TravelWorld North American Travel Nov.Dec 11

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11.3 NOV | DEC


North American

TRAVEL issue




GOT STRESS? go fly fishing in





The Outer Banks



North American

TRAVEL issue




FLY FISHING IN ALASKA In Alaska, the amazing fishing and outstanding scenery make up the heart and soul of any fly fishing excursion. However most adventuresome souls tend to return with memories of so much more. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALE SANDERS

24 HAVE BOOTS WILL TRAVEL The tonic of the wilderness is waiting for you on one of America’s greatest driving adventures—the San Juan Skyway in Southwest Colorado. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA BALLOU

30 BALTIMORE ON A BUDGET All your dreams of Baltimore’s compelling attractions can come true, but your savings account doesn’t have to suffer. Find out how Baltimore can be downright budget-friendly. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NANCY PISTORIUS

36 ON THE OUTER BANKS “Graveyard of the Atlantic” and “Fisherman’s Paradise” are only two of the many expressions used to describe the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER I. ROSE




Bear Hugs at China’s Golden Flower / BY DAN CHRISTOPHER



Canada’s Eastern Gay Capitals / BY MARC KASSOUF



A Slice of Brooklyn / BY DAN SCHLOSSBERG



The Hills Are Alive With Music / BY NELL RAUN-LINDE

61 62 64


Art & Music Blossom in Rose Bowl City / BY JUDY FLORMAN








It’s hard to not be excited about your home turf. North America has so much to offer travelers and being a 3rd generation Californian, I tend to get spoiled. My Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Drop us a line at

family doesn’t have to travel far in order to experience snow, surf, desert and mountains. In fact, we can experience all of them in a one-day drive. But living in North America should be looked at with awe and admiration. Especially when you consider these facts:


7.92% of the world’s population is in North America; the total land area is just over 9.5 mil-


lion square miles (with 3.85 million of those in Canada alone); there are 23 recognized

Magazine by emailing

countries in North America; and the highest mountain and longest river of the continent

reside here in the U.S.A. (Mt. McKinley and the Mississippi/Missouri river)*. It all adds up to a lot of travel possibilities.


I’m thrilled at the collection of writers who have contributed their home-turf excitement

Submit story and

to this North American Travel issue of TravelWorld International Magazine. Photojournal-

photography pitches

ist Dale Sanders takes us on fly fishing in Alaska (p. 8) and shows us with delight the bene-

to Do not submit images unless requested.

fits of getting in the face of Mother Nature. Linda Ballou puts on her boots (p. 24) and takes us on a driving adventure on the San Juan Skyway in Colorado. Nancy Pistorius shows us how to experience Baltimore On A Budget (p. 30). Long-time contributor Peter Rose brings us to one of my favorite “chill” places on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (p. 36). One great honor that I have for this issue of TravelWorld is to introduce you to three new contributors. Leslie Long takes us to a Mardi Gras that is safe for the whole family (p. 42). Dan Christopher shows us the luxury of the Golden Flower Hotel in China (p. 47). Marc Kassouf highlights for us the gay and lesbian hotspots in the Eastern Canadian Capitals (p. 50). I’m also thrilled to welcome back previous contributors, Dan Schlossberg, Nell Raun-Linde and Judy Florman. I sincerely thank them all for helping to make this issue of TravelWorld a great read. I hope you enjoy the issue. Safe travels!

Jerri Jerri Hemsworth, Editor-In-Chief

* Source:



The Benefits of Being a NATJA Member TravelWorld International Magazine is the only magazine that showcases the member talents of the North American Travel Journalists Association Group Publisher Publisher Editor-in-Chief

Helen Hernandez Bennett W. Root, Jr. Jerri Hemsworth

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Newman Grace Inc.

Vice President, Marketing Contributing Writers

Brian Hemsworth Linda Ballou Nancy Pistorius Peter I. Rose Dale Sanders

Contributing Columnists

Dan Christopher Judy Florman Marc Kassouf Leslie Long Nell Raun-Linde Dan Schlossberg

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Dan finds solitude as he makes a back haul cast near a peninsula off the pristine beach we visited during our excursion.

FISHING In Alaska, the amazing fishing and outstanding scenery make up the heart and soul of any fly fishing excursion. However most adventuresome souls tend to return with memories of so much more. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALE SANDERS


One of the many floatplanes awaits our boarding at the Juneau seaplane lake adjacent to the airport’s main runways.


The plane’s engine whines as streams of water slap at the pontoons of our floatplane. This would be a good time to say good-bye to civilization (I say to myself as the plane takes off) and hello to an anticipated “pure version” of Mother Nature. Such is the initial sensation for passengers on the fly-out fly-fishing trips out of Juneau, Alaska. Just after takeoff we settled in with great anticipation for the de-

Our guide demonstrates the proper fly casting and retrieval techniques all in close reach of "Ole' Bessie."



Shane, a veteran fisherman from Australia, does battle with a feisty salmon as the mountain peaks of Alaska add to the drama of our experience.

scribed triple treat experience touted in this

short time before, we had all donned waders

excursion’s advertising materials. Our first

at the Bear Creek Outfitters shop, where we

treat, albeit sensation, would be that of “a

also purchased fishing licenses and received

bird’s eye view of Alaska’s amazing scenery” a brief indoctrination. However, the differincluding Mendenhall Glacier. From the

ence between Matt’s description of where we

floatplane, our guide Matt Boline and five

were going and the reality of actually setting

fishermen all had great views of Alaska’s

foot on such a desolate location now slapped

rugged topography as we headed to our des-

us in the face like a bucket of ice water. As

tination of Game Cove. After a short flight of

we exited the plane, all our senses were on

roughly 40 minutes, we soon set down and

maximum input!

taxied to a sandy beach near a pristine mountain stream named Wheeler Creek. A

Soon everything was offloaded as we set up an impromptu base camp near the high

Shane drops in on a school of salmon while Matt gives words of encouragement, all amidst the backdrop of Alaska’s sheer beauty.

tide line. Tides here rise and fall 20 feet or more, so it’s best not to leave personal items within King Neptune’s grasp. The first order of business for Matt was to pull out and load “Ole’ Bessie,” a 12gauge shotgun only used as a last ditch deterrent for the commonly seen brown or black bears known to roam this beach. That was clearly reassuring, especially when we almost immedi-

^^^ A sizable king salmon is proudly presented following a lengthy battle.

>>> A nice salmon is brought to shore at the bend of Wheeler Creek.

ately came across a bear’s femur bone that

occasional tailing ripples. Richard from Col-

must have weighed more than 25 pounds.

orado, perhaps the most seasoned fly fisher-

With the base camp set up, and our protec-

man among us, was first to hook up. A nice

tion in ready reach, Matt rigged up each of

pink salmon was soon landed. Now the in-

us. Today we would be fishing with Sage 8-

tensity of casting and stripping line picked

weight rods and Ross reels. A barbless

up noticeably among the remaining fishless

(catch & release) Clouser minnow in

anglers. Soon Shane, my new friend from

olive/white and pink was today’s wet fly of

down under, had a nice fish on followed by

choice. Now it was time to produce! Initially

Dan landing a dolly varden char.

we were blind casting off the beach toward

Salmon begin to stack up as the tide goes out at the mouth of Wheeler Creek. Two anglers vie for their next salmon as Dan does battle with a big 'un.

As we continued to fish, it became obvious

The look of determination is etched in Richard's face as he places his fly upstream from a pocket of salmon.


As we prepare to depart, sea otter track remind us of the true owners of this beach.

Downtown Juneau and its iconic Red Dog Saloon. TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC

Our now veteran crew of anglers following five hours of superb


fishing in the outback of Alaska.

Wildflowers accent the

that the tide was quickly going out, so our guide encouraged us

top of the beach's tidal zone while the conifer forest and

to move down the beach toward Wheeler Creek. Now with the

Alaska's mountain range loom in the background.

clouds parting, the overtaking sunlight on the translucent green mountain water began to produce dark silhouettes of schooling fish. Richard hooked up again and I soon followed. Almost simultaneously, everyone began finding their fishing groove as salmon and char were landed up and down the stream. I remember being surprised how comfortable I was fishing in waders in water approaching the low 50’s and air temp’s in the 60’s. In fact, I momentarily considered taking off my sweatshirt. However, with our departure clock ticking, there were just too many fish both up and down stream (now clearly visible through my polarize sunglasses) to consider a wardrobe change.

The Mendenhall Glacier descends a mountain pass as we return from our day far from civilization.

Down stream from my position, Dan and his son Garrett fished feverishly. Both were near the final bend in this creek as it heads for the open waters of Chatham Straits. It was quite clear that this was a bonding moment as fish darted before them. Later, Dan emailed me, ecstatic about their experience: “Our trip to Alaska was breathtaking and the fly-out-fly-fishing was truly the highlight for Garrett and myself. We really lucked out with the weather, and the total experience of being out in the back country with my son is one I'll never forget. Seeing the pod of whales just yards off the coast and the three large bald eagles competing with us for the salmon are etched deeply in my mind.� Oh yea, I left out the whales 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL

Our seaplane pulls back on the stick as it makes a grand departure from the beach at Wheeler Creek.

As our floatplane approaches the beach outpost preceeding our departure we reflect on the majesty of Alaska's overwhelming beauty.

