California has produced a stunning map/guide. Describes a dozen geographical regions--the North Coast, Shasta-Cascade, the High Sierra, the Central Coast, Central Valley, Inland Empire, the Gold Country, San Francisco Bay Area, the deserts, San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties. The three-foot map pinpoints everything from the Redwoods of Northern California to the beaches of San Diego. Service stations would charge at least $3 for this slick package. It's yours free by writing to the California Office of Tourism, 1121 L St., Suite 103, Sacramento, Calif. 95814.
Years ago Arthur Frommer told travelers how they could do Europe on $5 a day. Now a San Francisco group is telling us how we can do California on $5.50 a night (half price for kids traveling with parents). It's called the California Hostel Experience. Low-cost lodging for all ages. This group has 31 hostels scattered throughout the state. For a brochure write to American Youth Hostels, 680 Beach St., Suite 396, San Francisco 94109.
Air Jamaica has increased its non-stop flights between Los Angeles and Montego Bay to three a week. You leave at 11:20 p.m. (Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays) and arrive in Jamaica at 7 o'clock the following morning. This is a good buy. Only $399 round trip. Or there's a package that goes for $499, including the flight and a hotel for six nights. Jamaica is one of the prettiest islands in the Caribbean, and there's lots of action this summer. For a big package of information (map included) write to the Jamaica Tourist Board, Suite 1207, 3440 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 90010, or telephone (213) 384-1123. No return envelope necessary.
Biking New York
A group that calls itself the Hungry Pedalers does bike tours of Manhattan with pit stops at ethnic restaurants. Trips take in Harlem, Little Italy in the Bronx, the Russian sector of Brooklyn, Greek and Armenian neighborhoods in Queens. Figure on about $10 per biker. Meals are extra. Contact the Hungry Pedalers at (212) 222-2243. Other bike tours sponsored by American Youth Hostels, (212) 431-7100 and Country Cycling tours, (212) 874-5151.
More on Bikers
Closer to home, other bikers are pedaling off on tours of the Napa-Sonoma wine country and down the Pacific Coast Highway between Monterey and Los Angeles. Six days at Napa/Sonoma will cost you $250. Includes campground fees, one night in a motel, three meals a day, maps, a van to carry luggage. Contact Bicycling West, P.O. Box 15128, San Diego 92115-0128.
Germany is doing a rerun of its popular Wunderpackage (a holdover from 1984). Features shelter in family-run inns and hotels for as little as $19.50 per person a night. Other rates up to $43 for deluxe digs in the big cities. For details contact the German National Tourist Office, 444 S. Flower St., Los Angeles 90071, (213) 688-7332. Or you can buy the package from DER, 520 Broadway, Santa Monica 90401, (213) 394-0288, and Unique Holidays, 17744 Skypark Blvd., Irvine, Calif. 92714, (714) 250-1234. There's also a tie-in with the Cortell Group, 3 East 54th St., New York 10022, telephone toll-free (800) 223-6626). Besides the hotels, the Cortell people are offering late-model cars (unlimited mileage) for as little as $75 a week (make that $49 if you fly with Lufthansa).
Whenever I pack for a trip I nearly always forget something, even after 25 years. A topcoat, razor, sweater. Something. Now Irv Yudin of Worldwide Travel has come up with a handy checklist that almost guarantees you'll leave nothing behind. A total of 90 items. Everything from antihistamines to umbrellas. On the opposite side, Yudin has prepared a list of hints/tips for travelers. And it's all free. Contact him c/o Worldwide Travel, 4605 Barranca Parkway, Suite 103, Irvine, Calif. 92714, or telephone (714) 552-0836.
If you're in Hawaii over the Fourth of July a big party is being planned on Maui. It's the Great Kailua Pig Cook-Off, which is Hawaii's answer to the chili cook-off that Texans stage each year. It begins at noon. While the pigs are roasting, islanders will entertain. Food booths will feature tempura, malasadas , frankfurters, hulihuli chicken, sushi, ice cream, soft drinks, beer. It'll all be laid out at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Kaanapali Beach. Too late to write but you can call the lady in charge, Debra Thompson, at (808) 661-3611.
Ireland--Ginny Henderson, Glendale: Enjoyed the Priory Lodge B&B, Grove Ave., Blackrock County, Dublin, Ireland. "It's 15 minutes from Dun Laoghaire ferry dock. Paid 20 for a beautiful twin bedroom with fireplace, dressing room, bath."
Ireland/England--Carol Peterson, Los Angeles: Recommends the Cuwarevaugh House, a 19th-Century country mansion on Lough Corrib, Oughteard, County Galway, Ireland. Daily 26.50 per person. In England the Old Manor, Dunster, Somerset TA24 6PJ. Another: The Barn & Pinn Cottage in Bond Cross, Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0ND, England. B&B, daily 12 per person.