Posts tagged with "travel"

TOP DESTINATIONS FOR 2020

Travel and hospitality professionals across the globe are preparing to usher in a new decade of travel, focusing on up-and-coming destinations, increasingly popular lodging trends, and fresh ways to experience travel in a meaningful way that impacts the way people view the world. With more than 50 years of industry experience, the experts at Preferred Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest independent hotel brand with more than 750 properties in 85 countries – are sharing their insights and tips for the year ahead.

  • CONSCIOUS TRAVEL – According to the Sustainable Travel Report released by Booking.com, 58% of travelers will consciously avoid visiting a destination if it is shown to negatively impact the people who live there. “Hospitality brands that move beyond greenwashing to demonstrate how they are minimizing their social and environmental footprint are reaping the rewards in customer loyalty and share of wallet,” says Michelle Woodley, President. “Since launching GIFTTS (Great Initiatives for Today’s (Tomorrow’s) Society) in 2005 – which recognizes hotels that go above and beyond in the areas of community service, education, philanthropy, and sustainability – Preferred Hotels & Resorts has celebrated and supported the sustainable efforts hundreds of independent hotels, providing them with a platform from which to share best practices that enhance their environmental and social contributions and inspire others to take action.”
  • TRANSFORMATIONAL TRAVEL – Described by the Transformative Travel Council (founded in 2016) as “intentionally traveling to stretch, learn and grow into new ways of being and engaging with the world”, 2020 will witness this trend evolve as a critical thread connecting other trends identified this year. As travelers harness nature, culture, and social activities to connect with their inner self and promote qualitative life changes, transformational travel will more assertively intersect with conscious travel, micro-cations and second city travel to become less focused on the self and more about the lasting benefit a traveler can have on others. “Travel and the quest for ‘Where Next?’ has long been used as a way to deal with the twists and turns in life, be it respite from a stressful career, a means to deal with major life events, or as a landmark activity and life-stage celebration. Transformative travel enables a traveler to immerse themselves in the virtues of travel, be they emotional, social, physical or spiritual. It is the pursuit of becoming better versions of ourselves and in doing so, our humanity is reinforced,” says Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer.
  • MICRO-CATIONS – Defined as a leisure trip consisting of less than four nights, ‘micro-cations’ are rising in popularity among all age groups as travelers seek opportunities to see more destinations in a shorter amount of time. Leading this trend are time-poor millennial executives who are replacing longer, more traditional vacations with shorter getaways. “In a world where everyone is constantly connected, micro-cations offer an ideal opportunity to unwind and recharge in shorter, more frequent intervals,” says Caroline Klein, Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations. “Getting away for just a few days, even if you are still responding to emails, helps put things into perspective. This trend truly resonates with me as the only millennial senior executive at Preferred Hotels & Resorts. I often try to add on a few days of leisure to international business trips to gain a new perspective on areas of the world that I may never visit again or that I have not experienced outside of a business context.”

 

  • LGBTQ FAMILY TRAVEL – With a total of 25 countries across Europe and the Americas now legally recognizing and performing same sex marriage, the industry is turning its attention to the LGBTQ family travel segment. According to a recent report by LGBTQ market research firm Community Marketing & Insights, 85% of LGBTQ parents with children under 18 have taken one vacation or more as a family in the past year. And with more LGBTQ couples choosing to start their own families year on year, travel agents and tour operators should be addressing this demographic’s service, privacy, and security requirements. “While lesbians have long spearheaded LGBTQ family travel, we have seen a notable increase in gay men traveling with their children, which presents a huge opportunity for well-positioned travel brands to directly market their programs and experiences,” says Rick Stiffler, Senior Vice President of Leisure Sales and ambassador for Preferred Pride.“Now entering its tenth year, the Preferred Pride program offers training to more than 300 luxury hotels, resorts, and residences that caters to LGBTQ traveling families – a welcome addition to the exclusive benefits and amenities that travelers receive when they book stays through the program.”

