To prove that vacationing in the States can be as much fun as taking
foreign lands we chose California--a viable Holiday destination for
season--as the subject of this issue. The vastness of the Golden State
covering all of it on one jaunt overwhelming. We, therefore, opted to
highlight a few of the southern parts. California here we come!
|Old Town San Diego (credit: Edwin Fancher)
Visitors planning to tour the lower reaches of the state
and who arrive by plane usually land in San Diego
or Los Angeles. Remarkably, San
Diego's terminal is situated in the very attractive center of the city and close
to major hotels. Those who disembark in Los Angeles face a string of airport accommodations–many
of the well-known chains have lodgings here–
that somewhat resemble an industrial
complex. To immediately experience the region at its lushest and sunniest, take a
20-minute drive to neighboring Marina del Rey. Even after a long and late-arriving
flight, it's worth the trip for it's near enough to the airport to get there quickly
and start your vacation with a snap.
If you're staying at the Ritz-Carlton, the town's premier hotel, transportation
is complimentary. From the outside it looks like a condominium and easily blends
in with the
mostly nondescript buildings on Admiralty Way. But inside the Ritz-Carlton
has the spirit of a private English club. Antique-filled public rooms are high-ceilinged,
furnished with dark woods polished to a mirror finish and display a museum-quality
collection of European and American art produced in the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. Oddly
this London look—the lobby has several separate sitting areas–is not out of place
as the anchor of the world's largest man-made marina, just steps from the Pacific
Ocean. Every room has a balcony facing the marina and/or ocean.
Although there are many restaurants and clubs within the marina, we chose the
hotel's own Terrace Bistro for both indoor and outdoor dining and were not
disappointed. At breakfast, a portion of excellent Nova Scotia salmon was so generous
it could have topped a dozen bagels. Even the most revved up early morning jogger
would be satisfied by the bountiful buffet. Lunch and dinner featured some overlapping
items, all of which were fresh and filling. Prawns prepared in a variety of ways
with several different garnishes were a menu standout. Prices are very reasonable.
Sports with a marine theme are a big draw in Marina del Rey. Deep-sea fishing,
whale watching cruises or sailing excursions leave from the Ritz-Carlton's
private pier. Guests can also play volleyball at the beach and windsurf.
The Promenade along the dockside of the hotel is part of a 21-mile coastal path from
Malibu to Manhattan Beach an
d is ideal for walking, jogging and roller
blading. Or you can rent a bike, pack a picnic and peddle the route.
Venice, an enclave of funky street artists; Santa Monica, a hip shopping
spot; and Fisherma
n's Village, home of New England-style cobblestone paths;
are all doable on wheels.
|Marina del Rey (credit: Edwin Fancher)
For brochures contact Marina del Rey Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Convention
Bureau, 411 Via Marina, P. O. Box 441, Marina del Rey, CA 90292. Tel. 800-919-0555,
310-821-0555, fax 310-823-0461.
For information on the Greater Los
Angeles area call at the Visitor Information
Centers, 685 S. Figueroa Street or 6541 Hollywood Boulevard. Tel. 213-689-8822 for
To receive a Visitors Guide packet including a complete guide book, coupons
and six area pocket
guides telephone 1-800-CATCH LA. There is a charge for shipping and handling.
Where To Stay
The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, 4375 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292.
Tel. 800-241-3333, 310-823-1700, fax 310-305-0019. Rates start at $219 including
parking and breakfast. www.ritzcarlton.com
Since it was built nearly 60 years ago, the Pacific Coast
Highway (1) has summed up, scenically that is, what California dreaming and cruising
are all about. From Marina del Ray head north along Route 1 to Santa Barbara,
our next stopover suggestion. Veering northwest about as close to the Pacific
as it can get, the road carves the di
vide between ocean and seashore on the left
and cliffs and greenery on the right. Ever-changing vistas of one beach community
blending into another provide a backdrop to enjoy sights never seen from most freeways.
