IQ-Boosting Adventures - Full-Time Travel

IQ-Boosting Adventures

IQ-Boosting Adventures

Hotels Now Offering Learning Experiences

Rest and relaxation are high on the list when traveling, but what about raising your IQ along the way? Learning experiences are emerging as a growing amenity for travelers looking to expand their mind while exploring the world.

Inn Crowd

While the brick-and-mortar bookstore may be going the way of the dodo bird, indie publisher Hat & Beard Press took a novel approach to sharing its wares: They set up shop in Viceroy Santa Monica's Kelly Wearstler-designed lobby library space where they sell titles, including such finds as a book on David Lynch films and another on the Velvet Underground. In addition to stocking their current offerings, guests can check out books (in true library fashion) to enjoy in the intimate reading space itself, in their rooms, at the beach or by the pool during their stay. At San Francisco’s Hotel Emblem, a book butler program in partnership with City Lights bookstore allows guests to borrow books during their stay.

"Well-traveled guests are seeking learning experiences. Bringing new, rich programming and discoveries to guests to enhance their stay through culturally enriching opportunities is evolving into a true 'amenity' unlike any other. It's something hotels are only now starting to explore, and it represents a new level of connection that travelers yearn for."

– Kelly Kang, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Viceroy Hotel Group

Launch Pad

Explore miles of crystal-clear waterways that flow throughout Mayakoba with a biologist as you learn about more than 200 species of tropical flora and fauna. Located in the Mexican Riviera Maya, the 1,600-acre eco-conscious development known for lush jungles, lagoons, turquoise waters and sugar sand beach is also home to an Andaz, Banyan Tree, Fairmontand Rosewood, each of which has an onsite residential biologist to help better understand and appreciate the area’s jaw-dropping biodiversity.

Eat, Drink, Repeat

Want to sip Champagne while learning about the fascinating life of trailblazer Madame Clicquot? Learn about (and drink) wine, spirits and beer through expert-led Sipping Seminars at Mountain Shadows, the food-and-beverage focused hideaway in Scottsdale, Arizona. Starting in October, guests can also get an astronomy lesson from the hotel’s Camelback Overlook rooftop deck. Each astronomer-led event features a signature cocktail themed around that month’s astrological sign, which can be seen brighter in the valley due to its low light pollution and dramatic desert backdrop. At sister property Hotel Valley Ho, local architectural historian Ace Bailey guides guests through the iconic mid-century hotel, revealing its fascinating design past. Or take it up a notch and explore some of Valley’s best architecture with the Insider Mid-Century Tour of Scottsdale, where Bailey explores gems by Frank Lloyd Wright and other notable Valley architects. The highlight of the day is a tour of the Price House, the largest home Frank Lloyd Wright built in Arizona.

Sweat Equity

With thousands of acres of unspoiled nature and 32 miles of riverfront, Palmetto Bluff offers a natural classroom where onsite conservationists and guides run tours, classes, workshops and field trips open to all guests at Montage Palmetto Bluff. Learn about live oaks, wild turkeys and other Low Country flora and fauna on bike, horseback or on foot; or head to the May River to explore by kayak, canoe or paddleboard. Looking to learn about the area’s rich history? Onsite archeologist Dr. Mary Socci leads artifact hunting expeditions from past communities dating back to 12,000 B.C., and even leads cemetery walks that include past inhabitants’ pets.

HERO: @Palmetto Bluff

INN CROWD: @Viceroy Santa Monica

LAUNCH PAD: @Fairmont Mayakoba

EAT, DRINK, REPEAT: @Mountain Shadows

SWEAT EQUITY: @Palmetto Bluff

"This sculpture is called "Transmission" by artist Daniel Popper. Its a reminder that we are all rooted in love, unity and the divine. She stands a towering 28 feet tall and is located on Mojave Moon Ranch in Joshua Tree. The land is private property, so you can see it from the viewing platform off of Sunfair Road. And take it from me, it's best viewed at sunset."

Reel: @johnofah

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen