Record continues for luxury-rated resort
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The Greenbrier has again received AAA Allied Group's Five Diamond Award.
The White Sulphur Springs resort has won the award each year since its inception in 1976. That distinction is shared with only two other properties, the Camelback Inn Marriott Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., and The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The rating system represents a combination of the overall quality, the range of facilities, and the level of services offered. The ratings range from one diamond for the budget-minded consumer, to five diamonds for the ultimate in luxury.
More than 55,000 properties in North America are evaluated each year.
Eighty-five properties received the Five Diamond Award this year.
Runaway from wedding with romance package
To soften the stress of planning the big day, brides now have a runaway destination.
Hotel Commonwealth, which describes itself as Boston's most romantic hotel, has created a "Runaway Bride Escape" package.
Guests are greeted with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Brides get a pair of New Balance "runaway sneakers."
Other amenities include a $100 spa service, a signature perfume, framed photo of the wedding party and a pair of bride's pajamas.
Package price: $589 for two plus tax.
For more information, call (866) 784-4000 or visit www.hotelcommonwealth.com.
Park volunteers needed
If you like the outdoors and are retired or have plenty of time off this summer, Texas state parks and historic sites need you.
Volunteers who can spend weeks or months helping to operate a park can receive the benefit of free camping privileges while there.
Jobs range from collecting fees and helping in offices to performing maintenance, leading tours, doing landscape work and other tasks.
Opportunities are available through September.
For more information, call (512) 389-4893 or visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us.
Hitting the highway in California this summer?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- If you're visiting California this summer, you'll want to get a copy of "The Best of California Drives 2005" to help your trip.
The free, 36-page booklet has maps and suggested routes for itineraries ranging from the 185-mile Redwood Coast drive to the 261-mile Bakersfield Loop, which takes visitors from the agricultural Central Valley to the Kern River Valley and Lake Isabella.
The guide also includes a California Fun Spots card, which offers discounts at various attractions around the state, from Legoland to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the San Diego Zoo and Universal Studios Hollywood.
You can order the guide online at www.visitcalifornia.com.
All aboard popular pacific coast railway
SAN DIEGO -- Surf's up ... and the train's coming.
The Pacific Surfliner is celebrating five years of service this summer as the second busiest route in the Amtrak system after the Northeast's Boston-to-Washington corridor.
The Surfliner runs up the Southern California coast with numerous daily roundtrips between San Diego and Los Angeles, and between Santa Barbara and San Diego.
Stops include San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and San Luis Obispo.
The trains even have racks for surfboards.
Go to www.amtrak.com for schedules and ticket information.