By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Trails and campgrounds in Point Mugu State Park damaged by the Springs fire earlier this month will reopen Friday but officials warn visitors to stay out of closed areas to help the area recover, according to an announcement.
The popular Sycamore and La Jolla campgrounds off Pacific Coast Highway at the southern end of the park will open in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Campgrounds have been closed since May 2 when the fire burned from Newbury Park to the ocean and torched about 12,000 acres of the almost 14,000-acre park. (ThornhillBroome Campground and Sycamore Cove day-use area remain open and were unaffected by closures.)
The Chumash trail and back-country routes will reopen too, allowing a first-hand look at the fire-ravaged landscape. Trail repairs will be ongoing, and the park will open at sunrise and close at sunset until further notice.
Park officials warn visitors not to wander off trail and hamper habitat recovery. "We'll be monitoring the situation closely, and if we...
Here's one fish story that just may have a happy ending. On June 8 and 9, the Big Bear Lake Assn. is hosting its annual Fishin' for $50K Trout Derby. Big Bear Lake will be stocked with 15 specially tagged trout, and one will be worth $50,000 to the angler who reels it in.
Those who land any of the other 14 tagged trout will be eligible for a cash prize drawing of up to $500. Besides the tagged-trout prizes, anglers in four classes who catch the largest fish by weight will be awarded prizes too. A bonus prize of $500 is to be awarded for the overall largest trout by weight caught on Pautzke Fire Bait.
The entry fee is $55 for adults and $30 for participants 15 and younger. Entries are limited to the first 750 registered anglers.
The fee is waived for those Trout Derby participants who stay at least one night June 7-9 at a Big Bear Lake Resort Assn. lodge. Participants who rent a pontoon boat at a participating Big Bear Lake marina also will receive up to four free entries.
The event, described as a "mega street food feast," will feature 35 master chefs. Entries will hail from Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, the United States, Malaysia, Copenhagen, Denmark, China and Singapore, one of the world's best-known street food cities.
In addition to offering unusual cuisines, ongoing events will include masterclass cooking demonstrations, an awards ceremony, discussions on street food opportunities, live music and other entertainment.
The jamboree is being held in conjunction with a two-day conference, World Street Food Dialogues, that will feature food experts such as American chef and author Anthony Bourdain; Saveur magazine editor James Oseland; Brett Burmeister of Food Carts Portland; and Singapore chef K.F. Seetoh, founder of the street food fest.
"As the day draws nearer," said Seetoh, "it is becoming crystal clear there is...
For those spending Memorial Day weekend in the Bay Area, the USS Hornet Museum will hold a special Memorial Day ceremony Monday to recognize veterans. The ceremony will take place aboard the aircraft carrier and will begin at 1 p.m.
The Hornet is a historic aircraft carrier that participated in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Apollo 11 recovery. It is now moored at Alameda Point in the San Francisco Bay.
This year marks the 13thyear the museum is holding this ceremony and it will include a special invocation by retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Chaplain John Berger, a special wreath-tossing ceremony off the ship, and the presentation of Colors by the Boy Scouts of America. There will also be musical performances featuring the Hornet Band and the Young American Patriots Fife & Drum Corps beginning at 11 a.m.
Before and after the ceremony, people can visit the many decks of the ship such as the Captain’s Bridge and the Engine Room. The museum also houses many exhibits including 13...
If you’re a baseball fan, you probably know that the Omni San Diego Hotel offers a unique tie to the game: It overlooks Petco Park, with a pedestrian skywalk connecting the hotel to the action. It’s the only hotel in the nation attached to a major league ballpark.
The Omni offers visitors other perks too. It’s in the historic Gaslamp Quarter across from the convention center and is convenient to other city sites. But the hotel really shines in summer, when the ballpark is in use.
The deal: Celebrate America’s pastime with the "Beer, Brats and Baseball" package, which starts at $289 and offers lodging, plus two tickets to a Padres game, beer and brats. A Father's Day special for people who book June 14-16 adds a complimentary “Batter’s Up” breakfast of waffles or pancakes for Dad.
When: It’s available through Sept. 20.
Details: In addition to tickets and accommodations, the deal includes complimentary valet parking, and peanuts and...
