
$32.48
14
UK
London
Tower of London
$32.15
15
UK
London
Buckingham Palace
$31
15
UK
London
London Eye
$31
17
Tibet
Lhasa
Potala Palace
$29.68
18
Japan
Tokyo
Tokyo One Piece Tower
$28.44
19
Ireland
Dublin
Guinness Storehouse
$28.15
20
Spain
Barcelona
Casa Batlló
$28.15

 

Full Results can be found at https://www.ticketlens.com/en/magazine/the-most-expensive-attractions-in-the-world

  

Further findings:
 

  • If a visit to the viewing platform of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa at $55 is too expensive, you can switch to the world’s second tallest building – the 634 meter-high Tokyo Skytree, which costs just $18.

 

  • Madame Tussauds is a world-renowned wax museum. A visit to the exhibition in London will cost you $46 in admissions. Once inside, you can mingle among royals like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, among other wax replicas of the rich and famous.

 

  • Entrance to Buckingham Palace costs $31. However, a visit to the Bavarian castle, Neuschwanstein, reminiscent of childhood fairytales, is a cheaper alternative, with admission prices just $14.50.

 

  • The most expensive attractions are often the newest and have branches around the world. Harry Potter, Trolls, Marvel and One Piece, are films that now have their own remarkable exhibitions, public studios, and attractions that showcase their unique characters and props.

 

  • With attractions on the list, a sightseeing trip to New York City is the most expensive destination. Holidaymakers would be wise to prepare a solid budgeting plan long in advance.

 

  • The Colour Factory, a pop-up exhibition currently based in New York City, offers trendy photo motifs alongside a pricey admission of $37.80.

 

  • The new One World Trade Center has a viewing platform that offers spectacular views of Manhattan and Central Park. With an entrance fee of $34.80, it’s cheaper than both the Top of the Rock observation deck, at $39; and the Empire State Building, also at $39.

 

  • The admission price of Potala Palace, home of the head of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, is $29.70. Visiting the Pope is a more economical alternative, with admission to the Sistine Chapel, his official residence in the Vatican City, just $18.
Wisconsin Osthoff Resort

Wisconsin

By Krishan Narsinghani

Wisconsin is known for their cheese and ice creams. A major food one may overlook is the Wisconsin cranberry. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to visit their tourism team for an exploration of lodging, dining, cranberry wonders and more.

The trip began at the Osthoff Resort at Elkhart Lake, a quaint fairytale land that makes a city kid feel free. The plot roots back to the age of the Potawatomi Native American Tribe, where the area still inhibits the same wholistic lifestyle. In 1885, the Osthoff Resort was built by Auto Osthoff and reimagined 100 years later to the four Diamond AAA rated majestic lodge guests see today. The 248 room boasts 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites that fancy a kitchen (or kitchenette) and an individual private balcony. The grand hotel is the perfect family getaway, especially in the Summer. With a three-tear lake deck and Mirror Lake, there’s no disappointment when it comes to adult and kid-friendly activities.The deck includes a bar, live entertainment along with water sports open to guests and the public – aqua cycles, power boats, sailboats and pontoon cruises.

The resort offers a handful of different restaurants to try, Lola’s On The Lake being the choice for media on their first night. Lola’s infuses their dishes with fresh ingredients from the Osthoff Gardens that harvest over 11,000 pounds of produce including edible flowers available in 2019. It’s a farm to table atmosphere while the menu is consistently changes. 360’s personal favorite was the Rib Eye Steak Special with Potato Donuts. This mouth-watering meal introduced savory and sweet for new flavors that will wow your tastebuds.

360 Magazine enjoyed an afternoon cooking class inspired from their wellness menu that featured nutrient dense and natural sugar items. The foods prepared are purposely chosen so more guests with dietary restrictions can participate and indulge. Courses included a Lemon and Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding, Overnight Oats, Egg Shakshuka (Baked Eggs with Feta, Garden Tomato Sauce and Cilantro) and a Quinoa Salad with Halibut. The Shakshuka wafted aromatic Middle Eastern flavors that start your pallet off right and finishes with a taste of creamy tomato sauce and powerful spices.

Others enjoyed a natural spa and wellness treatment at Aspira, which translates to “infused with spirit.” Guests rejuvenate themselves through a variety of specials such as the meditation sanctuary that binds water from Elkhart Lake and hydrating cranberry facials.

