Exploring the California Delta by houseboat has been getting a good deal of attention from families, couples in recent summers. These boats will accommodate from two to 10 persons. Here's an uncomplicated life style. Sail upriver or downriver, or just anchor in a cove and sunbathe, fish or snooze. Ski boats available as well. Vacationers can cook aboard or dock at a variety of waterside restaurants along the Delta. It's like renting a condo, only with navigational options. Roll out of bed and break out the bacon and eggs. No waiters, no fuss. Toss a fishing line into the water and wait for a bite or cut in the engine and cast off for a new spot along the river. Sounds like fun. For reservations call the Delta Rental Houseboat Hotline (209) 477-1840 or write to Houseboats, 6333 Pacific Ave., Suite 152, Stockton, Calif. 95207. They'll mail you a free packet of brochures, price lists from various Delta houseboat companies.
More than 200 vacation ideas are listed in a tabloid-size guide published by an Idaho reservation service. Covers areas of Southern California, Florida, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Oregon. Designed for singles, couples, families. Everything from a six-night fly/drive package in Colorado that includes a river trip from Vail ($391) to five-day river expeditions in Idaho ($695). Accommodations at B&Bs, condos and five-star hotels. A number of golf/tennis destinations. For a free copy write to Central Reservations, P.O. Box 979, Sun Valley, Ida. 83353.
Families planning to vacation at Yosemite's campgrounds can make their reservations through Ticketron. Rates are $10 per night in Yosemite Valley, $9 at Hodgdon Meadow Campground on California 120 (this is at the Big Oak Flat entrance to the park). Ticketron, which operates more than 600 outlets nationwide, advises vacationers that reservations may be made from eight to 12 weeks in advance, either in person or by mail. Telephone reservations aren't accepted. For other information write to the National Park Information Office, 22900 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills 91364. Telephone (818) 888-3770.
If you're searching for maps, keep in mind Hollywood's shop: Maps to Anywhere. Stocks hundreds of hard-to-find editions. Individual maps of the Greek Islands, the Himalayas, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, China. Practically anyplace you can name in the world. These same people handle three-dimensional relief maps as well. The company also stocks bed-and-breakfast guidebooks (the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe). Other guides cover European waterways, French canals, hiking trails (for people who love to walk the back roads of Europe and around the world). Other departments handle language calculators, phrase books, cassettes, travel accessories. Contact Maps to Anywhere Travel Shoppe, 1514 N. Hillhurst Ave. (2nd Floor), Hollywood 90027, or telephone (213) 660-2101. Open noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
A new 84-page guide for vacationers planning trips to New Mexico is divided into six regions (north central, central, northwest, northeast, southeast, southwest). Contains information about art galleries, parks, recreation opportunities. The "1987 New Mexico Vacation Guide" features a full-color travel map of the state as well as addresses, telephone numbers of more than 50 chambers of commerce, and convention and visitor bureaus. For a free copy write to the New Mexico Tourism & Travel Division, ED & TD, Room 751, Joseph M. Montoya Building, 1100 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, N.M. 87503.
Mexico's Spanish language school at Cuernavaca is expanding. Offers "total immersion" study courses for beginners, up, including those with a fluency for the language. Tuition is $125 a week. Students live with Mexican families. Room and board available from $10 to $15 per day. Makes this one of the best buys in Mexico. Courses are designed to "help students develop conversational fluency in the shortest possible time." We've had good reports on this program. For details contact the U.S. office of the Center for Bilingual Studies, 3133 Lake Hollywood Drive, P.O. Box 1860, Los Angeles 90078 or telephone (213) 851-3403.
It's called Lord Winston's Walking Tours. Zeros in on that lovely countryside of Britain known as the Cotswolds. Daily distances of about 10 miles using ancient footpaths, bridle ways. No need to carry backpacks. Baggage is delivered ahead by van to the next inn or hotel. The tour begins in Stratford-on-Avon with a performance at Stratford's famous Memorial Theater. Other visits to Blenheim Castle (birthplace of Winston Churchill), a 50-acre arboretum and Sudeley Castle (once the home of Lady Jane Grey).