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France’s tourist offices are going all out...

France’s tourist offices are going all out to attract visitors to the ’89 Bicentennial of the French Revolution. Their latest offering is a handy 32-page booklet titled “Paris: The Insider’s Good Value Guide.” Lists reasonable small hotels, restaurants (where you can afford to dine without hocking your return airline ticket), wine bars, tearooms, department stores, galleries.

Other publications prepared by the French: “Fun Book of Free Gifts,” “France ’89--A Great Value” and a 24-page newsletter listing tour operators, with a heavy emphasis on Bicentennial celebrations/commemorative events. (On July 8 hundreds of U.S. musicians will march through Paris in an American salute to France.)

For copies of these and other publications, contact the French Government Tourist Office, 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 303, Beverly Hills 90212, or call (213) 271-6665/272-2661.

Northern California Inns

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The Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers of Northern California has published a 48-page directory naming dozens of choice inns. Nineteen geographical regions, starting with Humboldt County and moving south to the Monterey Peninsula. Among the properties is the charming little Gingerbread Mansion (Ferndale) the Joshua Grindle (Mendocino), the Toll House (Boonville), Madrona Manor (Healdsburg), Vintners (Santa Rosa), Casa Madrona (Sausalito), Ten Inverness Way (Inverness), Mill Rose Inn (Half Moon Bay). Dozens more in this special booklet.

Send $1 to Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers, P.O. Box 7150, Chico, Calif. 95927. Details by dialing toll-free (800) 284-INNS.

Point Reyes Seashore

Eight other B&B; operators have banded together, calling their group Cottages of Point Reyes. Takes in Point Reyes Seashore, the popular 65,000-acre parkland north of the Golden Gate in Marin County. Hiking, ocean bluffs, bird watching, bicycling, riding. For a free brochure, write to Cottages of Point Reyes, P.O. Box 644, Point Reyes Station, Calif. 94956. (Members are Arbor Cottage, The Ark, Cricket Cottage, Fairwinds Farm, Horseshoe Farm Cottage, Jasmine Cottage, Ferrando’s Hideaway and Rosemary Cottage.)

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Dude Ranches

Lots of interest in dude ranches this year. Leading the pack is Colorado. For a free directory naming 40 ranches, write to the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Assn., P.O. Box 300, Tabernash, Colo. 80478. Everything from upscale properties with Jacuzzis/hot tubs to small spreads with rustic cabins and worlds of peace. Other ranches in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Arizona are named in a brochure published by the American Wilderness Experience. If you long to escape crowds, Laughing Water Ranch in Montana is surrounded by Kootenai National Forest (caters to only 16 guests). In Colorado the Home Ranch at Colorado Springs is set in meadows surrounded by Rocky Mountain peaks. Features log cabins with private Jacuzzis. A total of 29 ranches are listed in the brochure. Copies from AWE, P.O. Box 1486, Boulder, Colo. 80306, or call toll-free (800) 444-3833.

Bus Pass

For the independent traveler: a bus pass that takes in hundreds of destinations in England, Wales, Scotland. Costs $95 for five days, $125 for eight days, $265 for a month. Discounts for senior citizens and children under 16. National Express’ air-conditioned coaches visit major cities/tourist areas. Some buses operate hourly. Makes it easy to hop off, see the sights and catch the next coach to your next stop. Contact British Travel Associates, P.O. Box 299, Elkton, Va. 22827. Telephone toll-free (800) 327-6097.

Meanwhile, BTA has put together a program for independent travelers that covers 600 B&Bs; throughout Britain. Rates: $28 for adults, $18 for children under 12. Buy the vouchers before leaving the United States.