In 1857, Wisconsin birthed Steven’s Point Brewery, the third-oldest independently owned and continuously operating brewhouse in the United States. The guided tour and tasting throughout the facility showcased new craft beers and history that withstood the Civil War, prohibition and The Great Depression. Their pilot brewing system has the capacity to make ten barrels of beer at one time essentially creating a microbrewery inside of a craft brewery. Enjoy a refreshing pineapple flavor, white chocolate stout or Octoberfest.

Ride along Cranberry Highway to Gottschalk Cranberry Marsh to witness a breathtaking sea of red fruits. Throughout the Fall season, visitors can drive around 50 miles of these beds from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens. This antioxidant rich treat is grown on low running vines at bogs and later flooded with water. The berries float to the top and are harvested by picking machines. Local restaurants like Great Expectations (originally a fully women-owned business) incorporate these cranberries into nearly all their dishes. These partnerships make for signature items like their House-Made Ginger-Cranberry Moscow Mule and Unforgettable Grilled Cheese with Cran-Pepper Jam.

One of America’s favorite juices, Ocean Spray, is headquartered on a 70 acre manufacturing facility. Producing 3.6 millions gallons of concentrate a year, the company utilizes a complex system. Wisconsin will produce 5.9 million barrels of cranberries in 2018 making so called, “America’s Dairyland,” the nation’s No. 1 cranberry producer.

Overall, 360 left with a delightful taste and an aura revitalized. When visiting Wisconsin, come prepared with an empty stomach and an open mind for well-deserved Midwestern hospitality.

travelwisconsin.com

wiscran.org

Thomson Safaris

New York – August 2, 2018 – Thomson Safaris and Thomson Family Adventures have appointed Geoffrey Weill Associates to handle their public relations needs in North America, it was announced today by company President Geoffrey Weill.

Created 38 years ago by the dynamic married duo of Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland, Thomson Safaris specializes in personally crafted trips to Tanzania. To this day, Thomson Safaris uses only local guides in its hand-picked itineraries, offering access to people and areas of the Serengeti that other outfitters can’t.

The company’s Kilimanjaro Treks are some of the most highly respected tours in the region,with the most qualified guides and a 98% summit success. Committed to quality and care, all of their guides are Wilderness Responder Certified. A founding member of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – an NGO advocating for the rights of porters, Thomson has distinguished itself by upholding the highest standards for the treatment and compensation of porters, launching such initiatives as Porter Appreciation Week in 2018.

Thomson Safaris is the recipient of both a “Tanzania Conservation Award” and “Humanitarian of the Year Award” from The Tanzania Tourist Board. Thomson’s sister nonprofit,  Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC), was started by Thomson Safaris co-founder Judi Wineland and a group of guests who wanted to bring educational resources to developing regions in Tanzania.

In 1998, with young children, Judi and Rick answered a need by creating Thomson Family Adventures, catering to families of all sizes and composition. Today, Thomson Family Adventures is still the only tour operator in the US exclusively dedicated to family travel. Pioneers in what is now a burgeoning niche market in the travel industry, Thomson Family Adventures now offers more than 90 itineraries and covers regions of North, South and Central America, Africa, Asia and Antarctica. The company also offers specialized tours specifically for teens and millennials, age groups often overlooked in the family market.

“We are thrilled to be adding Thomson Safaris and Thomson Family Adventures to our portfolio of unique travel products,” said Ann-Rebecca Laschever, Executive Vice President of WEILL. “Although they have been offering first-class safari and memorable travel experiences for several years, they are not as known in the industry as they deserve to be. We look forward to changing that.”

For more information visit www.thomsonsafaris.com and www.familyadventures.com.

South African Airways Vacations Deal

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS® INTRODUCES “CAPE TOWN & WINELANDS

