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By Joseph Knowles

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History For centuries, the residents of America's West Coast were effectively screened from their Eastern neighbors by the majestic, but almost insurmountable Rocky Mountains. Unique Native American cultures evolved, influenced more by migrating tribes from Alaska and Canada to Page 2 the north than by the Iroquois, Chippewa, Apache, Comanche and other Indian cultures that flourished along America's East Coast and throughout the vast central plains. Gabrielino Indians inhabited most of the region which is present-day Los Angeles.

And California encompasses no fewer than eight magnificent national parks: the Channel Islands, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Kings Canyon, Lassen Volcanic, Redwood, Sequoia and Yosemite. When you travel to southern California, you can take a daytrip to an exotic foreign country - Mexico. If you are here in the summer and the heat becomes too oppressive, you can retreat to the cool comfort of the mountains. In the winter, you can ski those same mountains, go ice skating or snowboarding, or you can stay at the lower elevations where it's warm and explore the California deserts.

Groups are limited to 12 people and no children under 10 are permitted. New is the Warner Bros. Museum, the first museum to be erected upon a studio lot. The 7,000-square-foot facility is in a pavilion housing the Steven J. Ross Theater. On display is the piano from Casablanca, starring Humphrey Bogart, the mysterious statue of a bird from Maltese Falcon, and Guinevere's gown from Camelot. Also on display are the studio's four Oscars: one for Technical Achievement (sound) for The Jazz Singer and three for Best Picture for The Life of Emile Zola, Casablanca and My Fair Lady.

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