A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

Our good friend Leore shares a few of her favorite must-see’s in the South of France… make them your must-see’s, too!

Antibes Farmers Market

Antibes is an open-air market, resting (or bustling, rather) under a sea of tents in the town’s center square. Its cobblestone road is lined with vendors selling fresh spices, honeys, French-made soaps and body lotions, fresh produce and sweets. This farmers’ market is an amazing place to stock up on French-infused beauty essential while eating healthy snacks.

Plage des Ondes

This small local’s beach is ideal for relaxing and swimming, the water shallow and clear enough to see fish gliding around your feet. Because the water is so calm, you can swim out very far and float for as long as you’d like. And don’t forget — salt water cleanses skin and balances oil production.

Plage de Pampelonne in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez is known for its private beach clubs and famous parties but, aside from the fun, Place de Pampelonne offers an endless stretch of sand to run along, to take in all the action from a distance. Stop in a beach club that catches your eye and grab a fresh juice along the way during your workout.

Cannes

Cannes is THE place to take in endless shopping and endless — and delicious — food all along the French Riviera, with a few great yoga studios dotted in between it all. I love finding yoga all over the world. Re-centering yourself and taking time to stretch after long travel is so important, especially when your mind and body are taking in a new environment.

Gourdon

Gordon is a charming mountain town, with a climate perfect for growing orange trees, olive trees and perfume plants.Here you can walk through the perched village and visit one of many local perfumeries.
Less of a hotel and more of a museum, art lies everywhere in Colombe d’Or, teeming with Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Léger, Calder and Braque. What makes it so very special? These 20th century artists donated a piece in exchange for room and board here.
St. Paul de Vence itself is swarmed with art galleries via its small cobblestone roads — a perfect place to get inspired and pick up a pen and paper and start drawing or writing.
While here, I also highly recommend visiting beach town Juan Les Pins, the village of Eze and Nice.
+Travel on your mind? Check out more guides here and be sure to follow Leore on Instagram

Free People Blog

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

A Quick Guide Through the South of France with @The Girl Habit

Our good friend Leore shares a few of her favorite must-see’s in the South of France… make them your must-see’s, too!

Antibes Farmers Market

Antibes is an open-air market, resting (or bustling, rather) under a sea of tents in the town’s center square. Its cobblestone road is lined with vendors selling fresh spices, honeys, French-made soaps and body lotions, fresh produce and sweets. This farmers’ market is an amazing place to stock up on French-infused beauty essential while eating healthy snacks.

Plage des Ondes

This small local’s beach is ideal for relaxing and swimming, the water shallow and clear enough to see fish gliding around your feet. Because the water is so calm, you can swim out very far and float for as long as you’d like. And don’t forget — salt water cleanses skin and balances oil production.

Plage de Pampelonne in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez is known for its private beach clubs and famous parties but, aside from the fun, Place de Pampelonne offers an endless stretch of sand to run along, to take in all the action from a distance. Stop in a beach club that catches your eye and grab a fresh juice along the way during your workout.

Cannes

Cannes is THE place to take in endless shopping and endless — and delicious — food all along the French Riviera, with a few great yoga studios dotted in between it all. I love finding yoga all over the world. Re-centering yourself and taking time to stretch after long travel is so important, especially when your mind and body are taking in a new environment.

Gourdon

Gordon is a charming mountain town, with a climate perfect for growing orange trees, olive trees and perfume plants.Here you can walk through the perched village and visit one of many local perfumeries.
Less of a hotel and more of a museum, art lies everywhere in Colombe d’Or, teeming with Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Léger, Calder and Braque. What makes it so very special? These 20th century artists donated a piece in exchange for room and board here.
St. Paul de Vence itself is swarmed with art galleries via its small cobblestone roads — a perfect place to get inspired and pick up a pen and paper and start drawing or writing.
While here, I also highly recommend visiting beach town Juan Les Pins, the village of Eze and Nice.
+Travel on your mind? Check out more guides here and be sure to follow Leore on Instagram

