Moterra Luxury Camper Vans Lets You Pave Your Own Path to Explore National Parks, Wilderness

Moterra luxury camper van.

You’ve probably now heard of glamping – luxury camping. Now Moterra CamperVans offer a novel way to experience the national parks and wilderness by luxury camper van, which also provides amazing self-sufficiency.

With all the luxury of a 50-foot long RV, but, at 19-foot long, the size of an SUV, without the cumbersome size that makes it difficult to drive and park, and even the need to plug into electricity (the vans are powered with rooftop solar panels) or water (they hold 24-gallons of fresh water), their own sink, cooking facility, refrigerator and even their own bathroom facilities (a couple actually have its own shower and toilet, but others have port-o-potty), these camper vans give a new level of mobility. The vans can be used in tent camping spots in National Parks, so you can stay away from the noisy RV parks.

Founded by Gabe Aufderheide and Trevor James who were formerly with Backroads, the company offers these are specially outfitted Mercedes Benz Sprinters, built out by Sportmsobile, in Yellowstone, Wyoming; the Grand Tetons; Utah; Glacier National Park (Montana); and California.

These camper vans come with bluetooth audio, cruise-control and touch-screen navigation. A backup camera, blind spot sensors and lane assist technology make maneuvering a breeze. You don’t have to stay in an RV park, but can go wherever tents are allowed.

The vans come equipped with absolutely everything you need for camping, from sleeping stuff (memory foam pillow!), to cooking (marshmellow skewers) and dining, cleaning supplies, amenities like chairs and table, inflatable solar lights, even bear spray.

There are two models to choose from: The High Roof is perfect for couples- it includes a queen sized bed in the back, as well as a kitchen, sink, indoor shower and portable toilet. The Pop Top, which sleeps four, is perfect for families- it has both a double bed down below, and a double bed up top  in the Pop Top! While the Pop Top does not have an Indoor Shower, it offers a solar shower that can be used outside, and it also includes a sink and stove. Both models are rented for $319 a night.

Add-ons available include hammocks & bike racks, services such as pre-bought groceries and airport pick-ups, and packaged and customized tour itineraries.

All-inclusive packages consist of:

  • Moterra Campervan Rental and cleaning fee
  • Day-by-day personalized Itinerary with directions and destination info.
  • Pre-booked campsites, handpicked and booked in advance where possible, or GPS locations for off-the-grid dispersed camping spots.
  • Scenic Routes that take you to the heart of the action while minimizing road traffic.
  • Individualized suggestions depending on your preferences for hiking, scenic attractions, restaurants and activities.
  • A wide range of activities to make the trip your own, like white-water rafting, wildlife safaris, road biking, horseback-riding, kayaking and scenic floats.

For example, a 10-day/9-night Mighty 5: Utah’s Desert National Parks is priced from $5499, providing two-days each in Zion National Park, Bryce National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park.

A six-night/seven-day package offers the highlights of Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Tetons National Park (from $3699).

Moterra operates out of Jackson, WY, Whitefish, MT, Salt Lake City, UT and San Francisco, CA.

Moterra Camper Vans, 2950 West Big Trail Drive, Jackson, Wyoming, 307-200-7220,
info@gomoterra.com, gomoterra.com.

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Palm Beach Zoo Reopens; Chance to See Newborn Tiger Triplets

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has reopened to visitors. It’s particularly exciting time to visit since in May, Api, a Malayan tiger, gave birth to three healthy cubs. The impact of a visit to Palm Beach Zoo extends beyond the gates, inspiring people to take action and save wildlife in wild places.

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has reopened to for visits seven days per week from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last ticket sale is at 4:15 p.m.) and will be operating normally with a few notable exceptions:

  • Capacity will be limited and carefully monitored to allow for physical distancing.
  • All visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at palmbeachzoo.org.
  • A one-way path will be designated throughout the Zoo in the Florida Wetlands, Tropics of the Americas and The Islands.
  • Certain exhibits will be closed or roped off including the carousel, train, observatory, cafe, aviary, butterfly garden and bronze statues.
  • Food service is available at the concessions window and kiosks in Fountain Plaza.
  • Hand-sanitizer stations will be available throughout the Zoo.
  • Animal talks and animal experiences will not take place at this time.
  • Strollers and wheelchair rentals are not available and guests are encouraged to bring their own.
  • Guests to the Zoo are asked to refrain from visiting if they are in a high-risk category for COVID-19 complications, are not feeling well or have a fever. Guests are also highly encouraged to wear masks, utilize hand-sanitizing stations, and maintain a six-foot distance from other groups.

