where to go now
Nerd appeal in northern Minnesota
At Soudan Underground Mine State Park, visitors get a physics lesson far below the Earth's surface. No wonder this gem is tops on a list of "The 25 best nerd road trips" in the August issue of Popular Science. "The 19th-century iron mine in the boreal forests of Minnesota has been repurposed as one of the deepest physics experiments in North America," the magazine says. A neutrino detector looks for changes in subatomic particles emitted 460 miles away. Definitely worth the trip for geeks — and everyone else (www.dnr.state.mn.us/soudan).
deal of the week
Universal Orlando offers dining plan bonus
Reserve a package with Universal Orlando and receive two free days of the Universal Dining Plan. With the deal, book at least four nights at a Universal Partner Hotel and receive a three-day base ticket (one theme park per day), the free meal plan, early park admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (an hour before the park opens) and, between Aug. 15-Sept. 2, early admission to Transformers: The Ride-3D. Prices vary. Book by Aug. 29; travel Aug. 15-Nov. 24 and Dec. 2-19. Info: 1-877-801-9720; www.universalorlando.com.