Travel BlogDaily news, deals and advice for Southern Californians
By Valli Herman
The trendy new hotel sandwiched between the Bellagio and CityCenter is aimed at young, tech-savvy couples and is more style-driven than most Vegas resorts.
By Dan Blackburn
Its natural beauty is painted by the sun, and its famed landmarks — Scotty's Castle and Furnace Creek Inn — beckon.
Have a spot your want to recommend? Share it
Tweets from the L.A. Times Travel staff
SPOTLIGHTS FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
See the travel expert at The Times' travel show. Promo code: GO.
See if our reviewer is a star-cross'd lover of this flick.
Get huge savings — from travel deals to fashion steals.
Do you agree with our top 50 picks? See the photo gallery.
Find the latest in travel destinations, tips and deals delivered to your inbox.See a sample
| Sign up
February 13, 2011
Madeline King Porter's comprehensive piece on Ojai ["A Prize Inside!" Feb. 6] neglected to mention the Made in Ojai store at 323 E. Matilija St. in the heart of downtown. This store carries only items made in Ojai and is staffed by the artists. The store carries art, jewelry, books, calendars, cards, music CDs and many other items. The selection is large, and the prices are excellent. Next door is Java & Joe, the well-known-to-locals coffee stop.
Regarding "Can I Kindle?" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Feb. 6]: Not everyone wants to buy a book to read once; many would like to borrow it from the library and use it on their e-readers. After the time is up, the book returns to the system without the reader having to do anything.
It is a disservice to the public to cut the public library out of the discussion about downloading digital content. You help to perpetuate the idea that all digital downloads cost people money.
Libraries continue to be the best source of free, quality information in our society. As people who work in print and digital media, you might consider giving it the same publicity you give to things people have to pay for.
San Luis Obispo
I'm glad a travel writer has finally begun to deal with the noxious issue of the latest security precautions ["Dreading a Pat-Down," On the Spot, Jan. 30]. However, I was dismayed that Hamm's approach reflects the offensively intrusive TSA, its so-called policies and its undisciplined agents. When was the last time you can recall anyone individually protesting effectively to the supervisor of any governmental agent — and having the outcome support your justified position?
A more thoughtful answer would be to urge that we organize with other passengers and interested citizens to collectively protest — and possibly sue — for a more constitutional approach to the safety and ease of air travel. Only through collective action can we begin to see our government promote the enhancement of a sense of individual respect rather than suffer this program of instilling fear. How shameful is it that Egyptians are willing to place their lives and livelihoods on the line for their liberty while we Americans are cowed into giving up our rights to our constitutional presumption of innocence and personal privacy.
A Santa Ynez Valley winery tour, the Noise Pop Festival in San Francisco and more.
February 13, 2011
SANTA YNEZ VALLEY, CALIF.
Wine AroundWhen, where:
Monday and Tuesday, Bridlewood Estate Winery, Fess Parker Winery, Foley WineryHighlights
: A last-minute Valentine's celebration features a winery tour and tasting.Cost:
$125, including wine tastings (with hors d'oeuvres) and transportationInfo:
(800) 742-2843, http://www.santaynezvalleyvisit.com/winearound
Noise Pop FestivalWhen, where:
Feb. 22-27, multiple venuesHighlights:
The weeklong celebration of indie music and culture also includes a film festival, art shows and an educational day.Cost:
Some shows are free, others require tickets and prices vary, though a comprehensive ticket costs $160.Info:
(415) 375-3370, 2011.noisepop.com
SANTA FE, N.M.
Monster Truck Winter NationalsWhen, where:
Feb. 25, Santa Ana Star CenterHighlights:
Bigfoot, Rock Star and California Kid will be among the automotive heroes doing the revving and smashing.Cost:
$15.50-$25.50; $10.50-$17.50 for childrenInfo:
(505) 891-7300, http://www.santaanastarcenter.com
March 19-27, various venuesHighlights:
Readers and writers will gather for nine days of workshops, readings, screenings and a book fair. During "Ojai-5," five writers write five plays in five hours.Cost:
Many events are free; some have a nominal cost.Info:
(805) 669-7373, email@example.com
Shop: Travel Offers & Deals
Looking to get away? Browse our destination and topics pages to read about vacation ideas, view photos and videos and get advice from our experts.
By Heidi Fuller-Love
A fly landed on my nose, and I wanted to sneeze, but I didn't dare. Muscled masseur Manoli, who had just caked my face with a slime-ball...
By Mary Ellen Monahan
I tell Valentina it's my first time in a banya and that I've forgotten to bring birch branches. "Oh, I'll flog you with mine," she...
By Rosemary McClure
The turquoise lagoons and misty mountains of Bora-Bora have always enchanted bride-to-be Maja Sakowsky. She's so enamored of the fabled...
By Benoit Lebourgeois
Gusts of wind lashed at the bay windows of the ferry terminal in St-Malo, France. The ground wobbled under my feet. A child whirled at...
By Jane Engle, Los Angeles Times
When a crisis strikes a country you're visiting, it pays to have friends. By the time the U.S. government began evacuating its citizens from...
By Jason S. Mandell
The odd coupling of tradition and trendiness that characterizes Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighborhood is perhaps nowhere more evident than at...
By Mark Vanhoenacker, Special to the Los Angeles Times
After an espresso or two has kicked jet lag into the long grass, I find no better place to plot a course in a city than at an independent...
By Jay Jones
In his blue-and-gold costume and a headdress bedecked with faux jewels, Wilbur Pillman might draw rude remarks in some places. But as a...
By Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times staff writer
From Chinatown to Olvera Street to the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, downtown has a lot to offer. Here are the highlights.
By Nancy Hoyt Belcher, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At the last minute, I added long johns to my suitcase. It was 29 degrees and snowing in Venice, and the one-week forecast called for snow or...
By Beverly Beyette
Let the other ships have their rock climbing walls and their water slides, their come as-you-are and do-as-you-please ambience. On the new...
By Karl Zimmermann
"Now I know what's meant by 'steering committee,'" the lock tender said with a laugh as the water, rushing through the sluice gates of...
Through Feb. 13
By Karl Zimmermann
On a windy, showery February evening midway through our 16-night cruise from Laem Chabang, Thailand, to Shanghai, my wife,...
By Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel
Disney Cruise Line christened its new ship this morning amid an explosion of pirates, princesses, drummers, Disney music and an Oscar...
More: Special advertising features
Château Brinon is a wonderful B&B; in a grand hunting lodge on 500 wooded acres in France's Loire Valley. Michael and Irene Schnaer are the owners and hosts. Michael is American; Irene is French and a fabulous cook. They offer three...
Great ideas for a trip downtown
SIERRA VISTA, ARIZ.
If you are looking for a nature outing, check out the tours offered by Southwind Kayak rentals. My friends and I explored the tidal wetlands of Upper Newport Bay and observed numerous bird species during a two-hour-plus guided outing via...
Regarding "Food's Extra?" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Jan. 16]: When somebody pays more than $1,000 for a ticket in first class and cannot eat what the coach passengers are eating, I think it's time to have a QMI, or quality marketing...
For the best burger on the planet, it's Fergburger. At about $7.50, the burger is a meal in itself. You'll get a good laugh from the menu, with choices such as the Codfather (fish burger), the Cockadoodle Oink (chicken and bacon), the...
One more deal in Santa Barbara
LAKE HAVASU CITY, ARIZ.