 

  • INSTA-TOURISM– According to a recent study by Amadeus, 40% of Instagram users under the age of 33 ranked Instagram as a top factor for selecting a vacation, and with more than 500 million users sharing an average of 85 million photos each day (according to National Geographic), Instagram is undoubtedly the most prominent source of wanderlust inspiration, guiding travelers to their destination choices. “In 2020, it will be more essential than ever for travel brands to effectively leverage the power of Instagram to capture the attention and engagement of target audiences and ultimately drive bookings,” says Lindsey Ueberroth, Chief Executive Officer. “Content, campaigns, and collaborative partnerships should be crafted to appeal to Generation Z, in addition to millennials, who are starting to build their brand loyalties and are influential in the decision process for family vacations.”

 

  • SECOND-CITY TRAVEL – According to a recent survey by Booking.com, over half (54%) of global travelers want to play a part in reducing over-tourism, while 51% would swap their original destination for a similar alternative if it would have a positive environmental or social impact. As such, travelers are starting to choose secondary and tertiary destinations that still provide the same charm and culture as their better-known counterparts to alleviate the issues. “We see growth in a number of secondary markets globally, owed in part to improved air access and more diverse travel itineraries from tour operators. With this trend, we believe destinations such as Guadalajara, Mexico; Suzhou, China; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Porto, Portugal; and Belfast, Northern Ireland, and similar, are likely to see an uptick in visitors in the New Year,” says Robert Van Ness, Executive Vice President of the Americas.

 

  • RESIDENTIAL-STYLE ACCOMMODATIONS – Residential options continue to surge in popularity among all travel segments, given their ability to provide more flexibility for individual or group needs, particularly at a time when multi-generational trips, personalization, and convenience are a top priority for travelers. In response, hospitality brands, particularly luxury hotel groups, will further invest in the expansion of their residential-style inventory in 2020, with the goal of increasing their share of a market dominated by a handful of alternative lodging providers. “While the hotel pipeline continues to boom, travelers are increasingly seeking residential-style lodging options, ranging from beachfront villas with access to resort facilities for family celebrations to city-center serviced apartments for business and even short-term relocations,” says Philipp Weghmann, Executive Vice President of Europe. “Preferred Residences has just marked its 100-property milestone, offering travelers a wider selection of stand-alone luxury accommodations that connect guests to the unique culture of 32 destinations while offering a home-like space that meets their specific needs in size, amenities, and comfort.”

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: MEXICO – Mexico’s rich and diverse culture naturally lends itself to hospitality experiences that showcase the people, local design and architecture, and regional cuisines. As such, tourism to Mexico is on the rise with total visitors in 2019 estimated to top more than 45 million by year-end, a 5.6% increase from the previous year, with an increase in upper upscale and luxury properties projected to launch in 2020 to meet the growing demand. “Mexico’s luxury market has emerged over the past few years to be the largest and most resilient in Latin America, with new destinations like Los Cabos and established ones like Yucatan Peninsula leading the way.” says Antonio Vera, Regional Director of Mexico. “Preferred Hotels & Resorts has seen continual development since entering the market in 1999 with recent launches such as Atelier Playa Mujeres and Montage Los Cabos in the luxury and ultra-luxury segments. This broad range of premium hotels and resorts has helped transform Mexico from a low-cost, all-inclusive market to a robust luxury leisure market in less than 10 years.”

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – As sustainability continues to remain top-of-mind for travelers globally, eco-friendly destinations contributing to the protection of their local environment are rising in popularity. In Europe, Copenhagen is aiming to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025, while Denmark overall has been regularly voted one of the happiest and healthiest countries. “With a slew of hotels slated to open in Copenhagen next year, Villa Copenhagen will be the most impactful and exciting, as it transforms from the city’s century-old post office into a luxury eco-hotel that will debut in April,” says Brenda Collin, Managing Director, UK, Ireland, Nordics, and The Netherlands. Prioritizing conscious luxury and nature throughout, the property is investing heavily in renewable energy, partnerships with environmentally friendly and sustainable local brands, and forward-thinking initiatives, including the luxurious Earth Suite designed with only sustainable materials.

 

  • HOT DESTINATION: JAPAN – With annual arrivals soaring by more than 24 million, Japan was the decade’s fastest growing major travel destination. Fresh from the excitement surrounding this year’s 2019 Rugby World Cup and newly lifted visa restrictions, Tokyo is poised to trend again. In addition to hosting the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, Shibuya – the capital city’s major commercial district, is currently undergoing a massive skyline changing redevelopment. “As Tokyo aims to reach more international travelers, the Japanese National Tourism Board is further investing in multilingual marketing campaigns to generate interest in Japan’s lesser-visited destinations, helping to fuel a wider discovery of the country long after the Olympics,” says Kaori Yamaguchi, Managing Director of Japan. “Preferred Hotels & Resorts represents 17 outstanding independent properties in Japan, including Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel in Tokyo, Hotel New Grand in Yokohama, and The Thousand Kyoto in Kyoto, which provide travelers with great launch pads from which to explore culturally-rich destinations beyond Tokyo.”

