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10:15 a.m. Weekdays: Best Place to Plan Your Summer Vacation 

The Berkeley Travel Company

First, choose the inspiration for your dream vacation: either fresh fruit from the Monterey Market, or a cappuccino from Cafe Roma on Hopkins Street; then, sustenance in hand, duck into this little travel agency tucked between the flower shop and the plant nursery, and let owner May Ling tell you where to go (in the best sense of the phrase). After more than twenty years sending and leading people on adventures and excursions all over the world from this very spot, Ling is a Berkeley institution. Whether it's a walking tour in Italy or a shopping spree in Hong Kong, Ling herself has been there, done that, and can advise you on which trails not to miss and which stores to hit. Any agent can tell you the best hotel in Paris, but Ling is one of a vanishing breed, the travel industry's equivalent of a doctor who makes house calls: She's an old-school travel agent who specializes in the kind of personalized service you just can't get on the Internet.

Readers' Pick for Best Travel Agency: Trips Out Travel


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