Going bullish on Times Square The big news at New...

TRAVEL SMARTS

March 26, 2000|By Tricia Bishop

Going bullish on Times Square

The big news at New York's Times Square these days is Nasdaq's MarketSite, and the operative word is big. MarketSite boasts the world's largest video screen, some eight stories tall, along with a broadcast studio and an interactive education center.

The MarketSite video screen flashes financial news, stock market information and advertisements 24 hours a day, while the glass-enclosed studio broadcasts more than 100 programs from multiple screens.

But the real tourist attraction may be the interactive exhibit, where visitors can learn about the stock market by playing interactive games, and actually check their investments online. At the end of the exhibit, you can have a photo taken that makes you look like the star of a Times Square billboard. For more information about hours and tickets, call 877-627-3271.

YELLOWSTONE AT A SPRING DISCOUNT

If you want to beat the summer rush to Yellowstone National Park, five lodges are offering reduced spring rates. The "Early Bird Specials" are available in May, with prices 35 percent to 55 percent lower than usual. And at that time of year, you might see newborn bison take their first steps or bears emerge from their long winter of hibernation. Reservations must be made by April 1. Call 307-344-7311.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel: May 5-18, room rates per night from $25-$149. Built in 1937, this location has cottage- and hotel-style rooms with horseback riding and sightseeing tours available.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge: May 5-18, $99. Yellowstone's newest structure features modern amenities.

Old Faithful Inn: May 12-18, $25-$199. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, Old Faithful Inn is located near the famous geyser.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel: May 19-25, $99. The lakeside hotel was recently renovated to restore its 1920s grandeur.

Grant Village: May 26-June 1, $69-$79. A complex of six lodge buildings on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

Expeditions to the world

National Geographic Society's April-December Expedition Travel Catalog lists more than 20 worldwide trips led by the society's writers, photographers and explorers. The trips include wine tours through Italy and France, treks through Nepal, helicopter flights to pris- tine areas of Canada and voyages to Antarctica. A complete listing is available online at www. nationalgeographic.com/ngexpeditions. For information, or to receive a free copy of the catalog, call 888-966-8687.

Watching the grass grow

Lawn mower jockeys everywhere can see near-perfection by visiting the country's Top Ten lawns. Briggs & Stratton has decided on the top turf for 1999, and some of its choices are nearby. The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis made the cut, along with "The Lawn" at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Here's the greenest of the green:

* The Alamo, San Antonio

* Doubleday Field, Cooperstown, N.Y.

* George Eastman House, Rochester, N.Y.

* Georgia International Plaza, Atlanta

* Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

* Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich.

* "The Lawn" at the University of Virginia

* Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, Great Falls, Mont.

* Magnolia plantation and its gardens, Charleston, S.C.

* The United States Naval Academy

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