Are you a new international student at the University of California, Berkeley? Or have you recently joined a startup in this techie spot? Being new to a city means having tons to explore – but having no idea where to begin. Or maybe, you’re just a local scratching your head for things to do in Berkeley, after living there for years!
Usually, when we have no idea what to do about something, we turn to our good friend, The Internet. So, we at Roomi have curated a list of 7 fun things to do in Berkeley that you won’t mind doing over and over again! Whether you’re a local or a newbie, these are activities that everyone can enjoy, so take a look below!
1. Get Creative at Adventure Park Berkeley
Think a playground is just for kids? Think again! One of the most fun things to do in Berkeley, this landmark is a must-visit for all ages.
More commonly called the Adventure Playground, this place is located at the Berkeley Marina. What sets it apart from a regular playground is that it’s made to depict a makeshift playground using scrap materials.
This concept was derived from the ideas of architect Carl Theodor Sorensen who turned junkyards in Copenhagen into playgrounds during World War 2. It is one of the most unique things to do in Berkeley and introduces kids (and adults!) to a cool hands-on learning experience.
2. Be at One With Nature at Botanical Garden Berkeley
Of all the things to do in Berkeley, this one is the most tranquil. Spread across 34 acres on the campus of UC Berkeley, this diverse garden is home to nearly 10,000 different plants from all over the world.
Different sections of the garden are dedicated to the different regions of the world, featuring their prominent as well as lesser-known native plants. It’s a nature lover’s paradise. And, if you like to stop and smell the flowers, you’ll find yourself coming back more than a few times.
Besides its obvious attraction, the Botanical Garden is perfect for nature walks and picnics on a sunny day. You can also start your very own home garden with supplies from its garden shop.
3. Tour The University of California Berkeley Campus
Did you know that even non-students can visit the UC Berkeley campus and just hang out? The campus is more than a place to study for Berkeley’s students and locals – there’s so much to do! We’re not kidding: nearly half the things to do in Berkeley are on this campus itself.
Relive your college days (part of them, at least) by visiting the UC Berkeley campus and experiencing all the attractions it has to offer. If we’re honest, this one could have been a whole blog in itself – that’s how vast the campus is.
To begin your exploration of the university, join a campus tour (they happen all the time) or check out The Lawrence Hall of Science. Besides this, there’s so much more you can do. Take a look at the university’s website to get an idea of all the attractions, and start exploring!
4. Take a Walk in Tilden Park
There are so many fun things to do in Berkeley, but this one is a local favorite. As one of the oldest parks in the Bay Area, Tilden Regional Park is a special place for many of the Berkeley residents.
The park features more than 40 miles of hiking trails, an 18-hole golf course, and its very own Botanic Garden. Tilden is also home to Lake Anza, where you can take a dip or practice your swimming skills during spring and summer. It’s also got a mini beach if you’d like to tan!
This is a super-fun place for kids and adults alike, with its antique Merry-Go-Round that’s a sight to see at night. There’s also the Children’s Garden where kids can learn how to plant different kinds of fruits and vegetables. And, if you love farm animals, you’d better check out the Tilden Little Farm where you can play with sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits.
5. Watch a Movie or Witness a Theater or Music Performance
Did you really think we’d leave this one out, the very thing Berkeley is famous for? The number of theaters and film archives in Berkeley is high, so we decided to club them all into one.
The Greek Theatre is the longest-running outdoor amphitheater in America and is still pretty sought-after. It’s a popular place for indie musicians to put on their performances.
The Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley is a Cal Performances favorite, where they frequently put up phenomenal performances. Cal Performances is the performing arts organization of UC Berkeley. There’s dance, music, drama — the whole package! Also on campus is the Berkeley City Club where the Central Works Theater presents various plays.
Additionally, if you’re an art and film lover, you’ll want to check out BAMPFA. The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive holds over 16,000 films and videos, along with more than 19,000 works of art. The building, originally built in 1939, has seen multiple modern expansions over the years. It now includes film theaters, a café, an art-making lab, a reading room, and so much more!
6. Read To Your Heart’s Content at Moe’s
How awestruck were you by the library Beast gifted Belle in Beauty and the Beast? Well, Moe’s Books is that, but real!
It’s a bookstore spanning four floors, with more than 250,000 titles to choose from. The store was founded in 1959 and has been thriving ever since. It’s one of the many independent businesses of Berkeley that don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon!
Visiting this store is one of the favorite things to do in Berkeley for bookworms, and we can totally see why. To offer something for everyone, Moe’s also holds regular events like indie film screenings.
7. Sample Some Sake At Takara Sake Museum
Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic drink that’s found in just about every Japanese household, no matter where they live.
The Takara Sake Museum is a subset of the Takara Sake USA factory, which is the biggest sake manufacturer in the country. The museum is located inside the factory, where you get to learn all about the Japanese drink, including its history and how it’s made.
You can even taste all the different kinds of sake for a small fee. For a price of just $10, the museum lets you taste 7 different types of sake. So if you do decide to pay this place a visit, make sure you don’t drive!
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