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Kauai ATV tour takes you off the beaten track
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Hurricane Odile: Airline set to fly L.A.-Los Cabos when airport reopens

Alaska Airlines plans to resume service from Los Angeles to Los Cabos' airport on Mexico's Baja Peninsula on the day the facility is expected to reopen next month.

Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) has been making repairs since Hurricane Odile slammed the resort area Sept. 14. The storm tore the roof off one terminal and damaged the ceiling of another, officials said.

Alaska Airlines said it will begin service with a single round-trip flight Oct. 8, provided the airport opens as scheduled. Flights are planned from Los Angeles at 10:10 a.m. and from Los Cabos at 2:25 p.m.

"In the following week, we will assess adding more service to Los Cabos from other cities and look forward to increasing our schedule gradually," Joe Sprague, senior vice president of communications and external relations for Alaska Airlines, said in an airline blog post.

Other airlines have halted service to and from the airport until mid-October.

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways canceled flights through Oct...

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These eyeglasses are wearable tech that aim to help you see clearly

Here’s technology you wear on your face, and we’re not talking Google Glass.

Unlike the $1,500 Glass, which lets you see the world differently thanks to apps and photo and video capabilities, Adlens Ltd. is wearable technology that lets you see the world — literally — by allowing the wearer to adjust the correction.

Because they are relatively inexpensive, they can become your backup glasses when you're traveling. But they are not for everyone.

Adlens Adjustables and Adlens SunDials use a technology that lets one pair of glasses move from close-up to distance vision correction with the turn of tiny knobs on each arm of the frame.

Two wave-shaped plastic polycarbonate plates are in each lens.  One plate is fixed and the other moves to adjust vision. When you turn the knob, the movable plate shifts left or right to alter the power of that lens. Wearers can adjust the vision for reading, computer or distance.

The glasses are said to correct more than 90% of spherical errors (from -6D to...

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Las Vegas' KOA site moving from Circus Circus to spot near Sam's Town

Beginning Wednesday, Las Vegas’ Kampgrounds of America site is moving off the Strip. The RV park will be adjacent to Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, a neighborhood casino on the east side of town.

RVers will need another gallon or so of fuel to reach the new KOA Las Vegas’ site along Boulder Highway, about seven miles from the former site behind Circus Circus. The RV park had been just a couple of blocks west of Las Vegas Boulevard for 13 years.

MGM Resorts International, the resort’s owner, terminated the lease, effective Oct. 1, to make room for an outdoor concert venue called City of Rock. It will host the Rock in Rio music festival in May. 

“It was an attractive alternative [to staying in a Strip hotel],” Toby Hedges, KOA’s vice president of marketing, said of the former location.

Of the new suburban site, Hodges said that it too is a good fit for those with motor homes. The nearby Sam's Town, which already has an RV park, boasts various dining options, a 56-lane bowling alley...

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Kauai ATV tour takes you off the beaten track

Visitors to Kauai can now explore the spectacularly beautiful scenery of the island’s North Shore by getting well off the beaten path in an all-terrain vehicle.

Princeville Ranch, a working cattle ranch that also caters to tourists, doesn’t make tourists saddle up for its new Off-Road Adventure. They only need to put on helmets and fasten their seatbelts for a 4 1/2-hour tour that includes views of both the Pacific and the mountains.

Once you're settled into the five-passenger Polaris ATV, a guide takes you off the dirt tracks for a more intimate view of the Garden Isle. There is also an optional ride across two ziplines and a visit to a secluded waterfall. While guests splash in the pool beneath the waterfall, a picnic lunch is prepared.

The adventure begins at 10:15 a.m. Tickets cost $145 plus tax for adults and $99 plus tax for kids 5 to 11.

A 2 1/2-hour express trip that excludes the ziplines and lunch begins at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $99 per person.

Tours begin and end at the ranch...

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Hippo sculpture's stay on London's Thames is extended

The same artist who created the mondo rubber duck for the Port of Los Angeles in August has a similarly scaled-up hippo bobbing in London's Thames River.

Angelenos turned out in droves to see Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's six-story Rubber Duck that bobbed around L.A.'s port during the L.A. Tall Ships Festival in August. So many people attended that the duck's stay was extended.

And as it turns out, London's hippo will be sticking around a bit as well.

HippopoThames, as the sculpture is known, measures 72 feet long and 29 feet high. It's made of plywood, steel beams as well as bits of larch and other wood. This hippo with popping eyes and a rudder-like tail was created by Hofman as a commission piece for the Thames Festival Trust.

The sculpture recently spent 28 days near the Battersea Power Station on the Thames and has been extended another 28 days at the riverside St Katharine Docks near the Tower of London.

To get there, the hippo took a little barge-towed ride past the Houses of...

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San Diego plans to open $3-million public market at Liberty Station

San Diego is out to create a $3-million destination food hall -- like San Francisco's Ferry Building or Napa's Oxbow Public Market -- at Liberty Station in the city's Point Loma neighborhood.

Travelers and locals will be able to sample artisanal breads and homemade tortillas, craft cocktails and fine wines, fresh produce from a daily farmers market and seafood at what will be called Liberty Public Market, an announcement from co-creator Blue Bridge Hospitality of San Diego says.

The market is set to open June 2015 at the former naval base, which is now a commercial and residential development.

Like other big-city markets, the accent is on locally sourced food and goods. More than 30 small businesses will be housed in a 22,000-square-foot warehouse that was once a 1920s-era commissary at the naval training center. It also will include a large outdoor patio and eating area.