SUPER SAVER” FOR SUMMER TRAVEL WITH SAVINGS UP TO $1000 PER PERSON
Air-Inclusive 5-Night Package Starting at $1,699 for Travel through August 10, 2018.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (June 4, 2018) – South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®), the leisure division of South African Airways, has introduced a 5-night “Cape Town & Winelands Super Saver” air-inclusive vacation package that brings unprecedented savings of up to $1000 per person for travel from New York to Cape Town this summer. The “Cape Town & Winelands Super Saver” includes air transportation from New York-JFK Airport on South African Airways, Africa’s most awarded airline, 3-nights’ accommodations at the Sun Square Cape Town hotel and 2-nights’ accommodations at the Evergreen Manor & Spa in Stellenbosch, round-trip airport transfers, and a full-day tour to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Africa’s Cape Peninsula and Cape of Good Hope. The hip and trendy Sun Square Cape Town is the hottest new hotel located in the heart of the Mother City. Guests enjoy bright new rooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi throughout the property with close proximity to major tourist attractions. Evergreen Manor & Spa located in picturesque wine region town of Stellenbosch, just outside of Cape Town, offers luxuriousrooms each individually decorated with lovely period and antique furnishings. This hotel is a convenient walk to world-class restaurants, boutique shops, and art galleries. “SAA Vacations® is excited to offer a summer super saver package for last minute travel. If you don’t have a summer vacation planned yet, this is a great opportunity to visit South Africa at a very affordable price” said Terry von Guilleaume, president of South African Airways Vacations®.

The package details are “Cape Town & Wine Lands Super Saver” – $1,699

  • Roundtrip international economy class air transportation from New York-JFK Airport to Cape Town on South African Airways
  • 3-nights’ accommodation at the Sun Square Cape Town
  • 2-nights’ accommodation at the Evergreen Manor & Spa
  • Daily breakfast
  • Full day Cape Peninsula tour
  • Airport transfers in South Africa with meet and greet by South African Airways Vacations’ representative upon arrival in South Africa

This special discount is available for new reservations made by June 11, 2018. To take advantage of the tremendous $1000 per person savings, travel must be completed by August 10, 2018. Travelers should contact their professional travel consultant or call 1-855-359-7228. South African Airways Vacations® offers vacation options for all budgets, with African Specialists on hand to ensure clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For a complete overview of air-inclusive vacation packages to other destinations throughout Africa, visit www.flysaavacations.com.

About South African Airways Vacations®
A division of South African Airways (SAA), South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®) is highly regarded for its wide array of affordable luxury packages to Africa and uses SAA’s extensive route network to create packages for travel throughout South Africa, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Namibia, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana and the Indian Ocean Islands. Offering more than 80 air-inclusive packages, which range from value to superb luxury. Our specialty-themed programs offer unique experiences, whether you are interested in safaris, culture, cuisine, romance and adventure. The program is managed and fulfilled by DSA Vacations, founded in 2001, and offers an extensive portfolio of tour programs with a variety of hotels, game lodges, and safari companies throughout Southern Africa.

About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada, JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-star rating for 16 consecutive years.

Price is per person based on double occupancy and economy class flights. Offer based for bookings made between June 04 – 11, 2018 per person on 2 adults sharing for departures from New York (JFK) valid between June 4 – August 10, 2018. Not valid for group bookings.Cannot be combined with other special offers. Valid for new bookings only. The same itinerary available at higher prices during other travel periods. Other departure points and domestic flights within the U.S. can be booked. Price for other departure cities and/or travel dates may vary. Subject to availability and currency exchange rate fluctuations. Prices are valid for new bookings only, are not retroactive and may change without notice. Package includes all government and airline imposed taxes and fees. Baggage and optional service fees, cancellation charges and other restrictions may apply.

BUCKET LIST × MENDOCINO COUNTY

BUCKET LIST/2018: MENDOCINO COUNTY IN THE OFFBEAT FILE

 

FROM ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES TO PYGMY FORESTS, BOWLING BALL BEACH & 10,000 BUDDHAS, MENDOCINO COUNTY UPS THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE WITH AN INSPIRING LINEUP OF ADVENTURES

Diving deep into Northern California’s crown jewel delivers an experience that’s both easy on the wallet and hard to replicate.  This is the land of ancient redwood groves, natural oddities and awe-inspiring attractions; an earthy blend of maverick farmers, cutting-edge brew masters and personalities with a passion for the offbeat.

Just two hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is the true call of the wild, effortlessly mixing wine, waves and wilderness.  Linger on the Lost Coast, break a sweat at Bowling Ball Beach or dive deep into flights of award-winning Alsatian wines.  Boasting 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 24 state/national parklands, the options for adventure are endless.  www.VisitMendocino.com.