A pod of whales transit Chatham Straits during their migration movement.

and eagles!! Perhaps it was catching my

that followed) and being one with nature.

first salmon, but more than that, the

These combined with seeing Alaska from

scenery here is all consuming, and even if

the vantage point of our seaplane were in-

I had not caught a fish, this was a shore

deed the trio I had hoped for.

excursion never to be soon forgotten. HowAs an award-winning travel and outdoor photojournalist, Dale

ever, the amazing fishing and outstanding

Sanders has ventured to more than 100 islands and coastal destinations around the globe. He is the associate editor for Small-

scenery completed the remaining compo-, travel editor for Antique Bottle & Glass Collector, and national travel examiner for Dale is the cur-

nents of a triple treat, i.e. catching my

rent NATJA first-place winner of the travel photojournalism award in sports and recreation. His numerous credits and outlets can be

first salmon (not to mention the ten or so


Have Boots

Will Travel


he San Juan Skyway is a 236-mile loop through the most sublime scenery Colorado has to offer. The drive takes you through sage-littered plains up vibrant river valleys to lofty peaks streaked with snow, and tops out at glacier cirques at 11,500 feet. My mission: Hike and horseback ride around this historic byway making stops at Mesa Verde, Telluride, Ouray, and Silverton. A whistle blast from the DurangoSilverton steam engine sounded and I was off on the first leg of the journey. This train has chugged up the rugged Animas Canyon at twenty miles an hour for the past 130 years. Most passengers will do the 90-mile round trip to Silverton, but I planned to hop off the train with other hikers at Needleton (9,000 ft) to explore the pristine Weminuche Wilderness. Two hours into the canyon, the train stopped where trails radiate deep into the mountains. Backpackers headed for Chicago Basin on a steady bunburning climb. I opted for a day hike on the Purgatory trail that sticks close to the Animas River. The train is an effortless way to get into the heart of the roadless wilderness where you can stroll, hike, or just enjoy a picnic. You just have to remember to be back by 4:00 p.m. to catch your train ride back to Durango! Hollywood discovered Durango in the ’50s. Western heroes like John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart found historic downtown Durango’s Rochester Hotel to be a good place to hang their six-gallon hats while filming. After a country breakfast in the cozy dining room of the Rochester, I was off to Mancos to hook up with Rimrock Outfitters. Owner Lynn Lewis loves

nothing more than riding out her back door through high country meadows brightened by swaths of yellow rabbit brush to lodge pole pine forests of the La Plata Mountains overlooking Mesa Verde. A couple of cowboys looking for stray “doggies” stumbled upon what some consider to be the most significant archeological site in North Amer-

The tonic of the wilderness is waiting for you on one of America’s greatest driving adventures— the San Juan Skyway in Southwest Colorado. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA BALLOU ica in the 1880’s. The entrance to Mesa Verde National Park is six miles up Highway 160 from Mancos, and another snaking fifteen miles to the top of the mesa. Complex dwellings built by indigenous peoples from 9001250 AD are scattered throughout the canyons of the expansive mesa. Spend a night at the Far View Lodge in the park and have your own cliff dwelling overlooking the vast Colorado Plateau. The Metate Room enjoys this view as well, and boasts fresh local ingredients and Southwest seasonings in

<<< View from the River Walk through the historic San Miguel Mountain Park in Telluride.

gourmet offerings. After taking a tour of the Cliff Palace, check out the Spruce Tree House and the museum, and hike on the Petroglyph Trail for a more personal experience of the canyons held sacred to the amazing people who called them home. The stretch of the Skyway up the verdant Dolores River corridor was once a route for the Ute Indians to their summer hunting grounds. It ascends to Lizard Head Pass past alluring Trout Lake to overlook three majestic “forteeners” that dominate the scene. You drive under the stern face of Ophir peaks and then begin the glide down to Telluride—famous for its many festivals and black diamond ski runs. The mountains surrounding the town are honeycombed with tunnels built by miners during the gold rush in the late 1800s. A 4x4 trip to the Tomboy Mine perched at the top of the box canyon above gushing Bridal Veil Falls is a popular outing. Josh, owner of San Juan Adventure School, drove us up a rocky jeep trail overlooking San Miguel Park to meet our trailhead. The undulating path meandered through groves of aspen just beginning to turn gold. Josh picked a few wild raspberries for me to try. He pointed to mighty Mt. Wilson (14,000 ft) in the distance where he guides advanced climbers to the top. The trail deposited us near my lodging at the Aspen Tree Inn located a block away from the gondola station. Guests can enjoy a free lift to the Mountain Village and the trailhead to the River Walk, a delightful three-mile, easy amble into the mountain park.

Perfect home base in upscale Telluride.

Colorado Street in Telluride where celebrity sightings are commonplace.

The head-spinning stretch of the Skyway between Telluride and Ouray traces an energetic river lined with willows. I pulled over at the Dallas Divide unable to pass by the breathtaking sweep of rust-colored grasses at the base of pineclad peaks, and breathed deeply of a scene out of our vanishing American Heritage before heading on to the healing waters at Orvis Hot Springs. With a sigh I settled into the steaming waters at Orvis Hot Springs, six miles outside of Ouray. An elaborate garden of eight mineral pools with temps ranging from 99-106 await the weary traveler. My next restorative measure was to stop at Ouray Massage Therapy where owner, BJ, gave me a masterful “Mountain High “ massage. Later that night at the Secret Gardens B & B, I drifted asleep to the soothing sound of the Uncompahgre River that flows nearby. The picturesque hamlet of Ouray,

Columbine-the state flower of Colorado.

framed in an amphitheater of rock, invites the traveler to stay awhile. A favorite pastime is “benching it” on Main Street and enjoying an ice cream while watching visitors stroll by. The four-mile Perimeter Trail wraps the town and affords fantastic views of

surrounding peaks, as well as Cascade and Box Canyon Falls. The best way to explore this soulstirring scenery is on the back of a good horse. Fencepost, an old-time cowhand, had Bluebell tacked and ready to ride when I arrived at

Secrect Garden Bed and Breakfast in Ouray-Sweet Spot in the San Juans.

Ice Lake Basin at 11,500 feet is the signature hike in the heart of the high country.

Colors of the Southwest .

After being closed for 37 years the historic Beaumont Hotel in Ouray re-opened in 2002.

Bach’lers Stables. He led the way on his steady mule as we clambered higher and higher up rocky switchbacks. We crested a ridge with a heart-pounding view of the Uncompahgre River Valley—a patchwork of green pastures framed in gallant spires. The Million Dollar Highway, an engineering marvel blasted out of rock through Red Mountain Pass, takes you to Silverton. A white-knuckler for some, I found it to be a wellmaintained byway through alpine splendor. Ironton, a mining ghost town along the way to Silverton is worth a stop with easy trails to explore. During the gold rush, Silverton, resting in a caldera at 9,600 feet, was the boisterous mining capital of the tumultuous San Juans—famous for its gunfights and brothels. Today, it is a gateway to outdoor adventure. A 4x4 jeep tour with San Juan Outback up precipitous mining roads is a great way to go. We bounced up a rutted, rock-strewn road past sparkling cascades to views of mountains spreading to eternity. When we arrived at our destination, Clear Lake, a transparent body of water at 11,500 feet mirroring red barren slopes, it was summer—in September! A profusion of flowers and shrubs, including a rare burgundy paintbrush, lined the shore. Our explorations ended when clouds swarmed in and rain began to fall. Soon, the shops in Silverton would be shuttered and closed for a long winter’s nap. After a quick stop at the Pitt for a belly full of the best ribs on the western slope, I high-tailed it back to Durango, just an hour south, where the sun was shining in bluebird skies. Linda Ballou is an avid adventurer who published her first travel article more than 10 years ago. She’s also penned two books: Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawai’i: Her Epic Journey and the award-winning Lost Angel Walkabout: One Traveler’s Tales. You can read more about her at

Note: Altitude is an issue for most visitors to this lofty realm. Drink lots of water and take it easy on your first couple of days. According to some studies Ginkgo Biloba is an effective deterrent of altitude or mountain sickness. However, I found the prescription drug Diamox is the most effective. For more information go to

When you think of Baltimore, do you envision world-class museums, a gorgeous Inner Harbor filled with tall sailing ships, seafood so fresh it’s still wiggling on your plate—and a flat, empty wallet, after paying for the privilege of vacationing in such an exceptional city? All your dreams of Baltimore’s compelling attractions can come true, but your savings account doesn’t have to suffer, as Baltimore can be downright budget-friendly. Even that fresh-caught seafood doesn’t have to be a splurge, if you’re savvy about scouting out bargains. And Baltimore is bursting with free (and almost-free) activities. They don’t call it “Charm City” for nothing. Your choice of accommodations can make or break your budget. Probably the best location in Baltimore, both for its scenic views and proximity to major attractions, is the Inner Harbor area. I’ve stayed at two hotels in this area—the Hyatt Regency (300 Light Street) and the Holiday Inn (301 W. Lombard Street). As a AAA Four Diamond hotel, the Hyatt offers plenty of amenities, and many rooms have picturesque harbor views. The Holiday Inn is about five blocks away from the main action, and many rooms have views of the fire station. However, in a city as filled with cultural entertainment as Baltimore, you probably won’t be spending much time languishing in your hotel room, admiring the view from your window. You’ll be out enjoying life in a quirky, fun city! If you’re traveling on Daddy’s expense account, then splurge on the Hyatt, and you won’t regret it, as the service is phenomenal. However, if you’re pinching pennies, then you won’t go wrong by booking a room at the economically-priced Holiday Inn. The swimming pool is huge, if you need some exercise after all that scrumptious seafood. Speaking of seafood, where can you find value-priced meals in Baltimore, without resorting to fast food chains? Visit Baltimore’s website lists many, up-to-date Dining Specials, and I found quite a few more bargains. Talara (615 President Street), a new Latin bistro in Harbor East, offers one of the hottest Happy TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC



Evening at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Maryland holds surprises, secrets and bargains for the cost-conscious BY NANCY PISTORIUS

e On A Budget

B altimore O n A B udget Hours in Baltimore, with an extensive menu of tapas and cocktails for five dollars each. And their Mango Mojitos are to die for! And, just a short walk from Talara, that famous Baltimore seafood is calling your name at The Oceanaire Seafood Room (804 Aliceanna Street). Although items on the regular menu can be a bit pricey, twice a year during Restaurant Week (usually in January and August), the restaurant offers a prix fixe, three-course menu, including dessert, for about $35. And Happy Hour is always lots of fun, with the same fresh-from-the-net maritime morsels served in the bar area (try the crab cake bites) for eight dollars or less. If you prefer your seafood to be served with a decidedly French accent, head for Mt. Vernon to Marie Louise Bistro (904 N. Charles St.), where you can dine like royalty for under twenty dollars. On Thursdays, special wine and cheese tastings are held, buffet-style, in the upstairs lounge for just ten dollars per person. If you like to indulge at breakfast, your best bets are Miss Shirley’s (750 East Pratt Street) and Langermann’s (2400 Boston Street). Miss Shirley’s offers one-of-a-kind breakfast items, like Funky Monkey Bread (cinnamon-scented, with bananas, chocolate and pecans—all dusted with powdered sugar) and Benne Seed-Chicken ‘N Waffles (fried boneless breast of chicken pieces on white cheddar and green onion waffles, accompanied by a honey-mustard aioli drizzle). You can eat just one item on this eccentric, reasonably-priced menu and feel full all day long. Breakfast (ordered from a breakfast menu on Saturdays and a Brunch option on Sundays) at Langermann’s (located between the Canton and Fells Point areas) is more formal, yet still very affordable, with items such as Breakfast Blitz (three eggs served any style with choice of meat and toast) for under ten dollars. You can fortify yourself for a whole day of walking and seeing the sights. If you just want to grab a delicious meal to go, pay a visit to Big Jim’s Deli at the Cross Street Market for an inexpensive picnic lunch—a sandwich, chips, a soda and a Berger cookie (BalTRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC


Paddleboats on the harbor.

Children observing fish at the National Aquarium.

timore’s famous chocolate cookie). While noshing on authentic deli food at Federal Hill Park, soak up the fantastic views of Charm City. Another good place to get unparalleled views is the Top of the World Observation Level, located on the 27th floor of the World Trade Center (401 E. Pratt Street). You can get a 360-degree panoramic look at Baltimore’s skyline for just five dollars. Getting around Baltimore is easy, with the Charm City Circulator, a fleet of 21 free (hybrid electric) shuttles that travel three different routes. A shuttle bus arrives every ten minutes at the designated stops on each route. I had never heard of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (1301 W. Camden Street) until my latest trip to Baltimore, but it’s now one of my favorite places in the world. Geppi’s is devoted exclusively to more than 6,000 pop culture artifacts and ephemera from the past 250 years. Rooms are crammed with items like original Barbie dolls (complete with perky blonde ponytails), vintage comic books, original movie posters, and Star Wars merchandise. Depending upon the era in which you grew up, you could easily spend hours wandering nostalgically amidst vast collections of Popeye comic strips, Pez dispensers, or stuffed Care Bears. Admission costs only ten dollars for adults, with half-price tickets on home game days for the Baltimore Ravens or Baltimore Orioles. (Geppi’s Go Green incentive also offers two dollars off admission, when you show your ticket stub for public transportation for that day.) Another one of Baltimore’s best-kept secrets, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (830 E. Pratt Street) both horrifies and amazes. Beside exhibits on the history of slavery and displays of vintage Ku Klux Klan garb, you’ll find tributes to the way African Americans created enduring works of music, literature, dance and art. There’s a particularly good collection of jazz artifacts. (Looking at the piano played by Baltimore native Billie Holiday gave me goosebumps.) General admission is only eight dollars. If you’ve got kids in tow (or you’re a kid-at-heart), you can’t leave Baltimore without visiting the Maryland Science Center (601 Light Street) or the National Aquarium (501 East Pratt Street). At the Maryland Science Center, you can dig for bones among dinosaur skeletons, create a tornado, or 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL

B altimore O n A B udget even lie down on a bed of nails! Best of all, admission prices take a dive Fridays after 5 p.m. (Sept. 9, 2011 through March 23, 2012), when children and their grown-ups can indulge in all the hands-on, interactive exhibits for only eight dollars. The “Egg Drop, Price Drop” on Saturdays (January 8 through March 12) gives everyone in your party three dollars off admission, plus an egg to drop (as a science experiment) from the third floor to the atrium level. And what can I say about the National Aquarium that won’t sound as if I’ve just partaken of some magic mushrooms? Simply put, I was blown away by the up-close-and-personal looks I was able to get at the dolphins, jellyfish and hundreds of other varieties of marine life. I could have stayed there forever. The National Aquarium also offers a “Prices Dive After Five” special. From September 9 through March, all basic Aquarium admission tickets are eight dollars for entry at 5 p.m. or later on Fridays. (Dolphin and 4D shows can be added on for four dollars each.) Both the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Museum are world-class museums that offer free admission, but my favorite galleries are at the spectacularly funky American Visionary Art Museum (800 Key Highway). You can wander through the unique sculptures outside the mosaic-encrusted building for free, and also find treasures in one of the trippiest gift shops imaginable. (Would you believe a whole drawer filled with different sizes of plastic eyeballs?) Free outdoor festivals and concerts (often with big-name entertainment) abound year-round in culturally diverse Baltimore (I was lucky enough to catch a fabulous Flowermart event during my last visit.) Just check the schedule at There’s always something happening in Baltimore, and most of it won’t break the bank. Nancy Pistorius has written travel articles on a variety of subjects, including family travel on cruise ships. She has writen for Womans Day, Cosmopolitan, Chicago Tribune, Illinois Times, Social, and Springfield’s Own magazine. She received the 2009 Langston Hughes Creative Writing Award (Fiction). TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC


TOP AND BELOW: The spectacularly funky American Visionary Art Museum.

On The Outer B 1 0



Graveyard of the Atlantic... Home of the First Motorized Flight... Fisherman’s Paradise...


hese are the expressions that grace the colorful brochures of North Carolina's offthe-mainland coastal strip of barrier islands known to locals as "The Outer Banks." The fact is that the reality matches the hype! The area, much of it protected by the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, stretches from the Virginia line at Nag’s head 100 miles southward to the Ocracoke Inlet, and on to more barrier islands.







On The Outer Banks The park was established by the federal government in 1953 and since has had much to offer travelers and tourists. There are scenic views, wild animals and bird-watching almost everywhere. The park even offers visits to several towering lighthouses, including the tallest on the east coast, which towers above at 208 feet high. Another site to see are the now-closed life saving stations that were forerun-

Cod], you'll love the Outer Banks." On a late September afternoon, I left our own seaside Shangri-La to see if they were right. From the moment I crossed the long bridge from the North Carolina mainland, very near to Kitty Hawk, I understood what was so appealing. I was immediately hooked. Over the eight days I was there, I learned a good deal about the history and ecology of the area and the

2. The Graveyard of the Atlantic

ners of those later established by the U.S. Coast Guard. There are galleries for art lovers (I counted 35), museums for history buffs, and recreational opportunities for both the passive sightseers and the active adventurers, perfect for bikers and hikers, fishermen and sailors. The Outer Banks is more than a vacationland; it is a national treasure -- and not just for those, like me, who has always wanted to revel at seaside. I learned this about myself on a recent visit. My sojourn to the North Carolina coast was prompted by the persistent chiding of friends from the south who kept telling me, "If you like the Cape [meaning of course "our" cape, Cape

fragility of the land. I also learned of the concerns about the ever-present threat of natural disasters, mainly in the form of hurricanes, but also those created by over-zealous developers and kitschy souvenir shops. In my north-to-south wanderings along NC state Route 12, from Currituck County and the towns of Corolla and Duck to Cape Hatteras in Dare County, I was particularly taken with certain highlights. Let me mention my "Top Ten.”

tangs,” all direct descendants of the small, versatile and hearty animals. They were the first horses brought to the new world by Spaniards in the 15th and 16th centuries. Local lore has it that the ancestors of the Corolla horses may have come ashore when the ships of their masters ran aground on the Outer Banks. Today there is a growing movement to study and preserve these animals and several other herds of these handsome Spanish Colonial steeds.

