Check out these MUST-VISIT attractions across America. Have Fun!
World Congress Center
Takes visitors backstage at Ted Turner’s news powerhouse. Reservations required one day in advance but may be available on short notice.
Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
990 Peachtree St., www.gwtw.org
The home where Margaret Mitchell wrote the Southern classic, Gone With the Wind. That is, if you give a damn.
See also this great video featuring the 25 most beatiful places in America:
World of Coca-Cola
55 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Are you a Coke addict? If so, head over for a history of the fabled sugar water. (Free samples included.)
The Art Institute of Chicago
free Tuesdays; 111 S. Michigan Ave.
A fabulous museum. Recently opened an exhibit titled “Building for Space Travel”; through October.
Blues Heaven Foundation
2120 S. Michigan Ave., 312-808-1286
Dedicated to the history of blues.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
224 S. Michigan Ave., www.architecture.org,
Offers a historic tour of the Chicago city landscape
The view from the Sears Tower Skydeck
233 S. Wacker Drive
Nosebleed central. Not for those with a fear of falling.
Frederick’s of Hollywood Lingerie Museum
Free; 6608 Hollywood Blvd., 323-466-5151
Oooh boy. Do we have to explain this one?
Hollywood Wax Museum
6767 Hollywood Blvd., www.hollywoodwax.com, 323-462-8860
Kind of creepy, but pop culture fans can see wax statues of living and dead celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, and Lucille Ball.
Universal Studios Hollywood
100 Universal City Plaza
Visit the theme park and tour the back lot.
5555 Melrose Ave., 323-956-1777
Take a two-hour tour.
Bal Harbour Shops
9700 Collins Ave.
Busy yourself buying designer baubles.
El Credito Cigars
1106 S.W. 8th Street, 305-858-4162
Buy cigars direct from the factory.
854 7th Avenue, 212-757-2245
Featured in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose,” the deli sells classic deli sandwiches—aka heart attack on a bun—piled high with meat, cheese, and all the fixin’s.
Empire State Building
Roof deck entry; 350 Fifth Ave., 212-736-3100
King Kong headed for it. You should too.
Grand Central Station
Free; East 42nd St.,
Newly restored with a gourmet food market, restaurants, and bars. Individual tours are given every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. by the Municipal Arts Society.
Guggenheim Museum SoHo
Free; 575 Broadway, www.guggenheim.org
Features unusual works from Andy Warhol’s later career.
The morgan library
29 East 36th St., www.morganlibrary.org
A staggering collection of documents on display, including original scores by Mozart and Beethoven and manuscripts by Edgar Allan Poe.
101 E. Jackson St.,
Owned by rock star Alice Cooper, the restaurant serves up barbecue, pub fare, and kitsch for sports and music fans.
Snap a view of the city from the Praying Monk rock formation.
Desert Botanical Garden
1201 N. Galvin Parkway, www.dbg.org,
Displays 20,000 desert plants, mostly prickly.
Pueblo Grande Museum
free on Sundays; 4619 E. Washington St., www.pueblogrande.com,
877-706-4408 or 602-495-0901
Displays a typical Native American village. Both are less than 10 minutes from the airport.
Feeling nutty? The “City of Oaks” mascot is a giant copper statue in downtown Raleigh. A memorable snapshot.
9401 Glenwood, 919-787-3505
Provides an upscale environment for the steak-and-
cigar set. Dinner portions start at about $21.
Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant
220 Wolf, 919-836-9909
Serves Southern food at breakfast and lunch.
The North Carolina Museum of Art
Free (not for special exhibits); 2110 Blue Ridge Rd., www.ncartmuseum.org, 919-715-5923 ext. 5
Offers a permanent collection with classical, contemporary, African, and Egyptian paintings, sculpture, and photography.
Pike Place Market
Visitors to the downtown (between Pike Street and Virginia Street off of First Avenue) can eat at numerous casual eateries or buy local foods. For seated dining, check out nearby restaurants such as:
2020 Western Ave., 206-443-6000
For marine-life delicacies.
1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241
For Italian. Dinners here run $11 to $20, and the cioppino is among the best in the West.
The Seattle Underground tour
608 First Ave., 206-682-4646
Showcases the city’s historic subterranean life. A must-do.
Observation deck admission is $11; 219 4th Ave. N., www.spaceneedle.com, 800-937-9582
The view from the Space Needle gets the city in one frame.
For the Inner Child
The offline shopping experience trumps eBay at American Girl Place (111 E. Chicago Ave., www.americangirl.com, 877-AG-PLACE), the mega-store built around the American Girl brand of collectible dolls. For the Peter Pan crowd, Quake (3759 N. Southport Ave., 773-404-0607) sells sci-fi collectibles, Star Wars action figures, and vintage toys from the ’60s and ’70s.
Stressed-out travelers can blow off steam at grown-up gamers’ chain GameWorks (nice price for a declining balance card for 50 game credits; 165 Easton Town Center, www.gameworks.com, 614-428-7529), which offers classics such as Pac-Man as well as flight simulators and “Vertical Reality” games. Food and drink available, as are other locations in Tempe, Ariz., Seattle, other U.S. cities.
Shamelessly touristy theme restaurant Mars 2112 (1633 Broadway, www.mars2112.com, 212-582-2112) invites visitors to take a free simulated journey to Mars before entering its cavernous restaurant with otherworldly décor.
Rent a Harley-Davidson at Ray Price Harley-Davidson/Buell (mind you, it’s not that cheap and prices depend on the model); 1126 S. Saunders St., www.rayprice.com, 800-39-HARLEY), a dealership run by a veteran drag racer.
Lines can grow long and tickets aren’t cheap for Experience Music Project $19.95; 325 Fifth Ave., www.emplive.com, 877-EMP-LIVE), but visitors to this interactive shrine to music get to use wireless handsets to study displays as well as access to rock instruments in soundproof jamming booths.
Take a Run (or Blade or Hike…)
Roughly 10 miles of running and hiking trails flank Town Lake, near downtown Austin. For maps and details, visit the Austin tourist and visitors information site at www.austin360.com.
Central Park (www.centralpark.org) offers a 6-mile running loop around the park’s perimeter and a 1.6-mile dirt path around its reservoir. Adventurous pedestrians can cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot from downtown.
The area offers many running and walking trails at recreational areas such as Papago Park (located east of Phoenix, near Scottsdale), a mini-hike (2 miles round-trip), up Squaw Peak (1 mile up and 1 mile down), or 58 miles of running and hiking trails at South Mountain Park.
A 7-mile loop winds its way from Stanyan Street to the Pacific Ocean in Golden Gate Park. Roller skaters can rent wheels per hour or per day at Skate Pro Sports (3401 Irving St., www.skatepro.com, 415-752-8776). The waterfront Embarcadero gives visitors some welcome flat space in an otherwise hilly city.
Granite paths and sidewalks surrounding Seattle’s Green Lake offer 3 miles of trail. Gregg’s Greenlake Cycles (7007 Woodlawn Ave., www.greggscycles.com, 206-523-1822) rents bikes and in-line skates, and the store Website provides a map with directions. Public tennis courts, mini-golf, running paths, and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo are nearby.
The grassy National Mall, which stretches two miles from the Capitol to the Washington Monument, makes a perfect urban running route.