Where eagles flyTwo locations -- one nearby and the other...

TRAVEL SMARTS

February 07, 1999

Where eagles fly

Two locations -- one nearby and the other farther afield -- provide opportunities to see one of America's most symbolic birds, the bald eagle, in its winter habitat.

Regionally, more than 100 of these birds migrate to Pennsylvania and New York during the winter to fish in the ice-free waters of the upper Delaware River. The Eagle Institute, a nonprofit organization promoting habitat conservation, offers guided field trips, children's festivals, school programs and slide presentations focused on the bald eagles. Main eagle-viewing events are Feb. 13 and Feb. 28, when the institute offers field trips from Lackawaxen, Pa. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. Call 914-557-6162.

If you want to see more bald eagles, a good place is Wabasha, Minn., where 800 of them congregated last year in what has become an annual ritual. Perched in cottonwood trees and along the Mississippi River, the eagles also go there for the area's ice-free fishing. Wabasha will soon become the site of a National Eagle Center -- a $4 million indoor observatory and exhibition center to be constructed this year.

At present, Wabasha offers eagle peepers an outdoor observation deck staffed weekends through March. Eagle events include an Elderhostel program for adults 55 and over Feb. 28 to March 5; photo seminars with wildlife photographer Arthur Morris March 2-9; and Bald Eagle Celebration March 21. Call 800-565-4158.

City of Light Scrubs Up for a Brand-New Millennium

Thanks to Y2K, the City of Light is becoming the City of Facelifts. Many of Paris' museums, gardens, trains and airports will undergo major renovations during the next 11 months.

Notre Dame Cathedral will unveil refurbished front gates and restored gargoyles that had been damaged by pollution. Georges Pompidou Center, scheduled to reopen Dec. 31, will sport more expansive exhibition spaces, library and video areas, and a cleaned-up exterior.

The Tuileries Gardens introduces a permanent contemporary sculpture display and Charles de Gaulle Airport will open a third runway. The Tuileries and the Orsay Museum will be connected over the Seine River by a footbridge, as will the Bercy gardens and the new National Library.

The Eole, a high-speed, east-west train, is to open in the next year and the Palais des Congres convention center will reopen after an architectural overhaul added an amphitheater and mall.

Islands set for adventure

The United States has just acquired five new islands. Part of Universal Studios' Florida complex, Seuss Landing, the Lost Continent, Toon Lagoon, Jurassic Park and Marvel Super Hero Island are scheduled to open to visitors in May. The Islands of Adventure will be a 110-acre, $2.6 billion theme park with some of the most technologically advanced rides ever. They will be adjacent to Universal Studios Florida motion picture/television park, which opened in Orlando in 1990. Call 407-363-8000 or go online to www.usf.com.

Under California

From now until Jan. 9, 2000, those looking for some underground excitement can venture through "California Underground: Our Caves and Subterranean Habitats," at the Oakland Museum of California. The 5,000-square-foot exhibit includes a simulated cave open for exploration, demonstrations on how cave animals adapt, and displays of cave equipment and dramatic cavern photography. Inside, visitors can try cave crawling and surveying or listen to true stories about explorers' close calls. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday; Fridays until 9 p.m. Admission: $6 adults, $4 seniors and students 6 to 18. Children under 6 free. Free admission Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call 510-238-2200 or visit www.museumca.org.

-- Randi Kest

Pub Date: 02/07/99

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