A pleasant diversion along the way might be a sojourn at Channel Island Harbor
Ventura County Maritime Museum, sport fishing charter fleets, a water taxi, scuba
diving, restaurants, shopping,
parks, beaches, bicycle and surrey rental, a lighthouse
and a Sunday Farmer's Market.
For more information contact Channel Islands Harbor Visitor Center, 3810 West
Channel Island Boulevard, Suite G, Oxnard, CA 93035. Tel. 805-985-4852, fax 805-985-7952.
Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera, shares with its European counterpart
a setting bordered by lofty mountains (the Santa Ynez range) and a sweeping shoreline
overlooking nearby islands. Both are uniquely positioned facing south for Santa Barbara
sits on the only stretch of coastline running east to west between Alaska and Cape
Horn. Although architecturally the town has elements that are found near the Mediterranean,
its style is singular. It is a
mixture of Spanish, Provincial, Moorish, Islamic,
Victorian, early Californian, Mexican, Mission and Colonial design.
Tucked away on 10 acres of hillside, El Encanto Hotel and Garden Villas is
as eclectic as the city that it overlooks. First
built in 1915, it is gradually being
restored to its early California Craftsman Cottage and Spanish Colonial origins.
Cottages and villas cluster around a main house, a charmer right out of a 1930s movie.
|El Encanto, Santa Barbara (credit: Edwin Fancher)
The grounds here are the draw. Lushly planted, one would need a botanist for a
guide in order to identify every species. A lily pond surrounded by a wisteria-covered
arbor is one of the most enchanted (which is what encanto means in Spanish)
hideaways on the 10-acre grounds. Winding paths connect the cottages and a map is
needed to find your lodging. Indeed, you are given one upon arrival.
"Please excuse our dust. Improvements are being made," reads a sign.
And if you are in a renovated accommodation–22 separate structures house 84 individual
rooms or suites in a range of categories –you will find that your furnishings are
spiffy. When reserving ask for something that's been done over as it will be
flawless. Details from the old days such as fireplaces, tiles and wide wooden floors
have been retained. Our room, one that has yet to be spruced up, might best be described
"retro chic," somewhat like a summer house. Outfitted with pieces that
are comfortable, they could have been inherited or acquired from an estate sale,
auction or country antique shop. The private patio was very welcome. Although there's
conditioning–fans are provided–the villas are cool even in warm weather.
El Encanto's kitchen is overseen by award-winning (Best Meal in Santa Barbara,
1994 and 1995) chef, Belgian-born Vincent Vanhecke. Dinner on the terrace combines
a romantic setting–guests look down on the city and the ocean–and stellar food. This
being California nearly half of the dishes on the large and innovative menu were
designed for the health-conscious. But reducing the salt and fat did not diminish
the flavor and the goat cheese in filo, soft-shell crabs, bouillabaisse and fish
en papilotte were all very special. Breakfasts were delicious, too, with the usual
offerings made more tempting because they included hefty helpings of the Golden State's
The weekend champagne brunch at the famous San Ysidro Ranch is another
highly recommended dining experience. Although this celebrated hostelry is pricey,
the Saturday and Sunday midday meal was a best buy. The stucco-walled Stonehouse
Restaurant is much like an updated hacienda. The ranch sampling of appetizers—tuna
spring roll, tenderloin, wild rice, shrimp salad and asparagus with blue cheese—
was practically a meal in itself. There were several choices for entrees including
roasted tuna and a whole lobster with tamale. Maple pecan bread pudding
and lemon cake desserts were good, too. Service was notable. We asked for so many
refills of iced passion fruit tea that the waiter gave us a large package of it to
A congenial staff member showed us some of the impressive rooms. As we toured
the property Cynthia Woo, director of catering, was overheard in true California
style asking a guest, "Are you here for the wedding? We have some suntan lotion
For a city as small as Santa Barbara (90,000 population) there is much happening.