TOP TREKS FOR THE EXPERIENTIAL TRAVELER

• Lost Coast Adventure/Candelabra Tree Forest – North of Fort Bragg lies California’s famed Lost Coast, Mendocino’s most wild and remote coastal wilderness with plenty of bragging rights. The Shady Dell Trail – a three-mile excursion – invites visitors to discover the rugged region including the mysterious candelabra tree forest. Free; www.mendocinolandtrust.org.

• B. Bryan Preserve – Experience the African veldt on Mendocino County’s south coast. Join the twice-daily tours to feed the rare African hoofstock- Rothschild Giraffe, Zebra, and Antelope-at B. Bryan Preserve. This remote outpost tucked into Point Arena along scenic Highway 1 also offers an eye-popping giraffe barn for offbeat events. $35 per adult/$20 per child for 1.5 hour Land Rover tour; www.bbryanpreserve.com.

• Pygmy Forest – From Jug Handle State Beach, step back through time as you hike the 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase, which explores five ocean terraces (each representing 100,000 years) that have been uplifted over time and have created this unique coastal range.  Visitors can take a walkabout in the local gardens or bed down for a deal at Jug Handle Creek Farm, a European-style hostel for just $45/night; http://www.jughandlecreekfarm.org/nature-education/ecological-staircase/.

• Bowling Ball Beach – Rows of boulders carved by time and tide await at Bowling Ball Beach. Hidden, like the Terracotta Army, at low tide these concretions reveal themselves once the sea has retreated. The beach is part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=446.

• City of 10,000 Buddhas – Peacocks, pagodas and “Vigor” and “Virtue” signposts — backed with the resonance of chanting monks – this is the stop for a peaceful walkabout at one of the nation’s largest Buddhist monasteries.  Open to the public, this stunning City of 10,000 Buddhas offers daily prayer (12:30 p.m.) in the eye-popping Jeweled Hall, complete with 10,000 golden Buddhas lining the facility from floor to ceiling; free.  Stay for a tasty lunch at Jyuan Kang Vegetarian Restaurant on-site. www.cttbusa.org.

• Solar Living Institute/Memorial Car Grove – A scout about the Memorial Car Grove at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland is certain to spur a selfie.  Tucked along the Inspiration Highway (101) at the gateway of Mendocino County, this oddity takes shape in the form of hulking gas guzzlers, including classic Edsels repurposed as art.  These rusting relics from the 1950s and ’60s with grown trees sprouting from the interiors are a statement to our times.   Get up close and personal with a grinning grille or hug that tree.  Free; www.solarlivinginstitute.org.

• DIY Point Arena-Stornetta Lands Hike – Relish the wild outdoors at the only land-based portion of the 1,100-mile California Coastal National Monument: Point Arena-Stornetta Lands. The newly acquired lands and moody bluffs of Mendocino’s coast — incorporating more than 1,600 acres — give hikers new access to a 12-mile stretch of coastline laced with cypress forests, scenic cliffs and wildflower fields.  Free; https://www.visitmendocino.com/point-arena-stornetta-public-lands/.

• Point Arena Lighthouse – Make a day of scouting the coast with a pit stop at Point Arena Lighthouse.  The tower is the only West Coast lighthouse of significant height (115 feet) that visitors can access all the way to the top. Breathtaking 360-degree views and a museum and shop await.  Six lodgings dot the 23-acre property including the romantic Lighthouse Keeper’s Apartment ($200/dbl.). General admission $7/children 11 and under $1; www.pointarenalighthouse.com.

• Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens — Work up a thirst while touring one of the few botanical gardens located directly on prime Pacific Ocean frontage. Known for its spectacular displays of rhododendrons and dahlias, the garden delights in all four seasons.  Bee Friendly Gardens and Sustainable Vegetable Gardening are a snapshot of the annual seminars held.  Pet- and kid-friendly. $14 adult/$5 children (5-17); www.gardenbythesea.org.

• Beer Flight at North Coast Brewing Company – Tame your thirst with a flight of brews at the north coast’s best brewpub. Slither into a tasting flight of four beers ($6) or splurge with the 14-beer sampler with a friend; $21.  The Tap Room is the stop for wood-fired pizza and weekends deliver live jazz; www.northcoastbrewing.com.

• Glass Beach – An anomaly that is eye-popping, visitors can seek out sea glass on Fort Bragg’s unique trash-to-treasure state beach. Formerly the city dump, Glass Beach has evolved over tide and time polishing the glass from head- and tail-lights, jars, bottles, and more into tiny, colorful glass pebbles.  Red and blue are the rarest! Free; www.visitmendocino.com/does-glass-beach-really-have-glass.

