When the desert heats up, resort prices go down

Flee that coastal June gloom and treat yourself to first-class accommodations without paying premium prices. Here are a couple of examples:
The Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, a beautifully landscaped property with a mountain backdrop, gives a $50 gift card with any three-night stay. Rates at the AAA four-diamond resort begin at $109 and the offer runs through Sept. 30. The resort also offers great deals for families. Get free meals for kids; free golf after 3 p.m.; and free “dive-in” movies every Saturday in the main pool. Play volleyball, lawn chess, bocce ball and croquet, or rent bicycles. For adults: unlimited golf for $55 a day and three-course meals for $24.95. Visit miramonteresort.com.
If Palm Springs is your preferred destination, there are more than 40 hotels, boutique inns, vacation home rentals, attractions and restaurants offering deals that feature up to 40 percent off regular room rates, and complimentary nights during mid-week. For instance, enjoy the old world charm in the quaint, boutique setting of the Andalusian Court Inn and get a third night free. Or stay at the romantic and historic Casa Cody Inn, the oldest operating hotel in Palm Springs, and enjoy rates that start at $69. For a complete list of summer savings
through Sept. 30, visit
comeplayinpalmsprings.com.
Can’t leave Fido and Fluffy at home when you go?
Destinations on the Central Coast are more pet-friendly than ever.
Avila Beach — Olde Port Beach, a quarter-mile stretch of shoreline, is perfect for letting your pooch catch some waves. For eats, visit Mr. Rick’s Restaurant, where the easy-going, dog-friendly patio overlooks a stretch of classic California seashore.
San Simeon — Stay at the Best Western Plus Cavalier Oceanfront Resort or the Silver Surf Motel.
Cambria — Cruise with your canine at Cambria Dog Park, and stay at the nearby Creekside Inn (pets are free). Pet-friendly restaurants include Las Cambritas, Mustache Pete’s, Wild Ginger, Indigo Moon and the Redwood Café.
Cayucos — Just a handful of miles north of Morro Bay, there are these pet-friendly restaurants: Hoppe’s Bistro, Sea Shanty Restaurant, Schooner’s Wharf, Mustache Pete’s and Old Cayucos Bakery & Deli.
For all the pet-friendly destinations on the Central Coast, visit winecoastcountry.com/play. Click on “Activities,” then check “Pet Friendly.”
Gadgets lighten the travel book load
Technology is a wonderful thing when it can lighten your load, and that’s what travel book publisher Lonely Planet has done. Now several of their titles are available via download to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch (and they are considering versions for the Android). These books are the first to be released in Apple’s fixed-layout format, which retains the original page layout, font and design.
Visit lonelyplanet.com/ibookstore to check out these digital books:
“Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel” ($4.99) — Ranks the top 10 countries, regions and cities to visit in 2011 because of special events, like the opening of NYC’s September 11 Memorial.
“The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World” ($17.99) — In its hard-copy form, this is a magnificent coffee table book filled with 817stunning photos and compelling fun facts about every country you’ve ever heard of and some you probably haven’t – 229 in all. You can open to any “page” and be entertained. A great read for anyone old enough to do so.
“Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography” ($14.99) — Take along your photography coach in your pocket and get results that will make you look like a pro. This book includes coaching for all camera technologies — from film to camera phone — and a new section on the art of travel photography.

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