"National Geographic Secrets of the National Parks"
$22.95, 270 pages, National Geographic
The subtitle of this informative and colorful look at our national parks, from Zion to the Dry Tortugas, is "the experts' guide to the best experiences beyond the tourist trail." That's asking a lot, since tourists have been tramping through seemingly every inch of our national parks for decades. Here's one tip about taking photographs at Yosemite's famous Tunnel View: Instead of setting up with other shutterbugs at the parking lot, walk the 1.2-mile route to Inspiration Point, where it's less crowded.
"Mad for Ad Men" package in San Francisco
$219 plus tax, Galleria Park Hotel, San Francisco, www.galleriapark.com
The cult of the TV show "Mad Men" has prompted a boutique hotel in San Francisco, the Galleria Park, to put together a nightly package for travelers wanting to relive early-'60s glamour. It includes cocktails – "Dry and Dapper Don," "Bitter Betty" or "Ginger Joan" martini – a gift certificate for an "updo" at the Carmichael Salon & Color Bar and a $50 gift card to Cable Car Clothiers.
Chicago's Top 10 Peculiar Museums
As Lonely Planet reports, San Francisco isn't the only U.S. city with a glut of weird and wild museums. Here's a list of 10 free spots in Chicago:
1. Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows
2. International Museum of Surgical Science
3. Busy Beaver Button Museum
4. Leather Archives and Museum (Note: this is an "adult" S&M-themed museum, housed in a former synagogue)
5. Money Museum
6. Logan Hardware Vintage Arcade Museum
7. Newberry Library (rare, vintage papers, such as Thomas Paine's original pamphlets)
8. Oriental Museum (includes a 17-foot King Tut)
9. Chicago Sports Museum (including: inside Harry Carey's Tavern; display of Sammy Sosa's corked bat)
10. National Museum of Mexican Art
Maggie Trabucco (@maggietrabucco): "At this point I should probably just throw my hair in pigtails and fly as an unaccompanied minor from now on. #wrongterminal #travelfail."
Call The Bee's Sam McManis, (916) 321-1145 Follow him on Twitter @SamMcManis.