It’s particularly exciting because in May, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society announced that beloved Malayan tiger Api gave birth to three healthy cubs. Api and her mate Kadar, are part of the Association of Zoo and Aquarium’s (AZA’s) Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The SSP® is a cooperative reproduction program that serves as an important backup population for critically endangered Malayan tigers in the wild.

“This is a tremendous milestone for Api, Kadar, Palm Beach Zoo and the Malayan tiger subspecies. It is cause for a global celebration,” said Margo McKnight, president & CEO of Palm Beach Zoo. “Malayan tigers are critically endangered and number fewer than 200 in the wild. Having a secure backup population at AZA institutions like ours may be the only safeguard for the future of these magnificent creatures.”

Api, the Malayan tiger, gives birth to triplets!

A critically endangered status means Malayan tigers will go extinct in the near future if illegal hunting and habitat destruction are not curtailed. Tigers at Palm Beach Zoo also have an important role to play as ambassadors for the greater tiger species. McKnight points out, “The tigers inspire the Zoo’s visitors to act on behalf of wildlife.”

Tiger cubs are born blind and they don’t gain sight for the first few weeks. They spend the first month or so in the den with their mother and will not venture far for several months. The Zoo will provide updates, adorable photos and video via facebook and Instagram (@palmbeachzoo) to keep the community connected with the cubs. An announcement will follow on when the cubs will be visible in the Henry & Charlotte Kimelman Tiger River and Tiger Falls Habitats sponsored by Braman Motorcars.  

Without daily visitors, Palm Beach Zoo was significantly affected by the loss of admission revenue during the temporary closure. Support of the cubs through donations is welcomed on the Zoo website, www.palmbeachzoo.org/cubs.

For more than 50 years, Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society has provided visitors with up-close and personal animal encounters that connect people to wildlife. Palm Beach Zoo guests explore a WILD ecosystem thriving on 23 lush, tropical acres while discovering hundreds of exotic animals. Visitors enjoy interactive animal experiences, nature and water play, and a lakeside cafe. Palm Beach Zoo participates in AZA Species Survival Plan® programs, ensuring healthy animal populations for rare and endangered species. The impact of a visit to Palm Beach Zoo extends beyond the gates, inspiring people to take action and save wildlife in wild places.

For more information, visit www.palmbeachzoo.org.

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Famed Newport Mansions, The Breakers, The Elms Reopen with Health Precautions

The Breakers, one of the most famous among the Newport mansions, has reopened with strict health protocols © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Preservation Society of Newport County today received final state approval to reopen the Newport Mansions to visitors under strict health precautions.

The Breakers is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day with the last tour admission at 5 p.m.

The Elms is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day with a final tour admission at 4 p.m. The Servant Life Tour will be available during that same time.

“By reopening The Breakers and The Elms, we will bring in revenue we need to survive, and our visitors will help to jump-start Newport’s economy and support local businesses,” said Trudy Coxe, executive director and CEO of the Preservation Society. “With so many events canceled this summer, the economic stimulus of the Newport Mansions on the city and the state will be greater than ever.”

The Preservation Society hopes to reopen Marble House and Rosecliff later in the season.

In response to the pandemic, all of the Preservation Society’s historic properties and house museums have been closed to the public since March 15. Because 70 percent of the nonprofit organization’s revenue is derived from tour and events admissions, its annual budget has been cut dramatically.

The Preservation Society has prepared the following measures to help protect the health and safety of visitors:

• Audio tour equipment will no longer be distributed. Audio tours of The Elms or The Breakers can be downloaded onto smartphones and visitors can use their own earbuds to listen. The download is free and available through the Newport Mansions app.

