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Around and about L.A. ... tours by bus or van, by day or night.

Tours that go beyond sightseeing offer residents as well as visitors a new perspective on Southern California. Here we list well-established tours noted for their varies change frequently to take advantage of seasonal highlights such as this month's wildflower tours. Not all the options pictured here are offered among the tours scheduled for April.

Each company is run by a woman with experience, training, and interest in her subject matter, whether it's art, ethnic markets, or countryside rambles. Groups are generally small.

Our list includes half- to full-day tours in April; to keep abreast of tours all year, ask to be put on each company's mailing list. Reservations are required, and prices include bus transportation.

Art Tours of Los Angeles, 2864 Motor Ave., Los Angeles 90064; 870-2549. Nancy Kattler, a docent at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, leads monthly tours of contemporary galleries and studios. Tours generally run from about 9 A.M. to 2:30 P.M.; additiona trips for groups of 16 or more can be arranged. The $50 fee includes breakfast and lunch. April 26. Visit an artist's studio and the best current gallery exhibits from Venice to downtown Los Angeles.

California Natural History Tours, Box 3709, Beverly Hills 90212; (213) 274-3025. Peggy McCain, a former L.A. Country Museum of Natural History docent, leads trips with a natural history slant. Call for a schedule.

L.A. Today Custom Tours, 14964 Camarosa Dr., Pacific Palisades 90272; (213) 454-5730. Elinor Oswald leads seasonally planned trips. Additional tours for groups of 40 or more can be arranged.

April 23. Antelope Valley Wildflowers. Tour fills a day with walks through fields and a stop at Lancaster Wildflower Center. Leave West Covina at 9 and return at 5; $24, including lunch at the Swedish Kitchen.

The Next Stage, Box 35269, Los Angeles 90035; (213) 939-2688. Marlene Gordon has offered tours for five years. A $10 annual membership fee is required, but you may take one trip without being a member; for a sample mailing, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

April 1. Wildflower Hunt in the Antelope Valley. A day of guided walks, leaving Los Angeles at 9 and returning at 5; $35, including lunch.

April 7. Around the World in One Day. An ethnic tour of L.A. includes stops at Buddhist and Jewish temples, Japanese gardens, Middle Eastern markets, Italian winery, performances of Spanish flamenco and German folk dancing. Trip lasts from 10 A.M. to 11 P.M.; $45, including dinner but not lunch.

April 14. Full Moon Mystery Tour. Stops between 5:30 P.M. and 11:30 P.M. remain a mystery until you get there; $40, including dinner.

April 27. Insomniac Tour. Visit a bagel factory, Union Station, the flower market, and produce market area, with breakfast at Vickman's. Tour runs from 2:45 A.M. to 9 A.M.; $30, including bagels and breakfast.

April 29. Ramona Pageant Tour. Besides the pageant in Hemet, tour includes a detour through Oak Glen to see apple blossoms, a visit to landmark Hotel Vosberg to see mariachi band and flamenco dancers. Trip lasts from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M.; $45, including lunch.

'Round Town Tours, 9041 Lucerne Ave., Culver City 902030; (213) 836-7559. Marvey Chapman conducts a variety of tours; prices do not include lunch.

April 6. Early-morning Los Angeles, Visit the flower market, produce market, Japanese gardens, bonsai exhibit between 6 A.M. and 11:30 A.M.; $20.

April 12. Exloring the L.A. Theater Scene. You'll view a live theater production and receive tips on theaters in Los Angeles. Evening tour lasts from 5:30 to 11 P.M.; $33, including dinner.

April 14. Wildflower Splendor and Lilac Festival. A day in the flower fields of the Antelope Valley. Tour lasts from 8 to 5:30; $27.

April 25. Los Angeles Cityspace--the New Downtown. You'll visit the new plazas, hotels, museums, outdoor art. Tour runs from 9 to 4; $18.

Victorian Tours, 18933-65 Kittridge Street, Reseda 91335; (818) 708-0744. Janet Atkinson's historical and architectural tours focus on landmarks and private residences. All tours begin with light refreshments.

April 7. Pacific Palisades Tour. Visit landmarks and private houses to talk with some homeowners about the area's history. The tour runs from 9 to 4; $35, including lunch.
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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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