• Roots of Motive Power – The age of steam is alive and on show in Willits, California. Just east of town off the Inspiration Highway (101), Roots of Motive Power shows off its cache of classic steam engines, donkeys and railroad track to visitors on their work days each month, free; www.rootsofmotivepower.com/work-days.

• Orr Hot Springs – Soak up some relaxation at this clothing-optional outpost nestled in the rolling hills near the town of Ukiah. The mineral waters flow through communal tubs, a cold pool, rooftop and private tubs.  Simple lodgings are also offered as well as camping on site.  Day use is $30 for adults/$25 children. Reservations required; www.orrhotsprings.org.

• Montgomery Wo0ds State Reserve – Near Orr Hot Springs lies one of the state’s most magnificent groves of virgin redwoods. To stand among the redwood spires deep in the forest is to stand in the nave of one of nature’s cathedrals. High up in the canopy, past flying buttresses of enormous branches, the green treetops soar 300 or more feet above.  A network of easy trails links the Reserve and adjoining fern groves.  Free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=434.

• Disc Golf at Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Pick up a six-pack at the Tap Room and head outside to play a round of disc golf on the brewery’s 18-hole course. Or, take a tour of the brewery offered daily at 1:30 p.m., (and 3:30 p.m./summer); free; www.avbc.com.

• Pennyroyal Farm – Get your goat on at this new, polished venue marking the entrance to Anderson Valley.  A daily tour at this award-winning farmstead dairy includes a visit to the barn to meet 143+ dairy goat companions and 30 dairy sheep, view of the creamery and finale cheese tasting; $15 for adults/$10 for children/under 5 free.  New Pennyroyal Farms wines are also on tap; (Daily tours $15/adults; $10/children.) www.pennyroyalfarm.com.

• Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree – Size matters. Soaring at 315 feet high with a girth of 21 feet, this 2,000-year-old towering tree is a definite show stopper.  Cut in the late 1930s as a tourist attraction, the Chandelier Tree seems to defy nature, allowing autos a smooth passage through its center, albeit tight at times.  Ideal for Instagram Live, a $5.00 fee gains entry through this gentle giant; there are also wonderful hiking trails in nearby Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.  www.drivethrutree.com.

• Skunk Train – It’s a train thing and it doesn’t get any better than tucking deep into mystical redwoods aboard the legendary Skunk Train.  Depart from Fort Bragg or Willits, which offers an adventure on the Northspur Flyer, for a four-hour trek ascending the 1,740 ft. summit then pushing through to the lush Noyo River Canyon aboard a vintage railcruiser (one of the original 132-year old Skunks) with an open-air coach.  Prices vary. www.skunktrain.com.

      BACKGROUND

Mendocino County welcomes nearly 1.8 million visitors annually who explore its 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 10 diverse AVAs (earning the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in the United States), 24 state/national parklands and 450+ unique accommodations. Straddling scenic Highways 1 and 101, “The Redwood Corridor,” the County delivers an ideal vortex of waves, wines and redwoods laced with historic villages and outback adventures. Located 114 mi./184 km. north of San Francisco, the region’s gateway airports are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), Sacramento  International Airport (SMF), and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS).  Visit Mendocino County is a non-profit destination marketing organization designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community by increasing tourism revenue.  For more information, go to www.visitmendocino.com.

facebook.com/VisitMendocinoCounty

 

Morro Bay × Tom Wilmer

Morro Bay stand-up paddling with a Twist and paddling with your doggie

A visit with Sandi Twist, owner of The Paddleboard Company, fittingly located on the waterfront in Morro Bay. Twist walks about the explosive popularity of stand-up paddling (SUP) for both the curious and serious.

Twist talks about fitness classes, paddling with your doggie and more, and insightful advantages of yoga paddleboarding over land-based studio workouts.

Morro Bay’s vibrant, sustainable commercial fishery propels fresh seafood, wine, and live music

“Gio” Giovanni DeGarimore has been involved in the Morro Bay fresh fish industry since he was a kid. Join Gio talks about Morro Bay’s sustainable, vibrant commercial fishing industry. Gio’s Galley restaurant serves fresh al fresco fresh caught seafood. He also operates the gas dock, and Stax Wine Bar. He’s finalizing plans for a live music concert series on the waterfront this fall.  

