Posts tagged with "wanderlust"

Eco-tourism

Eco-tourism: the sexy growing trend in travel

Traveling the world, while saving the planet – sounds too good to be true. Yet, eco-tourism – travel intended to support conservation efforts while enjoying nature – dates back to the 70s and has been growing in popularity in recent years.

The trend’s resurgence takes shape as sustainability and green living are becoming the buzzwords of the 21st century. So much so that a recent study shows that responsible travel is outpacing overall growth in the trillion-dollar-plus tourism industry.

Many are skeptical of the recent boom in eco-tourism’s popularity, questioning the motives of travelers journeying to obscure places through programs that conserve sea turtles, whales, even rhinos and chimpanzees. However, no matter the rationale behind travelers’ decisions to book an eco-driven trip, the positive outcome of these programs on the environment is undeniable, when properly organized. By simply traveling to the world’s parks and reserves, tourists are helping to protect those wilderness areas by paying park fees and contributing to a local economy that supports conservation efforts. For more adventurous travelers, however, there are charitable opportunities for scuba divers and nature explorers alike to get involved while taking a well-deserved getaway.

Expeditioners can dive into the epicenter of global marine biodiversity aboard a liveaboard ship in Raja Ampat, explore the “soft coral capital of the world” in Fiji, or travel to Kenya and gain an insider’s look at wildlife conservation in the savannas and seas of the region.

Last year alone, Oceanic Society, America’s oldest non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, saw more than 1,400 hours of conservation-related volunteering logged by its travelers.

Founded in 1969, the organization leads more than 40 trips annually, with destinations across 16 countries, to ensure there is a trip for any interested traveler to help improve ocean health by deepening their connections with nature. Oceanic Society also leads whale watching expeditions in the San Francisco Bay area nearly every weekend of the year.

By participating in an eco-tourism expedition, participants become an active member in a global effort to build a healthy future for the oceans and environment. And who wouldn’t love a vacation that has an added feel-good bonus to it?

Sports Tours International Spring Marathons

Sports Tours International Invites Runners to Back-to-Back April 2019 Marathons in Rome and Paris

Two European capitals are gearing up for April 2019 when hordes of marathoners create their own spectacles while running through the ancient streets first of Rome and a few days later of Paris.

In 2018, the two cities combined hosted some 56,000 runners who took up the challenge of cobblestone streets and promenades flanked by some of the world’s most remarkable antiquities and architecture.

Sports Tours International, the pros at securing hotel packages and entry into prestigious running and cycling events around the globe, again this spring has lined up hotels (breakfasts included) convenient to the marathons and the services of its seasoned reps who will pamper and prep runners in advance of these events.

Rome Marathon 2019 is first up on Sunday, April 7. Every year 16,000 runners from over 130 countries come to Rome to explore ancient ruins such as the Roman Forum and the Colosseum during the Maratona di Roma weekend. Runners may obtain in advance a three-night (April 6-8) plan that includes overnight accommodations for three nights at the four-star Mercure Centro Colosseo, daily breakfasts, local assistance and a pasta party with beverages. The per person rate is from £529. Sports Tours International can also book entry into the marathon from now through Feb. 28 at £75 and from March 1-25 at £85. For details see here.

After running in the Eternal City, marathoners have until April 12 to get to the City of Lights for Paris Marathon 2019 on April 14. Sports Tours International stands ready to arrange accommodation in other places along the way. In Paris itself packages are available for two, three or four nights with two hotel options from £219 per person. With accommodation and daily breakfast come running rep services and guaranteed entry into the race. An early booking entry fee available for a limited time is £75 per entry. Staff service on the Paris Marathon includes a Marathon race briefing, daily hotel visits, an escorted trip to the Marathon Expo on Friday and Saturday and an escorted trip to the Marathon start.

The Paris Marathon, attracting over 40,000 runners annually, was established in 1977 during the beginning of a craze for big city, international marathons. There are now more than 23,000 runners from abroad, making up 40 percent of the field. The 26.2-mile running and sightseeing journey begins on one of the world’s most famous streets, Les Champs Elysées. From the foot of the Arc de Triomphe the route heads towards the Place de la Concorde. From the Rue de Rivoli runners sweep through the Place de la Bastille. Then comes a glimpse of greenery in the Bois de Vincennes which has views of Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower before reaching the finish line on the Avenue Foch.