• Tickets will be sold only online at NewportMansions.org. Ticket buyers can download and print their ticket at home or show their ticket on their smartphone when they arrive on site. Tickets will be for a specific day and time. Visitors will get to choose when they prefer to visit, subject to availability.

• Preservation Society members will continue to enjoy free admission but must make reservations through NewportMansions.org using their email address and ZIP code.

• A limited number of visitors will be allowed in each house at one time, as determined by state COVID-19 regulations. Staff members will wear face masks and guests will be required to wear masks, too.

• As always, guests will not be allowed to touch any objects or surfaces inside the house except as necessary, such as stair handrails. Staff will wipe down the handrails and any other surfaces visitors might touch throughout the day.

• Restroom attendants will make sure the number of people in each bathroom does not exceed the limit and will clean throughout the day.

• Visitors will be required to maintain a safe distance from each other. Lines on the floors of some rooms will show visitors where to stand until the next spot is available. All tours will be one-directional.

• Because the elevators in The Breakers and The Elms, which require a staff operator, are too small to accommodate people while practicing social distancing, they will not be in operation during the initial phase of reopening.

• The Preservation Society is also working with state officials to devise a plan so guests can purchase sandwiches and snacks from the Welcome Center at The Breakers and enjoy seating on the lawn.

The Preservation Society, which owns and operates 11 historic properties, hosted more than 1 million tours for the fourth straight year in 2019. In July, it delivered the 40 millionth tour since the organization’s founding in 1945.

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, is a nonprofit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties – seven of them National Historic Landmarks – span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

For more information, visit NewportMansions.org.

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Escape Adventures Offers 6-Day Camping + Cycling Tour of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks

Escape Adventures is offering a six-day camping and cycling trip in Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone National Park. This tour is designed for travelers of all fitness levels and appropriate for families with older children.

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures is offering a six-day camping and cycling trip in Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone National Park. This tour is designed for travelers of all fitness levels and appropriate for families with older children. Guests will witness magnificent peaks, enormous canyons, glacial lakes, lots of wildlife, and American West icons like Old Faithful. Daily cycling routes range in length from 14 to 59 miles. E-bikes are available upon request. Tours are being offered June – September 2020 and start at $1,695 per person.

Highlights include:

Riding Geneva Pass, Salt Pass, and Teton Pass

Visiting Intermittent Spring, the largest rhythmic spring in the world

Cycling through Star Valley and Snake River Gorge

Spotting grizzly bear, bald eagles, elk, bighorn sheep, bison and more

Viewing Isa Lake at 8,262 ft.

Hiking from Artist Point down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River

Riding from Teton Village to the quaint, Old West town of Wilson, WY

“Guests will cycle through a geothermal Disneyland, sweeping past a phantasmagoric succession of percolating mud pots, hot springs and belching fumaroles, including Morning Glory Pool, Biscuit Basin, and the Grand Prismatic Spring,” said Escape Adventures Director, Jared Fisher.  

Specialized bicycles are provided and equipped with carbon fiber frames and disc brakes designed for a smooth, comfortable ride. For those who may not be as fit or need a little help up the hills, electric pedal assist bikes are available. All road bike trips include a Garmin GPS device to help navigate through each day safely and smoothly.

Escape Adventures utilizes high-quality camping gear, including a tent, sleeping pad, raised cot, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, full size pillow, and ground tarp. Trip Leaders will ensure equipment is set up properly each night. Most campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers.

Expect three delicious meals a day consisting entirely of freshly prepared foods, including organic fruits and vegetables, as well as meats. Escape Adventures also offers energy snacks aboard its support vehicles and can accommodate vegans or vegetarians.

“There is nothing better than rolling into camp to fresh made chips and salsa, homemade guacamole, and Dutch oven enchiladas,” said Fisher. “Then making your way to a sweet and inviting campfire, sharing your favorite anecdote or image from the day’s activities while marshmallows roast.”

Escape Adventures has operated adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world since 1992. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels.

For more information visit, https://escapeadventures.com/tour/grand-tetons-yellowstone-road-bike-tour/#overview or contact Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953.

