Posts Tagged ‘family travel’

Lake Mojave and Cottonwood Cove Resort’s Eco-Dive and Environmental Clean Up Day

Lake Mojave

Lake Mojave’s Cottonwood Cove and Marina

We like a good cause related adventure and in the spirit of keeping our natural habitat looking and functioning great, Forever Resorts, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the area SCUBA diving community, will host its annual Eco-Dive and Environmental Clean-up Day at Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina. It’s a chance for eco-conscious individuals to come out and help clean up the marina, the dock, and surrounding beach areas with others who share their passion for preserving the beauty of our National Park lands.

Did we also mention you can rent houseboats? There’s something Wild West on the Water about Houseboats, isn’t there?

More than 19,500 pounds of debris have been collected over the last seven clean-up days at Cottonwood Cove—that’s nearly 10 tons of trash. Individuals wishing to volunteer for Clean-up Day should remember to wear loose fitted or layered clothing closed toed shoes, sunglasses/hat, and sunscreen. Tools and bags will be provided. The first 100 participants to arrive will receive t-shirts and all who register will be entered in a raffle to receive prizes.

WHEN:
Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015

EVENT OVERVIEW:
7:30 a.m. –  Registration

8:30 a.m. – Land volunteer safety meeting and departure

8:45 a.m. – Diver safety meeting and departure

9:30 to 10:30 a.m. – Harbor closure for first dive; land volunteers on beaches

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. – snack/water break

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Harbor closure for second dive; land volunteers on beaches

11:30 a.m. – BBQ begins for land volunteers

12:30 p.m. – BBQ for divers

1 to 2 p.m. – Raffle and giveaways

WHERE:
Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina on Lake Mohave
Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada
Located 14 miles east of Searchlight, Nev.

Directions to Cottonwood Cove from Las Vegas:
Take US-93 S/US-95 S, and the get off at the exit toward Searchlight, NV. Merge onto US-95. Turn left at W. Cottonwood Cove Road.

Directions to Cottonwood Cove from Laughlin, Nev.:
Go North on NV-163, turn slight right onto US-95. Turn right at W. Cottonwood Cove Rd.

Directions to Cottonwood Cove  from Southern California:
Take 15-N toward Las Vegas. Take the exit for Hwy 164-E (Nipton Rd) toward Searchlight. Hwy 164 turns into Cottonwood Cove Road

www.CottonwoodCoveResort.com

Embracing the Outdoors This Winter

Someone has a taste for snow

Someone has a taste for snow

Even in winter, national wildlife refuges hold infinite pleasures and surprises for nature lovers. Ducks and geese in profusion, a furtive red fox darting past, animal prints stamped clearly in the ground, the creaking of trees in the cold. So, we thought, what better way to flex your eco-adventuring muscles than to try exploring some trails by snowshoe or take a wildlife tour … on a horse-drawn sleigh. Whatever your mode of transportation, national wildlife refuges will make the outing unique (not to mention visually inspiring).

So, warm up at one of a host of special National Wildlife Refuge events – from wreath-making workshops to wildlife presentations – and make the most of this time of year.

Winter Photography Lecture and Hike
Saturday, January 4, 9:30 a.m. to noon — Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN
Taking photos in winter can be a challenge. Learn how to set your camera to keep skin tones true and the snow from looking dingy grey. The lecture will also cover shooting techniques, shooting locations and how to stay warm and protect your gear. Bring any type of camera and warm winter clothing.

Winter Bird Count for Kids
Saturday, January 4, 8 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
Young Birders in its 4th annual event for kids. The event will include presentations, an introduction to eBird, and a tally rally with hot pizza and beverages.

Game Day Sunday
Sundays, January 5 and 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Enjoy fun, educational games for the whole family in the Discovery Room.  Try your skill at “Bird-opoly” or perhaps you might get “Caught in a Web” with insect trivia. No reservations are required. First-come, first-served. Games for ages 5+.

