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If you can’t get to the Galapagos...

If you can’t get to the Galapagos Islands this year, try California’s Channel Islands instead. Santa Cruz Island in particular (25 miles off the Santa Barbara coast). These islands have been called “California’s Galapagos.” Loads of wildlife on Santa Cruz. Plant and animal life found nowhere else in the world. Vacationers explore pine forest, tide pools, deserted beaches, a valley choked with ferns. An opportunity to photograph seals and sea lions. (The island was formerly inhabited by the Chumash Indians.) Fishing, swiming, hiking, trips by four-wheel-drive vehicles. Guests sign in at Christy Guest Ranch (a renovated adobe, circa 1864). Or you can bed down in a tent. Ranch accommodations, $430; tents, $340. Prices include round-trip air fare from Camarillo, lodging, all meals, daily four-wheel excursions. The same company does day-trips: $99.95 for adults, $79.95 for children under 16.

Contact Greg Russell, Channel Island Adventures, 305 Durley Ave., Camarillo 93010, or telephone (805) 987-1678.

Bicycling

Here’s another company to add to your list of bike tours. It’s On The Loose Bicycle Vacations of Berkeley. On The Loose does camping tours and other trips using inns/stately mansions. (The company also maps out customized tours.) Trips into Napa Valley, along Northern California’s Russian River, the Mendocino coast, Bodega Bay, Santa Ynez, Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe, Carmel, Big Sur, Monterey, the Colorado Rockies, Washington state’s San Juan Islands, Oregon, Bryce/Grand Canyon/Zion national parks, Banff and Jasper national parks in Canada. Other trips to Hawaii, Palm Springs.

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On The Loose Bicycle Vacations, 1030 Merced St., Berkeley, Calif. 94707. Call (415) 527-4005 (California) or toll-free (800) 346-6712 (outside the state).

Guest Ranch

A. J. of Santa Ana wants the name of a guest ranch in Colorado “with lots of peace, privacy.” Wilderness Trails Ranch outside Durango is a good choice. A huge ranch house next to the state’s largest wilderness area. Elevation: 7,600 feet. Log cabins with queen-size beds, showers/tubs. Family units with two to five bedrooms. Daily maid service. WTR operates a children/teen program. Riding, fishing, water skiing, square dancing. A new swimming pool/spa. In September the ranch features a singles/couples week. Adventurers join a cattle roundup in late September. Durang is served by America West, Mesa Airlines, United Express, Continental Express. Pickups at the airport.

Rates per week: $720 single, $1,260 per couple. Children from $350/$550. Wilderness Trails Ranch, 23486 County Road 501, Bayfield, Colo. 81122. Telephone (303) 247-0722.

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Southern Hospitality

B. C. and D. T. of Agoura are looking for a “honeymoon hideaway in Charleston, S.C.” We’ve had good reports on Maison du Pre in the downtown Ansonborough Historic District. Fifteen guest rooms with marble/tile baths, period furniture/antiques, Oriental rugs. Watercolor/oil paintings. Bricked patios and the melody of three fountains. Maison du Pre is a combination of five restored buildings, including a couple of carriage houses dating from the early 1800s. A continental breakfast in the morning, tea in the afternoon, carriage rides through Charleston’s historic district. Current rates: $83/$98, with suites from $120/$200. High season: $110/$135 for guest rooms, $150/$200 for suites.

Maison du Pre, 317 E. Bay St., Charleston, S.C. 29401. Telephone (803) 723-8691.

Summer Bargain

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The popular Wigwam resort in Lichfield, Ariz., is remaining open for the first time this summer. Recently completed a $28-million renovation. Guest rooms have been refurbished. Three new restaurants. Tennis, riding, croquet, bicycling. Three 18-hole championship golf courses. If you enjoy hot weather, the Wigwam is a bargain. Summer rates: $55/$75 per room as opposed to $175/$205 in the high season.

The Wigwam, Lichfield Park, Ariz. 85340. Telephone toll-free (800) 327-0396.

London Apartments

We’ve located another source for apartment rentals in London. Studios, one- to three-bedroom flats. A pool of more than 500 units scattered throughout the city. Near popular shopping areas, museums, the theater district. An especially good deal for families or couples traveling together. Saves on restaurant costs. If you can put off your trip, rates will be coming down in the fall.

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Contact London Apartments, 5 Hidden Valley Road, Lafayette, Calif. 94549, toll-free (800) 366-8748.

Giveaway

A handsome new catalogue containing color pictures and details on 37 country-house hotels in England, Scotland, Wales is being offered free. Some of Britain’s finest properties. Among them is Billesley Manor at Stratford-on-Avon. A stunning stone mansion. Carved oak panels, spacious bedrooms with four-posters. An indoor swimming pool, tennis, croquet. Golf nearby. Driving time to London: 90 minutes. Another is The Greenway in Gloucestershire (18 guest rooms, rolling hills, ivy-covered walls, a sunken garden). Cliveden (which we profiled in the March issue of Traveling in Style magazine) is also pictured. This is the former home of the Astor family and features 25 guest rooms. England’s foremost country-house hotel.

For copies of the catalogue, write to Kate Fuentes, Country Homes & Castles Limited, 900 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 830, Los Angeles 90017. At the same time, ask for the company’s home rental catalogue. Telephone (213) 629-4861.

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Budget Increase

Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor (mentioned in Travel Tips last Sunday), has increased the price per copy from $1 to $2. Curtis’ publication tells where to find the best value for dining/entertainment, what casinos still install penny slots. For copies, write to Huntington Press, Box 28041, Las Vegas, Nev. 89126.

Reader Recommendations

California--John and Kathy Pepe, Santa Rosa: “The Pelican Cove Inn, 320 Walnut Ave., Carlsbad, Calif. 92008. Featherbeds, a Danish breakfast. Our room was $125 per night.”

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Colorado--Paul B. Wells, El Cajon: “Logwood Bed & Breakfast, 35060 Highway 550, Durango, Colo. 81301. On the river in the spectacular Animas River Valley. At $55/$65 per night per couple, this has to be one of the bargains of the West. (No smoking, no pets, no children under age 12.)”

Ohio--Linda Kline, Santa Ana: “Pleasant Valley Lodge Bed & Breakfast, 1983 Pleasant Valley Road, Lucas, Ohio 44843. A peaceful interlude in the wooded hills near Ohio’s Amish country. Rates: $60 double occupancy.”

Canada--Mrs. George Middleton, Carpinteria: “The Owl’s Nest, at Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada. Double accommodations with twin beds, $65 U.S. Single room, $50. Choice of hot or cold breakfast. Write to Barbara Sheehan, 278 Regent St., Box 1684, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. L0S 1J0, Canada.”

Scotland--Bert and Nina Vance, San Fernando: “In the 16 years we have gone to Britain we have never been to a lovelier B&B; than Isabel and Rae Harrison’s Priorsford Villa, Tweed Green, Peebles, Scotland EH45 8AR. Private bath. Cost us 12 each a night. Dinner only 7 each. From the bath one looks right down on the River Tweed, another window looks at the clock on the town church steeple. Truly a lovely setting.”

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Turkey--Estelita S. Laureano, Monterey Park: Recommends Hotel Akay, Isabey Camii Karsisi Serin SK3, Selcuk, Turkey. Rate: $22 U.S. per room, double occupancy.

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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