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With a population of just over 121,000 people, Berkeley, California is large enough to have plenty to offer residents and visitors alike and small enough not to feel overwhelming. The city also has a rich history that makes it an interesting place to visit.
As the home of the 1960’s counter-culture and “free speech” movements, the thought of Berkeley often conjures up thoughts of tie-dye shirts and protests. But there is so much to the community. Find some great examples below.
Berkeley Museum and Historic Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft Way
As an extension of the University of California at Berkeley, the Berkeley Museum and Historic Film Archive presents 450 film programs, 20 art exhibits, and dozens of lectures, performances, symposiums, and tours every year. Some current examples of the art exhibits include:
- Art Wall: Karabo Poppy Moletsane
- Breaking ICE
- Buddhist Realms
- Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Avant Dictee
- Veronica De Jesus/MATRIX 268
- Way Bay
Current films include:
- Bergman 100: A Tribute to Liv Ullmann
- Documentary Voices 2018
- Ida Luino: Hard, Fast, and Beautiful,
- In Focus: Einstein and His Contemporaries
- Reverse Angle: Cinema Looks at Itself
- Sergei Einstein: Films That Shook the World
The museum is closed Monday and Tuesday, open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.
Golden Gate Fields, 1100 Eastshore Highway
Horseracing fans won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Golden Gate Fields while in Berkeley. Located right along the San Francisco Bay, the racetrack hosts events several times per week during every month of the year. El Camino Real Derby Day, San Francisco Mile Day, and the Kentucky Derby Party are just three of the upcoming events in early 2018.
Not a place but a street, Telegraph Avenue is the epicenter of student life in Berkeley. It’s crowded with everything from buskers, panhandlers, and vendors to people trying to squeeze their way through to do some shopping. Some of the merchandise that a visitor to Telegraph Avenue might pick up include self-published tracts, bumper stickers, crystals, and unique clothing. The good news for travelers is that the restaurants on this street cater to a budget-conscious student population.
UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley, 200 Centennial Drive
This 34-acre botanical garden contains more than 13,000 species of plants, which gardeners have organized into the region of the world where they originated. The UC Botanical Garden also has dozens of plant species native to California, a Chinese medicinal herb garden, and a conservatory full of tropical plants. The botanical garden is open every day except for major holidays and the first Tuesday of each month.
University of California at Berkeley, Koret Visitor Center, 2227 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley is the home of University of California at Berkeley, the nation’s top-rated public university. As Fast Haul, a Berkeley junk hauling company, points out, over 38,000 of Berkeley’s residents are college students.
Political issues often come to a head among in Berkeley thanks to the passionate people and college students of the community. Those planning a trip to Berkeley can even include a trip to the scenic and historic campus on their list. The college offers free public walking tours every day starting at 10 a.m.
The above represent just five of the dozens of attractions available to people traveling to Berkeley, California. The locals are sure to offer suggestions for several more must-see places to visit.