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Itinerary

Avoiding the Mall

November 26, 1998|ROBIN RAUZI

Americans spend their traditional Thanksgiving weekend this way: eat for one day and shop for three.

May we suggest that there are better ways to burn off those extra calories than by fighting through crowds at the mall? Seriously, just think about trying to park at the Beverly Center. Or trying to find your car again at the Glendale Galleria. Or facing the food court at the Northridge Fashion Center.

Makes you a little queasy, doesn't it? You've got time to shop. This weekend, relax.

Friday Morning

Rather than trekking through South Coast Plaza, trek along the real coast.

For those who prefer an easy walk--one that is stroller-friendly--the Children's Nature Institute is leading a walk at Malibu Lagoon State Beach at 10 a.m.; (310) 364-3591 for reservations. Or go by yourself, starting at Pacific Coast Highway at Cross Creek Road. From there it's a mile or so south to the pier, or an easy walk north for more than two miles, depending on the tide. The lagoon offers some of the region's best bird-watching.

Friday Afternoon

If you're not still stuffed, try Pierview (22718 Pacific Coast Highway, [310] 456-6962) for lunch. Seats by the windows or on the deck make you feel as if you are eating on the Pacific. For the more ambitious walkers, this can be the turnaround point for your beach stroll.

Stop off at the Adamson House (23200 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. $2 adults; $1 children. Regularly open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. [310] 456-8432). This grand Spanish-style house was built in 1929 and was the home of the Rindge family, who owned miles of the Malibu coastline at the turn of the century. The mansion, which is on 13 landscaped acres, is most notable for its colorful tile.

Saturday

Thanksgiving was the United States' first national holiday. On Oct. 3, 1789, President George Washington proclaimed Nov. 26 to be a national day of prayer and thanksgiving to God for being allowed to establish a government for the people's safety and happiness.

Give ol' George a visit at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens (1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. [626] 405-2141). Through May, the museum has on display "The Great Experiment: George Washington and the American Republic." The exhibit, which includes the largest collection of hand-written documents by Washington ever assembled, traces the history of our first president from his ambitious early days as a soldier to his later frustrating years as president. And don't forget to enjoy at least part of the 130-acre botanical garden.

Before you go, think about getting breakfast at the quaint French country cafe Julienne (2649 Mission St., San Marino. [626] 441-2299. Closes 4 p.m.).

Sunday

If, at this point, every bone in your body is aching to shop, at least try to resist the gravitational pull of the nearest mall. Check out some of the oddball shops in Silver Lake and Los Feliz (see Cover Story, Page 8), or maybe Folk Art to Funk in Santa Monica.

The semi-annual Folk Art to Funk sale (at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., at Pico Boulevard. Saturday, noon-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 admission; kids free), features antiques and collectibles from 250 vendors, many of whom come to Southern California only for this show. Vendors apparently save their most unusual items, too, for the Californians, so the 28,000-square-foot auditorium is filled with everything from quilts to photography, military items and garden statuary. Make your deals now: Some local antique dealers do their shopping here.

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