Q: I would like to travel one of America's original highways, U.S. 1, from Florida to Maine. Where can I find information?

Scott MacLean

Forest Park, Ga.

A: U.S. Route 1, the country's first designated highway, was once the East Coast's main road, stretching 2,468 miles from Key West, Fla., to Fort Kent, Maine. But most of it has been swallowed by Interstate 95 and urban sprawl. Its cut-up and poorly marked remnants sport as many personalities as Eve; on a stretch in New Hampshire, you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for moose (170 were hit in a recent year); drive through a 10-mile bit in New Jersey and you'll pass more than 30 shopping malls; motor locally on Route 1 in Northern Virginia and you'll pass a 7-Eleven an average of every 1.4 miles.

Yet Route 1 is rich in history. Paul Revere galloped up what is now Route 1 to spread the word about the British invasion. George Washington marched his troops on the road. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in a house on the highway. But even with this impressive historic pedigree, Route 1 just doesn't have the sex appeal of a Route 66, with its legions of organized fans, television shows, etc. You won't find an "I Got My Kicks on Route 1" T-shirt advertised in the NPR catalogue.

But there are several decent sources of information that are worth pursuing. Journalist Andrew Malcolm wrote a highly regarded book in 1991, "U.S. 1: America's Original Main Street," which is now out of print but still available from used bookstores and Internet sites. A Web site designed to promote business along Route 1, www.usrouteone.com, is a source of information on tourist sites, especially in Maine. Another site, www.visitnewengland.com/route1 .htm, gives good snapshot descriptions of towns along Route 1 in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

Q: My husband and I plan to go to Tuscany and would like to rent bikes and stay in B&Bs or perhaps in a villa. We do not want to go on an organized tour but would like reliable bikes and good advice on routes and accommodations. Can you help?

Sadj Bartolo

Columbia, Md.

A: You can either map out the itinerary yourselves or go with a self-guided organized package.

If you're out to save some money, join the Cyclist's Touring Club, headquartered in Surrey, England, and order its booklet, "Italy--Circular Tour of Tuscany." The nonprofit organization costs about $60 to join (per couple) and then charges only the cost of postage for its biking information booklets. For more information: telephone 011-44-1483-417217, www.ctc.org.uk.

If you'd prefer a less adventurous approach, contact Randonnee Tours in Winnipeg, Canada. The company will supply you with route descriptions, book your accommodations and send a car to pick up your luggage each morning and bring it to your next destination. A 10-day tour of Tuscany--including breakfasts, accommodations, luggage transport, maps and use of 21-speed hybrid bikes--costs about $2,000 per person. The tour is offered from September through mid-November and from mid-March through June. Information: 1-800-465-6488, www.randonneetours.com.

Q: I am planning a honeymoon cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. Ports of call include San Juan, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Maarten. But my wife-to-be is not a U.S. citizen and does not have her green card. She does have a driver's license and I-94 papers. Will this be enough for her to travel to the Caribbean?

Nick Nguyen


A: If you were going on a cruise that went only to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, you might be safe without a valid U.S. passport, although I wouldn't take the chance. Plus cruises to the Caribbean typically stop in at least one foreign port--in your case, it's St. Maarten. If your fiancee is in the United States on any type of immigrant visa, traveling out of the country could get her stranded.

"Her biggest problem is that we're going to be looking at her very closely because she's married to a U.S. citizen," said Ernestine Fobbs, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "She is what we call an 'intended immigrant' (a person who intends to immigrate to the United States).

Most immigrant visas, including the "fiancee" or K-1 visa, are what is called "one-entry" visas. In other words, you cannot come and go without prior approval, which is not easy to obtain. And getting married does not automatically make your wife a legal permanent resident. You will have to fill out the paperwork, and may wait as long as a year to be interviewed.

Fobbs advises that you and your fiancee not leave the country for your honeymoon. "She needs to stay put," she said. "She shouldn't leave the United States."


For readers looking for fascinating festivals across the country (Travel Q&A, May 30), reader Carolyn Rodis of Harwood, Md. highly recommends the book "Food Festivals: Eating Your Way from Coast to Coast," by Barbara W. Carlson. Rodis said the book describes more than 200 festivals, most of which feature local culture or food. "The book is a marvelous compilation of American lore and arcane facts about foods. Directions for getting to festivals and persons to contact with questions are provided."

Jean B. Quinnette of Washington has more ideas for the single reader who was looking for a way to avoid those extra single occupancy charges (Travel Q&A, June 13). "I enjoy travel tremendously, but I prefer to have my room completely to myself when I travel. I've found two solutions recently. One was to rent a three-bedroom house in Ireland with friends and we each had a private room." Quinnette said she also went on a Yangtze River cruise with Grand Circle Travel on a boat that offered single rooms. "The boat's single rooms were very, very small, but they were private."

Send queries by e-mail (travelqa@ washpost.com), fax (202-334- 1069) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Include your name, town and phone number. We can't offer individual replies, but we'll answer as many questions as possible in print.