Getting the flavor of...
The Florida Keys, by bike
For drivers, it’s one of America’s most epic road trips, said Lori Rackl in the Chicago Tribune. But I recently bicycled all 100-plus miles of roadway that link the Florida Keys, and the experience “spanned the spectrum from goose bumps–inducing euphoria to hair-raising fear.” Some stretches of U.S. Highway 1 simply push bikes too close to traffic. But at least the shoulders have been widened in recent years, and more and more cyclists are taking advantage. In December, my husband and I spent two days covering the full distance from Key Largo to Key West. Logging the miles at a leisurely pace, we stopped at Robbie’s Marina to feed massive tarpon by hand, poked around the beaches of Bahia Honda State Park, and ate a crispy conch fritter lunch at No Name Pub on Big Pine Key. Pelicans soared overhead while we cruised the Long Key Viaduct. “Much of the ride isn’t particularly scenic—until it is. Then it’s a showstopper.”
Salt Lake City for skiers
“It’s not often you can attend an NBA game after a day on the slopes,” said William Triplett in The Washington Post. Like most skiers, I enjoy escaping from civilization to a cozy mountain lodge. But I love to explore unfamiliar cities, too, and Utah’s capital is the rare city surrounded by major ski resorts. On a three-day visit, I skied four of them—Brighton, Solitude, Alta, and Snowbird— then dined out each evening while taking in the sights. Since Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, downtown has been heating up with hip restaurants, galleries, and boutiques. I loved Eborn Books, an immense warehouse of new, used, and rare titles. I didn’t catch a show at the Eccles Theater, but I was dazzled by the sight of the new 2,500-seat complex. I spent my last day cutting through powder at Alta, my favorite of the four resorts. After a short return drive, I walked into a downtown arena “just as the Utah Jazz were about to take on the Phoenix Suns.”