 

For more information on the properties and experiences represented within the Preferred Hotels & Resorts portfolio, please visit www.PreferredHotels.com.

Lexus Performance Driving School, 360 MAGAZINE, Lexus, Toyota, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Vaughn Lowery

LPDS

A life-changing and immersive experience!’ 360 MAGAZINE

By Vaughn Lowery

As of late, we caught an opportunity to attend the Lexus Performance Driving School [LPDS] in Monterey, California at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. This is the 4th year of this program helmed by legendary Nascar driver Scott Pruett alongside of world-class driving instructors. Under his direction, consumers as well as car enthusiasts can learn to become more confident and cognizant drivers with personalized coaching.

We flew into the Monterey airport to take in our cobalt blue RC 350 and headed straight to our accommodations at the Portola Hotel. The following dawn, we showered and worked out at the hotel gym. Within minutes, we pulled up to the prolific track to indulge in a snack bar-style breakfast. Upon check-in, we split into four teams which consisted of 10-12 people. Directly after, we met in a larger hangar to watch a video and were greeted by Mr. Pruett. Shortly after, we learned about the proper seating position, steering, throttle technique and helmet fitting.

The 8-hour course taught us about braking, line position, skid pad, autocross as well as lead and follow. Of course, like most AMG, BMW and Skip Barber racing platforms, we got to delve deep into how to drift (on wet asphalt) and ‘hit the apex.’

Towards the close of the day, all teams took to the slalom test to see who had the best time within their group for an assortment of prizes, including an F Sport watch and/or a hot lap with Pruett. After the announcement of the top three times, we were granted a certificate of completion which makes for a keepsake.

All in all, this was an awesome opportunity to learn more about dynamic performance vehicles in a safe and controlled environment. The LC 500 proved to be nimble, the RC F had a melodic exhaust note and the GS F was surprisingly agile (with its widebody).

In short, this is one of the best driving colleges offered on the Western Hemisphere and would constitute a memorable present for a celebratory moment and/or Christmas.

#360Recommended

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

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, accessories, unisex, digital influencers, bloggers, publisher, executive, director

5 Smart Ways To Make Money Travelling

Traveling is always lots of fun, not to mention how many benefits it can bring people of all ages. First of all, traveling kicks you out of the comfort zone, which contributes to faster self-development. In addition, it helps to broaden the horizons and get a completely new perspective on things. Finally, going abroad introduces to you new cultures, places, and people, which helps to make your image of the world around more complete. However, there is one big drawback of traveling that holds many people back from it – it always requires money and takes quite a lot of time, which makes it barely possible to combine it with work. At least, things used to be that way for many decades. Luckily, today, there are plenty of ways to make money while traveling and, in this article, we are going to tell you about the top five of them!

Work While Traveling: Top 5 Ideas

For those who believe that working requires attending an office every day and spending there at least five hours a day, we have collected a list of the smartest ways of making money being self-employed and traveling around the world!

  • Affiliate marketing

We bet that each of you is using a whole bunch of different products and services. Then why not to make money by recommending the ones you loved the most? Well, that’s what affiliate marketing is all about. Let’s say you have a favorite brand of clothes, and it is searching for affiliates. In this case, you can take pictures wearing their products, recommend others to purchase it as well and get paid for every sale. 

  • Teach something online

If you have worked in a specific field for years and seem to know all the industry-related peculiarities or if there is anything else you could teach like languages, math, singing or pretty much anything else, why not to make it your business? Teaching is one of those career opportunities that are demanded at all times, and today, with the help of technology and the Internet, tutoring was taken to a completely new level! There are lots of platforms that connect people who want to learn something to other people who can teach them. As a rule, the lessons are held in person or with the help of tools like Skype. Also, it is worth mentioning that tutoring can be paid pretty well. Thus, it is a great way to earn traveling!

