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convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

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Evansville, Indiana
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convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

I will be attending a conference at Ed Roberts Campus 4/25-27 and staying at Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. I have not ever traveled like this by myself. I will need to get from the SFO to the hotel and back, to and from the conference 3 days, and would like to see the beach once before I leave.

I hope to be able to eat on a nonprofit budget, but that is the least of my concerns.

Thanks for any advise!

Corona del Mar, CA
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1. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

If you've never traveled by yourself before I think I'd take a shuttle to the hotel from SFO.

Personally I'd take BART to Berkeley and then cab to the hotel, but if you are just starting your traveling, career, move in baby steps.

Berkeley is a college town. There are lots of great, cheap places to eat.

Santa Clara...
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2. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

... and for the beach... Will the bay do or you want to see the Pacific? You will have great views of the bay from the Claremont. To see the Pacific involves you getting to the western edge of SF. You will need to get BART to SF and a bus. Easily half a day.

Evansville, Indiana
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3. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

Thanks, should I make a reservation, or catch one at the airport?

Evansville, Indiana
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4. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

I think the Bay would do. Can you get wet? Or just view?

Santa Clara...
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5. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

If you are coming during daytime, just go out to the shared shuttle area and wait for an East Bay bound one.

Get wet? You can dip your toes in I suppose. But there isn't a sandy beach type spots along the Bay from Berkeley.

Edited: 5:24 pm, April 02, 2014
Berkeley, California
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6. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

What time will you be arriving? If it is on a weekday afternoon, there is no quick way to get to Berkeley because of rush hour traffic. BART (subway system) would be crowded with commuters, and traffic would be at a crawl (across the Bay Bridge). I don't have experience taking airport shuttles from SFO to Berkeley because I always use BART, so hopefully other people will have some thoughts on that.

If you are willing to take BART, it is easy to take the train from SFO to Rockridge, which is a station in Oakland. From there you can catch a taxi (they sit at the station) for the short ride to your hotel, or you can hop on an AC Transit bus to get close by (not recommended with luggage).

Will you have transportation to get between your hotel and your conference location? If not, you will have to rely on AC Transit Route 49, which is kind of indirect because the buses go to Rockridge BART first before going down to Ashby & Adeline (Ashby BART).

There are many cheap or good places to eat around Berkeley. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For novelty's sake, you should check out Flaco's. It is at Adeline & Ashby (right next to the Ed Roberts Campus) and serves vegan Mexican food. There are many other places to go around downtown, along Telegraph Avenue, and elsewhere if you are interested in something specific.

The closest beach to Berkeley is Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, which is on San Francisco Bay and not the Pacific Ocean. You can get there easily by taking a combination of AC Transit and BART, but it's not a particularly fast trip. With a little extra time you could ride BART back into San Francisco and hop on a Muni line to Ocean Beach.

I hate to bring it up, but are you set on the Claremont? If you don't have easy access to transport (car rental, taxi allowance, etc.) and are on a budget, it would be far easier to stay at another hotel. The Hotel Shattuck Plaza in downtown, for example, would be an excellent choice.

Evansville, Indiana
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7. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

Thank you so much! I checked, the Shattuck is booked solid:(

I am running into so many issues because my flight arrives at SFO at 10:30pm. I suppose I will have to take the BART and then a cab. I have considered changing one day of my hotel to stay closer to SF, but the prices I saw were so much more than the conference rate of less than $200/night at Claremont.

M D
Irvine, California
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8. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

My best suggestion would be to try to make a friend at your conference. Whatever the conference, I would assume there will be like-minded people who will be able to help.

Evansville, Indiana
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9. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

Thank you, I think I will try that for sure:)

Berkeley, California
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10. Re: convention @ Berkeley ALONE...Help me make wise decisions:)

Normally I would recommend the Rose Garden Inn as a good alternative, as it is walking distance from Ashby BART Station (0.9 miles), but it is very expensive that weekend because of high demand. Normally it goes for less than $150, but the rates I just saw were over $250. Yikes!

If you still want to consider switching hotels, the Marriott in downtown Oakland has rooms available for $179. The Marriott is less than one block from the 12th Street BART Station, which would make it easier to get to at that late hour. Also, it would be very easy to get to the Ed Roberts Campus every day because the BART ride from 12th Street to Ashby is very easy--takes less than 10 minutes each way. While the Marriott is not nearly as iconic as the Claremont, it is better situated for transportation and nightlife.

Even if you decide to stay at the Claremont, I'm sure you'll have a lovely time. Enjoy your trip! :)