In the Loop


To discover travel opportunities galore at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, enjoy the snow without skidding on icy roads, or observe Valentine’s Day delightfully without going too far, read on. This month’s roundup of tips tells you how.

Down below at the L.A. Convention Center, the Feb. 23-24 Los Angeles Times Travel Show features a wealth of exhibitors, prizes, speakers Mike Wolfe of “American Pickers” and editor-at-large for National Geographic Travel magazine and actor Andrew McCarthy and more (; 800-322-9332).

Also in Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly’s fifth annual “Plate” food and wine event comes to the Petersen Auto Museum on Sunday, March 3. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank ( In Hollywood, the Pantages Theatre presents “Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical” from Feb. 12 to March 3 (Broad; 800-982-2787).

Up north, Amtrak’s California Zephyr between the Bay Area and Tahoe/Truckee recently ranked first on’s list of 10 Great North American Ski Trains and Key Holidays’ party trains run Fridays-Sundays Feb. 8 to March 15 (“Fun Train”) and Tuesdays-Thursdays Jan. 29 to March 5 (“Snow Train”) complete with dance car, piano lounge, entertainment and onboard dining; rates include rail, hotel and taxes. February 22 adds a Rock ’n’ Roll Chocolate & Wine Tasting (; 800-783-0783).

Southeast of Los Angeles in Orange, Chapman University honors the memory of beloved broadcaster Huell Howser on Friday, Feb. 8, with a 2-7 p.m. open house to launch California’s Gold Collection and Scholarship Fund and the Huell Howser Archive with free food, screenings and special guests (; 714-997-6589).

Farther south, San Diego’s Museum Month means half-price discounts for up to four people at any of 42 participating museums. Pick up passes at any Macy’s store in the San Diego area, Temecula or Imperial Valley, free while supplies last (; 619-276-0101).

Just over the Sierra, Main Street Tehachapi’s Feb. 9, 6 to 9 p.m., Valentine’s Wine & Chocolate Walk serves up wine, appetizers at each of 20 businesses and handmade confections from Linda’s Cakes and Things. Buy eight tasting tickets in advance for $25 or $30 that day (tickets available by mail from the Main Street Tehachapi office, P.O. Box 830, Tehachapi, CA 93581;; 661-822-6519).

Across the state line, Primm’s Fashion Outlets mall plans huge bargains for its four-day sidewalk sale over the Feb. 15-18 Presidents’ Weekend (; 702-874-1400). If you take the shuttle from MGM Grand in Las Vegas rather than driving, get a promo card for a free appetizer with the purchase of a lunch or dinner entrée at the adjacent Rainforest Café. Save even more by signing up online ahead of time for the Landry’s Select Club loyalty program that, for a one-time fee, gives a $25 welcome reward, annual $25 birthday reward, points for dining and retail benefits at Rainforest Cafés and other Landry’s restaurants around the country (; 866-995-6925).

Ridgecrest resident Donna McCrohan Rosenthal covers travel stories for AAA, Bakersfield Magazine and several West Coast publications. The author of 14 books, she has appeared on Oprah and A&E Biography and lectured at the Smithsonian.

Story First Published: 2013-02-06