Where to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

By Mikaela Amundson

"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.

Apollo 11 astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, walks on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969,
in a photograph taken by Neil Armstrong.
Photo courtesy of History HD.

U.S. celebrations

Alabama

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.

Photo courtasy of Nasa on Unsplash.

Washington, D.C.

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!

Portland

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!

Ohio

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.

U.S. stargazing

Photo courtesy of Joshua Earle.

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

TV

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.

Europe

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.

Hella, Iceland

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.

Tuscany, Italy

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.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Australia

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.

Parkes Telescope

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.

Gingin Observatory

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.

Sydney Observatory

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.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Check out more properties on Glamping Hub to find the perfect stargazing escape today!

The latest trend in nature therapy: Forest bathing

By Eleanor Stanesby

When you think of bathing, water immediately comes to mind. The Japanese art form of forest bathing, however, encompasses bathing in a completely different way. Through mindfulness and the use of your five senses, this type of nature therapy allows you to soak in the natural environment around you, which in turn, can lead to amazing health benefits, both physically and mentally!

Read on to find out why this scientifically-proven form of nature therapy is trending in the Western world, with doctors, forestry commissions, and even royals getting on board!

What is forest bathing?

Originating in Japan in the 1980s, Shinrin-yoku forest therapy was invented by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and has become an essential preventative healthcare method in Japanese medicine. Shinrin-yoku translates to "taking in the forest atmosphere," or "forest bathing," as its now known in Western culture.

"Taking in the forest atmosphere" is the best way to explain this form of holistic medicine and what it encompasses. The idea is to truly immerse yourself in nature, to be present and engage your senses, in order to allow you to reconnect with a calm and mindful approach. Many people take hikes or treks throughout the forest; however, the concept of forest bathing requires a much slower-paced walk, quietness, and a form of meditation for you to feel its healing benefits.

A forest bathing infographic from Lifespark Weekly.

Why you should give it a try

For many years, forest bathing has been used as a form of medical treatment in Japan—so much so that it's now a part of their national health program. The proven health benefits of forest bathing have plenty of research to back them up, largely thanks to the foremost expert in forest medicine, Dr. Qing Li, who through years of research has discovered the following that it:

  • Reduces stress, anxiety, and depression

  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Improves cardiovascular health

  • Improves metabolic function

It's true that nature is undeniably peaceful, from the soothing sounds of birds and streams to the incredible aromas of flowers and plants, so it's not hard to see why this type of therapy has so many benefits on your mental and physical well-being. Just think about how relaxed you felt the last time you were in the middle of nature, taking in your surroundings without any distractions or disturbances. This is what forest bathing is all about!

Don't just take our word for it, though. Dr. Li has written a book on the subject called, "Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness," which will give you an in-depth look on how forest bathing can improve your overall well-being and how you can incorporate nature therapy into your daily routine.

Where to go forest bathing

Duchess of Cambridge at Chelsea flower show from Jersey Evening Post.

Talk about trendy! Even the British royals are embracing forest bathing. The Duchess of Cambridge co-designed a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where she sourced inspiration from this treatment of Japanese origin and the benefits it brings to the table.

Here are some tips for connecting with nature and getting the utmost from this form of therapy:

  • Find somewhere in nature tailored to you.

  • Engage your senses.

  • Slow down your pace.

  • Take advantage of the silence.

  • Explore with no destination.

Forest bathing is an individual experience that everyone will do and benefit from in different ways. If you need a kickstart to your own nature therapy journey, there are many programs to help guide you through your journey, no matter where you're based in the world.


Forest bathing sounds like the perfect activity to incorporate into your glamping adventure, so get ready to leave your vacation feeling extra rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way!

Top 5 Outdoor Activities to Enjoy While Glamping

By Stephen Gillis

1. Surfing

Waking up at the crack of dawn to squeeze into a wetsuit and hit the waves is a feeling like no other. Catch the perfect wave that carries you down the coast and launches you through the pipeline. Imagine exiting the pipeline onto the beach and right onto your glamping luxury tent! Spark up the fire and grab a cold one before settling in for a comfortable night sleep to prepare you for the following day's surf. With glamping accommodations in some of the best surf spots in the world, you can be sure to get to hit the waves in style.

2. Mountain Biking

Helmet on and gear set, you are ready to navigate your way down that mountain. The trek up was grueling, but it will all be worth it as you fly down the trails with the cool breeze and spectacular views. Hit the hills of Moab, Sun Valley, Crested Butte, Brevard, and many other stunning places to mountain bike. Ride directly down to your glamping site, where you can fully relax and recover for another day of action.

3. Whitewater Rafting

Hit the rivers paddle in hand and and helmet strapped tight. Brace yourself for the thrill of whitewater rafting on some of the U.S.’s top rivers. We're talking the Colorado River, French Broad, Chattooga, Arkansas, and many more. Regardless of where you decide to embark on this water-based adventure, glamping will be within a stone's throw. Finish up the day on the whitewater by relaxing at your luxury camping site with all the desired amenities.

4. Horseback Riding

Take a ride on arguably the most majestic animal to exist—the horse. Powerful, yet gentle, and elegant, yet sturdy, a horse can make a lasting impression. Horseback riding is an experience like none other, where you can navigate rough terrain to catch a glimpse of breathtaking sunsets. You will not only build a closer connection to nature, but with the animal that is making it possible. Nothing screams glamour more than horseback riding on a beach. Stroll down the coast directly to your glamping site for an unforgettable experience.

5. Hiking

A great way to exercise and explore a new environment is to explore it by foot. You can gain a much deeper appreciation for a location by staying closer to the ground and at a slower pace. That way you can have a more intimate hike through the pure, majestic wilderness of some of America’s finest National Parks. No matter where in the US you decide to hike, glamping will be available for you to enjoy all the necessities you would expect in a 5 star hotel. Book now for a truly unforgettable experience!


Looking to plan a trip? Head over to Glamping Hub to browse our full inventory.