This northern California city has long been a stronghold of left-wing innovation and progressive thinking. Named for the English philosopher George Berkeley, it is today the home of American food philosopher Alice Waters and her famous Chez Panisse restaurant, as well as the vibrant academic community of the University of California at Berkeley. ... Read more
Situated across the bay from San Francisco, the Berkeley Marina offers windsurfing and sunset watching pleasures, while fog rolls in over the affluent Berkeley Hills and students mix with keeping-the flame-alive hippies in the vegetarian restaurants, independent bookstores and shops of the city proper.
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Berkeley places to stay and top hotels

Berkeley things to do and experiences

  • Greek Theater
    9.359 reviews
    Performing Arts, Theater
    Popular withNightlifeTrendsters
  • Berkeley Marina
    8.944 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Harbor or Marina, Beach
    Popular withOutdoorsyFamilies
  • Tilden Regional Park
    9.627 reviews
    Outdoors, Hiking and Nature, Garden, Park
    Popular withFamiliesOutdoorsy
  • Fourth Street
    9.521 reviews
    Shopping, Landmark, Neighborhood
    Popular withFoodiesFamilies

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Berkeley

Weather

The San Francisco East Bay covers a lot of ground, from the buzzing cities of Berkeley and Oakland to the vineyards of Livermore. As much as the scenery changes, so too does the weather. On the coast, the ... Read more
weather is mild year round, with daytime highs ranging from the 50s (10-15C) in the winter to the 70s (21-26C) in the summer. Inland, winters are mild but the summers can get very hot, often topping 90F (32C). Like all of the Bay Area, rain is extremely rare during the summer, but you should bring a jacket no matter when you travel -- nights in Northern California are cool year-round.

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Average precipitation (mm)

Top Berkeley restaurants

Berkeley

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Berkeley reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Students
  • 9.1
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 8.5
    Foodies
  • 6.8
    Trendsters
  • 6.7
    Family Travelers

Member Reviews(46)

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Cambridge

Great restaurants, bars, cafes and some lovely shops in Berkeley. It's not just a university

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Local from Berkeley, California, USA

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Local from Berkeley, California, USA

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San Francisco, California, USA

Affectionately diminished as San francisco's wacky neighbor, Berkeley is home to some of the coolest stuff in the Bay Area.

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San Francisco, California, USA

Berkeley is a wonderful place if you're into music, food and the arts. It has a lovely leafy campus and some terrific places where you can try cuisines from far flung places (like Nepal).

Recommended for:StudentsNightlife LoversArt & Design Lovers
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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Probably my favorite part of the Bay Area so far (though I haven't been to the south part of the Bay yet). Nice and low key and lovely to stroll around.

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Local from Fremont, California, USA

A BERKELEY AFTERNOON

On Saturday afternoon we ventured to Berkeley, CA to attend a Meetup with some fellow travelers. The group consisted of people who had traveled widely throughout the world. The conversation was lively, filled with travel tales that only a true traveler could appreciate.

After the meeting we decided to take advantage of the rich culture that Berkeley has to offer. Berkeley is strongly associated with the rapid social changes, civic unrest and political upheaval that took place in the late 1960’s. Berkeley was a focal point for the hippie movement that started across the Bay in San Francisco. Remnants of that era are still very evident. We witnessed it firsthand yesterday. Some people are still living the 60’s lifestyle and even wearing the same fashions. That element mixed with the present social climate makes Berkeley an enticing cocktail. Since it is a college town, the energy and open-mindedness is evident everywhere. The streets are filled with a kaleidoscope of humanity; intellectuals, humanitarians, vegans, political activists, environmentalists and so on. There is an air of freedom and acceptance to be who you are without being judged.

Another aspect that makes Berkeley unique is its dining scene. It is the home of Chez Panisse a restaurant known for using local, organic foods and credited as the inspiration for the style of cooking known as California cuisine. There are too many restaurants to name, but some of our favorites are Bake Sale Betty’s and Café Gratitude. It was refreshing to notice the absence of chain restaurants and fast food establishments.

It was obvious that the Berkeley mindset is one of authenticity and commitment to the preservation of the planet. To experience this, add Berkeley to your list of places to visit. Once again, you’ve got to GO there to KNOW there.

Will Berkeley be added to our list of frequent getaways? Most definitely. As we used to say in the 60’s, “power to the people!”.

Recommended for:FoodiesStudentsNightlife Lovers
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San Francisco, California, USA

Parts of Berkeley live up to the city's grungy reputation (particularly around Telegraph Avenue), but there are also some rather well-heeled districts.

Topnotch restaurants are dotted around the "Gourmet Ghetto" and downtown, while the hills behind the city are home to some impressive houses with views across to San Francisco. Visitors can get those same views from parks like Grizzly Peak.

Other fun areas to explore are the UC Berkeley campus and neighboring Panoramic Hill. At the opposite end of town by the marina, a walk along Berkeley Pier provides a different perspective on the Bay.

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Tustin, California, USA

The most liberal city on the west coast and home UC Berkeley. Great place to visit and get some of the diverse food offerings in town.... just wouldn't move here.

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Sydney, Australia

Just across the Bay Bridge, Berkeley and its neighbor Oakland get little of the buzz that SF does on the other side of the water. Still, Berkeley has great restaurants, a funky vibe, lovely parks and a significant place in the counterculture narrative of the 1960's (and today). For an awesome view, drive up to the overlook at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, and appreciate the grandeur of this urban area's incomparable natural setting.

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