To soak up the Spanish flavor take the "red tile tour" in the downtown
area. The directions for this walk, as well as those for a scenic drive to 15 points
of interest, are available at the Visitor Center. A few of the highlights of both
include El Paseo, a Spanish style shopping plaza; the Mission; Stearn's
Wharf, the oldest working pier on the West Coast; the Sunday Arts
Show near the beach; the Botanical Gardens; and the Zoological Gardens.
The Chamber of Commerce also provides an outline of four do-it-yourself all-day trips:
shopping, flora and fauna, outdoor adventure and history. The Santa Barbara Trolley
Company runs a hop on and off route between 15 cultural and tourist sites.
Santa Ynez Valley is the state's second most important wine region with 30 wineries
that host tastings for visitors.
The little-known, 37-acre Lotusland is one of the area's horticultural
treasures. Except among garden afficionados and landscape designers, its existence
is virtually a secret. Because it is in a residential neighborhood, only 9,000 visitors
a year are permitted. Reservations must be made many months in advance. Those who
have visited the estate can confirm that it is well worth the wait.
For reservations for Lotusland write to Tour Reservations, Ganna Walska Lotusland,
695 Ashley Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108 or telephone 805-969-9990.
Visitor Center, One Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Tel. 805-965-3021.
Santa Barbara Trolley Company, PO Box 22316, Santa Barbara, CA 93121. Tel.
For an 80-page destination guide contact the Santa Barbara Conference &
Visitors Bureau, 12 E. Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara 93101. Tel. 800-927-4688,
805-966-9222, fax 805-466-1728.
Where To Stay
El Encanto Hotel and Garden Villas, 1900 Lasuen Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.
Tel. 800-346-7039, 805-687-5000, fax 805-687-3903. Room rates start at $140.
Dinner is moderately expensive. www.elencantohotel.com
Where To Dine
San Ysidro Ranch, 900 San Ysidro Lane, Santa Barbara CA 93108, tel. 800-368-6788,
805-969-5046, fax 805-565-1995, is a member of Relais & Chateaux.
Prices vary. www.sanysidroranch.com
For a shift in topography drive from the Santa Ynez Valley
to Riverside County. Eight desert resort communities line up in the Coachella
Valley at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains. Palm Springs may be the
one with the most cachet. Adding to that image is the resort's newest hostelry, Givenchy
Hotel & Spa. Anyone who has visited
the Givenchy Spa and the Trianon Palace
Hotel in Versailles, France will have a sense of déjà vu—the white columned
facade, the immaculate and spacious spa pavilion, formal French gardens and interiors
that are in keeping with the legendary couturier's high standards.
The spa program is very flexible just as it is at the affiliate outside Paris.
You can sign up for a variety of eight packages, ranging from one to seven days,
purchase a few individual treatments or none at all. Guests who
come for weight loss,
as well as beauty treatments and exercise, can eat the Cuisine Lègêre in
the Cafe or request meals prepared according to their dietary requirements
in the main dining room.
The hotel's Le Restaurant is
sure to become a magnet for fine dining in
Palm Springs. Chef Jean-Pierre Lemanissier's forte is interpreting the dishes of
Gérard Vié who presides over the kitchen at the original Givenchy Spa.
Dinner was inspirational. Service was attentive, albeit leisurely, the only way to
eat French food in the desert. At Le Restaurant you make an evening of it. Warm duck
confit salad, white asparagus and morels; loin of ostrich, dried fruit strudel served
with a terrine of polenta and vegetables; and roasted quail with date risotto was
as good as any French cuisine found outside that country.
Dinner in town at Elan Brasserie was not satisfying. The French Provençal
cuisine was overpriced and of poor value. A sprightly Mediterranean salad
and big enough for two, but it was downhill after the opener. Veal picatta was sinewy
and tough and the sauce on the tasteless shrimps and penne was too thick and lacked
seasoning. The white and deep blue decor is pleasant and a cheerful accordion player
added a nice touch. Perhaps the Wednesday night Moroccan barbecue ($11.95) featuring
a belly dancer may be a preferable alternative.
