A new walking tour is being offered in Charleston, S.C., based on places featured in the new Pat Conroy bestseller South of Broad.
The two-hour tour is available Tuesday-Saturday, departing from the lobby of the Mills House Hotel at 115 Meeting St. and ending outside the Gibbes Museum of Art at 135 Meeting St. Both places are mentioned in the novel.
Tour stops linked to the book include St. Michael's Episcopal Church, where characters Chad Rutledge and Molly Huger were married; Legare Street, one of Charleston's most elegant streets and part of protagonist Leo King's paper route; Water Street, where characters in the novel ride out Hurricane Hugo; and the Dock Street Theater, visited by Leo's parents the night of a family tragedy.
The tour is $25 a person, which includes admission to the Gibbes Museum of Art and choice of a cocktail or dessert from one of Conroy's favorite Charleston restaurants, named Slightly North of Broad.
Tickets for the walking tour must be reserved in advance at (843) 568-0473 or at oldcharlestontours.com/southofbroad.html.
Affordable places to ski down mountains
Ski.com has come up with a list of affordable places to ski in the winter of our financial discontent. Among them are:
• Keystone, near Denver, with lots of lodging and flight options and moderately priced condos. Ski.com specials include the Lodge at Keystone, which the Web site describes as "the nicest property at Keystone." Also, a Keystone lift ticket is valid at Breckenridge and Arapahoe Basin and also offers some limited access to Vail and Beaver Creek. The resort also offers night skiing, which is included with the lift ticket, on day of arrival with airline boarding pass.
• Jackson Hole, Wyo., which offers great deals on lodging, especially in the town 12 miles from the resort; and in Teton Village, at Hotel Terra and Snake River Lodge.
• Lake Tahoe, with good flight options to Reno and decent lodging away from the mountain, especially on the South Shore, where casino hotels are well priced because winter is low season. Deals include fourth night free at Village at Squaw, Jan. 3-Feb. 11, and specials at Resort at Squaw Creek, Jan. 3-Jan. 14.
Ski.com says there are also good values to be had in the East, especially if you can ski Sunday-Thursday, since the market is mostly a weekend-drive-to crowd. Lake Placid, N.Y., offers lots of lodging options, a charming picture-postcard town with great restaurants, and a $29 Olympic Passport that offers admission to all the venues built for the Olympic games held in Lake Placid.
U.S. cities in Leonardo mode
•In New York, "Leonardo Da Vinci's Workshop: Inventor + Artist + Dreamer" opens Nov. 20 at the Discovery Times Square Exposition and runs through April 4. The show offers full-scale, interactive models of Leonardo's inventions, including his ideas for the airplane, automobile, robot knight and mechanical lion.
• In Baltimore, "Da Vinci — The Genius: A Traveling Exhibit" at the Maryland Science Center through Jan. 31 features some of his inventions, anatomical drawings and writings, plus "secrets of The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa revealed in 3D animation."
• In Atlanta, an exhibit of sculptures and sketches by Leonardo and his contemporaries is at the High Museum until February, including some never before seen outside of Europe, borrowed from the Vatican's art collection, the Louvre in Paris and the royal collection at Windsor Castle in England.
Book celebrates top cultural landmarks
Some 50 years ago the United Nations founded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO. Its purpose was to safeguard the world's cultural landmarks — in essence to celebrate the common heritage of mankind. Thus far, UNESCO's list consists of 878 sites in 145 countries. Every one of those sites is described in this hefty tome, World Heritage Sites (Firefly, $29.95). They include some of the most famous places in the world, such as Machu Picchu in Peru and Stonehenge in England, but also lesser-known places. Many of the sites commemorate examples of indigenous architecture, some of it modest in nature — the traditional wooden houses of Bryggen in Bergen, Norway, for example — while, on the other hand, the palace and park of Fontainebleau in France make a dazzling display of pomp and pageantry.