"The storied space ... will pay homage to its historic roots by housing a diverse mix of merchants, each...

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Caribbean: A Celebrity cruise with 'Top Chef' alums

Fans of "Top Chef" will get a taste of the Bravo network cooking show on a seven-night Celebrity Cruises Eastern Caribbean voyage that will feature alums from the program.

The round-trip cruise, which sets sail from Miami on the Celebrity Reflection, will visit San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas; and St. Maarten before returning to Miami. Chefs will do complimentary cooking demonstrations and tastings. In addition, "Top Chef" menus will be featured.

Date: Nov. 15.

Price: From $599 per person, double occupancy. Includes meals, entertainment and many activities. Not included are taxes and fees, round-trip air fare to Miami, gratuities and some beverages.

Info: Celebrity Cruises, (888) 283-6879, or contact a travel agent.

Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel, like us on Facebook @Los Angeles Times Travel.

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Travelers should avoid Lesotho and Eritrea, State Department says

Among the State Department's recent warnings and alerts:

Lesotho: It has advised U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Lesotho because of the "security situation." Last month, an attempted coup in Lesotho, which is enveloped by South Africa and received its independence from Britain in 1966, sparked continued unrest.

Mozambique: It issued an alert for Mozambique to advise travelers about elections scheduled for Oct. 15, adding that "widespread violence is not anticipated."

Eritrea: It issued a warning for Eritrea, warning U.S. citizens "not travel to the country since there is increasing possibility [they] will not receive the requisite exit permit from Eritrean authorities." To see the most current warnings and alerts, go to travel.state.gov


Bad tip for Greek cabbies

If your taxi driver in Greece seems a little cranky, it might be because of a recent scam that flimflammed cabbies out of $141,300. Seven people were arrested on suspicion of taking deposits for lists of potential VIP...

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Web Buzz: Storehouse app helps your photos tell a story

Here's an award-winning visual storytelling app that takes travelers' photo essays to the next level.

Name: Storehouse app and Storehouse.co

Available: For iPhone and iPad

Cost: Free

What it does: Select photos from your iPhone or iPad and turn them into a magazine-like photo essay.

What's hot: It's quick. It's beautiful. And unlike most photo apps, it's not so much a place to store your photos as it is to tell a story. Use the Explore feature and hashtags to discover stories related to #travel or a specific destination, such as #london or #sanfrancisco. Push the "circle" button to import photos from your phone, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr and a menu of your images categorized by time lapse, panoramas, recently added, videos and more. Once your images are loaded, edit their sizes and add text at will. It levels the field for both professional travel writers and amateurs: Everyone can look their best.

What's not: It's so visually stunning, and there are so many great videos and photo...

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Travel letters: Passports are needed for Canada, Mexico

Regarding the Sept. 21 "On the Spot" column on passports by Catharine Hamm: She neglected to mention that passports are now required for travel to Canada or Mexico. This is undoubtedly a factor in the dramatic increase in the number of passport holders since 1989.

Based on my own experience, timing is everything. I mailed a renewal application in February 2013. I received my new passport 10 days later (this was not expedited service either).

Gene Aker

Los Angeles

::

I always enjoy Hamm's articles, and her article on passports was no exception. However, in the first paragraph, she made what I consider an irresponsible comment: "You may not believe that the words 'customer service' and 'U.S. government' can dwell within the same sentence, but the State Department's handling of passports is giving me cause for hope."

Our government isn't perfect, but I believe it works amazingly well, especially considering the chronic underfunding and the unreasonable demands placed on it by citizens who...

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Travel films and events: Best day hikes in Orange County? Experts offer tips

HIKING

Workshop

Experts will share their best fall day hikes in Orange County and offer tips on trip planning and local resources.

When, where: 7 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the REI store in Tustin, 2962 El Camino Real

Admission, info: Free. (714) 505-0205.

 

OUTDOORS

Movies

Hang on to your seats for jaw-dropping mountain sport films from the 37th annual Banff Mountain Film Festival.

When, where: 7 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Middle School Auditorium, 1501 California Ave., Santa Monica

Admission, info: $15. (310) 473-4574.

 

JOSHUA TREE

Field class

Learn to track alongside experienced guides in this family-friendly field class.

When, where: 9 a.m. Oct. 5 at Joshua Tree Visitor Center

Admission, info: $35. (760) 367-5535.

 

Please email announcements at least three weeksbefore the event to travel@latimes.com.

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Reinvigorated Knott's Halloween Haunt returns with a vengeance

The once bloated, middle-aged beast known as Knott’s Scary Farm has trimmed down and shaped up into a lean, mean terrorizing machine with the 42nd annual Halloween Haunt.

The increased competition from Universal Studios Hollywood has forced Knott’s Berry Farm to reassess its strengths, reconsider its identity and reconfirm its commitment to Halloween supremacy in Southern California. The result is the best Halloween Haunt in years.

Gone are the 13 cookie-cutter mazes the Buena Park theme park boasted in recent years largely as a marketing gimmick that emphasized quantity over quality and stretched the Haunt creative team too thin.

This year’s Haunt presents a more manageable nine mazes with compelling themes, beautiful sets and well-paced crowds, making for a more enjoyable overall experience.

What Knott’s needs to do next is add two missing ingredients.

The first is simple and visual storytelling. Now that Knott’s has replaced all the woeful paint-and-plywood mazes that came to define...

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