Getting the flavor of...
A new Nixon library
A yearlong makeover has transformed Richard Nixon’s presidential library “from staid and stodgy to hip and incisive,” said Chris Haire in the Orange County, Calif., Register. The library, which opened in 1990, has added 70 new exhibits, many of them interactive, and the warts-andall portrait they paint of the 37th president is now impressively complete. The National Archives has had a hand in running the Yorba Linda, Calif., site since 2007, and helped direct the ambitious refurbishment. The presentation of Watergate hasn’t changed much, but the scandal is confronted directly, and visitors get to hear what Pat Nixon said as she and her husband were helicoptered away from the White House after his 1974 resignation. Other you-are-there moments conjure the 1969 moon landing, the fall of Saigon, and Nixon’s trip to China. In the end, the exhibits’ protagonist appropriately emerges as “one of the most complex leaders in American history.”
Molokai’s wild corners
Hawaii’s fifth-largest island has always been “proudly resistant to change,” said Meghan Miner in LATimes.com. Residents of Molokai, home to just one hotel, have long rejected large-scale tourism. But if you can adjust to the Friendly Island’s slow-paced lifestyle, you might find yourself so relaxed you’ll be “joining the locals as they wave at passersby.” At the Big Wind Kite Factory, I enjoyed watching craftsmen sew colorful kites, including a wind sock shaped like Hawaii’s state fish. Outdoors, because much of the island is set aside in forest reserves, “most of Molokai’s rewards must be earned.” When my rental car could go no farther, I walked the windswept northern coast to see the sacred sand dunes at the Mo’omomi Preserve. On my final day, I joined a group hike into the Halawa Valley jungle, where we forded a river to reach gushing falls and hidden temples. Forget the challenges of my visit: “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Hotel of the week
Palacio de Sal
You’ve heard of ice hotels; this remote luxury hotel “has taken the concept one step further,” said Steve Larese in NationalGeographic.com. Palacio de Sal, which sits on the edge of the world’s largest salt flat, is made almost entirely of salt. The armchairs and bed frames in the “simple but stylish” rooms are built from salt blocks, but wood floors and “plush” bedding “make for a comfortable stay.” Guests can feast on local llama, lamb, or salt chicken (the house specialty) in a dining room with panoramic windows. Outside, stars glitter above the flat’s “Zen-like” expanse. palaciodesal.com.bo; doubles from $160
Last-minute travel deals
A resort located on a private British Virgin Island is celebrating the region’s annual November Caribbean food festival by offering a five-night package from $2,300. The offer, from Peter Island Resort, includes a cocktail class. Call (800) 346-4451
Practice your swing
The Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Virginia’s wine country is offering 25 percent off three-day packages through November. Doubles at the golf resort start at $127 a night with the package, which includes access to the driving range.
Autumn in Beaver Creek
Through Nov. 18, enjoy a fourth night free when you stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek in Colorado. Soak in one of several heated mineral pools after a mountain hike. With the discount, a room with a king bed costs $150 a night.