  • Become a freelance writer

One of the easiest ways to combine traveling with working is to find a well-paid freelance job. There are quite many opportunities out there, so everyone can find a suitable option depending on his skills, needs, and experience. One of the easiest to find and least demanding remote career opportunities is writing. There are many offers for writers in different niches. For example, if you love sports, you could start writing posts about sport events for an online magazine. Alternatively, there are many opportunities that require no prior experience – for example, on different freelance platforms, people offer money for writing transcripts for YouTube videos. However, if you are looking for a better paying job, we suggest considering the possibility of working for an online essay writing service. Of course, such a job will require having a university degree, good proficiency at least in one subject, and more free time. However, it often brings stable and high income! For big bucks, one could even indulge in a Phd dissertation writing service.

  • Blogging

This way of earning is somewhat similar to being a freelance writer with only one significant difference – when running your own blog, you can write about whatever you want. This fact makes this opportunity very versatile and suitable for different types of people. One of the most popular ideas for a blog is traveling, and it can be rather fun when you are running such a blog while actually traveling. 

  • Launching an online store

Today, more and more people prefer to shop for all types of goods online either from a website or social media, which means that the demand for good online stores is quite high. Here we have another excellent opportunity for remote work – create an online store that sells certain products and use drop shipping to minimize the effort and time waste from your side!

Final Words

If you have always strived to discover the world and to have the time of your life, the tips from this article will definitely come in handy. With the smart ways of earning described above, everyone can forget about saving for a year to go on a trip. Instead, we offer you a simpler and much more beneficial alternative! With our tips, you can turn into a digital nomad and keep making enough money for living on the go, combining working and traveling!

air italy, 360 MAGAZINE

AIR ITALY UNVEILS SPECIAL 6-DAY

BLACK FRIDAY CAMPAIGN

Air Italy offers up to 25% discount on flights to entire network with unique Black Friday promotion

Air Italy has unveiled a spectacular range of offers across its entire network lasting a full six days to celebrate “Black Friday”.

Until December 2nd, the airline is offering up to 25% discount off all flights operated from the United States and Canada to Italy from December 5th 2019 to October 24th 2020.

Dream destinations are just a click away, offering all travelers the chance to discover new and unexpected destinations at great prices from New York, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto such as Milan, Rome, Naples Palermo and Catania (Sicily), Cagliari and Olbia (Sardinia) and Lamezia Terme (Calabria).

All Air Italy flights from North America are operated by Airbus A330-200, equipped with 24 seats in the exclusive Business Class cabin, which allows you to fly with maximum comfort on fully reclining seats, accompanied by the excellent hospitality of the cabin crew and an exclusive service with typical Italian menus and wines, Wi-Fi service and a wide programme of in-flight entertainment.

The 228-seat Economy Class cabin offers Air Italy’s guests a very comfortable flight, highly personalised service, a new in-flight menu with the recently launched and dedicated “Le Delizie” brand, Wi-Fi service and a wide choice of movies and music.

For more details and information visit www.airitaly.com

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

5 awesome rooftop bars to check out this holiday season

The US is amazing enough from the ground but is taken to another level (quite literally) when you go 15 stories high and visit a rooftop bar. This holiday season, enjoy the beautiful views of your favorite places, cocktail in hand, from the top of the very best venues. Here are five awesome rooftop bars to check out this holiday season. 

Altitude Sky Lounge

Any rooftop bar with the word ‘altitude’ in its name has to be good, right? The Altitude Sky Lounge found in San Diego is a knee-knocking 22 floors up and flaunts a birdseye view of the city. If you’re one for dressing up and enjoying the festive season in style then this dress-code bar is perfect for you – it’s uber classy and perfect for Instagram pictures. The lounge also overlooks Petco Park, so is the best location to watch a ball game for free. Be warned, though, this rooftop doesn’t have a cover – so avoid snow days unless you’re well prepared!

Terrace 16

If you’re looking for a great rooftop in Chicago then Terrace 16 has it all, according to Cool Things Chicago. This bar is perfect for all weathers with floor to ceiling windows and stunning views of the Chicago skyline.  If you’re wrapped up warm enough, however, the bar also offers a quaint patio garden with comfy seating and a whole range of foods to enjoy alone or with friends. Terrace 16 can be found at the top of Trump International Hotel and Tower and promises not to disappoint. 

