The salad days of vintage railroad domeliners will be returning to California in 1990. Beginning March 1, the refurbished cars (oak, brass, plush carpeting) will operate daily between Los Angeles and Oakland. Unobstructed views. A dining salon featuring Irish linens, imported china. (No plastic plates on these cars.) Meals prepared to order. The domeliners will be operated by Princess Tours on Amtrak's Coast Starlight run. Other Princess dome cars serve Alaska. The California domeliners will leave Union Station at 9:55 a.m. daily, stopping in San Luis Obispo at 2:53 p.m., with an arrival in Oakland at 8:34 p.m. Fares will be $89.50 to San Luis Obispo, $179 to Oakland.
Details from Princess Rail Tours, 2815 2nd Ave., Suite 400, Seattle, Wash. 98121. Telephone toll-free (800) 835-8907. (Reservations accepted starting Nov. 20.)
Other trips aboard vintage rail cars are offered by Sentimental Rail Journeys of Mission Viejo. Destinations: Seattle/Vancouver, Michigan, New Orleans, Colorado. Tours in California take in San Francisco, Monterey, San Diego. These are luxuriously restored rail cars. Meals prepared on board.
For reservations and brochures, write to Sentimental Rail Journeys, P.O. Box 2729, Mission Viejo 92690. Call (714) 240-2101.
Guide to Yukon: Here's a guide that's packed with loads of useful information for travelers planning a trip next year to Canada's Yukon Territory. Takes in Whitehorse, Watson Lake, Faro, the Klondike gold fields, Dawson City. A score of other towns, villages. The 96-page guide provides up-to-date listings of attractions/accommodations. In Dawson City, choices range from Klondike Kate's to an inn with the fetching name of Partridge Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast.
Details on camping, fishing, dining, sightseeing, hiking, RV rentals, biking, canoeing. This is an excellent guide for anyone intending to vacation in the Yukon. One of the best giveaways we've come across in a long time.
Write for "Guide to the Yukon," Tourism Yukon, Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada Y1A 2C6.
Country Inns: If you're motoring to the Pacific Northwest, write for a free map pinpointing country inns in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia. The list includes Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Calif., Channel House at Depoe Bay in Oregon, the Captain Whidbey Inn on Whidbey Island (Washington) and the award-winning Beaconsfield Inn at Victoria, B.C. Names of another 20 inns appear on the map, including the popular Chanticleer in Ashland, Ore.
For copies of the map, write to Unique Northwest Country Inns, P.O. Box 429, Donald, Ore. 97020.
BritRail Passes: The cost for BritRail passes for 1990 are being hiked, but by buying now you can beat the inflationary spiral. Passes good through June 30 can be bought with credit cards by calling toll-free (800) 327-6097. You'll be saving between 6% and 14%. Economy passes (eight days) start at $179. Half-price for youngsters 15 years and under. These passes are good for unlimited train travel in England, Scotland, Wales. Ask about BritRail's other passes. (First-class costs $250 for eight days.)
Meanwhile, vacationers will save up to 23% on London Visitor Travelcards (unlimited transportation on the underground/buses) by ordering before the Dec. 29 deadline. Same toll-free number.
Rent-A-Wreck: A new directory listing more than 300 locations for Rent-A-Wreck cars/vans is available by writing to Rent-A-Wreck, 6053 W. Century Blvd., Suite 550, Los Angeles 90045. If you're in a hurry, call toll-free (800) 535-1391. Company rents/leases both used and new vehicles. Locations throughout the United States and Australia. Thirty pick-up spots in California alone. Savings on all types of cars. Don't let the name fool you. (Some slick models available).
Inn in the Rockies: Eagle River Inn at Minturn, Colo., has been rated one of the 10 best B&Bs in the state. Close to Vail and Beaver Creek ski resorts. This is an old adobe with a dozen rooms, private baths. Discounts November/December. Rates: $79 per night for two persons, with the third night free.
Eagle River Inn, 145 N. Main St., Minturn, Colo. 81645. For a brochure, call toll-free (800) 344-1750.
Note: We hear good things about Castle Marne, a three-story B&B in a century-old home in Denver. Nine refurbished guest rooms with private baths. Heirlooms/antiques. On the National Register of Historic Structures. Rates: $65/$135.
Castle Marne, 1572 Race St., Denver, Colo. 80206. Telephone (303) 331-0621. Proprietors: Diane and Jim Peiker.
Language Study: An enrollment center in Anaheim will arrange for home stays/language study courses in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Japan, Canada, France. Students live with families while attending classes. This is a year-round program. Enrollment is for a minimum of two weeks. Brochures available.
Language Studies Enrollment Center, P.O. Box 5095, Anaheim 92814. Call (714) 527-2918.