Attention y’all — this is important! Us Golden Bears need to start appreciating and taking advantage of the amazing area of the world that we are lucky to call our temporary home while we are students here. Berkeley and the larger Bay Area is some of the most prime real estate out there, and a place that people would do almost anything to live in. While, it is incredibly easy to get sucked into the academic world that makes up so much of your time here at Cal, it’s important to enjoy your college years, and truly experience the world around you. That includes finding the hidden gems of Berkeley and venturing out into the city every now and again! SO, here is your comprehensive bucket list for your years at this wonderful university:
1. The University’s Botanical Gardens, Berkeley
- Free for all students, this is one of the coolest things to do in Berkeley, and is relatively low-key. It is the perfect place to bring your family or friends, and also a perfect place to study if you don’t need wifi. There is a free shuttle that stops right outside of Evans Hall that will take you directly to all of the fun plants located in the beautiful Berkeley hills!
2. The Oakland Museum of California, Oakland
- A little more local than San Francisco, this museum is one of the best attractions our lovely neighboring city of Oakland has to offer. With separate floors dedicated to art, science, and California history, it’s truly a unique thing to do and is definitely worth a few hours of your time. PSA: It is free on the first Sunday of every month.
3. Billy Goat Hill Lookout Point, San Francisco
- While everyone and their mother has heard of Twin Peaks, Billy Goat Hill is arguably an even more incredible look out point. Although you can’t see the Golden Gate Bridge, the view of downtown, residential areas, and the water is unbelievable. It is also less crowded than Twin Peaks, but both are winners for sure!
4. Fourth Street, Berkeley
- While a little bougier than Telegraph Avenue, this cute shopping and dining street still has Berkeley vibes, but a lot of amenities that aren’t common closer to campus, including acai bowls, an Apple store, and an Anthropologie. Even though it’s accessible by 51B, it’s truly a world away.
5. Lake Merritt, Oakland
- Lake Merritt is surrounded by parks, restaurants, and shops, and is one of my favorite places to walk around and admire. You can also rent paddle boats if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.
6. Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
- Located really close to the Golden Gate, this incredibly beautiful and detailed structure is a jaw-dropper for sure. With incredible architecture and water features, you can walk around in awe for hours on end. They also occasionally hold events inside too!
7. Indian Rock, Berkeley
- With another killer view, the visit to Indian Rock will force you to explore the mysterious North Side of campus, and will make you appreciate all that our wonderful city has to offer. It’s a great place to go in the morning before class with a coffee and a pal, or a great place to connect with yourself. 10/10 would recommend!
Happy exploring y’all!