New Hampshire during summer is a trip to a near-forgotten era when life was simpler and the world scene a safer place. Picnics in the woods. Bicycling along back roads (where the voice of a bird seems as startling as a clap of thunder). Canoe and kayak trips down rivers, across lakes. To assist travelers with their vacation plans, the state has published a new 164-page guidebook that describes the longest covered bridge in the United States, the lake of "On Golden Pond" film fame, plus other attractions. One section deals with a Connecticut river tour, telling of a base camp, fishing (a river map is included). Other listings for agencies renting power boats, sailboats, row boats. Additional details on lodging, dining, resorts, plus a handy highway map.
Free copies from the New Hampshire Office of Vacation Travel & Tourism, P.O. Box 856, Concord, N.H. 03301, (603) 271-2665.
Cape Cod by the Bay: Business travelers are zeroing in on the new Oyster Point Marina Inn near San Francisco International Airport. A Cape Cod-style B&B. Thirty rooms. Country furnishings (brass lamps, thick comforters, individual fireplaces). Each room with a view of the bay. Decks for strolling among boats tied up in the marina. Mary Lococo, formerly of the Pillar Point Inn at Half Moon Bay, is the general manager, chef, house mother, ad infinitum. Lococo runs Oyster Point Marina like an inn that had been transplanted from New England. Describes it as "country comfort in the city." Only five miles from the airport. Shuttle buses both ways (free parking for motorists). Breakfast served fireside. Oyster Point is a steal in these days of rising prices. Rates from $99 single, $109 double ($12 for an extra guest).
Oyster Point Marina Inn, 425 Marina Blvd., San Francisco 94080, (415) 737-7633.
Family Vacation: A family summer package by the Ojai Valley Inn & Country Club figures out to $175 per day for four guests. Here's what's offered: accommodations, use of the health club, swimming/whirlpools. The package includes golf/tennis clinics, movies (Tuesdays/Thursdays), a cocktail party, daily supervised play for children (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Dozens of hiking/biking trails (free use of the bicycles). The inn with its 220 acres dates from 1923. Note: A 50% discount is offered for a second room (Sunday through Thursday night).
The Ojai Valley Inn & Country Club, Country Club Drive, Ojai 93023, (800) 422-6524 or (805) 646-5511. From Los Angeles, take Highway 101 north to Ventura, connect with Highway 33 to Ojai. About 80 miles one way.
Home in Britain: For travelers doing Britain this summer, our friend John Baldwin-Seales of Sterling Tours suggests a vacation planned around country homes. Everything from timber-framed Elizabethan manor houses to Georgian mansions and cottages whose windows frame marvelous English gardens. An 80-page booklet with photos provides profiles of dozens of properties. In southern England, The Old Vicarage (Burbage, Marlborough, Wiltshire) rises next door to a church in this village with its thatched cottages (about $42/$50 per night). In Buckinghamshire, The Mill House rises near the river Ouse in the historic market town of Olney, about a 90-minute drive from London, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford-upon-Avon ($40). Only 15 miles from Bath, a Victorian mansion called Sandridge Park is set in 30 acres of parkland with a bowling green and a garden that provides the kitchen with fresh vegetables ($60). Scores of other choices in villages ranging from Vournemouth in the south to The Factor's House in Scotland (overlooking the North Sea, with day trips to the Orkney Islands, $50).
For a free copy of Wolsey lodges, write to John Baldwin-Seales, Sterling Tours, 2707 Congress St., Suite 1-H, San Diego 92110, (800) 727-4359.
Pennsylvania Dutch: The Inn at Twin Linden in Churchtown, Pa., has been named "New Inn of the Month" by Inn Business Review. The Twin Linden rises in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country. Refurbished by proprietors Bob and Donna Leahy. Six guest rooms with oak floors, private baths, period antiques, an outdoor Jacuzzi. The inn's Hunt Club features candlelight meals. Summer dining in the courtyard. Afternoon tea is served on the porch while Amish/Mennonite buggies spin by on a country road. Rooms face gardens, a grove of linden trees. A couple of acres of bliss.
Inn at Twin Linden, 2092 Main St., Churchtown, Pa. 17555, (215) 445-7619. Rates: $75/$90.