Sports Tours International’s operations executive Simon is a huge fan of this race. Find out why he loves it here.

For Paris Marathon packages please see here.

Sports Tours International suggests booking race packages early. For more information, available packages, space availability and reservations please visit online, email: sales@sportstoursinternational.co.uk, or call: (+44) 161 703 8161.

Sports Tours International is Europe’s leading specialist in sports travel. Since inception in 1973 they have hosted thousands of participants and spectators at major sporting events worldwide. With the tagline, Our experience will make yours, the company’s initial roots came from a devotion to running when founder Vince Regan began taking runners to the NYC Marathon. Since the early 2000s, the company now embraces international cycling events, triathlon competitions, sports training camps and corporate hospitality.

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French Renaissance Anniversary

WEILL TO REPRESENT LOIRE VALLEY TOURISM BOARD FOR THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FRENCH RENAISSANCE

Geoffrey Weill Associates has been appointed US public relations representative of the Loire Valley Tourism Board, on behalf of Atout France, the France Tourism Development Agency, to promote the 500th Anniversary of the French Renaissance this year.

The year 1519 symbolically marked the start of the Renaissance, on the occasion of the death of Leonardo da Vinci at Amboise, the start of the construction of the Château of Chambord and the birth of Catherine de’ Medici in Florence. To mark the anniversary, the Loire Valley region, considered the birthplace of the French Renaissance, will celebrate the artistic, cultural, scientific and intellectual developments of this period with a number of celebrations held throughout 2019.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Loire Valley Tourism Board and Atout France to promote the celebration of such a fascinating period of history in France to travelers,” says Geoffrey Weill. “France is one of our favorite destinations in the world, and we are honored to have been invited to be a part of such a significant anniversary.”

Highlights in the Loire Valley region will include a large traveling digital show mixing contemporary artistic and musical creations, an international architecture competition, numerous exhibitions held in and around the châteaux of the Loire Valley and a variety of guided tours, banquets and international symposia.

To learn more about Geoffrey Weill Associates’ complete list of clients, visit their website.

Grand Dame Hotel Opening

WORLD’S MOST NORTHERLY “GRAND DAME”  HOTEL SET TO RELAUNCH APRIL 1

WEILL TO HANDLE PR FOR NORWAY’S BRITANNIA HOTEL TRONDHEIM

First opened in 1870 to welcome aristocratic Britons in search of the world’s best salmon fishing, Trondheim’s Britannia Hotel will reopen on April 1 after a multi-year $160 million renovation. The fjord city of Trondheim, located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, is Norway’s third-largest city, home to 200,000.

Britannia Hotel is a striking domed white building that has been the world’s most northerly luxurious “palace” hotel for 150 years. It has welcomed distinguished guests from presidents to Nobel Prize winners, to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, to Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

The rebirth of the Britannia is the brainchild of Norwegian financier, Odd Reitan, who was born in Trondheim in 1951 and who, at age 14, developed the dream of owning the hotel. He features prominently in the Forbes and Bloomberg lists of global billionaires.

“We are thrilled to have been asked to represent this extraordinary hotel,” says Geoffrey Weill, “adding it to our inventory of some of the world’s most spectacular privately owned ‘grand hotels.'”

A member of Leading Hotels of the World, the Britannia will offer 246 rooms and 11 suites, six restaurants and bars – including its original Palm Court, a spa, gym and indoor swimming pool. The hotel will offer guests the latest technology, sound-proofing, TV’s concealed within mirrors, as well as amenities and lighting that are easily understood and operated.

The Britannia will be a celebration of cutting-edge Norwegian and Scandinavian design and artworks. Beds are by the celebrated Swedish handmade bedmaker, Hästens. Bathrooms are a feast of Carrara marble.

At the heart of the Britannia will be the glass-domed Palm Court, first unveiled in 1918 and long Trondheim’s meeting place for socialites, artists, musicians and intellectuals. The reborn Palm Court will host breakfast, lunch, brunch, afternoon tea and dinner – offering creative Scandinavian fare.

