What's New in the West: November 2006

Get the lowdown on new passport requirements, Jack London’s Sonoma Valley cottage, a new kids’ book from the Exploratorium, and a free lift ticket in Park City.

  • Update: Beginning in January 2007, if you are traveling by air (not sea or land) between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central or South America, the Caribbean, or Bermuda, you will need a passport. Visit www.travel.state.gov/passport.
  • At Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen, Calif., you can now visit the cottage where London put pencil to paper in his final years. (707) 938-5216, www.parks.ca.gov.
  • Make lenses from gelatin. Break secret codes. The brain-tickling fun of San Francisco's Exploratorium comes home to your kids with Exploratopia, a new book chock-full of ideas for investigating the beach, the bathroom, even your schnoz. $29.99, www.exploratoriumstore.com.
  • Fly to Salt Lake City and swap your boarding pass for a free same-day lift ticket at any ski resort in nearby Park City, Utah. Register at Quick Start, www.parkcityinfo.com .Valid from resorts' opening days to December 24. (800) 453-1360.
  • The new Ace Hotel, opening its doors in downtown Portland in mid-January, is accepting reservations now. The renovated 1911 building features claw-foot tubs and vintage furniture set in a sleek black-and-white design scheme. $85–$220. (503) 228-2277, www.acehotel.com.
  • Celebrate the holidays German style in the Little Bavaria of Leavenworth, Wash., at the Christmas Lighting Festival. Weekends, December 2 to 17. (509) 548-5807, www.leavenworth.org.
  • Give your back a break from your day pack with the rolling Züca Sport. This bag features heavy-duty fabric in eye-popping colors, wheels with flashing lights, and an aluminum frame sturdy enough to sit on. $120–$140 at www.zuca.com.
  • In business for its first winter season, the Lodge at Government Camp offers six luxury rentals for skiers on Mount Hood. From $199. (800) 547-1406, www.thelodgeatgovernmentcamp.com.
  • You can glide on skates over a frozen dredge pond amid snowcapped hills at Bannack State Park in Dillon, Mont., December 26 to March. (406) 834-3413, www.bannack.org.
  • Image and Imagination highlights controversial photographer Edward Curtis's romanticized portrayals of American Indians living on the Columbia River plateau in the early 1900s. Through January 28, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, Wash. (509) 456-3931, www.northwestmuseum.org.

Illustration by Michael Klein

This article was first published in November 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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