A break from looking up
Ducking indoors is actually fun at Yosemite National Park, where kids can walk through a replica of a giant sequoia stump, curl up in a mock bear den or eyeball a model of Yosemite Valley, above. It's all part of a $1.3-million makeover of the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Starved by a snowpack half the average size, Yosemite Falls peaked April 7, about six weeks early — so the best time to see them is right now. Info: (209) 372-0200, www.nps.gov/yose.
— Jane Engle
Aye aye, sir
Need a little discipline during your on-the-road workouts? Guests at Loews Annapolis Hotel, in Annapolis, Md., can fall out of bed and fall in with an early-morning run led by a recent graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy. Routes vary on the two-mile run offered at 6:45 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Guests also can pick up a loaner iPod loaded with military chants sung to keep time. Oversleep? Try the sweat-proof laminated guide in the hotel room from "The Official United States Naval Academy Workout" book. Hotel info: (410) 263-7777, www.loewshotels.com
— Kathleen Doheny
Astro Boy's dad
If you're still trying to demystify manga and anime, head to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on June 2 for a look at the work of the man the Japanese consider the god of comics, Tezuka Osamu. More than 200 original drawings, posters and other works — including his cartoons of Astro Boy (at right, "Mystery Man of the Blast Furnace," 1961) and Kimba the White Lion, which appeared as TV cartoons in the 1960s — make up the first major exhibition of its kind outside of Japan. If you fall hard for the medium, pick up the illustrated catalog for $32.50 plus tax. Info: (415) 581-3500, www.asianart.org.
— Mary E. Forgione
Rise and hike
Summer passes for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, above, are on sale now for travel between May 1 and Aug. 1. The tramway zips visitors from the desert floor to high-altitude hiking trails on Mt. San Jacinto. (Hardy souls can make the strenuous 5.5-mile trek to the 10,834-foot peak.) Or you can hang out at the cocktail lounge/restaurant at the top. The pass, good for unlimited tram rides, costs $50 for adults and seniors, $25 for children 3 to 12 (regular price per trip: $21.95 for adults, $14.95 for kids). Info: (888) 515-8726, www.pstramway.com.
Feel free to drip
Wine lovers can raise a toast to the new Sunset guide to California wine country without worrying about spilling a few drops on the cover: It's wine-proof. The 160-page field guide explores 11 wine-growing regions, offering details on 275 wineries and tips on places to stay and eat. Areas highlighted include Mendocino, Napa, Lake and Sonoma in the north through the rapidly growing Central Coast wine regions south to Temecula and Baja. It's available for $19.95 in bookstores nationwide.
— Rosemary McClure
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