The Britannia’s culinary arts are overseen by Christopher Davidsen, born in the Norwegian city of Stavanger in 1983 and Silver medal winner of the cherished Bocuse d’Or in 2017. Davidsen’s prime focus will be the elegant Speilsalen, his first signature restaurant. The Brasserie Britannia will be classic French, inspired by Paris and Lyon and by New York’s Balthazar. The Jonathan Grill is a casual restaurant specializing in Japanese, Korean and Norwegian specialties. The marble and crystal Britannia Bar is expected to become overnight Trondheim’s chicest cocktail bar and lounge.

The Vinbaren wine bar – with its 8,000-bottle cellar – will provide a lounge, tasting room and bar offering tapas, charcuterie and cheeses.

The Britannia Spa & Fitness features a large indoor pool, several saunas, five treatment rooms and personal trainers. The hotel will also offer state-of-the-art conference and ballroom facilities.

To learn more about Geoffrey Weill Associates’ complete list of clients, visit: www.geoffreyweill.com.

Ice Culture

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture

Art, Music & Lit from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture explores the beauty and mystery of our world’s ice, and reveals the necessity of ice to our human survival. The project explores the traditions and cultures of people connected to ice from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and raises vital concerns about climate change that can no longer be ignored. As climate change affects the weather and composition of our planet, our ice continues to melt. This reality affects all of us, regardless of where we live.

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents: Ice Culture, a website and literary magazine publication, features art, music and literature by artists living and working in Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Germany, US and more. Mixing poetry, essays, interviews, visual art and sound art, the project explores the myriad of ways ice touches our lives.

Ice Culture celebrates the physical and spiritual nature of ice. Ice has soul. It has a song. Ice radiates; it glows. It’s precious. Ice is a resource. Ice Culture showcases ice in all of its forms, from majestic glaciers to ice-carved musical instruments.

The collection features literature that includes poetry exploring Sami cultural traditions and the effects of climate change by Vivian Faith Prescott and an essay detailing the experience of a scientific mission in Antarctica; original musical compositions by Jósep Gíslason (Iceland) and a DJ mix inspired by Langjökull, the second biggest glacier in Iceland, curated by FM Belfast drummer Ívar Pétur Kjartansson (Iceland); interviews with indie singer/songwriter and star of the AMC show “The Terror,” Nive Nielsen (Greenland) and ice musician and co-founder of the annual Ice Music Festival, Terje Isungset (Norway); as well as interviews with artist residency programs in the Arctic Circle and Antarctica.

Huba-Huba Cambodia

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Cameron Michael Parkes was born in Vancouver, Canada (in British Columbia). He graduated from the University of Calgary, majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in petroleum. While working at a consulting firm, the oil prices dropped and he used his severance package to travel the world.

Throughout his two year journey in Southeast Asia, he found himself at Koh Rong Samloem – a small island just off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Two main places to stay are Saracen Bay (dense more modern filled with tourists) or Mpei Bay (rustic village area with tons of locals). After a few weeks in both places, Cameron decides to trench through the hot and sticky jungle (with snakes, wild monkeys and insects) to the most desolate yet serene part of the island, Sunset Beach. He quickly becomes acquainted with paradise and decides to plant his feet at Huba-Huba where he enjoys perfect sunsets with unobstructed sea views.

After a brief trip to Sri Lanka, he returns to Huba-Huba to discover that the owner’s husband had passed in a tragic motorcycle accident. The widow offered to sell and Cameron decided to purchase. Looking back he says, “I like the beach-jungle vibe which isn’t perfect. I love this spot. Right on the beach, beautiful bay, monkeys come around, geckos.”

Huba-Huba Cambodia

Situated at the end of the beach, it contains 4 bungalows, 1 family bungalow, 4 private double rooms and 1 dorm – 8 beds and 3 tents. Their kitchen is armed with one of the best cooks on the entire island. Their “BBQ Nights” serve up sensational samplers of pork ribs, tofu, prawns and chicken. Polite waitstaff, heavy handed mixologists and free painting station where you can repurpose instruments as well as pieces of wood to build a sculpture from scratch. Snorkeling gear is available for rental.

