• Surfing Europe (Globe Pequot Press, $34.95)
The word "surfing" usually is associated with such places as California, Hawaii or Australia, not Europe. Yet the authors of this book are firm believers and advocates of European surfing. They cover surfing in Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and even venture off the European continent with forays into Morocco. Each country has detailed descriptions of surfing conditions and getting around, and what to do during "flat spells."
• Global Surfari: The Complete Atlas for the Serious Surfer (Running Press, $29.95)
If surfing in Europe is too confining, this book covers the entire surfing world, from North, Central and South America to Australia and Eastern Asia to the Indian Ocean and Africa (Western Europe is also included). The editors also discuss wind and ocean currents and describe how surf forms. Some of the destinations are off the beaten track (Papua New Guinea or Indonesia), but here you also will find classic surfing locations (Southern California, Hawaii, Australia) as well as new pockets of surf culture, such as Cornwall (Newquay along the north Cornish coast is considered Surf City UK).
Visit a museum for free
Plan a road trip for Free Museum Day on Sept. 27, a day when hundreds of museums and cultural venues around the country, including more than 40 in Florida, offer free admission for the day. They include Miami's Metro Zoo, the Orlando Science Center and Tampa's Cracker Country. All you have to do is go to a Smithsonian magazine Web site — microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday — to download an admission card and search for a venue of your choosing.
How to shop in Morocco
Design diva Marian McEvoy offers these tips on shopping in the souks of Morocco in this month's Domino magazine. They make a lot of sense closer to home too.
• Buy extra. If you find pottery you like, buy extra pieces to replace items that break.
• Notify your credit card company if you're planning to make unusually large purchases while traveling. Otherwise your shopping spree may look like a credit card thief's rampage.
• Go bold. Choose items with simple, graphic looks. Avoid the trite and touristy: camels romping on a bowl, for example.
• Get recommendations. Never buy large items like carpets or furniture abroad without talking to someone who has been through the billing and shipping process with that vendor.
On the cheap in Dublin
Dublin's top family attractions are the least expensive in the world, according to a survey of major cities conducted by the Sunday Telegraph newspaper. A family of four would pay 226 euros to enjoy 10 tourist attractions, compared with 690 euros in London, the most expensive of the 10 cities surveyed. Critics point out that the survey looked only at activities that involve admission fees. Tourist attractions in many cities (such as museums in London or churches in Paris) are free.
The Dublin attractions surveyed by the Sunday Telegraph include: Dublin Castle, Dublin Writers Museum, Dublin Zoo, James Joyce Museum, Malahide Castle and the Fry Model Railway, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells, the Shaw Birthplace, Tara's Palace and Childhood Museum as well as an open-top bus tour.
The coolest small towns
Little, bitty places you ought to visit, according to Budget Travel magazine.
• Port Jervis, N.Y.
• Manitou Springs, Colo.
• Yellow Springs, Ohio
• Mazomanie, Wis.
• Port Reyes Station, Calif.
• Belfast, Maine
• Catskill, N.Y.
• Truth or Consequences, N.M.
• Livingston, Mont.
• White River Junction, Vt.
Compiled from Times staff, wires