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Taking a road trip this summer? Here are some top spots

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Associated Press / April 7, 2004

NEW YORK -- Hitting the road this summer? Check out Travel + Leisure magazine's 20 great ideas for road trips.

The proposed itineraries include:

Virginia (Luray Cavern, Monticello, and a tour of Skyline Drive); Kansas (Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve); Iowa (National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, and Pikes Peak State Park); Washington (Sequim, a lavendar-growing center); Utah (Bryce Canyon National Park); Mississippi (good food along the Delta); Florida (sea views from Tallahassee to Pensacola); North Carolina (backwoods, working potteries and scenic byways between Greensboro and Fayetteville); Michigan (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore); and New York (mansions in the Hudson River Valley).

Antique road show

PADUCAH, Ky. -- Vendors in nearly 60 small communities from Paducah to Maysville plan to line two highways in June to sell their wares and draw more people into small towns off the interstate.

The sale, planned for June 3-4, is patterned after an annual vendor sale that stretches from Covington to Gadsden, Ala.

The route, which will follow parts of US 68 and Kentucky 80, was chosen for its historic value, declining traffic volume and more than 100 antique shops. There also will be booths offering items such as crafts and hot apple pies, said Debby Spencer, tourism development specialist with the West Kentucky Corp.

Six of eight antique stores in the small community of Cadiz are on the route. A summer festival has already been planned to coincide with the weekend of the sale.

Lady Liberty set to reopen

NEW YORK -- The Statue of Liberty was closed for 100 days after the Sept. 11 attacks. Since December 2001, visitors have been permitted on Liberty Island, but not inside the statue.

That will soon change. A multimillion dollar renovation of the famous icon of freedom is scheduled to be completed late this summer, allowing visitors to enter the base of the statue, where a museum about the statue's history and construction is located. Guests will also have access to an observation deck on top of the statue's 16-story pedestal.

Those who make the short boat trip from Manhattan to Liberty Island will also be able to peer into the statue's intricate inner structure through a glass ceiling near its base.

The renovations range from safety and security measures, such as improved exits and visitor screenings, to a new reservations ticketing system designed to eliminate long lines. Once the system is up and running, reservations will be handled by the Circle Line-Statue of Liberty ferry company that transports visitors from Manhattan to the statue.

Prior to the terrorist attacks, the statue hosted 4 million visitors a year. Attendance has dropped 45 percent since the island was reopened. Officials hope the renewed access to the statue's interior will lure some of the lost tourists back.

`Goodnight Moon' exhibit opens

ORLANDO, Fla. -- An exhibit of work by the illustrator of everybody's favorite children's book, "Goodnight Moon," will be on display in Orlando this summer.

The Orlando Museum of Art will present illustrations by artist Clement Hurd from May 29 to Sept. 5.

Hurd, who studied in Paris with the renowned painter Fernand Leger, illustrated the classic picture book, "Goodnight Moon." Written by Margaret Wise Brown, the book has sold 7 million copies since it was published in 1947. Hurd's simple yet dreamlike drawings of mittens, kittens, and a bunny in a rocking chair add to the spell of Brown's soothing, rhythmic prose.

The exhibit will include watercolors, pen-and-ink sketches, woodcuts, drawings and tempera paintings, from early sketches to finished products. The museum is located in Orlando Loch Haven Park at 2416 N. Mills Ave. Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; weekends, noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children age 6 to 18 and free for kids under 5. Visit www.OMArt.org for more information.

Snowboarding museum takes off

STOWE, Vt. -- A new museum devoted to snowboarding is opening in Stowe Memorial Day weekend, with a grand opening event planned Oct. 23.

The Snowboarding Museum and Hall of Fame, which will be located along Route 100 near the intersection of Park Street, will celebrate the sport's history and champions, said executive director Neil Korn.

Korn said the museum would show the sport's history from before the word "snowboarding" was common. The sport's roots can be traced to experimental forms of sledding in the 1930s, Korn said. The earliest marketed form of a snowboard was the Snurfer, a wooden toy with rope handle. Over a million Snurfers were sold in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In the past 15 years, snowboards have evolved from stiff wooden planks to finely tuned, double-tipped boards.

Jake Burton Carpenter, who founded Burton Snowboards in 1977, lives in Stowe, and his contributions to the sport will be featured at the museum, Korn said.

Korn said the museum will use photos and memorabilia he and others have collected over the years. Special events will include an annual board swap, golf tournament, pro appearances, movie premieres, and art shows.

Meet me in St. Looie

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- If you're planning a visit to St. Louis between now and the end of August, you'll want a copy of the Great St. Louis Getaways Guide, free by calling 800-916-0040 or by logging on to www.explorestlouis.com/hotelspecials. The guide describes hotel package deals for a variety of interests.

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