Berkeley is probably best known as the home of the University of California, and for its intellectual and activistic contributions - if people are protesting about something in Berkeley, then there’s every likelihood it will end up a mainstream issue. But why visit? Well, it’s beautifully positioned in East Bay in the San Francisco Bay area, it’s packed with great museums and galleries, there’s a lively foodie culture and an extremely rich cultural life. For most folk, the best places to stay in Berkeley will be in the downtown area.
But if you don’t mind travelling to see the sights then you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Berkeley around the pier and marina, which is also were you’ll find many restaurants and bars, and you’ll get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline of nearby San Francisco.
As a major seat of learning, Berkeley has more then its fair share of museums and galleries - the University of California has several on its campus, including the UC Berkeley Art Museum. And while you’re there you might want to visit ‘Cal’s’ main landmark, the Campanile or Sather Tower, which was modelled on St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
Just outside the gates of UC is Telegraph Avenue, ‘Studentville’, where you’ll find cafes and reasonably priced eateries galore and buskers, street vendors and plenty of local colour. For more historic local colour visit People’s Park, a landmark of the 1960s Free Speech Movement, and where numerous demonstrations have taken place.
It’s worth checking out what’s on at the Greek Theatre, an outdoor amphitheatre on the UC campus grounds, and at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. And if you’re here in July you should definitely try to see some of the kite festival down on the impressively long pier.
As a popular year-round destination, if you want to be sure of a room in one of the best places to stay in Berkeley, do yourself a favour and plan well ahead.
A charming and traditional, historic hotel. Breathtaking architecture includes high archways and vaulted ceilings. Features a large indoor swimming pool as well as family games rooms. Classically designed bedrooms with stunning views over both San Francisco and Berkeley.