The University of California at Berkeley, one of the state’s most beautiful college campuses. Things To Do In Berkeley CA, is an inspiring place to visit. The Neoclassical buildings of the university stand tall on a wooded hilltop overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Berkeley is also known for its eccentric Bohemian spirit, a legacy of the 1960s hippie counterculture. The campus was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, and today Sproul Plaza is a hive of student activity, including political protests.
Berkeley, in addition to being an intellectual center, is a center for entertainment and dining. When Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse, a cozy neighborhood restaurant that inspired the farm-to-table food movement, in the 1970s, California cuisine was born. Tourists can dine on fine cuisine before watching a world-class performance at one of Berkeley’s award-winning theaters at United States.
Nature lovers will enjoy the tranquil outdoor spaces in Berkeley’s rolling hills and along the waterfront. The city’s beautiful parks and botanical gardens provide spectacular floral displays as well as breathtaking panoramic views. Sporty types can go kayaking in the bay or hiking along the trails at the picturesque Berkeley Marina.
Berkeley is rich in scenic beauty, cultural attractions, and recreational opportunities. Discover the best places to visit and activities in Berkeley art , California.
List of 9 Things to do in Berkeley CA Today
1. Botanical Garden at the University of California
The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, founded in 1890, has an exceptional collection of over 10,000 varieties of plants from nearly every continent, with a focus on species from Mediterranean regions.
The 34-acre garden is divided into sections that feature plants from California, the Canary Islands, Eastern North America, the Mediterranean Basin, Australia, Asia, Central and South America, the Americas’ deserts, and South Africa.
The botanical garden’s scenic trails meander through a variety of landscapes, making them ideal for leisurely nature walks. Picnic tables are also available in four different locations. Restrooms, a garden shop, and the Julia Morgan Hall are also available. A summer concert series is held at the Mather Redwood Grove & Amphitheater at berkeley art museum.
The Berkeley Botanical Garden is located in the Berkeley Hills and is best accessed by car or the Berkeley campus shuttle (the H line) Monday through Friday.
Berkeley, California, 200 Centennial Drive
2. Berkeley Marina
The Berkeley Marina, which encompasses more than 100 acres of parkland, includes waterfront trails and a marina for recreational boats. This bayside park provides spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay bridges, Angel Island, and Alcatraz.
The park has seven miles of trails, a 17-acre off-leash dog park, and a section of the San Francisco Bay Trail walking/cycling path that circles the bay. There are also a number of picnic areas with beautiful views.
The Adventure Playground, which is packed with fun children’s activities, building projects, and creative play spaces, tilden park is a popular attraction. This unique location is not your typical children’s playground, with its kid-designed forts and towers.
The Berkeley Marina’s Shorebird Park is a great place to visit if you enjoy bird watching and the environment. Hiking trails, a small shoreline beach, picnic areas, a children’s playground, an aquarium, and a Nature Center with educational exhibits about the local wildlife and ecosystem are all available at the park.
The Berkeley Yacht Club, which was founded in 1939, is also located at the Berkeley Marina. The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina offers accommodations as well as two dining options with spectacular bay views: Skates on the Bay seafood restaurant and Hana Japan Steak & Seafood restaurant, which specializes in the traditional Japanese “teppanyaki” (iron-grill) style of cooking.
Berkeley, California, 201 University Ave
3. Tilden Regional Park
Tilden Regional Park, located between the Berkeley Hills and the San Pablo Ridge, is a beautiful natural space with numerous recreational opportunities. This 2,079-acre park has nearly 40 miles of hiking trails, an 18-hole golf course, the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and Lake Anza, where swimming is permitted in the late spring and summer.
The antique Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round, with its charming menagerie of animals, and the Tilden Little Farm, which is home to sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits, are popular with local families.
The park’s small Steam Train, which travels along a picturesque hillside with spectacular views, is popular with both children and adults.