Bird Walk: Winter Waterfowl and Other Birds
Sunday, January 9, 9 a.m. to noon — John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, PA
Join a free, guided bird walk, featuring waterfowl, woodpeckers, sparrows, raptors and herons.  Bring binoculars or borrow them from the visitor center. No experience necessary.

All About Snakes
Saturday, January 11, 10 a.m. — Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Learn about snakes from an expert in this Second Saturday nature program.

2nd Annual Festival of the Cranes  
Saturday, January 11, 8 a.m. — Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, AL
See thousands of wintering sandhill cranes as well as whooping cranes and white pelicans. Enjoy refuge tours, birding workshops, nature walks, live raptors and kids’ activities.

Marsh Bird Walk
Sundays, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, CA
Explore native birds and raptors with a guided walk at Sweetwater Marsh. Meet at the Living Coast Discovery Center (LCDC) entrance. While the refuge is free to enter, this guided tour with LCDC docents requires LCDC admission ($14).

Second Saturday Nature Programs
Saturday, January 11 — Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, TX
Enjoy a free nature program about the snakes of north Texas. The program includes an indoor talk and a brief field trip on the refuge.

Photo Workshop
Saturday, January 11, 10 to 11 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Learn tips and tricks to great wildlife photography from visitor services staff. Get the inside track on the best locations for refuge photos during this auditorium program. After the program, take advantage of a special photo op.

Bird Walk
Sunday, January 12, 9 to 11 a.m. — Humboldt Bay Wildlife Refuge, CA
Take a free guided bird hike with Audubon Society walk leaders. Borrow binoculars; share the walk leader’s spotting scope. Bird walks usually cover a distance of about two miles. Beginners are welcome.

Wichita Mountains Eagle Watch    
January and February dates TBD, 1:30 to 4 p.m. — Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, OK
Enjoy an interpretive program at refuge headquarters, followed by a bus tour to search for bald and golden eagles. Children must be 8 or older. Wheelchair accommodations can be made by request. Reserve beginning December 31:  580-429-2151. Bring binoculars if possible.

Snowshoe Clinic 
Saturday, January 18, 9 a.m. to noon — Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, MA
Join Sudbury Valley Trustees and Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) of Acton, Marlborough, and Northborough for a snowshoe clinic at Memorial Forest in Sudbury. EMS will provide snowshoes and instructions for those who need them. Space is limited. Sign up early.
SVT’s Memorial Forest includes the southern unit of Assabet River Refuge. Register here.

Wildlife Viewing Tours
Saturday, January 18 to Sunday, January 19, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. — Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, CO
Let a naturalist be your guide for this family-friendly bus tour. See bison, hawks, eagles, deer and more in a winter landscape.

Bird Watching Trek
Monday, January 20, 8 to 10 a.m. — Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, MN
The Wilkie Unit is a great place to see winter birds. Trumpeter swans, sucks, rough-legged hawks, bald eagles, and northern shrikes have overwintered here in the past. Bring your binoculars and favorite field guide.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival 
January 22 –27, Eastern Florida State College, Titusville, FL
The 17th annual event is billed as the largest birding and wildlife festival in the United States. . Festival includes field trips to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

Eagle Watch    
On selected Saturdays in January. Dates TBD, 9 a.m. — Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, OK
After an orientation at the refuge office, take a guided bus tour to see nests through scopes. Contact: 918-773-5271.

Belize’s Exotic Eco-Adventures

Belize's Xunantunich Ruins

There are many exotic sights and extraordinary wonders to be witnessed across the far flung destinations on the planet, but people rarely have the time to travel to the remote reaches of the world.  It’s hard enough to find a long weekend, let alone the trips that take to you to beaches unexplored or ruins buried in the jungle. So, with that in mind, when we heard about Absolute Belize we wanted to hear more. Absolute Belize specializes in crafting spectacular and unique travel itineraries and creating authentic Belizean experiences for travelers who are seeking something out of the ordinary. Another great selling point…  for Americans, Belize is a much shorter flight and an English speaking destination.

