Close to the Bay Area, Asilomar State Park and Conference Center offers 107 acres of beachfront land along with cozy cottages and rustic lodges for guests. The Arts & Crafts architecture style of the main lodge and many of the smaller buildings were designed by Julia Morgan. The chapel is especially pretty. A new coffee shop, Phoebe's, serving Peet's coffee, pastries and salads has recently been added. Full meals are served family-style in Crocker Hall but opt instead for exploring the small restaurants nearby. If you want a quiet place to unwind this is the place! Don't expect luxurious accommodations -- rustic without TVs or other distractions -- but relax with a book and forget the daily grind.