Planning a glamping-themed party can be made simple with a few key items, a pinch of inspiration, and a dose of creativity. All you really need is an outdoor space—no matter whether your own backyard or out in the wilderness—to nail the nature element. As for the rest? There are no specific rules. You just need to be inventive and resourceful, and all of the party elements will come together! Keep on reading for some top tips on how to plan the most perfect themed event for both adults and children this year.
Rent a tent
Renting a tent will truly transform your garden into the ultimate glamping site, and your level of commitment is sure to impress your guests. Boutique Camping allows you to rent a tent and get it delivered right to your front door. They ship worldwide, so no matter where you're located, you'll be able to have the perfect set-up to make it really feel like you've gone glamping.
Theme the food
A s'mores station is always a good idea. Make sure to buy a plethora of marshmallows, Hershey chocolate bars, and graham crackers, as these are sure to be a big hit with guests. You can even add some extra ingredients to the station for a fun twist, allowing people to create their own special "glamping" s'more. Try anything from Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and other chocolate-based candies or cookies to other sweet treats like Nutella or honey.
Why stop at s'mores when you can also have other s'mores-flavored snacks? This s'mores trail mix is just another easy way to stick with the party theme—same as a s'more—just mini!—but way easier to eat on the go. Check out this recipe, complete with free, printable tags in case you want to put this treat in separate little bags for each guest.
Invitations are a vital step in party prep so that everyone knows you're throwing the best glamping gathering in town. If you're feeling creative, making your own invitations is the most wallet-friendly and thoughtful way to go. Make sure they stay on-theme and include all necessary information, especially if you'd like your guests to bring anything along.
If designing isn't your forte, check out Etsy, where you can choose from a number of designs and edit them to personalize it for you and your guests. Our favorite route, however, is the eco-friendly, tech-savvy one—send an e-vite! The website Evite allows you to send the invitations directly to your guests' phones...for free!
Get the party started with some glamping games that everyone can participate in. Set up multiple stations, so all of your guests can play at the same time. If any of your guests have a competitive streak, Twister is a sure winner! A can of spray paint is all you need for this acrobatic garden game, which is definitely going to pull in some laughs.
Another great game with a fun DIY element is dominoes. The fun, pre-party twist is you need to collect and paint stones like dominoes before you play. Most often lost on younger generations, this well-known game will bring back some great memories for you older guests and allow everyone to bond over teaching the rest of the group.
One last DIY game that is perfect for a glamping party is cornhole, a lawn game that will keep your guests competing and entertained all party long. The best part? With all of these different, interactive games and tasty snacks, your guests are sure to be off their phones and really creating some lasting moments with loved ones.
Our party picks
If you want to have your glamping-themed party go the extra mile, make a weekend out of it! Check out these perfect accommodations for the big event.
Located in Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia, this safari tent glamping site has the capacity for a group of 14 guests. This rental sits amid stunning woodlands and comes with a private hot tub to kick back and relax in when the games have finished and the night is winding down.
For an even larger event, this stunning vacation rental holds a staggering 34 guests. Set at the base of the Ruby Mountains in Nevada, your glamping party will have the most impeccable backdrop. What's more? With a food and beverage service to help you out, your job as a host just got even easier!
Have these accommodations inspired you to throw the ultimate, glamping-themed party? Find more options in your area on Glamping Hub!
When we think of the Alps, we normally think of skiing, snowboarding, and snow-covered mountains, but winter is not the only time to enjoy this stunning mountain range. Once the ski season has wound down for the year, it's time to get out the mountain bikes and boards or pull on your hiking boots.
The Haute Route is the perfect way to explore great swathes of the Alps. It gives any intrepid explorer the chance to combine both hiking and mountaineering without having to emulate career climbers and free soloists, like Alex Honnold, or ultra athletes, like Anton Krupicka—all while giving visitors to the region a comprehensive tour of this incredible mountain range.
What is the Haute Route?
The Haute Route is a trekking expedition through the French and Swiss Alps that was first traversed in 1861 by climbers making their way to climb the Matterhorn. Over the years, the route has been perfected, and it is now a network of well-marked and signposted trails that lead travelers through valleys and mountain paths to mountain huts, small inns, and hotels in the idyllic villages and towns dotted along the way.
The expedition is a safe way to enjoy a mountaineering trip that doesn't require ropes, crampons, or specialized devices, but still remains challenging, due to the daily elevations and distances—all of which are achievable for anyone with a decent fitness level.
Starting in Chamonix, France, the route takes hikers over the swiss border, ending in Zermatt, just under a fortnight later. Taking part in this trip will not only give you the chance to explore some beautiful Alpine towns, but you will also get the chance to see Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in all their glory.
The hike will take you from altitudes of 1,800 meters to almost 3,000 meters over the course of the expedition. You'll get to enjoy a front row seat to Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn; explore valleys, lakes, and glaciers; try some great local food; and learn about the region's history and culture.
Who to go with
With a trip of this caliber, you're going to want to go with a guide who knows the route like the back of their hand and has a wide range of experience leading expeditions. There are various tour companies that offer great experiences and differing packages, depending on the wants and desires of the adventurer signing up to get involved in some Alpine trailblazing.
1. Wilderness Adventure
Wilderness Travel is one such company, with numerous veteran guides when it comes to leading an expedition. In addition to their Alpine adventure, Wilderness Travel has packages available all over the world, catering to all adventuring tastes and abilities.
Their Haute Route package, starting at $5,995, covers accommodation and all but two meals over a 12-day period. If this hike isn't challenging enough, the more intrepid explorer can also opt for their bespoke, Great Alpine Traverse, that will take you from Chamonix in France, through Switzerland, northern Italy, southern Germany, and finally to the historic city of Salzburg, Austria.
