Escapes: Ride through wildflowers


Wildflower trains

Treat your eyes to springtime’s wildflowers with special train rides through the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in the Tuolumne County town of Jamestown is offering the rides Saturday and April 19 only. Departure is at 4:30 p.m., and guests enjoy a one-hour, 6-mile ride through meadows, rolling hills and colorful, blooming flora. Rangers will be on board to point out unique flower groupings and answer questions.

Tickets cost $24 general and $10 for youths ages 6 to 17. Children ages 5 and younger ride for free. 18115 Fifth Ave., Jamestown. Purchase tickets and learn more at


Guitar festival

What: Walnut Creek’s first International Guitar Festival and Competition will feature hundreds of guitar players in concerts, competitions, workshops, lectures and more.

When: Event times vary, Wednesday through Friday

Where: Various locations, Walnut Creek

Cost: All-access pass $149, single events $25

Information :


Fantasy land

What: Step into an enchanting land of fairy tales at the San Jose Fantasy Faire. The village-style show will include characters, a pirate ship, storytelling, bocce, archery and steam-punk shenanigans.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. next Sunday

Where: 494 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose

Cost: $12 general, $10 seniors, military, ages 13-17, $7 ages 6-12, free ages 6 and under



Tentacle exhibit

What: “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes,” a new $3.5 million special exhibition, purports to be the largest and most diverse of its kind.

When: Opens Saturday

Where: Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row, Monterey

Cost: $24.95-$39.95



Music swap

What: For more than 25 years, the Rock ’N’ Swap at the University of San Francisco has been one of the biggest swaps of its kind in the region. Vendors sell all sorts of music-related items in various formats, genres and levels of rare. Proceeds go to KUSF.

When: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. next Sunday

Where: McLaren Hall, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St., San Francisco

Cost: $10 before 10 a.m., $3 after



Travel talk

What: Rona Commins will lead a talk on traveling to Venice, Florence and Rome during Christmas festivities.

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: 4331 Sierra Madre Drive, Sacramento

Cost: Free

Information: (916) 487-2137;

— Bee Staff