Q. We're traveling to Paris in September. Is there a good English-language source that highlights what is going on in the city for a given week?
For info in English, there's Paris Update ( www.paris-update.com/fr), an independent weekly Web magazine with listings and reviews, and Time Out Paris ( www.timeout.com/paris), with a handy “What's On in Paris” section.
Pittsburgh, refuge worth visiting on way to Michigan
Q. My wife and I will be traveling to the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan via the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes and I-75. Are there any interesting short stops along the way?
Never miss a local story.
Here's one terrific stop: Pittsburgh, about a third of the way to the U.P. Lots of quick hits, from world-class museums to the country's largest aviary.
Ride the Monongahela Incline (known locally as the Mon) up Mount Washington. For $2 each way, the oldest and steepest incline in the country takes you up 635 feet at a 35-degree angle, with views of downtown Pittsburgh at the top.
Then have lunch, and stock up on ethnic food to take home, in the Strip District, on Penn Avenue between 11th and 22nd streets. Markets there offer everything from fresh biscotti to pulled pork sandwiches.
Two local faves: De Luca's, with classic diner fare, and Primanti Bros., which packs the coleslaw and fries inside the sandwiches. Info on the city: Visit Pittsburgh, www.visitpittsburgh.com.
Six hours farther west and north is the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, south of Saginaw, Mich. Located in the Mississippi Flyway, it hosts more than 270 species of birds each year, with thousands of ducks, geese and other waterfowl stopping to refuel during the spring and fall migrations. Info: www.fws.gov/midwest/shiawassee.
Fall festival options
Q. Any good mid-Atlantic fall festivals that we can make a long weekend in September/October?
Fall festivals are a great excuse to explore. Three regional favorites:
The Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival, Sept. 17-20 in Cape Charles, Va., celebrating the fall migration of millions of songbirds ( www.esvachamber.org).
The Fall Foliage Festival, Oct. 3-4 and 10-11 in Bedford County, Pa., with lots of leaves, crafts, music, quilts and food ( www.bedfordfallfestival.com).
Bridge Day, Oct. 17, near Fayetteville, W.Va., when thousands converge to watch jumpers parachute 876 feet from the New River Gorge Bridge into the waters below ( www.officialbridgeday.com).