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See Sights From Secure Hotel Base

<i> Hughes is a 30-year veteran travel writer living in Sherman Oaks</i>

Stay-Put Tours, a mature travel vacation concept started by Bob Costa of Corliss Tours two years ago, has grown to 11 destinations and 44 departures this year.

Costa has added weeklong stays in Charleston, S.C.; San Antonio, Tex., and Vancouver, Canada, to his already popular trips to Orlando, Fla., Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Stay-Put Tours makes use of what Costa calls the “hub and spoke” vacation principle--a single hotel for the entire weeklong stay, with daily side trips for sightseeing.

“It offers a more leisurely pace than a long motor-coach tour,” Costa said, “and seniors only have to pack and unpack one time.

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“It also provides more free time to relax, and we always include one full free day. It’s still a fully escorted tour, with our guide always on hand on the tours or in the hotel to help with optional activities.”

Several Side Trips

Prices for the Stay-Put Tours are from $749 to $899 per person, based on double occupancy. This includes accommodations at a very good hotel, the several side trips and sightseeing, baggage handling and several meals.

Air fare from Los Angeles is not included, but can be arranged.

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For the San Antonio trip, tour members stay at the Marriott Riverwalk Hotel in the scenic heart of the city.

Sightseeing includes the Alamo, while side trips take in the LBJ Ranch and “dude ranch country,” including a Texas barbecue dinner. Another goes to Austin, the state capital, and then a motor tour of the scenic hill country and Natural Bridge caverns. The trip is $840, with departures April 15, May 13 and Oct. 14.

In Charleston, the Meeting Street Inn is home for a week’s stay, including 13 meals for the $899-per-person price.

Sightseeing includes Magnolia Gardens and Plantation and Middleton Place, the oldest landscaped garden in the United States.

Also Ft. Sumter and a tour of the famous aircraft carrier Yorktown, plus several other historic ships permanently docked in Charleston.

Side trips take in Savannah, Georgia’s historic seacoast city, and Georgetown, another lovely South Carolina city. Departure dates are April 29, May 13, Oct. 14 and Nov. 11.

A Central Site

The Stay-Put vacation in Vancouver stops at O’Doul’s Hotel, a small (130 rooms) but central site.

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In addition to city sightseeing, side trips include Victoria on Vancouver Island, a trip aboard the Royal Hudson steam train to Squamish and a cruise back to Vancouver on the Britannia. Departures are June 3, July 1, Aug. 5 and Sept. 9.

For more information on these and the eight other Stay-Put Tours, contact your travel agent or Corliss Tours, 436 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia 91016, toll-free (800) 456-5717 or (818) 359-5358.

Another major senior tour operator, Main Street Tours, has opened two of its popular motor-coach tours to the public.

The Sierra Scenic Tour, April 25 to May 1, includes six nights’ accommodations, two each in Yosemite National park and the High Sierra Hotel at Lake Tahoe, plus one night each at Mammoth Lakes and Sonora, in the Gold Country.

Loads of sightseeing, four meals and travel with a new deluxe motor coach from Los Angeles are included in the $590-per-person price.

Main Street’s Southern Plantations and Grand Ole Opry Tour, set for April 26 to May 19, is a 24-day deluxe motor-coach trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

It includes a Cajun Country tour, a Mississippi steamboat cruise, plantation visits and a stay in New Orleans during the Jazz Festival.

City tours include Dallas and Houston, the LBJ Space Center, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis.

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Main Street designs and runs its tours strictly for the mature traveler, with a good balance of leisure time and low-stress sightseeing. Fifteen meals are included.

For more information, contact Main Street Tours, 3997 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance 90505, (800) 231-7412 or (213) 375-1969.

The big annual Time of Your Life Expo April 15-17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center always has the largest concentration of travel suppliers catering to mature travel in this area.

Discount coupons with $1 off the regular $5 admission can be picked up from most Lucky Stores, Thrifty Drug and Discount Stores, Sears (at the jewelry departments) and participating Denny’s restaurants.


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