Travel News

Get whisked around Annapolis’s cobblestone streets for free, see the world for 40 percent off, and come face to face with Picasso in Charlotte’s newest museum.

By: Eliot Stein

According to the 2010 travel trends report published by Travel Leaders, Washington remains one of the ten hottest domestic destinations for those booking vacations. In the report, based on a survey of travel agents around the country, the nation’s capital fell by one spot, from the eighth- to ninth-most-popular destination, compared with the year before.

The Annapolis Anne Arundel County Conference Center and Visitors Bureau has unveiled the nation’s first electric Information on Wheels eCruiser for tourists. Between 11 am and 8 pm on weekends, visitors can look for one of ten heated shuttles painted with a “Come Sail Away Logo” to whisk them throughout Annapolis’s cobblestone streets—or all the way to Eastport—for free. On board, drivers distribute tourism pamphlets and can answer questions about the city’s history and attractions. The service will run every day during Annapolis’s Restaurant Week (February 15 through 21). Shuttles generally hover around the waterfront and near hotels on West Street, though passengers can reserve a ride by calling 443-497-4769.

Those looking to take a break from the powdery slopes can step on to the ice at Wisp Ski Resort’s new skating rink. Opened in December, the 50-by-85-foot surface is the only ice-skating rink in Garrett County and features a bonfire area with warm beverages nearby. For further information and skating rates, click here.

Want to see the world without shelling out money for a EuroRail pass or multi-destination cruise? You’re in luck, because Footprint, the oldest guidebook publisher in the world, is slashing prices on all of its books by 40 percent. For the rest of the month, choose from more than 90 titles—from Laos to Marrakesh to Nicaragua—on the cheap by inserting the code “jan10” when purchasing from the company’s Web site.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the only museum in the southeastern United States dedicated to mid-20th-century modern art, opened this week in Charlotte, North Carolina. The collection includes more than 1,400 pieces created by some of the artistic giants of the last century, including Joan Miró, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso. For hours of operation, prices, and more information, visit the museum’s Web site.