Express yourself in many ways in the eclectic neighborhoods of this city where the Free Speech Movement started in the 1960s.
Berkeley, California, was a focal point during Vietnam War demonstrations in the 1960s. Recently protests have centered on the University of California city’s campus. Visit UC Berkeley and its 178-acre (72-hectare) park-like campus that links sections of the city. Take a self-guided tour and listen to a lecture in the university’s exploratory thinking environment.
Connected to UC Berkeley’s south campus is Telegraph Avenue’s abundance of book and record stores, each one unique. Stroll through this area for an interesting blend of old-time and contemporary California culture.
While Telegraph Avenue is acclaimed for its trendy stores, cafés and highly rated hotels, Gourmet Ghetto and Downtown Berkeley provide varied fine restaurants and local cuisine. Follow the Edible Excursions Culinary Walking Tour, one of the best in the San Francisco Bay area.
Berkeley is a great place for families, with many fun activities. Come to Adventure Playground rated by National Geographic as one of the USA’s best play areas for climbing, zip lining and other attractions. It was built from reclaimed materials and is free. Experience Aquatic Park for hiking, bird watching, boating or a game of Frisbee golf. Try Cesar Chavez Park’s paved trail crossing 90 acres (36 hectares) of gently rolling terrain overlooking San Francisco Bay.
Lawrence Hall of Science has interactive displays for all family members, including a planetarium program and 3-D movie theater. Take younger family members to Habitot Children’s Discovery Museum for scientific concepts introduced in an easy-to-understand format with many art activities as well.
You’ll also find one of the largest reptile specialty stores in the country at East Bay Vivarium, with an outstanding collection of snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs and tarantulas. Even if you’re just browsing, it offers a fascinating visit. Play one of 800 board or dexterity games while sipping craft coffee or beer or savoring an artisanal pizza at Victory Point Café.
There is plenty to do when visiting Berkeley’s many neighborhoods and experiencing the city’s spirit, which ultimately defines California.