Finding Oz in San Diego

There are treats for Baum buffs all about.

LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: When one describes how to get to a fantasy land there's usually a lot of "turn left at the first rainbow"- and "go straight at the magical tree"-type directions. But how does one get to one of the most famous fantasy lands of all, Oz? There are some magical coordinates for that particular destination, it is true. Or you can get on the 5 Freeway and head for Coronado, if you're looking for a quicker way to reach it. The ocean-snug San Diego spot has strong ties to L. Frank Baum -- the "Oz" author designed some of the lighting for the Hotel del Coronado -- and there are a few ways to summon a certain Emerald City while there. But celebrating the spirit of the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion and all of Dorothy's pals and adventures will get a lot easier when a full "Wizard of Oz" weekend unfurls in Coronado from March 7-10.

TOTO TO-DOS: An advance screening of "Oz The Great & Powerful" is planned for Coronado's art deco Village Theatre. A children's breakfast and a book signing with Mr. Baum's great-grandson is in the works, too.

BAUM ALL YEAR LONG: If you can't make the March gathering, there are ways to experience the magical land throughout the year in Coronado. The library has an Oz-related glass art exhibit and Mr. Baum's own home still sits on Star Park Circle (visitors are welcome to view it from the street and see if they can spot the Wicked Witch). And, of course, you have to swing by the Del for a look at its Baum-tastic chandeliers.

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