Museum at the bottom tip of Cape Hatteras, an institution that is at once a place to visit, but also a focus of research on the history of the seafarers who sailed offshore and the shipwrecks and the treasures found on and near to Outer Banks.


The wild horses of Corolla, a hundred-strong herd of protected “mus-

1. The barrier banks themselves, a narrow strand, veritable flyway for birds and an enticing pathway for tourists who especially enjoy sand, sea, and seafood!


4. The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, a truly remarkable facility located in Corolla, offering school children and travelers an in-

depth look at the roles of hunting and fishing and how they played a part in the development of the Outer Banks, particularly the north part located in Currituck County. The displays are both imaginative and informative.

5. The Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo on Roanoke Island is something quite unexpected. It is a memorial of sorts to the first English settlers. Its unique horticulture is overseen by, Carl Curnutte III, the director of “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama. It is at once very British and very American

as it is carefully laid out, English-style, under a canopy of stately old pines and live oaks. A dominant feature is a huge bronze sculpture of the queen who reigned from 1558-1603, for whom it is named. The queen is holding a rose, many varieties of which abound in the gardens and on the walls.

6. The lighthouses, especially the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, Bodie Lighthouse and the Hatteras Lighthouse, are tourist attractions but also important towers that still send their beacons out to assist in navigation. As has long been the case, each has a distinctive pattern

in its decoration, as well as its differently timed flash of light.

offer insights into the geology and ecology of the area. For those unable to climb, they offer dune-buggy service so they can experience the park, as well.

7. The Wright Brothers Memorial Site at Kill Devil Hills. Note the name! This site is named in memory of Orville and Wilbur Wright who were not only two bicycles mechanics, but inventors and adventurers as well. These two used this area, rather than the nearby and better-known Kitty Hawk, to test their gliders and eventually fly their motorized airplane, changing the world forever. Their feat was witnessed by five others

9. Fort Raleigh on Roanoke Island is the site of “The Lost Colony,” long regarded as the first English settlement in North America. Named for the famed Sir Walter, the tiny enclave was established in 1584 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, but it was not meant to last. Several decades later, countrymen were to return to settle along the James River, in what is now

Virginia. Today, Fort Raleigh is a National Historical Site, operated by the Park Service. It provides pageants, including what is said to be the longest running outdoor symphonic play, depicting the first confrontation between the European and native peoples and the early development of the country.

whom are all memorialized. Their names are etched in a dramatic, bronze sculpture beneath a huge plinth that marks this historic achievement. On the site, there is a large building with a full-size replica of the original plane that took the first flight. There are also displays focused on the history of manned flight and the achievements of the Wright Brothers and other pioneers.

10. Last, but far from least, were some

8. The huge dune at Jockey’s Ridge State Park, close to the Wright Brothers’ site, is said to be the largest on the east coast. Thousands of visitors hike to its summit to fly kites, hang-glide or just frolic on its slopes. Park rangers

extraordinary people – each one Involved in my #2-#5 listing above, starting with Joe Schwarzer, a true kindred spirit (like me, he also began his career as an anthropologist). Today, Joe is a widely renowned nautical archaeologist who helped toestablish, and now runs, the Graveyard of the


On The Outer Banks

Atlantic Museum. This museum is a treasure trove of artifacts and information about the 2000 ships that were found off Cape Hatteras over the last several hundred years. Then there were three women of particular note: Karen McCalpin, the indomitable (some locals say formidable) head of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund; Sharon Meade, an extraordinary naturalist who almost single handedly created and built the Wildlife Education Center at Corolla, where she is now Curator and Public Relations Director, and Meghan Agrusto, keeper of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse and its rich traditions. Each of these special people is involved in non-profit organizations to preserve, protect and promote places, animals, and traditions that are unique to the

Outer Banks. There are hundreds of entrepreneurs here whose fine restaurants and seafood shacks, wine shops and souvenir stores, boat yards and tour companies form the backbone of the economy. These movers and shakers and the terrific staff of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, are key figures operating behind the scenes to maintain the core of what makes the Outer Banks especially appealing. If I were to extend my list of highlights, I would cite the town of Manteo on Roanoke Island, a very handsome year-round community; some very tasty seafood restaurants up and down the Banks; a few hotels, too, including the very fine if modest Hampton Inn in Corolla; and the characteristic architecture of the houses built high off the water to protect them from the potential


ravages of sea, sand and wind. Many summer people who come here own these large homes, some of them in whole complexes forming quasicommunities like those in the town of Duck. Many of the homeowners rent them out to vacationers for a week or more each summer. I’m thinking of renting one next year myself. I’ll return to introduce my wife to the area, learn more about the Outer Banks, and revisit my new friends in Corolla, Manteo, and Hatteras. Peter I. Rose is a sociologist, ethnographer, photographer, and travel journalist. For 50 years he has been writing about people on the move and their encounters with others. His most recent book is With Few Reservations: Travels at Home and Abroad. He is also the editor of Travel Magazine.

Do what




acing down a 310-foot hill at 93mph on a roller coaster or zipping around the corner on your first

Segway tour, what’s thrilling is different for each of us.

Whether you choose to kayak on a crooked river, make some sweet jumps at an indoor bike park, charter

a Lake Erie fishing boat, splash in a 12,000 square-foot

Unexpected adventur adventures adv entures entur es aw awai await aitt at a

wave pool, ride a camel or scale a natural outdoor


ledge, Cleveland Plus has the perfect challenge.

TTwitter: Twi witter: wi tter: @Posi @P @PositivelyCleve ositiv osi tivel tiv elyCle yClev yCle ve



Louisiana’s G-Rated


A party where beads and dignity are yours to keep Story and Photography By Leslie Long

Second in size to New Orleans, this

No matter how many Mardi Gras beads are caught during the parades, there’s always room for more.

family-friendly event has a local feel, but it’s still a big time celebration. Lake Charles is about a threehour drive from New Orleans, in southwest Louisiana’s Calcasieu (pronounced Cal-ka-shoo) Parish. Visit here any time of year and you’ll find riverboat gaming (area residents don’t like the word gambling), an evocative nature preserve, historic homes and plenty of fabulous food. Visit here in March and you’ll see this smallish city throw a really, really big party: The Lake Charles Mardi Gras. Compared to the bawdy, boisterous and more fa-

mous fete in New Orleans, this Mardi Gras is AOK for kids. But that doesn’t mean it’s laid back. The string of events leading up to Mardi Gras Day (aka Fat Tuesday) are floatloads of fun for revelers of all ages—and many of the events are specifically created for kids.

MARDI GRAS BACKSTORY How does it all happen? It starts with the krewes. These local clubs or civic groups range from 50 members to a few hundred with a common thread that binds them together: a shared family history,

ABOVE: An alligator crawls out of the water just long enough to pose for photographs before slithering right back in. RIGHT: Mardi Gras in the Zone invites kids and their families for free food and games—no smoking or drinking allowed.

marital status, similar backgrounds, shared interests or ages. With names like the Krewe du Sauvage, Krewe de Classique and Krewe of Chaos, each one lends its particular poetry to the celebrations. Lake Charles has over 50 active krewes—and every year, they choose a theme and go from there creating a razzle-dazzle show, a formal ball and a float. The appointed King, Queen and Court wear incredibly elaborate feathered, sequined, appliquéd costumes, trains and back pieces (known as mantles) that often weigh up to 65 pounds.

THE ROYAL GALA The biggest bargain in town is the Royal Gala the night before Fat Tuesday. In other parts of Louisiana, non-krewe members would have to be invited to each krewe’s ball to see the royal court in their full regalia (for the parades, the costumes are scaled down). Here, at just $6 a ticket, you can settle in as the kings, queens, royal dukes and duchesses, captains, courtesans and jesters of all 50 krewes have their moment in the limelight. There’s food for sale or you can 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL



FAMILY TOP: Melissa Minton, Miss Mardi Gras of

bring your own—and children under five are free. Dress is casual, kids can sit on the floor to get close and photography is not only allowed, it’s welcomed.

2011, graciously greets her fans at


The Royal Gala;

That’s the phrase heard over and over again at the parades as the fabulous floats disperse their prizes, locally known as throws: necklaces, plain and fancy, doubloons and cups to catch the booty. Throughout Mardi Gras week, there are lots of different parades, all fun and fine for families: The Merchant’s Parade, The Krewe of Barkus Parade for pets, the Children’s Parade and the main event on Fat Tuesday, The Krewe of Krewes Parade when each and every group rolls by on a float. The inside of each float is studded with deep hooks hung with lengths and lengths of bright, shiny Mardi Gras beads. Each float must be stocked with enough throws to last the entire route of the parade so no one goes home empty handed. On the warm, sunny afternoon of the Children’s Parade, spectators were lined six or seven deep. Once the floats began to roll, children wildly waved their arms in avid pursuit of the throws. Parents held their babies with one arm while catching beads with the other. Older kids pleaded for the most special throws, trying hard to make eye contact with someone on a float in hopes of a dedicated toss. Styling teenagers danced to the music on the passing floats, using their cool to attract special attention—and maybe a coveted string of keepsake beads. Before too long, the most talented catchers had thick layers of beads around their necks, but still they wanted more.

BELOW: The colorful Isle of the Capri Hotel.

