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9 Fun Things to Do in Berkeley

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.


4 min read

January 30, 2024

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.

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.

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

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.

Not only is UC Berkeley one of California's top universities, it also has one of the most beautiful campuses in the entire state.

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.

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.

5. 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.

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6. Go Climbing at the Indian Rock Park

If you're new to rock climbing or simply enjoy outdoor activities, Indian Rock Park in Berkeley is a fantastic spot to explore. Nestled on approximately an acre of land in the Berkeley Hills, this park is particularly friendly for novice climbers. The park's main attraction is a large rock outcropping located on the western side of Indian Rock Avenue. Across the street, you'll find smaller rock formations, as well as grassy fields and a barbecue and picnic area. Whether you're climbing for the first time or just looking for a pleasant day out, Indian Rock Park offers a great blend of outdoor fun and scenic relaxation, making it a top destination for those seeking things to do in Berkeley.

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

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. 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.

A historic location and good food can only make your dinner date in Berkeley an unforgettable one.

9. 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.

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