If the spirit moves you and you want to quick get-a-way, Monterey is only an hour and a half away from the Oakland and Berkeley area. When you are here it feels like a different world. There is historic Cannery Row, areas to walk and ride a bike, restaurants, and the beach. The other weekend the family and I went to Monterey to try out a The Monterey Plaza Inn. The rooms are scrumptious and there are high end amenities such as the spa, several restaurants and fantastic room service that will do special orders such as strawberries and whipped cream. Although this hotel is Bay front,there is no private beach or hotel access to play in the water. Additionally there is no pool. Monterey is a great place to take the family, but with no pool or immediate beach access, The Monterey Plaza Inn might not be the hotel for the family. The Best Western in Monterey is beach front with direct access and a pool! The rooms and restaurant are not as nice as the Monterey Plaza Inn, but when I stayed there last year I found the hotel quite charming. Check out my previous post on Bay Area Destination.