A few months back I decided to take a break and spend a little time in Berkeley walking, bicycling and checking out the newest local eateries. Since hotel rooms can be expensive in the Bay Area, I booked a cute little place on Airbnb. It was my first Airbnb experience and it turned out to be a real pleasure. After dropping off by bag at my room, I headed over to Berkeley Bike Station, where they hooked me up with a cruiser that took me over the Bay Bridge, back around the waterfront and through downtown Oakland to Lake Merritt. Berkeley is a great place for Seattleites to take a sun break, as you can get there in about an hour and half, and Alaska and Southwest both fly into the Bay Area several times daily. Berkeley is ideal for bicycling as it’s about as flat and nearly as bike-friendly as the Netherlands. If you do want a challenge you can head up to the Berkeley hills, for a real workout and panoramic views. All throughout the area you’ll find cozy, leafy neighborhoods to ride through, with interesting stucco, bungalow and art deco architecture. It’s also easy to find affordable, high quality food in the Bay Area, and Berkeley has loads of options. For breakfast I rode my bike over to Bartavelle, a little café attached to Acme Bakery, bakers of some of the best bread in town.