Alaska

Alaska froze this winter, but spring promises a thaw and with it a camping program for travelers wishing to escape the crowds. Designed for first-time campers as well as vacationers familiar with the out-of-doors life. Trips are offered by CampAlaska Tours. This is the company’s fifth season. Prices for seven days ($525) to 29 days ($1,800). Campers travel by van, overnighting at state, provincial, national parks in Alaska/western Canada. Maximum of 12 persons per group. CampAlaska provides the camping gear. A dozen itineraries are scheduled. Departures from Seattle and Anchorage. (Some tours include cruises on one of the Alaska State Ferries.) Opportunities to hike, go kayaking, canoeing, rafting.

CampAlaska Tours, P.O. Box 872247, Wasilla, Alaska 99687. Call (907) 376-9438.

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Europe On $50 a Day

Contiki Holidays specializes in trips for travelers 18-35 years old. You travel like Europeans, using modest hotels/restaurants. During the last 28 years Contiki has escorted more than 1 million persons overseas. This year you can do Britain on about $50 a day. Includes accommodations, motor coach, breakfast, dinners, a travel bag, guidebook. All-inclusive prices guaranteed. Tour programs range from 10 days to five weeks, prices from $498 to $2,138. Other programs for campers.

Brochures available from Contiki Holidays, 1432 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, Calif. 92805. Telephone (800) 624-0611 (California) or (800) 626-0611 (out of state).

Inexpensive Flights

Reader Recommendations

New Mexico--Gail P. Sass, Los Angeles: Enjoyed Bear Mountain Guest Ranch, P.O. Box 1163, Silver City, N.M. 88062. “The ranch offers private baths in the two-story house. Rates for two: $79 per day with breakfast, dinner and a sack lunch. Owner Myra McCormick is a true Western lady with lots of information to share about the area.”

Nevada--John L. Nordeen, Placentia: Enjoyed Evah’s Copper Queen, 701 Ave. I, Ely, Nev. 89301. “An indoor swimming pool with spa, small casino, restaurant, lounge. Also an indoor putting green, free coffee. Rooms are clean, comfortable. King or queen beds. Rates: $44 single/$48 double. Small-town friendliness.”

Colorado--Steve Victor, Hollywood Hills: “Stayed in the Coonskin Inn, Box 1890, Telluride, Colo. 81435. Rates during ski season: $75. Packages available, including lift tickets.”

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California--Dianne Belk Ford, Bel-Air: Praise for The Court Street Inn, 215 Court St., Jackson, Calif. 95642. “A B&B; about 1 1/2 hours from Lake Tahoe. Rooms: $50 and up. An antique cottage tastefully furnished, $135 per night.”

Ireland--John and Babe Hart, Woodland Hills: Highly recommend Mrs. M. O’Dwyer’s B&B; Guesthouse, Rozel, Station Road, Lahinch, County Clare on the west coast, north of Shannon. Rates: 10 per person.

Ireland--Richard M. Downing, Los Angeles: “In a country known for its hosts, Mrs. Joan Ryan’s B&B; is outstanding. Her home is called the Grotto, Fossa, Killarney, County Kerry. Rate: $14 U.S.”

England--Larry and Tami Kittiver, Harbor City: “On a recent trip to England we found the elegant Pincroft B&B;, Potterne Road, Devizes, Wilts, SN10 5DA. Near Stonehenge, Stourhead, Avebury Circle, Longleat, Wells, Salisbury, Castle Combe, Bath and Lacock. Rates for two: 25.”

England--D. De Meo, Laguna Hills: Enjoyed Baccara House, 20 Park Road, Coventry. Close to Coventry Cathedral, Stratford-on-Avon, Kennilworth and Warwick Castles. Single room: 13 with full breakfast.”

New Zealand--Robert Gibson, Rancho Mirage: Praises Long Gully Farm, Tarras, New Zealand. Paid $100 a day with meals. The trip around this sheep farm is something you won’t forget. The visit was the highlight of our trip.”

We regret that only a select few recommendations can be used. They must be brief (typewritten or printed). Only one recommendation per reader, please. Note: Recommendations will not be used unless prices and addresses are included.


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