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3 California rock events not to miss: Tacheva, BottleRock and Kaaboo

Tickets to the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival sold out within an hour the day they went on sale in January. Here are three musical gatherings, including a Coachella-lite event in Palm Springs, worth considering if you crave a great outdoor rock experience.

Tachevah: A Palm Springs Block Party on April 15 is a free party, now in its third year, that's timed between the double-weekend Coachella festival that's April 10-12 and April 17-19.

Indie bands have been battling at pre-show competitions for weeks to win a spot on the outdoor stage from 5 to 11 p.m. The event will be in front of the Spa Resort Casino at 401 E. Amado Road.

Info: Tachevah

BottleRock Napa Valley, May 29-31, is in its third year, and with that comes something new for 2015. Musical headliners Robert Plant, Snoop Dog, Los Lobos, Imagine Dragons and a ton of other talent will share the fest with a stage solely dedicated to food events such as chef demonstrations and wine tastings. Expect sommeliers to...

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This is a hostel? Generator opens its newest location in Paris

If you and a buddy are going on a budget tour of Europe, you might consider a night or two at Generator's new hostel in Paris.

It opened in February and offers travelers some hip design elements and free Wi-Fi starting, all for less than $30 each a night.

The company's website says it transformed a "derelict office block" near the Gare du Nord train station into a chic hostel with 920 beds.

Generator has opened hostels in Germany (two in Berlin and one in Hamburg), Copenhagen, Dublin, London and Venice, Italy. It plans to open one in Rome and one in Amsterdam this year.

The company plans to bring its brand of designer hostels to the U.S., starting with Miami, Los Angeles and New York City, possibly as soon as 2016, a spokesman says.

The Paris hostel has shared rooms that come with four, six, eight or 10 beds and start at 25 euros, or about $28 a person. There also are women-only shared rooms, private rooms with twin or double beds, and premium rooms with balconies (starting at 128...

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Canada: Take a 'floating book club' cruise to Newfoundland and Labrador

Small-ship travel company Adventure Canada has rounded up three Canadian authors for its first "floating book club," which is set to sail around remote parts of Newfoundland and Labrador in July.

Doug Gibson, who wrote "Stories About Storytellers"; Kathleen Winter, who wrote "Annabel"; and Terry Fallis, a novelist best known for his political satire called "The Best Laid Plans," are to join passengers aboard the Ocean Endeavour for the 13-day voyage.

During the cruise, passengers will be able to talk with authors about books, culture and the history of the northern Canada ports of call. For example, Winter's novel is set in a small coastal town in Labrador.

In addition, whales, polar bears and seals likely will be seen on the arctic cruise.

The trip is scheduled to begin July 5 in Saint Pierre, an island that became a French outpost. Then it's on to the south coast of Newfoundland and the mountains and fjords of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Stops in Labrador...

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Vermont: Summer bike tour blends scenery, breweries

Celebrate bikes, beer and the Vermont countryside during Trek Travels' Vermont Brewery Edition Bike Tour, a six-day ride through the state's most scenic regions. The trip is designed for recreational cyclists who like an icy cold draft after a long summer ride. 

Segments will be from 14 to 42 miles per day and include microbrewery stops, plus rides from Middlebury to Stowe. Passing through dense forests and along winding rivers, cyclists visit the Warren Swimming Hole, the Appalachian Gap and Mad River Valley, or browse Stowe’s shops.

Dates: July 12-17 and 19-24.

Price: $2,299 per person, including hotel accommodations, daily breakfast, two lunches, three social hours and three dinners.  

Info: Trek Travel, (866) 464-8735

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Gear: Sleeprite Cot could be a camper's dream

Sometimes campers may want a little space between themselves and Mother Earth or Father Tarp.

The Sleeprite Cot provides a humble but helpful alternative to lying on the ground. The 70-by-30-inch polyester sleeping surface is elevated about 6 inches using a system of shock-corded cross supports and an anodized aluminum frame, all of which manages to collapse into an 18-by-8-by-6-inch package.

Stashed in the included sack, the whole kit weighs in at a backpack-friendly 6 pounds. Getting the hang of the set-up may take some practice but reward you with a comforting distance from the wet, the bumpy, the creepy crawly.

Add a lightweight air mattress and you're lying in the lap of luxury (roughing-it edition).

Sleeprite Cot costs $229.99.

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Travel risky in Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel, U.S. warns

A new travel warning for Israel, issued Feb. 18, notes that "U.S. citizens need to be aware of continuing risks of travel" to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and some metro areas, "including Tel Aviv and Haifa and surrounding regions," which the warning says are "comparable to other major global cities."

But, it says, "the July-August 2014 Gaza conflict … and subsequent political and religious tension associated with access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem led to increased levels of violence, particularly in Jerusalem and West Bank environs, not seen in those areas in a decade.

"Attacks on individuals and groups have occurred in East and West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem, as well as various places in the West Bank. We have no indication that U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted based on their nationality."

To read the full warning, go to

Ebola fears hit North Korea

If you had planned to run in the annual Pyongyang marathon...

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