Take the Smithsonian on your next tripThe Smithsonian...

TRAVEL SMARTS

August 22, 1999|By Randi Kest

Take the Smithsonian on your next trip

The Smithsonian Institution offers information about its 300-plus study tours on its Web site (www.si.edu/tsa/sst). Although simple, the site is comprehensive and sorts the trips by category, such as Family Adventures, Odyssey Tours, International River and Ocean Voyages and Civil War Study Tours and Seminars.Vacations range from three days to three weeks and take groups of about 20 people.

Some of this year's Odyssey Tours include crossing the Pyrenees (Sept. 9-22, Sept. 30-Oct. 13 and Oct. 14-27; cost from $2,599); Portugal and Spain (Oct. 11-25 and Oct. 25-Nov. 8; cost from $2,699); and Christmas in London (Dec. 20-27; cost from $2,399).

Seven family adventures are planned for 2000, including a Galapagos cruise (June 17-27); rafting on Utah's San Juan River (June 30-July 6); a Tuscan summer (Aug. 11-22); and a Kenya safari (Dec. 19-31).

Itineraries, prices and other details are yet to be announced.

To participate in these trips, membership in the Smithsonian Associates is required and costs $24 a year. Registration for membership and trips can be done online. Call 202-357-4700 for information.

YORK COUNTY TO MARK ITS 250TH

This year marks York County, Pa.'s, 250th anniversary, and, to celebrate, events have been scheduled through Aug. 29. Tomorrow's highlight is a re-enactment of the Hex Murder Trials at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the York County Court House, in York. Admission is free. On Tuesday during York's Nostalgia Day, Central Market stands and other locations will offer antiques appraisals as well as promotions on crafts, antiques and collectibles. Thursday, area manufacturers such as Wolfgang Candy Co., Snyder's of Hanover and Harley-Davidson Inc. will welcome visitors for tours during Manufacturer's Day.

The main event is next weekend's Yorkfest -- an outdoor music festival at the York Expo Center featuring the Greaseband, jazz musicians Chris Bacas and Joshua Redman and the York Symphony. Other weekend activities include the 19th annual Riverwalk Arts Festival and Exhibition, a one-mile Fun Run and a York County 10-miler.

Festivities will come to a close at 2 p.m. Aug. 29 with a "Parade of History." Area groups and organizations will march through the streets in period clothing representing the year their association was founded. Other aspects of York County's rich history will be celebrated with floats, bands, soldiers, parachute artists and a 21-gun salute.

Call 877-YORK250 for ticket and time information or a full schedule of events.

B&Bs click on WWW

Bed & Breakfast Inns Online can help vacation planners research unique accommodations. With a click of the mouse, visitors to www.bbonline.com can find a bed-and- breakfast to fit their travel needs. More than 2,000 B&Bs are listed on the site along with locater maps, recipes, information on innkeepers and a chance to win two free nights at a featured inn.

Greenbrier in world's top 10

In Gourmet magazine's survey of the 10 best hotels around the world, U.S. hotels won five spots. The Halekulani Honolulu came in first, with the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Fla., sixth; the Boulders in Carefree, Ariz., seventh; the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., eighth; and the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., ninth.

Rent a Renault in Europe

Travelers planning an extended visit to Europe can rent a new Renault tax-free. This offer from Renault Eurodrive includes a new car with unlimited mileage and full insurance, and is valid for visitors staying 17 days to six months. Sample rates: A compact Renault Twingo picked up and returned in France starts at $499 for 17 days. Use a MasterCard to get extra days free. Call 800-221-1052.

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