Alpenwild specializes in trips and treks through the Alps. They also have a variety of packages available to their clients, each one offering differing difficulty levels and the option of either guided or self-guided treks.
The full, guided option will get you an all-inclusive experience. For $4,595, you'll get picked up at Geneva Airport, transported to Chamonix, and you'll have a guide leading the group for the full 11-day trip, followed by transportation from Zermatt to Geneva on the final day. All accommodations and meals, minus drinks and gratuities, are also included.
The self-guided option, starting from $2,895, also provides transportation to and from Geneva Airport, along with 13 nights in hostels, huts, and inns. Buffet breakfasts in each of the accommodations are available. Nine evening meals are also included, but you'll need to find a spot to eat in Chamonix, Verbier, and Zermatt, which will be easy enough. All three towns have a wide variety of restaurants and bars to choose from, so your only dilemma will be choosing between them all.
Alpenwild also provide you with all the information, maps, and documents you will need to complete the trip, including detailed route directions, basic trail maps, hotel contact information, train and bus schedules, and nearby emergency medical contacts.
What to bring
It goes with out saying, a trip like this requires a specific packing list. While you can leave your climbing ropes and crampons at home for this one, there are certain things that you should remember to put into your rucksack before catching your flight to Geneva. Here are just a few suggestions for your Haute Route adventure!
1. Hiking boots
It may seem like an obvious one, but there's never any harm in a small reminder. You're going to be hiking over some tough, albeit stunning, terrain, so a sturdy boot is vital. The better boots on the market offer support for your foot while also ensuring you don't roll your ankle if you step on loose rocks and turf. If you're buying new boots specifically for your trip, make sure you wear them in first to avoid blisters and discomfort on your trek.
2. Foot care products
When you reach your accommodation each night, the first thing you're going to want to do is unwind with a hot shower or a relaxing bath. Once you've washed away the day, make sure your feet are looked after well. Using moisturizing creams will help, but it doesn't stop there. Before you get going in the morning, make sure to use the same creams; mycota powder, which contains zinc undecylenoate and undecylenoic acid; and anti-rubbing tape in the areas you are susceptible to getting blisters in—all of which will ensure your feet don't go through undue trauma along the way.
3. A lightweight jacket
Yes, you are going in the summer, but it's still a mountain range! There's no denying there will be days when you're more comfortable with just a fleece or even a t-shirt, but when you're up to nearly 3,000 meters, staring the mountains in the face, you'll be grateful you packed a quality, lightweight jacket.
The Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket is a good option—light, yet warm, and water-resistant, it is easy to pack, and you'll definitely use it after your trip. Made from a 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell and lining fabric, the jacket zips to the neck, ensuring full body coverage. Although on the more expensive end of the spectrum, this will last you for years, making it a worthwhile investment.
How to prepare
You've booked your trip, and you've bought your equipment, but you can't rest on your laurels now! While the Haute Route is doable for both rookies and mountaineering veterans, you'll still need to prepare your legs for what's about to come.
Going running several times a week is great preparation. You're not just strengthening your legs; you're also improving your cardio and lung function. You're not preparing for a marathon, so a five-kilometer run in the park two to three times a week should be enough.
2. Head to the gym
Going to the gym can be a bit of a drag, but some upper body work will help strengthen you up for carrying a backpack up mountain paths for a couple of weeks. While you're there, why not spend some time on a stair stepper, too? After all, a large portion of each day is going to be spent going up hill, so a few sessions will strengthen your joints before your adventure.
3. Hike before you hike
In the same way that the best way to prepare for a marathon is to run, the best way to prepare for a hiking holiday is to go hiking. You can pick some spots close to home, and once a week or so, head out and stomp up hills, through forests, and along footpaths for a few hours.
Again, as with running, you don't need to head out on a hobbit-sized quest, but getting your feet used to the idea of extended walking will only make it easier when you're halfway up a mountain path. It's also a great opportunity to break in those new hiking boots, as well!
Caught the hiking bug? Check out this blog for incredible places to hike and suggestions of places to stay on your next extraordinary adventure!
Rows upon rows of grape-bearing vines can be found in numerous regions in Victoria, Australia, where the landscape is one of the most striking in the world. Australia's love affair with wine traces all the way back to 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip arrived with the country's first vines. The rest is, as they say, history.
Should you consider yourself an experienced wine connoisseur, you're bound to be impressed by any one of the wineries we've put together for you below. That's not to say you have to be a wine connoisseur, by any means. If it's your first time wine tasting, you might just discover your sophisticated side and your new favorite pastime here in Victoria.
Our list of wineries have been plucked from two popular regions in particular: the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. As it happens, these glamping accommodations in Victoria are the perfect home-away-from-home to return to after a day or two spent wine tasting and learning about the production and history of Australian wine—the fifth biggest exporter in the world.
It's time to plan a glamping trip around our top 10 best wineries to go wine tasting at in Victoria.
Vineyards were first set up in Yarra Valley in 1837, and by 1880, the region had become the biggest in the colony. Only 50 kilometers east of Melbourne, this region is still considered to be one of the best wine regions in the Port Phillip area, with it's incredibly rich and fertile land that is perfect for growing grapes in particular.
We've done our research and below, you can find out more about the best vineyards in this impressive wine-friendly area.
1. Oakridge Wines
Oakridge Wines is one of the Yarra Valley's most trusted and popular vineyards thanks to an excellent reputation which has been bolstered by numerous awards since 1983. The winery boasts a number of fine vintage wines that have been awarded prize after prize, including their 2006 Vintage, which took home 55 awards. Visitors are also encouraged to try the incredible cuisine, which comes with free wine tasting that is tailored to the dishes themselves. The experience is made all the better with some truly magnificent views of the vineyard and the surrounding Yarra Valley mountain range.
