Here's something you don't see every day: a museum dedicated to spreading "history, rumors and downright lies."
That's the motto of Provincetown Tales, a new museum opening this month in Provincetown, Mass., a beach town that draws thousands of visitors to Cape Cod each year.
Rumors and legends often have as much weight as factual history, says Ginny Binder, the project's creator. "This is about taking part in your own history, not about institutionalizing and formalizing it."
Provincetown Tales is what Binder calls a "story museum." Each year, the museum will focus on a new aspect of Provincetown's history, taking into account the spin of locals as much as that of the record keepers. From there, Binder expects the exhibits to morph and grow into the stuff of legends as more and more accounts of history are incorporated.
This year's theme is the fire of February 1998, which threatened to engulf the town. Visitors will walk through an exhibition of panels, artifacts and 3-D figures that re-create the experience. A film, "... There That Night," also brings to life the story of the fire through eyewitness accounts and a retelling of the near-tragic event.
For more information, go to www.provincetowntales.com or call 508-487-6786.
SWEAT OFF THAT CAKE
Most people associate Germany's Black Forest with cake, cuckoo clocks and castles, but the area is also famous for its luxury spas. Each year, more than 600,000 visitors are drawn to the indoor and outdoor thermal pools of Baden-Baden.
Two-thousand-year-old Roman baths rest beneath vaulted ceilings supported by marble columns, and the modern Caracalla-Therme bath complex offers seven indoor and outdoor pools along with 15 solariums, an aroma steam bath and a sauna complex.
For information, call the German National tourist Office in New York at 212- 661-7200 or go to www. badenbaden.de (in German).
Airline gripes earn hard cash
Biztravel.com, an online travel resource, wants its customers to know it cares about them. In May, the 4-year-old company announced it would give cash compensation to customers who experienced problems as a result of using its services. Customers may be eligible for $200 for flight delays or lost luggage, and $50 if they deal with an unprofessional customer representative on Biztravel.com.
Company spokeswoman Jodie Lapin reports a "phenomenal" increase in bookings.
For more information, visit www.biztravel.com, or call 800-835-6483.
A new guide to Bay Country
The area has a new magazine. Sunrise Media, the same company that has published Chesapeake Bay Magazine for 30 years, introduces Chesapeake Travel and Leisure this month. Its goal is to celebrate the region's "glorious nooks and crannies," writes editor Tim Sayles.
Included is a day-trip section for weekend getaways, an "Inn Advisor" column that reviews area B&Bs; and an "A La Carte" section on where to eat. Features and profiles will also be offered. The magazine is scheduled to publish every other month. For more information, call 877-804-8624.