As perpetually stressed UC Berkeley students, we often encounter occasions when we need a break from school and from people in general. As our workload gets heavier and heavier coming into the sixth week of term and with midterms approaching imminently, it might be time to take a moment to yourself and chill for an hour or so. What better time to do this than at lunch on the most beautiful campus in America? We at the Clog burdened ourselves with doing some back-breaking research to find the most beautiful and secluded places on campus, perfect for settling in for a relaxing and solitary lunch break on campus.
The Eucalyptus Grove lies just west of the Valley Life Sciences Building across the street from the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The immense trees tower over everything in sight and provide a perfectly lovely, secluded and shady spot where you can eat your most likely unsatisfactory salad (let’s face it, you have $5 in your bank account). Enjoy pretending you’re in the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts, evading werewolves and all manner of beast.
The Faculty Glade is perfect for anyone who wants a grassy knoll to lay on, as well as the option of sitting in the shade, perhaps because of your incredibly sunburn-prone skin. This wonderfully quiet area is located just behind Stephens Hall and offers both green space and benches on the bank of the bubbling Strawberry Creek. Pro-tip: Either bring a jacket to sit on or let go of your fear of a wet butt.
Wickson Natural Area
You may have seen or at least heard of the last two locations, but what the heck is the Wickson Natural Area? Well, it’s a wooded area between Giannini Hall and Haviland Hall, situated around an apparently unnamed and unknown creek — there is literally no indication of this creek on the campus map or on Google Maps, but it definitely exists. There are several benches, including a lovely carved log situated along Forgotten Creek surrounded by pines.
Green space between Giannini and VLSB
While the green space sees a decent amount of foot traffic along the pavement, it’s generally pretty clear, providing you with an excellent, quiet alternative to Memorial Glade. Lay around in the sun for an hour and contemplate the three essays you have due on Tuesday — such relaxation can be difficult to find.
Situated just behind the Starr East Asian Library, Observatory Hill is by far the prettiest place on campus. Yellow flowers flutter in the light Berkeley breeze, partly shaded by native Manzanita trees. It’s the kind of place where you can actually take a mental break from the stress of school and friends or whatever else pains you and rediscover the beauty that Berkeley has to offer.