Best beach resorts for families, from a ranking by Parents magazine:
1. Sheraton Grand Bahama Island, Our Lucaya Resort, Bahamas
2. Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
3. South Seas Island Resort, Captiva Island
4. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas
5. Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Florida
6. Beaches Negril Resort and Spa, Jamaica
7. Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu
8. Ocean Edge Resort & Spa, Brewster, Mass.
9. Loew's Coronado Bay Beach Resort & Spa, San Diego, Calif.
10. Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort Casino & Spa, Puerto Rico
Keep tabs on the N.C. mountains
Heading for North Carolina this summer? Or would you just like to know what all your friends are up to, vacationing along the Blue Ridge? Mountain Seasons Vacation Planner is a free guide to the area around Hendersonville, in western North Carolina. Request a copy toll-free at 1-800-828-4244; or order online at historichendersonville.org. You can check that site for weather conditions so you'll know when to pout because we're hot and they're not.
Etiquette tips for travelers
Know before you go: Hailing a stranger on the streets of Beijing is regarded as bizarre, even intrusive. Eye contact can be considered disrespectful by the Chinese. But it's okay to ask about personal topics Americans shy away from, such as how much you make. Going Dutch in Beijing (Holt, $19.95) is a witty guide to etiquette around the world. Bone up before you leave so you know which hand gestures are considered offensive (no "thumbs up" in Sardinia if you know what's good for you), how to deal with strange toilets, how to propose a toast and how to say farewell.
Go when there's no snow
Think winter in summer and save some cool cash. Snow-season resorts in places like Vermont and Colorado offer big discounts this time of year, plus high altitude and low humidity. Ski.com is offering two nights in a one-bedroom residence, daily cooked-to-order breakfast, a $200 dinner credit and two spa treatments for $478 a person this summer at the Sky Lodge in Park City, Utah.
Be part of our military history
Add this to the list of must-see museums near Washington: the new, free National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico Marine Base in Virginia. A drill sergeant yells in your ear, you learn the right way to do a proper pull-up . . . then it's on to interactive exhibits that take visitors to Iwo Jima, the 38th Parallel in Korea and a solitary confinement box in Vietnam. Information: toll-free 1-877-635-1775; www.usmcmuseum.org. Says the Washington Post: "A great museum immerses visitors in history so they truly understand its gravity. This is a great museum."
New look at fight for civil rights
Images of the civil rights movement, including photographs never before displayed publicly, are on view in two shows this summer at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. "Road to Freedom" spans the years from Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus in 1955 to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. It includes images of the Freedom Rides in 1961, the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964, and the Selma-Montgomery march of 1965 in Alabama. "After 1968" examines the legacy of the civil rights movement in sculpture, video, sound and light. The shows run through Oct. 5. Information: (404) 733-4444; www.high.org.
Compiled from Times wires