The host, Mr. Salmea, and his neighbors all use misting machines to cool the fronts
of their restaurants
and shops, making it possible to stroll on Canyon Drive, the
main street, even when the temperature is high.
The buffet lunch at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, one of the
other desert communities, is very reasonable at $10.95. Served in the casual Bella
Vista Room, diners can select from a variety of salads, fruits, cheeses, salsas,
breads and sweets as well as soups and several lovely entrees. The 360-acre property
with its many southwestern-looking pavilions features two championship golf courses,
three pools and a myriad of other facilities. Don't just eat and drive off. Take
time to wander around this very posh resort.
|The Living Desert, Palm Desert (credit: Edwin Fancher)
The Living Desert, a wild life and botanical park, is dedicated to preserving
nature in the desert and has an astonishing collection of extremely rare and seldom
seen plant and animal life. A
rtists from Disney Studios used the meerkats at The
Living Desert to create the character, Timon, in "The Lion King." The animators
visited the park to observe the animals' behavior and to sketch them. Take the Desert
Explorer, a 50-minute narrated interpretive tour on a shaded electric car, or
walk the trails on your own.
The Aerial Tramway, a thrilling and scenic 14-minute ride up and down Mt.
San Jacinto, has a vertical ascent of approximately 5,900 feet. Immediately behind
the mountain station is the 13,000-acre Wilderness State Park with 54 miles of hiking
trails, five campgrounds, ranger station and Nordic ski center,
which is open when snow conditions permit. A summer outing is particularly inviting
since it's at least 30 degrees cooler up top, providing a respite from what sometimes turn out to be very hot days in the desert
The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola Avenue, Palm Desert, CA 92260. Tel. 619-346-5694.
Tramway, Tramway Road off SR 111, 619-325-1391. The Ride `n' Dine Special,
available after 4 p.m. is reasonable and features chicken or ribs and a wide selection
of salads. The food looked edible.
For more information contact the Palm Spring s Convention & Visitors
Bureau, 69-930 Highway 111, Suite 201, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Tel. 800-41
RELAX, 619-770-9001, fax 619-770-900
Where To Stay
Givenchy Hotel & Spa, 4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264.
Tel. 800-276-5000, 619-770-5000, fax 619-324-7280. Rates start at $300. Dinner
is expensive. www.ratesandavailability.com/10207196.htm
Where To Dine
Elan Brasserie, 415 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA. Tel. 619-323-5554.
The Westin Mission Hills Resort, Dinah Shore and Bob Hope Drive, Rancho
Mirage, CA 92270. Tel. 619-328-5955. Prices vary. www.starwood.com/westin/search/hotel_detail.html?propertyID=1008&ratePlanName=WYPRST
Follow up the stay in the desert with a drive in a southwesterly
direction through the mountains and forests, a terrain that is partly desolate, barren
and gorgeous to another magical location, Coronado, "San Diego's enchanted
island." Just across the bay from San Diego, Coronado, which is not really an
island, but a peninsula, looks like a picture book seaside
town, replete with grand
old mansions, white sand beaches and a colorful history dating back to 1886.
Most of that rich chronicle involves the Hotel del Coronado, a commanding
pink Victorian structure with cupolas, terraces, pennants and a red shingled roof,
which catches your eye as you cross the bridge from the mainland. Completed in 1888,
it remains one of the world's most illustrious wooden buildings. Publisher Rand-McNally
credits "The Del" as enjoying "more fame and historical significance
than perhaps any hotel in North America." During the 1996 Republican National
Convention the entire New York State delegation and press corps booked "The
Del" and filled the media with on-premises stories about intrigue,
and even a romance (New York's junior senator and an attendee). A perfectly preserved
National Historic Landmark, it stretches across 33-oceanfront acres and is the largest
beach resort on the North American Pacific coast.
|Hotel del Coronado (credit: Edwin Fancher)
Elisha Babcock, one of the original partners in the construction, asked the architects
for an American castle and they fulfilled his dream. To preview the hotel you might
watch "Some Like It Hot," which was filmed there.