FAT TUESDAY ARRIVES Two days later on Mardi Gras day, rain threatened to douse the grand finale: the Krewe of Krewes’ Parade. Beginning at daybreak, local newscasters were on the scene reporting on the likelihood of rain. Between squalls, block parties were in full swing throughout the downtown, keeping the crowds busy till parade time. One of the liveliest spots was the Family Friendly Zone where a big afternoon block party welcomed children and their parents to a tobacco- and alcohol-free area called Mardi Gras in the Zone. Games, inflatables, live music and free food added TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC


to the fun. As the day progressed, the rain held off and at dusk, the floats began to roll. Soon the milky skies and humid air was filled Zydeco music and beads flying everywhere. Bleachers lined the streets, but the crowd was fluid, moving from sitting and watching to standing on the sidelines or running alongside the floats, begging and waving for throws.

TOP: Thousands of shiny beads or “throws” wait for distribution; BELOW: Kevin Hodge’s feathery, fanciful boat float at the Royal Gala.

ALLIGATORS, EGRETS AND SOULFUL SKIES Lake Charles offers a lot more than a good party. Not far outside of town, the Creole Nature Trail beckons. The day we visited was cool and calm. There aren’t many visitors in March, so when several American Alligators were spotted, only a few people were there to creep along the creek for a closer look. The alligators obliged, staying eerily still for photos before scurrying back into the water. The seabirds had the run of the place and the bare trees and small shacks had a poignant feel in their lonely setting. At the Cameron Prairie Visitor Center, an engaging presentation featuring life-like talking mannequins, made local history fun. Better yet, stop at the Convention & Visitors Bureau and rent the GPS Ranger Handheld Unit for your visit. This ingenious device determines your trail location while playing timely video about the points of interest as you reach them. You’ll learn about wildlife, history and where to go for guided nature walks—even the best locations for crabbing and shelling.

BEIGNETS, CRAWFISH BOILS AND MORE The beignets in New Orleans don’t come close to the heavenly version fresh out of the oven at the aptly named Delicious Donuts and Bakery. Stop into this tiny bakery for sublime glazed donuts, too, along with 20 varieties of King Cake, the seasonal cinnamon-y confection of Mardi Gras. (Like the revelers, the cakes are decorated with beads and doubloons.) For down home Cajun fare, follow the crowds to Steamboat Bills where the wait staff smacks down huge trays of boiled crawfish, rich creamy etouffees and local specialties like pistolettes—yummy fried rolls filled with crawfish or shrimp. Just be prepared for the lines. DeAngelo’s looks like a casual pizzeria, but it’s a lot 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL




Along the serene Creole Natural Trail, subtle colors offer a quiet contrast to the brightness of Mardi Gras.

more than that. Kids will be more than happy with the pizza menu, but well-crafted pastas, salads, soups and desserts (plus a creative cocktail list) will keep parents happy, too. If you’d like a little elegance with your Mardi Gras, head for The Ember Grille & Wine Bar. The décor is luxe, but it’s comfy and spacious, so well-behaved kids are welcome. And the succulent Lamb Lollipops are sized right for little gourmets. Famous for Kobe beef and spectacular seafood, the Ember Grills has a

dessert that’s sure to live on in your dreams: Sweet Potato Pancake Fritters with Salted Maple Walnut Ice Cream. Wow. Leslie Long is a New York–based travel writer and photographer. Although she loves where she lives, nothing thrills her more than heading out of town—whether it’s a weekend at the beach or halfway around the world. Her articles have appeared in The New York Post, Time Out Kids New York, Westchester Magazine and

IF YOU GO Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Steamboat Bill’s on the Lake 337-494-1700

Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras

DeAngelo’s Italian Restaurant 337-478-5781

America’s Best Inn & Suites 337-439-2444 Isle of Capri Casino Hotel 337-430-2400 Aunt Ruby’s Bed & Breakfast 337-430-0603



The Ember Grill & Wine Bar 337-395-7565 Delicious Donuts and Bakery 337-479-2986



Bear Hugs at China’s

GOLDEN FLOWER In the midst of Asian dust, heat and humidity, the Golden Flower Hotel is an oasis blooming with hospitality. Story and Photography By Dan Christopher

Our late afternoon arrival at the Golden Flower Hotel in Xi'an, China was like receiving homecoming bear hugs from family and friends after a long absence. Though my wife and I were strangers who came from far away Portland, Oregon, to visit the home of the legendary Terracotta Army, and though we could barely utter a word in Chinese, the Golden Flower instantly erased any concerns about cultural barriers. It’s a stately, soothing and polite oasis. One tends to expect service excellence at a Five-Star hotel offering every desirable amenity like broadband

access, fluffy robes and slippers, designer toiletries, complimentary suit pressing and shoe shines. And the classically elegant Golden Flower has plenty of that. Jet-lagged travelers even get a little help from the plush, ever-changing elevator carpets that have the day of the week woven into the nap.

the Golden


Xi’an, China,

Beyond the upscale niceties that we find at the Golden Flower (a Shangri-La Hotel property), it is the genuine marquis hospitality from an exceptional staff that makes this hotel experience deserving of

welcomes all,

The main lobby of

Flower Hotel in

from royalty to statesmen to the ordinary.

* *

LUXURY TRAVEL The welcoming bar area.


Day-of-the-week carpeting in

wedding cake on

Golden Flower’s elevator.

display during a wedding reception in Golden Flower’s Grand Ballroom.

an extra star. Seemingly there is no reasonable request that I might conjure up that they cannot fulfill or at least try to fulfill with great determination. Clearly there is personal pride in their friendly professionalism. The award-winning Golden Flower is fit for both royalty and statesmen, who in fact are frequent guests. It is also well suited for ordinary folk like me who like being treated like royalty and statesmen. Located just 40 minutes from Xianyang International Airport and 30 minutes from the Terracotta Warrior Museum, the hotel offers the most spacious collection of guest rooms and suites in the city. With stylish decor and modern comforts throughout the facility, we were accommodated with a temperature controlled indoor swimming pool adjacent to a fully equipped fitness center and spa including Jacuzzi, steam and sauna. Along with its Horizon Club meeting center and internet facilities, the hotel has three dining venues offering an array of international fare that includes classic Sichuan and Cantonese delights. The buffets are diverse, deliciously suited even to finicky eating habits and excellently prepared. Besides a half dozen rooms for modest size events, the Garden Ballroom accommodates up to 600 people, like the capacity-crowd wedding that appeared

one morning while I was there. The photographer in me couldn't help asking for permission to photograph it. The bride and groom happily agreed and within minutes I was mingling with their family and friends, snapping away and capturing treasured moments. As they say, a good time was had by all.

The Fitness Centre’s indoor swimming pool.

SENT HOME WITH A SMILE Our Golden Flower experience was based on no special clout or status. My wife and I were far from our regular address. Yet after each day's activities in Xi'an, returning to the hotel truly felt like coming home. And when it was time for an early morning departure on our final day, the kitchen staff bid us farewell with a specially prepared take-away box of breakfast goodies, even though the hotel restaurant had not yet opened. Another touch of class. Dan Christopher is an award-winning professional photographer and a veteran broadcast journalist well known throughout the Pacific Northwest. During his extraordinary 40-year career in television news in the Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington market, Dan worked as a news anchor, reporter, producer and writer. Now, Dan is very pleased to be devoting his talents full-time to photography, a craft he truly loves. 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL



Canada’s Eastern

GAY CAPITALS Travelers will find the Canadian capitals offer big-city and small-town delights. Story By Marc Kassouf • Photography By S. Nathan DePetris

Along Canada’s coast, the cosmopolitan capitals of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa beckon to gay and lesbian travelers and provide communities rich with heritage, culture, attractions and nightlife. It’s no wonder that the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association ( counts dozen of hotels and even cities themselves as members.

TORONTO Gay Pride & Events Pride Toronto has grown in size and popularity. With over one million attendees, Toronto’s Pride festival and parade week is one of the biggest in the world. When planning a trip for Pride, ensure you book well in advance to avoid disappointment. Clubs, Bars and Nightlife Toronto’s nightlife and gay establishments are clustered around the Church Wellesley Village , adjacent to the Wellesley TTC metro station. The dual bars of Woody’s and Sailor are an institution drawing local and international visitors alike. Nearby Byzantium is a restaurant bar with mean martinis and lays claim to being the first martini bar in Toronto. Around the corner, the Fly rocketed to worldwide fame with the filming of the American version of Queer as Folk.

Toronto’s CN Tower dominates the city's skyline.

Sights, Sounds, and Attractions Start your village explorations at Cawthra Square on Church just south of Gloucester with a sobering visit to the AIDS Memorial. You can stroll down Church Street to the Alexander Wood statue at the corner of Alexander Street, covering the bulk of the village while window shopping. Make sure to visit the palatial Casa Loma, former mansion and dream home of


Sir Henry Pellatt, now a museum, complete with ornate interiors and lavish gardens. Another mustsee is the Royal Ontario Museum, featuring some of the best permanent exhibits anywhere. For the thrill seeking, a visit to the CN Tower, the world’s tallest tower and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World is a must. Accommodations and Logistics The Sheraton Centre Toronto is an ideal base of operations and bed in the city. Equally, the Strathcona Hotel offers a boutique ambiance with personable service at very attractive rates from its downtown location near the VIA rail and TTC metro stations.

