Vallarta botanical garden named one of top 10 North American gardens

The Vallarta Botanical Garden ( in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was named one of “the top 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For” at the North American Garden Tourism Conference, which took place in November under the theme: “Taking Garden Tourism to the Next Level”.

Garden Tourism can be a significant component of a destination’s tourism offering.

Over 25 million people travel annually in North America to see gardens, and the global market of garden visitors exceeds 250 million. Research indicates that 46 per cent of garden visits result in an overnight stay, and the demographic of garden visitors includes all ages. Destination British Columbia estimates the value of garden tourism in the Province of British Columbia alone exceeds $300 million annually. Latest research in the UK show that Garden Tourism generates almost £3 billion of economic impact. Gardens not only have a significant economic impact but also enhance the tourist experience of a destination, while providing positive social and health benefits.

The Garden Tourism Awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of garden experiences as tourism attractions and motivators. The awards are proudly supported by the Canadian Garden Council, the American Public Gardens Association and the Mexican Association of Botanical Gardens and sponsored by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association.

Earlier this year it was announced that the Vallarta Botanical Garden had been included in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2019 Best Botanical Gardens in North America.

With the debut of Costa Palmas, golf has finally arrived on Los Cabos’ less-trafficked East Cape

Forty-five minutes east of Los Cabos International Airport, on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, the bustle and development of a tourist mecca give way to untouched, white-sand beaches where the desert slopes into the sea.

Welcome to the East Cape of Los Cabos, a tranquil time capsule that calls to mind how Cabo used to be.

Set along the Sea of Cortez, with the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains looming in the backdrop, the East Cape has long been a low-key escape for scuba divers, fishermen and others with a thirst for out-of-the-way adventure.

Now, golfers have good reason to locate it on the map.

This weekend marks the opening of Costa Palmas Golf Club, the first course on the East Cape. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the links-inspired layout is meant for easy walking, a change of pace from many courses in the Cabo region, with seamless transitions between a number of greens and tees, and a robust caddie program to sweeten the experience. The routing also allows for shorter loops, if a handful of holes is all you want to play.

Working on a contoured, coastal site, Trent Jones II says he conceived of Costa Palmas as a “golf symphony composed of three movements.” From its opening six holes, which thread through dunes, the course moves upland to a six-hole stretch defined by ample fairways and even ampler vistas, before shifting toward an intimate finale that offers glimpse of the coves and harbors that make the region one of the world’s great sport fishing destinations.

Paradisus by Melia will open a new culinary concept at its Paradisus Cancun property.

The Malva Food Bazaar, set to open later this year, is a $1.2 million investment in redesigning the 19,353-square-foot space, which previously housed restaurants Naos and Fuego. Upon opening, Malva will be a buffet experience open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a smoothie and juice bar, salads, meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan options.

The Bazaar will feature communal tales throughout the space, as well as live cooking stations, bright colors, and more. This will be the eighth restaurant at the resort, with potential for other Food Bazaars to open at Paradisus properties throughout the portfolio.

25th Annual ZooLights Events and Activities

A Chicago holiday tradition that helps keep Lincoln Park Zoo free and open 365 days a year, ZooLights Presented by ComEd and Invesco QQQ illuminates the zoo with more than 2.5 million lights and hundreds of dynamic displays. This FREE event transforms Lincoln Park Zoo into a twinkling winter wonderland for 28 nights complete with visits from Santa (through Dec. 23), ice sculptors (weekends), carolers (weekdays), festive activities and sweet treats of all kinds. ZooLights runs from 4:30 to 9 p.m. It takes place Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights Nov. 29 – 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 6 – 8, Dec. 13 – 15, and then nightly Dec. 16 through Jan. 5 (excluding Dec. 24 and 25). ZooLights is also sponsored by Louis Glunz Beer, Inc., 93.9 Lite FM, and Pepsi.

ZooLights Family Nights are back by popular demand Mondays, Dec. 9, 16 and 30. These fun-filled evenings include all regular ZooLights activities along with FREE rides on the AT&T Endangered Species Carousel and Lionel Train Adventure. On these nights, kids also eat FREE at Park Place Café (one free limited kid’s menu item with paid adult entrée or combo meal). Lincoln Park Zoo members of all levels can enjoy free parking on Family Nights, too.