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9 Fun Things to Do in Berkeley
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9 Fun Things to Do in Berkeley

All you have to do is head out there and start checking off your bucket list of things to do in Berkeley this weekend.

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5 min read

October 01, 2021

Berkeley is most known for its prestigious university and history of activism. But, as impressive as that is, there’s much more to be uncovered here as well. Brimming with authentic experiences, and activities to engage, expand, and entertain, Berkeley is an amazing destination to discover while on a weekend getaway. You don’t need to stress yourself over an itinerary either, we have compiled all of the fun things to do in Berkeley into this list. Now, all you have to do is head out there and start checking off your bucket list of things to do in Berkeley this weekend.

The Berkeley Marina is the westernmost portion of the city, located west of the Eastshore Freeway by University Avenue on San Francisco Bay.

Here Are The Top Things To Do in Berkeley

1. Spend an Afternoon at the Berkeley Marina

Located at the westernmost portion of the city, the Berkeley Marina is a beautiful locale surrounded by 100 acres of parks, seven miles of trails, scenic picnicking spots, and awesome amenities. As one of the must-see places to visit in Berkeley, the marina invites you to boat, play, enjoy unbelievable vistas, and watch the sunset with a prime patio seat at one of the many amazing restaurants; you’ll love every second of it.

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2. Take a Tour of the UC Berkeley Campus

You just cannot leave Berkeley without visiting UC Berkeley, aka one of California’s most beautiful college campuses. If you’re a prospective student, you’ll have your own itinerary of things to check out. However, if you’re visiting as a tourist, your list of top things to do in Berkeley may look a little different. Check out the botanical garden, tour the California Memorial Stadium, and admire the views from the Campanile. All you need is a few hours at UC Berkeley, and you’ll definitely understand why it has as great of a reputation as it does.

Chez Panisse is where friends and neighbors gather together around the table and indulge in delicious meals. Photo courtesy of Chez Panisse.

3. Dine at the Famous Chez Panisse Restaurant

Chef Alice Waters’ Michelin star awarded restaurant, Chez Panisse, serves the best food in the Bay Area. Waters opened Chez Panisse back in 1971 with film producer Paul Aratow, who was a professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Ever since, it has become a coveted spot and one of the absolute must-try places to go in Berkeley. Chez Panisse places high importance on maintaining fresh ingredients and forms direct relationships with local farmers, ranchers, and dairies; we’re drooling just thinking about dining here.

The Rose Garden is in the form of a terraced amphitheater nestled in a small canyon, offering stunning views of the city, bay, and the Golden Gate.

4. Stroll Through the Romantic Berkeley Rose Garden

After a delicious dinner at Chez Panisse, a leisurely stroll feels just right. For that, the best place to visit in Berkeley is the beautiful Rose Garden up north. Not only does this historic locale house 500 rose bushes and 250 varieties of roses, but it also hosts tennis courts, picnic areas, hiking trails, and an amphitheater.

Indian Rock Park is one of Berkeley's rock parks in the Northbrae area, providing great views and challenges for early-level rock climbing.

5. Go Climbing at the Indian Rock Park

If you’re new to rock climbing, you’ll love exploring the Indian Rock Park in Berkeley. Sprawled over approximately an acre of land on the slope of Berkeley Hills, this park is heaven for novice climbers. The main feature of the park is a large rock outcropping on the western side of Indian Rock Avenue. But, on the opposite side of the street, several much smaller rock outcroppings can be found, as well as grass fields, and a barbecue and picnic area. In other words, if you’re an outdoorsy person looking for fun things to do in Berkeley, this is the place to go.

6. Check out the Colorful Telegraph Avenue District

All of California’s great cities have an iconic street or two that play a huge role in defining the past, present, and future. The Berkeley equivalent of this is Telegraph Avenue: the grand thoroughfare connecting Oakland to Berkeley. Filled with restaurants, shops, street vendors, and many local favorites, Telegraph offers a plethora of fun things to do in Berkeley. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this iconic street’s history, you can go on a walking tour guided by a smartphone app. Developed by Guidekick and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, the Telegraph Berkeley Tour app takes you on a deep dive through the history of one of the best places to visit in Berkeley and is available on the App Store and Google Play free of charge.

BAMPFA are a combined art museum, repertory movie theater, and archive. Photo courtesy of Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

7. Visit the Super Cool Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Visiting the Berkeley Art Museum (BAMPFA) is one of the best things to do in Berkeley, especially if you have an appreciation for the arts. A combined repertory movie theater, museum, and archive associated with UC Berkeley, BAMPFA brings the rich artistic resources of the university to the broader public. Aiming to inspire imagination, encourage critical dialog, and ignite community engagement through film, art, and other mediums of creative expression, this Berkeley attraction stands as one of the best places to visit in Berkeley.

8. Visit the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is one of California’s most interesting museums. Entirely dedicated to aromas, this quirky museum invites you to explore more than 200 natural essences derived from flowers, trees, grasses, fruits, and more, and take up to three samples home. Founded by perfumer Mary Aftel, this cool place to go in Berkeley is the first one of its kind in the U.S. and a great gateway to the world of fragrance-making.

The Berkeley City Club is ideal for just relaxing in the sun or for reserving a private dinner space. Photo courtesy of Berkeley City Club.

9. Have an amazing Fine Dining Experience at the Historic Berkeley City Club

The last entry on the list of fun things to do in Berkeley is sort of a two-in-one. A delicious dinner at a restaurant located in a beautiful historic hotel is a great way to bid Berkeley farewell. Designed by famed Californian architect Julia Morgan, the Berkeley City Club Hotel was first commissioned to be a private club for women. However, it has since gone through many changes, and while the beautiful architecture remains, the hotel no longer has any gender-specific rules.

For a great fine dining experience, reserve a table at Julia’s Restaurant at the hotel.  Serving up delicious French dishes with fresh local ingredients from the Bay Area, Julia's is an ideal spot to have an elevated dinner experience before leaving Berkeley—for now, we know you’ll be back. 

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