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With Reopening of Arches National Park, Moab Adventure Center Counts on Nature to Restore the Pandemic Weary

With the reopening of Arches National Park, Moab Adventure Center suggests three guided tours to nudge the housebound into the outdoors. The company is also armed with newly instituted COVID-19 mitigation and operations protocols.

MOAB, UT– Arches National Park in the world’s favorite red rock playground of Moab, Utah, has reopened to visitors. Guided tours of this iconic park have resumed, along with a variety of half-day, full-day and overnight river rafting programs along the Colorado River.

“The benefits of getting into nature for a few days are just what the doctor ordered – especially now,” said Cort Wright, Manager of the Moab Adventure Center, which operates programs into Arches National Park, Utah, and on the Colorado River. “As depression and anxiety diminish, our renewed vitality gains a foothold and positive attitudes surface. It will be a joy for us this summer and fall to see our guests transformed by the activities we provide.”
 
According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, “being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.” (For the full report see: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing.)

Moab Adventure Center, a full-service resource for the adventure-minded, suggests three guided tours of Arches National Park to nudge the housebound into the outdoors. The company is also armed with newly instituted COVID-19 mitigation and operations protocols (see: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/covid-19 

Guided Tours of Arches National Park: Daily morning and sunset tours of Arches National Park help interpret the 150 million years of geology and nature that have created this masterpiece of more than 2,000 arches – the highest concentration on the planet. Tour rates are $89 for adults and $79 for ages 5 to 12. See: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-tours
 
A third tour offers a breathtaking aerial tour of the park. Departing mid-morning, the half-hour flyover views formations such as Courthouse Towers, North and South Window Arches, Delicate Arch, Devil’s Garden, the Colorado River, Fisher Towers, and Castle Valley. Youth two and under fly free on a parent’s lap. Tour rates are $109 for adults and $55 for youth 3 to 12. For details see: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/arches-national-park-air-tours
 
Colorado River Tours: Full and half-day rafting adventures on the Colorado River along the southern border of Arches National Park can also be arranged through the Moab Adventure Center. A half-day morning tour showcases the mild to moderate rapids under a background of red rock cliffs, spires and buttes. Rates are $74 for adults and $64 for ages 5 to 12. Another half-day option comes with a BBQ lunch. Rates are $89 for adults and $79 ages 5 to 12. A full day on the river, with lunch, is a memorable seven-hour excursion. Rates are $109 for adults and $79 for age 5 to 12. (For details see: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/moab-river-tours.)
 
As of May 1, 2020, the Southeast Utah Health Department authorized a phased reopening of businesses in and around Moab. Lodging, commercial campgrounds, restaurants and activities are now available and operating within recommended guidelines. The town is seeing quite an influx of visitors as so many now are choosing an outdoor vacation as the best escape with loved ones.
 
Moab Adventure Center is offering most of its regularly scheduled activities along with new private tours (www.moabadventurecenter.com/private-tours). These include exclusive Hummer Safari outings for up to nine people; private canyoneering adventures; exclusive Arches National Park morning tours; private stand-up paddle boarding lessons for up to six people; and private Moab rock climbing outings for up to four people.
 
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (http://www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab, Utah. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs.

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Western River Expeditions Re-Opens with Limited Availability on Previously Sold-Out 2020 Grand Canyon Rafting Trips

Western River Expeditions is offering limited availability on previously sold-out
2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – With the official announcement from Grand Canyon authorities that river operations will again resume on June 14, many are looking to get a spot on an epic outdoor adventure this summer.
 
Snagging seats on 2020 Grand Canyon rafting trips was impossible just a few months ago. However, pandemic-driven cancellations by international travelers has opened up seats for some of Western River Expeditions’ 2020 departures.
 
“Select departures June through September of 2020 now have limited availability,” said Brandon Lake, company CMO. “Normally last-minute inquiries would be directed to 2021 or even 2022 selections. This is an incredible opportunity for those who are making last-minute plans and feel like an outdoor adventure may be the best choice for a summer adventure this year.”
 
Vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature can work wonders on pandemic-driven nerves. “On these iconic expeditions our guests immerse themselves in a remote world that provides a much-needed escape from civilization,” explains Lake. “A trip through the Grand Canyon becomes not only a celebration of the river and its untamed surroundings, but of life, providing a way to reconnect and refresh.”
 
This is Western River Expeditions’ promise for a true trip-of-a-lifetime far removed from the stress and challenges of today’s world. The more time spent on the river, the more the canyon reveals its sublime mysteries.
 
Western River Expeditions’ 6 or 7 Day Grand Canyon Rafting Vacation carries guests 188 river miles in custom-designed J-Rig rafts, maneuvering Class III-V rapids and each day descending deeper into geologic time, before a helicopter transports them back to the rim.
 
Their Grand Canyon 4 Day River & Ranch Tour and Grand Canyon 3 Day Lower Canyon Trip brings visitors down 100 river miles over Class II and III rapids. But first there’s a scenic helicopter ride to access the put-in. Guests on the 4-Day tour enjoy a pre-excursion overnight at Bar 10 Ranch on the North Rim of the Canyon, complete with horseback riding and optional ATV adventures.
 
Western River Expeditions for nearly 60 years has operated five-star-quality river rafting vacations. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. (For more details on Western River Expeditions’ protocols see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19.)
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is one of the largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019). 

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866-904-1160 (Local: 801-942-6669) or visit http://www.westernriver.com/.

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Xanterra Travel Collection Outlines Re-Opening Plan for Lodging, Dining, Services in Yellowstone National Park

Xanterra Travel Collection has announced re-opening plans for its services in Yellowstone National Park. © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK (MONTANA & WYOMING) – Xanterra Travel Collection has begun phased re-opening of lodges, campgrounds, dining and tours in Yellowstone National Park.

The decision to re-open was made after closely monitoring the guidance and recommendations of public health agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) as well as federal, state and local governments.

The current schedule for Xanterra operations in Yellowstone National Park has cabins with private baths, campgrounds, take-out food service, gift shops and select tours and activities available as part of a  phased approach to opening beginning on June 8. Opening and closing dates are subject to change based on future conditions and public health guidance as well as the ability to maintain a safe environment for visitors, employees and NPS staff. 

To learn more about Xanterra’s sanitization measures and ongoing efforts to keep employees and guests safe including physical distancing, ongoing cleaning, employee training, personal protective equipment and more, visit https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/health-and-safety/.

Visitors should come prepared and follow all CDC and local health guidance including practicing good hygiene and social distancing, wearing facial coverings in public spaces, and staying home and not visiting the park while sick.

LODGING: At this time, only cabins with private baths are scheduled to open at these locations: Old Faithful Inn, Grant Village and Roosevelt Lodge are currently closed but may reopen in 2020 if conditions allow.

Old Faithful Lodge (June 8-Oct. 4)

Old Faithful Snow Lodge (June 8-Oct. 25)

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (June 1-Nov. 1)

Lake Yellowstone Hotel (June 17-Oct. 4)

Lake Lodge (June 17-Sept. 2)

Canyon Lodge (June 19-Oct. 12)

CAMPGROUNDS:  Xanterra campgrounds are currently scheduled to open on this schedule:

Madison (June 15-Oct. 18)

Bridge Bay (June 17-Sept. 7)

Grant Village (June 17-Sept. 13)

Canyon (June 19-Sept. 20)

Fishing Bridge RV Park will remain closed through fall of 2021

DINING:  Select dining outlets will be open with “take out” options only. Based on current public health guidelines, dining room seating and dinner reservations are not available.

