Travel Briefs: 1,000 more places to see before you die

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Fallingwater. The Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh's Steel Heritage. Primanti Brothers.

These made the list in the new book "1,000 Places to See Before You Die in the USA and Canada," by Patricia Schultz (Workman, $19.95).

No surprise there. These are usually among the "must sees" when friends and relatives visit.

Ms. Schultz will be appearing 7 p.m. Friday at Joseph Beth Booksellers at SouthSide Works to discuss her book as part of a special Girls Night Out event at the store with a road trip theme.

This is a sequel to her widely popular best-seller "1,000 Places to See Before You Die," which has since become the basis of a series on the Travel Channel.

The latest book is categorized by region, and specific indexes in the back of the directory are sorted by interest -- wilderness, best beaches, world-class museums, sports, adventures and festivals, etc. ("Planning the road trip of a lifetime? Take a coastline drive -- the Pacific Coast Highway, the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia -- or head to the mountains and cruise the Beartooth Scenic Byway in Montana, America's most beautiful road.")

There are 25 entries for Pennsylvania, most involving that other big city across the state. For "Pittsburgh's Steel Heritage," Ms. Schultz gives an overview of the city, but lists some specific events and sites: the Allegheny West Victorian Christmas Tour, Frick and Carnegie museums and River of Steel Tours.

Best time to visit here? Early June for the two-week Three Rivers Art Festival. Hah! Obviously nobody mentioned to her this year's clogging traffic construction woes. Try another year.

For more information about Ms. Schultz's appearance, call 412-381-3600.

Garden honors slaves


Although the U.S. National Slavery Museum will not open its doors until at least next year, a garden meant to signify the struggle of slaves to be free is scheduled to open June 21.

The Spirit of Freedom Exhibit Garden in Fredericksburg, Va., has nine educational displays about abolitionists, runaways, acts of bravery and the need for endurance on the road to freedom. It also features wooden carvings from West Africa, where many of the slaves were from.

The garden is one of several outdoor activities timed to be part of this year's 400th anniversary commemoration of the founding of Jamestown, America's first permanent English settlement.

The 290,000-square-foot slavery museum, scheduled to open late next year, will include more than 5,000 historic relics of slavery, galleries and a full-scale replica of a Portuguese slave ship. Construction has yet to begin on the 38-acre site overlooking the Rappahannock River.

Visitors to the garden will be greeted by an 8-foot-tall, 4,700-pound sculpture "Hallelujah," crafted of Virginia stone by Staunton resident Ken Smith.

Huck Finn house opens


Huck and Tom Sawyer were fictional characters based on boys Samuel Clemens knew growing up in Hannibal, Mo. Clemens, whose pen name was Mark Twain, immortalized the boys in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."

Now the building known as the Huck Finn House is open to the public, according to the Hannibal Courier-Post newspaper.

Huck was based on Tom Blankenship, the son of a drunkard who lived in a ramshackle house near the Mississippi River. The Huck Finn House is located immediately behind the home where Clemens grew up and sits on the site where the Blankenship family lived. The original house was demolished in 1911.

For more information, visit www.marktwainmuseum.org.

Museum named affiliate


The Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tenn., has been named an official affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The new relationship opens doors to partnerships with the Smithsonian's outreach units, including study tours, workshops, lectures and curriculum development with local schools.

Founded in 1969 by John Rice Irwin, the Museum of Appalachia has grown from a single log building to an extensive village-farm complex encompassing more than 35 historic log structures, several exhibition buildings and some 250,000 artifacts..

The museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville.

The Smithsonian recently awarded similar status to the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Texas, the Irving Arts Center in Texas and the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages in New York.

For information, visit museumofappalachia.com.

Forum to honor Grace Kelly


Grace Kelly, the movie star who became a real-life princess when she married Prince Rainier in 1956 and the tragic victim of a car crash in 1982, revisits the French Riviera this summer when the Grimaldi Forum Monaco (www.grimaldiforum.com) pays tribute to her in an exhibition from July 12 through Sept. 23.

The exhibit, "The Grace Kelly Years, Princess of Monaco," uses 15 walk-through rooms to reflect different eras of her life, including "New York," which covers her early theatrical career; "Hitchcock," which explores her work with the celebrated director and was designed to replicate the set from the 1954 movie "Rear Window"; "Wedding," where her wedding dress -- a gift from the MGM designer Helen Rose -- is on display; and "Official," which contains the princess' belt and diadem.

Several Societe des Bains de Mer hotels, including Hotel de Paris and Hotel Mirabeau, are offering packages that include two tickets to the exhibition (10 euros each, $13.70 at $1.37 to the dollar). Rates range from $540 to $985 a night; other packages are available by bidding at www.monacoauction.com. (The New York Times)

Books on camping, hiking


When she was growing up, Heather Menicucci's idea of a great vacation was a bed-and-breakfast with her mom or an oceanfront condo rental with her dad. When she was old enough to plan her own trips, she picked happening cities like Los Angeles and London.

But her new book, "Let's Get Primitive: Urban Girl's Guide to Camping" (Ten Speed Press, $14.95) describes her transformation from a lipstick-wearing, bug-fearing diva to an expert on backcountry camping. The book includes entertaining anecdotes and lots of advice, including suggestions for gear that will make your camp-outs more pleasant -- such as sleeping pads, headlamps, and a water purifier, along with more common items ranging from tin foil and paper towels to a roll of duct tape for emergency repairs, DEET bug repellent, and a lighter.

