When someone mentions Berkeley, the name conjures up images of hippies, tie-dye, progressive politics, and protests. While the city remains a hotbed of social change, Berkeley has evolved.
Being the birthplace of California cuisine, it's the epicenter of the Bay Area's food renaissance, and its recreational options stretch from the water of the Bay to the hills of Tilden Park. School may be in session, but the city of Berkeley is so much more than just a university town.
(Photo by Alexander Wong)
The fresh herb and cheese omelette at Bette's Oceanview Diner.
Here are 50 ideas to get you exploring.
1. Take in the views from the top of the Campanile, the world's third tallest bell and clock tower, on UC Berkeley's campus.
2. Play golf in Tilden Park.
3. Meander in the Rose Garden.
4. Hang out at the East Bay Vivarium, the country's largest reptile store.
5. Line up for a handmade scoop at Ici Ice Cream.
6. Catch a live show and hit up the dispensary at the original Amoeba Music.
7. Catch the dollar day Sunday race at Golden Gate Fields.
8. Buy some patchouli or eccentric art from the street vendors along Telegraph Avenue.
9. Take a whiff at the original Cinnaholic.
10. Try on hats at Goorin Bros.
11. Check out the current exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA).
12. Read "The Small Times" at the Fairy Post Office on Curran Trail.
13. Get lost climbing all four floors of the iconic Moe's Books.
15. Sample the tri-tip sandwich at Brazil Café.
16. Grocery shop at Berkeley Bowl.
17. Visit the former 1960s site of political activism turned homeless haven, People's Park.
18. Feed a cow at the Tilden Park Little Farm.
19. Pick up the most incredible ham and egg croissant at Fournée Bakery.
20. Take an architectural wander in the hills of North Berkeley and note the superb architecture of Bernard Maybeck.
21. Toss a frisbee, set up your hammock, or stretch with some couples yoga on Memorial Glade.
22. Nosh on Indian snacks at Vik's Chaat Corner.
23. Hike in the beautiful Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve.
24. Hit the spa at the recently renovated Claremont Hotel.
26. Taste craft brews at Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Room.
27. Find gems among the junk at Urban Ore, Inc.
28. Stroll through the Redwood Grove at UC Botanical Garden.
29. Get inked at Industrial Tattoo and Piercing.
30. Test your knowledge at the Lawrence Hall of Science.
31. Pack a picnic and spend the day on the beach at Lake Anza.
32. Shop winter gear on the cheap at The North Face outlet store.
33. Put your name down for scrumptious brunch at Bette's Oceanview Diner, and walk around Fourth Street while you wait.
34. Play disc golf as the sun sets at Aquatic Park.
35. Go to a punk show at the legendary 924 Gilman (bands like Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid, and AFI got their start here).
36. On a warm evening, roll a j and head up to Cheapskate Hill to catch a free show above the Greek Theatre. (You won't be able to see a thing, but you're here for the sound).
37. Celebrate with a dinner at Chez Panisse.
38. Imbibe a Monkey Head, the Thursday evening special at Triple Rock Brewery.
39. Challenge your friends to darts at Berkeley's oldest bar, Albatross Pub.
40. Cheer on the Cal Bears (29 teams to choose from!).
41. Listen to traditional/roots music over coffee, tea, and desserts at Freight & Salvage.
42. Catch one of the pay-what-you-can musicals at Berkeley Playhouse.
43. Hang out, listen to music, and eat pizza on the back patio at Jupiter.
44. Hustle your friends at Thalassa Pool Hall.
45. Go to funk night at the Starry Plough.
46. Catch a show at the recently revived movie theater turned gorgeous live music venue, UC Theater.
47. Catch your dinner off the Berkeley Pier at the Berkeley Marina.
48. Feast on pasta at Trattoria La Siciliana then catch an indie flick at Rialto Cinema in Elmwood.
49. Take in a dance or classical performance at Zellerbach Hall.
50. Dive deep into Zachary's famous Chicago deep-dish pizza.