Whale Sharks in Belize

For those who are searching for the best diving in the world and have always wanted to witness the Great Barrier Reef, Absolute Belize also offers itineraries to experience the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and three of the four major atolls in the Caribbean, including the famous Blue Hole. During the full moons between March and June, Whale Sharks, usually seen in South Africa or Indonesia, migrate off the coast of Belize. Whale Sharks are the world’s largest fish, growing to an enormous 50 feet in length. Witnessing these magnificent creatures is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  The Belizean waters are teeming with marine life in all sizes and shapes, including 70 types of hard corals and nearly 500 species of fish – truly a diver’s paradise.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

People talk about the 100-year anniversary of the rediscover of Machu Picchu and the fascinating Incan culture, but December 2012 is also the end of the Mayan calendar so it would also be an amazing time to see the Mayan sites in Belize. The Maya civilization spread into the area of Belize between 1500BC and 200AD and flourished until about 1200AD. Several major archeological sites—notably Caracol, Lamanai, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich—reflect the advanced civilization.

A Full Moon under Belize Skies

Despite being an endangered species, Manatees are also widely present in the waters of Belize. Swallow Caye has been declared a wildlife sanctuary and serves to protect the manatees and other marine life that call this habitat home.

An Aerial View of Ambergris Caye, Belize

Is seeing the Aurora Borealis a dream?  What about an equally spectacular light show? A nighttime snorkel off the island of Ambergris Caye is not to be missed – view the nocturnal creatures of the underwater world and witness them flashing their bioluminescence, where hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates use chemicals within their bodies to produce light.

All of these amazing adventures in one nearby destination! And great resorts to stay at as well.

Black Jaguars of Belize

Widely reputed as one of the Caribbean region’s best examples of sustainable, ecotourism, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a pristine eco-lodge located in heart of the lush Belizean rain forest. The private 365 acre nature reserve is set along the banks of the Macal River in the foothills of the Maya Mountains and is home to a number of exotic jungle dwellers including peccaries, jaguars, monkeys as well as over 300 species of tropical and migratory birds. Guests are literally surrounded by one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world. The reserve features miles of well-maintained trails for guided horseback riding, mountain biking and nature walks. You can canoe down the Macal River, go birding, discover the rainforest and nearby Maya archaeological sites, relax with a luxurious spa treatment, kick back in a hammock or indulge in the fabulous cuisine at the award winning restaurant. From US $105 per person per night plus 9% hotel tax and 10% service charge.

Ka'ana Boutique Luxury Hotel

Conveniently located near all major touring attractions in the Cayo District of Belize, Ka’ ana Boutique Luxury Resort is another premier choice for discerning travelers. With nearby cultural, historical and eco-adventure attractions, Ka’ana is a luxurious adventure outpost. In addition to fine dining, spa services, and an infinity swimming pool, they have some amazing touring options (and an abundant array of wines from around the globe). From US $250 per night plus 9% tax and 10% service charge.

India: Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild

If the thought of a wildlife tour in India evokes images of dense jungles, white tigers, crackling campfires, and nights in tents, you’re not far from the truth. Drawing on every eco-adventurer’s desire to see India like Kipling, Geringer Global Travel has created the ultimate wildlife journey to India: The Call of the Wild India Tour. Accompanied by Susan Geringer, an India travel and tour specialist, and Yatish Bahuguna, a well-known Indian wildlife guide and naturalist, savvy adventure seeking travelers can sightsee in the cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, and then explore some of the world’s most famed national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh and Kanha.

On the Game Drive in India

Along this exciting journey, you’ll get acquainted with India’s diverse ecology: plush vegetation with dense forests housing rare medicinal plants and exotic flowers; a prolific bird life with myriad varieties unique to the region; and an abundant wildlife. During the trip, you’ll visit Ranthambore National Park, one of India’s Project Tiger reserves and largest national parks. Conservation programs and successful breeding programs have saved many species from near extinction. Situated in Sawai Madhopur, Ranthambore is home to one of the largest banyan trees in India and one of the best places for guests to spot the majestic predators of the jungle.

