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What's New in the West: May 2014

Learn about the Gold Rush in Placerville, Calif., visit a new water park near Las Vegas, or see lions at Salt Lake City's Hogle Zoo.

  • An all-new California Coast exhibit opens on June 6 at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences. Visit
  • Learn legends of ghosts and spirits with Gold Rush Tales’ hour-long evening walking tours in Placerville, Calif.
  • What’s the Golden State’s longest wooden pier? Its prettiest? Find out in Pier Pressure: California Piers from San Diego to San Francisco, filled with history, trivia, and 500 photos. $32.
  • Cowabunga Bay Water Park, opening May 24 in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas, boasts more than 30 attractions, including a giant raft slide and a six-story water playground.
  • Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art, at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, showcases 70 impressionist and post-impressionist landscapes, portraits, and still lifes on loan from the renowned museum in Washington, D.C. Through Aug. 3.
  • Come face-to-face with giraffes, zebras, and even lions at Hogle Zoo’s new five-acre African Savanna exhibit in Salt Lake City.
  • Hiking Idaho, 3rd: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures provides details on 100-plus outings. $25.
  • Portland Opera wraps up the season with Gilbert and Sullivan’s merry Pirates of Penzance. Get a 20 percent AAA discount for May 9, 11, and 15 shows. Book online at
  • View prints made in the 1930s by Works Progress Administration artists in WPA Impressions: The Reality of the American Dream, on display through July 27 at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene.

This article was first published in May 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.