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'Great Stays of Texas' guidebook now available



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



'Great Stays of Texas' guidebook now available

Just in time for peak tourism season, the 2005 edition of "The Great Stays of Texas" is now available.

It's free on request from Historic Accommodations of Texas, the state association of inspected and approved B & amp;Bs, country inns and unique hotels. All members must meet stringent criteria in the areas of cleanliness, safety, maintenance and amenities.

The guidebook, which offers pictures and descriptions of each property, is arranged by region to help travelers find properties in towns off the beaten path as well as better-known lodgings in large destinations.

To receive a copy, call (800) 428-0368 or visit www.hat.org.

Fashion photos shown outside on Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is lined with outdoor fashion photos. The exhibition of selected work from the late fashion photographers Herb Ritts and Mario Testino are displayed on Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Hills Golden Triangle. The show continues through May 1.

The "Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Photo Exhibition" includes more than 50 photos displayed on banners. Pictured are such stars as Madonna, Sophia Loren, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston. The Walk of Style complements the City of Beverly Hills' recent $18 million street-enhancement program.

For more information, call (800) 345-2210 or visit www.beverlyhillsbehere.com.

Poker package offers Texas Hold 'em lessons

Learn the finer points of the hottest game going -- Texas Hold 'em -- in Canada.

Jeff Bayone of New York City's Manhattan Bridge and Poker Club will instruct players July 10-17 at The Inn at Manitou, two hours north of Toronto.

Three-, four- and seven-day poker packages start at about $750. All participants receive first-class lodging, three meals daily, a welcome cocktail reception, use of the inn's facilities, daily poker clinics and games, and nightly tournaments for novices through expert players.

The Inn at Manitou is a five-star tennis, golf and spa resort.

For more information, call (800) 571-8818 or visit www.manitou-online.com.

Virginia Arts Festival to feature ballet, play

NORFOLK, Va. -- Mexico's Ballet Folklorico, the ballet "Giselle," and a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" set in the Roaring '20s are among dozens of performances on the schedule for the Virginia Arts Festival.

The festival, which starts Thursday and runs through May 22, is held in a variety of venues in and near Norfolk.

Other highlights include violinist Itzhak Perlman; performances for children; a live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" by Garrison Keillor; and all types of dance and music, from the Martha Graham Dance Co. and flamenco to chamber music and jazz.

For schedules or tickets, go to www.vafest.com.

Belgium celebrates 175th anniversary

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Belgium is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding this year, with festivities planned for July 21, the Belgium national holiday.

Exhibits examining the country's history and culture include "Memory of Congo," about Brussels' controversial past as a colonial power, through Oct. 9 at the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren; "Simply Mussels," a look at the shellfish that are a popular mainstay of Belgian cuisine, at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, through June 30 in Brussels; and "Art Nouveau and Design," May 25 through Dec. 31 at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.

For 175th anniversary information, visit www.visitbelgium.com and click on the calendar of events.

Combined dispatches




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