Mountaintop cabin tucked away in a forest offers ultimate escape
If you're looking for a getaway — as in "extremely remote" — it would be hard to beat this fire lookout, one of five to rent in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northern California. The Hirz Mountain Lookout, at 3,100 feet, was built in 1949 for observers to watch for fires during the hottest months, but is now being offered to tourists between May 1 and Oct. 15. It sleeps up to four and offers great views over Shasta Lake and the surrounding mountains. No running water, electricity or cooking facilities — but where else offers accommodation in California at $35 a night? Also check out Little Mount Hoffman Lookout, a wooden cabin built in 1931 at 6,000 feet in the Medicine Lake Highlands. 877-444-6777, www.fs.fed.us/r5/shastatrinity/recreation.
TRAVEL BLOG GIVES AN INSIDER'S VIEW OF JAPAN'S CAPITAL CITY
A little nervous about your first trip to Tokyo? Here's help from a close-to-home source. Her husband's job has taken Shane Sakata of Hawai'i Kai to Tokyo, where they will spend nine or 10 months of the year. She's putting her time to good use by unraveling the mysteries of Tokyo travel in a blog, www.thetokyotraveler.com. Learn how to use the often confusing subway system; see reviews of restaurants, museums and attractions; and even get a verbal peek at a sumo tournament and other Japanese events, such as a recent special import car show. Says Sakata: "While Japan is great, I am really missing the warm Island breezes!"
NEW YORK CITY
ENJOY FREE ART, MUSIC DURING MILE-LONG MUSEUMS BLOCK PARTY
One day a year, for the past 29 years, nine of the country's finest museums, all ones that call Fifth Avenue home, collectively open their doors for free to New Yorkers and visitors for a mile-long block party and visual art celebration. This traffic-free, music- and art-filled celebration fills the street and sidewalks of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th streets, the mile now officially designated as Museum Mile. More than 50,000 visitors attend the festival annually. Alongside Central Park between the museums, there are market stalls, street performers and musicians. 6-9 p.m. June 3, the 30th annual festival kicks off at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Fifth Avenue at 91st Street. www.museummilefestival.org.