In Oakland , try the Bay Breeze Inn (4919 Coliseum Way, Oakland, 510/536-5972, www.baybreezeinnoakland.com , $95–150). With all the amenities of a higher-priced chain motel, the Bay Breeze offers both comfort and convenience. Located just down the street from the Coliseum and only a few miles from the Oakland Airport, this is the perfect place to stay if you’re into football, baseball, basketball, concerts, or other live events. Do be aware that the Coliseum area can be sketchy after dark, so take care if you’re walking alone.
Across the street from the Oakland Airport, stay at the Gateway Hotel (10 Hegenberger Rd., Oakland, 510/635-1892, www.gatewayhotelresort.com , $77–99). In addition to the usual motel amenities, enjoy the ultra-comfy Sleep Number bed and the on-site restaurant and bar, or take a dip in the pool.
At the Acacia House (Acacia Ave., Oak- land, 510/601-9837, www.acaciahousebb.com , $140–195, 2-night minimum), you’ll find a lovely three-room suite with soaring windows overlooking the Oakland Hills, native trees, and the upscale Rockridge neighborhood. A stay at the Acacia House feels more like visiting a friend’s home than checking into an anonymous motel. Walk to the Rockridge BART station to explore the area, or sit in the garden, sipping a drink from the wet bar and relaxing. But book early during high season!
Another unique lodging, Dean’s Bed & Breakfast (480 Pedestrian Way, Oakland, 510/652-5024, $140) is also in the heart of charming Rockridge. It’s actually a cottage stocked with fresh food and coffee, making each guest’s stay completely private. You’ll enjoy the heated pool and Japanese garden in summertime, as well as the sights and attractions of Oakland  and nearby Berkeley .
Stay right on the waters of Alameda  at the Coral Reef Inn & Suites (400 Park St., Alameda, 800/533-2330, www.coralreefinn.com , $95–115). This down-to-earth motel has large rooms, all with kitchenettes and small dining tables—perfect for a longer stay in the area.
If you’ve got a bigger budget, grab a nice room at an upscale inn. The oldest home in Alameda  is Webster House B&B (1238 Versailles Ave., 510/523-9697, www.webstervacationrental.com , $105–195). Set back from the street in an older residential neighborhood, trees shade the whole Gothic Revival house (one grows right up through the deck). Guests lounge on the deck sipping tea each afternoon. Breakfast is made to order. Each of the four guest rooms is uniquely decorated, and one has a view of the waterfall in the yard.