You are hereSeptember/October 2009

September/October 2009

Fall is here, but you’ve still got plenty of time for aviation adventures before the chill of winter sets in! We’ve been scouring the nation for the best fall getaways, and we’ve got some in this issue. Take an American safari at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park where you can spend the night in a safari tent and wake to the sound of lions. Savor hearty fare and a museum in Wisconsin honoring a World War II “Ace of Aces.” Feast on the finest and freshest Maine lobster while also enjoying New England’s famous fall foliage. Enjoy special events and activities through the end of the year at historic Williamsburg, Va.

Ramona, California

The classic African safari is an amazing experience, but can also be an expensive one. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy shows you how to take an American safari at the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, where you will likely get closer to animals than you would in Africa. After landing at nearby Ramona Airport, you can head to the park to watch a cheetah sprint full-speed just a few feet in front of you, pet a rhino or a giraffe, watch exotic free-flying birds fly over your head, or observe a lion just inches away. Try the Flightline, a new zip line that lets you fly right over the animals like a bird, or ride a Segway through the park. Cap off your day by staying overnight in a safari tent, and you’ll likely hear the lions roar early the next morning. After your safari experience, you might visit nearby Julian, famous for its apple pies and home to several outstanding and unique inns. One has a fabulous four-course dinner, while the other has an observatory where you can see stars, planets, and galaxies through professional telescopes. Or, you can visit Palomar, home to the historic 200-inch Hale telescope, which is about 45 road miles from the airport. At the nearby Warner Springs Airport, you can also take a regular or aerobatic sail plane ride or lesson with some of America’s most experienced glider pilots.

Ogunquit, Maine

Ogunquit means “beautiful place by the sea” in the Native Abenaki language, and as authors Norma Davidoff and Richard H. Shulman explain, Ogunquit certainly lives up to its name, especially in fall. The famous New England foliage is in full flame, and the air is crisp and fresh. Stroll lovely, wide sandy beaches and watch kites catch the breezes. Admire the oft-photographed Nubble Lighthouse, a Maine icon. Try surfing or deep-sea fishing in the same waters a certain ex-President plies. Golf clubs, spas, hiking, galleries, and a museum are more options. Accommodations range from an ultra-luxurious beachfront resort to an intimate bed and breakfast inn near the ocean, or another inn closer to town. Lobster is king in Maine of course, and the local cuisine provides seafood for every taste and wallet, from the richest surf and turf to informal bistros with light lobster salads. Finish up with fresh Maine blueberry pot pie and you may just become a “Maine-iac” yourself!

Williamsburg, Virginia

This is the best time of year to visit the Colonial Capitol: summer crowds have gone home, the fresh air is pleasantly cool, and, of course, the maples are draped in their autumnal glory. In October, “General Washington” and his troops march through town to “lay siege” on nearby Yorktown. On Veteran’s Day, veterans march with the Williamsburg militia to the sound of fife and drum, culminating in a ceremony punctuated by musket and cannon fire. Author Renee Wright fills you in on many more holiday events taking place here leading up to Christmas in this, the birthplace of American Tradition. The living history sites of Jamestown and Yorktown Victory Center are considered life-list destinations by many Americans, much like visiting Washington, D.C. The sites, too, are made even more exciting by special events from October through the end of the year. The harbors will also have a number of light displays. History is everywhere, and museums abound. Pilots will certainly want to visit the Virginia Air and Space Center, and golfers already know that the area, with more than a dozen award-winning courses, was named one of the Top 25 Golf Destinations in the World by Golf Digest. Stay at the elegant Williamsburg Inn, built by the Rockefellers, who also restored many of the town’s historic buildings. It’s furnished with custom-made period furniture, and decorated lavishly for the holidays. The lobby, chandeliers, service, and restaurant are all up to Rockefeller standards. You can also stay in a colonial house or a hotel near the marina. Extend your historical vacation to mealtime where you can sample foods and recipes popular in the 18th century, and even try George Washington’s favorite menu item. Visit a vineyard, don’t miss the period taverns, and your Colonial Getaway is complete.

Superior, Wisconsin

Visiting the Lake Superior area? Fly in to Richard I. Bong Airport, just south of Duluth, and you can get some great home-style cooking as well as pay homage to America’s veterans. See an ultra-rare, restored P-38 Lightning aircraft at the Richard I. Bong Heritage Center. Author Patricia Strutz explains that Bong, a World War II ace, shot down more Japanese aircraft than any other pilot, and received the Congressional Medal of Honor by none other than General Douglas MacArthur. Bong flew 207 combat missions in the Lightning, and the aircraft on display is decorated as his was, with his wife Madge’s name and likeness on the front. You’ll find many other interesting items on display, but don’t forget the nearby Upper Deck restaurant. With their tasty menu, you’ll certainly leave both full and happy!

Avoiding Mid-Air Collisions

Think it can’t happen to you? Well, think again. Technical Editor Crista Worthy relates a near-miss experience over a remote Arizona desert, and shares a number of effective tips to help ensure you don’t swap metal with another plane someday. You’ll also learn about several different and affordable traffic devices that can warn you of nearby traffic, as well as the best ways to use them. This vital safety information could very well save your life someday.