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USE BOOKLETS TO HELP PLAN TRIPS

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* THE LATEST EDITION of the San Francisco Book is available from the San Francisco Convention & Visitor's Bureau. The 96-page booklet, updated quarterly, has articles about the city's points of interest and neighborhoods. It includes maps of downtown and Golden Gate Park, a calendar of events, shopping information and a restaurant guide. The Lodging Guide is a comprehensive list of accommodations in the Bay area. Information about each facility includes the number of rooms, address, telephone and fax numbers, services and price range. It also lists recreational vehicle parks, reservation/referral services, apartments and short-term rentals. You can pick up the free booklets at the Visitor Information Center on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St., or mail your request and $2 to the Visitor Information Center, P.O. Box 429097, San Francisco, CA 94142-9097 or by calling 1-415-391-2000.

DESTINATION LOS ANGELES (DLA) is a visitor's guide to Southern California. The magazine-type publication lists member attractions, accommodations, entertainment, restaurants, sightseeing, shopping, transportation and industry services. Free copies are available at Visitor Information Centers, local airports, member hotels and car rental counters, or you can request that one be mailed to you by sending your name and address to the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, 633 W. Fifth St., Suite 6000, Los Angeles, CA 90071.

* LONDON-BOUND? For a free copy of a booklet called The London Art Season, send your name and address to the British Tourist Authority, 551 Fifth Ave., Suite 701, New York, NY 10176-0799, or call 1-800-462-2748. The booklet tells you how to book tickets. It also has a calendar of theatre, opera, music and dance performances. According to the booklet, your first stop in London should be the London Arts Information Center in the British Travel Center at 12 Regent St., near Piccadilly Circus. It has a booking service with an allocation for the most sought-after shows, and you can pick up a free London Arts Card, which is good for discounts and special offers at more than 100 arts venues and restaurants. There you may also purchase a London White Card, $21 for three days or $34.50 for seven days, which gets you into 13 of the city's top galleries and museums including the Museum of the Moving Image, Victoria & Albert, Royal Academy of Arts and the National Maritime Museum. Upcoming art exhibitions include "Impressionism in Britain" with works by Conder, Sickert and others alongside works of their mentors, Degas, Monet and Pissarro at the Barbican Gallery January through April; and "Spanish Still Life: from Velazquez to Goya," at the National Gallery Feb. 22-May 21. You can save money on theater tickets by purchasing them as a package. For example, you can get tickets for Andrew Lloyd Web-ber's musicals "Cats," "Starlight Express" and "Sunset Boulevard" on three successive days for about $82.50, saving nearly $50 on regular prices. Other blockbusters for which you can purchase "package" tickets are "Crazy For You," "Blood Brothers," "Miss Saigon" and "Les Miserables."

* VISITORS GUIDE TO DENVER. To request a free 154-page guide to Denver and Colorado, call 1-800-645-3446. The booklet is published by the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. It includes a fold-out map of Colorado, a metro-area map, a downtown map and maps for a series of day trips into the Rocky Mountains. It also contains information about lodging, restaurants and attractions.

News flashes from the Colorado Capital include the opening of a new Tattered Cover Bookstore on the 16th Street Mall downtown. The fabled bookstore, whose main location is in Cherry Creek North, where galleries, boutiques and cafes are also located, will feature an abundance of overstuffed chairs in virtually every nook and cranny where you can sit and peruse your purchases. The Cherry Creek Shopping Center, not far from the original Tattered Cover Bookstore, has 130 upscale stores including Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

FORT LAUDERDALE LAUNCHES VACATION PACKAGE PROGRAM. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and Certified Vacations join to offer air-inclusive and land-only packages. To request an information packet, call 1-800-22-SUNNY. The program, called "Rediscover Greater Fort Lauderdale," will be launched Dec. 22 with travel beginning Jan. 1. The value-packed destination package will provide a choice of accommodations at 28 hotels in Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Lauderdale by the Sea, Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood. The packages will offer deals in every price range and will include car rental or airport transfers and discounts to 18 attractions. Land-only packages begin at $149 per person for a minimum two-night stay. Rates are per person based on double occupancy. Air-inclusive packages will be available on Delta and Con-tin-ental.

* FRIENDS IN FRANCE. An organization called Friends in France Ltd., arranges stays with French families in their private homes ranging from farmhouses, to manor to chateaux in every region of the country. For a 190-page "Guide to Host Families," send a check for $12 to Friends in France, 40 East 19th St., #8, New York, NY 10003. The booklet describes the program and the families in detail. The cost ranges from $55 to $120 per day for a room for two people, including French breakfast. The company can also arrange stays in beautifully furnished, fully serviced apartments in Paris. They are available for stays of at least seven nights and costs range from $100 to $250 per day. Long-term rentals are available at reduced rates.

* GIVE THE GIFT OF STATE PARKS. A Utah State Park pass may be the perfect gift for someone in your family who enjoys visiting the state's parks. 1995 multiple and single parks permits are available from the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. The multiple park permit allows access to all of Utah's 45 state parks. It sells for $55 and is available at the Division's main office, 1636 W. North Temple, or at any state park. The single park permit sells for $30 and is available at the park where the permit will be used. Both permits are day passes and do not discount overnight camping fees. Nor do they cover golf course fees.