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Cancer retreat

Cancer patients and their families are invited to spend April 29 to May 1 in Stowe, Vt., for the annual Stowe Weekend of Hope retreat.

Accommodations are free, with rooms donated by local hotel and lodge owners, but guests pay for their own meals.

Oncology specialists from around New England will present free lectures on cancer prevention and treatment. Other activities -- all free -- include support groups, concerts, events at places of worship, and workshops on subjects like healing, comfort and spiritual enlightenment.

Even if you're not using the donated lodging, you're welcome to attend any of the events.

There is a $50 registration fee to hold a room, but you get the money back when you check in, with an option to donate it to a cancer charity. For more information or to register, visit or call (800) 467-8693.

Visiting Jersey

From the Liberty Science Center to the conservatory gardens at Duke Farms in Hillsborough to the beautiful and beloved shore, New Jersey is inviting vacationers to check out all it has to offer.

The state has just released its 2005 travel guide, which includes sections on golfing and shopping, from antiquing to boutiques to outlet malls.

There is also a list of 101 fun things to do -- including some attractions that most visitors might not associate with New Jersey, like the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, where Western-style competitions are held May through September; and 11 locations around the state for skiing -- mostly cross-country but with a few lifts for downhill skiers.

The guide includes accommodations and restaurants along with attractions like lighthouses, museums, parks and wineries, and also suggests itineraries for overnight and three-day getaways.

You can get the guide from the New Jersey Office of Travel & Tourism by calling (800) VISIT-NJ or via the state's tourism Web site at

Visiting Long Island

"Another day. Another memory" is the new slogan the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching in a campaign to attract out-of-towners, the first such effort since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, officials said.

The island hopes to lure visitors to its beautiful beaches, from the enormous state park at Jones Beach -- which offers concerts, playgrounds and pools in addition to sand and surf -- to the Fire Island National Seashore.

Other attractions include Old Westbury Gardens, the Vanderbilt mansion, wineries, the celebrity glitter of the Hamptons, lighthouse tours, fishing expeditions, cruises, the scenic beauty of Montauk, and a popular waterpark, Splish Splash.

For a free guide to visiting Long Island, call (877) FUN-ON-LI or go to

City of literature

Edinburgh has been named the first international "City of Literature" by UNESCO, a new designation that will support festivals and other events designed to draw tourists and highlight local literary traditions and history.

The bid by the Scottish city was supported by Harry Potter creator J.K Rowling and Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin.

As well as Rowling and Rankin, who both live in Edinburgh, the campaign was supported by Edinburgh-born writer Dame Muriel Spark, whose works include "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," and Edinburgh resident Alexander McCall Smith, author of "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency."

The roster of famous writers with Scottish roots also include 18th century poet Robert Burns; Robert Louis Stevenson, author of immortal tales like "Treasure Island" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"; Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle; Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, and "The Wind in the Willows" author Kenneth Grahame.

For more information, visit

-- Associated Press