Rising between coastal foothills and the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley is a vibrant and spirited city. Across Berkeley’s 18 square miles, a visitor can dine in one of many trend-setting restaurants or enjoy organic take out, take in a world-premiere play or first-run film, hike a 2,200 acre park or meander thru a Botanical Garden, shop for handmade ethnic jewelry or outdoor wear, tour a chocolate factory or a world-class University.
Consummately Californian in its setting but international in its cultural landscape, Berkeley is an eclectic mix of neighborhoods. This compact, unconventional college town is great for walking, biking and offers BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to whisk you between the East Bay and San Francisco. Three major airports, Oakland International, San Francisco International and San Jose International, serve Berkeley. So let’s get going!
In West Berkeley, Fourth Street is ground zero for hip urban shoppers. On this tree-lined street you will find 65 fine boutiques and restaurants to deliver a bountiful variety of authentic class and quality. One block south is the historic Spenger’s Fresh Fish Grotto, and for some sake and plum wine tasting there’s Takara Sake, USA. Head West and you’ll land at the Berkeley Marina & Pier for bay view dining at Skates on the Bay and breathtaking views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Oh, and for you lovers of dark chocolate, don’t miss tours and tastings at Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, just down the road.
Telegraph Avenue – the street of history and character has been the heart and soul of Berkeley since 1873. The Avenue is five tree-lined blocks leading to the UC Berkeley Campus. Its alternative stores, boutiques, international cuisine street artisans, and quirky vibe make this the quintessential Berkeley experience. Don’t miss it.
North Berkeley gave birth to California Cuisine and continues to innovate every day! The restaurants, boutiques, and galleries along Shattuck Avenue and Vine Street emphasize unique, artisan-production, and it’s bounty of sidewalk cafés, flower stands, and fine food purveyors lend the area a European ambience. With longtime favorites the original Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Chez Panisse, Saul’s Deli, and the collectively owned Cheeseboard bakery and cheese shop to the exciting new additions of a year-round weekly Farmers Market, the Guerilla Café (a 70’s retro atmosphere and eclectic art display), Café Gratitude (organic live foods & home of the Abounding River Game), and Epicurious Garden (A Revolution in Take-out for Discriminating Tastes).
Downtown Berkeley is a vibrant city center with a growing arts district at its core – a mecca for moviegoers, art-lovers and food-connoisseurs! A downtown event is your ticket to a foot-tapping or thought-provoking evening. The Downtown Berkeley Arts District, centered on Addison Street, includes the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Jazzschool, Aurora Theatre Company, Freight & Salvage Coffee House and the Gaia Arts Center. Also, 18 screens at three movie theatres offer the best in independent, foreign, documentary, and Hollywood films.
More cultural attractions you don’t want to miss, Cal Performances, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Judah L. Magnes Museum and the Lawrence Hall of Science.
For the latest and greatest information on where to stay, what to do and what to eat while in Berkeley, visit some of the links on the right.
Arts and Entertainment
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