What's New in the West: September 2013

Take a tour of California's cheese farms, pan for gold in Girdwood, Alaska, or check out new exhibits at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture in Missoula.

a moon jellyfish, image

The moon jellyfish, or Aurelia aurita, is translucent and about 10-16 inches in diameter.

  • Locomotives depart regularly from the Nevada Northern Railway Museum’s historic East Ely Depot for 90-minute tours. In October, special Ghost Train riders include zombies and ghouls. AAA members get a 15 percent discount. nnry.com.
  • Get the skinny on cheese tastings and tours with the California Cheese Trail iPhone app. cheesetrail.org.
  • An Inspired Gift: The Rex May Collection of Mexican Popular Art, in San Francisco at the Mexican Museum through Mar. 16, features 400 figurines, paintings, and masks. mexicanmuseum.org.
  • In Centerville, Utah, the Whitaker Home Museum has reopened after updates to structures including the stone house of early settler Thomas Whitaker. centervilleut.net.
  • Becoming Los Angeles at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County delves into the pre-Spanish era, the ranchos, Hollywood’s growth (see Charlie Chaplin’s tramp outfit, above), water conflicts, Disney, and more. nhm.org.
  • Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes surveys 150 years of dishes at spots from crab shacks to drive-ins. $20. historypress.net.
  • Off-road or snowmobile the Iditarod Trail with Gold Mine Safari Tours’ Scenic Mountain Gold Mine Tour in Girdwood, Alaska, then disembark at an active mine for a walking tour and a chance to pan for gold. aleyeskatours.com.
  • The new book Wyoming’s Outlaw Trail details the history, folklore, and geography of some infamous towns and hideouts. $22. arcadiapublishing.com.
  • Explore Jackson Hole and Teton County, Wyo., with TravelStorysGPS, a free iPhone and iPad app. It tracks your drive, offering narration on local history, scenery, and wildlife. travelstorysgps.com.
  • Ceramics of the Islamic World—300 vessels and tiles spanning centuries and a swath of the globe from Iran to Morocco—runs through Oct. 27 at the Portland Art Museum. pam.org.
  • Visit the Montana Museum of Art & Culture in Missoula to view Figurative Modernists, with works by Picasso and others. Oct. 3–Feb. 8. umt.edu/montanamuseum.
  • Sharks 3D at the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s new 3-D digital theater in Astoria, Ore., runs through Dec. 31. AAA members get $1 off museum admission. crmm.org.
  • The End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon City, Ore., has reopened and now offers interactive kiosks and activities such as butter making. historicoregoncity.org.
  • The Willamette Valley Wineries Association’s streamlined website features detailed destination pages, upcoming events, and info on nearby lodgings. willamettewines.com.
  • Idaho’s Zoo Boise now has an exhibit of moon jellyfish and African cichlid fish—its first-ever aquarium display. zooboise.org.
  • A new piece of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opens Sept. 14, routing bikes and hikers off busy I-84. columbiariverhighway.com.

Photography by Vladimir Wrangel

This article was first published in September 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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