Hawaii volcano park introduces new features

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Associated Press / May 4, 2005

VOLCANO, Hawaii -- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has revamped its visitors center to give the public a better overview of the park's environmental, historical, and cultural features.

Located near the park entrance, the center is typically the first stop for the 2.6 million people who visit Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii's most popular tourist attraction, each year.

One of the center's primary goals has always been to provide the lava flow updates. New exhibits at the center, which reopened in April, explain ecological and environmental features of Hawaii.

During the center's planning, a dozen Hawaiian elders met with park officials to ensure that indigenous culture was accurately presented. A portrait of volcano goddess Pele hangs near the entrance.

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What makes

the 'Hot List'?

A South Beach lounge located in a former pawn shop, a no-frills Texas joint that pays tribute to Johnny Cash, and an Arizona bar where you can watch James Bond movies are among nine US nightspots that made it onto Conde Nast Traveler's annual ''Hot List."

The list of the magazine's picks for the world's hottest new hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs appears in its May issue.

Among them are the Pawn Shop, 1222 N.E. Second Ave., Miami, which has maintained the 1938 facade of the building's original incarnation as a pawn shop. Inside, sip a cocktail while sitting in a vintage 1977 school bus or the fuselage of a Boeing 727.

Also recommended by the magazine is the Mean-Eyed Cat, 1621 W. Fifth St., Austin, Texas, a bar named for a song that Cash reputedly took 41 years to finish. The bathrooms are labeled ''June" and ''Johnny," and there's live music every Thursday on the ''If I Were a Carpenter" stage.

At the J Bar, in the James Hotel at 7353 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, Ariz., you can drink a ''James" cocktail -- raspberry vodka, elderflower cordial, and lime juice -- while watching Bond flicks projected on a wall.

Other US nightspots on the list are the Golden Gopher in Los Angeles, the Compound in Atlanta, the Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, Body English and Mix Lounge in Las Vegas, and Aer Lounge in Manhattan.

N.H. beckoning


CONCORD, N.H. -- If you're from Philadelphia, New Hampshire wants you.

The state has launched an advertising campaign aimed at luring tourists from the city 350 miles away because research shows that tourists from Pennsylvania spend far more in New Hampshire than those from New York and Boston, according to New Hampshire's Division of Travel and Tourism Development.

Pennsylvania tourists outspent New Yorkers by 20 percent and outspent Bostonians by more than 300 percent. The disparity is probably because, having traveled farther to get there, Philadelphians stayed longer and spent more on hotels and food.

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