Las Vegas, block by block
Honey, they shrunk the Strip -- and cleaned it up too. Built from 2 million Lego bricks, Miniland Las Vegas will open March 29 at Legoland theme park in Carlsbad, Calif. Besides iconic casinos along Sin City's main drag, downsized from 4 miles to 102 feet, you'll see working models of the Mirage's volcano, Treasure Island's pirate-ship battles and the Big Shot ride at Stratosphere Tower. There's a wedding chapel but no strip clubs. "Anything that is not family friendly is left out," said spokeswoman Kelly Schwartz. (760) 918-5346, www.legoland.com.
-- Jane Engle
You can visit 45 museums in France or scoot to New Orleans to see an exclusive exhibition of works from French museums. "Femme, Femme, Femme" opens March 4 at the New Orleans Museum of Art and depicts the evolving role of women in works by Daumier, Renoir, Picasso and others. French cultural officials finessed the show, which includes Pablo Picasso's "The Bathers, Summer" (1918), above, to help the city out of its post-Katrina slump. It continues through June 3. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children 3 to 17. Call (504) 658-4100 or go to www.noma.org.
-- Mary E. Forgione
Super-light Vistana wrap-around sunglasses have a split personality: They look stylish worn by themselves but are designed to fit over prescription glasses. They're nothing like Dad's clip-ons, though -- eyewear seems to disappear beneath their dark, cocoon-like frames. The 1-ounce unisex glasses, available from Magellan's Travel Supplies, cost $49.85 and come in four sizes, from small to extra-large. They have polarized lenses that offer protection from UVA and UVB rays and glare. Order Vistana OveRx Sunglasses at (800) 962-4943 or at www.magellans.com.
-- R.J. McClure
Sit up and beg
Dogs that tire of directives like "come" and "sit" may find relief at the Kahala Hotel & Resort in Honolulu. With 345 rooms and suites that are all open to dogs, the hotel recently started a Pampered Paws program that includes a list of commands for their pooches -- in Hawaiian: \o7olelo \f7(speak), \o7hele mai\f7 (come) and \o7naue lima \f7(shake hands). Other perks: a doggy bed and bowl. Few guests bring dogs (Liz Taylor does, a hotel spokeswoman says), likely due to strict but not insurmountable quarantine rules. (Go to www.hawaiiag.org.) Rooms are $405-$820; suites, $1,600-$4,000. Call (808) 739-8888, or go to www.kahalaresort.com.
Orbitz talks deals
Attention, deal hunters: Here's a new tool for your bargain hunting bag. In mid-March, Orbitz will be the first major online travel agency to launch a desktop application that alerts travelers to special deals and promotions. "We want to use this as a funnel for our really good deals," said Will Misloski, Orbitz e-marketing director. Similar to Ding, the discount program from Southwest Airlines, Orbitz Insider Deals will include not only airfare deals but also air-and-hotel package deals. Users will have access to exclusive deals, coupons and insider information before they go live on Orbitz.com. They can customize the site by selecting destinations for daily weather updates and directly access tools such as news and OrbitzGames.
-- James Gilden