The Guggenheim Museum – A Home for Art and a Work of Art in Itself

When visiting New York City, be sure to stay at The Manhattan Club, a Bluegreen Resorts destination that combines big-city luxury with home-like comforts. The boutique resort’s location in Midtown places you within a short walk or subway ride to all the excitement of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Upscale restaurants, one-of-a-kind shopping experiences, and countless cultural and entertainment venues will be open to you.

Among the city’s iconic cultural institutions, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum holds an honored place. In addition to being home to a world-renowned collection of 20th century, modern, and contemporary art masterpieces, the museum itself is an architectural wonder. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who situated it on the Upper East Side near Central Park in order to set its organic forms as close to nature as possible, the museum is built around a spiral core that echoes the shape of a nautilus shell. From any vantage point along the spiral, visitors can view multiple sections that flow around one another.

The building’s series of self-contained yet interconnected galleries have exhibited numerous cutting-edge works over the course of more than a half-century in existence. Over the last few years, museum visitors have seen an exhibition concentrating on the early paintings and woodcuts of Vasily Kandinsky, as well as paintings, postcards, and telegrams that characterize the Conceptual style of artist On Kawara. “Wang Jianwei: Time Temple” focused on the performance-and-installation-based work of the contemporary Chinese artist known for his bold explorations of space, time, and elements reflecting social reality.

The museum’s collections have their roots in the personal collection of non-objective paintings assembled by Solomon R. Guggenheim and the Surrealist and abstract pieces that belonged to his niece, Peggy Guggenheim. The holdings have been augmented over the decades by works representative of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Minimalist, and Conceptual art, among other innovative styles. The Guggenheim does not divide its collections into separate “wings” or sections, as most museums do. Instead, it offers an integrated experience, as one exhibition flows into another.

The Wright, the museum’s upscale café, won a James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design. Relax during your visit by enjoying tea, coffee, or beer, along with sandwiches and specialty desserts.

Updated Cooper-Hewitt Offers a World-Class Tour of Design

A stylish Bluegreen Resorts vacation destination located in New York City, The Manhattan Club places visitors at the center of an array of exciting venues and events that make Manhattan one of the world’s foremost cultural capitals. The Empire State Building, Times Square, the United Nations complex, and numerous other renowned landmarks are a short stroll from your front door.

You’ll also be within easy reach of some of the world’s finest museums, many dedicated to specialized fields. The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, which makes its home in the historic Andrew Carnegie Mansion on the Upper East Side and across the street from Central Park, is the nation’s only museum to focus its collections and programs solely on both contemporary and historical design. Housing more than 200,000 treasures, Cooper-Hewitt has mounted exhibitions in recent years dealing with poster design, contemporary architecture, classic 20th century fashion, tools, typography, and the user experience in design.

The museum’s permanent collections include artifacts covering 3,000 years of design and creativity. Walk through the doors and view fascinating pieces of design history such as model Victorian wooden staircases, a lime-green neo-Classical-shaped urn created by a 3D printer, Milton Glaser’s iconic 1966 psychedelic poster depicting Bob Dylan in profile, and much more.

Newly reopened after extensive renovations, the Cooper-Hewitt offers an immersive experience that allows visitors to take home a permanent record of their favorite objects. Visitors can use a high-tech gray “pen” to touch a small pattern beside each item on display. A touch adds an object to your personal collection. After returning the pen as you leave, you can access a unique URL that opens up an online gallery of the images you selected.

The redesign doesn’t stop at the museum itself. Scheduled for a summer 2015 opening, the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden – one of the most beautiful open green spaces in the city – will once again offer a tranquil place to enjoy the colorful blooms surrounding you.

John Denver Sanctuary – A Tribute to a Beloved Musician

Stay with Bluegreen Resorts at The Innsbruck Aspen in Aspen, Colorado, and a world of natural beauty will be open to you amid the surrounding snow-clad splendor of mountain terrain in the winter and the riot of colors in the spring, summer, and autumn. In addition, Aspen is the home of treasures off the beaten path, such as the John Denver Sanctuary.

The late folk music singer-songwriter John Denver, who took his stage name from the state’s capital city, exemplified Colorado’s connection to the natural world in his life and work. The city of Aspen constructed the John Denver Sanctuary in his honor. The grouping of white stone slabs carved with lyrics from his songs is a fitting tribute to the creative spirit behind such popular hits such as “Rocky Mountain High,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Annie’s Song,” and “Aspenglow.” When you visit the Aspen Art Museum, you’ll be a short walk away from an opportunity to enjoy quiet reflection at the simple memorial at Rio Grande Park on the Roaring Fork River.

One of Aspen’s many free attractions, the sanctuary has proven popular with Denver’s many fans and even with those who have no particular connection to his music. Travelers who have come across the sanctuary by chance have commented on the beauty of the spot covered with trees and rocks.

