With great weather, accessible public transit and many exciting local activities and events in Berkeley, students have plenty of things to do every weekend. Taking a break from classes and stepping outside the campus bubble to explore the surrounding city can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are a few suggestions for your future weekend plans.
Enjoy the outdoors
Berkeley is home to some of the most beautiful parks and hiking trails in the Bay Area, and nothing beats spending time outdoors to unwind after being in class all week. Visit the UC Botanical Garden — free for students — to see more than 10,000 types of plants and enjoy the peaceful Redwood Grove. Other hikes with gorgeous views include the Berkeley Fire Trails and Tilden Park. If a hike in the hills sounds too strenuous, there are also natural areas closer to campus that are accessible by public transit, such as Indian Rock Park and Codornices Park in Northside.
Visit the Berkeley Farmers’ Market
The Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market has vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, preserved food and more. The market takes place Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it’s a great place to support local businesses, learn more about sustainable agriculture and try new foods. The market also accepts CalFresh EBT.
Explore iconic bookstores
If you’re a book lover, Berkeley is the place to be — there are countless independent bookstores to explore. A must-visit is the legendary Moe’s Books on Telegraph Avenue, which has four floors of new and used books as well as vintage postcards and posters. You could also visit Pegasus Books, Mrs. Dalloway’s and Sleepy Cat Books (home to an in-store cat you can pet!). And if you’re looking to read more without spending any money, stop by the Berkeley Public Library, which has thousands of fiction and nonfiction books to borrow.
Appreciate art at BAMPFA
Spend an afternoon at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, or BAMPFA, to broaden your cultural knowledge and get in touch with your artistic side. BAMPFA is free for Berkeley students and located right by the west side of campus. The museum has more than 28,000 historical and contemporary works by diverse artists from around the world.
Window shop — or actually shop — at Berkeley’s many stores
Berkeley has numerous boutiques selling unique clothes, jewelry, cosmetics and more. Take a walk down College Avenue in South Berkeley or Solano Avenue in North Berkeley to explore some of these quirky shops. Go thrifting at Out of the Closet or Crossroads Trading Co. If you’re looking for something more mainstream, you can also head to Fourth Street in West Berkeley, which is home to popular brands such as Sephora, Madewell and Athleta.
See the sunset at the Berkeley Marina
Take the 51B bus down to the Berkeley Marina, where, on clear days, you can enjoy gorgeous waterfront views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Have a picnic or fly a kite at César Chávez Park and check out the Burrowing Owl Area, where you can spot rare and endangered owls. And if you’re into water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking or windsurfing, the UC Aquatic Center and the Cal Sailing Club offer discounted lessons and rentals to Berkeley students.
Hope you take some time to explore the city of Berkeley — whether that’s with friends, family or even by yourself.