Other books out this season on camping and hiking include "The Great American Camping Cookbook" by Scott Cookman (Broadway Books, $17.95), which offers "grub lists" (hint: don't forget the bacon); recipes for johnnycake (originally known as "journey cake" because it was a travelers' staple), great "camp coffee"; bannock, a pancake-type bread made in a greased skillet; pan-fried fish; baked beans; and soups.

For families, "Monsters In The Woods: Backpacking with Children" by Tim Hauserman (University of Nevada Press, $15.95) tells you what you do and don't need to bring (again, duct tape is recommended as a must-have, and dehydrated or freeze-dried food will be lighter to carry than canned). It also offers advice for backpacking with infants and toddlers (such as dealing with diapers on the trail, and staying home if the weather is bad). A section on avoiding bears suggests using bearproof canisters to hide the smell of your food, and sleeping in a different place from where you cooked dinner.

For bird-lovers, Reader's Digest has a big new coffee-table book that is also a useful guide: "Where the Birds Are: A Travel Guide to Over 1,000 Parks, Preserves and Sanctuaries," by Robert J. Dolezal ($28.95). The book includes photos, maps, and trip-planning information. A number of listings are near metropolitan areas. Chicago-area birding sites include Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary and North Pond in Lincoln Park, along with nearby Northerly Island Park, the McCormick Place Bird Sanctuary at Burnham Park, the Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary on Wooded Island in Jackson Park, and the Bobolink Meadow Nature Sanctuary.

Finally, if you have children and live in the Northeast, The Mountaineers Books offer two new "Best Hikes with Kids" editions ($16.95 each), one for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and another for Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Both books, by Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis and Emily Kerr, list dozens of trails from less than a mile to 6 miles, rated by difficulty. They include descriptions of features like swimming holes, waterfalls, views, and camping, along with tips on what to take, games to play and even suggested snacks.

Summer hotspots


The June issue of Bon Appetit magazine lists 10 restaurants as "summer's hotspots," new foodie destinations around the country. Prices range from $10 pizzas at Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles to the $54 and $67 prix fixe menus at Bijoux in Dallas. Here's the full list:

Momofuku Ssam Bar, 207 Second Ave., New York City, a "shoebox-size noodle joint" in Manhattan's East Village with an adventuresome menu that includes artisanal hams, grilled mackerel, pork steamed buns, and tripe soup.

Central Michel Richard, 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. This casual bistro offers chef Michel Richard's takes on American classics: crab cake with leek tartare; 72-hour short ribs; fried chicken with mustard sauce; lobster burger on a brioche bun.

Trois, 1180 Peachtree St., Atlanta, with artisanal cocktails at the ground-level bar, and classic French food like coq au vin, cassoulet and escargot upstairs, along with originals like braised oxtail with roasted scallops.

Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, 641 N. Highland Ave., and 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. The magazine calls Pizzeria Mozza "the buzziest -- and busiest -- restaurant to hit Los Angeles in the past decade." A bigger Italian restaurant, Osteria Mozza, will eventually open next door.

Tavolata, 2323 Second Ave., Seattle, a casual Italian eatery with updated versions of hearty dishes like cannelloni, baked semolina gnocchi and veal carpaccio.

Radda Trattoria, 1265 Alpine Ave., Boulder, Colo., which the magazine recommends for pastas, pizza, risotto and "smart and simple" dishes like fried rock shrimp, fennel, and zucchini with garlic mayonnaise.

Aigre Doux Restaurant & Bakery, 230 W. Kinzie St., Chicago, which offers a diverse menu ranging from oxtail ravioli, Greek-style pizza and wild turbot with baby leeks.

Bijoux, 5450 West Lovers Lane, Suite 225, Dallas, where Bon Appetit recommends the pan-seared prawns with tempura-battered squid and chorizo, plus pumpkin sweets for dessert.

Osteria, 640 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, which Bon Appetit describes as having "soulful Italian cooking" including pizzas, pastas, porchetta, spaghetti lobster and house-made gelato.

Ad Hoc, 6476 Washington St., Yountville, Calif. (Napa Valley), originated as a temporary space where chef Thomas Keller could serve "comfort food family-style with a rustic-four course prix fixe menu, priced at $45." Bon Appetit says he only planned to keep the place open six months, but it's been too big of a success to close. Try the buttermilk and rosemary fried chicken with green beans and sweet potatoes.

National Road documentary


A group of Ball State University students are searching for stories from people who live and travel along the National Road to include in a television documentary about the highway.

The National Road -- now known as U.S. 40 as it stretches across Indiana -- was commissioned in 1806 by President Jefferson as the first federally funded highway and now runs from Maryland into Illinois.

"A lot of people have done books on the National Road, travel books and guide books telling you to go to this cafe or stop at this antique shop along the road," said Nancy Carlson, chairwoman of Ball State's telecommunications department. "Our project is more about the human stories behind the road."

The documentary is being funded through a $121,000 National Scenic Byways Grant from the Federal Highway Administration. Plans are to have the film finished in early 2009, with material also possibly being used for a Web site, touch-screen kiosks and educational shows.



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