To best enjoy the setting and the hotel's dreamy look-back-in-time ambiance, reserve
a room with a balcony facing the very wide beach and the ocean. Opt for a stay in
the main and oldest building rather than the blander Ocean Towers and Poolside
additions, which went up two decades ago. Although the furnishings, from the bentwood
accent pieces to the signature lime and white color scheme, are dated, they are neither
quaint nor shabby. An ongoing renovation keeps the building up-to-snuff.
At its opening the hotel's Crown Room restaurant boasted America's largest
unsupported dome ceiling held together solely by wooden pegs. The fixtures in the
oval-shaped room are fashioned like crowns. But it is "The Del's" extravagant
balconied lobby, looking like an elaborate parlor built with redwood oak and sugar
pine that receives the most attention. Tours frequently walk
through the double-height
room with its dazzling chandelier.
The Prince of Wales Grill was recently renovated to a contemporary style,
giving it a different appearance than the rest of the property. For example, light
wood salt and pepper shakers that look like telephones are part of a set of specially
designed sleek table accessories. But it is the food that shines. Some very well
conceived dishes included stuffed roast quail, prawns as large as lobster tails and
pan-seared striped bass.
Another praise-worthy Coronado restaurant is Azzura Point at Loews Coronado
Bay. Built in a semicircle, the windows face San Diego and afford spectacular views.
Decor is informal with wicker chairs and planked tables painted white. The
provides the chef with the fortunate opportunity to raise his own herbs, which does
wonders for the food. A lagniappe of abalone was splendid as were several other fish
The one and one- half hour Coronado Walking Tour leaving from the Glorietta
Bay Inn on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday is leisurely and informative. You learn
details of how Coronado was founded and about the personalities that had a hand in
The easiest and most agreeable way to see San Diego is to use the Old Town
Trolley, making nine stops at the city's most important sites like Balboa
Park, the zoo, Horton Plaza and so forth. Board and reboard at
will. If you disembark at the Seaport Village and walk from there to the marina,
you can cover most of the harbor. An attractive spot to stop for lunch is Old
Town. Built like a colorful Mexican village square, it houses many restaurants
and shops. The Bazaar del Mundo, a complex of eaterie
s and boutiques, is the
frequent site of mariachi music and Hispanic dancers. Casa de Bandini, one
of the oldest adobe homes in the vicinity, serves reasonably priced and tasty Mexican
If you're up for some pampering before saying "good-bye" to Coronado,
try the Clarins Institut de Beauté at the spa in the Meridian Hotel.
A variety of treatments and packages are featured.
Coronado Touring, 1110 Isabella Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118. Te
Old Town Trolley Tour, Historic Tours of America. Tel. 00-868-7482, 619-298-8687.
Clarins Institut de Beauté, Le Meridian San Diego at Coronado, 2000 Second Street,
Coronado, CA 92118. Tel. 619-43
5-3000 ext. 6270.
Where To Stay
Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118. Tel. 800-HOTELDEL, 619-435-6611,
fax 610-522-8262. Rates start at $179. Dinner in the Prince of Wales is expensive.
here To Dine
Azzura Point, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Coronado, CA 92218.
Tel. 619-424-4000. Expensive.
Casa de Bandini, next to Bazaar del Mundo, Old Town, San Diego State Historic Park.
For more information about Coronado contact the Coronado Visitors Bureau, 1111
Orange Avenue, Suite A, Coronado, CA 92118. Tel. 800-622-8300, 619-437-8788, fax
From Coronado it's just a short hop to Newport Beach,
don't go all the way without pausing in La Jolla, a pretty little place where the
shopping street and the coastline are separated by a very narrow strip of land. If
you enter La Valencia, fronting on Prospect Avenue, a commerical thoroughfare,
and walk to the back of the hotel, you will almost have reached the water. And if
it's midday the hotel's tree-shaded, garden-like Tropical Patio is an inviting
choice for lunch.