Free People Blog

FP Escapes: Montana in Review

FP Escapes: Montana in Review

A look inside our last FP Escape of the summer…

This post comes from retreat guide and yogi, Maria Margolies

Every retreat we take opens up a whole new world of opportunity. The opportunity to step out of our comfort zones. The opportunity to be adventurous and bold. To experience something fresh. Meet new people and learn from them. Connect with Mother Nature in ways we normally wouldn’t. Most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to slow down so we can pay more attention to what’s around us and inside us. To listen and feel, so we can drop deeper and become more intimate not only with ourselves but with one another. Ultimately, isn’t this what we are all searching for?

Glacier National Park blew me away in every way imaginable. From the striking contours of the landscape with its soaring mountain peaks and sharp edges to the never-ending stretches of evergreens and golden fields carpeting its valleys.  Even the colors and texture of the earth and its stones commanded my attention and touch every step of the way. And of course the water… It was everywhere: frozen in time in the ancient but powerful glaciers, cascading powerfully in creeks and streams, floating above us silently in massive clouds or falling rhythmically as rain on the meadows and forests.

This Escape managed to combine all elements of awakening mind and spirit in a breathtaking setting to create a uniquely incredible and inspiring experience. A seamless immersion with nature incorporating beautifully prepared and delicious plant-based foods to nourish us, yoga to start our days, meditation to end them, hiking to discover hidden lakes, horseback riding to take in the scenery, DIY beauty by crystal blue water and paddleboarding to test our balance.  All of this filled with many laughs and truly wonderful connections at every turn.

Thank you to the beautiful tribe of women that came.  I feel so grateful and honored to have held space for you to grow, open up, and plant a little seed of change. There will be many more journeys to come! Stay tuned.

A big thank-you to Maria, Under Canvas Glacier, The Cyclists Menu and Sorel for making this trip happen, we can’t wait for the next!

+ Want to learn more about our FP Escapes? Click here! 

Follow April on Instagram

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FP Escapes: What to Pack for Montana

FP Escapes: What to Pack for Montana

Adventure awaits in the great outdoors…

In two weeks we set a course for Glacier National Park, ready to embrace Mother Earth in all her glory. We head west to nourish mind, body and soul with yoga by Maria Margolies, and dance under the stars to later rest our heads at Under Canvas Glacier. For this great adventure, and perhaps your next spirit quest, check out a few of our favorite Montana must-haves.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
+ Join us on our last FP Escape of the summer — book here today

Photos by Jana Kirn

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FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

FP Escapes: Chloe Kernaghan on Sardinia

As we take to the the Mediterranean seas this Saturday, yoga guru Chloe Kernaghan sheds some insight on the trip ahead…

Tell us a little about yourself — who is Chloe Kernaghan?

BIG Q! I’m first and foremost a mover. I joke that I speak in movement better than I do English. I’ve always been pulled towards movement: as a kid through dance, and now this world of yoga. I was born and raised on the island of Guam, a tiny slice of paradise in the middle of the Pacific. I was surrounded by an incredible community and was pretty much always dancing and performing. Upon moving to NYC, I started practicing yoga at studios around the village area as a way to complement all the dance and theater work I was doing at NYU, eventually leading to my first 200 hr certification. Two years ago, we started SKY TING YOGA…. So I guess if I were to compile all of that into a tag: I am a yoga teacher, a student, a small business owner and, most importantly, someone who lives to MOVE! 

Of all the paths within the wellness community, why yoga? 

I guess I didn’t even consider other paths as I began my yoga studies. I came to it because of the heavy emphasis on the physical (the asana practice) in group classes, which felt relatable with my movement background. But upon more in-depth studies, the greater questions and explorations that the practice brought up for me kept me wanting to go further, dig deeper. The braiding together and studying of the body, breath and mind continues to teach me on a daily basis. 

