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Travel Notes: Dec. 16, 2012

By Staff, wire reports

Hawks Nest dinner shows

ANSTED, W.Va. -- Hawks Nest State Park has scheduled a series of Saturday-evening programs and performances for its Winter Dinner Parties beginning Jan. 5.

Packages include one night's lodging for two in any available room or suite, a multi-course dinner and express breakfast for two, evening program and 20 percent discount coupon for the lodge gift shop, taxes and service gratuities. The full package costs $165.02. A dinner-and-show-only option is available. Reservations are by telephone only; call 304-658-5212.

The lineup is:

Jan. 5: Folk singer and storyteller Mick Souter teaches the history of West Virginia through song.

Jan. 12: Doug and Shelley Harper, singer-songwriters from Beckley, will perform music that reflects the New River/Central Appalachian culture.

Jan. 26: Comedy magician Dewayne Hill performs a family-friendly Las Vegas-quality act.

Feb. 16: In her latest character portrayal for dinner-theater audiences, Karen Vuranch is Hollywood gossip queen Louella Parsons and gives the scoop on Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and other stars.

Feb. 23: Lady D sings the songs of blues legend Bessie Smith in a first-person living-history presentation.

In a nonpackage event Jan. 19, Gene Thorn, of French Creek, will tell the true story of the pioneer Pringle brothers, who lived for three years in a hollow tree near Buckhannon. The evening is open to the public without charge; dinner reservations are optional.

Holidays at Stonewall

WESTON, W.Va. -- Mountain Laurel, the spa at Stonewall Resort, is holding an open house from 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 16 at the resort. Free chair massages and paraffin hand dips for $2 will be available.

Stonewall Resort is offering what it calls "an over the top" Christmas Day brunch that includes charcuterie display, Greek-style spinach salad, chilled penne pasta with red pepper pesto and fresh mozzarella, oysters on the half-shell with citrus mignonette, smoked salmon display with capers, corn and crab chowder, carved prime rib of beef au jus with horseradish sauce, smoked pork loin with caramelized onions, roasted turkey breast with corn bread stuffing and scratch gravy, broiled salmon with lemon and dill butter, and lots of sides, salads and desserts.

The brunch will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 25. The price is $34 for adults, $16 for children 8-12 years old, and free for children younger than 8. For reservations, call 304-269-8880.

Two separate New Year's Eve celebrations are offered Dec. 31. At Lightburn's restaurant, at the golf course, there'll be a dine-around meal with a complimentary bottle of wine, dancing and an open bar. In Stillwaters restaurant, a champagne dinner for two with live music in T.J. Muskies Lounge is presented as a laid-back alternative.

Both packages include overnight lodging on Dec. 31 and breakfast for two on New Year's Day. The price for the Lightburn's Celebration is $269 per couple; it's $229 per couple for the Stillwaters package. Reservations are required. Contact the resort at 304-269-7400 or www.stonewallresort.com.

Gorge outfit praised

Southern Living magazine named Adventures on the Gorge one of its "Twelve Gifts of Christmas" in its December issue.

The magazine's travel writers picked 12 unique gifts that don't fit under a tree. The magazine said the Fayette County adventure campus is perfect for "adrenaline junkies who just don't get the idea of lounging in a hammock." They note that a gift trip includes whitewater rafting, zip line canopy tours and the opportunity to round out a trip with hiking, fishing and horseback riding.

For more information, visit www.adventurewestvirginia.com or call a reservation specialist at 877-237-4939.

Snowshoe deal

SNOWSHOE, W.Va. -- Snowshoe Mountain Resort is offering a third-night-free promotion for Jan. 6-12. Call 877-441-4386 for more information.

Trains to Cape Cod

BOSTON -- Passenger trains could be traveling between Boston and Cape Cod by next summer.

State transportation officials said in a brief statement last week that they were working with the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority on the service, which would operate on weekends only.

The service would be run by the regional authority at no cost to the MBTA.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation said the trains would likely run between South Station and Hyannis, but specific schedules and fares have not been finalized.

Gov. Deval Patrick said on his official Twitter account Wednesday that restoring train service to Cape Cod would be a boost for residents and tourists.

NYC discounts

NEW YORK -- New York City is offering various promotions to attract tourists in January and February, the only time of the year the city needs visitors, under the banner "Sample NYC Winter Sale."

Hotel rates are typically more than 20 percent lower, and some will offer a free third night of lodging.

During January and February, there is an average of 1.3 million fewer visitors compared to the rest of the year, and the average daily hotel room rate is about $216.

With the Muppets Family Fun Hotel promotion, more than 30 New York City hotels will provide either a free room-category upgrade, complimentary breakfast for kids under 12, or both, which will be packaged with a Muppets gift bag.

During Restaurant Week (Jan. 14-Feb. 8) visitors can enjoy three-course prix-fixe meals, and two-for-one tickets to theatrical productions during Broadway Week (Jan. 22-Feb. 7). Restaurant Week reservations open and theater tickets go on sale Jan. 7.

To book a hotel or for more information about the "Sample NYC Winter Sale," visit nycgo.com/wintersale.


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