A snack bar near the Merry-Go-Round sells favorite carnival foods such as Coney Island hot dogs, pretzels, cotton candy, fresh-baked cookies, and ice cream. There are also several lovely picnic areas in the park that can be reserved.
Berkeley, California 740 Wildcat Canyon Road
4. Berkeley Rose Garden
The Berkeley Rose Garden is housed in a beautiful terraced amphitheater surrounded by a 220 foot redwood pergola. The garden is a dazzling spectacle of color and beauty, with 1,500 rose bushes representing 250 varieties, with peak season blooming in mid-May at west berkeley.
This hillside garden offers scenic overlooks with sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, making it an ideal place to admire Berkeley’s famous views. There are also hiking trails and a picnic area in the garden.
The three-acre rose garden is next to Codornices Park, and a tunnel beneath Euclid Avenue connects the two, allowing wheelchair access to the gardens.
Berkeley, California, 1200 Euclid Avenue
5. Sather Tower and the U.C. Berkeley Campus
The 178-acre U.C. Berkeley campus is perched on a hillside above San Francisco Bay, surrounded by shady redwoods, oaks, and eucalyptus trees. Sather Tower, the city’s most prominent landmark, is located in the heart of the city (the “Campanile”). The campanile bell and clock tower was built in 1914 from Alaskan marble and stands 307 feet tall, making it the world’s third tallest bell tower at Berkeley California.
Visitors can ascend to the observation platform at Sather Tower’s 200-foot height to enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of San Francisco Bay. The bells of the clock tower chime every hour and perform a 45-minute recital of classical melodies three times a day at University Avenue.
Sather Gate, at the main entrance to campus, is another famous landmark; South Hall, the oldest building on campus, built in 1873; and Sproul Plaza, a gathering place for early free speech activists. Sproul Plaza or at Jack London Square is still a hub of activity, with political demonstrations and impromptu performances by street musicians.
Head to the Free Speech Movement Café on the third floor of Moffitt Library for more information on undergraduate culture. This student hangout also has a display about Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement in the 1960s at Golden Gate fields.
The Bancroft Library is a stately building on campus that houses the university’s rare books and manuscripts collections, as well as other research materials. Wander up the well-worn marble steps to the main reading room, following in the footsteps of U.C. Berkeley students. The grand proportions of this inspiring study space are complemented by an intricate artesonado (carved wood) ceiling.
The beautiful 8,500-seat Neoclassical Hearst Greek Theater is used for a variety of performances, including music concerts, the Berkeley Jazz Festival, and notable speakers. The Greek Theater also hosts the University of California, Berkeley’s graduation ceremony.
Visitors will enjoy exploring College Avenue, which runs alongside the campus. This neighborhood is teeming with student cafés, eclectic boutiques, restaurants, and bookstores.
Visitor Center is located at 2227 Piedmont Avenue in Berkeley, California.
6. Musical and theatrical performances
Berkeley, a world-class cultural center, has an excellent selection of theater and music performances. Cal Performances presents a program of exceptional artistic performances at Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Classical music, piano concerts, jazz, dance, ballet, and theater are examples of performance genres at Northern California.
The Central Works theater company also performs on campus at the Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Avenue), a historic hotel and private club affectionately known as the “Little Castle” because its Gothic details resemble those of Hearst Castle in San Simeon.
Berkeley’s downtown area also has many theaters and venues, the majority of which are located on Addison Street. The Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison Street) is a Tony Award-winning theater company that presents a wide range of shows throughout the year, including classics, Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, and musical premieres.
The Berkeley Poetry Walk, which features cast-iron plaques of more than 100 poems, is located on the same street as the Berkeley Rep. Poems by Allen Ginsberg, Shakespeare, Gertrude Stein, and Alice Walker can be found here at Oakland Zoo.
Another award-winning theater company is the Aurora Theatre Company (2081 Addison Street), which presents premiere performances in an intimate 150-seat theater where no one is more than 15 feet away from the stage.
The California Jazz Conservatory (2040 Addison Street) is an independent music conservatory as well as a concert venue, and the Freight & Salvage (2020 Addison Street) features a program of traditional music from various regional, ethnic, and social cultures such as folk music, gypsy fusion, jazz, blues harmonica, and hillbilly songs.
7. Indian Rock Park
Indian Rock Park is a popular destination for novice rock climbers. Those up for the challenge will also appreciate the pleasant picnic area and scenic views of San Francisco Bay.
Indian Rock is credited with being the first training ground for both Dick Leonard, a pioneer in modern rock-climbing techniques, and David Brower, whose climbing manuals assisted US forces in defeating the Germans during WWII.
There are several other good parks in Berkeley for novice rock climbers, including Contra Costa Rock Park, Cragmont Rock Park, Great Stoneface Park, Mortar Rock Park, and Grotto Rock Park.
Berkeley, California, 950 Indian Rock Avenue at Shattuck Avenue
8. Telegraph Avenue
Telegraph Avenue, located just outside the U.C. Berkeley gates, attracts a large number of students who come to hang out, do some shopping, or grab a quick bite to eat. Telegraph has retained some of the 1960s Bohemian vibe with its quirky shops. Vintage record stores and tie-dye-clad post-hippies wandering the avenue evoke Berkeley’s colorful counterculture heyday.
Most importantly, Telegraph caters to hungry students by offering low-cost sandwich shops, bagels, pizza by the slice, fast food, and casual order-at-the-counter restaurants. The main reasons students and locals visit Telegraph are bookshops and record stores.
Berkeley landmarks include the legendary vintage record stores Amoeba Music and Rasputin Music, as well as Moe’s Books. Hair salons, clothing stores, computer supply stores, and other interesting specialty shops can also be found on Telegraph Avenue.
9. The Lawrence Hall of Science
The Lawrence Hall of Science, located above the main university campus, provides the public with an opportunity to learn about science while also having fun. The innovative kid-friendly exhibits are the main reason to visit this world-renowned science center, which conducts research through U.C. Berkeley.
The interactive exhibits in the Animal Discovery Zone will delight animal lovers. Visitors can observe the animals and learn about the habitats of some of the more exotic animals.
Budding engineers can collaborate with Cal Engineering students to build a prototype or solve an engineering challenge in the Ingenuity Challenges lab. Little ones will enjoy the Young Explorers Area, which features activities designed specifically for kindergarten-age children and younger.
The Lawrence Planetarium offers interactive programs and a superb digital projection system to give visitors a realistic view of the constellations and our solar system, including the planets and their moons.
Bring your binoculars or telescope and head to Lawrence Hall’s Plaza for some of the best stargazing in the Bay Area. This vantage point allows viewers to see the moon, planets, and galaxies far away in space, even with the city lights of San Francisco on the horizon, in a clear night sky.
Berkeley, California, 1 Centennial Drive
FAQs about Things To Do In Berkeley CA
Is it worthwhile to visit Berkeley?
Of course, UC Berkeley has a stellar reputation as one of the world’s best universities. This review, however, is for tourists. The architecture of many of the buildings at UC Berkeley is unique and interesting, so it’s worth walking around.
What is the most well-known feature of UC Berkeley?
They were also ranked number one in computer science, number two in top public schools, number two in best undergraduate engineering programs, and number three in business programs. Students interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses gravitate toward UC Berkeley, which is known for its excellence in these fields.
How can I have a good time at UC Berkeley?
Check out local cafes like Cafe Strada, take BART to San Francisco or the East Bay with the Student EasyPass, and explore Berkeley’s own offerings like BAMPFA and the UC Botanical Garden. Berkeley’s botanical garden, in my opinion, is a must-see before graduating.
Is Berkeley secure?
Is Berkeley Really Safe? In 2021, roadsnacks.net ranked Berkeley as the 64th Most Dangerous City. The strange thing about crime statistics is that the homicide rate is extremely low while the violent crime rate is higher than the national average. In 2020, there were six homicides, but none in 2019.