MTV guidebook offers info on road trips

HOBOKEN, N.J. - Need some inspiration for your next road trip? Check out the new guidebook 'MTV Roadtrips U.S.A.'

The book is divided into regional themes, like 'Retro Roadtrip: Miami to the Outer Banks,' 'A Southern BBQ Roadtrip,' and 'Cool in the Midwest,' with stops in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver and Salt Lake City. There is also a chapter on festival season in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic that includes New York City as well as Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tenn., and a West Coast trip starting in San Diego and ending in Seattle.

Each chapter starts with a funny 'Superlatives: The Highs & Lows' list that includes items like 'Worst place to be the designated driver: Denver' (because of all the good microbreweries) and 'Biggest Burrito West of the Pecos And East of It' (Rafa's Burritos in El Paso, Texas, which the book says are 'literally as big as your arm').

Becky Thatcher's house getting a makeover

HANNIBAL, Mo. - The home of Tom Sawyer's sweetheart is about to get an upgrade.

Plans call for spending up to $1.4 million to improve the Becky Thatcher House in Hannibal's historic district. The house sits across Hill Street from the boyhood home of Mark Twain, who based 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and other works on the characters he knew growing up in the northeast Missouri town.

Gov. Matt Blunt announced that $250,000 in tax credits to the Mark Twain Home Foundation will help fund the project.

'The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum is a wonderful historic tourist attraction and these improvements will help preserve a national treasure,' Blunt said.

Plantation along Va.'s James River

to close its doors

BURROWSVILLE, Va. - A 1,400-acre plantation on the James River where Gen. Ulysses S. Grant made his crossing in 1864 will close its doors to visitors in October.

Flowerdew Hundred, in Prince George County southeast of Richmond, operates as a museum and historic site. Visitors can view life from Colonial and Civil War times.

Employees said the plantation will close to the public Oct. 12. Its future is unclear.

The plantation is run by the nonprofit Flowerdew Hundred Foundation, which had relied on the largesse of the family of David A. Harrison III, who died in 2002.

Trees to fall at Gettysburg battlefield

GETTYSBURG, Pa. - Acres of trees will be cut down at Gettysburg National Military Park as part of an effort to restore the battlefield to how it looked during the Civil War, according to The Evening Sun newspaper.

The National Park Service will cut about 10 acres of trees by the McMillian House and Devil's Den, near where the Union army placed cannons that today seem to face the woods below.