GRAND CANYON RAILWAY - Through Sept. 30, the train, which runs 65 miles between Williams, Ariz., and the Grand Canyon, will be pulled by 75-year-old steam engine No. 4960. The steam engine replaces the vintage diesel locomotive that pulls the train in the winter. The train leaves daily from the 1908 Williams Depot and makes a 21/4-hour trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. You may choose from five classes of service ranging from coach class, authentically restored 1923 Harriman coaches, to deluxe observation class, which has a panoramic vista from an upper-level, glass enclosed viewing area. Strolling musicians and western characters entertain passengers. Adult round-trip tickets are $49.50 plus tax plus the entrance fee into the park. Children 16 and under ride for $19.50 plus tax. Upgrades to club, first class, deluxe observation class and the luxury parlor class are, respectively, $14.50, $49.50, $64.50 and $64.50 round trip per person. One-way options and overnights at the canyon are available. The train leaves Williams at 9:30 a.m. and arrives at Grand Canyon at 11:45 a.m. It leaves Grand Canyon at 3:15 p.m. and arrives at Williams at 5:30 p.m. For information, call 1-800-843-8724.
- PARIS ON FOOT. A company called Paris A Pied can help you discover the many charms of the French capital. The organization offers three-hour walking tours that give you a glimpse of the city's back streets that you won't get from a tour bus. One of the itineraries takes you to the Marais, the city's oldest district that has a variety of museums housed in grand chateaux. They include the Musee Picasso, the Musee Carnavalet (it covers the history of the city since Roman times) and the Maison de Victor Hugo, his 17th century townhouse that is now a museum. The other three-hour tours include The Heart of Old Paris, The Latin Quarter and The Passages. The cost per person is $45. Tour group sizes are small, rarely exceeding six people. To request a free brochure, call 800-594-9535.
- KIDS UNDER 12 STAY FREE AT Best Western International hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In addition, a program called "Best Western Summer Adventures" gives families who stay at a Best Western property participating in the "Fun Plan" (make Fun Plan reservations by calling 1-800-528-1234) a collector's cup featuring members of DC Comics Justice League of America, a FujiFilm 15-exposure, single-use DC Comics Super Hero camera and a collectible DC Comics Super Hero five-minute prepaid phone card from AT&T. The families also receive a book with more than $200 worth of value added coupons.
- BEST PLACES FOR A PATRIOTIC HOLIDAY. According to the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), here are the top 10 spots to spend the July 4th holiday:
1. Independence Hall, Philadelphia
2. Washington, D.C., with its myriad monuments and historic attractions
3. Cruising past the Statue of Liberty and visiting Ellis Island
4. Walking the Freedom Trail in Boston
5. Colonial Williamsburg, Va.
6. Lexington and Concord battlefields, Mass.
7. Gettysburg battlefield,Va.,
8. Jamestown, Va.
9. USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu
10. Mount Vernon, Va., home of George Washington
The close-but-no-cigar spots include Plymouth Rock, Mass.; Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which served as the inspiration for "The Star Spangled Banner"; Mount Rushmore, S.D.; and the summit of Pike's Peak, where Katherine Lee Bates was inspired to write "America the Beautiful."
- SUMMER TRAVEL DISCOUNTS. Find out about these travel deals by visiting Tom Parson's Best Fares site on the Web. The address is (www.bestfares.com).
1. American Airlines is offering a $99 companion certificate valid in 48 states good for travel through Dec. 31, 1998.
2. Delta is offering a $99 companion certificate valid for travel through Dec. 31, 1998.
3. Continental is offering a $99 travel certificate valid for travel through June 1999.
4. TWA, Northwest, Continental and Delta are offering $100 travel certificates for discounts even off sales fares.
- A REMINDER: As we mentioned in the regional travel calendar last month, the re-enactment of Custer's Last Stand will be June 26-June 28 near Hardin, Mont. Purchase tickets through MagicTix, 800-366-8538. For information, visit the Web at (www.mcn.net/(tilde)custerfight), or call 406-665-3577.