20 Best Things to Do in Berkeley, CA

20 Best Things to Do in Berkeley, CA

On the San Francisco bay, the city of Berkeley is a warm blend of the hippie culture, activism and scholars. The city has a diverse historical significance in the making of America. Truth and tyranny had always been a part of the city. The Free Speech movement started off originally by the Berkeley activists in the late 1960s. It is a city with a small but an esteemed reputation. It is on 10.5 square miles of land with another 7.2 square miles of land extending over the waters.

Over the span of years Berkeley transformed into an exciting travel destination from the old activist city. You can visit Berkeley at any time of the year due its pleasant climate throughout the year. The spring and autumn are weathers when the city is at its best. For a small town, Berkeley has lots of places to visit and see and one can choose depending on their interests.

Top views at Grizzly Peak

Grizzly Peak
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Grizzly peak is the highest point of the Berkeley Hills. You can drive to reach the top to see one of the most fascinating views of San Francisco. It is free and there is a parking lot to park your vehicles and there are wooden trunk benches to have a seat and witness the panoramic views of the city. From this point, you can identify Napa, the golden gate bridge; Alcatraz; The Bay Bridge; Oakland and Silicon Valley. You can start off your tour by some of the most breath-taking views of the city. You can visit this place preferably at the night to see the entire city light up.

Hiking adventure in Tilden Park

Tilden Park
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This park is in Grizzly Peak Blvd and is a must visit on your trip to Berkeley. You can go for hiking on the hiking trail in the park. There is gray, tropical greenery on the path. There are two estuaries on your hiking path. You can come here and build a powerful bond with nature. A bunch of bridges are available for making your hike easier and safer. The hike opens up to the gorgeous Lake Anza and is the perfect way to get off the Californian heat during summers. You can take a quaint dip in the lake or you could walk to the Lake Anza beach and relax on the clear sands.

Scenes from Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve

Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve
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It is a regional park in Claremont Ave. You can park your vehicles at the entrance. At the entrance of the park there are maps available to guide you through the trail. Berkeley is a city with a subtle blend of nature and urban, so there is so much landscape to visit in the city. They call the trail Stonewall Panoramic Trail; the path is even except a few steep stops. The first upland you see is impressive. Once you arrive at the top of the trail, you get to see a very swift panoramic view of the city, Oakland and San Francisco. You can take some rest at the top because the trail can tire you but the view is worth it.

Veracious history of Telegraph Avenue

As I have mentioned this before, Berkeley is a city known for hippies and the liberal movement, and this street is a symbol of the great historic movement. You can take a stroll down the Telegraph Avenue. It is a street in downtown Berkeley. The street leads you directly to UC Berkeley. The street is picturesque and looks like they took it out of a Hollywood film. You can have ice- creams at the well-known store “Cream”. The street is lined with shops and stores. You can find road artist selling art and musicians singing on the roads here. You can visit the world-famous University of California. Inside the campus, at some tall points, you can picture the entire Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.

Sunsets at César E. Chávez Park

When you come here at the evening, you can capture the beautiful sunset on the fields overlooking the upstanding San Francisco bay. There is saint music playing here all the time that helps calm your nerves. It is a pleasant view with the waves crashing the rocks by the shore, calm music in the background and the sun slowing setting behind the mountains and the night creeping in. You can buy a warm cup of coffee and get lost in the sights of nature here. Plenty of people come here for jogging, strolling and cycling. You can set up a picnic here and call it a day.

A day at Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument
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This place is famous for the California Redwoods, which a breed of plant species known for their long lifetime and enormous trunks and tall height. Some trees are so huge that you can drive your car through the trunks. You can visit this place preferably during the day as it can take the entire day to hike around. There is a two-mile walk to the entrance and maps are available to guide you to the monument or you could prefer to hike and witness the greenery and the redwoods area up close. The hike begins from the Dipsy Trail to the Ben Jonson Trail. The hike takes around 2 hours and you can see the ocean views and spend some alone time with nature. You can set up a quick picnic in the green area and take in the place's serenity.

Tasting Berkeley’s Cuisine

Berkeley restaurant
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This city has a special cuisine, the food here is not like any other American city and there are some restaurants in the city that have been open since a long time and they represent the taste of Berkeley. “Benne’s Oceanview Dinner” on 4th street is a high-end yet affordable restaurant here and the setting of the hotel is charming. They serve dinner, lunch and breakfast, but the morning breakfast served her is the best. In case, you want to cook food at home, the Tokyo Fish market in San Pablo Avenue is a Japanese fish market that sells imported products from Japan to cook the unique Japanese food.

Visual education at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
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On Centennial Drive, this Botanical Garden features over ten thousand plant species. You can learn so much about the indigenous plant kingdom visually on this trip. There is a gigantic botanical garden alongside a park and Lawrence Hall of Science where you can view all the aspects of the garden. There are rides, benches and a fishing area in the park inside. Some plants in the garden are endangered and are hence carefully preserved. The garden has a vast collection of succulents that are being collected and grown since the early 90s.  There is also a tropical zone with a herb garden growing herbs of different kinds.

Smelling roses at Berkeley Rose Garden

Berkeley Rose Garden
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The Berkeley Municipal Rose Garden is in Euclid Avenue and is the perfect garden for a long walk in the summers with a pleasant smell around you. There are around three thousand different rose plants in the garden, a red canopy and an amphitheater. There is a hiking trail in the garden if you want to blend in with nature. The garden has foot bridges, a picnic area and tennis courts. The amphitheater is structured abstractly. There are benches on each layer, and each layer has a different rose breed blooming in its soil.  The garden is ideal for a romantic date.

Picnic day at Berkeley Marina

Berkeley Marina
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The marina is an urban delight in the western part of the city. The harbor is used for sailing most of the yachts in the city. There is an idyllic park with fresh green grass to lie down and feel the Californian breeze on your face. There are fishing areas available for having a warm cooked fish fresh out of the bay. The marina is calm and picturesque. Summers here are splendid and airy. You can view the Golden Gate Bridge from the harbor. There is a nature programming centre close by if you want it to be an educational trip. There is plenty to do here; there are playgrounds, scenic views, restaurants that present the dock view with lunch.

Views from the Sather Tower

Sather Tower
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The tower is on the campus of the University of California and is a bell and clock tower. The bell is the third largest bell in the world. This 96 metre tall structure is the most distinguishing feature of the University and people from across the world come here just to visit the tower. The tower is mostly famous due to its similarity with the Campanile de San Marco in Venice, Italy. The tower is also home to fossils from La Brea Tar Pits Park. It was given by Jane. K Sather in the loving memory of her husband, Peder Sather. An elevator inside the tower takes passengers 500 feet above ground level giving astounding views of the Bay, San Francisco and the Golden Bridge.

Watch Art at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The art museum is another site featuring inside the University of California. It was opened in 1970 and has a massive collection of vintage paintings from renowned artist such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Jackson Pollock, mark Rothko and many others. The Pacific Film Archive broadcasts international films on screens and has a library filled with online directories of the films. The MATRIX program for modern day art is a must see for art enthusiasts. Make sure you plan the trip when an exhibition is going on, as the exhibitions here are diverse and marvelous. You can see the staged dances and musical singing events.

Indulge in lip-smacking cuisine at Gourmet Ghetto

The cuisine in Berkeley is so delightful. There are a variety of hotels to choose from to dine in. One of the most interesting neighbourhoods is Gourmet Ghetto in Berkeley. The area gave birth to a lot of food concepts that are popular today. They serve hot, local, organic and hygienic food. You can start off by trying the very famous “Chez Panisse” started by Alice Waters in 1971. The cheeseboard is a restaurant here that is known for selling only one type of pizza. Imperial Tea House serves top end Chinese tea, and it also said that this is the place where Chinese Tea selling originated in the USA.

Rocky trail at Indian Rock Park

This park at Indian Rock Avenue is known for its scenic views of the bay and the city. The park is at the top of the hill and you have to take a trail to get to the top where you can see all the views of the city. You can also climb your way to the top; there are staircases built on the way. At the top you get to see the most beautiful views of the city, the bay and the bridge. People come here all the time to do photo shoots. There are similar volcanic eruptions formations alike around there are but the largest one is at the India Rock Park.

Crazy Science at Lawrence Hall of Science

Lawrence Hall of Science
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Inside the University of California, this Hall of Science is one of the major attractions of the uni. It is open for public and tourist and there are lots of scientific experiments on display to see and learn. There is a planetarium that projects constellations and the solar system; it is a fun learning experience. You can identify the stars, all the planets, the sun and the moons. If you come here at night, make sure you carry a pair of binoculars, to star gaze under the moon lit. You can identify some prominent stars in the sky on a clear night. An animal discovery room is set up to exhibit animal history, species and habitat.

Give a toast at Donkey and Goat Winery

This is cellar and tasting room of the winery whose grapes are grown in Napa Valley. You should probably visit this place on a weekend as there is much less rush, and the place is calm. You can taste different kinds of wine the brand sells, learn the art of wine- making. You can also purchase some of their finest wines to remember this trip!