For information about La Jolla contact the La Jolla Town Council, P. O. Box
1101, 1055 Wall Street, Suite 110, La Jolla, CA 92038. Tel. 619-454-1444.
Where To Stay
La Valencia Hotel, 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037. Tel. 800 451-0772,
619-454-0 771, fax 619-456-3921. www.lavalencia.com
Although Newport Beach in Orange County is called the "colorful coast,"
it's also home to a burgeoning group of corporate headquarters. The emergence of
a business community, which is conveniently centered in one enclave, does not detract
from the traditional appeal of the town. Executives who fly in for meetings frequently
bed down for a few extra days to enjoy sun, sand and water. The Sutton Place,
the largest hotel near the John
Wayne Orange County airport, hub to 11 commercial
airlines, is five minutes away. The hotel's proximity to offices and transportation
makes it a favorite for those who are here primarily to work. But on the weekends
in chameleon-like fashion the guest list is transformed with families and vacationers
taking up most of the chairs around the pool, the stationary bikes in the fitness
club and the reservations on the tennis courts.
To most enjoy The Sutton Place stay on the executive panache club level.
Rooms are larger, filled with tasteful contemporary furniture and have reasonably-sized
terraces. The facade and public areas were attractively redone during the last make-over.
A staff that is eager to help gives this hotel an extra spin.
If you're in the mood for beauty therapy or fitness, The Spa at South
Coast Plaza is the just the ticket. With its cheerfully designed treatment rooms,
gyms and pool, it's more like a sleep-over spa than a day center. Massages here are
highly touted. Conversation in the jacuzzi centered around raves for the masseurs
and masseuses. There wasn't an unpopular one among them.
Quiet Balboa Island faces Newport Harbor and can be accessed by way of
the Marina Avenue Bridge or
by the historic ferry, which departs throughout
the day from the peninsula, carrying three cars and 30 passengers. The island is
best explored on foot. Wander down the north bayfront walkway for a view of
the boat basin. Stroll the main street,
Marine Avenue, to enjoy the shops
and cafes and walk on the narrow side streets for a look at the New England-type
cottages, of which there are 1500.
|Fun Zone, Newport Beach (credit: Edwin Fancher)
Every seaside community with class also has some kitsch. In Newport Beach it is
to be found on Balboa Peninsula in the Fun Zone, site of a ferris wheel, merry-go-round,
arcades and the dock from which
the The Fun Zone Boat Company cruises depart. Along
with the boat ride, entertainment includes a spiel on who lives where. Mansions priced
at many millions sit so close to the shore that their owners might easily hear their
names and the estimated value
of their homes announced over the public address system.
Built in 1905, the Balboa Pavilion on the peninsula is a landmark that
was used as a Victorian bathhouse and an electric car terminal. Today it is the point
of departure for Catalina Passenger Service, offering whale watching excursions and
trips to Santa Catalina Island aboard the Catalina Flyer, a catamaran.
The unspoiled island, 26 miles offshore and the largest of the Channel group, is
a favorite destination for day-trippers.
Avalon, the harbor community that could be mistaken for Jessica Fletcher's
Cabot Cove in "Murder She Wrote" and the center of the island, is one-square
mile, making it possible to walk about the entire hamlet. You can venture further
out by renting a golf cart or taking the inland motor tour or skyline drive with
Discovery Tours. They also arrrange undersea and glass bottom boat trips
Like many vacation locales Newport Beach is crowded with choice restaurants. The
backdrop at John Dominis, a seafood eatery overlooking the harbor and marina,
is Hawaiian with water tumbling over walls built of rocks. Ask for a table near the
windows so that you can watch the boats and the action in the bay. The food was accented
by the flavors of the island. Portions are gargantuan; even shares are hard to finish.
The many novelties that the kitchen sends out began with an unusual peanut bread.
Halibut encased with thin browned potato slices, which sealed in the juices, was
paired with grilled vegetables and napped with pesto, balsamic reduction and beurre
blanc, ingredients that blend well. If you've never eaten the seldom served fish,
onaga or opakapaga, try them here.
