Historical “Little Castle” Located One Block from UC Berkeley
In 1929, renowned architect Julia Morgan designed the Berkeley Women’s City Club, the first social club and women’s residence of its kind in California. The building became known as Morgan's "Little Castle" because it was constructed at the same time and with many of the same materials used in her most famous creation, Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Today, Berkeley City Club stands as an enduring link to the city's past, a testament to its progressive values, and an elegant spot for an overnight stay. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Berkeley City Club gives guests the chance to step back to a time when socialites played Bechstein pianos and danced in glossy ballrooms.
Blending Romanesque, Moorish, and Spanish Mission styles, Morgan crafted elaborately carved archways and vaulted ceilings throughout the club. An indoor swimming pool ripples under an arched ceiling inlaid with tiny craftsman tiles, and leaded-glass windows overlook a lush wraparound courtyard full of palm trees, ficus, and ferns. Each of the hotel's standard rooms has a private, craftsman-tiled bathroom and is uniquely decorated with an embroidered bedspread and period furniture.
The hotel’s ample breakfast buffet includes fresh fruit, toast, bagels, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and juice. Guests can also participate in several Berkeley City Club events, including tai chi classes and masquerade balls.
Berkeley, California: Eclectic College Town Full of Art, History, and Culture
Situated across the bay from San Francisco, Berkeley is best known as the location of the oldest University of California campus, home to some 36,000 students and a still-thriving activist spirit. Residents are left-leaning and politically engaged, a legacy of Berkeley's role as one of the major centers of campus unrest during the late 1960s. Though things have settled down since the city's turbulent peak, public demonstrations still take place every now and then. Telegraph Avenue remains a colorful, free-spirit-friendly thoroughfare lined with cafés and smoke shops. During the school year it teems with scholars, bohemians, and vendors hawking tie-dyed graduation gowns. Over on Shattuck Avenue, a slew of bars and restaurants serves frothy microbrews and fresh, farm-to-table cuisine.
Those looking to sample Berkeley’s renowned folk-music scene can drop by the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, a venue that has hosted blues, bluegrass, and other Americana artists since 1968. For a night of world-class opera, theater, jazz, classical music, or dance, head to Hertz and Zellerbach Halls on the campus of the university.
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