Feature

Getting the flavor of ... The Midwest’s ‘rugged beauty’

A 20-some-mile stretch along the American Discovery Trail in Illinois is one of “myth-bustingly rugged beauty.”

The Midwest’s ‘rugged beauty’Southern Illinois’ River-to-River Trail “defies preconceptions” that hikers may have of the Midwest as a “featureless lowland,” said Backpacker. While most of the region was “scoured by glaciers” eons ago, this 20-some-mile stretch of the American Discovery Trail was spared. No matter the season, the hike is one of “myth-bustingly rugged beauty.” The trail weaves through the “high, castellated bluffs” that overlook Illinois’ southern prairie and past “swirling brown and red” boulders with names like Noah’s Ark. As the trek continues, hikers slip beneath overhangs and slither through narrow canyons. Ten miles in, the course squeezes into One Horse Gap, a tiny crack in the bedrock that leads to a 50-foot-tall waterfall. The trail finally descends the 100-foot walls of Lusk Creek Canyon into Indian Kitchen, a large alcove believed to be an ancient Shawnee Indian cooking area. Source: Rivertorivertrail.com

Las Vegas’ shiny new CityCenterLas Vegas’ CityCenter signals the “dawning of a sophisticated Sun City,” said Jay Jones in the Los Angeles Times. The enormous complex of hotels, private residences, and super-chic boutiques was conceived to rebrand Sin City. Forsaking themed hotels and glitzy neon lights for parks and plazas, the “city within a city” combines size with flash. It cost $8.5 billion, and the list of creative talent behind CityCenter “reads like a who’s who from the worlds of architecture, design, fashion, and food.” Daniel Libeskind designed Crystals, a shopping district featuring boutiques from Cavalli and Herrera. Veer Towers, the sole buildings that are exclusively residential, were conceived by Helmut Jahn to lean in opposite directions, recalling their “distant Italian cousin in Pisa.” Jean-Georges Vongerichten has opened a restaurant, and Eva Longoria Parker has brought in a branch of her Hollywood eatery, Beso.Contact: Citycenter.com

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