Discovering Morro Bay, California’s best-kept-secret places to stay

Join Jennifer Little with Morro Bay Tourism as we visit with the innkeepers at two waterfront boutique hotels, La Roche, and Estero Inn, and The Landing—an upscale reincarnation of the iconic Breaker’s Motel, just one block above the Embarcadero in the heart of California’s Highway One Discovery Route.



Pacific Ocean sportfishing adventure with Virg’s Landing

Virg’s Landing has been an iconic ingredient in the Morro Bay sport fishing experience since 1954. Come along and join Denise, the owner of Virg’s for the inside scoop on day-trip fishing expeditions out of Morro Bay, California.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR Podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer via: 

Apple Podcast 

NPR.ORG Podcast Directory

NPR One (APP) 

player.fm 

podcast.de (Germany)
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BOMBING SCIENCE

At Bombing Science, we wanted to get a sense of what was going on with graffiti this summer and what better way to do that than to explore where people were using the #graffiti hashtag around the world. The world is popping full of colours and artists are making their mark in an expanding list of cities. Rather than pick cities at random, we pulled Instagram data over the summer to deliver to you the Top 99 instagrammable cities for graffiti as brought to you by instagrammers from around the world. It truly is a global experience not to be missed!

Most Instagramed Cities for Graffiti


After talking about it with the team, we decided that we would try and share an observation or two from the big list. Break it down a bit so people could see some of the trends in terms of their own countries or cities. While you see the top 10 chart above, we’ve commented on the top 25 cities across North America, Europe and South America (including Mexico). The 25 cities chose are reflected in the top 99 cities chart below.

North America

In North America, we grouped US cities and Canadian cities together. There weren’t any surprises with New York City talking the top spot on the list in 2017. Followed up by Los Angeles (6), Miami (10), San Francisco (14th), Chicago (21) and sneaking into the last spot in the top 25 was Austin. In Canada, Toronto took the top spot and found itself 12th overall on the list. Followed up by Montreal (13) and no other Canadian cities in the top 25.

 
Europe

Reviewing the European cities showed us that Europe dominated the Top 25 this summer. England, Germany, Italy and Spain all had 2 cities. London took the top spot and 2nd overall on the list. Paris (3), Berlin (5), Barcelona (8), Reykjavik (9), Dusseldorf (11), Moscow (15), Madrid (16), Lisbon (17), Rome (18), Milan (19) and rounding out the European cities was Amsterdam (22).

 

South America and Mexico

Reviewing the South American Cities revealed that San Paulo (4) had top honours and was part of the top 10 cities. Next was Bogotá (7) and Rio de Janeiro (20) with Mexico City coming in (23) and Buenos Aires (24th) rounding out the list.

 

And now… the big list!


Can you find your city on the list?

Cities & Their Relationship to Graffiti

In cities around the world there are examples as to the positive impact of art and how it can be a positive influence on the wellbeing of the people that live in urban areas. What does that really mean? In exactly which ways does art have a positive influence on the wellbeing of cities? Graffiti as an emerging mainstream art form is helping to improve or revitalization depressed areas of cities that otherwise were considered dead zones, people are now traveling to cities they may not have considered traveling to in order to check out art destinations. Artists are finding new venues and outlets to express themselves and earn a living off of their work.
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“Residents, tourists, and high-end boutiques, co-exist with graffiti vandalism in a relatively symbiotic fashion.” 

– Gregory Snyder, author of Graffiti Lives on the NYC graffiti scene.

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Placemaking and the role of graffiti

Looking closer to home, this type of placemaking is having an impact across the United States and Canada. The National Endowment for the Arts has tracked some of the results through their Exploring Our Town program. What emerges out of their research is that it’s not just the big cities that are turning a corner on their use of public space. Several of those project that had a street art/graffiti element were in small and mid-size cities including projects such as Downtown Pathways in El Paso, Texas, Grant Street Global Voice in Buffalo, Revitalizating Station North in Baltimore and The Whittier Neighbourhood Mural Project in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Each one of these project had a set of anticipated impacts and each reported positive unexpected impacts. Notably these projects brought communities together, increased foot traffic and investments ranging from new restaurants, new retail and new infrastructure spending.