A little elephant riding in India

The next wildlife adventure will be in Bandhavgarh, where you’ll ride elephants and go on game drives exploring the rocky terrain, boisterous landscape and distinctly rugged ambience of Bandhavgarh National Park. Bandhavgarh National Park, where the famous white tigers of Rewa were discovered, has the highest known tiger population in India. Guests will then head to one of the most well maintained parks in Asia, Kanha National Park. Kanha National Park, a tiger reserve with lush bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines, provided inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel The Jungle Book. In addition to the diverse wildlife and bird population at Kanha Wildlife Sanctuary, the highlight of the park is Bamni Dadar, popularly known as Sunset Point, which offers an awe-inspiring backdrop of the sunset.

This 14-day tour, priced from $3,999 per person (double) is scheduled to depart U.S. on Saturday, March 10, 2012. This tour of India includes: hotel accommodations for 13 overnights with the land arrangements and domestic transportation as per the itinerary in twin sharing rooms; all meals; chauffeured air-conditioned transportation with bottled water; English-speaking guide or naturalist, Yatish Bahuguna, throughout the trip; jeep safaris and elephant rides inside the park; park and monument entrance fees as per itinerary; all current applicable taxes. Single room supplements are also available.

www.geringerglobaltravel.com

LEGOLAND, Florida: Family Sweepstakes!

Parents and kiddies! Check this contest out. You’ll probably have decent odds too as I’m not sure how widely reported it is. Atlantic® brand luggage, part of the Travelpro® family of brands and a market leader in affordable, lightweight family luggage since 1919, is having a sweepstakes to “Win a Vacation to the Grand Opening of LEGOLAND Florida”. The sweeps begins September 19 and ends October 31st so you have just the right amount of time to win. Another great treat? LEGOLAND Florida is a state-of-the-art 150-acre family theme park that opens on October 15th so you’ll get there right when it’s brand spankin new.  Located in Winter Haven, Florida, the new theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions geared for families with children ages 2-12. Here’s what you get:

A 4-Day LEGOLAND Florida Vacation including:

•       (4) Four, 2-Day Admissions to LEGOLAND Florida

•       (4) Four days and (3) Three nights at a LEGOLAND Florida Bed and Brick property

•       (4) Four day rental car

•       Exclusive behind the scenes tour with a LEGO Master Builder

•       (4) Four admissions to the Fantasy of Flight Biplane

•       (4) Four admissions to the Bok Tower Gardens

•       (4) Air Boat admissions

•       (1)LEGOLAND Florida gift bag

•       A 2-piece set of Atlantic Luggage

Enter here to enter and good luck!

http://atlanticluggage.com/legoland/?utm_source=blogs&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=legoland

Que Rica… Colombia!

El Penol Lake near Medellin - Colombia

Colombia is a destination ready for discovery. From its beautiful landscapes, rich heritage, cosmopolitan cities, and mouthwatering cuisine, Colombia is rumored to be THE next hot destination in Latin America. Listed below are the top reasons to fall in love with the passion of Colombia, and a million reasons for wanting to stay. So what inspires you?

  • Coasts: As a destination where the sand is caressed by two oceans, Colombia’s privileged location allows its visitors to enjoy over 2,900 km of coasts on two oceans and the Caribbean Sea. Talk about the ultimate beach vacation! Long, tranquil beaches between jungles and the sea line most of the Pacific coast, while the Caribbean coast contains wide beach beaches, large resort complexes, and various shops and restaurants. Make sure to experience the country’s diving adventures. Go to the depth of Colombia’s colorful seas. Bordered by both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there is a world that is designed for the delight of divers under the sea. The famous Seaflower Biopsphere Reserve around the Island of Providencia contains the world’s third largest reef park, and is a global haven for spotting the sea’s shiny starfish, crabs, angelfish, corals, sponges and various other species in strange shapes and vibrant colors.

Colombia Coffee Farmer (c) Neil Palmer - CIAT

  • Coffee: Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2011, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle is known for producing the world’s best coffee. Let the aroma and the taste of coffee surround you, while getting to know the beauty of the key regions. Keeping in tradition with its diverse culture and landscapes, Colombia pays tributes to its roots by containing food that is a mixture of Indian, Spanish, African and Arabic cuisines. Every region is has its own gastronomy, related to its natural resources. Delight in the ocean’s bountiful harvest in the Caribbean region; Savor the meats, potatoes, beans and corn in the Andean region; Enjoy the Pacific Coast’s abundance of rice, lentils, and rice; and appreciate the veal, manioc and various fishes in the Orinoco River region.

Colombia's Amazon (c) Jill Robinson

  • Nature: In a land where the earth breathes, The Amazon is the traditional destination of scientist and scholars who want to learn to talk with nature. Containing the world’s second longest river the largest tropical jungle on the planet, Colombia’s shares the Amazon Rainforest with Brazil and Peru. Enjoy the fauna and flora of the jungle by zipping between trees, or hiking along the forest various jungle paths. 90 percent of Colombia is Nature, while 10 percent of Colombia’s territory is protected by nature reserves– including 37 national parks, 12 fauna and flora sanctuaries, two natural reserves, and one parkway—11,000,000 hectares that encompass beautiful scenery, a variety of climate and soils, floras and fauna, and 230 civil society natural reserves. Talk about Biodiversity! Colombia contains the world’s largest collection of amphibians, butterflies and flowers. It also holds the title of containing the world’s second highest number of bird species (containing 1,865 bird species). From June to November the country turns into the homes of hundreds of bird, whale, and marine turtle species that visit the Colombian Pacific coast to mate, feed, and take rest on their migratory journey.

Cartagena

  • Vibrant Cities: Colombians are festive by nature, and always seek opportunities to celebrate their cultural heritage. From the colorful Barranquilla Carnival every February and Medellin Flower Fair every August, to the much acclaimed Cali Fair, there is always a reason to celebrate. Colombians take pride in the rich cultural life contained within their cities walls. From cosmopolitan Cartagena, modern Bogota, passionate Cali and progressive Medellin, each one of  Colombia’s cities offers its guests something different and unique. Known for their warm and friendly spirit, the people of Colombia are ready to open their arms to the whole world. Seeking to show the world its true face, Colombia’s passion for developing its global status in the world is the ultimate driving force for their authentic energy and dynamic spirit.

There’s even more to be discovered in person. With a booming tourism sector, Colombia is ready for you.

www.colombia.travel

The New Shore Hotel Santa Monica

Shore Hotel - Santa Monica

A day doesn’t go by when we don’t miss the sunny days we spent in Cali. So, always on the hunt for new hotels and openings in the beloved stomping grounds of our 20s, we tracked down this sweet opening. This October in Santa Monica, just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, and the city’s popular beaches and shopping, Shore Hotel is the newest addition to the coastline. It’s also, incidentally, a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) registered property that offers eco-friendly accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific.  The open-air, U-shaped design of the main hotel building has a stainless steel-clad trellis over the street-side of the courtyard, which unifies the two wings of the main building creating an outdoor “living room,” with an outdoor pool, a water feature, and patio dining at Blue Plate Taco. In addition to rooms with crisp turquoise and vibrant orange accents, the hotel also has a unique public-use space that blurs the line between the sidewalk and hotel entrance and includes park benches for pedestrians looking to chillax.

Upon completion of construction, if awarded LEED Gold Certification, Shore Hotel will be the only property in the city of Santa Monica with this elite status.  In June, the Shore Hotel was recognized at the 41st annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, recognizing the project teams responsible for the City’s very best architecture. So, check it out next month, and let us know what you think!

www.shorehotel.com

www.facebook.com/ShoreHotel

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