CN Tower ( Hilton Toronto ( Fairmont Royal York ( The Fly ( Pride Toronto ( Royal Ontario Museum ( Sheraton Centre Toronto ( Strathcona Hotel ( Sutton Place ( Toronto Transit Commission, the TTC ( Toronto PATH, the underground city ( Woody’s and Sailor (

Light plays a symphony of

If You Go Byzantium ( Casa Loma ( Church Wellesley Village (


humble colors in

Gay Pride & Events In typical Québécois fashion, pride festivities in Montreal are fabulous and over the top. If one gay pride isn’t enough, there are two alongside other

the shrine, at the Oratory of Saint Joseph, Montreal.



FROM TOP LEFT: Stained glass at Montreal Metro’s Champ-de-Mars station is reminiscent of Chagall meats Mondrian; Ornate details adorn the altar of the Sacred Heart, Basilica of Notre Dame de Montreal; Jogging along Ottawa's Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage

events throughout the year. For twenty years, the Divers Cité festival has celebrated all the colors of the gay rainbow in art, song, and dance. This benevolent bacchanal draws bohemians from all over the city and beyond to frolic in the joys of life. St. Catherine Street and nearby streets in the Village are closed off every July as performers take to the street and stage. Grandmothers, parents, and children revel alongside drag queens, gay boys and girls of all ages, shapes and colors. Fierté Montreal, Montreal’s newest addition and official Pride parade and celebration, celebrated its 5th anniversary in 2011. This newer pride organizes a parade and floats, and is held in August. Not to be missed is the renowned Black and Blue festival, a uniquely Montreal event. Started as a circuit party to benefit HIV/AIDS, it has expanded to include cultural, artistic, and sports events, culminating in the Black and Blue party.

site, offers spectacular views of Parliament Hill.

Clubs, Bars and Nightlife Gay nightlife in this bustling metropolis could fill up pages, but is luckily concentrated around St Catherine Street, between Berri-UQAM and Papineau metro, for easy exploration. Montreal’s many bars and clubs are often grouped as complexes under one


roof, such as the Complexe Sky, with restaurant, discotheque, and a rooftop terrace. Another restaurant and bar combination is Saloon Resto Nightclub, featuring gastronomical beef specialties, haute cuisine, and a popular bar. To mix things up a bit, head out of the Village to Au Diable Vert; while not an exclusively gay club or bar, it is a charming local hangout that serves amazing beers on tap and attracts all kinds of young hip crowds. Unique to the city, many microscopic gay saunas dot several neighborhoods. The largest is Sauna Oasis, with over ten thousand square feet of amenities. Another prolific offering is Montreal’s male nude dance clubs. The relatively new Stock Bar has nightly shows, theme parties, and special events regularly. Campus is popular during the afternoons as well as evenings, and draws a college crowd. Sights, Sounds, and Attractions Regardless of religious persuasion, the Notre Dame Basilica’s late nineteenth century woodworks and sculptures are breathtaking. Of particular note is the Chapel of the Sacred Heart’s ornate wooden altar. Just outside the city center, the Oratory of Saint Joseph commands a towering perch and can be seen

from several locations in the city; its dome and structure is architecturally stunning, and the site is a pilgrimage destination for Catholics. Museums in Montreal are top-notch. The most intriguing include the Archeology and History chronicling the city’s past, Fine Arts which showcases exquisite collections of Canadian, international and decorative arts, and Chateau Ramezay with its 500 years of history in an uncluttered quiet governor’s manor and gardens. Either by walking or horse-drawn carriage, Old Montreal serves up a meandering maze of streets with restaurants and shops reminiscent of Europe. Start your explorations in the iconic Champ-De-Mars metro station, walk uphill and use the Ste Antoine Sud exit into old the town, passing by the grandiose city hall to meander down gently-sloping Place Jaques-Cartier. Head to the Promenades Cathédrale, an underground all-weather complex of shops and stores with a network stretching 33 kilometers for shopping, eating and people watching. Accommodations and Logistics Rooms run the gamut in Montreal, and there are

many fine hotels and inns. However the gay B&B, or auberge, is as charming as it is prevalent and affordable. One of the most centrally located is Hotel Felix, formerly the Auberge Cozy, right in the heart of the village. Even more centrally located to all of the city through its connection to Berri UQAM subway and bus depot is the Gouverneur Place Dupuis; this basic four star has been a stalwart supporter of the community and hosts many Gay and Lesbian events, offers over 350 rooms, and is the closest large hotel to the Village. If You Go Auberge Le Pomerol ( Archeology and History ( Atmosphere ( Au Diable Vert ( Black and Blue party ( Campus ( Chateau Ramezay ( Complexe Sky ( Divers Cité festival ( Fierté Montreal ( Fine Arts ( Gouverneur Place Dupuis ( 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL




Hotel Felix ( Lord Berri Hotel ( Notre Dame Basilica (www. Oratory of Saint Joseph ( Saloon Resto Nightclub ( Sauna Oasis ( Stock Bar (

venues in one: CP, Cellblock, and Silhouette. I must confess that on the one night I visited, it felt more like a neighborhood soap-opera unfolding before my eyes, complete with drama and dish. All of this adds to the unique feel of Ottawa’s gay nightlife. A visit to The Lookout Bar offers a bustling venue in the hub of the Byward Market’s action.



dominated by the

Gay Pride & Events Capital Pride, the capital city’s annual gay and lesbian pride event, is held mid August. One of the nation’s oldest pride celebrations, it has grown from its humble beginnings over twenty years ago to a weeklong series of festivities.

Additional Nightlife Options Hump @ Mercury Lounge (Wed only, 56 Byward Market Sq). Edge Club and Lounge (212 Sparks St) Steamworks for Men (, 487 Lewis St)

FROM TOP LEFT: Spindly legs of “Mamman” frame the National Gallery of Canada's massive glass edifice; Oratory of Saint

massive dome, overlooks Montreal; The Royal Ontario Museum's modern exterior contrasts with the ancient exhibits inside.

Clubs, Bars and Nightlife In contrast to the ‘big city’ feel of Montreal and Toronto’s gay communities, Canada’s capital city exudes a quaint small town charm. You’re likely to feel like you walked into a neighborhood bar rather than a major metropolitan city when exploring. Don’t let that fool you, as Ottawa has a vibrant gay and lesbian community, great wealth of arts, events, and entertainment. For the boys, Centretown Pub dubs itself as the “Only True Men’s Bar”, with three floors and three


Sights, Sounds, and Attractions Without hesitation, Ottawa has one of the most amazing collections of museums and galleries befitting a nation’s capital. The crown jewel, the National Gallery of Canada, houses superlative permanent collections and hosts exhibitions in a contemporary setting of massive spaces and modern grandeur. Even non-history buffs will enjoy the somber and well-curated Canadian War Museum’s collection of military artifacts and paraphernalia. A stroll around parliament hill covers the Library of Parliament, Supreme Court, and Bytown Museum and nearby

Rideau Canal, a UNESCO world heritage site. If you desire a great way to spend the morning or afternoon enjoying the outdoors, walk through the Byward Market. This kaleidoscope of shops, eateries and stalls traces its history for almost two centuries to the founding of Ottawa. Nearby, Kinki Restaurant offers pan Asian cuisine artfully crafted, and transforms at night to a very hip and happening venue. Additional Attraction Options Currency museum of the Bank of Canada ( Ottawa Walking Tours, Haunted Walk ( Paul’s Boat Lines, Rideau Canal tours ( Accommodations and Logistics With so many hotel options to choose from in this gay capital, it’s hard to focus on just a few. ARC the.Hotel is a luxurious yet unpretentious boutique and gay friendly property. This tag-approved hotel belongs to Preferred hotels and resorts. Rooms are modern and trendy, with exquisite on-site dining and beverage concoctions in an intimate setting, centrally located to all attractions. Also centrally lo-

cated, and just behind the Centretown Pub complex of bars, is the Bostonian Executive Suites, with its massively spacious rooms furnished in a casual contemporary style. If You Go ARC the.Hotel ( Bostonian Executive Suites ( Brookstreet ( Bytown Museum ( Byward Market ( Canadian War Museum ( Capital Pride ( Centretown Pub ( Fairmont Chateau Laurier ( Kinki Restaurant ( The Lookout Bar ( National Gallery of Canada ( Novotel Ottawa ( Ottawa Rickshaws ( Parliament Hill ( Marc Kassouf has traveled to more than three dozen countries, lived on four continents, and sailed on over sixty cruises. He owns an award-winning travel agency and has published instructive articles for travel agents. A collection of his articles can be found at 11.3 NOV.DEC / TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL



A Slice of

BROOKLYN To some, a slice of Brooklyn means a stroll down the Coney Island boardwalk or a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. To others, it means eating the best pizza on the planet. By Dan Schlossberg

With seventy-one square miles, 2.5 million people, and more miles of elevated train track than Manhattan, Brooklyn is a crossroads of both culture and cuisine—and capable of consuming a surprising percentage of the three billion pizzas eaten by Americans annually. So says Tony Muia, a one-time health professional whose “Slice of Brooklyn” tour takes five hours, covers 50 miles, and gives participants a chance to jump the 90-minute lines at Grimaldi’s, a historic pizzeria featuring coalfired pies perfected in brick-lined ovens.


OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: Freshly-made pizza straight out of the oven; View of the Brooklyn Bridge.

At Grimaldi’s, the first stop on Muia’s tour, ovens heated to 1200 degrees burn 18 tons of coal per year and push out pizzas every two-and-a-half minutes. Ownership is serious about its product: a combination of anthracite, a clean-burning coal imported from Pennsylvania, and mineral-laden New York water, certified by a chemist. Some other essential ingredients are home-made mozzarella, hand-tossed dough, and tomato sauce produced from a closelyguarded secret recipe. The same formula is used at all Grimaldi’s locations: in nearby Queens, Long Island, and Hoboken, New Jersey, as well as Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Texas. Even the famed New York water is included. Because it is a local landmark, just steps from the East River between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and because it was the first Grimaldi’s, the Brooklyn location is a legend to both residents and visitors. The only way to get around the lines is to join Muia’s tour, which has the rare privilege of timereserved tables. It’s tight quarters—for sitting, eating, and even venturing to the unisex restroom—but


the taste of the pizza is such pure heaven that it is well worth the squeeze. Just don’t try to take pictures of the coal-fired oven—Grimaldi’s staff is quick to quash would-be shutterbugs before they can snap a photo of the open kitchen in action. Could Grimaldi’s be worried about industrial spies after operating from the same location for more than a century? It has certainly hit upon a successful formula, re-lighting its ovens around 4 p.m. daily and serving a variety of Italian fare on wooden tables topped with traditional red-and-white checkered tablecloths. The Muia group gets Margherita pizza, known for matching the red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag. It gained its name after Queen Margherita of Savoy applauded the dish when it was served to her during a visit to Naples in 1899—10 years after cheese was added to a round tomato-based dish called the Neopolitan pie. That was the first true version of today’s pizza. Spurred by sparkling taste buds, word spread quickly. Lombardi’s, the first American pizzeria, opened on Manhattan’s Spring Street in 1905 and others—including Grimaldi’s—soon followed.

THE SECOND STOP L & B Spumoni Gardens, the second food stop on Muia’s tour, was a relative latecomer. It started in 1938 after Italian immigrant Ludovico Barbati made a small fortune selling hand-made spumoni and ices from a horse-drawn wagon in Brooklyn’s Bensonhurst neighborhood. He purchased a building on 86th Street, later set up outdoor tables, and eventually added two more buildings. One of those, a pizzeria that opened in the ’50s, began churning out thick Sicilian pies. Tony Muia’s customers get two slices each, as they

do at Grimaldi’s, and usually get samples of the restaurant’s award-winning fried calamari appetizer, too. If time permits, many purchase the spumoni that gave the restaurant its start.

FAMOUS STREET SIGHTINGS Western culture is king on the “Slice of Brooklyn” tour. Muia not only shows his bus passengers movies filmed on-location in Brooklyn but times them to coincide with the exact moments the bus is on the actual site. They see the cobblestone streets of DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), where the blind Al Pacino drove a convertible in “Scent of a Woman.” They can imagine the harried Gene Hackman chasing a crook under the elevated tracks in “The French Connection.” And they can almost see John Travolta’s strut down 86th Street during the opening credits of “Saturday Night Fever.” In Coney Island alone, the bus passes Keyspan Park, a minor-league ballpark with a statue honoring Brooklyn Dodgers stars Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese; the towering Cyclone, a 1927 vintage rollercoaster that thrills kids but scares adults; and the original Nathan’s, opened in 1916 but still going strong. It is the home of a televised hot-dog eating contest every July 4. There’s never a dull moment and only a few quiet ones—when people are eating pizza. Dan Schlossberg is travel editor of New Jersey Lifestyle and Sirius XM Radio’s Maggie Linton Show and author of 35 baseball books, including The 300 Club: Have We Seen the Last of Baseball’s 300-Game Winners? He is also president emeritus of NATJA.



The Hills Are Alive With The

SANTA FE OPERA New Mexico is host to the Santa Fe Opera House which provides the beautiful marriage of mountain-top views and astonishing melodies. Story and Photography By Nell Raun-Linde

When I announced with glee to a friend, “I’m going to Santa Fe, New Mexico next week,” she replied, “Are you going to the opera?”


OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Santa Fe sunset; Tailgate picnics in the Opera

Why would I go to an opera in Santa Fe when I only had six days to see everything? I planned to see gorgeous Southwest scenery, learn about the area’s history through museums and centuries-old buildings, to see Native American pueblos and the art of Georgia O’Keefe. And, wander the many gift shops. Four hundred years as a city, formed for the Spanish Empire, certainly made for a lot of history. Native American pueblos far older than the city dot the New Mexico landscape. My daughter and I arrived in Santa Fe in July, the month of the monsoons. And heat, according to guidebooks. No matter, 100+ art galleries along Canyon Road would be open, as would museums of art, folk art and history in town and in the nearby hills. We planned to spend a day in Taos, 70 miles to the north, and we’d watch the weather forecast for that drive. The first morning in Santa Fe, Steve Lewis from the CVB met us for coffee and shared his recommendations for food, art and music. He talked about the Opera House, its great music and about the experience beyond the music. It sounded like a place to explore.

House parking lot; Santa Fe Opera posters; Enjoying the Opera’s picnic grounds.

EXPLORING THE OPERA HOUSE After lunch downtown at the beautiful southwestern-style LaFonda Hotel, the Opera House called for exploration. We drove the freeway north for about seven miles, followed some side roads uphill


to a flat parking lot. Nearby, we saw the tall, curved, adobe walls of the Opera House, an impressive structure. It was closed, but the office, surrounded with large posters of this year’s performances, was open. Within two minutes, we had tickets to Wednesday’s 9 p.m. performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute. Madame Butterfly would be Friday, but we’d be back in California. Steve said elegantly-dressed people come early, often before 7 p.m., for tailgate picnics complete with portable tables covered with linen cloths, candelabra and champagne. Although our rented Mercury didn’t have a tailgate, our rented condo had wooden stools and a nice ice-chest for a table.

STORMY SURPRISE At 7:15, we rolled into the parking lot, directed by efficient attendants. Luckily, the top lot still had space for cars and we even found a park picnic table that faced a small canyon and a higher hill with lowgrowing vegetation beyond. With our picnic dinner spread out a bath towel (the fanciest linen available), we opened the chardonnay wine from Trader Joe’s (no champagne), and poured it into condo-available, blue plastic Margarita glasses. Dinner began with dipping pita bread in hummus, sipping the cool wine and looking out across the canyon with its small trees and shadows, its hills framed by white clouds. Um-m-m, a toast to New Mexico! Half a glass later, a strange howling noise began. The wind blew stronger and stronger. We grabbed for the cute but very lightweight blue glasses and held on, then heard a smash and saw broken crystal on the ground at the next table.



BELOW: View from Opera House picnic area. BELOW, RIGHT: The brilliant afterstorm Santa Fe sunset.

Out of the now-gray sky, huge raindrops fell. Lightening bolts lit up the sky. Picnickers at tables near us ran for cars. People with the fancy paraphernalia at the asphalt parking lot folded their chairs and tables, grabbed food, silver and flowers and dashed into their cars. We ran with our picnic things, too, and climbed into the back seat of our car where we resumed the picnic with our big, wide wine glasses. The rain let up in a few minutes. The sky began to turn pink below the higher gray and white clouds. This was a photo op, time to run back to our former picnic space beside the canyon, in spite of a few rain drops on the head. Toward the west, the color-wheel-

yellow sun spread orange rays beyond its round globe. It colored clouds all shades of orange and red, but left strips of white clouds against bigger strips of cerulean blue sky. A friend told me there would be incredible skies in New Mexico. I did not imagine the mixture and brilliance of those colors. The opera would start soon, so with the car locked up, we walked the block to the Opera House entrance. With $10 Standing-Room-Only tickets, our seats were at the back of the main floor which sloped upward from the stage. The balcony above has good acoustics, too, but all balcony seats were sold out when we bought tickets. The marked spaces for standing had long counters in front of the spaces, comfortable to lean on. There, digital monitors TRAVELWORLD INTERNATIONAL / 11.3 NOV.DEC

turned on the libretto when the singing began. More comfort came from a rail for a footrest, like an oldtime saloon (but no drinks or food allowed).

THE CALM AFTER THE STORM From my high roost, I could see out the open side of the building that faced west. The last of the pink glow of the sky faded while the orchestra played the beautiful, melodic overture. As the sky grew dark, shadows formed in the Jemez Mountains. When night closed in, the lights of the city of Santa Fe sparkled in the clear night. Then the music took our attention, with the beautiful music enhanced by the shape and openness of the opera house. On this

IF YOU GO Santa Fe Opera House Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau

mountain-top, sheltered, but almost outside, the Santa Fe Opera became a memorable interlude in our visit to the Land of Enchantment. Nell Raun-Linde has been published in AAA, Senior, inflight, wine and regional magazines, web magazines, as well as San Francisco Bay Area and other U.S. newspapers. She has a passion for reading, history and family.


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World-renowned for sea kayaking, orca whale watching and a thriving arts scene, the San Juans are just a 30-45 minute scenic flight from Seattle or a ferry cruise through an archipelago. They enjoy a climate unique in the Pacific Northwest, with about half the rain of its neighbors. Growing trends include culinary tourism and multiexperiential tours.