Sleeping Trees owned by Yves Chalot

Yves (a notable bartender from Brittany) came to Sunset Beach as a dive instructor and fell in love. One day after speaking with his bosses, he discovers a beachfront property for rent. Then he invites his brother (a carpenter) and they decided to erect ‘Sleeping Trees.’ The name derived from only having tree tents and the idea of ‘sleep in’ trees arose. The vacation area has two newly renovated bungalows, four tipis and four tree tents. Each space can accommodate up to two people. In addition, there’s a 4-room dorm which can host eight. At the present moment, both owners want to focus on better gardening and overall aesthetics of the property. Best attributes are their crepes, homemade rum shots and Reggae Night on Saturdays.

Robinson Bungalows

Sebastian Straub, former social worker in Switzerland, has now owned the property for 5 years alongside of his wife Julia. Their location is pet-friendly and includes 7 bungalows and 7 tipis. Each bungalow is constructed from wood with straw rooves perfect for a cozy and tropical stay. Their reimaginged family bungalow or ‘Cozy Kikki Lu’ is an ideal choice for guests seeking modern-like amenities. Tents make for a perfect glamping experience since they’re about thirty feet from the ocean. We enjoyed soaking up the sun in one of the 20 hammocks on the premises. Take advantage of the full bar and $1 beers during happy hour. The onsite restaurant takes advantage of seasonal local produce and fresh catches when possible. Our favorite menu items were the English breakfast, hearty fruit bowls, red snapper and barbecued pork & chicken skewer. You may enjoy meals upstairs (two-stories high) in an outdoor covered dining patio and/or at the beach bar. Every morning, a taxi boat for guests cost $10 to go to the city and is easily accessible.

Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Karlo and Parisa Zahipour Moarefi both came from Austria, borrowed money from friends and invested in Sunboo. There are 6 Bungalows and a dorm with 8 beds. The beach or garden bungalows have ceiling fans and newly renovated bathrooms and sinks. With a strong Italian influence, everyday dining is delightful. For breakfast they make french toast, pancakes, crispy bacon and homemade baguettes. For lunch fresh gnocchi, burgers and triple fried french fries. The dinner menu is westernized with our favorite thin crust pizza. And of course the Sunboo beach bar is the party area where we sip and socialize. One of the only establishments which serve wine on Sunset Beach.

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop

They offer a full array of outdoor activities on the island with two locations – Saracen Bay and Sunset Beach. We took their half-day diving class (for all levels) and their master instructors were extremely attentive. The rock climbing experience offers amazing views of the sea. Kayaking trips are a must-try with a guide to discover the wonderful island and underwater world. The most intriguing activity on the island is the nighttime plankton tour which allows one to witness and capture their bioluminescence.

Lazy Beach Resort

A private tropical hideaway on Koh Rong Samloem. The vacation area has 1 private beach, 22 bungalows and 1 guest house. The wooden bungalows all have two large double beds, en-suite bathrooms and a spacious balcony offering waters edge views of the warm tropical ocean. Paddle boarding is one of the most popular activities to do, but also board games, snorkeling and dive sites. The infamous bar is a must visit with the number one drink being the ‘Bahama Mama.’ All sorts of signature drinks like brown and white rum malibu, grenadine and juices. This private beach getaway is breathtaking.

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

The most amazing experience on the island and also its highest point. We recommend you take a taxi boat to the drop-off or trail which leads up to the lighthouse. Rumored to have been an old military watch tower, the views are spectacular. Be prepared to climb at least 7 to 8 stories to the top. The smell inside the lighthouse is a tad overwhelming and rancid. Be willing to pay at least $1-3 USD for the private tour. That price does not include the taxi boat.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 magazine, Huba-Huba cambodia

Vaughn Lowery on a taxi boat to Mpei Bay

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 magazine, Cambodia

Ping pong at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Koh rong samloem lighthouse, Cambodia, koh rong sanloem lighthouse, 360 magazine

Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Vaughn Lowery dives w/ Sunset Adventures

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, southeast Asia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sleeping Trees at Sunset Beach

Koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sunset at Sunset Beach

Sunset adventures dive shop on sunset beach,  koh rong samloem,  Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Sunset Adventures Dive Shop on Sunset Beach

