A visit to Berkeley: a “snowless” escape

With not much snow in the Sierra, we are enjoying a visit in the opposite direction  — holing up at the historic Claremont Hotel in Berkeley/Oakland, no less.  Set in the Berkeley Hills, the Claremont provides scenic views of San Francisco. The main hotel building is entirely in Oakland. But the spa, the gardens and parking area falls within the city limits of Berkeley. The grand hotel’s roots date back to the turn of the century. My grandmother Clara, who graduated from UC Berkeley herself, told me about the hotel in its early days.

We’re going to hang out the 25-meter pool and read,  walk our dog in the tree-lined Claremont neighborhood, visit UC Berkeley, the International House (where I lived for two years while at Cal), and the Lawrence Hall of Science. No visit is complete without a visit to Zachery’s pizza, which rivals Chicago’s deep-dish pizza;  Great China, which made the James Beard semifinalist list this year; and the upstairs cafe at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse.

As it turns out, our friend Tom Dalldorf and his wife, Arlene, now of Nevada City, and going to be in Berkeley this weekend, hosting a 30th anniversary celebration for his Celebrator Beer magazine. Tom relocated to the foothills from Hayward. He also has a show on KVMR.

We are enjoying our coffee with a copy of the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times. An article on the front page of The Chronicle is about a popular Silicon Valley-style, co-work site having its craft beer taps turned off because of a “gray area” under alcoholic beverage laws. But never fear, the beer has been replaced with drinks like kombucha!

Have a great President’s Day weekend!

 

 

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

7 thoughts on “A visit to Berkeley: a “snowless” escape”

  1. Hey, fancy shmancy at the Claremont! I used to drive by there every day when commuting to Berkeley in the 1960s, but I still have never been inside! 🙂

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend.

    Jane and I went to a conference in Berkeley a few years ago, and stayed downtown a block or so from campus at Julia Morgan’s Berkeley City Club. I described it here:

    Julia Morgan’s Berkeley City Club

      1. Yes, I want to stay at Morgan’s City Club some time. Our friends the Dalldorf’s are going to do that. The indoor swimming pool alone looks amazing!

    1. We will. It’s on the summer itinerary, for a “summer academy” in medicine for Mitchell, in fact. We swung by the campus with him, and he loved it. In fact, he mentioned it again today. Go “King Triton” (the mascot).

  2. Jeff and family: The Berkeley City Club was amazing. Not for everyone, mind you, but people with a sense of art history will love it. No expensive and a well-lit parking lot with security cameras in evidence. Rare in Berkeley. We awoke to a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our room. Simply wonderful…

    1. Wonderful! Thanks for the “trip report.” We are going to stay at the International House when we come back in March.

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