Percheron

Percheron is Kansas City’s first rooftop beer garden, found at the top of Crossroads Hotel. The bar’s hotel pays tribute to the past with a wide selection of craft beers, ciders, and frozen cocktails. This lively bar with both indoor and outside space hosts live DJ sets on     Sunday afternoons and weekday evening drinking sessions until 10 pm. Local food and drink options are common at this venue, too, if you fancy supporting smaller businesses in the run up to Christmas.

Sugar

Found on floor 40 of the EAST, Miami, this Asian-influenced venue full of Balinese furnishings and exotic plants is amazing for cocktails. The Tiger Lily is a favorite here: sip on Zapace 23 rum, hibiscus, passion fruit, ginger beer, and lime juice while taking in the views of the slowly-growing skyline. Try visiting in the weekday before the crowds to grab the very best seat in the house.

Drai’s Nightclub and Beach Club

One of the best rooftops in Vegas is Drai’s Nightclub and Beach Club, according to Vegas for All. While other bars offer customers the chance to sit back and relax, Drai’s definitely brings the Vegas vibe with the ultimate parties. Located 11 stories above the strip, this nightclub and beach club is found on the top of the Cromwell resort and is perfect for a late-night swim, a few drinks, and plenty of great music to dance the night away. If you’re looking for a rooftop bar where the party simply never ends, this is it. 

Costa Rica, 360 MAGAZINE, Widness & Wiggins PR, dave wiggins

What You Need to Know About Costa Rica 

Before You Book Your Next Vacation

When it comes to a vacation in Costa Rica, the experts advise that “you gotta know the territory.” But how can you if you’ve never been there?

Follow the tips of Western River Expeditions, soon to enter its 59th season of award-winning adventure travel. Here are a few of many questions this company suggests you ponder before booking a Western River Expeditions’ 9-Day Costa Rica Vacation Package

  • When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

This is the question that everyone asks and the answer is, “It depends!” Mid-December to April can often be drier, but due to this, and the fact that it’s a popular time to get away to warm destinations, the crowds can be greater. During May through the first half of December, daily rainfall is more common. It’s a period the locals refer to as “the green season.” During this period, you might experience different wildlife and fewer crowds. Generally, the rain doesn’t last all day and guests find periods of lovely sunshine each day as well. 

But here’s a little secret! In some years, visitors reap the rewards of Costa Rica’s “Little Summer” (Veranillo de San Juan or Little Summer of Saint John) in July. Because of a little-known weather phenomenon that in-the-know wildlife lovers are keen to, July is one of the best times to visit Costa Rica. The secret is a drier break after the rains of May and June that yield flowering trees and fruits, which attract a lot of wildlife. 

  • Do you appreciate crowds or are you looking for something more secluded? The time of travel will affect the crowd levels in popular destinations such as Arenal and Manuel Antonio, but Western River Expeditions has built in to its Costa Rica itinerary a few days of blissful seclusion. In the heart of the jungle sits the Pacuare Lodge, a remote rainforest paradise. Guests raft in with a small group and, once at the lodge, participants find themselves surrounded mostly by dense jungle and the sounds of the nearby river. A hike along centuries-old trails to the top of the Talamanca Mountains brings a visit with the Cabécar Indians, the largest indigenous group in Costa Rica. This is only one of the eight lodge-based activities to choose from. Extending a stay at the lodge (optional) gives visitors even more time to participate in the various experiences offered.
  • When is the best time to go rafting in Costa Rica? 

The Pacuare River (rated among the top 10 rivers in the world by National Geographic) offers 38 Class II-IV rapids over 16 river miles with the caveat that the excitement varies by how high and fast the river is flowing. During the dry season of January to April whitewater rafting in Costa Rica is more sanguine than during the misting and green months of May through December. That said, there can always be unpredictable rainfall any time of year that raises the water levels – and the excitement levels.

  • Is birding a passion?

From a bird watching tour at the Pacaure Lodge, to the Mistico Hanging Bridges tour which boasts over 200 species of birds, to the Manuel Antonio National Park which is home to more than 180 different species visitors will find plenty of rare picture taking opportunities.

  • Interested in surfing? 

Experienced surfers appreciate the bigger waves of September and October on the Pacific Coast. Adrenaline-seeking travelers wanting to take optional surfing lessons while in Manuel Antonio (highly recommended), might appreciate the somewhat tamer surf during the remainder of the year.