Sleeping trees, sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 MAGAZINE

Inside Sleeping Trees newly renovated bungalow

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia,  360 magazine

Sleeping Trees tipi

Owners of sunboo bungalows, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Owners of Sunboo Beach Bungalows

Sleeping trees sunset beach, koh rong samloem, Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Sweet & sour tofu at Sleeping Trees

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tempura battered chicken at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Robinson bungalows, 360 MAGAZINE

English breakfast at Robinson Bungalows

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Huba-Huba Cambodia staff member

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Tents at Huba-Huba Cambodia

Cameron Michael Parkes, Huba-Huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Cameron Michael Parkes of Huba-Huba Cambodia

Huba-huba Cambodia, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor area at Huba-Huba Cambodia

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TRIBAL TRAVEL × MENDO STYLE

TREND IN MULTI-GENERATIONAL AND SKIP-GEN TRAVEL ON UPSWING AS FAMILIES MINE MOMENTS VERSUS MEMES; DISCONNECT TO RECONNECT IS THE NEW FAMILY MANTRA

– FROM RANCH STAYS TO LUXURY BUY-OUTS, MENDOCINO COUNTY OFFERS A VARIETY OF OPTIONS –

Families today are seeking more than sand and sea to check off the annual vacation list. According to U.S. Travel & World Report+, multigenerational vacations continue to be the leading industry-wide trend in 2017/2018 with education, culture and nature-based trips taking a front seat. National parks are high on the to-do list as well, providing groups with a serene backdrop to reflect and reconnect.

From luxury lodges to working ranches and cozy cabins kissed by ancient redwoods, Mendocino County is the ideal playground for this growing getaway trend. Sporting 90 miles of classic California shoreline, 24 state and national parks and a creative line-up of lodging options and excursions, this Northern California destination is big on bonding, be it with Mother Nature or Aunt Nellie. www.VisitMendocino.com.

+U.S. Travel & World Report – Nine Travel Trends to Watch in 2017/2018.

JUST ADD WATER

Set along Scenic Highway 1 in the hamlet of Elk (population: 208), the new Harbor House Inn is an ideal buy-out with nine guestrooms, a head-turning chef (Matt Kammerer/Saison, San Francisco), 30-seat restaurant and a line-up of activities keen on keeping kids off the tablet and into the tribe.   Built in 1916 as a luxury escape shrouded by ancient redwood forests, the inn debuts in May 2018 with staggering Pacific views, guestrooms set in a modern palette and bespoke excursions including group fungi foraging, sea kayaking, horseback riding and morning yoga. www.theharborhouseinn.com.

Fort Bragg’s newest gem – Noyo Harbor Inn – is ready for its close-up with 15 guestrooms and the added plus of an ideal base for local exploring. Extended families will feel at home here with rich cherry wood interiors, original oil paintings and commanding views of the working harbor. The lively restaurant focuses on fish-to-fork and a variety of seasonal activities – from whale watching to sea kayaking, foraging, hiking and rebooting among the redwoods – round out a visit. In nearby Fort Bragg, scouting Glass Beach, horseback riding at Richochet Ranch or an optional tastingat North Coast Brewing Company is on tap for the adults on board. www.noyoharborinn.com.

For a slice of vintage California beat it to Big Bend Lodge and cabins. Set in northern Mendocino County, the remote resort is the ideal Rx for families seeking a reboot. The private drive delivers nine 1940s cottage-style lodgings with colorful kitschy interiors, decks, barbeques and fully equipped kitchens. Set on the south fork of the Eel River, this is the spot to relive those retro family forays or create new ones. On site is the requisite deep swimming hole, old oak tree swing and miles of meandering river for all-day floats; what’s purposely missing are televisions, Wi-Fi and cell service making a stay here truly unplugged. www.bigbendlodge.com.

Pack those boots and a pole and head inland via Mendocino’s Inspiration Highway (101) north of Ukiah to Leonard Lake Reserve. Here families can nurture among nature on 4,000 acres of private property and Mendocino County’s largest natural lake. Think bass tourneys, naturalist hikes, ‘smores and star gazing. A variety of cabins and guest lodgings dot the site, accommodating up to 50. Morning hikes to the nearby falls are a perfect starter, as are day games on the expansive grounds. www.leonardlakereservellc.com.

