Mike Miller, a long-time resident of Alaska, publishes a newsletter that tells all about his favorite state. Six issues a year for $20. The latest (28 pages devoted to fishing) is available for $5 for the single copy and includes 30 road maps pinpointing Miller's favorite fishing holes. Future copies of Miller's newsletter will tell about offbeat adventures in Alaska, new resorts/excursions and will contain a listing of discounted tours/accommodations. Mike Miller's Alaska Travel Newsletter: Box 1494, Juneau, Alaska 99802.
Drove up to Ventura to see a new B&B called La Mer and it gets our own five stars. Five rooms representing five European countries in a charming 1909 Cape Cod-style Victorian. On a hillside with a view of the ocean. And real European atmosphere. Gisela Baida is a native of Siegerland, Germany. Her mother shipped over goose-down comforters, a houseful of antiques. Husband Mike created a Bavarian-style breakfast room where a buffet is served each morning: European cheeses, apple strudel, coffeecake, croissants, German twist bread. And in case someone doesn't feel like driving, Gisela and Mike will send a chauffeur-driven antique limousine to deliver the guest to Ventura. Room rates: $55/$80 plus corporate discounts. La Mer Bed & Breakfast: 411 Poli St., Ventura 93001, telephone (805) 643-3600. (Note: All but one room have their own private entrances.)
A new travel service is being offered free to travelers making hotel/motel reservations in California. No charge for booking rooms. All price categories. The same people will make reservations in Reno/Las Vegas as well. Call The California Travel Connection toll-free at (800) 443-0123. Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., seven days a week.
Week's Best Buy
Nothing is cheap anymore, but $55 a night for a room in a top-rate hotel is a deal. Particularly in the nation's capital. That's the price (single or double) this summer at the Radisson Henley Park Hotel, 926 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C. 20001 (includes a continental breakfast in the hotel's Coeur de Lion restaurant). Suites are 20 bucks extra. The Henley is just down the block from the White House. Within walking distance of the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, Union Station, the city's convention center. And Marley's lounge is the perfect spot to quaff a cooler after doing the capital's sites.
A note from George Henck of Freighter World Cruises tells us that Columbus Line Freighters will do trips between Long Beach and Australia/New Zealand every two weeks beginning this October. Henck says the ships are "beautiful." Sent along snapshots of swimming pools, Jacuzzis. (Note: Every other cruise will call at Honolulu.) Duration: 45-50 days. Rates are pegged at $4,700 per person in twin-bedded cabins (singles, $5,600). Figures out to a trifle over $100 a day. Contact your travel agent or Henck c/o Freighter World Cruises, 180 S. Lake Ave., Suite 335, Pasadena 91101, telephone (818) 449-3106.
Classic Choo Choo
Classic Rail Travel is sponsoring a trip by private cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco and Portland Sept. 18. An all-bedroom Pullman, a classic diner-lounge, a dome-style observation car and a Dixieland band. Travel all the way to Portland or drop off in Oakland, $199/$650. Other details from Classic Rail Travel, P.O. Box 2541, Orange, Calif. 92669, or telephone (714) 532-1380.
Paris on the Cheap
A new canal excursion boat trip in Paris takes in the village of La Villette along the Canal de l'Our, then moves on to the town of Meaux on the Canal St. Martin. Passes through a lock 30 feet high. Five trips daily, 9:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays. Check in at the Jean-Jaures Metro stop. Price: $3.50. Makes it one of Paris' best buys.
Oregon--H. J. Evans, Fullerton: "A charming bed and breakfast called Oceanhouse, 4920 N.W. Woody Way, Newport, Ore. 97365. Prices $40/$60."
Oregon--Jeanne W. Evers, Lakewood: "Discovered a charming restaurant, Hamilton House, 344 N.E. Terry Lane, Grants Pass, Ore. Telephone 479-3938."
Scotland--Frank and Carolyn Esohen, San Diego: "In Scotland we chanced upon an excellent B&B, Hazelhurst, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire AB3 SHY, Scotland. Rates $10 to $13 per person. The breakfasts were great and the owner will provide box lunches, supper or dinner if asked."
England--Myrdelle Teaford, Van Nuys: "The best find in England--Brunel's Tunnel House in Saltford BS18 3BQ, England. Five minutes from Bath and 10 minutes from Bristol. A beautifully appointed double room with bath is 33 including breakfast. Optional four-course gourmet dinner is 7 per person. Call 022-173-873."
England--Peter Corsi, Hemet: Enjoyed Massetts Lodge, Massetts Road, Horley, Surrey, England. "Excellent accommodation and English breakfast for $30 a night including pickup to and from Gatwick Airport, VAT and parking."