A whale of a good time found in the Northeast

A whale of a good timefound in the Northeast
NEW YORK -- Chicago had "Cows on Parade," San Francisco had hearts, Seattle had pigs, and Jacksonville, Fla., had sea cows, which are related to manatees.
Now the whaling and maritime heritage of southeastern Connecticut is being celebrated with "The Whale Trail." More than 50 Fiberglas beluga and sperm whale sculptures, whimsically decorated by artists in a variety of themes from angels to flowers, will be on display throughout the area from July through October.
Locations for the whales include Mystic, Norwich, Groton, New London and Old Lyme, Conn., plus Westerly, R.I., and one each in Boston -- at the Ciao Bella restaurant on Newbury Street -- and in New York City, at the aquarium in Brooklyn's Coney Island.
Sculptures from "The Whale Trail" will be auctioned for charity when the display is over.
For details, visit www.thewhaletrail.com.
Shop 'till you dropat outlets nationwide
NEW YORK -- Attention, outlet shoppers! Looking for a worthy destination for a weekend trip?
The premier issue of Weekend, a new publication from Hearst magazines, lists eight outlet malls worth traveling to, many of which have "Shop & amp; Stay" packages in conjunction with local hotels.
They are Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, about an hour north of New York City; Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, 35 minutes south of Boston; Orlando Premium Outlets, five minutes from Walt Disney World; Opry Mills, 15 minutes from Nashville; Grapevine Mills, 25 minutes from Dallas; Las Vegas Premium Outlets, five minutes from the Las Vegas Strip; Gilroy Premium Outlets, 40 minutes south of San Jose, Calif.; and Desert Hills Premium Outlets, 20 minutes from Palm Springs, Calif.
First-timers guide tothe European adventure
NEW YORK -- If you're heading to Europe for the first time and feel overwhelmed by trip-planning details, a new book from Rough Guides called "First-Time Europe" might help.
The $14.99 paperback by Doug Lansky is especially useful for students heading off for several weeks or months, and for anyone veering off from the standard itinerary of Western European capitals.
The book explains everything from travel insurance to how to use Internet cafes securely -- without taking the risk that a high-tech pickpocket will sit down after you and access your accounts.
The book also offers advice on what to bring, from a clothing pack list to small but important extras like earplugs and a spoon you can use for ready-made food bought in grocery stores.
Lesser-known travel options -- like Snowflake, a budget branch of Scandinavian Airlines -- and flight passes that let you visit various destinations for a flat rate per flight -- are listed too, along with basic must-sees and events for more than 28 countries.
Rocketing to Houstonwith summer savings
HOUSTON -- Visitors to Houston will want to pick up the Space City Savings Book, which includes a variety of discounts to attractions around the city.
The booklet includes coupons for half-off admission to the visitors center of NASA's Johnson Space Center; a two-for-one admission to the Museum of Fine Arts; discounts to Six Flags Astro World; and other deals for theater, ballet and symphony performances.
You can pick up the coupon booklet at the Houston Visitors Center, on the first floor of City Hall, 901 Bagby St. Or, check out the Web site for Houston's convention and visitors bureau, at www.visithoustontexas.com, for "e-coupons" you can print out at home.
Associated Press

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