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Our reader recommendations

THE SOURCEBOOK: BEING THERE

February 01, 2004

Each week in "Readers Recommend," the Travel section shares tips on worthwhile lodgings, restaurants, tour guides and other resources on the road. Here is a roundup of some of the recommendations published in the last year. Although the information here was correct when it was originally published, some details may have changed. Please contact the source to confirm prices, hours and other information.

To submit suggestions, write to "Readers Recommend"/Travel section, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012; fax (213) 237-7355, e-mail travel@latimes.com. Please include your name, address and phone number, and also the address, phone number and Internet site of the place or person you are recommending.

United States

Arizona

Rancho Sonora Inn and RV Park, 9198 N. Highway 79, Florence 85232; (800) 205-6817, www.ranchosonora.com. "We revisited this inn after seven years and found it even more delightful than the first time. Close to Casa Grande Ruins National Monument." Doubles start at $69.

-- Peter and Ann Weisbrod, Laguna Beach

Out of Africa Wildlife Park, 9736 N. Ft. McDowell Road, Scottsdale 85264; (480) 837-7779, www.outofafricapark.com. "Twelve miles outside Scottsdale, this wildlife park offers an opportunity to interact closely with happy, healthy animals. Lions, panthers, bears, wolves, tigers, giraffes etc. in a natural setting." Admission: adults, $14.95; seniors, $13.95; children 3-12 years, $6.95.

-- Peggy Cordero,

Tustin

California

Burton Inn, 4022 Burton Drive, Cambria 93428; (800) 572-7442, www.burtoninn.com. "This beautifully decorated downtown inn is on a quiet side street next to several good restaurants and shopping. The staff is first class." Doubles start at $99.

-- Reed Hanks,

Oceanside, Calif.

Cayucos Sunset Inn, 95 S. Ocean Ave., Cayucos 93430; (877) 805-1076, fax (805) 995-2999, www.cayucossunsetInn.com. "This Central Coast inn is beautifully decorated. Our room had a casual Country French decor and featured a huge bath with a Jacuzzi tub for two and separate shower. The bedroom had a fireplace, small refrigerator and a private patio." Doubles start at $189.

-- Linda Johnson, Cerritos

Fess Parker's Wine Country Inn & Spa, 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos 93441; (800) 446-2455, fax (805) 688-1942, www.fessparker.com. "Beautiful inn is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of L.A. Generous-sized guest rooms, a cozy fireplace and lots of big, comfortable pillows and bedding." Doubles from $248.

-- Richard Carter,

Glendale

Ashworth House, 4953 Ashworth Road, Mariposa 95338; (209) 966-5504, www.yosemitelinks.com/ashworthhouse. "Spacious suites and rooms on picturesque acreage near Yosemite National Park. Decks offer outstanding sunset views." Doubles from $70.

-- David Trask,

Mission Viejo

Reed Manor, P.O. Box 127, Mendocino 95460; (707) 937- 5446, www.reedmanor.com. "On a hill overlooking Mendocino and the Pacific, this inn is a class act, with sweeping views and within walking distance of shops, restaurants and the Mendocino Art Center. Rooms are beautifully furnished." Doubles start at $175.

-- W. Robin White,

South Pasadena

The Seasons Bed & Breakfast, 2934 Bedford Ave., Placerville 95667; (530) 626-4420, www.theseasons.net. "Charming inn with four lovely rooms and beautiful garden. We loved staying in the cottage, a private retreat in the garden. Fabulous breakfasts in the main house, built in 1859." Doubles start at $115.

-- Sharon Budge,

Santa Monica

Petit Soleil, 1473 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo 93401; (800) 676-1588, (805) 549-0321, www.petitsoleilslo.com. "Wonderfully quaint bed-and-breakfast is an easy walk (four or five blocks) from downtown San Luis Obispo. Each room has a theme and unique decor." Doubles $125 weekdays, $179 weekends.

-- Tracy Jones and Brian

Kfoury, Santa Monica

and Fountain Valley

The Victorian Rose, 896 E. Main St., Ventura 93001; (805) 641-1888, www.victorian-rose.com "Victorian Gothic church built in the late 1800s has been restored and renovated into a unique five-bedroom B&B. Fantastic rooms decorated with antiques and large stained-glass windows." Doubles start at $99.

-- Mark and Leslie Bellegia, Diamond Bar

Florida

Calypso's Seafood Grille, 1 Seagate Blvd., Key Largo; (305) 451-0600. "Casual dockside cafe is worth a trip from anywhere in South Florida just for dinner. Last time, I ordered a yellowfin tuna special with a sour cream sauce and caviar -- unbelievable. Even if you're not a fan of sangria, order theirs anyway. It's sensational." Entrees from $10.95.

-- Vicki Paris Goodman, Long Beach

Hawaii

Hilo Bay Hostel, 101 Waianuenue Ave., Hilo 96720; (808) 933-2771, fax (808) 935-1183, www.hawaiihostel.net. "This new hostel -- it opened in February [2003] -- has a downtown location near the bus station. Good beds and clean showers. Also, fast Internet access, free coffee, friendly manager. Volcano tours available." Dorm beds $18 per night; private rooms start at $38.

-- Pat Mulligan,

Tustin

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