What To Do In Berkeley, California
Located in northern Alameda County, California, Berkeley sits on the east shore of San Francisco Bay. Bordering Kensington and Albany to the north and Emeryville and Oakland to the south, Berkeley has a population of 118,153 as of 2015. The climate in Berkeley is mild, similar to the rest of the Bay Area.
Home to the University of California, Berkeley is a city known for its free speech movement and a vocal activist population. Referred to by many as “Beserkely”, Berkeley can often be found on the forefront of issues that ultimately become main stream.
The original inhabitants of the Berkeley area were a Native American people known as Huchiun.
This area was originally viewed by developers as a prime area for tourism. In 1820 the land was given to investors from the Rancho San Antonio land grant in order to develop a new community.
The Bay Area experienced huge growth in 1849 following the California Gold Rush. By the mid-1850s a small community started to flourish near the shores of the Bay, in an area known as Ocean View. April of 1860 saw the dedication of the site for the University of California. The school opened its door in 1873.
One of the founding landowners in Berkeley, Francis Kittredge Shattuck persuaded Southern Pacific Railroad to run a line through his property. This led to the development of downtown Berkeley and served as a spring board for commercial growth. Incorporated in 1878 Berkeley was named after Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley for his contributions. Berkeley soon saw its population ride from 2000 in 1889 to 13,000 by 1900. By 1912the population had climbed to 50,000 with the improved transportation systems and the influx of residents after the 1906 SanFrancisco earthquake.
During the turbulent 1960s the campus at UCB became a hotbed for political activism forcing a national spotlight on the city. Labeled the “Free Speech Movement” the pivotal student protest was inspired by a struggle for civil rights and helped to form the ideology around what is now modern-day Berkeley.
Unlike any other city in the world today, Berkeley has an international outlook but holds a hyper-local focus along with an acute civic consciousness. While the city has a green soul, it has become both a cultural and culinary destination.
Our Favorite Things to Do Berkeley, California
Our mini guide below list some of our favorite things to do in Berkeley.
Although the name Berkeley tends to conjure images of tie-dye and protests, it is actually the birthplace of California cuisine. As the center of the Bay Are food renaissance, Berkeley is more than simply a university town. Our list below will help you experience the delicious cuisine of Berkeley.
The Gourmet Ghetto Tour
Located in North Berkeley, the area known as the Gourmet Ghetto is the birthplace of California cuisine. The neighborhood is now home to emerging foodie enterprises and established culinary icons. Known for the emergence of the farm to table movement, the Gourmet Ghetto was made famous in the 1970s by Alice Waters and her restaurant Chez Panisse. The area still serves organic and seasonal options and is committed to sustainable business practices.
A guide will join you on this 3-hour stroll through iconic destinations in The Gourmet Ghetto like Saul’s Jewish Deli. You’ll also visit mainstays like the Cheese Board Collective and The Local Butcher Shop during this flavor-filled excursion.
Book a tour with Edible Excursions: 415.806.5970
Even if you aren’t a cinnamon roll lover, you need to stop by Cinnaholic. This quirky shop specializes in made-to-order vegan cinnamon rolls. And these aren’t just your regular cinnamon rolls either. This classic baked good is transported to another level here with toppings and flavored frostings that will delight your taste buds! They have over 30 different frosting flavors and a variety of different toppings. We are talking custom vegan cinnamon goodness. Everything here is cholesterol-free, egg-free and dairy and lactose free.
Design your cinnamon roll at: 2132 Oxford St, Berkeley, CA 94704
Give them a call at: (510) 647-8684
Berkeley isn’t just a college town; the city is full of amazing family activities. From museums to marinas to botanical gardens, there are plenty of ways to soak up this part of the East Bay with the kids in tow. Our list below will give you some suggestions of ways to engage and amuse the entire family while you are in Berkeley.
Located in the western part of the city, Berkeley Marina consists of 52 acres of water and offers views of both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are several walking and bike paths in addition to a fishing pier. Be sure to visit The Shorebird Park Nature Center while you are here. The Center has two tanks; one fresh water tank and one salt water tank. You’ll be able to see marine animals in addition to a variety of local birds. If your kids are looking for more adventure, there’s Adventure Playground, Appropriately named, the Playground features a zip line and lots of climbing features.
Visit the Marina at: 201 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94710
Call for more information: 510-981-6740
Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley
For more than 40 years, the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley has been a world renowned science center and a top family destination. When you visit Lawrence Hall of Science you will discover something new and be inspired with each hands-on exhibit. They believe in exploring science by doing science. Here you can interact with animals, build machines or climb massive structures. There is also a planetarium and a 3D Theater.
Get scientific at: 1 Centennial Drive, Berkeley, CA 94720-5200
Give them a call at: 510-642-5132