Mammoth Hot Springs Area: Terrace Grill (June 1-Oct. 12)

Old Faithful Area: Geyser Grill at Snow Lodge (May 22-Oct. 25); Old Faithful Lodge Bake Shop (June 8-Oct. 4); Old Faithful Lodge Cafeteria (June 8-Oct. 3)

Canyon Area: The Eatery at Canyon Lodge (June 19-Oct. 12)

Yellowstone Lake Area: Wiley’s Canteen at Lake Lodge (June 17-Oct. 4); Lake Lodge Lobby Bar (June 17-Oct. 3)

Grant Village Area:  Grant Village Dining Room (June 17-Sept. 13)

LIMITED GUIDED ACTIVITIES AND TOURS: Tours and activities will be limited to guide boats, boat rentals, backcountry shuttle, and dock slips at the marina, horseback rides at Canyon Lodge Corral, and bike rentals at Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Road-based tours, Scenicruise tours, Stagecoach rides, or the Old West Cookout will not be offered. Pricing and other details can be found online (https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/adventures/)

Bike Rentals at Old Faithful Snow Lodge (June 8-Sept. 7 or as weather permits, reservations not accepted)                                                          

Bridge Bay Marina/Dock Slips (June 17-Sept. 13)

Boat Rentals (June 17-Sept. 6, first come, first served, reservations not accepted)

Guided Fishing/Sightseeing Boats (June 17-Sept 13)

Backcountry Shuttle Boat (June 17-Sept. 13)

Canyon Lodge Corrals, Horseback Rides (June 18-Sept. 7)

Private Tours: Yellowstone Forever is the official nonprofit educational and fund-raising partner of Yellowstone National Park. Information about their private tours can be found here or by calling 406-848-2400. 

SHOPPING:  Select Xanterra gift stores will be open, but with controlled access to comply with distancing standards:

Mammoth Hotel (June 1-Oct. 12)

Old Faithful Snow Lodge (May 22-Nov. 1)

Old Faithful Lodge (June 8-Oct. 4)

Lake Yellowstone Hotel (June 17-Oct. 4)

Canyon Lodge (June 19- Oct. 12)

Lake Lodge (June 17-Oct. 4)

Madison Campground (June 15-Oct. 18)

For updates on the opening of Xanterra operations in Yellowstone National Park, visit https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/health-and-safety/. For reservations, visit https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/, or call 307-344-7311. For updates on the three-phased plan for re-opening Yellowstone National Park as well as the latest information on NPS operations in Yellowstone, visit www.nps.gov/yell.

With nine unique lodging options, including the renowned historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Yellowstone National Park Lodges allows you to have the ultimate park experience. Staying in the park is the best way for visitors to experience all it has to offer, including the exciting wildlife watching. Once the day-visitors leave, Yellowstone remains for the in-park overnight guests alone. Yellowstone National Park Lodges offer tours and activities guided by Certified Interpretive Guides that help create memorable experiences. For more information on lodging, tours, and vacation packages visit, yellowstonenationalparklodges.com or call 307-344-7311.

Known for its “Legendary Hospitality with a Softer Footprint,” Xanterra Travel Collection provides unforgettable experiences through its operations in national parks, including lodges, restaurants, tours, and activities, as well as through its ownership of resorts, a cruise line, a railway, and tour companies. Xanterra has operations in Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Xanterra Travel Collection also owns and operates the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel in Williams, Ariz., The Grand Hotel in Tusayan, Ariz., The Oasis at Death Valley in Death Valley Calif., Windstar Cruises, Holiday Vacations, VBT Bicycling Vacations, and Country Walkers.  Xanterra is also affiliated with two Forbes Five-Star Resorts, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO and Sea Island on the coast of Georgia.

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Six National Park Getaways this Summer

Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, minutes from the Bighorn National Forest and a scenic three hour drive from Yellowstone National Park.

National parks across the country are in the process of reopening, with iconic destinations like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone already accessible to visitors. The National Park Service system received more than 327.5 million visits in 2019, and based on recent travel data, the parks could be even more desirable this summer as people look to get away after spending weeks under stay-at-home orders. Travelers are pivoting away from metropolitan areas and heading to the great outdoors. Here are six vacation ideas that include easy access to some of America’s greatest national parks: 

Hike & Bike North Rim of the Grand Canyon: Providing gently rolling terrain of lung-expanding dimensions, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon has been long-held as sacred ground to hikers and cyclists. Escape Adventures offers an amazing 5-day tour of the North Rim that includes mountain biking, trekking and camping. Trails brimming with wildflowers lead guests to exhilarating hikes along the rim. Crossing over to the west side of the plateau, guests camp alongside one of the most scenic mountain bike paths in the world, the Rainbow Rim Trail. (https://escapeadventures.com/tour/grand-canyon-north-rim-mountain-bike-tour/)

