Rub elbows with venture capitalists at the Garden Court Hotel (from $309), located in downtown Palo Alto near hundreds of dot-com companies. Owned by the founder of Zara, the 62-rooms here feature refined touches like white marble bathrooms, four-layer down mattresses, and imported Spanish carpets.
Sleep up high in the Santa Cruz Mountains at the ecoresort Costanoa (from $199), where you can choose between furnished tents, lodge rooms, and fireplace cabins, the latter being the coziest and most secluded. Sign up in advance for guided naturalist hikes and kayaking, or more eclectic offerings like ukulele lessons ($35 including ukulele) or a lecture on bats ($5).
Enjoy views of San Francisco Bay from the Inn at Oyster Point (from $106), which also provides a free shuttle to and from the airport. Located on a marina ten minutes away from SFO, the hotel was transformed from a drab stucco property to a colorful boutique with in-room fireplaces in 2009.