North of San Francisco is an inn with the perfect location
Travelers wanting to take in more than city sights might find the 68-room Inn Marin in Novato, Calif., the ideal rendezvous. Close enough to San Francisco for sorties into the city, the hotel also offers easy access to Point Reyes and Bodega Bay, NASCAR action at Infineon Raceway and winery-hopping in the Sonoma and Napa valleys.
Among Inn Marin's offerings are the "Six Flags Package," with one night's family accommodations and four tickets to Six Flags Discover Kingdom in nearby Vallejo, for prices starting at $250. Or, for couples, the "Wine Country Tour Package," with one night's lodging and a limo winery tour, for $431, while economy-minded vacationers might opt for the Sunday-to-Thursday "Week Day Special" for $109 per room. 800-652-6565; www.innmarin.com.
NEW YORK CITY
TAKE GIRLFRIENDS ON 'SEX' TOUR DESIGNED JUST FOR LADIES
Listen up, girlfriends, two Hawai'i girls have pulled together a "Sex and The City" tour to the Big Apple. The tour promises to capture the glamorous lifestyles of Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda as you follow the paths of their Jimmy Choos across Manhattan.
The tour leaves Honolulu on a Thursday evening, arriving Friday morning in New York. Cost: $2,500, which includes roundtrip airfare, limousine transfers to and from the airport, three-night hotel stay, guided tour of "Sex and The City" sites, a three-hour cruise around the island of Manhattan, plus suggestions and maps for shopping, nightlife, museums and other attractions, from experienced guides. 732-6300, www.gammysgoodgirls.com.
SECURITY HIP? THEY MAY HAVE A LINE FOR YOU
At airport security, some travelers are good to go once they reach the X-ray machines. Others need more time. That's the thinking behind the Transportation Security Administration's "Black Diamond" program that lets passengers channel themselves into color-coded security lines based on their traveling expertise.
The self-select lanes reflect ski icons that guide travelers to choose the trail/lane based on their skill level. Green for families or beginners, blue for casual travelers, and black diamond for expert travelers who know the TSA rules and arrive at the checkpoint ready to go. The system operates at around 20 U.S. airports (Honolulu is not one of them).
The system is voluntary. TSA does not police the lines, and everyone receives the same level of screening. Since the program began, "expert" lanes have seen an average 21 percent increase in throughput while the alarm rates sounding on "family" lanes are down about 11 percent.
See which airports are with the program at www.tsa.gov/approach/black_diamond.shtm.