THE MUSEUM OF THE MOUNTAIN MAN in Pinedale, Wyo., will open for the summer season May 1 and close Oct. 1. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for children under age 12. The museum provides insight into the era of the fur trapper and the mountain man rendezvous. Six of the early 1800s rendezvous were held in the Green River Valley near present-day Pinedale. During the summer, living history demonstrations, lectures on exhibits and children's activities take place daily at the museum. Special exhibits this summer include "Artists of the American West," beginning July 5, with hand-colored lithographs and wood engravings by some of the West's premier artists including Karl Bodmer, George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, John J. Audubon and John Mix Stanley. Another exhibit, which will run from May 15-June 20 and might be of particular interest to residents of Utah whose relatives lived in Pocatello at the turn-of-the-century, features photo-graph-ic portraits of the townspeople and local American Indians taken by Danish immigrant Benedicte Wrensted, who operated a photo studio in the southern Idaho town for 17 years. She arrived in Pocatello in July 1894. The museum is a must see. Pinedale is the gateway to the Wind River Mountains. For information, call 307-367-4101 or send e-mail to ([email protected]).

- CONTINENTAL AIRLINES will begin nonstop daily service from Newark International to Ireland's Shannon International June 15. Continental has been labeled "the comeback kid" by Fortune Magazine. "It has raised its overall marks more than any other company in the 1990s." The outbound flight leaves Newark at 9:55 p.m. and arrives in Shannon at 9:25 a.m. Returning, it leaves Shannon at 11:40 a.m. and arrives in Newark at 1:55 p.m.

- CRITICS LOVE "RACE FOR ATLANTIS." The IMAX 3D motion simulator ride at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace takes you on a chariot race through the legendary kingdom. Admission is $9.50 for adults, $6.75 kids under 12, $8.50 adults over 55; and $8 for students. Here's what some members of the media thought about the new thriller ride.

- "A real breakthrough - the first ride to marry computer generated motion simulation with the immersive wide-screen splendor of an IMAX film. Even the gods would be impressed." - Time Magazine

- "Much more realistic than other motion simulators . . . so much so that you tend to forget it's only a ride." - Miami Herald

- "A completely unique sensory experience . . . you feel as if you're traveling as fast and as far as any roller coaster . . . the 3D effects seem destined to land in your lap." - Chicago Tribune

- "Awesome. The ride leaves mortals dodging, gaping and gasping, enveloping them in a sensory experience." - Associated Press

- "The most sophisticated thrill ride in Las Vegas . . . the immersion in the virtual space is total . . . if you can see only one of the several thrill rides in Las Vegas, this is it."

- THE WASHINGTON STATE GETAWAY GUIDE, spring-summer 1998, outlines loop tours including one through the North Cascades and one that goes through the only rain forest in the contiguous United States. The 32-page booklet is available free by calling 1-800-890-5493.

- DUTY-FREE SHOPPING ISN'T ALWAYS A BARGAIN. Duty-free shops at airports promise great bargains, but you can usually find lower prices in your hometown, reports the April issue of Travel Holiday magazine. You won't pay sales tax (the European average is 18 percent) or import fees, but you may be stuck with hefty excise taxes. Here are ways to choose a bargain at duty-free airport shops, according to the magazine.

- Focus on locally produced goods. Crabtree & Evelyn's marmalade costs about 30 percent less at London's Heathrow Airport than in the United States.

- Comparison shop in ordinary stores overseas. Some airports, such as Amsterdam's Schiphol, offer lowest-price guarantees in their own countries. But duty-free may be a bad idea in places such as Hong Kong where there's no sales tax and local stores offer better prices than airport stores.

- Beware of electrical equipment. You'll find great deals in Asia but prices in Europe are higher than in the United States. Warranties may be limited to the country where you made the purchase.

- MOTORCYCLE LOVERS won't want to miss "The Art of the Motorcycle" at New York City's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from June 26 through Sept. 12. It will feature 100 motorcycles from the late 1800s through the present that are representative of the most compelling moments in the evolution of motorcycle technology and design. Motorcycles on display will include one of the earliest, the Hildebrand & Wolfmuller made in Germany in 1894; the Flying Merkel, an American board track racer made in 1911; the BMW R32, a pivotal German motorcycle design dating back to 1923; and the Harley Davidson Sportster XL, 1957, the prototypical American cruising motorcycle. A fully illustrated, 600-page catalog will accompany the exhibition. The museum is open Sunday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. It's closed on Thursdays. It's located on Fifth Avenue at 89th Street. Other museums in the neighborhood include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection.

- THE CREME DE LA CREME. If you're into luxury and you have deep pockets, this paragraph will be meaningful to you. The Official Hotel Guide, a reference book used by travel agents to make hotel recommendations, has included three more hotels in its superior deluxe category. They are the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale (Arizona); the Fisher Island Club (Miami); and the Ritz-Carlton (St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands). Hotels in our neighborhood that are already on the coveted list include The Boulders Resort & Club, (Carefree, Ariz.); The Phoenician and The Scottsdale Princess, (both in Scottsdale, Ariz.); The Peninsula Beverly Hills and Hotel Bel-Air (both in Beverly Hills); the Mandarin-Oriental, The Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco (all in San Francisco); and The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.