You’re about to embark on a seven-day sailing retreat with FP. What are you looking forward to most? 

Oh! So much!!!! What I am super looking forward to is just being on the water for 7 days. From getting up early to meditate and just taking in the expansive view, to falling asleep to the gentle rocking of the sea, it’s a real reset for me — a true break from city life! I also LOVE going to new places, and this trip is going to bring us to some incredible spots that most travelers don’t even have access to… small islands, secluded beaches, tiny Mom & Pop seafood restaurants… heaven!!!!! 

What are you most nervous about? 

It’s a funny thing to admit but, before every retreat, I always am a little anxious about meeting everyone! Basically we’ve all signed up for spending a week together on small boats traveling around foreign lands… and you have to wonder — will everyone like me?!? It always ends up great, but even as a teacher I want to make a good first impression! 😉 

How do you transition from teaching in the hustle of NYC to the open seas of the Mediterranean? 

The yoga locations on this retreat are way less formal than my studio in NYC, with some of the formality and maybe rigidity of a NYC class being taken away. We’ll still be practicing quality yoga, but there will be more room for playtime, workshopping a pose, asking questions, and gaining a greater sense of understanding for the practice. With this retreat revolving around water, I’m planning to incorporate how water can support a practice: in quality of movement, where the element of water is in the body, etc. 

What would you like our guests to take away from this retreat experience? 

I think every person comes on a retreat with a unique set of wants/needs/expectations. And generally, a retreat leaves you in a place you would never have anticipated. For this trip especially, I would love for everyone to leave with a greater sense of connection, maybe to the group of new friends they spend the week with, maybe with nature and our role in that system, maybe with the yoga practice itself, learning tools and techniques to bring home. This retreat will be intimate, so there will be lots of opportunity for exploring, sharing and relating — definitely some potent work to be done! 

What does free mean to you? 

I think, in some ways, we’re all part of systems and on paths that at times can feel inhibiting or limiting. One of the greatest lessons of the yoga practice has been understanding how to use the confines of a boundary to create more space and find more freedom. My teacher always quotes “paradise is a walled-in garden”, and I think there is power in using that to your advantage. When we surpass our own definitions of who we are and why we are and how we are, there is a one-ness that is unmistakable and liberating. However, we still have to exist on this Earth. So, to harness an inner sense of power over yourself, unlock any sort of limitation to use to your advantage! 

Be sure to stay up to date with Chloe and follow her on Instagram!

+ Looking to Escape? Join us on our next adventure in Glacier National Park this August! Book here today. 

Photo by Jana Kirn

Free People Blog

Park Visit: Denali

Park Visit: Denali

With six million acres in wild land, Denali National Park is worth the trek to the Last Frontier…

Growing up in Alaska, Denali National Park holds a special place in my heart. Its seemingly endless acreage is home to the largest peak in North America, sitting over 20,000 feet above sea level and named ‘big mountain’, or Denali, by my Athabaskan people. Long before I was born, my own father even summited this beautiful beast during a mountaineering expedition in the late 70s. Needless to say, I was pretty lucky to grow up under such a mighty force. Denali stands alone from other national parks as it has a sole road that runs throughout the whole park, a majority of which can only be accessed by designated park buses. This vast and wild land offers lively wildlife, historic glaciers, and peaks whose dominance beckon its visitors to acknowledge the immense power of the Earth. Check out my guide below:

Where to Stay:

Byers Lake Cabins — This is my favorite hidden gem, located about 90 miles south of the Denali National Park entrance. An amazing weekend getaway if you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors without fully committing to tent camping. There are three cabins located on Byers Lake, all easily accessible via a one-mile hike or a three-mile kayak trip across the lake. These cabins may rest on the outer limits of your Denali adventure but provide quiet nights, lake access and stunning views of Denali. Each cabin sleeps six and is close enough to be able to visit Talkeetna after your park visit.

