Fun Things to see and do in Berkeley, California
Tilden Regional Park
Up in the hills, this 2079-acre park is one of Berkeley’s best places to visit. It offers nearly 40 miles of hiking and multi-use trails of varying difficulty, from paved paths to hilly scrambles, including part of the magnificent Bay Area Ridge Trail. There is also a miniature steam train, a farm for children and environmental education center, a breathtaking botanical garden, and even an 18-hole golf course.
This Michelin Guide Japanese restaurant lets guests choose from a menu of yakitori (skewered meats and vegetables) and handmade soba noodles as you settle in at one of the traditional tatami tables (no shoes, please) or cozy booth perches. Order shōchū, a distilled alcohol usually made from rice or barley. But plan ahead, reservations are essential.
Fieldwork Brewing Company
Stop by this industrial brewery taproom at the edge of Berkeley for world-class craft beer and sit down on the outdoor patio with a tasting flight of your favorite beer. If you’re traveling with your furry companion, do not worry, it is dog-friendly, and there are racks to hang your bicycle inside the front door. You can also enjoy a short menu of Mexican-Californian food as well.
University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley is one of the country’s top universities and, established in 1866, is California’s oldest university. Home to 40,000 diverse, politically conscious students, ‘Cal’ is one of the main landmarks in Berkeley. Located by California Memorial Stadium, the Koret Visitor Center has information and maps and leads free campus walking tours (reservations are required). Cal’s landmark is the 1914 Campanile, with elevator rides to the top and carillon concerts. The Bancroft Library displays the small gold nugget that started the California gold rush in 1848.
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
Spanning 34 acres and containing over 10,000 types of plants, this luscious garden in the hills above campus showcases one of the most varied collections in the United States. Flowers and plants from every continent except Antarctica are well tended here, with special emphasis on Mediterranean species that grow specifically in California, the Americas, the Mediterranean and southern Africa. On weekdays you can catch the university’s Bear Transit H Line shuttle for a dollar from campus. Nearby is a fire trail that makes a loop around Strawberry Canyon, offering memorable views of the town and the off-limits Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Telegraph Avenue is easily one of the most vibrant parts of Berkeley. Right next to UC Berkeley’s campus, the sidewalks crowded with undergrads, postdocs and youthful shoppers squeezing their way past throngs of vendors, buskers, and panhandlers. Street stalls hawk everything from crystals to bumper stickers to self-published tracts. Several cafes and budget eateries cater to students and are must stops for anyone visiting the area.
Berkeley Rose Garden
Located in North Berkeley you will discover the Berkeley Rose Garden, complete with eight terraces of colorful explosions. At the Rose Garden, you will find quiet benches and a number of almost perpetually blooming roses arranged by hue. Right across the street, Cordornices Park has a children’s playground with an exciting 40-foot concrete slide.
Pacific Film Archive
Pacific Film Archive is a world-renowned film center with a rotating schedule of international and classic films. If you are a fan of the cinema, you should certainly seek out this place. The spacious theater contains seats comfortable enough for hours-long movie marathons. Movie tickets include same-day admission to the UC Berkeley Art Museum.
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