IF NEW YORK, Florida and California are your favorite vacation spots -- as they are for large numbers of American -- you may not be surprised to learn that foreign tourists agree with you.
During the fourth quarter of 1982, New York City welcomed 29 percent of travelers from abroad, according to a survey of overseas visitors to this country conducted by the Commerce Department's U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration.
Other top destination choices of foreigners are Miami (17 percent), San Francisco (18 percent), Los Angeles (17 percent), Honolulu (9 percent) and Washington, D.C. (8 percent).
The average visitor from abroad, the survey showed, spent $1,133 while in the United States. If you want to compare your personal vacation outlays, 23 percent of that sum went for gifts and souvenirs, 23 percent for lodging, 20 percent for food and beverages, 13 percent for transportation within the country and 8 percent for entertainment and recreation. The average stay was 10 days.
SAILING, SAILING . . .: The Annapolis Sailing School, which bills itself as the oldest (founded in 1959) and largest sailing school in this country, recently began offering seven-day vacations at four of its eight locations. You can now learn to sail as part of a package at Annapolis; St. Petersburg, Fla.; San Diego, and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Each package includes six nights at a hotel (all within walking distance of school facilities); breakfast each day; transportation to and from the airport (except Annapolis); instruction for five days on 24-foot Rainbow sloops--24 hours of on-boat sailing lessons and four hours in the classroom; a two-day "Weekend Introduction to Cruising" aboard a 37-foot cabin sloop (sail and liveon board with instructor from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, all provisions included) and a certificate of completion.
The school hopes to make a similar package available soon at its Charleston, S.C., branch, where it now has weekend, three- and five-day vacations for beginning sailors. Other school locations are Lake Geneva, Wis.; Clear Lake at Galveston Bay, Tex., and Marathon in the Florida Keys.
Courses, while identical, vary in price according to area and season. For example: Annapolis--yearly, April through October, $695 per person, $1,095 double; St. Petersburg--low season 5/1-11/30, $695 per person, $1,095 double; San Diego--high season 4/1-10/1, $795 per person, $1,295 double; St. Croix--low season 5/1-11/30, $695 per person, $1,095 double.
For more information, contact the school at P.O. Box 3334, Annapolis, Md. 21403 (301-267-7205 or 202-261-1947).
RETURN TO KOREA: It may be all over for M*A*S*H except for reruns, but U.S. survivors of the Korean conflict still remember--and so does the Korean government, which is sponsoring a series of low-cost eight-day packages for veterans and their families "in a spirit of appreciation and friendship."
Chong-Hwan Kim, general ROK Army retired and president of the Korean Veterans Association, issued the invitation that appears on a promotional flyer announcing the special "Korea Remembers" tour. "You came to Korea to fight with us for freedom and democracy. Over the years, you may have wondered how those friends are doing today. In 1983, Korea will mark the 33rd anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. The people of Korea would like to invite you to come back to see the fruits of sacrifice and discover the difference you helped make."
The government's connection with the program, which adds a certain public relations aspect, obviously also makes it possible for the bargain price for veterans and their families. Korea is offering first-class hotel accommodations, all meals and other arrangements for six days "free of charge as a gesture of our appreciation." The package price is as low as $1,019--which represents the cost of regular round-trip airfare alone.
There will be eight departures from May 29 through Nov. 6, assuming sufficient demand. Participants will fly from Los Angeles to Seoul in a 747 jet (economy class, group affinity basis). One side trip will be a visit to Panmunjom where the armistice agreement was signed in 1953.
Details from Korea Revisit Program Center, 1650 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90017 (213-483-3197).
APPLE BLOSSOMS: This is the last day of the 56th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Va. Though the queen has been crowned and the parades have already passed by, there's still time to enjoy the spring blossoms (if the weather cooperates) and attend "Sunday in the Park."
Coordinated by the Winchester-Frederick County Jaycees, the ninth annual show at the Winchester Recreation Park runs from noon to 6 p.m. Her Majesty will take part in opening ceremonies. The family fun day will feature arts and crafts, a Civil War sham battle, apple-crate derby, games, clog dancing (visitors are invited to join in), square dance demonstrations and other continuous musical entertainment.
General admission is free. There is a $1 charge for adult admission to the arts and crafts area, which will offer a large assortment of handmade items.
BATTLE OF NEW MARKET: Next Sunday, more than 1,000 Confederate and Union "soldiers" wearing authentic uniforms and carrying reproductions of rifles from the Civil War period will take part in the 16th annual reenactment of the 1864 Battle of New Market, Va.
Participants, members of re-activated Civil War units, usually come from at least 15 states, and this year will include residents of Florida, Arizona and California and Canada, according to a spokesman for the New Market Battlefield Park. The site borders George Collins Parkway just off I-81 (New Market Exit 67).
The park is a Registered National Historic Landmark accredited by the American Association of Museums and administered by Virginia Military Institute. VMI's corps of young cadets played a crucial role in the battle, in which they charged a superior federal force and spearheaded its defeat. Of 247 members who saw action, 10 were killed and 47 wounded.
The program begins at 2 p.m., but park officials advise visitors to plan on arriving no later than noon because traffic congestion in previous years has caused motorists to be backed up on the road while the battle was taking place.
For further information, phone the park at 703-740-3101.
YOUTH HOSTELS WEEK: American Youth Hostels' celebration of 49 years of service to the American traveler begins today with open houses at many of the nonprofit organization's 271 hostels around the country. There will be tours and seminars on youth hosteling in the United States and abroad.
From Monday through next Sunday, AYH will offer bicycle races, fairs, slide shows and public service projects sponsored by its 32 regional council offices and individual hostels. "National AYH Week" is an annual observance.
AYH, part of a worldwide system, has 271 hostels in the United States and is affiliated with more than 5,000 in 60 countries. It provides low-cost overnight youth hostel accommodations for travelers of all ages, international cultural exchange programs and other services.
More information from American Youth Hostels, Inc., 1332 I St. NW., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20005 (783-6161).