Wonder Lake Campground — There are six campgrounds located inside the national park, each different from the last and each offering a more intense version of an off-the-grid experience are you head deeper inward. Wonder Lake is one of the six and furthest from the park’s entrance, 85 miles to be exact, and can only be accessed in the summer months. The campground is also the closest to Denali Mountain…with 26 miles standing between you and the base. Open to tent-only camping and also guaranteed bear sightings, this otherworldly location to lay your head at night is not for the faint of heart.

Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge — Ok, ok so I know not all of us are ready to sleep on the Earth’s floor, let alone kayak for three miles just to drop off your pack. If this is you, however, Princess Lodges are where it’s at. Be warned — this is tourist-central and khaki shorts and selfie-sticks will be spotted. All that aside this lodge is beyond stunning and is located right outside the park’s entrance in the small town of Nenana Canyon. The lodge will set you up with guided hikes, whitewater rafting, which make adventuring Denali National Park effortless.

Where to Eat:

Prospectors Pizzeria & Alehouse — There are quite a few options within the mini “strip” of Nenana Canyon, from ice cream shops to killer Thai food. But nothing quite beats a hearty slice of pizza and cold beer after a long day of hiking and soaking in the fresh air. Prospectors Pizzeria is a must-stop for locals and tourists alike.

What to See:

I’ve come to accept, with the 6 million acres of land Denali National Park has to offer, “seeing it all” is quite daunting and unrealistic. So, to make your life a bit easier, I’ve provided some of my favorite spots to see if you have just a few days to explore. Of course, if you have a week, a month, a summer!!  TAKE IT, as every day in the park will provide you with a different view, another wild animal and endless gratitude for this beautiful life we get to live.

One full day: 

Savage River Loop Trail — This is a perfect, easy day hike for all levels. The trail is located at mile 15 and is actually the furthest point to you are allowed a private vehicle within the park. This trail provides parking for both RV’s and cars, and is a 1.7 mile loop that runs along the Savage River.

Sled Dog Kennels — Yes, sled dogs!! You will see signs throughout the entrance to “slow down for sled dogs” or “sled dogs exercising”. Nothing gets more Alaskan than that! Located three miles from the park entrance, the sled dog kennels are open year-round to visitors. No parking is available here, so please plan on using the buses or walking the 1.5 miles from the Denali Visitor Center to the kennels. Demonstrations are given three times daily in peak season — be sure to check out more on sled dogs demonstrations here!

Wild Life Viewing — The wild animals of Alaska can be seen through out the park no matter the location or time of day. Yet there are certain animals for certain locations — check out the National Park’s guide for viewing here!

Bus Tours — As the park is sprawling, with only 15 miles of its sole road accessible by private vehicle, a bus tour is the best way to get the most out of a one-day adventure. The park offers narrated and non-narrated tours that include history lessons for the full 95 miles of park road.

Two Days:

The previous four points of interest plus…

McKinley (River) Bar Trail — leading from Wonder Lake Campground to the McKinley River. It is 2.5 miles one way, with negligible elevation gain. The trail travels through spruce forest and past several small ponds, offering chance to see water fowl and terrain which differs from much of the park. It is plagued most of the summer by mosquitoes, so bring a head net.

Kantishna Experience– This is a full day (12-hour) adventure that travels the full length of Denali’s park road to the old gold town of Kantishna. Lunch and snacks are provided as you drive into the history and and role that this interior town has to offer.

Mount Healy Overlook Trail — Unlike other trails in the park, Mount Healy overlook is not a loop and provides a rugged terrain for those looking for incredible views.  A little over five miles round-trip, this is one of Denali’s steepest, gaining about 1,700 feet in elevation.

Please note: 

Seeing a wild animal in the backcountry can be an incredible experience. But knowing how to behave in an encounter scenario might make all the difference. Whether it’s a moose, a bear or smaller animal, be prepared to react accordingly.

Make noise in areas of low visibility.
Stay 300 yards away from any bear.
Stay at least 25 yards from a moose.
If a wild animal changes its behavior because of you, you’re too close.

+ Have a favorite Denali adventure to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.

Learn more about our partnership with the National Park Foundation here!

Follow April on Instagram.

Free People Blog

FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Protein Banana Pancakes from Mikaela Reuben

Get a taste of our current FP Escapes retreat, courtesy of resident chef Mikaela…

For those of us not free to partake in the glory of this week’s Escape in San Juan del Sur, here’s an opportunity to share in part of the culinary experience. Adhering to our Gather philosophy of seasonal, vegetarian and wholesome fare, these pancakes are a definite must-try!

Protein Banana Pancakes

Makes 30 medium pancakes.

Ingredients

10 bananas (approximately 4 cups)

15 large brown eggs

1 + 1/2 tsp lemon juice

3/4 tsp lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 + 1/4 cups fine almond flour

2 + 1/4 tsp baking powder

1 + 1/4 tsp sea salt

1 + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Olive oil, butter or coconut oil for frying

Method

Peel and mash the bananas into a very chunky paste with a fork. Mix all the wet ingredients into this banana bowl and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry little by little mixing in between batches, until all the wet has been poured through the dry and mixed thoroughly.  Use 1/8 cup to scoop batter onto a hot pan to fry through.

Photos by Julie O’Boyle.

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

FP Escapes: Cashew Thyme Dip from Mikaela Reuben

From the MC (master chef) of our upcoming Escapes retreat in Nicaragua, a simple and delicious picnic staple…

What could be easier? If you’re in the market for a throw-together dish that’ll make your friends and fam question how many hours you toiled away in the kitchen, stop right here.

Cashew Thyme Dip

Makes 9 cups.

Ingredients

6 cups raw cashews OR 8 cups soaked cashews

1/2 + 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp pressed garlic

1/4 + 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup filtered water

1 + 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp tamari

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground pepper

2 cups raw spinach

4 teaspoons lemon zest

Method

Soak cashews for at least 4 hours or overnight. Strain and rinse cashews. Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve over raw vegetables, use as a spread, or eat like a dip!

+ Join us on our next FP Escape!! We can’t wait to adventure with you — book your spot today!  

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Sun Potion’s Guide to Santa Barbara

Sun Potion’s Guide to Santa Barbara

What to do, see and eat in Santa Barbara, according to Sun Potion founder Scott Linde…

This post comes from beauty writer, Katheryn Erickson.

With his sun-bleached hair, happy aura, and laid-back attitude, Scott Linde gives off major Southern California vibes. Which is why it might surprise you that he didn’t grow up in the Golden State, but next to a lake in Minnesota. Still, after living on the west coast for the past 15 years—first Ojai and now Santa Barbara, where he founded herbal tonic line Sun Potion—it’s clear he’s pretty smitten with his home. “Santa Barbara has a really optimistic, positive energy,” he says. “It has a South-facing coastline, mountains to the North, and there are protective islands about 20 miles off the coast that block the deep ocean waves from coming to the shore. The feng shui of the geography is empowering, and you’re exposed to this whole spectrum of esoteric things like herbalism. It’s the absolute hub of all progress around food and wellness.” In other words: It’s well worth making a weekend trip to the coastal town this summer. “Some days I’ll just drive around the hills in Montecito. There are these beautiful winding neighborhood streets with low hanging trees and you just kind of meander. It’s vacation paradise.” Here, Scott shares his Santa Barbara musts.

The Best Green Juice

There’s a juice bar called Ah Juice one block from our warehouse. I think it’s the only 100% organic café and juice bar in town. That means that everything—all the spices, all the oils—is organic, which is pretty cool. One of the owners, Alfred, is a Chinese medicine and acupuncture master, so the juice is formulated from that perspective. It’s powerful stuff. I get Super Greens or the turmeric lemonade. We often order staff lunch from there if we’re having a meeting.

