A higher level of celebrationMount Rainier National Park...

TRAVEL SMARTS

July 18, 1999|By Randi Kest

A higher level of celebration

Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state turned 100 this year and is celebrating with a slew of events in and around the park. Established March 2, 1899, Mount Rainier became the fifth national park right behind Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon. The mountain is a dormant volcano whose summit -- at 14,410 feet -- can be seen from 100 miles away.

The park's expansive variety of flora and fauna, forests, glaciers and meadows attract close to 2 million people annually. It is crisscrossed by 147 miles of roads and 240 miles of maintained trails.

Festivities include interpretive programs, exhibits, bike rides around the mountain and festivals. A 60-mile Summit-to-Sound Relay from the top of the mountain to Puget Sound by foot, bicycle, in-line skate, horseback and kayak is also part of the fun.

Outside the park, an exhibit at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, "Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park," explores cultural and historic aspects of the park. It continues through Jan. 9, 2000. Located at 1911 Pacific Ave., the museum is open daily. Admission: $7; free Thursday evenings. Call 888-238-4373.

For a calendar of events, call the park at 360-569-2211 or visit www. mtrainier100.com.

AUTOMOTIVE HISTORY: A DRIVING AMBITION

The Museum of Automobile History in downtown Syracuse, N.Y., displays the largest collection of automobile memorabilia around the globe. But not a single car.

Instead, it's filled with 10,000 auto-related artifacts such as a set of Burma-Shave roadside rhyming signs, Hollywood movie posters, presidential license plates and a copy of the speeding ticket issued to James Dean hours before he died.

The museum covers 200 years of car history within its 12,000 square feet and is the result of Walter Miller's 30-year search for anything automotive.

The Museum of Automobile History is at 321 N. Clinton St. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission: $4.75 adults, $3.75 seniors and $2.75 children under 16. Call 315-478-CARS.

An easier way to lug around your luggage

For those who like versatility with their luggage, consider the Wheeled Daypack from Travelon. It's both a backpack and a wheeled carry-on, switching from one guise to the other with minimal effort. To use it as a suitcase, lift the handle, tuck the backpack straps out of the way and remove the back pad to reveal its wheels. For the backpack option, close the handle, pull out the straps and replace the back pad to cover the wheels. It measures 14 by 21 by 8 inches and costs about $175. Call 800-537-5544.

In the footsteps of William Paca

Visitors to Annapolis can tour the historic area by way of "Revolutionary Annapolis" -- a new tour winding along William Paca's Revolutionary Road. A signer of the Declaration of Independence, Paca was a patriot leader who lived in Annapolis during the American Revolution. The tour stops at 19 Paca-significant sites such as the William Paca House and Garden, museums, state buildings, waterfront taverns and warehouses.

Tour books are available for $4.50 at Historic Annapolis Foundation's Museum Store (77 Main St.), the William Paca House (186 Prince George St.) and Barnes & Noble at Annapolis Harbour Center. Call 410-267-7619.

Kids get the grown-up treatment

Lots of kids want to be treated like adults. And now, those from age 3 to 15 will get just that at eight hotels in Norway. At these "Children's Hotels," little ones can check in and enjoy their own menu, movie theater and pool. This offer is valid through Aug. 15 at the Clarion in Gardermoen and Quality Hotels in Oyer, Hovden, Kristiansand, Bo I Telemark, Geilo, Roros, Langesund and Vradal. Call 800-228-5151 or 800-252-7466.

Pub Date: 07/18/99

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