Here summer is barely ending and already Rae Foster is talking about Christmas. She's opened a Maps to Anywhere Travel Shoppe at 1514 N. Hillhurst Ave. (second floor), Hollywood 90027. Figures a map would make a fine Christmas gift. Foster also handles atlases, money belts, dual voltage travel irons/hair dryers, conversion calculators, luggage, language tapes. Store stocks 1,200 travel guides in addition to the inventory of 10,000 maps. You get a free map (worth $3.95 to $6.95) with each $20 purchase. Telephone (213) 660-2101 Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.
The ranks of wine buffs keep growing. For dyed-in-the-wool grape lovers, there's a handy booklet that's filled with maps of the California wine country. Besides maps, the magazine-size booklet tells about restaurants, lodges, B&Bs. Covers Napa County, Sonoma County, Mendocino/Lake counties, San Francisco, the North Central Coast, the South Central Coast, Southern California, Central Valleys, Sierra Foothills. Lists 140 wineries in Napa alone. Altogether, more than 500 wineries are named in the booklet as well as more than 400 hotels/B&Bs/restaurants. There's an easy referral index at the back of the book. Sells for $3.95 plus $1.25 for shipping. Copies available from the Wine Spectator Wine Maps, Opera Plaza, Suite 2040, 601 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, Calif. 94102.
Several readers have asked for the name of a California-based B&B reservations service. One of the oldest and best is Bed & Breakfast International, 151 Ardmore Road, Kensington, Calif. 94707. Telephone 8 a.m./5 p.m. (415) 527-8836. Jean Brown is a pioneer in B&B reservations. Dozens of destinations (a few outside California). Credit cards accepted for deposit. Accommodations range from new town house apartments to old Victorians. (Brown also represents a houseboat owner in Sausalito.) All accommodations are personally inspected by her staff.
A Home in England
Received a note from Kates Jones of England. Says this is the first year she's had no action on her "holiday flat rental" in Gloucestershire. Jones tells us that the apartment (it's over an antique store) has three bedrooms, a sitting room/dining room, kitchen, bath. Only 25 miles from Bath and Bristol, 20 miles from Cheltenham, 90 miles from London, 50 miles from Stonehenge, 65 miles from Stratford-on-Avon. Contact Jones at 3 Goose Green, Ozleworth, Wooton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7FY, England. (Rates are 180 per week in the high season).
Britain on Budget
Campus Holidays USA arranges home stays for Americans traveling in Britain. As little as $75 for three nights in central London. In the perimeter of London you can do seven nights for even less--about $85. These homes are near the London Underground, says Campus Holidays. Makes getting around easy. These people book other homes in Oxford, Bath and Inverness in Scotland (seven nights or longer). Details from Campus Holidays USA, 242 Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair, N.J. 07043. Telephone toll-free (800) 526-2915.
Britain With Style
A 96-page booklet tells about country inns and hotels throughout Britain under the Great Western banner. Descriptions along with rates, photographs/maps. A total of 185 properties are listed. Telephone numbers for each destination. Some castles serve as Best Western hotels in England, Scotland, Wales. Northfield Hotel, originally a 17-room private house with two acres of gardens, faces the sea in Somerset. In Chagford the Great Tree Hotel was a former hunting lodge surrounded by 25 acres of gardens, woods. For free copies of the '86/'87 guide, write to Marketing Services, Fulfillment Order--Great Britain, Best Western International, P.O. Box 10203, Phoenix, Ariz. 85064-0203. For reservations call toll-free (800) 528-1234.
Riding the Rails
In case you missed the item in the Travel Section recently, Amtrak is offering a $7 round-trip excursion fare that's good through next June. Exceptions are holiday periods Nov. 25-30, Dec. 17-Jan. 4. Offered with one-way fares of $60 and up. Example: If your one-way fare is $65, you'd pay Amtrak $72. Amtrak is also selling new low-cost regional tickets that will be honored through next June. Some good savings. For other details call toll-free (800) USA-RAIL.
One of Holland's major provinces has produced a 40-page magazine-size booklet describing hotels, the local cuisine, tourist attractions, etc. The destination is Gelderland, famous for its huge nature preserve, the celebrated Kroller-Muller Museum, a 17th-Century royal palace and a museum that depicts the battle for Arnhem in "A Bridge Too Far." The booklet is free by writing to the Netherlands National Tourist Office, 605 Market St., Room 401, San Francisco, Calif. 94105. Same office will mail you material on other provinces of Holland.