The adobe-style brightly colored Chimayo Grill in Fashion Island is as
much in tune with "anything goes California" as it would be in the Southwest.
The strong flavors, the surfeit of grilled foods and the unexpected combinations
appeal to appetites weaned in the Golden State. For starters soups, spicy black bean
and polenta-like corn, each filling one-half of the bowl, were a contrast in colors
and textures. A Caesar salad, whose Romaine lettuce leaves were given a brief turn
on mesquite, had a wonderfully smoky taste. Chili-blackened rare and thick ahi tuna
was accompanied by another surprise, a crisp risotto cake with corn as an ingredient.
Salmon grilled in a corn husk and topped with poblano pesto was teamed with a twist
on a culinary standard, mashed potatoes made with red
bliss spuds. The tequila-raisin
and the pumpkin ice creams that were created just for Chimayo are not to be missed.
When you finish dining you might like to browse in Fashion Island, an upscale
mall, whose architecture is better than most and whose stores are on a par with one
of its anchors, Neiman Marcus.
The recipes at Five Crowns could have come straight from Betty Crocker's
cookbook. Typical American fare was prepared with quality ingredients, fastidiously
's Seasonings owns the establishment) and presented with flair by
a wait staff dressed to match the English Tudor inn surroundings. Salads were fresh,
steaks were well-aged and the rotisserie roast chicken was just about as moist and
succulent as can be.
When you've had too many dinners out the simple, home-style
food at Five Crowns is a welcome change.
The Spa at South Coast Plaza, 695 Town Center Drive, Suite 180, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
Tel. 714-850-0050, fax 714-8
Fun Zone Boat Company, 700 East Edgewater, Balbao CA 92661. Tel. 714-673-0240.
Catalina Passenger Service, Balbao Pavilion. Tel. 714-673-5245.
Catalina Chamber of Commerce, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, CA. T el. 30-510-1520.
Discovery Tours. Tel. 800-343-44911.
For more information about Newport Beach contact the Newport Beach Conference
and Visitors Bureau, 3300 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA. 92663. Tel.
800-94-COAST, 714-722-1611, fax 714-722-1612.
Where To Stay
Sutton Place Hotel, 4500 MacArthur Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA 92660. Tel.
800-810-6888, 714-476-2001, fax 714-476-0153. Rates start at $110 with breakfast.
Where To Dine
John Dominis, 2901 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663. Tel. 714-650-5112,
Chimayo Grill, Fashion Island, 327 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach,
CA 92660. Tel. 714-640-2700. www.culinaryadventures.com/Pages/ChimGrill.html
Five Crowns , 3801 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625. Tel. 714-760-0331.
The California Division of Tourism publishes an annual "California
Visitor's Guide." Organized by county as well as by special interests
it is relatively easy to use. Major attractions are highlighted and the
addresses and telephone numbers of all other attractions are included. The
California Fun Spots card at the beginning of the book is good for several
special promotions. Travel inquiries should be made at the California
Division of Tourism, 801 K Street, Suite 1600, Sacramento, CA 95814. Tel.
916-322-2881, 800-862-2543, fax 916-322-3402. Travel information is also
available on the Internet at http://gocalif.ca.gov
Thomas Bros. Maps' wire bound 8 x10-inch 300-page California Road Atlas
and Driver's Guide was not as handy as we had hoped. The areas that were
covered in every grid, albeit extensively, were small, making page turning
frequent and frustrating. The company has a virtual monopoly on the sale
of California atlases, but for those of us who are still in the Stone Age
of map reading, nothing beats those old foldouts from AAA.
Maps may be purchased at company headquarters, Thomas Bros. Maps, 17731
Cowan, Irvine, CA 92714. Tel. 714-863-1984, fax 714-757-1564 or at their retail
store 521 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles., CA. For additional information or the
nearest Thomas Bros. Maps' dealer call 800-899-MAPS. www.thomas.com