Remote Dude Ranch Getaway: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just minutes from the Bighorn National Forest. It is a scenic three hour drive from Yellowstone National Park. The closest sign of civilization is Ten Sleep, Wyoming, with a population of about 260. Guests stay in their own private chalets, and family-friendly activities include horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, fishing, shooting, and indulging in gourmet farm-to-table cuisine. The ranch is open for business now. (https://red-reflet-ranch.net/)

Grand Teton Tiny House Retreat:  Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fireside Resort capitalizes on the tiny house craze and the classic appeal of rustic cottages by offering 25 pint-size, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a ski trip or a summer getaway.  (https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/)

Big Sky Base Camp: If outdoor adventures like hiking, mountain biking, and fly fishing are your style, look to visit Big Sky, Montana and stay at The Wilson Hotel. Located on the edge of Yellowstone National Park, the town is home to Big Sky Resort and its 5,850 acres of ski terrain, as well as shaded forests, wildflower-filled meadows, rocky mountaintops and clear, cool rivers and streams. (bigskyresort.com)

Bryce & Zion by MTB: Soaring red stone spires and ancient citadels of rich Navajo sandstone give way to haunting hoodoos and curving arches of rock  a geologist’s dream and a mountain biker’s paradise. The rides on this 6-day Escape Adventures tour offer swift lines that wind and wend through deep Alpine meadows and Aspen forests only to spill out onto yawning mesas and buttes. The world-famous trails of Red Canyon’s Thunder Mountain, Cassidy, and Casto Canyon, are but a few of this tour’s many highlights. (https://escapeadventures.com/tour/bryce-and-zion-mountain-bike-tour/)

Great Parks North: Join the Adventure Cycling Association on its Great Parks North Route. This tour follows the Rocky Mountains from Missoula, Montana, to Jasper, Alberta, exploring some the most spectacular national parks the U.S. and Canada has to offer. Great Parks North will highlight Glacier NP, Waterton NP, Banff NP, and Jasper NP. (https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/2020-great-parks-north/

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Ellis Island Introduces New Personalized Virtual Research Service to Help People Locate Arrival Records of Immigrant Ancestors

One of the passenger manifests in the Ellis Island database. A new service enables people to hire a researcher to find their immigrant ancestors among the 65 million arrival records of those who entered the United States through Ellis Island from 1820 to 1957.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the nonprofit that collaborates with the National Park Service and raises funds for the restoration and preservation of these two national monuments, has introduced a new service in response to Ellis Island closing during the COVID-19 crisis. Each year thousands visit the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island to explore their connections to the 17+ million immigrants who entered the U.S. through the Port of New York (1820-1957). Now, a newly created virtual experience replicates a visit to the Family History Center to help people along their genealogical journey.

For a $30 donation, the Foundation’s experts conduct a personalized search of the passenger database, home to about 65 million arrival records. With a successful search, donors receive two copies (a digital version and a hard copy on archival paper) of the Ship Manifest displaying the immigrant’s arrival. The Foundation is also producing a series of videos featuring research tips and interesting stories about Ellis Island’s immigration history.  

This team consists of the same research staff you would normally meet at the American Family Immigration History Center on Ellis Island. Your donation secures a 30-minute research session conducted by the team, with the funds supporting the Foundation’s mission and our commitment to keeping these 65 million records available for people all over the globe.

Successful searches will result in the Foundation sending you a free digital copy of the Ship Manifest displaying your ancestor’s arrival in America! In addition, when the Foundation’s office reopens, you will receive a hard copy, on archival paper, sent with free shipping.

Each research session will be 30 minutes in length. During this time, the research team will search the vast records for your ancestor (only one per session; you can purchase more than one session). Allow up to 10 business days to receive your search results. You may purchase more than one session. If you are interested in searching for multiple passengers, you can reserve additional sessions. Research sessions occur without live participation from donor. The research team will reach out to you if they have any additional questions. 

