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Escape From San Francisco

Get outside:  The Pacific Ocean is your playground: Walk past lighthouses and beaches on the 29-mile-long Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail, or ask the concierge to help you arrange a paddling trip along the coast, where you'll spot sea otters and seals. Up for a real adventure? Take a scuba-diving lesson in the 5,320-square-mile Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, home to 365 kinds of fish and kelp beds.

Rainy-day options:  If you prefer to see the wildlife from a little farther away, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you'll spot penguins, a giant octopus, glow-in-the-dark jellyfish and just about anything else aquatically imaginable. At nearby Cannery Row, within walking distance from the hotel, there are piers, outlets and gourmet restaurants. And 30 minutes away, you'll find 34,000 acres of vineyards, where you can sample the local merlots and pinot grigios. Of course, you can always just curl up in front of the fireplace in your room.

Book it:  Make reservations two to three weeks in advance. Rates begin at $209 a night (831-373-5700, www.hotelpacific.com).

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