RENT THE RANCH

Families with fat wallets will find solace along the sea at The Inn at Newport Ranch, a new 2,000-acre private preserve and cattle ranch fusing luxury lodging with off-the-charts pampering.   Set along the Pacific just north of Fort Bragg, the inn offers seven unique guestrooms, an onsite chef and dining room seating 28, daily ATV tours, horseback riding and daily alfresco wine and canapes as the sun sets.  An architectural passion project, the main guesthouse features heavy use of custom redwood paneling up to five feet wide with flooring set in 30-inch old growth redwood planks.  Design standouts include a 20-foot wide walk-in stone fireplace, a building supported by 24 individual redwood trees from base to cathedral-like ceiling and hot tub perched atop of the water tower with commanding views of sea. For children under 14, full two-day buy-out required. www.theinnatnewportranch.com.

At the other end of the dollar drop is Howard Creek Ranch, an 1867 Registered Historic

Site and heavenly hideaway set on 60 oceanfront acres just north of Westport. An original land grant for sheep and cattle farming, today, horses, sheep, llama and pygmy goats graze the pastures. The ultimate family fun camp, the ranch offers award-winning gardens, fireplaces and wood stoves, a 75-foot swinging foot bridge, hot tubs, hiking, sauna, massage, horseback riding and the warm embrace of 1,000-year old redwood trees. On site are nine guest accommodations set in a meandering 1871 farmhouse as well as a smattering of private cottages overlooking the sea with large comfortable beds, antiques and a sumptuous daily cowboy breakfast. www.howardcreekranch.com.

PLOW FOR CHOW

For a return-to-roots foray with a strong farm-to-table ethos, Emandal sits on 1,000 prime acres. Set along three miles of the meandering Eel River, this nature-driven camp is an ideal safety net for families offering seasonal Farm Stays (a lively farm chore program including daily egg gathering, cow milking, berry picking, vegetable harvesting and pickling), Art Camp and Family Camps. The secluded 19 redwood cabins built between 1910 and 1925 set the stage for a fun group environment complete with daily meals, cold spring running water, electricity and absolutely no cell service. The back-to-basics balance includes plenty of time to swim, play games and scout more than 1,000 miles of dedicated hiking trails. www.emandal.com.

Inland in Ukiah Valley, Yokayo Ranch is a laid back California-style working ranch retreat set on 40 pristine acres. Rent the ranch – which can accommodate 20+ overnight – and dig into the adjoining Yokayo Roots Farm, a farm-to-table experience tilled by draft horses, or a day of yoga, hiking and barbeque under the stars.   Nearby, adults can mine the multitude of local wineries, visit the home of Seabiscuit at Ridgewood Ranch or meander deep into the outback to Orr Hot Springs for a soak in full-out serenity. www.yokayoranch.com.

Just two hours north of San Francisco Bay Area in bucolic Potter Valley, the Oak Granary steps up with 300 acres of rolling hills, diverse wildland, mixed conifer forests and a working ranch community driven by nature-based learning. Located one half mile from Mendocino National Forest, visitors can commune with tule elk, giant redwoods and oak savannah or visit the Learning Garden for a lesson about our ecological food chain from seed to table. This nonprofit environmental education center is certain to feed the minds of any budding naturalist. The rustic-chic facilities include a Farm House (sleeps 10), Hill House (sleeps 4) and classic steel dairy barn for larger events. www.oakgranary.org.

INTO THE REDWOODS

Off the tablet and into the woods… late 2017 marked the debut of The Brambles, a contradictory no-camp campground experience set on 12 acres in the heart of an ancient redwood grove. Located in the small enclave of Philo, off wine-centric Highway 128 in Anderson Valley, this new outpost – with a keen eye for the environment – features two original Homestead and Logging Cabins nestled below a towering redwood grove. The Front Door and Back Porch (each sleeps two) offer stunning views of Burly Grove and its most curious feature, the Pachyderm Tree.  Up Mill Ridge and overlooking the lush forest, Faller’s Cabin (sleeps two) and the Logger’s Cabin (sleeps four) round out the current guest accommodations. Coming soon, guests will bewowed by a creative mix of additional tree houses, bungalows and cabin lodgings set in a late 1800s stick and shingle style architecture sporting a Steampunk design influence. www.themadrones.com/the-brambles.

