What lies beneath

7,500-square-foot Key Largo mural of coral reef promotes ocean conservation

The Smart Traveler

March 11, 2007



Travel + Leisure Books / $34.95

So many destinations, not enough time. But that doesn't seem to have prevented the editors of Travel + Leisure magazine from assembling a list of what they call the "100 Greatest Trips." Given the sophistication of the magazine, it is not surprising that the suggestions veer on the side of the classy, the urbane and the chic, with an emphasis on the arts. They write about gallery hopping around New York City, a culinary tour of Brittany, France, learning to draw and paint in Florence, Italy, a cinematic pilgrimage to Rome and much more. It also features essential travel tips, mini-guides to each destination and more than 300 color photographs.


Now you can say it with a song

Have you ever wanted to impress your sweetie by writing a song for her? Virginia tourism officials have added an interactive "sing back" feature to their Web site for the Crooked Road, a 250-mile trail through country music landmarks in southwest Virginia, that lets users create these and numerous other personalized bluegrass songs. The state-of-the-art site -- at virginia.org / crookedroad -- enables visitors to personalize a song to the tune of "Sweet Virginia" that can be sent either by e-mail or to the telephone or cell phone of the recipient.


Paradise, retirement style

The most popular places to retire (net retirees moving there from 1995 through 2000), from Charles F. Longino Jr.'s book Retirement Migration in America, as reported in Where to Retire magazine:

1. Phoenix (41,010)

2. West Palm Beach, Fla. (30,810)

3. Las Vegas (29,609)

4. Fort Myers, Fla. (20,872)

5. St. Petersburg, Fla. (13,746)

6. Sarasota, Fla. (13,436)

7. Naples, Fla. (13,434)

8. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (13,322)

9. Tucson, Ariz. (12,264)

10. The Villages, Fla. (10,594)


Astronaut plans canyon walk

Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 astronaut who walked on the moon in 1969, plans to be among the first to stroll 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor in a huge, glass-bottomed observation deck. The Hualapai Indian Reservation, which owns the Skywalk, paid Aldrin, 77, to join its March 20 opening ceremony for the $30 million, horseshoe-shaped deck that will extend 70 feet from the canyon wall. The Hualapai will cross the Skywalk on March 19. The tribe will charge visitors $25 to walk across the deck starting March 28. For more information, go to des tinationgrandcanyon.com / skywalk.html.

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