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Briefs: Ski resort diversions for those who don't ski

Shermans Travel ( a publisher of travel deals and destination advice, has come up with a list of the best ski resorts in the world for nonskiers. Among them:

Austria's Bad Gastein, home to 18 natural hot springs in addition to challenging snow bowls and high-altitude views.

Mont Tremblant in Quebec, above, where skiers love the wide runs and nonskiers love the pedestrian-friendly village with good food and great apres-ski.

Stowe, Vt., offers New England charm for skiers and nonskiers alike, including 50 restaurants, a half-dozen wellness centers and spas, and for those who like cross-country, the Nordic Center at Trapp Family Lodge, with 90 scenic miles of trails.

Taos, N.M., with sun and steep slopes for skiers, plus 80 galleries, seven museums, A-list restaurants like Joseph's Table for everyone else.

Eat and shop, all at once

Here are some of what Bon Appetit magazine calls the best dining spots in stores around the United States:

Il Cane Rosso, an eatery in San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace in the Embarcadero, where you'll also find retailers like Sur La Table and Culinaire antiques.

B&G Oysters and the Butcher Shop, restaurants that are among four foodie places in Boston, all at the intersection of Waltham and Tremont streets. The others are Stir, which offers cookbooks and a demonstration kitchen, and Plum Produce, a shop for specialty foods.

Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, which offers more than 40 locally owned shops under one roof, including Taqueria Los Ocampo.

Despana, in New York City, a boutique in Soho specializing in the foods of Spain. But there's also a hidden lunch counter serving tapas, sandwiches and small-plate appetizers.

Millions visit Capitol center

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center has hosted 2.3 million people since opening a year ago.

That's twice the number of people who visited the Capitol in the year before the visitor center existed. Before the center's exhibition hall and restaurant existed, people who visited the Capitol typically waited on line outside — sometimes for hours — for a tour. Now, visitors can make a reservation for a tour, or they can even walk in and get on the next available tour. Details at

New books spark wanderlust

The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World (Lonely Planet, $24.99) This oversize paean to 200 of the world's best cities is a joy to anyone who appreciates the urban lifestyle. The cities range from one of the newest — Abuja, Nigeria, which was established in 1976, when the Nigerian government moved the capital there from Lagos — to one of the oldest, Alexandria, Egypt. Great photographs too. Alas, because this is not an inclusive list, not every worthwhile city is represented (no Liverpool, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., or Boston, for example). Nevertheless, it is a fascinating hopscotch through some of the world's most vibrant urban spots.

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2010 (Lonely Planet, $14.99) Considering where to go and what to do in the coming year? Lonely Planet offers its advice on the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences around the world. The editors recommend their version of the Top 10 countries, regions and cities. The guide also includes various top travel lists, some quite quirky, such as the best places to launch a musical career (from the Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago to the Cavern Club in Liverpool) and the top places to walk or entertain your dog. World travelers will appreciate the list of Top 10 airports — Dubai International in the United Arab Emirates ranks tops.

Times wires

Briefs: Ski resort diversions for those who don't ski

12/12/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2009 3:30am]
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