Orlando's theme-park antidote

TRAVEL SMARTS

September 26, 1999|By RANDI KEST

Amid Space Moutain, Epcot Center, Mickey Mouse and his clan lies Church Street Station, Orlando's four-block dining, shopping and entertainment complex designed to reflect the Old West. A perfect reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Disney World, Church Street offers visitors themed restaurants, five showrooms and a three-level shopping emporium with more than 40 specialty shops.

Rosie O'Grady's Good Time Emporium is an authentic saloon complete with Dixieland jazz and bartop cancan girls. After feasting at Rosie's, patrons can head next door for drinks at Apple Annie's Courtyard, set in a Victorian garden, serving fresh fruit and ice cream drinks. Other dining or drinking options include Lili Marlene's Aviator's Pub and Restaurant, decorated with aviation memorabilia from both world wars and serving aged beef, prime beef and seafood and Cheyenne Barbeque Restaurant, where visitors can dine on barbecue beef, pork and chicken. The entertainment never ends on Church Street. The Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House is the place to go for heel-stomping country music, jamborees and line dancing. Phineas Phogg's Dance Club plays the latest Top 40 hits and the Orchid Garden features rock and roll hits from the '50s through today.

Church Street is off Interstate 4 (Exit 38) in downtown Orlando. Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Call 407-422-2434.

A FREE NIGHT IN WEST VIRGINIA

The Mountainside Association of Bed & Breakfasts is sponsoring a new program for frequent visitors to West Virginia.

The West Virginia Sampler Tour of Bed & Breakfasts package offers business travelers, tourists and guests a sixth night free after five nights are spent at one of the 72-plus member B&Bs. Visitors need not spend five consecutive nights at a single inn to be eligible for the free night. After accumulating five nights, a free stay is offered.

Ask for a Sampler Tour brochure when staying at a Mountainside Association of Bed & Breakfasts member inn. With the free night, participants will also receive a gift basket filled with products from every region of West Virginia.

Free nights are subject to availability, and the first five rooms must be reserved at regular rates. Phone 800-CALL-WVA or visit www. wvonline.com/b&b.

Splashy, sleepy times in Caribbean

Ever wonder what families actually do on Caribbean vacations? According to Aruba Sonesta's new resort report, men spend about 3 percent and women 6 percent of a five-day vacation in the water while children splash 84 percent of their stay away in pools and oceans. Men and women spend the majority of their water time at the edge and they tend to nap more than their kids.

Mainly, women lie on the beach and men play tennis or golf while not in the water. Other vacation activities that swallow up precious time are dining, shopping and entertainment.

Maitre de cabine

First-class flights aboard Swissair just got a little bit nicer. Those passengers and top-tier frequent fliers can call upon a "maitre de cabine" for sports scores and travel arrangements. Those flying back from Zurich can even request a "food pack" of caviar, champagne, bread, cheese, fruits and dessert so the refrigerator isn't bare upon return home. Check with your Swissair agent to see if this service is available on your next flight.

Also, Swissair, Austrian Airlines, Sabena and TAP Air Portugal are testing ticketless travel along some European routes.

Crafts of Connecticut

A brochure is available for those interested in exploring the Trail of Connecticut Craft Centers -- five locations throughout the state where the works of more than 1,000 craft artists are displayed. The five locations are Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield, Guilford Handcraft Center in Guilford, Wesleyan Potters in Middletown and Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven. Holiday craft exhibitions are planned for coming months. Call 800-282-6863 for a brochure.

Pub Date: 09/26/99

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