GREEN IS IN. Briggs & Stratton, the maker of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, issued its first annual list of America's best-dressed lawns. This may not rate high on your list of traveling pleasures. But the hearts of people who sport a green thumb may beat faster over the prospect of laying eyes on America's best-kept turfs.
- Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.- Epcot Center, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
- The Getty Center, Los Angeles
- The Greenbrier, the legendary resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
- Jacobs Field, home of the Cleveland Indians since 1994, Cleveland
- Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington, Mount Vernon, Va.
- Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass.
- SouthFork Ranch, Dallas
- THE TAOS, N.M., VACATION GUIDE, with descriptions and photos of many of the area's tourist attractions, is available free by calling 1-800-732-8267. Or consult the Web at (http://taos.org). The area has 80 art galleries, seven fascinating museums, historic sites and plenty of outdoor activities.
- B&Bs IN BRITAIN. Bed & Breakfast is a booking service for bed and breakfast inns in Great Britain. To make reservations, call 1-800-454-8704. The company has been in business for 16 years. Prices start at $30 per person per night in London and $25 per person per night outside London, including breakfast, taxes, service and booking fees. If you choose to stay in a B&B where the hosts have earned the company's "golden teapot" award, you will be assured of a warm welcome and comfortable surroundings. Properties that have received the award include Bosan-Granite, St Neot, Cornwall; Barn Cottage, Leigh, Surrey; Hardwick House, Stratford-On-Avon, Warwickshire; and Low Paradise Farm, Boltby, North Yorkshire.
- THE POLYNESIAN CULTURAL CENTER on the Hawaiian island of Oahu will host the World Fire Knife Dance Competition May 8-16. The finals will be May 18. Fire knife dancers wow audiences with routines using their back, feet, even mouth, to twirl and toss fire-lit knives. The PCC was established in 1963 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- LITERARY BRITAIN. If you have a literary bent, a free brochure from the British Tourist Authority can lead you to the homes of your favorite writers. Call 800-462-2748 and ask for copy of "Literary Britain." It maps out literary trails in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It will help you find the homes, some humble, some grand, where literary giants were born. It will guide through the landscapes that inspired some of the best writing the English language has seen.
- SEA WORLD MANATEES. Manatee Rescue San Diego is a 215,000-gallon fresh water tank for manatees and an underwater viewing gallery for guests. Sea World in Orlando has rescued more than 200 ill, injured or orphaned manatees since 1976. Seventy have been rehabilitated and released. Sea World in San Diego will now provide housing for manatees that are unsuitable for release.
- THE KEYS TO THE CITY, they aren't. But CityPass ticket booklets give you entry to six city attractions for half the combined regular admission. The passes are available in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York City. Purchase the passes at any of the participating attractions.
The New York pass is good at Empire State Building observatories, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Top of the World Trade Center, American Museum of Natural History and Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum. The pass costs $26.75, adults; and $21, kids (13-18).
The Boston pass gets you into the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, the New England Aquarium, the John Hancock Observatory, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Science. The cost: $26.50, adults; $13.50, kids, (12-17).
In San Francisco, the pass is good for admission into the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the M.H. de Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences and Steinhart Aquarium, the Exploratorium, the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and the San Francisco Zoo. It's also good for Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise. The cost: $29.95, adults; $17.95, kids (12-17).
In Seattle, it gets you into the Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, the Seattle Art Museum, the Boeing Museum of Flight, the Pacific Science Center and the Woodland Park Zoo. The cost: $23.75, adults; $15, kids (6-13).
- EUROPE'S BEST BETS. Travel Holiday's May issue lists this summer's best deals in five of Europe's capitals: Rome, Paris, Berlin, London and Istanbul. Hold your breath. Some of these prices may astound you.
Lunch under $25: The Terrace in Kensington; souvenir under $200: Wedgwood teapot purchased from John Lewis, which guarantees low prices; tea and tango: Waldorf's Palm Court, where the orchestra plays foxtrots and waltzes.
Dinner under $100: Pierre Gagnaire, three Michelin stars. If you sit at the bar (first-come, first-served seating), you can dine on the daily specials for less than $60; experience under $200: purchase a moveable feast picnic from Fauchon, the famous specialty food store; hotel under $200: Le Tourville, a 30-room townhouse near Les Invalides where rooms have a minimalist decor, 011-33-1-47-05-62-62. In August, rooms with a private terrace are $182, down from $232.
Dinner under $100: Kolja Kleeberg's four-course menu ($58) changes daily. The Teutonic-Continental dishes feature market-fresh ingredients; free experience: the Pergamon Museum, to which admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.
Istanbul: Dinner under $100: Tugra, where you'll dine beneath mile-high ceilings and enormous chandeliers; way to spend an afternoon: Ortakoy market, reached by taking the ferry north to an old neighborhood of coppersmiths and waterside cafes; free experience: blue mosque and beyond, where after gazing upward at the blue Iznik tiles on the mosque's dome, you walk around the corner to the Mosaic Museum and look down at the remains of a Byzantine palace.
Hotel under $400: The Eden, with damask-draped rooms and a rooftop restaurant, between the Spanish Steps and Via Veneto; $200 experience: contemplate Michelangelo's freshly restored frescoes after closing time. A well-connected concierge can arrange for a private tour; souvenir under $20: leather goods from artisans in the Ibiz workshop start at $15 for a wallet.