Autumn is a relaxing season for a visit to Northern California's wine country. Summer crowds are gone. Vineyards display their fall colors. Crisp mornings, smoke rising from the chimneys of scores of B&Bs.
To welcome the autumn traveler, the Sonoma County Convention & Visitors Bureau has updated its guide to wine country B&Bs. A couple of dozen inns with photographs, sketches, descriptions. The Gables is a 112-year-old Gothic Victorian with a creek running by the property. Others: Creekside Inn & Resort, Heart's Desire (fresh flowers, goose-down comforters), Huckleberry Springs (on 56 wooded acres), Madrona Manor (a longtime favorite), Ye Olde Shelford House (surrey rides to wineries for picnic lunches).
For a copy of "Wine Country Bed & Breakfast Inns," write to the Sonoma County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 10 4th St., Santa Rosa, Calif. 95401. Telephone toll-free (800) 326-7666. At the same time, ask for the bureau's calendar of events and visitor guide (lists historic attractions, wineries, recreational areas).
Meanwhile, the Wine Institute of San Francisco has prepared a 68-page guide with information on tours/tastings at 515 wineries throughout California. Contains maps, directions, details on picnic facilities. For a copy, send a self-addressed envelope with 45 cents in postage to the Wine Institute, 165 Post St., San Francisco 94108.
A note from Robert Bergida of Los Angeles: "A friend in Paris wishes to exchange his beautiful one-bedroom Champs-Elysees apartment (a half-mile from the Arc de Triomphe) for an apartment in Los Angeles for two or three months beginning in September or October. If interested, please call me at (213) 274-6566."
Fall is the perfect time to be in Paris. Leaves will be turning on the chestnut trees. The frantic pace of summer will be over. Concerts and art exhibits are being scheduled throughout the City of Light. (Any season in Paris is the right season.)
A four-page newsletter produced by the Mexico West Travel Club answers the "45 most commonly asked questions about Baja, Calif." Discusses automobile insurance, the best seasons for touring Baja, fishing, road conditions, RV parks, whale watching. The Mexico West Travel Club's newsletter assists members with trip planning, hotel discounts, tours and other services. If you're a first-timer planning a visit along the 1,053-mile Baja Peninsula, club director Shirley Miller is ready with expert advice. For a copy of "Baja Questions," write to Miller, P.O. Box 1644, Bonita, Calif. 92002, or call (619) 585-3033.
Paul ("Crocodile Dundee") Hogan has sparked a huge interest in Australia with his TV commercials and invitation for Yanks to "come visit the country Down Under." The popular actor is singularly responsible for record crowds this year. In cooperation, the Queensland Tourist & Travel Corp. of Los Angeles has prepared five free special-interest brochures that spotlight activities in this Great Barrier reef state: fishing, golfing, diving, adventure holidays, yachting and cruising. The brochures portray Queensland as a high-priority South Pacific destination. The adventure brochure covers activities ranging from white-water rafting and kayaking to riding, camping, nature resorts.
For copies, call toll-free (800) 333-6050, or write to the Queensland Tourist & Travel Corp., 611 N. Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles 90004.
Ralph Slocum is known as public enemy No. 1 among pickpockets. Sells peace of mind for travelers. Security wallets that safeguard cash, passports, other valuables. The wallets are worn inside clothing. Designed for both men and women. Various styles clip onto slacks/skirts. Others hang from the neck or wrap around the ankle. Prices: $12/$22.50. At a time when pickpockets and purse snatchers are out in force in many cities, the security wallet is worth checking out. For a brochure describing Slocum's line of security wallets, write to Warren of California, 416 W. San Ysidro Blvd., Suite K23, San Diego 92073, or telephone (619) 575-0523.
If friends/relatives are planning a visit, the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau will mail you free copies of visitor/lodging guides. Information on sightseeing attractions, restaurants, entertainment, special events, hotels/inns. The guides provide travel tips, name free activities in greater Los Angeles County, list transportation/tour services. For copies, write to the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, 515 S. Figueroa St., 11th Floor, Los Angeles 90071.
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