Sunsets in Berkeley
Sunset is a magical time of day. There’s a certain loveliness about the golden glow and watching the day greet the night, as the sun dips below the horizon. As an avid sunset enthusiast, I’ve watched hundreds of sunsets in Berkeley, and they’re some of the most beautiful I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
If you’re in Berkeley for an afternoon or evening, I highly recommend watching a sunset! Sunsets here vary in color and intensity throughout the year, but they’re spectacular in all seasons. I promise you that watching the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge and Pacific Ocean will be an extra special way to remember your visit to Berkeley.
Here are some of my favorite places to watch the sunset:
Berkeley Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is located about a mile from the north side of UC Berkeley, and is home to a plethora of sweet-smelling roses. Joggers frequently pass by and pause to stretch and admire the sunset. Musicians also sometimes play on benches near the top entrance to the garden. I’ve seen someone playing the hang drum a number of times when I’ve visited.
The Big C
As its name suggests, the Big C is literally a large “C” in the side of the hill. This is one of the most popular hiking destinations for Cal students, and I come here at least once a semester to watch the sunset. Staying a little after sunset is also a treat, as the red and orange hues give way to dark purples and blues, and the city lights below begin to twinkle.
On the way up to the Big C, there’s a swing located on a hill overlooking the bay. I discovered this place with a friend freshman year, and it’s become one of my favorite places in the Berkeley hills. Any day of the year, this is a great spot to admire the view and watch the sunset!
If you’re feeling athletic and adventurous, the fire trails are an awesome way to get some exercise. And you can reward yourself for the uphill trekking with the stunning views at the top! I usually run the fire trails during the day, since they can be a bit confusing to navigate in the dark. Earlier in the spring though, I went for a walk in the evening with a friend who was visiting, and we watched a fiery sunset from the trails. The brilliance and intensity of colors was breathtaking.
For a waterfront sunset experience, I recommend visiting the Berkeley Marina and walking along the pier that extends 3,000 feet into the San Francisco Bay. Located 2.5 miles to the west of campus, the Berkeley Marina is easily accessible by public transportation (take the 51B all the way to the end) or by foot (if you’re interested in going for a run). The Golden Gate Bridge is visible from here on a clear day.
Indian Rock Park
Indian Rock Park offers one of the best panoramic views of the bay. Bring a picnic dinner with friends and enjoy the sunset show!
You can also enjoy the sunset from right on campus, in front of the Campanile. At the base of the Campanile, there’s a peek-a-boo view of the bay. It’s always nice to catch a glimpse of the sunset on my way home from class or on my way to a club meeting in the evening.
If you’re lucky with timing and are visiting during the first or second week of school in the fall, you can watch the sunset from the top of our 307-ft bell and clock tower. The Campanile is open until 9pm for only two days in the whole year for welcome week. Check the schedule of welcome week activities for the Campanile sunset viewing in the fall.
Happy sunset watching!