September brings cool temps, adventures

In the Loop

September brings cool temps, adventuresBy DONNA MCCROHAN ROSENTHAL

September arrives with 113-degree days cooling off to a balmy 100 and with that, new incentive to hit the road in search of adventure. Choose yours from this month’s roundup of tips for short hops to nearby destinations and longer trips in California.

To the northwest in San Francisco, indulge in all things scrumptious at the Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 8-9, noon-5 p.m. Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival, featuring culinary demonstrations, tastings and vendors and benefiting the nonprofit Project Open Hand (www.ghirardelli.com/chocolate-festival-2018; 1-800-877-9338).

To the southwest in Fillmore, climb aboard the Fillmore & Western Railway’s four-hour “President’s Special” last steam train of the year on Sunday, Sept. 30. Stopping first in Santa Paula for passengers to explore the area, it continues on to the famous Movie Tunnel built by Disney for “Race to Witch Mountain” and allows time to step out for an exclusive photo opportunity. The same weekend, Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 29-30, take the Zombie Hunter Train through the battle grounds of the Zombie Apocalypse, armed with a paintball gun loaded with “Zombie flesh-eating toxic paintballs.” The Zombies do not shoot back (fwry.com/specialeventtrains; 805-524-2546).

Down below at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles, “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” runs through Sunday, Sept. 30 (www.centertheatregroup.org; 213-628-2772). On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7, 8 and 9, the Hollywood Bowl closes out its season with spectacular fireworks and Harry Connick, Jr. to observe the 300th birthday of New Orleans (www.hollywoodbowl.com; 323-850-2000).

South from there on the coast, the “cheap, chic, unique, vintage, flea market with style” Long Beach Outdoor Antique Market in Veterans Stadium falls on Sept. 16 and in fact on the third Sunday each month (www.longbeachantiquemarket.com; 323-655-5703).

Looking ahead on 395: Lone Pine Film Festival over the Oct. 5-8 weekend celebrates its 29th year with celebrity guests and authors, screenings, movie location tours, parade, campfire and Ben Mankiewicz from TCM. Tickets sell out fast (LonePineFilmFestival.org; 760-876-9103).

Closer to home: Don’t forget Randsburg’s 17th annual Old West Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or arrive early for the 8-10 a.m. pancake breakfast fundraiser at The Opera House. Enticements include Old West re-enactments, live music, pony rides, petting zoo, car show, costume contest and vendors (www.facebook.com/randsburgoldwestday; 760-382-6180).

Compassion in action: Since 2013, Extended Stay America’s “Hotel Keys of Hope” has supported the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge® program for those in need of cancer treatment away from home. To date, Extended Stay America has donated more than 120,000 hotel stays in locations throughout the US, and helped more than 15,000 patients and their families overcome the financial stress of travelling for treatment (www.extendedstayamerica.com/acs-partnership; 800-227-2345).

Great news: Following a horrendous wildfire season, most Yosemite National Park roads have opened, as has Yosemite Valley. Call 209-372-0200 (press 1 then 1) for up-to-date conditions (www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/conditions; (209-372-0200).

Story First Published: 2018-09-07