One of the classiest hotels on the Las Vegas strip – the Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter – is offering a tempting “three nights for the price of two” offer through Sept. 5.
The five-star property’s Extra Fun Day Away package includes a third night free following a paid, consecutive two-night stay. The deal is subject to availability – for example, it’s not offered for arrivals on July 4, Independence Day – and guests booking online need to be aware that the price quoted per night is for three nights, not two.
Here’s how it works out. We found the deal available for a Strip View room with a king bed for three nights arriving Monday, June 17 and checking out on Thursday, June 20. The rate quoted is $176 per night, but clicking on the “price breakdown” link reveals that the sub-total for three nights is $530. That breaks down to $265 for each of the two paid nights.
Taxes of 12 percent and the daily “Golden Access&...
The sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, where rooms start at $1,525, is expanding the category of luxury accessories by providing all guests with a 24-karat gold iPad upon check-in. The hotel, part of the Jumeirah group of hotels and resorts, is often listed as the world’s most luxurious hotel and already provides iMacs in each of its 202 suites.
The iPads were manufactured by Gold & Co. London and designed exclusively for Burj Al Arab. Each one is engraved with the hotel’s logo, as well as Jumeirah’s motto “Stay Different.” Every tablet also comes loaded with interactive customer experience, or ICE, software that enables guests to use the 24-karat gold iPad as a virtual concierge to access information and hotel services.
The iPads provided to guests are 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi iPad3s and for now run only the ICE program. The hotel is working on expanding customers’ access to other iPad applications.
For couples hoping to get hitched in Las Vegas, the offer for free weddings on Memorial Day (Monday) could prove to be the deal of a lifetime. Victoria’s Wedding Chapel is offering free marriage ceremonies, with roses included, for active-duty service members and veterans.
The chapel normally charges $535 for the ceremony.
“The men and women of the military do so much to keep our country safe, and we wanted to show our appreciation by donating a day to give them the gift of a wedding ceremony,” Janeen Hinden, owner of Victoria’s Wedding Chapel, said in a prepared statement. “All they have to do is call and make a reservation and we’ll take care of the rest.”
Couples should call (702) 252-4565. The chapel is at 2800 W. Sahara Ave. in Las Vegas, just west of the 15 Freeway.
Ceremonies will be performed from noon to 8 p.m.
Las Vegas rightfully claims the title of “Marriage Capital of the World.” The Clark County clerk’s office...
Big Bear is combining the sweet cool of its mountain lake with the exploding popularity of stand-up paddleboarding, or SUPs, in a series of distance races and sprints June 29.
Entrance fees start at $35 for the annual Big Bear PaddleFest at the Meadow Park swim beach. Races, which also feature kayaks and canoes, include 5K, 10K, 20K, downwind, sprints and relays. To register, go to the Paddlefest registration site.
Races begin with a 20K SUP event at 6 a.m. and continue with various sprints and relay races until late afternoon. Separate kayak and canoe races will also be held. The tentative schedule also calls for a kids fun race at 9:30 a.m. for ages 5-12. Live music and food will also be part of the festivities.
Entry does not include any kind of paddlecraft, but they can be rented at nearby marinas.
Given a choice between flying next to a crying baby or a smelly passenger, 63% of fliers would choose the crying baby over the stinky seat companion.
This was one of several interesting findings of the 2013 EquiTrend Study by Harris Interactive, which in March polled 2,276 adults who agreed to be surveyed.
According to the survey, 58% of fliers who fly once a year or more are willing to pay for extra legroom on a flight of three hours or more, while 33% will pony up fees for more space on less than two-hour flights.
Although 68% of passengers won’t pay to avoid a middle seat on short flights, the study found 53% will pay to avoid the middle on long flights.
In-flight entertainment and Wi-Fi are very important amenities to parents traveling with children younger than 18, second only to a desire for an aisle or window seat. Male passengers value Wi-Fi more than females (28% vs. 14%) , but women value in-flight entertainment slightly more than men (18% vs. 16%).
Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger Mary Forgione likes to hit the dirt when she's on vacation. An avid hiker and runner, Mary likes speed-touring cities on foot and sightseeing by running marathons.