Blue Ocean Film Festival
If you're in Monterey sometime between Sept. 24 and 30, plan on taking in some of the Blue Ocean Film Festival. It's described as a "global film festival and conservation summit for underwater filmmakers and marine researchers." Its goal is to "share the latest insights on what is happening in our oceans."
Which sounds way serious, but it translates into 60-plus award-winning films, photography, visual arts exhibits, discussions, seminars and receptions.
Passes are limited and are on sale now. For details and to buy tickets: www.bluefilmfest.com, (831) 920-3527.
Joining hands with the festival are many of the hotels and restaurants in the Monterey-Carmel-Pacific Grove area. They're offering special package deals at www.seemonterey.com/deep-blue-deals.
Italy on your own
If a trip to Italy is on your bucket list, get some guidance, inspiration and practical travel tips before you go.
As part of its program, the "Italy Independent Travel" seminar will feature specialists from the Experience Italy travel-planning company. They will advise travelers on the best times to visit Italy, where to stay, when to rent a car, when to take a train, where to dine and much more.
The vicarious trip will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Bella Bru Cafe, 5038 Fair Oaks Blvd., Sacramento. Registration fee is $10 at (916) 456-0570 or www.experienceitaly.com.
Come out of your shell
Nuts about walnuts? In that case, head for the 75th annual Walnut Festival for four days of live entertainment, carnival rides, vendors, games, children-friendly areas, free fishing, specialty foods and, of course, walnuts in various incarnations. Admission is $5 per person.
The festival will be held Thursday through next Sunday at Heather Farm Park, 500 N. San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek. Details at (925) 935-6766, www.thewalnutfestival.org.
For an outing with a cultural touch, consider the ninth annual Basketweavers Gathering at the Gatekeeper's Museum in Tahoe City.
Featured are master American Indian artisans from several tribes who will demonstrate basketweaving and other traditional arts.
Long ago, baskets were vital to the survival of the people in all North American native cultures, and part of their spiritual ceremonies. Today, basketweaving is a highly stylized art passed from one generation to the next.
The Gatekeeper's Museum is on the site where the Washoe people once spent their summer months and gathered for special events. It also caretakes a museum of more than 800 baskets from 80 tribes.
The demonstrations will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday at 130 W. Lake Blvd. (near Fanny Bridge). Suggested donation of $10. Information: www.northtahoemuseums.org or call (530) 583-1762.
FOOD AND WINE
San Rafael hosts festival
Summer closes, fall arrives. Which means food festivals will abound for the next couple of months, including the fourth annual Taste of Downtown San Rafael.
Wine-tastings and small-plate noshing from area wineries and restaurants are the heart of the fest. A free shuttle will make designated stops at the various tasting venues downtown.
Eat and drink from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Buy the $25 tasting wristband at www.sresproductions.com or at the ticket booth at 950 Fourth St. in San Rafael. Included are a commemorative wine glass and a map of all tasting locations.
For more information: | (800) 310-6563, www.sresproductions.com.