CHARLESTON Spoleto Festival USA is the creme de la creme of American arts festivals. It will take place from May 22 to June 7 in South Carolina. More than 130 performances will feature renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, dance, theater, jazz, symphonic, chamber and choral music. Highlights will include a new production of Leos Janacek's opera "Jenufa," the first U.S. stage production of the baroque opera "Giasone," and the American premiere of composer Steve Reich and video artist Beryl Korot's new work "Hindenburg." Tickets range from $10 to $65 and can be ordered by calling South Carolina Automated Ticketing at 1-803-723-0402; or through the Web at ( To request a ticket brochure with a schedule of events, call the Spoleto Festival USA at 1-803-722-2764.

- IN LAST WEEK'S COLUMN, we said that the Nevada Bonus Book was free. Apparently we were wrong. It is available for $8.50 by calling 1-800-NEVADA-8.- THE PALM SPRINGS VISITOR Information Center makes reservations at more than 85 hotels citywide, matching your request with the hotel's size, price, location and amenities. Participating hotels guarantee that the rates offered through the service are the best available. The service operates seven days a week. Call 1-800-347-7746. The southern California wildflower season is almost upon us. For information on where to see the most spectacular wild-flowers in the Palm Springs area, call the Living Desert's wildflower hotline at 1-760-340-4954.

- SPRING TRAINING in Arizona. The Chicago Cubs gear up for the regular season at Hohokam Park Stadium in Mesa from late February through March. Ticket prices range from $5 to $12. For a schedule, visit the Web at (www. Other teams that train in Arizona include the San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Athletics, the Anaheim Angels, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Seattle Mariners, the San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies. For ticket information and schedules, call the (602) 262-5040 or (602) 827-4700.

- ARIZONA HIKING, BIKING MAPS. The Arizona State Parks Department has published a set of four regional State Trail Guides that detail recreational trail systems. Each guide is priced from $8 to $12. A complete set is available for $35. Call 1-602-542-2155 or see the gift shop section of the Arizona State Parks home page at (

- DAFFODILS ON NANTUCKET. More than 3 million bloom on this island off the coast of Massachusetts from early April to mid-May. The Daffodil Festival, April 24-26, will include an antique and classic car parade, an inn tour, a merchant window decorating contest and a garden club's daffodil show. For more information, consult the Web at (www.nan Request the Official 1998 Guide by calling the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce at 1-508-228-1700. You reach the island by airplane or ferry. Visitors are encouraged to leave their cars behind because you can access everything you need to by walking, bicycle or taxi.

- JUNEAU VACATION PLANNER. The city's 1998 vacation planner is available free by calling 1-888-581-2201 or order online at ( It has information on the area's wildlife, flightseeing (sightseeing in a small airplane or in a helicopter), fishing, glacier viewing, wilderness adventures and cultural activities.

- EASTERN & ORIENTAL EXPRESS gives you a break on rates. Due in part to currency devaluations, the train is offering reductions of up to 35 percent for travel in February and March. The legendary route goes between Singapore and Bangkok, passing through Malaysia. The journey covers 1,200 miles and takes two nights. In February and March, a one-way, two-night journey from Singapore to Bangkok starts at $975 per person double occupancy for a superior compartment instead of $1,460. The recently initiated route between Bangkok and Chiang-Mai in northern Thailand has also been reduced, to $800 from $990 for a superior compartment and to $1,150 from $1,360 for a state compartment. The Eastern & Oriental Express is a luxury train. The Chiang-Mai portion of the excursion stops at the colonial city of Penang/Butterworth, and it takes in the World War II history involving Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai Bridge. Call 1-800-524-2420 to inquire about reservations.

- SPRING BREAK VIA AMTRAK. See America by rail during spring break. For travel between March 1 and May 21, Amtrak is offering Amtrak Great Getaway Fares where the first person pays regular fare, the second person gets 50 percent off and the third person rides for free. You must purchase your tickets between Feb. 22 and May 9 and make reservations at least seven days in advance. These special fares don't apply April 3-19 and they are not available on some routes. For details contact your travel agent, call 1-800-USA-RAIL or visit the Web at (