Hobnob with luminaries at Journey to the Stars, a new all-digital planetarium show at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences through fall 2010. calacademy.org.
Seeking a stocking stuffer? Try The California Missions, a 276-page book rich with amazing factoids, color photos, period illustrations, and paintings. $40. getty.edu.
Las Vegas's CityCenter at MGM Mirage, an 18-millionsquare-foot vertical city, opens December 16, featuring boutique hotels, a retail district, and art by Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Henry Moore, and others. citycenter.com.
Some 600 color maps fill the new Historical Atlas of the American West. Author Derek Hayes shows knowledge expanding map by map: Native pueblos, early trails, railways, highways, parks, and cities. $40. ucpress.edu.
A petulant French emperor invades North America on October 11 when Treasures of Napoléon opens at the Muzeo in Anaheim, Calif. On display are more than 300 artifacts, including a hat the ruler wore in 1809. muzeo.org.
Love riding the rails? Pick up the revised Tourist Trains Guidebook, 336 pages of color photos, listings, and reviews of locomotive museums and excursion trains. $20. AAA.com/barnesandnoble.
Opening on Thanksgiving Day in Sun Valley, Idaho, the River Run–Roundhouse Gondola hauls 56 cars carrying eight riders each some 2,000 feet up the side of Bald Mountain. sunvalley.com.
Travelers visiting Portland by train can now reach downtown's hotels on the Green Line, a new MAX light-rail link between Amtrak's Union Station and Portland State University. trimet.org.
Guests at Hotel 43 in Boise receive a complimentary Arts Passport that guarantees free admission to Boise Art Museum and discounts to some performances including Opera Idaho. hotel43.com.
Restorations are winding up on the 1888 Atlas Theatre in Cheyenne, Wyo., a 2009 winner of Hampton Hotels' Save-A-Landmark program. The resident Cheyenne Little Theatre Players will present Many Moons(a play for children), November 18–22, and It's a Wonderful Life Radio Drama, December 18–20. cheyennelittletheatre.org.
Fairbanks International Airport's new terminal treats travelers to built-in artworks, including David Ruth's Tanana, a tall, 13-panel lattice of glass and steel that represents the frozen Yukon River near a remote Alaskan village. dot.state.ak.us/faiiap.
Avid skiers who purchase the Bigger Sky Card from Montana's Big Sky Resort by November 25 get $20 off daily lift fees in peak season and 46 free days at off-peak times. $399. bigskyresort.com.
This article was first published in November 2009. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.