ARIZONA HOTELS DROP RATES AS TEMPERATURES RISE. Resorts, hotels and guest ranches offer top-notch accommodations at bargain basement prices (well, relatively speaking) during the summer. Examples include:

- The Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix, which has a water slide to entertain kids, is a four-diamond property with reduced rates starting at $79 a night. Children under 18 stay free when they share a room with adults and they may enjoy breakfast in the Indigo Bistro for 99 cents. The reduced rates are effective through Sept. 7. Call 800-423-4126.- The Ritz-Carlton Phoenix has a bed and bistro package through Sept. 7 that combines one night's accommodations, a three-course dinner for two at Bistro 24 and continental breakfast for $199. Call 602-468-0700.

- The five-star Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park offers discounts through Sept. 7 that include casita-style accommodations with continental breakfast for $119, double occupancy. Call 800-327-0396.

- The Boulders resort in Carefree has a bed & breakfast package that includes luxury accommodations and breakfast. Rates, good through Sept. 6, begin at $165 per couple per night. Call 800-553-1717.

- The five-star Phoenician resort in Scottsdale has a room rate of $175 per night through Sept. 2. One-bedroom suites are $315 per night and two-bedroom suites are $515 per night. Call 800-888-8234.

- BERLITZ, THE LANGUAGE EXPERT, has come up with yet another way to teach a foreign language. Its new Think & Talk self-study course includes a 12-unit course book, six compact disks, six cassette tapes, a learner's guide, a verb finder diskette, a verb handbook and a bilingual dictionary. The price is $225. The book's written exercises interact with the audio portion of the course. If you're serious about picking up another language but don't have time to take classes, Berlitz is a good alternative. For information, call 800-526-8047, or visit the Web at (www.berlitz.com).

- ARUBA, WHERE LIFE IS A BEACH, is an island off the coast of Venezuela. Its tourism authority has published a 68-page magazine to acquaint potential visitors with everything it has to offer. The island is a 21/2-hour flight from Miami. It offers a number of outdoor activities, but, as a popular beer advertisement used to say, it's the water that brings tourists from around the world. For information, call 800-TO-ARUBA.

- DELACROIX IN PHILADELPHIA. From Sept. 15-Jan. 1, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will host an exhibition of drawings and works on paper by Eugene Delacroix. He lived from 1798-1863 and was a major influence on Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse. The exhibit, called "Delacroix: The Late Work," is in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth. Purchase tickets by calling 215-235-SHOW. Downtown hotels will offer two-day/one-night packages that include accommodations for two, two VIP tickets to the exhibition, hotel parking and Phlash Tourist Loop passes. Examples of package prices: $229 plus tax at the Best Western Center City Hotel; $199 at the Latham Hotel; $229 at the Warwick. For more information, call the Philadelphia Visitors Center at 800-752-8206.

- ART COLLECTION FROM THE PRINCES OF WALES. Over the past 400 years, the heirs to the British throne have collected paintings and art objects. The items are on public display for the first time ever at the National Museum & Gallery of Wales in Cardiff from July 25 to Nov. 8. Among the paintings are works by Hans Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. The exhibition also includes stunning examples of 18th century French furniture. Prince Henry, son of King James I and grandson of Mary, Queen of Scots, started the collection. Other princes who contributed to it include Prince George (later King George IV) and Edward, later King Edward VII. Details about this and other events in Wales are found in "Wales: Land of Nature & Legend," which is available free by contacting the British Tourist Authority at 800-462-2748.

- HEADED TO AUSTRIA? The Austrian National Tourist Office in New York City can provide you with information. Among the free booklets that are available: "Can You Hear The Sound of Music?" "Small Historic Towns in Austria" and "Vienna Mueums." Call 212-944-6880, or visit the Web at (www.anto.com).

- WORKS OF PAINTER THOMAS MORAN will be on display at the Seattle Art Museum through Aug. 30. The exhibit features 100 of the artist's paintings. Moran's watercolors and oils depict some of the West's great landscapes. Three of his works will hang in proximity to each other in this show, complying with the way he intended them to be shown: "The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone," "Chasm of the Colorado" and "Mountain of the Holy Cross." For information, call 206-654-3243 or consult the Web at (www.seattleartmuseum.org).

- GRAND CANYON RAILWAY WELCOMES LAW enforcement employees. During July, law enforcement employees may ride the railway, which travels from Williams to the south rim, for free. Make reservations by calling 1-800-THE TRAIN and present your badge before boarding the train.

- HEMINGWAY IN KEY WEST. This is one of many exotic locales where Ernest Hemingway had a house. The Spanish colonial where he lived in the 1930s is now a museum, complete with descendants of his six-toed cat. The Hemingway Days Festival, July 17-24, in Key West pays homage to the world famous wordsmith. He wrote "For Whom the Bells Toll," "A Farewell to Arms," and "To Have and Have Not," while he lived in Key West. Festival activities include a writers' workshop July 20-22. For information, call 800-FLA-KEYS, or visit the Web at (www.fla-keys.com).

- DIG DINOSAURS. The Dinosaur Days celebration in Grand Junction, Colo., includes a dig for children. On Thursday, July 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., children can dig for replica fossils at the dinosaur quarry in Rabbit Valley 30 miles west of Grand Junction off I-70, and also watch a dig (for real fossils) in progress. Participation is free. Call 970-242-0971. Other activities include a 5K run July 18 at 8 a.m. Call 970-242-0971. The dinosaur egg hunt takes place July 18 at 2 p.m. in Whitman Park. Call 970-242-0971. For a free visitors guide, call 800-962-2547.