Home to the University of California, Berkeley is known for its liberal attitude and is famous as the birthplace of freedom of speech. Spend your days touring the university campus, mingling with students on Telegraph Avenue and exploring nearby parks and trails.
Things to do in Berkeley
Known simply as “Berkeley”, the University of California is one of America's top educational institutions. Head to the Koret Visitor Centre for maps, information and free guided walking tours of the hallowed campus led by local students.
If you want to soak up the student scene, stroll down Telegraph Avenue. It's a hub for Berkeley students and is brimming with cafes. The CommonWealth Cafe & Pub is great for a meal among activists and academics, while food lovers should head to the Gourmet Ghetto, a strip of Shattuck Avenue loaded with culinary highlights.
Berkeley also has its fair share of natural attractions, such as Tilden Regional Park. It’s laced with scenic hiking trails, including a stretch of the legendary Bay Area Ridge Trail. Families can check out the miniature steam train, hobby farm and environmental education centre.
Nature lovers should visit the UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley. It covers a sprawling footprint and is filled with over 10,000 plant species from across the globe, which is one of the most diverse botany collections in America. You can also stroll around the Berkeley Rose Garden, which treats you to year-round blooms.
Getting around Berkeley
Downtown Berkeley is easy to get around on foot or by riding a bicycle. Most San Francisco day trippers arrive via the Downtown Berkeley BART Station. The university town is well serviced by a network of local buses. San Francisco International is the closest airport, located around 40 kilometres away.