Berkeley parks

6 exciting things to do in Berkeley on the weekend

With great weather, accessible public transportation, and plenty of exciting local activities and events in Berkeley, students have plenty to do every weekend. Taking a break from class and getting out of the campus bubble to explore the surrounding city can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some 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 relax after being in class all week. Visit the UC Botanical Garden – free for students – to see over 10,000 types of plants and enjoy the peaceful Redwood Grove. Other hikes with great views include the Berkeley Fire Trails and Tilden Park. If hiking in the hills seems too strenuous, there are also nature areas closer to campus that are accessible by public transport, such as Indian Rock Park and Codornices Park in Northside.

Visit the Berkeley Farmer’s Market

The Downtown Berkeley Farmer’s Market has vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, canned foods and more. The market takes place on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it’s a great place to support local businesses, learn about sustainable farming, 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 can 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 money, stop by the Berkeley Public Library, which has thousands of fiction and non-fiction books to borrow.

Appreciate art at BAMPFA

Spend an afternoon at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, or BAMPFA, to expand your cultural knowledge and get in touch with your artistic side. BAMPFA is free for Berkeley students and located just off the west side of campus. The museum has more than 28,000 historical and contemporary works by various artists from around the world.

Window-shop – or shop – at Berkeley’s many stores

Berkeley has many boutiques selling unique clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and more. Stroll down College Avenue in South Berkeley or Solano Avenue in North Berkeley to check out some of these quirky shops. Save money 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, home to popular brands like Sephora, Madewell and Athleta.

See the sunset at Berkeley Marina

Take the 51B bus to Berkeley Marina, where on a clear day you can enjoy beautiful views of the San Francisco waterfront and the Golden Gate Bridge. Have a picnic or fly a kite at César Chávez Park and discover the Burrowing Owl region, where you can spot rare and endangered owls. And if you enjoy water sports like paddleboarding, kayaking, or windsurfing, the UC Aquatic Center and Cal Sailing Club offer discounted lessons and rentals to Berkeley students.

I hope you will take the time to explore the city of Berkeley, whether with friends, family, or even alone.

Contact Sanjana Manjeshwar at [email protected].