Sunny Jim Cave
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Weekend Getaways

Sunny Jim Cave
Greg and Jeanette Voelm of Sacramento ascend from the Sunny Jim Cave in La Jolla, Calif.. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Birch Aquarium
North Carolinians William Finlay and his mom Tanya Finlay observe another world inside the Kelp Tank of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
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Kim Kekuna and Carmen Andrade are happy to be fake food for the Birch Aquarium’s replica shark at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Sunny Jim Cave
Between a rock and the ocean at Sunny Jim Cave in La Jolla. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Children’s Pool Beach
People and harbor seals at Children’s Pool Beach in La Jolla, Calif. Humans are not allowed on the sand during the seal pupping season. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Fishing off La Jolla
A fisherman tries his luck off the coast of La Jolla, Calif. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla, Calif. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Downtown La Jolla
Downtown La Jolla, Calif. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
La Jolla Cove
Besides spectacular views of the California coastline, La Jolla Cove offers swimming and tide-pooling opportunities. (Glenn Koenig / LAT)
Nevada City
The venerable Mountain House Books in Nevada City, Calif., is ideally situated in a town also called “the Queen City of the Sierra Nevada.” (Patricia Williams)
Nevada City
The Mountain House bookstore in Nevada City features literary rarities including a 21-volume, 1860 edition of Washington Irving’s works. (Patricia Williams)
Nevada City
Artifacts from the California Gold Rush and the influx of Chinese Americans are housed at Nevada City’s Firehouse No. 1 museum. (Patricia Williams)
Nevada City
Booktown Books in Nevada City is a 3,200-square-foot cooperative of more than a dozen dealers in a beautifully illuminated space. (Patricia Williams)
The Book Seller
Grass Valley, Calif. (Patricia Williams)
Main Street Books & Antiques
A long shelf life at Main Street Books & Antiques in Nevada City, Calif. (Patricia Williams)
Grass Valley Courtyard Suites
Grass Valley Courtyard Suites is a short walk from Grass Valley’s historic downtown. (Patricia Williams)
Ames Bookstore
Numbering between 200,000 and 300,000, the stock at Ames Bookstore in Grass Valley covers a range of interests unearthed withiin a rabbit-warren display. (Patricia Williams)
Carol’s Recycled Paperbacks
The 20,000-some volumes at Carol’s Recycled Paperbacks are arranged by subject, including the always popular “ghosts and angels.” (Patricia Williams)
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The historic Carlton Hotel in Atascadero, Calif., has been rejuvenated after extensive restoration. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
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Adelaida Road winds through the northern end of San Luis Obispo County where the land is thick with walnut trees and vineyards. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
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Vinny and Gerry DiPompei prepare to sample Adelaida 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon at Adelaida Cellars vineyard. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
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Lake Atascadero attracts people and their pets in search of exercise or solitude. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
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The lobby of the Carlton Hotel is compact but plush, with upholstered furniture and marble floors and counters. The ground floor’s coffee shop and spacious restaurant overlook the main intersection. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
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The Carlton Hotel, estab. 1929. (Don Kelsen / LAT)
Drive
Wildflowers are beginning to bloom in the Owens Valley. Soon, areas like this one in the Alabama Hills will be covered with the colors of spring. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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Reeds and cattails thrive along part of Owens Lake near Keeler. Much of the lake is still mined, but there is life left in the salty marshes. Some of the lake is being flooded with water to keep dust to a minimum. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Kramer Antiques and Pottery, just off Highway 395 in Boron near the intersection of Highway 58, extends into a large yard with road signs, old gas pumps and relics from the highway and bygone days of motoring. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Just off Highway 395 in Bishop, Calif., the classic neon Thunderbird Motel sign invokes a bygone era of traveling. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Rivulets such as this one near Keeler are found in Owens Dry Lake, attracting millions of flies to the brackish water. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Snow-capped mountains are filtered through the misty, late-afternoon light in a timeless tableau near Bishop. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
The Laws Railroad Museum captures a time when the railroad from Nevada to Keeler stopped here. Near Bishop, 11 acres are dedicated to preserving old buildings, locomotives and and other artifacts from the Old West. Admission is free. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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The White Mountains and their attendant clouds are rendered pink by the setting sun. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Wildflowers announce spring in the Owens Valley. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
The Kava Coffeehouse on Main Street in Bishop is popular among laptoppers on wi-fi, readers and the social set. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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The fast water of the Bishop Creek Recreation Area signifies the melting winter snowpack. Later months bring fishing here and in nearby lakes and streams. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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Horses and ranches dot the landscape throughout the Owens Valley. This inquisitive equine lives on Moffat Ranch Road between Lone Pine and Manzanar. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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The Mount Whitney Fish Hatchery in Independence opened in 1917 and today provides brood stock for golden, brown and rainbow trout. (Mark Boster / LAT)