2. Helen & Joey Estate
The family-orientated Helen & Joey Estate welcomes guests from all over Australia who come for something more than just a wine tasting experience. Located in the lavish Warramate Hills, a visit to the Cellar Door is where you'll be introduced to a range of excellent wines, including Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The warm atmosphere and playful approach to tasting here are sure to live long in your memory!
3. The Riverstone Estate
The Riverstone Estate is not only a top spot for wine tasting, but also an incredibly popular event space and wedding venue. Based in the center of the Yarra Valley, the estate opens its Cellar Door to the public from Thursday to Sunday, during which you can come and experience one of the most highly-rated wine tours in the region.
The perfect place to come with either friends or family, Riverstone encourages its guests to take advantage of the vineyard's natural setting, too. Sitting with your loved ones with the backdrop of the Valley's rolling hills, a bottle of wine, and some of the best food in region...what could be better?
4. Stone of the Yarra Valley
Stones of the Yarra Valley has long been one of the go-to wineries in the region. The peace and serenity of this place will make you feel as though you've just stepped into another country entirely. Situated between two Yarra Valley hamlets—Yarra Glen and Healesville—this breathtaking location has all the ingredients to make your day an unforgettable one. This unique space is decorated with crabapple trees, vegetable beds, stone farm houses, and, of course, its grape vines, which are some of the best in the region.
5. Soumah of Yarra Valley
At Soumah of Yarra Valley, for just $20, you will be treated to six samples from their most exclusive wines in their impressive Premium Wine Room—designed for the sole purpose of enhancing the guided wine tasting experience. Outside, you are invited to take a stroll around the vineyard, where you can take a seat and bask in that glorious Australian sunshine. Lunch is also on the agenda here at Soumah, and you're welcome to take a seat at their trattoria—looking out across the Warramte Hills—while tucking into a spot of lunch.
Our remaining five wineries are part of the Mornington Peninsula, where the cool climate is perfect for growing grapes and producing wines that are bursting with flavor. The Mornington Peninsula International Pinot Noir Celebration is also worth visiting, which attracts people from all over the world—all of whom are determined to taste the latest and greatest Pinot Noirs the region has to offer.
6. Quealy Winemakers
Located in Balnarring, Quealy Winemakers has barrels upon barrels of some of the most exquisite Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Grigio on the Mornington Peninsula. In contrast to some of the more grandiose wineries around the world, Quealy has an intimate, family-orientated atmosphere that will put you completely at ease as soon as you walk through the door. With one of the best reputations in the region—and the fact that the wine tasting is free!—visiting this vineyard is a no-brainer.
7. Main Ridge Estate
Main Ridge Estate sits at an altitude of 230 meters in a small valley in Arthurs Seat. Despite the size of this small, seven-acre vineyard, our seventh choice makes the cut because it operates on the old "quality over quantity" saying. The quality in this case comes in the form of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two wines which make up the majority of the 5,000 vines on the estate.
Using only the fruit grown on the land itself, the wine here is produced with a great deal of love and care, which has rivaled some of the best wineries in the area since 1975. One of the founders, Nat White, is a local legend in the area, too, having achieved a reputation as one of the most talented winemakers in both the Mornington Peninsula and state of Victoria.
8. Stonier Wines
Should the weather permit it, a picnic and some wine tasting at Stonier Wines makes for a fantastic day out with either the whole family or just your significant other. This vineyard has the perfect setting for oenophiles of all kinds to kick-back, relax, and enjoy sampling premium Stonier Wines—one of Australia's leading producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After falling in love with the wines here at Stonier, you're probably going to want a bottle or two of your favorite vintage to take home with you, too!
9. Panton Vineyard
Panton Vineyard is a hidden gem that has forever reaped the benefits of a north-facing location and a moderate altitude, ensuring that the quality of their grapes is some of the best in the Mornington Peninsula. Like many of the other wineries on this list, Panton was also set up with a family spirit driving it.
The Cellar Door here is packed with some truly special wines, and the owners will invite you to try a variety of wines, such as their 2017 Sangiovese, 2018 Pinot Noir, 2018 Pinot Gris, 2018 Rosé, and 2018 Chardonnay. You can find this magical place tucked away in Shoreham, Victoria, with the ocean at a five-minute drive away.
10. Moorooduc Estate
Last, but certainly not least, the Moorooduc Estate is another family-run winery where guests can cozy up by the fireplace, snag a glass of first-class wine, and enjoy a rich and enlightening education on Pinot Noir, McIntyre Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. The owners also prepare a delicious lunch menu that is tailored to the rich and fruity flavors of the wines you will be introduced to during the tasting sessions.
Let us know what your favorite vineyards in the area are while you keep exploring your glamping options in Victoria!
Who doesn't love going to the beach? These areas of natural beauty, where land meets sea, provide hours of fun for adults, kids, and dogs alike. It's painful to see, however, the amount of trash left behind after a busy Saturday at the beach, knowing that the ocean will end up being the final resting place for all types of waste. In fact, 6.5 million tons of litter end up in the ocean each year—half of which are plastic products that will take hundreds of years to break down.
Marine and beach pollution come from a number of different sources, not just littering, including sewage, ocean mining, oil spills, agricultural runoff, toxic chemicals, air pollutants, and maritime transportation. Of this list, one thing we can easily and quickly change, though, is where and how we get rid of our trash, in order to help save our beaches, oceans, and marine life.
Check out our how-to guide on how to help keep our beaches clean all year round.
