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Going to Scotland
Information: www.visitscotland.com, www.islayinfo.com
WHERE TO STAY
Dene Guest House, 7 Eyre Pl., Edinburgh; 011-44-131-556-2700; www.deneguesthouse.com. Large, comfortable rooms in a quiet part of New Town. Rates from $38 per person.
The Balmoral, 1 Princes St., Edinburgh; 011-44-131-556-2414; www.thebalmoralhotel.com. Historic, centrally located luxury hotel. Rooms from $254.
The Islay Hotel, Charlotte Street, Port Ellen, Islay; 011-44-149-630-0109; www.theislayhotel.com. Newly rebuilt classic hotel with water views. Rooms from $173.
WHERE TO EAT
The Cambridge Bar, 20 Young St., Edinburgh; 011-44-131-226-2120; www.thecambridgebar.co.uk. Cozy gastropub serving craft Scottish ales and burgers. Entrees start at $10.
David Bann, 56-58 Saint Mary’s St., Edinburgh; 011-44-131-556-5888; www.davidbann.com. Sophisticated, creative and locally sourced vegetarian meals. Entrees start at $16.
WHAT TO DO
National Museum of Scotland, Chambers St., Edinburgh; 011-44-300-123-6789; www.nms.ac.uk. Offers several floors of Scottish history and other exhibits. Free.
The Writers’ Museum, Lady Stair’s Close, Edinburgh; 011-44-131-529-4901; www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/Venues/The-Writers-Museum. Personal effects of Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. Free.
Laphroaig distillery, Port Ellen, Islay; 011-44-149-630-2418; www.laphroaig.com. Store open for tastings; several tours are offered, from 15-minute dashes to four-hour picnic lunches. $7.83 to $123.
Lagavulin distillery, Port Ellen, Islay; 011-44-149-630-2749; www.discovering-distilleries.com. Complimentary whisky glass. Basic tour, $9.30.
Bruichladdich distillery, Bruichladdich, Islay; 011-44-149-685-0190; www.bruichladdich.com. Distillery store open for tastings, and there are tours for $7.80 several times a day.
Let me state my bias up front: Smoking should not be allowed in a hotel room. Ever. Unfortunately, at the time you stayed in your hotel, Florida state law permitted smoking. But a look at the Days Inn site also showed that the room type you booked also said your room would be “nonsmoking,” which led you to conclude you wouldn’t have to inhale trace amounts of carcinogens as you slept.
It’s mid-May. Memorial Day and the end of the school year are in sight. Suddenly, you’re thinking about a summer vacation. A little advance planning — and some insider tips — can save you a lot of money. Whether you’re booking airfare, a car rental or a hotel room, there are questions you should ask first.
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