Alcatraz exhibit in Santa Clara

Are you fascinated by the Rock? Head to the Santa Clara Hyatt Regency, where a pair of exhibits about the history of Alcatraz Island is on display. "Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" examines the island's penitentiary years as well as its military role, the Indian American occupation and the current preservation efforts. That is complemented by "Alcatraz: The Last Day," an exhibit of photos by Life magazine photographer Leigh Wiener.

The lobby exhibits, co-sponsored by Alcatraz Cruises, are free and open to the public daily at 5101 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara. Details: 408-200-1234; www.santaclara.hyatt.com.

Flying soon? Check calendar

Holiday research by Cheapair.com pinpoints days in December and January when fares are ultra-high and when bargains might be found.

The days to avoid are Dec. 20, Dec. 29 and Jan. 5. The 5th is truly the day to steer clear of, the website warns, with New Year's week travelers heading back home.

On the other hand, you may be able to find deals Dec. 23-26, Jan. 1 and Jan. 7. Naturally, the last flights to fill up are on Christmas Day, and the website says you are likely to find deals on Jan. 1, particularly if you fly early in the morning.

-- Linda Zavoral