In the Loop


April demonstrates that nobody has to go out of state to have fun. To build itineraries for adventures far and near, check out this month’s roundup of travel and transportation tips for short hops or longer trips around California.

To the northwest starting Monday, April 1, the Napa Valley Wine Train and authentically styled Tuscan castle Castello di Amorosa winery join forces for an all-encompassing Napa Valley Tour, and the Wine Train on Friday, April 12, features the “Detectives’ Club Annual Meeting,” a brain-teasing Murder Mystery (; 707-253-2111).

In San Francisco through Sunday, April 14, the Walt Disney Family Museum presents “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Creation of a Classic,” an outstanding examination of Disney’s vision and his staff that together shaped and defined an entirely new American art form in making this groundbreaking film, and through Sunday, April 28, “Between Frames: The Magic Behind Stop Motion Animation” (; 415-345-6800).

Down below in Los Angeles, “Beauty and the Beast” continues at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater through Sunday, April 7, followed by “West Side Story” April 9-14 (; 800-982-2787), and April 20-21 on the USC campus, famous authors, cooking demos, screenings and much more add up to a weekend-long literary extravaganza, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (

To the southeast in Hemet, “Ramona” returns for its 90th year on Saturday and Sunday, April 20, 21, 27, 28, and May 4 and 5. The Official California State Outdoor Play combines drama with heritage and spectacle for a most memorable experience (www.ramonabowl. com; 800-645-4465). In San Diego, the Edwardian musical comedy “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” runs through April 14 at the Old Globe (; 619-23-GLOBE).

If your plans take you southwest anywhere near Ventura, don’t miss a last opportunity to enjoy the arguably flawless Sidecar Restaurant housed in a 1910 Pullman railway car. The Sidecar closes its doors on Tuesday, May 14 after a final, always popular Grilled Cheese & Jazz Night (; 805-653-7433).

Nearer to home on Saturday, April 27, Rosamond’s Exotic Feline Breeding Compound holds a rare Twilight Tour restricted to adults only, opening the compound for hours when cats are much more active and visitors can wander around areas kept off limits during the day (; 661-256-3793). If you don’t feel like driving, the Maturango Museum has arranged a field trip that leaves from Ridgecrest (www.; 760-375-6900).

Or if your idea of travel means never leaving town, set plenty of time aside for the April 12-14 multivenue Ridgecrest Desert Wildflower Festival with the annual wildflower exhibit and a lecture at Maturango Museum; lectures and a Saturday family movie night at the Historic USO Building; arts and crafts vendors and nonprofits at Kerr McGee Center; a Saturday evening Beer Wine and Food Walk at Desert Empire Fairgrounds; and tours of China Lake Museum (; 760-375-8202).

Story First Published: 2013-04-03