Explore Berkeley like a Local

San Francisco’s East Bay constitutes cities along the eastern shore of the Bay, including El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, and Hayward. The East Bay, and in particular, Berkeley and Oakland, are the “Brooklyn” to San Francisco’s “Manhattan”. Though most tourists new to Northern California spend their time at Fisherman’s Wharf and on Lombard Street in San Francisco, I would argue the East Bay and Berkeley in particular should make the tourist list.

Berkeley is a city steeped in a rich history of protest, civil rights, and free love. Not a day goes by without someone exercising their free speech on Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley, in People’s Park, or in front of City Hall. But there’s also many music venues, museums, and world class dining. Usually about 10 degrees warmer than the city by the Bay (San Francisco), with flowering fruit trees and succulents lining residential avenues, Berkeley has a flavor all its own.

I’ve had the pleasure of living in beautiful Berkeley for nearly five years. Below is how I would spend a relaxing day. Don’t forget to check out the map below!

A day in Berkeley...

  1. Start out the morning with breakfast or brunch at Homemade Cafe or La Note. Get there early to avoid the lines!

  2. Go on a hike in Tilden Regional Park - some favorites include:

    1. Seaview Trail (park at the Quarry)

    2. Nimitz Way Trail

    3. Running the  Berkeley Fire Trails

    4. Check out this complete Tilden Trail Map for more information. All of the listed hikes have amazing views of the Bay!

  3. After some hiking, enjoy lunch at La Mediterranee , Eureka!, or Anchalee.

  4. Stop in to the new BAMPFA - Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive ($12 general admission).

  5. Wander around the U.C. Berkeley campus and take the elevator up the Campanile ($3 general admission). At the top, you’ll see views of of the entire campus, city, and across the Bay!

  6. In the evening, head down to the Berkeley Marina to watch the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Here you can take a walk around Cesar Chavez Regional Park and watch tons of people flying their kites.

  7. Grab some dinner at Cheeseboard or Sliver for some delicious pizza. Both offer one size fits all slices, half pies, and full pies of their (always vegetarian) flavor of the day.

  8. If you love dessert as much as I do, don't forget to grab some at one of the following…

    1. Cinnaholic - vegan yet delicious cinna-buns!

    2. Lush - hands down the best ice cream in Berkeley!

A map of all the above mentioned places can be found here.