How it works

Visit the website shop to make your donation and secure your 30-minute research session.

You will receive a confirmation email from our research team. This email will include a document where you will provide as much information possible about the passenger you’d like us to research. The more information the team has from you, the more they can narrow the search.

After submitting your form, a research team member will be assigned to conduct your search.

If your search is successful, you will receive a free digital copy of the Ship Manifest (up to a $50 savings!)

If your search is unsuccessful, you will receive a 10% off promo code for the Ellis Island Shop.

To start, go to https://libertyellisfoundation.org/FindYourFamily

The Ellis Island Database, which is free for all, is an amazing gateway to history. There are close to 65 million records documenting the people who came to America through the Port of New York, from 1820 to 1957.

In the coming weeks, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation will unveil a series of videos on social media that will guide you along a genealogical journey, providing research tips and historical fun facts from our staff.

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Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Joins Cradle of Aviation June 4 for Virtual Trivia Edutainment

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the Cradle of Aviation Museum will present a live trivia event at June 4 at 2 pm hosted by the Intrepid’s Frantz Lucien, Manager of Interactive Experience and Family Engagement and the Cradle’s Thomas Barry, Assistant Director of Education

Garden City, NY – On Thursday, June 4th at 2pm, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and the Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center are hosting a live trivia event for some edutainment and laughter. The topic: aviation. The intention: a little good-natured fun for all ages with a nod to NY heritage and the state’s aviation trailblazers coming live from organizations and individuals who are passionate and enthusiastic about their museums, educating audiences, and sharing their stories.

The pandemic has hit cultural institutions hard in the US and around the world. Museums have joined together in mutual support sharing ideas, resources, and messages of inspiration. New York is certainly no stranger to reaching out and lending a hand in a time of need. The live trivia event will be hosted by the Intrepid’s Frantz Lucien, Manager of Interactive Experience and Family Engagement and the Cradle’s Thomas Barry, Assistant Director of Education

“We hope that we can help preserve our past and inspire the future by honoring our heroes and educating the public through this fun program whose main goals are to provide a positive educational and social experience,” Barry said.

The live broadcast will be streamed on The Cradle of Aviation’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CradleofAviation/ and YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/Cradleofaviation

Why the Collaboration?

“Museum education is a small world. Many educators have met each other through their career paths, at conferences, or through special projects. We are always looking for ways to help and support one another as we seek to engage the public. The Cradle of Aviation and Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum have quite a bit of overlap in their content and by working together, we hope to reach an even larger audience with some great content related to both of our Museums. This content stretches back to the earliest days of flight and goes right up through the present day. Our Museums may be closed, but that doesn’t mean our jobs as educators are any different…the only thing that has changed is how we do them,” Barry said.

Recent Posts/Teasers About Upcoming Trivia Event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFQg6TKQgT0

How Other Museums Are Working Together

● Between 2-3K museum professionals attending weekly Cuseum webinars on how to engage audiences and stay afloat during pandemic https://cuseum.com/blog-sections

● In March, art museums started #museumbouquet sending messages of gratitude paired with paintings and photos of flower bouquets to share some brightness with the world. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/museums-sending-each-other-bouquets-1815078

● In VA, local museums have organized a virtual scavenger hunt to celebrate local heritage https://rvahub.com/2020/05/21/area-museums-will-join-forces-may-24th-to-offer-socially-distant-digital-scavenger-hunts/

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a nonprofit, educational institution featuring the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, the space shuttle Enterprise, the world’s fastest jets and a guided missile submarine. Through exhibitions, educational programming and the foremost collection of technologically groundbreaking aircraft and vessels, visitors of all ages and abilities are taken on an interactive journey through history to learn about American innovation and bravery.

The Intrepid Museum fulfills its mission to honor our heroes, educate the public and inspire our youth by connecting them to history through hands-on exploration while bridging the future by inspiring innovation. Connect with the Intrepid on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and tour the Museum virtually on Google Arts & Culture.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum & Education Center is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in Garden City. Call (516) 572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org.


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