Things to do in Berkeley

What to see in Berkeley

Grizzly Peak

Located in the Tilden Regional Park, Grizzly Peak is a summit of Berkeley Hills which is affectionately named after a grizzly bear who used to prowl the area in the 1800s. It offers a superb view all day long (though particularly at sunrise) and it’s a great place to grab a picnic or launch a frisbee around. Even better, there’s a basketball court so you can get some 5v5 on the go!

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

The botanical gardens at Berkeley span a 34-acre area and feature some extremely rare and endangered species from all over the world. Even if you don’t know what half the plants and flowers are, they make a stunning spectacle that is well worth of your time. There are some 20,000 different species planted here, including greenhouses with exotic varieties like cacti and carnivorous plants.

Berkeley Marina

Berkeley Marina is half the reason to study at University of California Berkeley! It has over 50 acres of water and a 1,000 berths to the west of the city. In addition to the water there are bars and restaurants, a great pier and various walking and cycle paths. It’s a gorgeous place to just wander around, even if you don’t take part in any of the attractions.

Berkeley Rose Garden

Considered one of the finest rose gardens in the state, the Berkeley Rose Garden on Euclid Avenue features over 3,000 different bushes and 250 types of rose. The garden boasts stunning views over the bay and Golden Gate Bridge and occasionally hosts events, like their Rose Day Celebration on Mother’s Day.

Best bars in Berkeley

Cornerstone Craft Beer & Live Music

Cornerstone has everything you could want from a bar. There are games so you can let out your competitive side in public, live music so you can avoid talking to your friends and a great selection of drinks so that you’re happy! The prices are reasonable for the area and now they do food as well - it’s the perfect hangout bar.

The Albatross Pub

While the biggest night of the week at the Albatross Pub is undoubtedly Trivia Night, their happy hour is another damn good reason to hit it up! It’s a really simple pub with friendly staff and cheap(ish) drinks. It gets a bit busy, but if you can grab a table and one of the better board games, you’ll be in for a class night.

Acme Bar & Company

Best thing about Acme? All music is chosen from a jukebox, meaning the customers hear what they want to hear! The worst part? Some of the customers don’t have a great taste in music… But seriously, it’s a rock/punk-style bar with a massive range of whiskies, gins, tequilas, rums and just about every poison in the book.

Tap Haus

Full of pool tables, fun games and a bar stocked with all sorts of beers and ciders (not too many harder spirits) it’s a fun place to hang out with a few mates; probably not the ideal location if you want to get introspective and read a couple stanzas of Sylvia Plath, but perfect for a bit of banter. You can park across the road as well, which is ideal.

MeloMelo Kava Bar

Hipster City. Never tried Kava? Well, now is your chance! It’s a peculiar drink that’s meant to heighten the senses and bring on a feeling of euphoria - all natural. There are loads of couches and you get to drink from coconut shells - what’s not to like? If you aren’t sure about Kava, go for a sweet variety rather than its purest form as the taste can be quite heavy.

Best places to eat in Berkeley

Cheeseboard Pizza

Cheeseboard Pizza have perfected the art of simple, tasty dining. They have a "pizza of the day" and that’s all they serve, along with salads for those who fancy one. You can buy a quarter slice, a half or a whole pizza and it will be with you pretty much straightaway, fresh and hot. The pizza is full of flavor and no two days are ever the same.

Bette's Oceanview Diner

If you’re going to go for breakfast in Berkeley, then make sure it’s to Bette’s Oceanview Diner. The menu is pretty varied, but every dish is cooked quickly and to perfection, every time. Plenty of locals swear by it. There is usually a bit of a queue for a table, but the turnover of customers is fairly quick so you shouldn’t have to wait too long.

Wood Tavern

True to its simple, rustic name, the Wood Tavern offers a simple menu where every dish is perfectly cooked and well-matched drinks (wine, beer, softs, cocktails) are quickly served up at the busy bar. If you just want a drink, their selection is hugely varied and the staff have an intimate knowledge of their stock.

Angeline's Louisiana Kitchen

Angeline's is all about big, tasty portions and zero considerations for the calorie count. The menu includes ham hock, baby back ribs, oysters and plenty of veggie options. It’s almost always packed to the rafters, which isn’t surprising given the quality of food inside and the low price - it’s ideal for students who fancy a good meal without the faff of cooking or the expense of eating somewhere fancy.

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