CHINESE TERRA-COTTA ARMY IN SANTA BARBARA. One of the largest groups of life-size terra cotta figures to enter the United States is on display at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art through Oct. 18. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $6 for youths and are available at the museum, through any TicketMaster outlet or by calling 805-583-8700. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays. The exhibit, called "Eternal China: Splendors of the First Dynasties," has 115 life-size figures and other objects. For more information about Santa Barbara, consult the Web at (www.SantabarbaraCA.com).
- NYC UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. A new program geared toward visitors to the Big Apple offers guided tours to some of the city's best known cultural wonders. Through Labor Day, more than 40 participating entities, including museums, performing arts centers, botanical gardens, zoos and historical sites will offer residents and tourists alike one-hour tours. Highlights include:- Interactive experiences, demonstrations and video presentations at the American Museum of the Moving Image.
- A docent-led tour through summer gardens during peak-bloom season or through the 40-acre forest of American beeches, red oaks, cherry, birch, tulip and white ash trees at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
- Tours of Lincoln Center that take you behind the scenes.
- A walk through the historic Richmond District on Staten Island to see an 1837 courthouse, learn how a tinsmith constructed his wares and enter a schoolhouse built in 1695.
- Explore the world's best permanent collections and temporary exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and others.
For a complete list of participating cultural institutions and to learn more about the "Insider's Hour" programs at each of them, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Insider's Hour, NYCVB, 810 Seventh Ave., 3rd Floor, NY, NY 10019. Or visit the Web at (www.nycvisit.com).
- FRESNO, CALIF., VISITORS GUIDE. For a free copy, call 800-788-0836. The booklet describes nearby destinations, including Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks and Boyden Cavern.
- DID YOU LEAVE YOUR HEART IN SAN FRANCISCO? If so, you'll need to go back and get it. "The San Francisco Book" can help you decide what to do. It contains feature articles on points of interest and neighborhoods. It includes maps of downtown San Francisco, the city's neighborhoods and Golden Gate Park as well as listings of sightseeing companies, attractions, sports and special events, museums and exhibits. Pick up the booklet at the city's visitors center on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street, or, for $3, receive it by mail by calling 415-391-2000. You may also order it over the Internet at (www.sfvisitor.org).
- MAP MAKERS. Magellan Geographix has redesigned its Web site (www.maps.com) to include a virtual map store and includes travel gear and accessories. The Santa Barbara based company's site lets you browse through an extensive selection of atlases, CD-rom products, paper maps, outdoor recreational maps, map software and the company's trademark digital maps.
- THE TAOS ARTS FESTIVAL will be Sept. 18-Oct. 4. Activities will include the Plaza Arts and Crafts Fair, Oct. 2-4; the Old Taos Trade Fair, Sept. 26 and 27 at La Hacienda de Martinez, one of the few remaining Spanish colonial haciendas open to the public; and the Taos Wool Festival, Oct. 2 and 3, with demonstrations of spinning, exhibits and sales of wool and wool garments.