A highly honored musician, John Denver was Record World magazine’s top male recording artist for 1974-75. Simultaneously, he received recognition from the Country Music Association as Entertainer of the Year. Numerous music writers have described him as the quintessential musician of the 1970s, and his albums have been certified gold and platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Denver’s contemplative and deceptively simple compositions spoke eloquently of love, loss, and the beauty of America’s unspoiled lands.

During his career, Denver also achieved acclaim as an activist on behalf of the environment, lending vocal support to organizations such as Friends of the Earth and the Cousteau Society. In the mid-1970s, he co-founded the Windstar Foundation and assisted in protecting wildlife and their habitats. He also established the World Hunger Project. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan recognized him for his humanitarian efforts, which also earned him an Albert Schweitzer Music Award. A passionate aviator, Denver died in a plane crash in 1997.

Independence Pass – An Historic and Scenic Treasure in Aspen

Enjoy Aspen, Colorado, in the company of Bluegreen Resorts at its luxurious and comfortable resort, The Innsbruck Aspen. Aspen’s four stunning surrounding mountains – featuring opportunities for skiing and other winter sports, as well as numerous winding hiking and biking trails – offer a world of excitement year-round. In addition, the area is known for its wide variety of art and culture festivals, including world-renowned celebrations of music, wine, and cuisine.

Aspen is also the location of multiple sites of historic and geographic interest, including Independence Pass. With a summit situated at more than 12,000 feet over the Continental Divide, Independence Pass is the highest paved highway maintained by the state of Colorado in the region. As one of Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways and a part of State Highway 82, the pass runs through more than 30 miles of mountain landscapes. The pass is renowned for its breathtaking views.

Travel along Independence Pass, and you will discover a variety of wildlife homelands, trailheads, picturesque overlooks, and camping areas. Amateur geologists will enjoy rock-climbing at the Grotto or splashing in the icy cold waters of the Devil’s Punch Bowl, an emerald green pool fed by a series of waterfalls along the Roaring Fork River.

Traveling Independence Pass also gives you access to the historic ghost town of Independence. At an elevation of nearly 11,000 feet, Independence was originally a gold-mining town with a few hundred people. By the early 1880s, it was home to more than 1,000 residents and a variety of businesses. The high elevation led to winter weather so dire that one year the starving miners tore down their houses and turned the wood into skis so that they could escape the cold. By 1890, the mines had gone bust, and the town’s inhabitants soon moved down-mountain to the more profitable and hospitable town of Aspen.

Following are a few aspects to keep in mind in case you plan to visit Independence Pass:

Due to the extreme cold and snow, the pass is typically closed from October or November each year until the Thursday before Memorial Day. Check the state Department of Transportation website at www.cotrip.org for updates. In addition, the winding roadways and steep inclines of the pass will not accommodate oversized vehicles. When driving along the twists and turns of the pass, exercise extreme caution by keeping alert to poor road conditions and the presence of vehicles and cyclists entering the highway.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden Blooms Year-Round

Spend your New York City vacation with Bluegreen Resorts in comfort and style at The Manhattan Club, and you’ll find yourself within easy distance of attractions throughout the five boroughs. After a short subway ride, you can find yourself standing in front of the red torii gate leading to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s stunning Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. One of the most popular spots in the beloved public garden, this section also features a Shinto shrine and a cherry arbor bursting with pink blossoms every spring.

With a family-friendly cost of only $12.00 per adult, $6.00 for students and seniors, and free admission for children under 12, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a day of beauty, tranquility, fun, and learning.

The newly opened Discovery Garden is made for children’s exploration and offers an immersive experience. Through hands-on activities, kids can find out about the flora and fauna of a number of habitats, including a marshland, wooded expanse, meadow, and special themed gardens. The BBG’s Family Discovery Weekends encourage adults to join in the fun with their young naturalists.

The BBG, founded more than a century ago, has steadily expanded over the years. In 1925, it debuted its charming Shakespeare Garden, a gift from Henry C. Folger that celebrates some 80 species enumerated by the playwright. The Cranford Rose Garden contains 5,000 exquisite blooms, spanning more than 1,000 varieties, while the Fragrance Garden is specifically designed to delight the senses of people with limited vision. Visitors to the BBG can also see bonsai plants a century old, as well as tour a conservatory housing plants that represent desert, aquatic, tropical, and temperate ecosystems.

Stroll beneath the elegant expanse of trees in Magnolia Plaza, which is awash in creamy white, purple, pink, and yellow from March through June. Lilacs, peonies, and orchids also abound throughout the gardens, and the Lily Pool Terrace is filled with dozens of varieties of water lilies, lotuses, and other aquatic plants.

Open year-round—with longer hours from March through October—the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a natural treasure well worth your visit.