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New England Sampler: Maine to Rhode Island

April 11, 1993|BETTY MARTIN

A NEW ENGLAND SAMPLER (Thomas Travelogs, 80 minutes, 1992).

This video gives viewers a tour of major attractions in the six New England states. The film quality and narration are superb.

Beginning in Massachusetts, viewers follow the course of early American history--from the Pilgrims' landings at Provincetown and Plymouth to the American Revolution.

A visit to Rhode Island includes the story of Roger Williams, his quest for religious freedom and the founding of the town of Providence. Also toured are Portsmouth and the elegant beach estates at Newport.

Highlights of Connecticut include Dinosaur State Park in Wethersfield, Yale University in New Haven and historic sites in Windsor, Hartford and the reconstructed museum town of Mystic Seaport.

In Vermont, scenes include post-card-pretty covered bridges, fall foliage, church spires and the processing of maple syrup while visiting towns such as Middlebury, Randolph, Windsor and the Killington ski area.

The visit to New Hampshire concentrates on the White Mountains area and the scenic and recreational sites of Mt. Washington and Bretton Woods.

The featured sites in Maine are the Rangeley Lakes resort area, a steam-car rally at Kingfield (the birthplace of the Stanley brothers, who developed the Stanley Steamer), and Maine's rugged coast, including Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Rockport and Camden, with scenes of the windjammer fleet cruising Penobscot Bay.

Tapes are available from Wish You Were Here Productions, 1455 Royal Blvd., Glendale 91207, (818) 243-7043. Price: $29.95 plus $3 for shipping.

TOURING LONDON, PARIS, ROME (Questar Video Inc., 60 minutes, 1992).

There's not much that's new or unusual in these whirlwind tours, but at least they are well-edited reviews of three of Europe's great cities, all on one tape.

In each city segment, viewers get a smattering of history, illustrated with early drawings and relevant art works. A tour of city highlights includes museums, palaces, parks and other landmarks, plus visits to restaurants, elegant shops, markets and hotels, with side trips to some nearby attractions.

After the usual tourist sites in London, side trips take in Blenheim Palace, Stratford-on-Avon, Windsor Castle (before the November, 1992 fire), Stonehenge and Bath.

In Paris, the format is much the same, with scenes of landmarks, museums, fashion houses and flea markets, plus the elegant food shop of Fauchon, bakeries and outdoor cafes. Side trips include horse racing at Longchamps, the grandeur of the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens, and the palace at Versailles.

The Rome segment visits ruins, palazzos and piazzas, upscale shops and flea markets, the Vatican, coffee bars, and pasta and gelati cafes.

Side trips include the fishing village of San Felice Circeo, Villa d'Este and Hadrian's Villa.

Tapes are available from Questar Video Inc., P.O. Box 11345, Chicago, Ill. 60611, (800) 544-8422. Price: $29.95.

RESORT GUIDE OF ST. MAARTEN (West Wind Productions, 30 minutes, 1991).

A visit to St. Maarten/St. Martin offers an unusual opportunity for visitors to enjoy two cultures for the price of one. For on this 37-square-mile Caribbean island, the French and Dutch live in harmony, retaining their individual cultural characteristics but sharing the bounty of tourism. There are no border restrictions and visitors travel back and forth with no delays.

The video visits both capitals--the busy port city of Philipsburg on the Dutch side, and Marigot on the more bucolic French side. Viewers are shown the shopping areas and some restaurants in both cities, and in Philipsburg you get a brief look at casino action.

Also visited are the village of Grand Case, Dawn Beach on Oyster Pond, the Old Salt Pond and the ruins of several old forts. A tour of the island includes many of the lovely beaches and bays that are the major tourist attractions.

The video, aimed primarily at the travel planner, offers an extensive film guide to 16 hotels, showing the interiors, exteriors and amenities. The hotels were reportedly selected on merit, not financial consideration, and range from luxury hotels and resorts to modest inns and budget guest houses.

There are also travel tips on island maps, shopping, entrance requirements, duty regulations, currency and weather.

West Wind also offers resort guides on "St. Thomas and St. John" and "Antigua." All are available from West Wind Productions, P.O. Box 57646, Sherman Oaks 91413, (818) 981-0437. Price: $24.95.

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