MOBIL FINDS THE BEST
The Mobil Travel Guide's listing of top-rate accommodations and restaurants has announced its 1999 winners of five- and four-star awards. The 242-page book rates hotels across the United States and Canada on the quality and quantity of facilities and services, luxury and staff attitude; restaurants are rated on quality of food, preparation, presentation, freshness and service.
In the region, five-star recipients include Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia and the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va. Four-star recipients include the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels and Four Seasons in Washington. The book is published by Fodor's and sells for $12 at bookstores.
The second annual Travel Expo will run Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center. Sponsored by The Sun, the Expo will offer visitors information on vacation spots around the globe, a chance to talk to travel agents and airline personnel, seminars on bargain travel and chances to win vacations, a car and other prizes. Other features will include book signings by area travel authors and live entertainment. Admission: $5 for adults and free for children under 12. Call 410-783-1800 code 4744.
Black history for all to see
In time for Black History Month, a new Web site and a handy travel book provide itineraries to civil rights sites and other locations reflecting African-American culture. With contributions from several federal agencies, "We Shall Overcome" is a comprehensive Web site mapping out 41 places in 21 states significant to African-Americans' movement toward freedom.
Among the places are the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., bombed on Sept. 15, 1963, by the Ku Klux Klan, killing four girls, and the lesser-known Dorchester Academy Boys' Dormitory just outside Savannah, Ga., where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference held citizen education workshops.
The page, at www.cr.nps.gov/nr, also provides a fact-filled and moving history of the movement and its key players.
"The African-American Travel Guide," (Hunter Publishing, $15.95) by Wayne C. Robinson lists important cultural sites in the United States as well as in Nova Scotia and Ontario. Local sites include the Billie Holiday Statue on Pennsylvania Avenue and the Benjamin Banneker Memorial at Mount Gilboa AME Church in Oella. Areas are broken down into historic sites and landmarks, museums, shopping, restaurants and entertainment. The book is available at area bookstores.
Silk maps were first used during World War II by paratroopers, and now space-crunched travelers can take advantage of their durability and convenience. Microsoie, Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer, prints maps of countries, regions and cities on scarf- and handkerchief-sized squares of silk. Among the options: Rome, New York, London, Provence, Italy and Berlin. The washable silk maps retail for $9.99 (11 by 11 inches) and $14.99 (18 by 18 inches). Call 514-272-9516.
One World for fliers
The newest union of frequent-flier programs -- One World -- recently linked American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways. Any member using one of the airlines can earn and redeem mileage on another. Mileage on one airline is recognized across the alliance through revamped,unified membership tiers.
One World has established three levels above entry level -- Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby -- so that members' status will be easily recognized. Those in the three levels will receive new cards with their new One World status or stickers for their old cards.
One hitch: British Airways' passengers flying directly between Europe and the Americas will not be granted redeemable miles on American Airlines for those flights, and vice versa.
Other perks: Eligible One World members would have access to more than 200 airport clubs and lounges, as well as priority check-in, priority standby and wait listing.
Web address: www.oneworldalliance.com.
Pub Date: 02/21/99