Continue north and slither into Mendocino Magic, the stop for glamping under the stars. Set on a private 600-acre reserve, sites include hot outdoor showers, solar lighting, queen sized beds with linens and plenty of redwood power. There are 15 diverse camp themes to choose from including Bucket Pond and Bear Mountain, offering just the right Rx for extended tribes ready to dive into dense forests, lily ponds and refreshing streams. www.mendocinomagic.com.

In its second year following a full sell-out, Mendocino Grove is the stop for modern camping with an edge. Tucked on 37 redwood-rich acres just a quarter mile from the village of Mendocino, this unplug-meets-unreal outpost boasts 60 safari-style tents, fully outfitted comfy queen beds, down comforters, cotton linens and sling back chairs. For larger groups, the Family Tents offer a queen plus twins or bunk beds (sleeps six). Each tent is housed on a wooden platform with a redwood deck, leather butterfly-chairs and enough space to call it your own. Hot showers, gas barbeques, picnic tables, fire rings and activities such as bocce ball, horse shoes, hiking and hammock time are also on tap. www.mendocinogrove.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, visit www.VisitMendocino.com.

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Mendocino County

Louvre Abu Dhabi

By Amardeep Singh

ART FINDS A NEW HOME AT THE NEWEST LOUVRE

Art enthusiasts, culture lovers and historical aficionados welcomed the much awaited additions to the Louvre’s latest subset which opened recently in Abu Dhabi. The Emirate is a compendium of vast cultures and ethnicities from Europe, Asia and Africa.

Situated at the coastal strip of the Emirate, the Museum is renowned for its exquisite French design and centuries old heritage of the Arab world.

A brainchild of the Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi was inaugurated on November 8, 2017 and took inspiration from Abu Dhabi’s idyllic virgin lagoon island, Saadiyat designing a façade that brilliantly depicts the chronological journey of the world, aptly characterizing the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection.
The 55 buildings that make up the museum city are all designed to withstand harsh desert conditions. With more than twenty galleries, journey through twelve chronological chapters as you travel through centuries of world civilization. The Louvre Abu Dhabi also has a section demarcated for children, where they can use interactive aids to understand the many layers of history. Within the museum grounds, architect Nouvel has brilliantly designed a café, as well as an open plaza.

But Abu Dhabi’s cultural sector doesn’t just want to stop there. The Museum is soon to welcome the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi as well. Some of the star attractions include:-
La Belle Ferronnière, aslo known as, Portrait of an Unknown Lady by Leonardo da Vinci
The portrait of Napoleon by David
La Gare Saint-Lazare by Claude Monet
Portrait of a Lady by Pablo Picasso
Self -portrait by Vincent van Gogh

Statue of Gudea, Prince of Lagash, Praying
Monumental Statue with Two Heads
• Page of the ‘Blue Qur’an
Fountain of Light

https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/

COACHELLA 2018 LINEUP + MORE

SEE THE WEEKND, BEYONCÉ, EMINEM AND MORE AT COACHELLA

The Coachella lineup is here, and we couldn’t be more excited to head back to Indio this April. We hope you’ll join us! Travel Packages are on sale now, along with a limited amount of on-site lodging packages and Platinum Estates. Explore available Valley Music Travel offerings and the lineup below!

BOOK YOUR TRAVEL PACKAGE NOW

Enjoy the comfort and ease of a Coachella Travel Package, including a three night stay at one of our participating hotels, GA or VIP festival passes, and shuttle transportation between your hotel and Coachella all weekend long.

ALREADY HAVE FESTIVAL PASSES?

 

Valley Music Travel also offers shuttle transportation for those traveling to the action from LAX or select local hotels/landmarks. LAX shuttle passes are on sale now, and Any Line, Anytime shuttle passes go on sale to the public on Friday, January 5 at 12PM PT. Looking for a place to stay overnight? Great local hotel rates are currently available via Coachella’s Official Hotel Accommodations Provider, Curadora, for Weekend 1 and Weekend 2.