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In a year of bountiful snow, Mammoth Mountain offers winter recreation through July. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
The route along U.S. Highway 395 south of Lee Vining, Calif., rewards travelers with mountain vistas. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
“Cowboy” Bob Keiser, 82, a chain-smoking, two-time bronze-star winning World War II and Korea veteran, has been on the rodeo circuit and run cattle most of his life. He and his wife Pam run Cowboy Bob’s Curio Corral in Randsburg, a semi-ghost town of 200 souls. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
Mono Lake’s tufa towers are composed of minerals created by fresh water springs bubbling through the alkaline lake. The saltwater ecosystem is home to brine shrimp, alkali flies and migratory birds. The lake damage wrought by years of quenching the thirst of Southern California is being addressed today by balancing the preservation of a national treasure with the need for water. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Drive
The neon tubes are gone, the paint is eroding, but the message is still clear for an abandoned cafe on Sterling Road in Pearsonville on Hwy 395. It recalls attempts to foster civilization in the high desert. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Hydrotherapy
HYDROTHERAPY: Candles flicker around a copper tub at Le Petite Retreat, where soothing music accompanies the scented soak. (Annie Wells / LAT)
Privacy
PRIVACY: A treatment cabana at Le Petite Retreat day spa in urban L.A. (Annie Wells / LAT)
If you dare
IF YOU DARE: Spa goers at Arizona’s Miraval resort may brave the Quantum Leap. You strap on a harness, climb a 25-foot pole and jump. (Beverly Beyette / LAT)
Interiors and exteriors
INTERIORS AND EXTERIORS: Guests are urged to explore their inner selves, but Miraval’s outer trappings are worth a look, too. (Beverly Beyette / LAT)
Look up
LOOK UP: Ambience counts at the Polynesian-inspired Le Petite spa in L.A. Customers can gaze at paper parasols during a facial. (Annie Wells / LAT)
Time out
TIME OUT: A guest relaxes at Carlsbad’s La Costa Resort & Spa. Spas and their choices of treatments have multiplied in recent years. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
San Francisco
San Francisco is an easy weekend trip. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
The parlor of a one-bedroom suite at the Hotel Rex is a mix of vibrant colors. The San Francisco hotel underwent a $1 million renovation in 2003 (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
The lobby bar at the Hotel Rex is said to have been inspired by the literary salons of the 1930s. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
Cuisine at Hotel Rex’s Café Andrée is a French-Latin fusion. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
Close to Union Square and across from the Curran Theater, Hotel Diva’s 116 rooms are ready for their close-up. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
San Francisco’s Hotel Diva: sleek and cool. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
Vinyl records, painted by the artist Klutch, enliven a room at the Hotel des Arts, off Union Square in San Francisco. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
With hotel parking fees as high as $57 per day, consider forgoing a car for San Francisco’s excellent public transportation system. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
In a former life, Hotel Majestic was an Edwardian mansion . (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge illuminates the San Francsico fog. (Myung J. Chun / LAT)
Catalina
Avalon, Catalina Island’s main town, hugs the coast. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
We all scream for ice cream at Dessert Island on Crescent Avenue in Avalon. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
A kayaker noses into the Casino Boat Dock Cafe in Avalon. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Their (model) ship has come into the House of Wood, a curio shop on Crescent Avenue in Avalon. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
The Inn on Mt. Ada hass an eagle’s eye view of the harbor at Avalon on Catalina Island. The Georgian colonial mansion that once belonged to the Wrigleys is a six-room luxury hotel. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
An epidemic of island fever sweeps Luau Larry’s on Crescent Avenue in Avalon. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Catalina’s own stairway to heaven at the Inn at Mount Ada. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Pedestrian friendly Crescent Avenue is Avalon’s main thoroughfare. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
The tall ship Exy Johnson sets sail from Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Although it has no gambling, Avalon’s Casino is a Catalina landmark, housing a movie theater and ballroom. The name in Italian means “gathering place.” (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Flip’s Saltwater Bar and Grill, on Catalina Avenue in Avalon, promises to have “the only sushi bar between Los Angeles and Hawaii.” (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
Catalina
Harbor lights at the break of dawn in Avalon. (Bob Chamberlin / LAT)
All hands on deck
Crew member Ben Cuatt, in period garb, leads the younger folks in cranking the sail-raising capstan aboard the Star of India at San Diego’s Maritime Museum. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Too cool to be school
The Star of India, launched in 1863, was restored in 1976 and serves as a sea-worthy classroom. (LAT)
Sailor’s life
An overnight aboard the ship pretends to re-create a sailor’s life, complete with deck-swabbing, night watch and meals of “rat stew.” (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Musical
One of the oldest active sailing ships in the world, the Star of India anchors in San Diego Harbor. The iron-hulled cargo ship, built 1863, invites visitors to sleep aboard at certain times of the year. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Fire
The Californian fires a cannon salute as the Star of India passes the B-39 Soviet Submarine, another vessel in the fleet of the San Diego Maritime Museum. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Aye, Mr. Dalton
First Mate Kyle Dalton, right, surveys sailors before boarding the Star of India. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
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