BikeFest Tour of Long Beach set for May 5

On Saturday, May 5,
the 4th Annual BikeFest Tour of Long Beach presented by Wells Fargo,
will bring cycling-related fun and festivities to Downtown Long Beach.
In addition to four separate rides that appeal to cyclists of all skill
levels, this event includes an all-day, family-friendly Finish Line
Festival. Proceeds will support pediatric cancer research at Miller
Children’s Hospital Long Beach, as they have since 2010.

 

The
Tour of Long Beach invites amateur cyclists and bicycle enthusiasts to
participate in one of four rides: the four-mile Family Fun Ride; 31 or
62-mile picturesque Metric Century Ride; or the 100-mile Cruz Gran
Fondo, which loops twice through Long Beach, Cypress, Seal Beach and
Signal Hill. The Cruz Gran Fondo is new to the Tour of Long Beach this
year and is named after Long Beach’s own U.S. Olympian, former Pro Tour
Cyclist and Long Beach Bike Ambassador, Tony Cruz.

 

The
Finish Line Festival is open to participating riders as well as the
general public and offers a day of fun for the entire family. This free event includes live
entertainment, a kids’ activity area, BMX stunts, a free bike valet,
vendor fair and food stands.

New to the Finish Line Festival this year
is the Beachwood & Friends Craft Beer Garden, which will feature
almost a dozen local craft breweries with samples of more than 30 unique
brews. The beer garden is $20 for
10 five ounce tastings.

For more information about the BikeFest Tour of Long Beach and to register, please visit www.bikefestlb.com.

Gosby House Inn offers coastal escape in Pacific Grove

Gosby House Inn is offering a Coastal Escape special. Rates vary depending upon length of stay
and room selected.  But guests will receive 25 percent off regular rates for one night, 30 percent off two
consecutive nights, and a 33 percent discount off three consecutive nights.

Rates
include full breakfast, afternoon wine and hors
d’oeuvres, daily homemade cookies, and use of the inn’s bicycles to pedal
around charming Pacific Grove and the Monterey Bay Recreational Trail.

All 22 guestrooms at the historic inn are individually decorated, including recently updated bedding,
wallpaper, window treatments and flat screen televisions in many rooms. Some
rooms have separate sitting areas with fireplaces, private entrances, patios or
window seats.

Carriage House rooms have spa tubs for two, fireplaces and
balconies. The inn’s heart-of-town location means guests can step outside and
walk to restaurants, shops and attractions, such as the Pacific Grove Art
Center only four blocks away.

For reservations
or more information, call the Gosby House Inn toll-free at 800-527-8828, or visit the company’s website at www.foursisters.com.

Da Kine Stand Up Paddle offers lessons on Napili Bay

Da Kine Stand Up Paddle has just introduced stand up paddle boarding
(SUP) lessons on Napili Bay.

The peaceful, reef-protected bay on Maui’s west side is the
ideal site for SUP lessons, generally offering calm, safe waters for a
great introduction to the popular sport, which has taken the world by
storm.

Stand up paddle boarding (or stand up paddle surfing, when done
with waves) has its roots in Hawaii as an ancient form of surfing and
has reemerged in recent years as one of the fastest growing sports
around the world.

“One thing that has made SUP
so popular–it’s easier to learn than surfing,” says Tom Ockerman, Owner
of Da Kine Stand Up Paddle. “My kids and I go out as much as we can. You only
need one thing–need to know how to swim.”

All SUP lessons are two hours in length. Minimum age is 12 years old,
although younger students might be accepted, depending on their swimming
skills. Rates are $150 for a private lesson; $125 per person for two
people; $100 per person for a group lesson of 3 to 4 people.  A
group lesson (four people maximum) takes place every Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday at 1 p.m..

For reservations, call tollfree 888-642-5031 or email DaKineSUP@gmail.com. For more information, visit www.DaKineSup.net.

A La Carte & Art set for May 5,6 in Mountain View

The Bay Area’s popular festival
circuit officially kicks-off on May 5-6 in Mountain View
where cool, vibrant Castro Street morphs into a moveable feast of
people and colorful tents for the 16th Annual A La Carte &
Art.
 


The open-air festival will feature two days of
stellar live music, a fine arts and crafts show with 200 of the west
coast’s top artists showing their latest handcrafted wares, artisan
specialty food purveyors, health and wellness displays, an organic and
green products showcase, home and garden exhibits, festive food and
drink with premium wine, microbrews, margaritas, mojitos, sangria and
mimosas, a farmers’ market with fresh seasonal produce, a multitude of
kids’ amusements in the Tons of Fun Zone, and “A La Car & Art”
– a classic car show. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.
Admission is free.

Point Reyes National Park celebrates 50th anniversary with trails challenge

Point Reyes National
Seashore Association in partnership with the National Park
Service announced the 2012 Point Reyes Trails Challenge today.

 This self-paced
challenge is a rewarding way to both celebrate and support the park
during the Seashore’s 50th anniversary.

 

“This is a wonderful
opportunity for people to get up close and personal with Point Reyes
National Seashore,” said Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. “The Trails
Challenge will restore habitat, improve the trail system, and introduce a
whole new generation to this amazing national park.”

 

The Trails Challenge will
run from June 2 through Nov. 1and support the Point Reyes
Trails Trust, a long term effort to restore and enhance the park’s trail
network.

