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.
Here are 50 ideas to get you exploring:
1. Take in the views from the top of the Campanile on UC Berkeley's campus, the world's third tallest bell and clock-tower.
2. Play golf in Tilden Park.
3. Meander in the Rose Garden.
4. Hang out at the East Bay Viviarium, the country's largest reptile store.
5. Indulge in a giant fro-yo from old school favorite Yogurt Park.
6. Shop for records and CDs at the original Amoeba Music.
7. Catch the dollar day Sunday race at Golden Gate Fields.
8. Feed a cow at the Tilden Park Little Farm.
9. Sip on a latte and read the newspaper at Caffé Strada.
10. Grab a slice of Cheeseboard Collective’s creatively fresh pizza.
11. Check out the current exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum.
12. Get a real feel for the Berkeley vibe with a walk down Telegraph Ave.
13. Stop in to Doe Library’s gorgeous Morrison Reading Room.
14. Take a foodie tour of the Gourmet Ghetto.
15. Sample the Tri-Tip Sandwich at Brazil Fresh Squeeze Café.
16. Grocery shop at Berkeley Bowl.
17. Visit the former 1960s site of political activism turned homeless haven of People's Park.
18. Buy tie dye or patchouli from the eccentric street vendors along Telegraph Ave.
19. Eat breakfast at Bette's Diner (world famous from a Tide commercial).
20. Take an architectural wander in the hills of North Berkeley noting the elaborate gardens, Asian-inspired front gates, and superb architecture of Bernard Maybeck.
21. Fly a kite and admire San Francisco from afar from the walking paths of Cesar Chavez Park.
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 Claremont Hotel.
25. Fuel up at Tacubaya then go on a shopping spree along Fourth Street.
26. Quench your thirst with a tour of the Trumer Pils Brewery.
27. Find gems among the junk at Urban Ore, Inc.
28. Explore the beautiful and historic UC Berkeley campus.
29. Marvel at the natural geology of Indian Rock Park.
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. Visit the third largest collection of Jewish artifacts and manuscripts in the U.S at the Magnes Collection.
33. Play disc golf as the sun sets at Aquatic Park.
34. Go to a punk show at the legendary 924 Gilman (bands like Green Day, the Offspring, Rancid, and AFI got their start here).
35. On a warm evening (really any evening), take a date to a live music show at the Greek Theatre.
36. Celebrate with a dinner at Chez Panisse.
37. Imbibe a Monkey Head, the Thursday evening special at Triple Rock Brewery.
38. Challenge your friends to darts at Berkeley’s oldest bar, Albatross Pub.
39. Cheer on the Cal Bears (29 teams to choose from!).
40. Listen to traditional/roots music over coffee, tea, and desserts at The Freight.
41. Watch emerging and established artists present engaging plays at Berkeley Rep.
42. Hang out, listen to music, and eat pizza on the back patio at Jupiter.
43. Impress your friends with your pool skills at Thalassa Pool Hall.
44. Drink a pint under the stars at the Missouri Lounge.
45. See a film screened at the Pacific Film Archive.
46. Watch a play at the understated Julia Morgan 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. Order a dosa and mango lassi from Udupi Palace.