In Canada, there are examples of partnerships that are forming around grafitti art including Toronto’s Graffiti Alley. It has support across non-profits including the laneways project, the city of Toronto’s Heritage Department and most recently was a featured project in the creation of the world’s longest instagram photo created by Toronto photographer Justin Poulsen in collaboration with Havas Worldwide Canada. Tunnel du Rouen is a one of the largest legal walls in Montreal. It’s a dynamic entry to the list in that the artists continually evolve the work that is done both on the wall of the tunnel and nearby. In Vancouver, a by product of their mural festival, there are ongoing activities and walking tours put on in collaboration with the the Mount Pleasant Business Improvement Area with support from local city councillors. Some other cities are starting to recreate and bring back a graffiti culture that had existed in the mid-2000s such as what happened in London, Ontario. This summer – Over 20 local graffiti artists participated in a “graffiti wall jam” put on by Mitch Taylor, the owner of Leisure Surf and Social Club store. All of these efforts contribute to more people being involved in their communities and spending more money in their own cities to support local economies.

Many European cities are taking the lead, among them is Lisbon that has an official office for managing street art that has lead to the promotion of eco-tourism and walking tours. In Lisbon, the Bairro Alto area is one of the more popular places and highlighted by Bohemian Trails plus in an article by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo aka BrooklynStreet.com. There are the free walls in the Poblenou neighbourhood in Barcelona. This is an area that was once really industrial and now and has now become revitalized and is a thriving go-to destination point in any visit to the city. Another great example is the European Cultural Capital city of Aarhus with a graffiti Facebook group of over 15,000. Others include Pigneto (Rome) and Berlin which will see the opening of the The Urban Nation Museum For Urban Contemporary Art.


Let’s really just pause for a moment to consider that we now even have graffiti hotels including “The Walled Off Hotel” created by Banksy in the Palestinian West Bank city of Bethlehem, We have graffiti installations at Art Basel Miami and festivals popping up in countries that we haven’t seen before such as India. The area in Mumbai known as the Lodhi Colony was turned into India’s first public art district. The 2nd edition of St+art India will be happening between October to December 2017. All of these efforts are contributing to the rise in the percentage of art in public spaces. Adding to this, a new book on street art by Ed Bartlett and published in spring 2017 by Lonely Planet. It’s no surprise that there are some of the top livable countries in 2017 with thriving graffiti communities including Germany, Netherlands, Iceland, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The 2016 Street Art Festival by St+art India Foundation Video 

Festivals

Along with the cities that have the most posts for #grafitti, we also wanted to highlight the festivals that make it happen for a lot of these artists. More and more festivals are popping up around the world and each bring their own distinct take on graffiti or street art. In no particular order some of the top festivals in our mind include Upfest (Bristol), City Leaks (Cologne), The Crystal Ship (Ostend), Bloop (Ibiza) , Santurce es Ley (San Juan), Mural Project (Richmond, USA), Mural Festival and Under Pressure in Montréal, Mural Festival Vancouver, Art Basel Miami (off-events) and WonderWalls (Adelaide). They represent 1 million+ fans and 100s of graffiti artists with the top group of festivals having substantial indirect and direct financial benefits topping $5 million+ and counting.

POW! WOW! Hawaii 2017 Official Video

One that really stands out for us is the POW!WOW! Festival series coming out of Hawaii. Founded by Justin Wong and the main event being held each February with the support of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. It’s gone from a simple show to offering educational opportunities with their mural art schools, gallery exhibitions, and most recently connecting with SXSW creating murals around Austin, Texas. In the future, the festival has plans to expand to cities and countries such as Taiwan, Long Beach, Israel, Singapore, Jamaica, Washington D.C., Guam, New Zealand, Germany and more.

The next step in the rise of #graffiti in the mainstream is the fact that brand names are now associating themselves with the festivals which brings in revenue and exposure for the artists. While some of the festivals were able to report attendance or revenue results back for 2016, many of them are just putting measurements in place and simply haven’t the time nor the resources given the logistics of managing artists, suppliers, sponsors and audiences. A lot of these festivals have completed their 2017 editions and already planning for 2018.
 