 

Registration is free and
participants begin earning a Trails Challenge T-shirt and other premiums
with a minimum of $50 in pledges. Individuals and teams can register at
www.ptreyes.org or call 415.663.1200 x 310 or e-mail trailschallenge@ptreyes.org for information about the program and help registering.

Pacific Coast Dream Machines coming to Half Moon Bay

Nothing compares to
the Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show — Half Moon Bay’s
massive celebration of mechanical ingenuity, power and style known as
the “Coolest Show on Earth”.

It’s a whimsical, fascinating,
amusing, curious and absolutely unique show and tell spectacle
featuring 2,000 magnificent driving, flying and working machines from
the 20th and 21st centuries.

The world’s coolest cars of every era and
style, model-T fire engines, vintage busses, custom motorcycles,
tricked out trucks, sleek streamliners, one-of-a-kind antique engines
and tractors and historic military aircraft will be among the
mesmerizing displays.


This year’s 22nd annual show is expanding
to two days – April 28-29 – and adding a Championship
Demolition Derby (on April 28) to the lineup of awe-inspiring
attractions.

“Over the years, we’ve had countless people ask why we
didn’t do two days,” said show chairman Chad Hooker of Half Moon
Bay. “We’re excited about the potential to grow the event and this
will give us the opportunity to raise critically needed funds for the
Coastside Adult Day Health Center,” he said.

The show is open from
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Half Moon Bay Airport, located in the
picturesque seaside town of Half Moon Bay about 20 miles south of San
Francisco.

National parks offer Junior Ranger programs in Hawaii

World World II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor
(Oahu), Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii Island), and Haleakala
National Park (Maui) are three iconic must-see attractions on any family
vacation to the Hawaiian Islands.

But let’s face it, any discerning
parent knows that your kids’ idea of a fun vacation doesn’t involve a
history or geography lesson. Before you opt out of these national
historic sites in favor of spending all day at the pool, convince the
kids that learning can also be fun with these Junior Ranger programs
offered at each park.

Upon completion of a series of designated
activities for each location, your child will receive a Junior Ranger
badge as a memento of his or her visit.

  • World War II Valor in the Pacific (Oahu) – Embrace
    one of the nation’s most significant events in history with two
    activities, the Keiki Ranger Activity Book (ages 3-6 years) and the
    Junior Ranger Scavenger Hunt (ages 7-12 years) in remembrance of
    December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

    http://www.nps.gov/valr/forkids/index.htmc

  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii Island) –
    Follow along with the Junior Ranger Adventure Book to explore the hidden
    echo caves and learn about the mythical Hawaiian goddess Pele who is
    said to force between Kilauea’s eruption. HVNP celebrates its 25th
    anniversary this year as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/jrranger.htm

  • Haleakala National Park (Maui) – Embark on a ranger hike to discover more about the Apapane (Hawaiian honeycreeper) and Nene
    (Hawaiian goose) and other native birds, insects, and fish that are
    found at this national park on a ranger adventure.

    http://www.nps.gov/hale/planyourvisit/justforkids.htm

Spring specials in Mendocino and Elk

Fensalden Bed and Breakfast Inn, a completely renovated 1860′s era Stagecoach Stop just south of charming Mendocino Village,
is offering two spring specials. Stay 2 or more nights through the end
of April and receive a 20% discount for a weekend stay or a 30% discount
for a midweek (Sun thru Thurs) stay. All rates include a full
three-course breakfast and a bottle of local wine upon check-in. Albion, 800.959.3850, fensalden.com

 

Stay any 3 nights at full rate and add the 4th night free at the lovely Elk Cove Inn in Elk before April 28, 2012. Not valid holidays and some weekends and may not be combined with other offers or discounts. Elk, 800.275.2967, elkcoveinn.com

Crystal Cruises is the crystal clear choice for discriminating travelers

Now that Crystal Cruises has sailed into
all-inclusive territory, being aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal
Serenity is easier than ever. The Los Angeles based cruise line is best known for extraordinary service,
exceptional quality, and incredible choices. If you’ve ever been on one of their ships you know what I mean.

Now the all-inclusive
experience features complimentary fine wines, champagne and premium
spirits; dining in all restaurants, including specialty venues Prego by
Piero Selvaggio, and Silk Road and The Sushi Bar by Nobu Matsuhisa;
open-bar service throughout the ship; gratuities for housekeeping, bar
and dining staff throughout the ship; all non-alcoholic beverages –
including bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks, fresh
juices – and Afternoon Tea Service; early embarkation luncheon; welcome champagne; 24-hour room service; and more.

“Iberian Journey” Sailing

WHEN: May 9 – 21, 2012

WHAT’S COOL:
From the sun-kissed shores of Morocco to the regal cathedrals of
London, visit the inviting beaches and lush gardens of the Mediterranean
while aboard Crystal Symphony with a new friend – peace activist and
proponent of nonviolence, Arun Gandhi. This cruise also happens to have a
special theme, the Crystal Food & Wine Festival! Join guest chefs
Nico Chessa and Piero Selvaggio along with wine expert Robin Kelly
O’Connor for some lessons from the kitchen and wine cellar. 

CALLS:
Barcelona, Mallorca/Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, and Malaga, Spain;
Tangiers, Morocco; Lisbon, Portugal; Bordeaux, France; and
London/Southampton, England

COST: Book
before April 30, 2012, for fares as low as $3,480 per person. Including
cruise, port, security, and handling charges of $305, the price comes
to about $315 per person per day.

Book by 4/30/12 to take advantage of this special pricing. To book, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com