SUPER BOWL 101
WHAT: Super Bowl XXXIV, Jan. 30 at Atlanta's Georgia Dome. You probably won't get into the game, but so what? It's only the anticlimactic closer to an otherwise fun-filled week.
TICKETS: Not likely, unless you're a season ticket holder for one of the teams playing or you're willing to fork over a couple of paychecks to a ticket broker. You can also buy a package deal that includes tickets, but prepare to dig deep. Professional Sports Travel (1-800-846-8687, www.pro-sports.net) of Valley Forge, Pa., offers a three-night deal-- including lodging, rental car, breakfasts and a ticket--for $3,086 per person, double. Air fare is extra. Benchwarmer Sports (703-758-8708, www.bench- warmersports.com) of Oakton offers much the same in its packages, which start at $2,595 per person.
WHEN TO GO: Leave Friday, Jan. 28, after work and return early Monday on MetroJet out of Dulles or BWI, and the round-trip fare could be as low at $109.
WHERE TO STAY: Atlanta's Super Bowl Hotel Hotline (1-888-738-6877) tries to match caller criteria (price, location) with lodging. At press time, many rooms were available (though none in ultra-convenient midtown, Buckhead or downtown), ranging from $92 a night (the Courtyard by Marriott in Gwinnett County, about 23 miles north of the dome) to $285 (Westin Airport, near a subway). Ugly footnote: Most hotels have three- or four-night minimums and require a full nonrefundable payment at booking.
PUBLIC EVENTS: Every bar, restaurant and club in town will be vying for your greenbacks. In addition, the NFL Experience (Georgia World Congress Center, $10-$15) is a 15-acre theme park packed with games, displays and entertainment. The NFL Players Party (Apparel Mart, $5-$15) lets fans mingle with the athletes. Scattered around town are galas, fashion shows and performances by everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Check out the host committee Web site (see below) for a schedule.
THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR: The NFL offers only 500 tickets ($325-$400) to the public each year, via random drawing. Ticket requests, which must be sent via certified or registered mail, for Super Bowl XXXV (Jan. 28, 2001, in Tampa) will be accepted Feb. 1-June 1. Send requests to NFL Random Drawing, 280 Park Ave., New York, N.Y. 10017.
INFORMATION: Super Bowl XXXIV Host Committee, 404-224-2000, www superbowlxxxiv.org. The NFL's site, www .superbowl.com, offers the whole nine yards.
-- John Deiner
WHAT'S THE DEAL?
Croatia by Land, Baja by Sea
* With Croatia at peace again, GeneralTurist is offering a two-week foray to Dubrovnik costing a stunning $20 a day (after air fare). The $1,077 deal includes: round-trip Air France flight from Dulles via Paris and Zagreb (usually about $700); 14 nights at Hotel Kompas; daily buffet breakfast; and dinner, a choice of several Mediterranean-style dishes. Depart Jan. 4-March 31; add $20 for weekend departures. The three-star hotel is a 20-minute walk to the Old City and near the Adriatic Sea, though with temperatures around 50 degrees, swimming is not for the faint of heart. (For $150 more, upgrade to a hotel with indoor pool.) Excepting a few bombed-out buildings not yet restored, Dubrovnik is safe and secure. Details: 1-800-726-7474, www.generalturist.com.
* Preview Travel is selling a weekend Baja cruise for a couple hundred dollars--but you must be flexible with accommodations. The "guarantee" rate of $253.75 includes: three nights on the Viking Serenade, food and port fees. The guarantee means you do not know your cabin assignment until arrival. (Add $40 to pick your cabin.) Most cabins are inside, but you could luck out with an ocean view. The ship leaves Los Angeles on Jan. 7 and ports in Ensenada, Mexico. Other departures (Jan. 14, 21, 28) cost $308-$323. In total, air--about $300 from Dulles through a discount ticket agency--plus cruise will cost under $600. Details: 1-800-457-8010, www.previewtravel.com.
-- Andrea Sachs
SITE OF THE WEEK
For a list of the best state parks in the U.S.,
It's easy to find information about U.S. national parks, but state parks are another matter. State Web sites--50, of wildly varying quality--don't discriminate between the best and the rest. This about.com gathering is based on a survey of state park directors, who were asked to nominate the two or three most-worth-visiting parks in their systems. No state gets more than five parks; most are live links to state sites. We bet even the Maryland and Virginia lists will steer you to new and wonderful places.
TRAVEL TIP 127
Can They See Your ID, Please?
PROBLEM: Steep admission fees to museums, theaters and other attractions really drive up the cost of your vacation.
SOLUTION: Student discounts! Parents of school-age children and teens should remember that their kids' student ID cards provide instant discounts at many tourist attractions, reminds Angela Baucum of Northeast Washington. "On a recent trip to Waikiki, I found that school identification cards came in handy for discounts at the zoo, the aquarium, movies, etc."
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HOME THIS WEEK? "Kabarett," music of Weimar Berlin in German and English, today, Studio Theatre, 202-332-3300.
Fairfax: Feb. 5-7, Chocolate Lovers Festival, 703-385-7855. Take (or taste) the Chocolate Challenge, when chefs-cum-artists use chocolate as their palette and inspiration. Plus, lots of samples.
Baltimore: Feb. 5, Saturday Stories at the Top, 410-837-VIEW. Children gather 'round as African American storytellers weave tales through prose, poetry, puppets and music.
Bethel, Maine: Feb. 19, Snowman Festival & Angus Memorial Celebration, 207-824-2282, www .bethelmaine.com. After his meltdown, the 113-foot king of snowmen is irreplaceable but not forgotten.
Phoenix: Feb. 5-6, World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, 602-252-8840, www.heard.org. Native Americans spin up to 50 hoops on projecting body parts to express the unbroken circle of life.
Lampang, Thailand: Feb. 4-6, Elephant Satoke Fair, 212-432-0433 or 1-800-THAILAND. The revered pachyderm--considered the highest animal in the food chain--is honored with a feast, or khantoke, of fruit and sugar cane. People also get fed sticky rice and Thai sauce during a song and dance show.
Send news about events, festivals and other things To Do by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.