Come discover Albany; New York’s historic Capital City on the banks of the mighty Hudson River! Albany has enticed visitors for 400 years with historic sites, fabulous attractions, family friendly amenities and entertaining events. World-class museums, unique galleries, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine and welcoming accommodations ensure your experience is legendary.

Old-Québec tells of its 400 years of history through its narrow winding streets. With French notes in the air, one feels transported into a European feel. Bistros serve “Café au lait” and boutiques offer local artisans work of art. The unparalleled quality of restaurants put Québec on a pedestal for exquisite cuisine. Outdoor enthusiasts are impressed with the variety of activities available.

ALASKA Sitka Convention and Visitors Bureau 907-747-5940

ARKANSAS Fort Smith Convention & Visitors Bureau (479) 783-8888

Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-844-4781

ARIZONA Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau 602-452-6250

CALIFORNIA Big Bear Lake Resort Association 909-866-6190

Long Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Palm Springs 760-322-8425

San Mateo County/Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau 800-288-4748

KENTUCKY Buffalo Trace Distillery 800-654-8471

Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 1-800-326-7465

COLORADO Glenwood Springs




FLORIDA Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

LOUISIANA Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau



St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra 904.829.1711

ILLINOIS City of Chicago 312-744-2390

MICHIGAN Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau 517-377-1423

NEVADA Destination Henderson Nevada


INDIANA Brown County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Napa Valley Wine Train


Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority

Oliver Winery



Nevada Commission on Tourism


Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau 626-395-0211







In the heart of Southern Kentucky, Bowling Green is a bustling city treasuring its smalltown heritage. Rev up your sense of adventure at the National Corvette Museum or discover more than sweets at the Duncan Hines Exhibit. Exciting roller coasters, raceways and an underground boat tour are blended with the charm of nearly 100 historic register listings and family-fun farms.

In Oklahoma, you’ll find hospitality around every corner. We’re situated at the crossroads of the nation, where Southern hospitality goes hand-in-hand with solid Midwestern values; where the don’t-quit attitude of the Old West combines with a sophistication you would expect only in big cities back East. We are a one-of-a-kind state with something for everyone. Discover the nation's most diverse terrain and the ultimate in outdoor adventures.

Fort Smith was a town on the edge of the nation in the late 1800's; the last stop at civilization before entering Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and the lawlessness that lay ahead. Today, Fort Smith embraces and celebrates its Wild West heritage and preserves the memories of those rough 'n tumble times.

NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA New Brunswick Parks & Recreation (506) 444-5122

Lake Erie Shores & Islands 800-255-3743

Valley Forge Convention & Visitors Bureau (610) 834-7990

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NEW YORK Albany, An Amazing Discovery


Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau

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RHODE ISLAND The Newport & Bristol County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation

OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau




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TENNESEE Cherohala Skyway National Scenic Byway

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NORTH CAROLINA Outer Banks Visitors Bureau 877-629-4386

OHIO Greater Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau 740.345.8224


OREGON Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau 541-996-1271

PENNSYLVANIA Delaware County's Brandywine Conference & Visitors Bureau

VIRGINIA Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau 757-385-6645

WASHINGTON San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau 360-378-6822




Art & Music Blossom in

ROSE BOWL CITY Whether you’re in the mood for ethnic restaurants, funky boutique shopping or historical museum tours, Pasadena has proven it is the new place to be. By Judy Florman • Photography Courtesy of

Nature and art are blooming in the

Shoppers enjoy a beautiful, sunny day at the Garfield Promenade located in Paseo Colorado’s open-air village.

City of Roses, proving there is more to Pasadena than football and float parades. With a revitalization of tiny bistros, turn-of the-century craftsman home tours, gardens, museums and a chic open-air shopping, dining and entertainment plaza-- Pasadena has become the rival of Los Angeles metro as the southern Californian destination. At the turn of the twentieth century Pasadena was the Newport, Rhode Island, winter playground for the rich and famous of the East. William Wrigley of chewing gum fame and transcontinental railroad magnate Henry Huntington built chateau-like mansions. They are now open to the public for viewing, along with Proctor & Gamble’s David Gamble craftsman home, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece of early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement leaders, architects Greene and Greene.


Located 15 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena is home to the Norton Simon Museum, the new Armory Center for the Arts for contemporary regional genre. Also, there is the Pasadena Museum of California Art (art, architecture and design), the Pacific Asia Museum, and, a highlight, the 200-acre Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. SHOP YOUR WORRIES AWAY For fun and shopping there’s Paseo Colorado, a hip open-air urban shopping village with strolling minstrels, puppet shows and mosaic fountains for kids to splash in. Its tiny boutiques range from Tommy Bahama and Jaloux/Zalu to Planet Funk, Quicksilver Boardriders Club and A Snail’s Pace Running Shop. Besides an anchor of a grand Macy’s, it also houses a 14-screen cinema complex and, for time-out, one can choose from over a dozen dining choices including P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and the popular Border Grill, creation of the renowned team, the "Too Hot Tamales" Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The Old Pasadena Historic Area, along Colorado Boulevard, dating back to the 1870's, has been revitalized into a unique 20-block array of quaint alleyways, funky clothing stores, ethnic restaurants, outdoor cafes, boutiques and specialty shops. A great place for lunch is DeLacey’s Club 41 for deli sandwiches and salads. Dining favorites include Mi Piace, and Sorisso Trattoria for Italian, and Café Bizou, for continental fare. Evenings are jazzy and up-beat with sidewalks teaming with impromptu street minstrels and strollers getting into the act.

TAKE A STROLL THROUGH HISTORY The former home of the Huntingtons, the Huntington Library, is a treasure trove of rare and first edition books, including a Gutenberg Bible, an original by John James Audubon with bird paintings, original Shakespeare volumes and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. In the Huntington Art Gallery featuring 18th Century portraits of British greats, visitors will marvel at Thomas Gainsborough’ Blue Boy, Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Pinkie and the grand Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse by Joshua Reynolds. But the highlight is the gardens. Visitors should allow time to savor the serenity of the Japanese garden and house, replete with bell and bonsai display. Next roam the awesome cacti and succulents of the Desert Garden; the rose gardens and the Shakespeare retreat. Finally, just meander over grassy hillocks and admire the views of the city skyline and mountain backdrop. A guided tour of the Gamble House will take visitors back to an era of master artisans and craftsmen of 1908, the masterpiece of brother architects Charles and Henry Green. Rare and exotic woods were handrubbed to a satin finish and joined by wood, never nails. Decorated with Tiffany lamps, the house contains the original furniture designed by the Greenes, each piece incorporating the architectural elements of

the specific room for which it was created. Nearby, on Orange Grove Boulevard, once christened "Millionaire’s Row" (and the start of the Rose Parade), is the ornate Italian Renaissance Wrigley Mansion, built between 1908 and 1914. Located on 4.5 acres, the 18,500-square-foot-home today is the headquarters for the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. The home has been restored to its original grandeur with its Romanian walnut paneling, alabaster lighting fixtures, Florentine Italian marble fireplace, Venetian chandelier and the original antique Chinese watercolor wallpaper. The home is open for touring from February to August, however, its fragrant gardens of roses and camellias are open to visitors year-round.

BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT: The Pasadena Museum of California Art turns on their

IF YOU’RE STILL CRAVING MORE Want more architectural delights? "Ten Neighborhood Tours of Pasadena," each highlighting a diverse architectural style from Queen Anne Victorian, Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene and Greene and Craftsman bungalows, are featured for driving or hoofing it on the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Web site. Many buildings will be familiar as shooting locations for films, television and commercials. Pasadena’s art district is mostly accessible by foot.

lights to welcome evening artseekers; A view of the peaceful Japanese Garden Wisteria located near the Huntington Library.


FAMILY TRAVEL HISTORIC TOP TO BOTTOM: An evening view of the Pasadena Convention Center where many films, television shows and commercials are filmed near; Sunday Brunch at the Langham Huntington hotel.

The Pasadena Museum of California Art is adjacent to the Pacific Asia Museum and is a block north of the Paseo Colorado shopping village. A few blocks west in Old Pasadena is the Armory Center for the Arts,and a few blocks farther west is the Norton Simon. A free shuttle service, Pasadena ARTS buses, conveniently access the sites. For nature lovers, there’s the tranquil Arroyo Seco, situated below the historic1913 Colorado Street Bridge, spanning the pass carved out of a great gorge, a favorite for hiking, fishing and hunting. But for a treat and a splurge at $52 a head, The Langham Huntington offers the piece de resistance of Sunday brunches in its Terrace dining room. Lavish platters of exquisitely decorated offerings cascade down the staircase leading to a buffet of hand-rolledin-front-of-you sushi, personalized omelettes and waffles, a smorgasbord of salads, hand carved meats and fruits and picture-perfect pastries. A perfect ending to a serendipitous weekend in a city blossoming in art...and so much more. An award-winning freelance writer, Judy Florman’s credits include: Coastal Living, Executive Traveler, Westways, Home and Away,Women in the Outdoors, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and many others.

IF YOU GO Pasadena Museum of California Art Huntington Library Gamble House Wrigley Mansion Armory Center for the Arts Arroyo Seco Foundation The Langham Huntington LOCAL CVB/TOURISM OFFICE: Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau