1192 Chapters
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7 SHOPPING

Elise Hartman Ford FrommerMedia ePub

7

Shopping

Washington, D.C.’s shopping scene is thriving, thanks to the city’s strong economy. With its low unemployment rate, high-income population, and vigorous spending statistics for both visitors and residents, Washington continues to attract major retailers to open stores here. Local entrepreneurs, meanwhile, are also doing quite nicely, thank you very much. Wherever you are in the city, shops present a variety of wares, prices, and styles. This chapter leads you to some of the best.

The Shopping Scene

Most Washington-area stores are open from 10am to 5 or 6pm Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours vary, with some stores opting not to open at all and others just from noon to 5 or 6pm. Many stores in Georgetown and at Union Station keep later hours and are also open on Sunday. Other exceptions include antiques stores and art galleries, which tend to keep their own hours.

Sales tax on merchandise is 5.75% in the District, 6% in Maryland, and 6% in Northern Virginia. Most gift, arts, and crafts stores, including those at the Smithsonian museums, will handle shipping; clothing stores generally do not.

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Medium 9781628873269

7 UPPER MIDCOAST: AROUND PENOBSCOT BAY

Brian Kevin FrommerMedia ePub

7

Upper midcoast: Around Penobscot Bay

Let’s say you’re traveling east on the Maine coast along Route 1, and you’re the sort of person who travels with one eye on the compass or GPS heading. Somewhere around Rockland, you suddenly notice something strange: You’re pointed almost due north. Huh? Yet it’s true. The culprit behind this geographic quirk is Penobscot Bay, a sizable bite out of the coast that forces drivers to take a lengthy northerly detour in order to cross the head of the bay, where the Penobscot River flows into it at Bucksport.

Fear not; you’ll find some of Maine’s most distinctive coastal scenery in this little region, which is dotted with offshore islands and hills rising above the shore. Although the mouth of Penobscot Bay is occupied by two large islands, its waters still churn when the winds and tides are right.

Thanks to both its natural beauty and architectural cuteness, the bay’s western shore sees a steady stream of tourist traffic in summer, especially along the stretch of U.S. Route 1 passing through artsy Rockland and affluent Camden. You’ll need a small miracle to find a weekend bed without a reservation in summer or early fall. Nevertheless, this is a great area if you want to get a taste of the real Maine coast. Services for travelers are everywhere.

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Medium 9781628870299

10. The Best Day Trips & Excursions

Reid Bramblett FrommerMedia ePub

The bucolic, historic countryside around the Brandywine River in Delaware has largely been defined by its two most famous families: First came the entrepreneurial, elegant, and munificent du Ponts. Next, the earthy, cerebral, prolific, and certainly artistic Wyeths. See this region, and you’ll see them, and then some. Tip: Get the Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport (www.visitwilmingtonde.com) for admission to 11 top area attractions, including all of those mentioned below, for $35 (May 25–Sept 2 only). START: I-95 S for about 23 miles to Wilmington, then 82 to Kennett Sq., then Baltimore Pike (Rt. 1) to Longwood & Chadds Ford; the drive takes approx. 1 hr.

 

Nemours Mansion & Gardens. To experience the opulence of Alfred I. du Pont’s circa-1910, Louis XVI-style chateau and Petit-Trianon–modeled garden, with its 23-karat gold statuary, reserve the required tour well in advance. It takes 3 hours, so it’s not for everyone. 3 hrs. 1600 Rockland Rd., Wilmington, DE. 302/651-6912. www.nemoursmansion.org. Tours $15 (ages 12 and up only). May–Dec, Tues–Sat at 9:30am, noon, & 3pm; Sun at noon & 3pm.

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Medium 9781628872606

1 WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT AUSTRALIA

Lee Mylne FrommerMedia ePub

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what’s great about australia

Australia is like nowhere else you’ve been. It has truly unique wildlife, some of the world’s best natural scenery, the most brilliant scuba diving and snorkeling, the best beaches, the oldest rainforest (110 million years and counting), the oldest human civilization (some archaeologists say 40,000 years, some say 120,000), the best wines, the best weather, and the most innovative East-meets-West-meets-someplace-else cuisine—all bathed in sunlight that brings everything up in Technicolor. Prepare yourself for a lifetime of memories.

Scarcely a visitor lands on these shores without having the Great Barrier Reef at the top of their to-do list. So they should, because it really is a glorious natural masterpiece. Also high on most lists is Uluru, a sacred monolith that—rightly—attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists (including celebrities and royalty, such as Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge). And it’s not just “The Rock” you should see; the vast Australian desert all around it is equally unmissable. The third attraction on most visitors’ lists is Sydney, Australia’s glittering harborside city.

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Medium 9781628873856

3 The Best Neighborhood Walks

Olson Donald; Olson Donald FrommerMedia ePub

Tanner Springs Park in the Pearl District.

Downtown Portland

Downtown Portland is surprisingly compact and manageable. Busy as it may be, it’s still possible to walk from one end of the central downtown core to the other in 30 minutes or less. Along with office and government buildings, downtown is home to Oregon’s largest university (Portland State) as well as plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, and cultural venues. Alternatives to walking or biking are the MAX light rail, buses, or the streetcar. START: Streetcar at SW 11th & Clay, bus: 6, 43, 45, 55, 58, or 68.

❶ ★★ The Old Church. Built of wood in an ornate style known as Carpenter Gothic, this Victorian beauty started as a Presbyterian church in 1883, making it one of the oldest buildings in the Pacific Northwest. Today it’s owned by a nonprofit organization and hosts concerts, lectures, and other public events. Many of the original architectural features have been preserved, including hand-carved fir pews and built-in umbrella racks. N 15 min. 1422 SW 11th Ave. ☎ 503/222-2031. www.oldchurch.org. Mon–Fri 11am–3pm. Self-guided tours are free; admission varies by scheduled event.

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