Explore the presidentialequestrian tradition
The White House gave up its stables nearly a century ago, but a gem of an exhibition at the White House Visitor Center brings the presidential equestrian connection into focus.
"White House Horses" offers 72 images gathered by the White House Historical Association. The first stable was built in 1800 at 14th and G streets Northwest. The last was a graceful Victorian structure with mansard roof on 17th Street, which sheltered official transport horses and presidential favorites as well.
Few presidents were as adept on horseback as "Rough Rider" Teddy Roosevelt, whose "rules" for power rides are shared. Modern presidents continue traditions as best they can. Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton are pictured astride horses.
For more information, call (202) 208-1631.
Downtown Circulatora cheaper way around
WASHINGTON -- A new public bus service called the Downtown Circulator links several of Washington's major activity centers.
"A lot of people who come to the National Mall say they really would like to have some sort of inexpensive, easy-to-get-on-and-off, mass transit system," said Dan Tangherlini, director of the D.C. Department of Transportation. Privately operated buses and tour mobiles with guides providing interpretive narration costs nearly $20 per passenger compared to the $1 circulator fare.
The distance between the Kennedy Center and the U.S. Capitol is nearly three miles. District officials have identified 38 major attractions between those two points that attract many of the 22 million tourists who visit the city each year. When summer temperatures reach into the 90s, walking between museums and monuments can be exhausting.
The buses cover a nine-mile round trip route from Union Station to Georgetown by way of K Street. A second four-mile round trip route runs from Mount Vernon Square-Convention Center to the D.C. Waterfront area.
The service will be available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Maine rail service ridesagain with passengers
AUGUSTA, Maine -- Restored stainless-steel railcars from the 1940s and 1950s are taking passengers on a scenic 57-mile run between Brunswick and Rockland along Maine's midcoast region.
The Maine Eastern Railroad train offers air-conditioned coaches, reclining seats and a dining car. The trip takes 2 hours and 15 minutes, with stops in Bath and Wiscasset.
Passenger trains hadn't run on the state-owned Brunswick-to-Rockland tracks in 41 years when service began July 2, although freight trains had run on the line.
"An entire generation has missed out on this experience," said Jonathan F. Shute, the railroad's general manager.
The service is offered Thursday through Sunday until Sept. 2, and then on weekends until Oct. 31. One-way fares range from $5 for Bath-to-Brunswick to $18 for Brunswick-to-Rockland.
Visit www.maineeasternrailroad.com or call (866) 637-2457 for details.
Bus tour gives visitorsa real slice of Brooklyn
NEW YORK -- A new bus tour launching Aug. 1 will introduce out-of-towners to New York City's Brooklyn borough.
Called "A Slice of Brooklyn," the tour will include a video of film clips and a drive through neighborhoods like trendy Dumbo.
Tickets are $45 for adults, $35 for children under 12. Prices include two slices of pizza and a soft drink at each of two pizzerias.
The tour will be offered Mondays and Fridays, departing from Union Square, Manhattan, at 11 a.m. and returning at 3:30 p.m. Visit www.asliceofbrooklyn.com for details.