Sunday, June 14, 2009
START SPREADING THE NEWS
Tip of the Lady's Crown
Reservations to enter the Statue of Liberty's crown, closed to visitors since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and scheduled to reopen July 4, are now being taken by the National Park Service's ferry concessionaire, Statue Cruises.
The company planned to begin taking reservations yesterday for visits up to one year in advance. Crown tickets are an additional $3 and must be combined with reserved ferry tickets, which are $12 per adult. There is a maximum of four tickets per reservation, and each person can make only one reservation every six months. Visits to the crown will be limited to groups of 10, with about three groups ascending per hour; about 240 visitors per day can be accommodated.
Info: 877-523-9849, http://www.statuecruises.com.CABINS CONTINUED
If last week's cabin rental story whetted your appetite for the great outdoors, bear in mind that state and national parks in Maryland and Virginia aren't the only public areas offering cabins by the night. West Virginia state parks have a number of lodging opportunities; see them all at http://www.wvparks.com. In Delaware, the only state park cabin rentals are the "beach cottages" at Delaware Seashore State Park (http://www.delaware.reserveworld.com), between Dewey Beach and Bethany Beach. Pennsylvania's state parks (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks) have walled tents, yurts, camper cabins and fully equipped cabins available for rent, most with seven-day minimums in the summer.
Cabin seekers can also look to regional parks. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (http://www.nvrpa.org) has cabins in three of its parks: Algonkian, Bull Run and Pohick Bay.
National forests are another source, including the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, where three cabins rent for $45 to $100 a night through http://www.recreation.gov.
Among the numerous Web sites for booking privately owned cabins, one notable resource is http://www.cabincapital.com, the two-month-old Web site established when the Virginia General Assembly named Page County, west of Shenandoah National Park, the Cabin Capital of Virginia; more than 250 cabins are available to rent in Page County alone. A nationwide aggregator is http://www.mountain-lodging.com, which CoGo has used. Although public parks' cabins all hew to a certain standard and often have similar layouts from park to park, private cabins can be hit-or-miss.FLORIDA SQUEEZE
The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking two energetic travelers to hit all of the Florida area's attractions -- more than 100 -- while never letting their smiles turn upside down. For the 67 Days of Smiles in Orlando challenge, the adventurous twosome must be willing to brave a host of activities (soft and scary) as well as face time with cameras. They must also be compelling storytellers and boast Julia Roberts grins -- "the more enthusiastic and heartfelt, the better," according to the contest description.
The chosen duo will be provided with a furnished two-bedroom condo in downtown Orlando for 67 days starting around Aug. 26, plus $25,000 to cover living expenses back home. All activities will be paid for. The trade-off: The couple must use video and still cameras to share their experiences via blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
So, why 67 days? That's how long the bureau says it takes to visit the entirety of its attractions -- unless, of course, the gator wrestling doesn't go so well.
The application deadline is June 30. For info: http://www.orlandoinfo.com.BARGAIN OF THE WEEK
V Australia has sale fares from Los Angeles to the Australian cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne for travel July 1-Dec. 15. Fare starts at $559 round trip, plus taxes, which vary by destination. Fare to Brisbane, for example, starts at $596 round trip, with taxes. Add the round-trip fare from Washington to Los Angeles (currently about $240) and total fare is $836. If ticketed directly from Washington, the trip would cost about $290 more. Book at http://www.vaustralia.com by June 16; some dates are sold out.
Reporting: Carol Sottili, Christina Talcott and Andrea Sachs
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