At the beach
One way to prevent the amount of trash left behind on the beach is to think carefully about what you take there in the first place. Avoid bringing unnecessary items to reduce the risk of leaving them behind, unintentionally or not. Invest in reusable water bottles that can be used for lots of different activities, and use Tupperware containers to carry your food instead of tinfoil or plastic wrap.
Some trash is bound to be produced by your trip to the beach, but sometimes the local beach doesn’t have adequate waste disposal and recycling services, so pack a trash bag with you to make sure you throw everything away, and easily hold onto it until you find somewhere to dispose of it properly.
Portable ash trays
Another major cause of water pollution comes from cigarette butts. Putting cigarettes out in the sand and leaving them there increases the likelihood that they'll blow into the sea, where they release toxins and pollutants, as well as generally adversely affect water quality and marine life.
A test conducted found that just one cigarette butt releases enough toxins to kill over 50% of the fish exposed to it for 24 hours. Moreover, their physical similarity to insects mean fish will consume them, and since they're unable to digest them, they will stay in their stomachs forever.
Avoiding all of this is as simple as investing in a portable ashtray, which you can then empty into the garbage when you dispose of all your other waste.
Avoid bringing and using plastic
Most people have probably seen the video of that poor sea turtle that had a straw removed from its nose, and six-pack rings are yet another way our drinking habits can negatively impact the lives of sea turtles. You can still enjoy your beer, but make sure to properly dispose of the rings and cut them up just in case.
If you find yourself at a beach bar, remember to turn down a straw if you're offered one. We were perfectly capable of drinking before 1888—the year when straws were invented—so we can easily give the turtles a break. Insist on being served in a glass, not a plastic cup, and enjoy your drink at the bar, with the shade and music, rather than taking it back to the sand.
Be careful with open flames
Everyone enjoys a good beach bonfire, but not everyone likes to see a beach cluttered with old fire pits that are blowing ash everywhere. If you do decide to have one, put the fire out thoroughly with water, and cover the embers with sand to prevent them from spreading. Once any rocks you've used are cool to the touch, move them back to their original locations, and fill the hole with sand. It's that simple, and now, the beach is ready for someone else to enjoy!
Burning your trash is also a bad idea—not only is it illegal in many places, but a low-temperature fire, such as a bonfire, also doesn't destroy trash. Instead, it turns it into tiny soot and ash particles that contain toxins, which are then blown into the air, spread around, and deposited into the sea, in addition to the surrounding soil and vegetation.
Participate in beach clean-ups
The next time you're headed to the beach, why not set aside 30 minutes of your trip for a fun, group beach clean-up? You and your friends can go to different areas of the beach, maximizing the amount of beach you cover. You can even make it a competition, with a prize for the most trash collected.
On your own? No problem! Click here to check for organized ocean clean-ups near you. Ocean Conservancy is dedicated to reaching the goal of having trash-free oceans, and they have loads of information on how you can organize a clean-up yourself and what you will need before, during, and afterwards.
Although it's a great start, eliminating ocean pollution is not as simple as just disposing of our trash correctly and picking up what others have left. All waterways lead to the ocean, so garbage and waste products can make their way into the oceans via garbage disposals and sewage pipes.
We must be conscious of how we dispose of our waste at all times, especially of what we flush. In 2017, more than 5,000 wet wipes were found in a small area of the Thames River, which is just one example of a commonly flushed item that doesn't break down. Other examples include cotton balls, dental floss, pet litter, oils, and medicines, all of which have been flushed down the drain, into local rivers, and, eventually, the ocean.
While it's important for all of us as individuals to take action, we cannot exempt local businesses and global corporations from doing their part, too. Wherever possible, use the services of companies that have the best policies towards packing and plastic usage, and don't be afraid to tell your local café if you think they are being particularly wasteful. If dealing with an international chain, an online petition or letter and interaction via social media are powerful tools. Finally, remember to educate others, as only together can we hope to make a change.
Don't forget to check out some of our other blogs for tips and guides on a whole range of subjects!
When summer rolls around, many of us have the urge to pack up our things and go in search of an epic adventure. Soaring summer temperatures, however, can turn travel plans into a sticky situation. In order to combat the heat and ensure that all summer plans go off without a hitch, it's important to prep for warm weather pre-vacation.
Without further ado, check out our top 7 tips for beating the heat on your summer travels!
1. Dress appropriately
There's nothing worse than dressing wrong for the weather. Being uncomfortable can affect every part of your travel experience, and searching for the next patch of shade away from the scorching sun is not usually a fun past time. Make sure you pack loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing for your summer trip. Think breathable materials, like cotton or linen, in light colors that won't trap heat. Not only will this tip save you from overheating, but packing just got a whole lot easier!
2. Stay hydrated
This may seem like an obvious tip, but many people don't realize how easy it is to get dehydrated in the the heat. Excessive sweating means we lose a lot more water than we're used to, which can become dangerous if you're on the move. Invest in a reusable water bottle that you can carry around with you, which will save you money and help the environment...a win-win situation! If you know your day will be filled with activity and the temperatures are predicted to be extra hot, you can even freeze your water bottle over night, which will you keep cool throughout the day.
3. Make use of natural resources
Whether you're lying on a beach or going on a hike, use the bodies of water around you to cool off. The area of the brain that regulates your body temperature is located at the base of the neck in the brain stem. Find a stream, a lake, or the ocean for some cold water, and cool your internal body temperature down immediately. Better yet, place a small wet towel on the back of your neck for a more time-effective method. One last top tip, is to run your wrists in the water for around 30 seconds for relief against the scorching sun.
4. Wear sunscreen
Applying sunscreen may feel like a chore, especially if you have kids who won't stay still while you try to slather it on. If you're on the move, you'll need to stop and apply every couple of hours to avoid getting sunburned. Researching the best sunscreens is always a good idea, as some have more durability than others, and it will save both time and a painful burn by choosing the right one.
5. Carry a handheld fan
If the place you're traveling to is known for being humid, a handheld fan may be the only option for some extra relief from the heat. This may seem a little "extra," but we think you'll be thanking us when your feeling cooler than the rest of your group. If you're worried about it popping up in photos, check out these cute handheld fans shaped like ice cream cones that are more than worthy of an Instagram post.
6. Eat cooling foods
Eating heavy, spicy, and protein-rich foods will only make you feel worse in the heat, as they have a metabolic effect that will cause you to feel warmer. Stick to light foods, such as fruit and vegetables, which both help with your temperature and won't make you feel drowsy. Treat yourself to an cold ice cream to cool your core temperature down and reward yourself with a sweet treat, too. You're on vacation—why not?
7. Avoid the hottest part of the day
The hottest part of the day is hard to withstand and brings with it many problems that are hard to avoid. Your best bet is to not be outside during this time of day. Become an early riser and get all your activities done in the morning while the temperatures are still reasonably low, or wait until late afternoon to take that hike you've been dying to do. You'll thank yourself later!
If you still haven't decided where to take your summer vacation, check out these getaways for the perfect trip to up your travel game!
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." - Neil Armstrong
It's been 50 years since the United States put a man on the moon and this month of July will mark some extraordinary events for history and astronomy lovers alike! Five decades after the "Eagle" landed, mankind still looks to the sky in awe like they have for thousands of years. We love any excuse to get outside and bask in the awesomeness of nature, so let's honor this momentous leap that was taken in 1969 and where the space frontier will take us next!
Keep reading to find out where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
At the US Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, otherwise known as “Rocket City," the whole area is celebrating its integral role in developing and building the Saturn launch vehicles for the Apollo Moon mission. There will be a whole week of events, including music performances, moon landing reenactments, and even an attempt to break a Guinness World Record by launching 5,000 model rockets simultaneously.
D.C. is home to world-class museums, and the National Air and Space Museum is no exception. Their celebration of Apollo 50 will feature special, hands-on exhibits, an outdoor festival, and a chance to see Neil Armstrong's suit on display for the first time in 13 years.
The celebrations here culminate with a late-night party called, “The Eagle Has Landed," at 10:56 p.m. on July 20 to mark Armstrong’s first step onto the moon. The D.C. celebration focuses a lot on President Kennedy's leadership and promotion of the U.S. Space Program, which makes for a great history element to this event!
At the OMSI, a.k.a. the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, they're hosting a block party for stargazers. At Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, starting at 9 p.m. on July 20, you can see some sky highlights—Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, star clusters, and the gorgeous waning gibbous moon. This museum is always great, but it has a lot of extra special fun up its sleeve this week!
What better place to celebrate Apollo 50 than in Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta? The Armstrong Air and Space Museum is hosting a week's worth of events, filled with celebrations of their most famous resident that include rocket launches, interactive museum exhibits, music events, a fun run, a gala, and more.
If you can't make it to any formal celebrations for Apollo 50, you're still in luck for a star-filled July! There is a fair amount of notable celestial activity expected throughout the month that you can read about here. Below, you'll find the ones we're most excited about!
July 13: Close Approach of the Moon & Jupiter
July 16: Partial Lunar Eclipse (North and South America can expect to see this eclipse in the dusk and night hours of July 16, while Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and Australia can expect the early morning and before dawn hours of July 17.)
July 21: Peak of the α–Cygnid Meteor Shower
July 29: Peak of the δ–Aquarid Meteor Shower
July 31: Peak of the Piscis Australid Meteor Shower
If you can't get out to any moon events this year, be sure to check out NASA's special TV programming on Friday, July 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m EDT for their showing of "NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future" to celebrate. The show will be coming to you live from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with segments in Houston, Huntsville, D.C., Ohio, and Seattle. You'll see Apollo memorabilia, anniversary celebrations, and hear from Apollo astronauts. Find the stream here on NASA's Apollo anniversary events page.
Outside of the U.S.
If you're not in the U.S. for this momentous, month-long space extravaganza, don't worry! We've got you covered with a few other places around the world that are known for their incredible nighttime views.
La Palma, Canary Islands
The northernmost island of the Canary Islands' seven main islands, La Palma is known for its incredible stargazing and has been named an UNESCO Starlight Reserve, in honor of the amazing celestial views you can catch there.
This small town in South Iceland is known for not only amazing star views, but also the Northern Lights! It's one of the southernmost viewpoints for the Aurora Borealis, making it perfect if you're not quite prepared for the arctic cold.
The birthplace of the telescope is another spot well known for its stargazing. See the same stars Galileo did when he first looked to the heavens, and enjoy a dazzling display out in the Tuscan countryside.
You can find more details about these places, as well as some more European stargazing locations here.
There are some great spots for viewing the stars in Australia—its low light pollution and unique southern hemisphere placement make it a premier spot for star enthusiasts.
At the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, you'll find the telescope that was watching when Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon in 1969. This spot offers great views, interesting exhibits, and activities for the whole family to explore the stars.
In Western Australia, visit the Gravity Discovery Centre to find this observatory, which houses the world's largest radio telescope ever built. The dark skies, guidance from expert astronomers, and accessible telescopes make this a top-notch spot.
Back in NSW, just outside the capital city of Sydney, this observatory can be found on a hill overlooking the harbor. The Sydney Observatory houses the oldest working telescope in Australia, which was originally built to view the Transit of Venus in 1874.
For more details about Australia stargazing, check out these resources here.
Check out more properties on Glamping Hub to find the perfect stargazing escape today!
As far back as 480 B.C, the rivaling city-states of Ancient Greece faced fierce power struggles from within, as well as the threat of slavery and death by distant tyrants with armies so massive they shook the ground. Throughout the passing centuries, the war-torn region experienced periods of conquest by the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, who left footprints that would echo throughout eternity. From these complex political movements and often brutal confrontations, the influx of new technologies, engineering techniques, and precious materials allowed Greece to prosper into the multi-faceted culture we see today.
On March 25, 1821, Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire and was officially recognized as a country in its own right, ushering in an age of freedom. Nowadays, the spellbinding history surrounding the aptly named cradle of Western civilization sees over 30 million visitors flock to its lands each year to soak up the rich historical legacy, as well as enjoy world-class beaches and a continental climate.
We've compiled the ultimate summertime guide to Greece, the legendary home of the gods of Greek mythology.
Before you go and good to know
Getting there and around
The busiest airport in Greece is in the capital of Athens. This international hub receives direct flights from most European cities; however, the airports in Santorini and Crete also run several flights throughout Europe.
As a country with thousands of hidden islands, the ideal way to travel to them once in Greece is by ferry, while taking in the epic coastlines along the way. One of the best sites to book ferries is Ferryhopper, which offers daily trips to the major ports scattered across the peninsula. Although tickets don't generally sell out, it is a good idea to book at least a few weeks in advance to give yourself some peace of mind while vacationing.
In terms of traversing the islands, there are several options. Renting a car from Athens and taking it on the ferry can be a handy way to avoid wasting time once the ferry arrives; however, all of the islands have affordable rental companies that offer scooters, buggies, ATVs, and bikes at a reasonable price, too.
Widely considered to be the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization, Greece's evolution has transformed the country into one that enjoys a captivating mix of both history and myth. With a tale that traverses the Bronze age and the classical, Roman, and Ottoman periods, the secluded islands and vast mainland of Greece offer a compelling insight into human history.
Start your own Herculean adventure by visiting the birthplace of civilization at the Acropolis in Athens and the throne of Zeus at Mount Olympus on the mainland, all before journeying across the horizon to the Minoan palaces of Knossos on the island of Crete.
A great way to discover the roots of the time of legend is by attending one of the diverse and vivacious events around the country every year. The Athens Epidaurus Festival takes place from June to August and showcases ancient drama, plays, ballets, operas, art exhibitions, and classical music concerts around several theaters in Athens.
Other popular summer festivals include Megaro Gyzi Festival in Santorini every August, with its traditional music and eclectic art exhibitions; Naxos Festival in the Cyclades, showcasing theater performances and art workshops between July and August; and Sani Festival in Halkidiki, which offers dance performances and painting exhibitions from July to September.
Food and drink
The Greek's intense pride in their history means that many of the dishes found in the charming restaurants nowadays very closely resemble those eaten decades, even centuries, ago. One such ancient dish is the absolutely delicious, sun-dried octopus. Found in most fish taverns across the remote islands, the octopus is first hung out in the sun for up to 24 hours before being charcoal grilled, seasoned with fresh lemon, and washed down with a generous glass of some local ouzo. Truly a meal fit for Zeus himself!
Other tastebud-tingling dishes not to be missed in the land of the setting sun include creamy feta cheese salads; fried fish and calamari fresh from the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea; gyros filled with spit-roasted meat and Tzatziki sauce; the iconic, oven-baked Moussaka; and, of course, olives with lashings of that famous olive oil that has been perfected by the Greeks over thousands of years.
Places to visit
As the capital of Greece and one of the world's oldest cities, with a recorded history dating back over 3,000 years, Athens is an ideal way to start your Greek adventure. There are few sites as iconic as the 2,500-year-old Acropolis, which rests majestically on a rocky outcrop right in the heart of the city. Some of the monuments found at this fabled site are generally considered the greatest architectural achievements of Ancient Greece, such as the towering Parthenon. The city flourishes with history around every corner; however, those looking to delve deeper into how advanced the ancient Greeks were shouldn't miss the chance to visit The National Archaeological Museum—widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
In terms of soaking up the local culture, the Monastiraki Flea Market offers a veritable feast for the senses. It's one of the liveliest squares in the city, where locals come from far and wide to sell their wares. The crisscrossed streets of the neighborhood itself are also a great spot to take a much-needed break by sipping on a cocktail at one of the rooftop bars while gazing upon the monumental views of the magnificent Parthenon. After a busy day exploring, there's no better end to the day than watching the sunset over the Acropolis from Mount Lycabettus.
The whitewashed oasis of Mykonos is just a scenic, two-hour ferry ride from Athens, with tickets generally costing between 20 and 40 euros. Located in the center of the Cyclades, the picturesque paradise offers a fantastic mix of glamorous nightlife and old-world simplicity. The winding streets of the capital, Hora, or Mykonos Town, create a wonderful, labyrinth-like setting, with colorful wooden doors, charming local houses, and tiny Greek churches at every turn, while Little Venice boasts jaw-dropping vistas come sunset.
Other must-see corners of this island gem include the iconic Mykonos windmills, standing high on a hill near Mykonos Town; the Church of Panagia Paraportiani, with its four, unique chapels, each built at a different point in history; and the mythical birthplace of Apollo, Delos island, which showcases the ancient ruins of temples, villas, and theaters. If dancing until the sun comes up is what you're looking for, Cavo Paradiso is the place to be. The international DJ lineup at this beach club offers an unforgettable night of clubbing, meeting fellow partygoers, and watching an indescribable sunrise across the vast Aegean Sea.
As one of the lesser known islands, compared to tourist hubs, such as Santorini, the enchanting island of Milos truly is a hidden gem not to be missed during a Greek adventure. Generally cheaper and less crowded than its more popular counterparts, the undisturbed coves and caves of Milos make a welcome respite away from the crowds.
The beaches of Sarakiniko and Kleftiko will leave you breathless with the sheer beauty of their white cliffs and rich geology. Kleftiko, an old pirate hideaway, is only reachable by boat, meaning that taking a trip around the island from one of the many tour companies is an absolute must. At Sarakiniko, you'll find a moonscape, alien-like environment, where you can explore the hidden coves, bathe in the calm, shallow inlet, and even try some exhilarating cliff jumping.
There are so many remote beaches on the island that you'll need at least a few days and a rental car to truly get the most out of Milos, including Firiplaka Beach, Paliochori Beach, Firopotamos Beach, the ancient village of Klima, and the fishing village of Mantrakia, which has some of the best seafood found anywhere in Greece at the superb Medusa Restaurant.
The quintessential image of the Greek islands for many is the blue domed churches of Santorini. This rugged, volcanic island affords some spectacular sunsets, and the whitewashed towns that dot the jagged slopes are sure to captivate visitors.
That world-renowned image of the dreamy, blue domes can be found in the quaint village of Oia, located on the northern point of the island. Although this may be one of the most picture-perfect spots on the planet, it's important to take note that the town gets incredibly busy in the afternoon—often with hour-long queues just to get that perfect snap. Try getting the early bus to arrive by around 9 a.m. so you can take in all the beauty away from the impending mobs.
Another unique spot in Santorini is Red Beach, found on the south side of the island, which is a curious red sand cove that is towered by dramatic, Mars-like cliffs. There are other black and gray sand beaches nearby that are worth a visit, including Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari, while the towns of Akrotiri, Caldera, and Fira offer a generous combination of old-world charm and Instagram-worthy photo ops.
The ferry route from Santorini to Crete runs several times a day and takes just a few hours—making the historical center of Europe's earliest advanced civilization an essential stop while island-hopping. As the biggest island in Greece, it's advisable to prolong a stay at the birthplace of Zeus to take in all the godly sights on offer. Regularly spoken of as Europe's oldest city, the Palace of Knossos is an ancient architecture lover's dream, while the Sacred Monastery of Arkadi and the Koules Fortress both offer a glimpse into the more recent history of Crete.
Heavenly beaches are also scattered across the island, one of the most beautiful and notable being Balos Lagoon. Wedged between the capes of Gramvousa and Tigani, the shallow turquoise waters are simply divine. Another essential day trip while in Crete is Elafonisi Beach, made famous by the movie, "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." In this dreamlike nature reserve, the angelic pink sand and clear turquoise water offer a genuine celestial slice of paradise.
Local culture brims on the island, too, with Chania's Venetian Harbour, Lake Voulismeni, and Rethymnon Old Town containing a gorgeous blend of sweet cobblestoned streets, intriguing Renaissance architecture, and a plethora of lively bars and delectable local restaurants that serve fresh local produce.
For more exciting travel guides, jam-packed with helpful information for your upcoming trips, check out our Travel Guide series on the blog!
Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Catherine and her vintage cabin on Vashon Island in Washington.
1. What is the story behind you starting your glamping site?
Since I was a teen, I've wanted someplace that's all about getting away, relaxing, having adventures, and being with friends and family. After years looking for the "just right" spot, we found this place and felt it was perfect. We are big nature lovers and wanted to share the experience with others. Over the years, we've become friends with the former owners, and Carol is the co-host, greeting guests and helping them have a great stay.
2. What did you do before becoming a glamping host? What drew you to glamping?
A central part of my work in health is focused on the healing power of nature. As Seattle gets more busy and dense, it's important that everyone have a chance to experience quiet (or the sound of the birds!), breathe fresh air, and unplug—away from the built environment. We intentionally leave the cabin as simple and uncluttered as possible, choosing to highlight the hand-hewn log walls, which have their own beauty, and echo the natural textures outside.
3. In your opinion, how does your accommodation fit the definition of glamping?
This is a rustic setting so people can really "get off the grid." It's ideal for someone who wants to spend most of the day outdoors—being active at many of the outdoor recreational areas or simply resting in the forest. I think of it as ideal for someone who wants all the outdoor fun of camping, but also wants a real bed to sleep in at the end of the day. The "glamping" aspect is in the fully-outfitted kitchenette (we love to cook!), vintage wood stove, and the comfy beds.
4. What is the most special thing about your property?
This is a log cabin that was originally built in the 1880s outside of Lincoln, Montana—the origin of the children's toy called Lincoln Logs. It was a "line" cabin, one of several log cabins on the property line of a large ranch, providing cowboys with shelter. It's rare to have the opportunity to stay in an original structure with that kind of history.
The cabin is now set in the middle of 10 acres of forest, which guests have entirely to themselves. People rarely have that much space to simply be. We also allow dogs, as we are dog lovers ourselves, and know it can be hard to find someplace for fur babies to vacation.
5. What do you love the most about running a glamping site? What are some of the challenges you face?
We love to meet new people and establish those friendships, especially when people come to stay again. It is so interesting to hear people's stories and the many reasons they are drawn to glamping! Due to the rustic nature of the cabin, it's not suited for children, which I'm always sorry to tell parents.
6. Tell us about your most memorable guest experience to date.
We had the privilege to host a couple on their wedding night, which was so special. It's been wonderful to provide a setting for people's private celebrations—anniversaries and birthdays, especially. We've also really enjoyed hosting writers and business people as they do a personal retreat, withdrawing from the demands of daily life to do some deep creative work.
7. Which three words are most commonly used in guest feedback about your accommodation?
Clean, comfortable, and peaceful.
8. Tell us about the experience you provide for guests visiting your glamping site.
The experience is centered around having a private place to unplug, connect with your companion, and focus on the essentials—fresh air, quietness, good food, and rest. For people who want more adventure and exploration, Vashon Island has many recreational opportunities: kayaking, biking, boating, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and much more. The quaint town of Vashon has some award-winning restaurants, pubs, and an art center, which hosts popular musicians, too.
9. If you could have anybody stay at your accommodation, who would it be and why?
I would really have loved to host Mary Oliver, the award-winning poet who wrote about nature and wildlife. That would have been a true privilege. It would have been fun to see what on the property would inspire her writing.
10. Are there any upcoming additions/changes to your glamping site you would like to share with us?
We are happy to be stewards of this forest and are actively engaged in planting to increase the biodiversity and provide habitat for a wide variety of animals. Part of the plantings are also to maintain privacy, and we spend time removing invasive species, too. Last October, we planted 200 native plants and are getting ready to do so again this year. It's a joy to tend to the land, make it thrive, and share that with guests.
Remember Ethan's road trip? He stayed at Catherine's cabin and shot some exclusive footage!
To book an unforgettable stay at Catherine's vintage cabin in Washington, click here!
Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Ellen, who manages a woodland yurt and cabin in New Haven, Vermont.
Ellen: I discovered Glamping Hub through a guest that had stayed at my yurt. My purpose with building the yurt was to create a little hideaway in the forest—a sanctuary for getting away from it all while being immersed in nature. This decision followed the passing of my husband, as I was concerned about my future, and this would not only generate an income but also bring some people in and out my door.
What I found was that people seem to have a hunger for this kind of experience. They share their stories and are appreciative of my efforts. Of course, what pleases me most is that they also feel renewed by the serenity they find in nature and the yurt.
Having grown up in rural Vermont, I know how precious nature and outdoor experiences are for our health and well-being. Since the age of six, horses have also been a big part of my life experience. They have been honest teachers, kind, and sensitive, yet strong, in many ways, and they've guided me well through the years.
Now I am a certified Equine Assisted Life Coach, supporting others with the assistance of horse wisdom. I am also a certified life energy healer and meditation teacher. This brings me deep satisfaction providing nurturing support for others through Kindred Horse Life Coaching events and experiences.
If I were to pick three words I hear most often about my guests' stays, it would be unique, magical, and healing. I provide a dreamer's cottage in the woods. It looks and feels like a fairytale, and I often refer to it as my "playhouse."
You can hear the forest sounds through the canvas walls, along with the rain and wind, so you are aware of what your environment is doing. The nightly glow of the fire from the pellet stove, in addition to the candles, creates warmth to nurture you. It's a restful, comforting, and quiet place to unwind and catch your spiritual breath.
My only challenge a host has been when I see disappointment from guests that do not read the listing details and expect something we do not offer. We don't supply a television, air conditioning, or microwaves, because we feel those things distract from a quiet lifestyle.
In the near future, our expansion plans are to host more retreats on the property through my business, Kindred Horse Life Coaching, as well as through Airbnb Experiences. The experience will be called "The Healing Nature of Horses" and will be an introduction to equine-assisted life coaching. We would also like to add a meditation trail amid our 23 acres of fields and forest. Our final jewel will be a tipi, planned for 2020, where we can do meditation and healing ceremonies with our guests.
To book a unique woodland getaway at Ellen's yurt in Vermont, click here for the yurt and here for the cabin!
As we ease into July, we asked Glamping Hub staffers what their favorite summer traditions are. With 78 people from 17 different countries, we got a lot of fun answers that we wanted to share with you.
"Going to music festivals around Europe!"
Director of Business Development
"Strawberries, Pimms, and Wimbledon!!! Just kidding—glamping, of course!"
"My favorite summer tradition is definitely to connect with nature in a new destination and do different activities that involve movement, like trekking, hiking, and cycling, as well as my two favorites, skateboarding and surfing."
Business Development Intern
"Go as deep as possible in the sea in Tangier by boat and then swim for hours!"
"Music festivals or non-touristy places."
"I'm very simple. My favorite summer tradition is going to the beach with my friends or family and spending all day swimming and rolling around in the sand. My favorite time of day is sunset—that moment when the whole world seems to stop and the sea is reflecting the pink and orange lights. For me, those days at the beach are the ones I feel most alive."
Business Development Manager
Social Media Manager
"It's not very unique, but for me, the summer means the beach! There is nothing better then spending days at the beach swimming in the ocean and spending nights eating dinner, playing board games, and laughing with the people you love!"
SEO Content Writer
"The obligatory summer festival—music, mates, BBQs, and everything in between."
"Healthy food and drinks, sports, and the beach."
Business Development Manager
"Summer in Miami is really hot, so we spend most of our time at the beach. Most locals have both mango and avocado trees in their backyards, and summer means that both are available in extreme abundance—lots of tropical meals and drinks! On weekends, we visit Key Largo or Key West, but typically spend most of our time at Miami's beautiful beaches because, let's be honest, it's Miami (and summer is actually our low season tourism-wise, so less tourists on the beaches and at the best restaurants!)."
"Celebrating my niece's birthday together with my family in Galicia."
PR Partnerships Manager
"Beach and BBQs."
"I'm from Martha's Vineyard, and a really special summer tradition is visiting the old fishing village, Menemsha, at least once a summer. You can order whole lobsters and fresh seafood at one of the fish markets and then enjoy it with some white wine at the nearby beach—all while watching one of the prettiest sunsets there is! People come from all around the world to enjoy this unique summer tradition."
P.S.You can tell we love the beach, right?
For more Glamping Hub staff favorites, check out our Staff Picks blog series!