Berkeley is situated on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County in the California area of the United States. It is named after the 18th-century Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley.
Did you know that Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the University of California System, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory? It also has the Graduate Theological Union, one of the largest religious studies institutions in the world. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Berkeley is seen as one of the most socially progressive cities in the United States.
The best part about Berkeley is that you cannot slot it. It is a university town, liberal hotbed, ex-hippie bastion, has sensational seasonal cooking, and much more. etc. The city has a rich and quirky diversity of identities.
Here are some great things to do in Berkeley.
Explore the University
The University of California at Berkeley has an outsized presence in the city. In fact, its population of 42,000 students is one-third of Berkeley’s entire population. The dorms, museums, and satellite campuses are scattered around the city. We bet you didn’t know this. The campus is designed by the same landscape architect who imagined Central Park. Therefore, we recommend that it’s worth a visit, even if you’re not a scholar.
Discover Berkeley Hills
The Berkeley Hills are a magnificent tangle of arts and crafts homes. Here you will find narrow winding streets that follow the natural terrain. In the hills you’ll find rock parks. What are these you may ask? Wee, these are parks studded with massive rock outcroppings tucked into residential neighbourhoods. Plus, you will find hundreds of pedestrian pathways that offer shortcuts through the hills. These were originally designed to give early 20th-century residents easier walking access to existing rail lines down the hill. The paths remain a hidden treasure of Berkeley and you will find yourself transported in a fairy tale when you’re here.
At the hills of Berkeley, lies the 2,000-acre wilderness of Tilden Park. It is actually a part of a series of parks that preserve the wild ridges of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond. The best part about Tilden is that you will find a mix of hiking paths, bike trails, and open spaces. You can check out the miniature steam train that winds through the forest. Or go to Lake Anza with its sand beach and swimming area. Plus, the Little Farm houses a collection of kid-friendly farm animals.
Berkeley is serious about food. The city boasts of a creating a rich mini-universe of food that celebrates both local produce and global influences. Some hard-to-miss street spots are Cheese Board Pizza, Picante, and Vik’s Chaat Corner. These offer great food at good value. And, the city is the birth place of Peet’s Coffee chain and many more wonderful eating places.
The UC Berkeley campus is also as a culinary destination of sorts. You can try Rice and Bones (helmed by Slanted Door chef Charles Phan). Then there is Brown’s, which features foods from within 250 miles of campus. Most fun are pop-ups featuring everything from Syrian to soul food.
Shop till you drop
Berkeley doesn’t have a mall. Instead it has a Fourth Street. This four-block-long stretch of West Berkeley is a mix of independent boutiques and branded chains. Here you’ll find sustainable vegan clothes, whimsical stationery, handmade leather shoes, and artisanal homewares.
The Berkeley Marina is cocooned by the San Francisco Bay and hosts a bunch of fun and whimsical activities. It has the annual kite festival. This is a popular sport for serious enthusiasts to pilot their kites. The kites may range from small traditional kites to massive sky dragons and octopuses. The Marina is also home to the unique Adventure Playground. Here. you can build-your-own Adventureland. In other words, you construct the playground and play in it.