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A Guide to the Best of Southern California : EXCURSIONS : Thanksgiving: the Day After

Everyone knows what the tradition-minded do the day after all the turkey: shop their stuffing-addled brains out. But what if the last thing you want to do is join the masses who fear their charge cards will be revoked if they don’t hit the stores? There are plenty of alternatives that won’t take you near a mall. Here are just eight:

* Make a picnic of your Thanksgiving leftovers and head for the beach--any beach except Venice Beach, where shoppers will be out in force.

* Luxuriate in the gardens, artworks, manuscripts and artifacts at the Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Then have high tea in the Tea Room. Library admission is free, although there’s a suggested donation of $5. Tea (plus fresh fruit, finger sandwiches, tea cakes and scones) is $10 for adults, $5 for children. Reservations: (818) 584-9337.

* Work off your Thanksgiving dinner excesses by hiking the Mt. Wilson Trail in Little Santa Anita Canyon. Directions to the trail head: From the Foothill Freeway in Arcadia, take the Baldwin Avenue exit and head north. Go 1 1/2 miles and turn right on Miramonte Avenue. Park on Miramonte near the junction of Mt. Wilson Trail Road. The trail begins 150 yards up this road.

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* Pamper yourself at Beverly Hot Springs, L.A.'s natural hot springs/day spa, 308 N. Oxford Ave. The entrance fee (which permits use of the springs and sauna) is $25 from 9 a.m. to noon and $30 from noon to 9 p.m. Other services include shiatsu massage ($45), body care ($45) and a body scrub ($35). Information: (213) 734-7000.

* See aging rock stars larger than life in “Rolling Stones at the MAX” at the California Museum of Science and Industry’s IMAX Theater. Admission is $15 for adults; $13 for children 12 and under and for adults over 55. The shows are at 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. at the theater in Exposition Park, on Exposition Boulevard just west of the Harbor Freeway. Information: (213) 744-2014.

* View the feeding of hummingbirds and more than two dozen other varieties of birds at the Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary, 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road, Modjeska Canyon (south of Irvine Lake). A naturalist is on hand to answer questions and provide information. Admission is $1.50. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: (714) 649-2760.

* Cruise to the Channel Islands from Ventura Harbor. Prices vary. On one trip, you travel by boat to Scorpion Ranch on Santa Cruz Island, barbecue your lunch there, and take a guided hike before heading home. Reservations are required, and shorter cruises are also available from Island Packers: (805) 642-1393.

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* If you can still fit into your jeans and still have at least $30 in your pocket, go for Sunset Ranch’s Friday night horseback riding/Mexican dinner deal. No reservations are accepted. Sign-ups start at 5 p.m. at 3400 N. Beachwood Drive, in Hollywood. At 6 p.m., you and up to 49 others ride through Griffith Park and over to Burbank, with a stop at Viva, where you buy your dinner. Information: (213) 464-9612.


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