The Best Beach

Mesa Lane, which is around the corner from another great, plant-based restaurant, Mesa Verde. You walk down these steep steps and it’s the most unregulated beach on the Southern California coastline. It’s full of dogs. You can have bonfires there. It’s a fun spot.

The Best Lazy Sunday Morning Activity

Lately I’m into the yoga of cars, and there’s a huge car culture in Santa Barbara—racecars, vintage cars. Cars and Coffee is a car show every Sunday morning in Montecito. 100 cars line up on this little street. You’re walking up and down and there’s hundreds of millions of dollars worth of vintage Ferraris and Jaguars—it’s museum-grade. And then you can go for a little jog afterwards in the Montecito hills.

The Best Place to Stock Up On Veggies

I go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. I think it’s the third-largest-grossing farmer’s market in California. A lot of the produce in LA comes from farms in Goleta and on the Central Coast. There’s a stand from Ojai that has an endless array of fresh-cut herbs, and I always stop by Roots Farm’s booth. Also, Santa Barbara has the best avocados in the US—they grow on the pass over to Ojai. It’s the gold coast for avocados.

The Best Live Music

On Friday and Saturday nights, there’s a singer that looks and sings like Frank Sinatra at the El Encanto hotel. You sit on the patio surrounded by trees and there’s a beautiful view. It’s a classic.

The Best Views

The sunset from the Douglas Preserve is amazing. It’s 70 acres of open land that used to belong the Douglas family (Kirk Douglas and that tribe of actors) and they donated it to Santa Barbara city as a park. It has huge beautiful trees and you look down over Hendry’s beach. It’s really nice to walk around.

The Best Day Trip

Ojai is a must. Go to Farmer and the Cook and the Meditation Mount.

 

+ Travel on the mind? Be sure to check out more adventure guides!! 

Photos by Casi O’Dierno, visit her website

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May Catalog: Bali Fitness Guide

May Catalog: Bali Fitness Guide

Who says vacation can’t be about keeping busy AND having fun? If you find yourself in Bali, check out…

This post comes from our Junior Art Director, Stephanie!

WHERE TO STAY

Temple Lodge, Bingin Beach

WHY WE LOVE IT

The View: The stunning Temple Lodge overlooks the ocean from atop Bukit peninsula’s cliffs. You can access the beach from a staircase connected to the lodge (which we HIGHLY recommend). Also, don’t miss the infinity pool — you’ll feel as though you’re swimming right out to the vast ocean.

The Yoga: Offered on the daily, with schedules updated seasonally. Classes vary from Hatha Flow to Vinyasa, Yin Yang Flow and 5 Element Yoga. They welcome all ability levels and the temple is perfect for ultimate meditation.

The Spa: The Temple Lodge provides personalized spa treatments incorporating organic herbs and oils. The spa room is very intimate — and every single person we encountered was beyond welcoming.

WHAT TO DO

Bingin Beach: Bingin Beach is an idyllic spot nestled on the Indian Ocean. Surfers travel from all over the world just to say they were there! We recommend trying out at least one surf lesson (or two). This is definitely the spot to do so.

Morning Run: The village surrounding the Temple Lodge is stunningly colorful and classic Balinese. Take a morning jog and explore your surroundings. And, if you lose your way, there are friendly folks everywhere to sort you right.

Gili Islands: Escape to the Gili Islands and snorkel with the turtles! Hundreds hatch on the Gili Islands annually and the babies are the cutest. Swim in the crystal clear waters alongside these magnificent creatures.

Nusa Dua: If you’re really up for an adventure, we recommend you try a scuba diving class at Nusa Dua Beach! The ocean floor is full of bright coral, submerged statues, and an array of sea life.

+ Check out all three of our Bali guides here and don’t forget to shop the collection

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