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6 Things to Do Near UC Berkeley
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6 Things to Do Near UC Berkeley

We are not kidding when we say boredom does not exist here. Here are 6 things to do near UC Berkeley.

Palig Dzadourian

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5 min read

July 15, 2022

Disclaimer: California.com does not receive any kind of compensation for reviewing any of the products or services mentioned in this article.

Life can get quite overwhelming when you are a university student struggling to maintain a good balance between academics and social life. It is very important to take a break once in a while and relax, unwind and enjoy young-adult life, especially when you are living in one of California’s best college towns: Berkeley. Boredom does not exist here, where there is a myriad of things to see and explore near UC Berkeley. Whether you are a full-time student looking for some fun or a passerby that wants to discover the city, here are some of the best things to do in Berkeley.

1. Sather Tower, UC Berkeley Campus

The beautiful Sather Tower is worth the effort to visit, it is simply amazing.

A must-see while you are in Berkeley, is the Sather Tower, otherwise known as the Campanile. This incredible tower is the third tallest bell and clock tower in the world, at 307 feet tall. Built in 1914, the architect of UC Berkeley John Galen Howard, took inspiration from the actual Campanile tower in Venice, Italy, that unfortunately ended up falling over in 1902.

One of the most popular places in Berkeley, it is located inside the University of California campus. You can go all the way to the top of the tower where you will find the observation platform, 200 feet up in the air. As soon as you reach the platform, you will be greeted with a 360-degree view of Berkeley city, one of the most impressive California sights to experience.

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The bells of the tower chime on the hour, and there are 45-minute recitals performed three times a day. The Campanile was built with Alaskan Marble, which is what gives it its regal look.

2. University of California Botanical Garden 

Explore the wonders nature has to offer in this breathtaking Botanical Garden.

While there are a number of noteworthy botanical gardens around Berkeley, taking a stroll down one of the most beautiful college campuses is part of the fun! Visiting the University of California Botanical Garden is one of the best things to do in Berkeley. Located on Centennial drive, this gorgeous botanical garden came to life in 1890 and has 34 acres of land filled with an impressive variety of flora. The garden is divided into multiple sections representing different plants from the state of California, the Canary Islands, Eastern North America, Asia, Australia and so many more. There are over 10 000 types of plants, some of which are rare and endangered species hard to find outside of the gardens. 

Take a relaxing stroll down the gardens, as you take in the beauty of these plants. There are a few picnic tables scattered around four sections of the garden, including a garden shop and restrooms. If you are ever at a loss as to what to do in Berkeley, you can never go wrong with visiting the University of California Botanical Garden.

3. The Lawrence Hall of Science

Anyone interested in science and learning about the mysteries of life will be quite satisfied with the Lawrence Hall of Science.

The Lawrence Hall of Science is where fun meets science, where anybody has the chance to learn something new. It was established in 1968 and built in honor of Ernest Orlando Lawrence who was the first Nobel Prize winner from the University of California. It is conveniently located near the Botanical Garden, so you can visit the Hall after a few hours of enjoying the plants and flowers. 

There are multiple interactive activities available at the Lawrence Hall of Science, which include some hands-on science experiments and exhibits for students of all ages. It is a great place to visit with your kids as well and have them discover the wonders of science. Some of the permanent exhibits include the Forces that Shape the Bay, KidsLab and an interactive planetarium that is considered to be among the best in the world.

Visiting the Lawrence Hall of Science is one of the most fun things to do in Berkeley, where there is no shortage of fun, entertainment, and new discoveries. 

4. Tilden Regional Park

Stunning scenery was seen from Vollmer Peak in Tilden Regional Park.

Tilden Regional Park has been around for quite some time, it is one of the District’s three oldest parks and is home to a bunch of fun outdoor activities for kids and adults alike. There are about 40 easy hiking trails throughout the 2079 acres of land, including a botanical garden and a golf course. It is one of the best Berkeley things to do for students and visitors of the East Bay alike. Take a dip in the Anza Lake after a warm day out walking in the park, or enjoy a picnic under the sun.

Families also love coming to the park to make use of all the fun recreational activities, like the Herschell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round and the Tilden Little Farm filled with small animals such as sheep, goats, pigs, and rabbits.  

There are also quieter places for wildlife shelters, in an attempt to preserve the natural beauty of the Tilden Regional Park. This gorgeous California college town has absolutely no dull moments to be seen.

5. Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Avenue, a social hub for students brimming with fun (BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons).

One of the things to do in Berkeley as a student is to head over to Telegraph Avenue. A hang-out space for University of California students looking to spend some time with each other, shop or simply grab something to eat, Telegraph Avenue is found right outside the gates of the university.

Telegraph Avenue has a very long past, named after the first telegraph line installed in the area in 1858. As the years went by, it slowly transformed into the Telegraph Avenue of today, a social hub for the students of the University of California. This is where you will be able to find a plethora of vendors, eateries, bookshops, and many more!

Telegraph Avenue is home to one of the most legendary record stores, one of which is the largest independent vintage record store in the world, the Amoeba Music store. The other one is the Rasputin Vintage Record Store.

6. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The interior of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, a place to find inspiration (Daderot/Wikimedia Commons).

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a classic tourist destination in Berkeley as well as a place where artists frequent to get inspired. It is on the list of most fun things to do in Berkeley. The archive’s official establishment was kickstarted by the artist Hans Hofman in 1963 and it opened its doors in 1970.

While at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, you will be able to witness over 20 000 works of art, as its mission and goal is to bring the rich artistic resources of the UC Berkeley campus to the public.




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