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What's new at two other California fortresses

February 25, 2007|Mary Forgione

Scotty's Castle in Death Valley National Park is a ranch house with a hefty dollop of whimsy. You may take a one-hour tour of the castle ($11 adults; $6 ages 6 to 15), which is named for Walter Scott, a.k.a. Death Valley Scotty. Scott's residence, Lower Vine Ranch, is a mile walk from a nearby trailhead. A seasonal tour takes 2 1/2 hours and is available at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. March 9, 10, 23 and 24 and April 6 and 7. Tickets: $15 per person. Reservations required. Info: (760) 786-2392, www.nps.gov/deva/.

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Hearst Castle in San Simeon, 225 miles north of L.A., is the house that William Randolph built. Along with its three standard tours, docents re-create 1930s high society in special evening tours on most Fridays and Saturdays (March 2 through May 19; tickets: $30 for adults; $15 ages 6 through 17). Also, garden tours run from April 1 through October. A renovated visitor center with a Mediterranean Revival theme is set to open in summer. Info: (800) 444-4445 or www.hearstcastle.com.

-- Mary Forgione

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