291 Chapters
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Crater Lake National Park

Michelin Michelin ePub

80mi northeast of Medford on Rte. 62. Open daily year-round. $10/vehicle. t 541-594-3000. www.nps.gov/crla. Steel Visitor Center open late Apr–early Nov daily 9am–5pm; rest of the year daily 10am–4pm; closed Dec 25. Rim Visitor Center open late May–late Sept 9:30am–5pm.

Crater Lake National Park
©Chrisboswell/Dreamstime.com

Crater Lake (elevation 1,932ft) is the world's deepest volcanic lake. The sapphire-blue lake rests in the basin of a collapsed volcano, surrounded by steep-walled cliffs. Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone, rises at its west end.

Ringed by mountains tinged with snow much of the year, the 6mi diameter lake attracts hikers and sightseers from around the world. The lake—so renowned for its clarity that its water has set new standards for water purity—was formed when the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago created a bowl-shaped caldera that filled with snowmelt.

One of the most scenic drives in the world, 33mi loop Crater Rim Driveaaa has more than 20 overlooks, but there are ample other attractions here as well, including hikes through mid-elevation pine forests, and the famed boat touraa to Wizard Island.

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Medium 9781907099526

Nature

Michelin Michelin ePub

Nature

TOPOGRAPHY

France has a fortunate location in the European continent – not detached from it like the British Isles, nor projecting away like Iberia or Greece, nor set deep in its interior like the countries of Central Europe, yet in touch with the resources and the life of the whole of Western Europe and the seas around it, Atlantic, Channel, Mediterranean and North Sea.

There are four main river systems: in the east is the valley of the Rhône, (813km/505mi), which together with its tributary the Saône (480km/298mi) links the Paris basin with the Mediterranean; in the north, the Seine (776km/482mi) drains into the English Channel; in the west, the longest of all, the Loire (1010km/630mi), rises in central France and flows into the Atlantic, as does its southern cousin the Garonne (575km/357mi) which rises in the Pyrénées and drains into the Gironde estuary. Within this unified and robust framework there flourishes a geographical identity which is unmistakably French yet of an unrivalled local richness and variety.

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Medium 9781907099427

Neighborhoods

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MUST SEE

Financial District

The district occupies the southern tip of Manhattan below Vesey and Fulton Sts. There is a visitor information center at Federal Hall National Memorial, 26 Wall St. 4 or 5 train to Fulton St. See Lower Manhattan map.

Considered by some the financial center of the world, the neighborhood, anchored by Wall Streetaa, teems by day with traders, brokers, office workers and tourists. Imposing banking buildings loom overhead, including the granddaddy of them all, the Federal Reserve Bank of New Yorkaa (33 Liberty St.; 212-720-6130), with its excellent History of Money exhibit. Signs of recovery from the 2001 terrorist attack are apparent everywhere, and rebuilding continues at the World Trade Center Siteaa (see Historic Sites).

Chinatownaa

The heart of the district is bounded by Canal, Worth & Baxter Sts. and the Bowery. A staffed visitor information booth (open year-round daily 10am–6pm, holidays 10am–3pm) is located in the triangle formed by Canal, Walker & Baxter Sts. www.explorechinatown.com. N, Q, R, 6, J or Z train to Canal St. See Chinatown map.

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Museums

Michelin Michelin ePub

For museums in boroughs outside Manhattan, see Best of the Bor oughs.

American Museum of Natural Historyaaa

Central Park West between 77th & 81st Sts. 212-769-5100. www.amnh.org. Open year-round daily 10am–5.45pm. $16 (includes all exhibits); $24 includes exhibits and space show. Closed Thanksgiving Day & Dec 25. B, C train to 81st St.; 1 train to 79th St.

If you think of natural history museums as places with case after case of beetles pinned onto cork board, this place will make you think again. A famed research facility, the AMNH is working hard to make the natural world as fascinating to today’s young people as it was to those who never experienced television, air travel or the Internet. The cornerstone of the present facility was laid in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Theodore Roosevelt, an ardent naturalist, contributed a bat, a turtle, four bird eggs, 12 mice and the skull of a red squirrel. Today, only a small portion of the museum’s more than 30 million artifacts and specimens, gathered from more than 1,000 globe-trotting expeditions, are on view at any given time. The following exhibits, several of which were recipients of major renovations in recent years, are by far the most compelling you’ll find here.

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Historical Sites

Michelin Michelin ePub

Open year-round daily. Visitor center at 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy., Toutle; t 360-274-0962; www.parks.wa.gov/stewardship/mountsthelens; open May–mid-Sept daily 9am–5pm, rest of the year 4pm; closed major holidays. t 360-449-7800. www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens. $5.

One of the world’s most famous volcanoes, Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980 with the intensity of 500 atomic bombs, destroying its northern flank and blasting away more than 1,300ft of elevation. In 1982 the US Congress declared Mount St. Helens a National Volcanic Monument. Today the eviscerated mountain, surrounded by a 172sq-mi preserve, is a leading visitor attraction.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
©MountStHelens.com

Practical Information

When to Go

July is the best time to see flower-filled alpine meadows at Mt. Rainier, but any summer day through September offers the best opportunity for clear weather and great views at both Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Summertime frequently brings fog to the Washington coast, so the best times to visit are the shoulder seasons or winter-storm season.

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