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WESTERN TRAVEL | ITINERARY

Whale-watching season on the California coast

January 01, 2006|Patricia Connell

San Diego and beyond

Through March: It's whale-watching season along the Southern California coast. Cabrillo National Monument on San Diego's Point Loma Peninsula offers a glass-enclosed observatory for spotting whales. It also hosts the Whale Watch Weekend and Intertidal Life Festival, Jan. 28-29, with exhibits, films and ranger-assisted whale spotting (www.nps.gov/cabr; click on Special Events). The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla marks the season with educational activities, exhibits, naturalist-guided local whale watching and excursions to Baja; see www.aquarium.ucsd.edu. In Los Angeles County, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro (www.cabrilloaq.org) holds tours and a family-friendly Whale Fiesta on Jan. 22. Numerous private companies also offer whale-watching excursions from the San Diego and Los Angeles areas; see, for example, www.dolphinsafari.com, www.islandpackers.com, www.longbeachcruises.com and www.redondosportfishing.com.

Palm Springs

Jan. 11 (ongoing): Cirque Dreams, a show featuring acrobats, contortionists, gymnasts and other performers, opens the new Palm Springs Pavilion Theatre, a 1,000-seat tent structure downtown. The show runs through May 20, after which it will be replaced by a series of plays, concerts and other performances and another, bigger Cirque production in the fall.

Palm Canyon Drive at Tahquitz Canyon Way; (760) 778-5715, www.pspavilion.com. Tickets $45-$59.

Blythe, Calif.

Jan. 20-22: The 19th annual Blythe Bluegrass Festival, one of the largest on the West Coast, twangs into action at the Colorado River Fairgrounds with 10 acts on two stages. Many visitors camp on-site in their RVs and hold jam sessions throughout the festival.

11995 Olive Lake Blvd.; three-day tickets $39, $33 in advance; (760) 922-8166, www.blytheareachamberofcommerce.com/bluegrass.

-- Patricia Connell

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