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Tuesday Travel Ticker: Alaska visits are up

April 03, 2012|By Chris Erskine | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

An estimated 1.56-million out-of-state visitors went to Alaska last summer, 56% aboard cruise ships, the state reports. The total visitation figure of 1,556,800 represents a 2% increase over summer 2010; however, it is still 9% below the 2007 historical peak of 1.71 million . . . . The Madison in Washington, D.C. is offering a special “commencement concierge” to answer any questions that may arise May 12-20, when most college graduations in the area will be held. For info, (800) 424-8577 or www.madisonhoteldc.com . . . . Spring-break travelers should beware of continuing traffic delays along Highway 1 this week about 25 miles south of Big Sur, as crews close the road to stabilize the hillsides. Call (888) 836-0866 or visit www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/projects/ for updates . . . . The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens has opened its spring display, "Dutch Garden," featuring a 26-foot windmill, 11-foot carousel and a floral interpretation of Claude Monet's “Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville.” Free and open through May 13 . . . . One of the biggest rockabilly parties in the world returns to Las Vegas for four days starting Thursday at the Orleans Hotel & Casino . . . . The Beach Boys' 50th anniversary tour stops at the Red Rock Casino Amphitheatre  in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 27 . . . . San Diego’s Hotel Solamar,  near Petco Park, is offering a “Play Ball!” baseball package through October. Rates start at $149 a night; (877) 230-0300  . . . .  For all things Irish, check out IrishCentral.com, which just passed 1 million visitors per month….NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing/tourism organization, will join with start-up firm CityMaps to launch a free smartphone app that allows users to navigate New York City using easy-to-recognize names and logos . . . . Travel quote of the day: “Paris is always a good idea.” (Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina”)

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