  • Do you love authentic wildlife viewing?

You’ll likely find wildlife in Costa Rica no matter when you choose to visit. One of the top destinations on the Western River 9-Day Costa Rica itinerary is the Manuel Antonio National Park. Home to a variety of mammal species, it is a thrill to be personally greeted by multiple curious Mono Titi monkeys on a day tour.

“Our guests experience Costa Rica by the activities they choose, such as river rafting, zip lining over the rainforest canopy and a 3km walk over 15 bridges suspended from the ground to the treetops. But guests are also taken to the base of the Arenal Volcano where they can soak in therapeutic cascading hot springs, through the sights and sounds of primitive rainforests and jungles as well as to Manuel Antonio National Park (named one of the world’s 12 most beautiful national parks by Forbes). This park is home to 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds. Here on the Pacific Ocean are the sandy beaches and gentle surf that fulfill the requirements of a great vacation,” said company CMO Brandon Lake.  

The basic rate is from $3,705 per person, double inclusive of transfers, hotels, activities, 11 meals and most activities. Western River Expeditions’ core Costa Rica program can be arranged for just two people or for up to 25 and can be customized by lengthening or shortening the trip and by adding or deleting activities. Year-round departures on a space-available basis can be tailored to travelers’ schedules. 

The tour utilizes four distinguished properties selected for panache, location and comfort. In the gateway city of San Jose is Hotel Grano de Oro. At Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort guests enjoy a swim-up bar, local and international gourmet cuisine and they are positioned to explore the geology of Arenal Volcano and nearby hot springs. While on the Pacuare River guests enjoy Pacuare Lodge (National Geographic Traveler World’s Best Ecolodge). Tulemar Bungalows (a Travel + Leisure World’s Best award winner) in Manuel Antonio National Park offers and ocean and beaches.

For details please see https://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package.

For more on how Costa Rica weather varies from season to season, see https://www.westernriver.com/costa-rica-vacation-package/weather.

To request a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2019-2020 catalog and for questions, availability and reservations, call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669), or visit the award-winning website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.

About Western River Expeditions

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).

Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for sixteen consecutive years.

Follow Western River Expeditions:

On Facebook:     http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions

On Twitter:         https://twitter.com/WesternRiver

On You Tube:     http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?

On Pinterest:     http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

The Josie Hotel

The Josie Hotel Named Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel at 2019 World Ski AwardsRossland’s ski-in, ski-out boutique resort wins coveted World Ski Award

The Josie Hotel — the Kootenay Rockies’ home base for adventure on RED Mountain — has been awarded Canada’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel in the 2019 World Ski Awards. Canada’s Best Boutique Ski Hotel is one of the most coveted categories in the prestigious World Ski Awards competition. This year, a record number of votes were cast, and The Josie stood apart from the over 1.6 million votes cast by wanderlusters and adventurers alike craving fresh powder and alpine air. Topping it off, the Noble House Hotels & Resorts property was also named one of the top three resorts in the World’s Best New Ski Hotel category. 

Inspired by Rossland’s rugged peaks, lush forests and 3,850 acres of unfettered ski and snowboard trails, The Josie entices those who crave adventure with luxe amenities, personalized service and an unbeatable location — just steps from RED Mountain Resort, one of the top 10 largest ski resorts in North America. Since opening in November 2018, the hotel – situated along the world-renowned Powder Highway – has attracted global interest among ski and snowboard enthusiasts seeking pristine powder and terrain that fulfils adrenaline rushes. 

The World Ski Awards aims to raise the bar within the ski industry by recognizing and rewarding organizations that demonstrate leadership in the field of ski tourism. Votes for the World Ski Awards were cast by professionals working within the ski and snowboard industry, including senior executives, travel buyers, tour operators, agents and media; as well as by consumers with a hunger for winter wanderings. The winners, now considered the best in the world, met at the annual World Ski Awards gala, which took place this year in Kitzbühel, Austria, from November 22 to 24.

“It is such an honour to be named among the best in the world and receive the coveted award of Canada’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel,” said Jesse Crockett, general manager of The Josie. “Sharing Rossland’s story with the world is one of our top priorities — the local culture that is deeply embedded in our hotel is one of the reasons we think we stand out. It’s the rich history and friendly atmosphere (not to mention prime skiing and snowboarding) that brings people to Rossland. It is extremely humbling the World Ski Awards has recognized not only The Josie, but also Rossland, for excellence in ski tourism.”

