Savannah has historic tour
This year's 57th Annual Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens promises to be another stellar event for anyone interested in seeing 18th and 19th century architecture.
Dates are March 26-29.
A highlight of the tour should be a boat cruise through Georgia's coastal waterways to see mansions and cottages built as summer retreats during the early 1800s by the wealthy Savannah residents.
For more information, including ticket prices, contact the Savannah Tour of Homes and Gardens, 18 Abercorn St., Savannah, Ga. 31402: (912) 234-8054. The Bahamas has abolished customs duty on jewelry, perfume and other goods to put the country in line with other duty-free centers in the Caribbean like St. Martin and St. Thomas. On Jan. 1 the government scrapped the duty on certain imported goods to reduce prices and thus encourage cruise passengers and other visitors to spend more on shopping. The items freed from duty also include watches, china, linen, liquor and crystal.
A Bahamian minstry of tourism study showed that the average cruise passenger in the capital, Nassau, a major Caribbean cruise port, spent only about a fifth of the amount spent by passengers in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The ministry has urged merchants to make their prices competitive with other duty-free areas in the Caribbean.
Montana cattle drive
Were you turned on by the adventures of actor Billy Crystal and his buddies as urbanites turned cattle drivers in the movie "City Slickers"?
Sign up for a real cattle drive through Montana this summer with Missouri Breaks Cattle Co. You'll accompany cowboys as they move cattle across the range. You'll camp out (in a tent or under the stars in a sleeping bag) and chow down on meals from a chuck wagon. If it suits your fancy, you might even participate in a rodeo that's part of the week-long trip.
Seven-day packages are available, starting at $1,599 a person.
But you don't even have to ride a horse to go -- seats on wagons are available. And if you want to join up for just a day, that's possible too. The daily cost is $349 and includes horse or wagon seat, meals, a sleeping bag (yours to take), tent and campfire entertainment.
For a family vacation, the rate is $599 for children 4 to 12 years old when accompanied by an adult.
For more information, contact Missouri Breaks Cattle Co., Suite 230, Box 3141, Ellisville, Mo., 63022: (800) 264-3122 or (314) 532-9248.
Horticultural show planned
Several European tour packages this year include a visit to the Netherlands and the world's horticultural exhibition, Floriade. Flowers, plants, trees, bulbs, fruits and vegetables will be on display outdoors and in pavillions at the exhibition site at Zoetermeer, near the Hague, from April 10 until Oct. 11.
Admission to the exhibition will be about $11 at Zoetermeer: tickets are available now for $12.50, including postage and handlilng from the Netherlands Board of Tourism, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 326, Ckhicago, Ill. 60601: (312) 819-0300.
Historic home open in Puerto Rico
The restored Casa Blanca in San Juan, built in 1521 as the residence of the first governor of Puerto Rico and believed to be the oldest continuously occupied residence in the Western Hemisphere, is now open to the public. The building is furnished with 16th and 17th century pieces and houses two museums.
The house stands on land given by the Spanish Crown to Ponce de Leon. The explorer died the year the house was built, but it remained in his family for 250 years.
Casa Blanca is open daily except Monday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $2: $1 for senior citizens and children.