Our Methodology

Our team made the decision to focus on the #graffiti hashtag and determined that Instagram would be the most appropriate social media platform given the obvious appeal to photography and visuals. Instagram as a platform now has over 700 million active users worldwide and so we took it upon ourselves to build out our own tool to collect specific data. The criteria was pretty simple – We set out to capture the hashtag info plus the geographical data during the summer of 2017.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON × LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Harley-Davidson Museum® Readies for the Party of the Year over Labor Day WeekendFree live music, high-wire thrill shows, Wall of Death performances and so much more make the Harley-Davidson Museum® the epicenter for this end-of-summer

That rumble growing in the distance can mean only one thing: Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts are making their way to southeastern Wisconsin for the biggest party of the summer over Labor Day weekend. And beginning on Wednesday, Aug. 30, the H-D Museum™ campus will be rocking with free concerts from headliners like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jackyl and crowd favorites Hairball (among others).

But before the stage lights go up, the spotlight will shine on daily performances from Circus Una Motorcycle Thrill Show and Rhett Rotten’s Wall of Death. And while we will say goodbye to our special summer exhibit – “The Race of Gentlemen” – after Labor Day, the weekend’s activities will make sure this is one for the books.

Many of our friends and fans throughout the city, including the Wisconsin Center, the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the Corners of Brookfield, the Wisconsin DOT and more, will look to shine a welcoming light to all the riders as they turn their buildings and landmarks orange in support of Milwaukee’s most famous export. 

Some highlights include:

Free, live music on the H-D Museum™ campus, Wednesday through Sunday

  • Wednesday, Aug. 30 (7 p.m.): Déjà vu
  • Thursday, Sept. 1 (7 p.m.): Hairball with opener Shallow Side
  • Friday, Sept. 2 (7:30 p.m.): Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band with opener Wayland
  • Saturday, Sept. 3 (7:30 p.m.): Jackyl with opener The Dead Daises
  • Sunday, Sept. 4 (11 a.m.): Rachel Stacy with opener Mellencouger


Harley-Davidson New Product Trailer (all-weekend long)

  • Be among the first to throw a leg over Harley-Davidson’s new line of 2018 motorcycles, including the highly anticipated line of 115th Anniversary Models. This is the Motor Company’s largest-ever product launch, and this is a chance to be a part of history.

Demo rides at Harley-Davidson’s Powertrain Operations

  • If you’re itching to see what Harley-Davidson’s 2018 models can do on the road, head to the Powertrain Operations in Menomonee Falls for demo rides on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Open to the public Friday, Sept. 1 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.); Saturday, Sept. 2 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) 

Ride-in Custom Bike Show

  • Your bike is hot, show it off at the H-D Museum’s annual Custom Bike Show. Rolling sculptures will blanket the campus as builders compete for the coveted Willie G. Davidson Award.
  • (Sunday, Sept. 3. Registration: 8 – 10 a.m. Judging: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Awards show: 4 p.m.)

“The Race of Gentlemen”

  • This weekend marks your last chance to see the special summer exhibit, “The Race of Gentlemen,” before it heads back to the Jersey Shore. At the intersection of speed and style, The Race of Gentlemen has become a must-see and must-do automotive carnival. The H-D Museum™ is proud to bring together the vehicles, the artistry and the personalities that make up The Race of Gentlemen for its special exhibit. Regular Museum rates apply.

But that’s just the beginning. The Wall of Death and Motorcycle Thrill Show will keep the campus buzzing during the day, while MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant delivers the best in bold, American classics to your table. Miller High Life and Sailor Jerry will bring their world-famous beverages to ensure nobody goes home thirsty. The Shop will offer unique items available all weekend, including 115th Anniversary Rivets to commemorate the rider in your life and our new line of authentic archive reproductions with H-D Originals. And if some body work is the sort of customization you had in mind, Horseshoe Tattoo will again be on hand to spill a little ink.
Fans are invited to visit H-DMuseum.com to learn more about all the weekend’s activities. And for those looking for a second-helping of fun, be sure to visit the Big Gig BBQ on Sunday, Sept. 3 (noon – 7 p.m.) for the best BBQ in town on the lakefront at Henry Maier Festival Park.

About the Harley-Davidson Museum®

A walk through the Harley-Davidson Museum® is a walk through the history of America. With an unrivaled collection of Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and memorabilia, a 20-acre, park-like campus, and a calendar full of activities, the H-D Museum™ is one of Milwaukee’s top tourist destinations for visitors from around the globe. A visit to the H-D Museum™ is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Make your plans to visit the Harley-Davidson Museum® at h-dmuseum.com.