The Josie invites all who are on the hunt for winter thrills to visit and experience a quintessentially Canadian winter, packed with acres of untouched powder, rolling vistas and warm and luxurious suites to rest one’s head. The uncrowded terrain backed by a landscape of snow-capped peaks and forests will certainly satisfy one’s quest for adventure. Those looking for even more adventure in the backcountry can also take advantage of untouched territory with RED’s one-ride cat ski experience. The cat whisks advanced skiers to areas of Mt. Kirkup inaccessible by chairlift to 1,600 feet of vertical spread across nearly 200 acres; best of all, the thrilling journey won’t break the bank with a one-ride ticket priced at $10. 

To book a winter getaway and experience the heart of the Kootenay Rockies — the epitome of Canadian winter adventures — visit thejosie.com.

About The Josie Hotel:

Experience the true soul exhilaration of living for today at The Josie hotel (The Josie). The Josie is a boutique ski-in/ski-out hotel located at the base of RED Mountain Resort (RED) in Rossland, British Columbia. With 106 guest rooms and suites, crackling fire pits, a premier spa, fitness facility and ski concierge services; The Josie merges boutique accommodations with authentic Red Mountain adventure and the distinct spirit of Rossland. After a day on the slopes, guests can experience The Josie’s signature cedar barrel saunas, which promote muscle relaxation, improved circulation and feel-good endorphins. The destination hotel — named Canada’s Best Boutique Ski Resort in the 2019 World Ski Awards and the second best ski hotel in the 2019 USA 10Best Awards — also boasts more than 1,500 square feet of unique venue space and an adjoining terrace, all with stunning vistas of RED and the Rossland range. The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge (The Velvet), The Josie’s full-service dining establishment, serves locally-inspired craft cooking. To meet The Josie, please visit thejosie.com and follow @thejosiehotel.  

About Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd.:

A privately held company for more than 35 years, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. was founded in 1979 by owner and chairman Patrick R. Colee as a commercial property development group, later transitioning in 1994 to the dynamic hospitality ownership and management company it is today. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington and continuously growing, Noble House owns and manages an upscale portfolio of 18 distinct and visually captivating hotel properties, over 50 hotel restaurants, bars and lounges, the Napa Valley Wine Train, and a collection of spas, marinas, and private residences spanning the U.S. and Canada. Beachfront resorts spanning California and Florida are complimented by luxury retreats in Jackson Hole, Colorado, and British Columbia and balanced with a collection of urban hotels in Seattle, San Francisco, and College Station, Texas. Built upon a philosophy that emphasizes location, distinction, and soul, Noble House Hotels & Resorts dedicates itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that celebrate the local destination that surrounds. For more information, visit NobleHouseHotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877-NOBLE-TRIP.  

About William Cole:

William Cole is a boutique, full-service private real estate development company headquartered in Bryan, Texas. Formed in 1996 and named for the two sons of the founder, William Cole focuses on the development, acquisition, marketing and operation of carefully selected, hospitality-focused real estate including boutique hotels, private golf clubs, wellness facilities and entire master planned communities. From the initial vision through commissioning, William Cole delivers projects of lasting significance to their communities. For more information, visit WilliamColeInc.com or call William Cole Inc. at 281-580-2085.  

National tree lighting , 360 MAGAZINE

Nat’l Tree Lighting

The 97th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting held on the Ellipse in President’s Park (home to the White House) is taking place onDecember 5th! Co-presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, the tree lighting is a timeless tradition that brings everyone together to celebrate and reflect on favorite holiday memories.

A part of the #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque movement, this special event inspires visitors to incorporate national parks into their holiday traditions. This year, alongside additional performers, country music star Jessie James Decker will be hosting and performing at the holiday event where attendees will get to experience the living, 30-foot Colorado blue spruce National Christmas Tree from Pennsylvania. In addition, there will be 56 smaller trees featuring one-of-a-kind ornaments that represent every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia.

The lighting will be broadcasted on Ovation and REELZ on Monday, December 9th (8:00PM ET on REELZ and 9:00PM ET on Ovation).

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.