Besides campus life, there are a whole slew of fun and interesting places to visit in Berkeley!
1. Visit a local farmers’ market
Farmers’ markets are open-air marketplaces where fresh, locally-grown produce and farm-processed foods are sold by Californian farmers.
Products sold can include fruits, vegetables, nuts, baked goods, jams and preserves, pastries (the peach tamale is pretty good) etc. These are often unavailable at local supermarkets and can easily put a twist on the flavor or bump up the quality of homecooked food!
One thing to note: farmers’ markets are only open on specific days of the week:
Downtown Berkeley: Saturdays 10am – 3pm
North Berkeley: Thursdays 3pm – 7pm
South Berkeley: Tuesdays 2pm – 6.30pm
Miss these timings, and you’ll be staring down an empty street!
2. Rent watersports equipment for FREE at the UC Aquatics Center
Located at the Berkeley Marina, the UC Aquatics Center provides kayak and stand-up paddleboard on weekends. While such rentals are free for UC Berkeley students, spots are limited and must be reserved early to avoid disappointment.
For those who fear the elements, no worries! The UC Aquatics Center even provides both wetsuits and spray tops to shelter one from the wind and cold (unlike a certain rental service in Lake Tahoe *cough cough*).
3. Visit the Lawrence Hall of Science (FREE for UC Berkeley students)
A science museum focused on hands–on activities and exhibits, the Lawrence Hall of Science offers an experience that can’t be found elsewhere in Berkeley!
Activities in the museum range from designing paper planes to be launched via a flywheel accelerator through a series of hoops, constructing paper parachutes to be tested in an air column to playing mini golf, arcade basketball and even pinball!
Other noteworthy places include visiting the Berkeley Public Library to apply for a library card that provides free access to attractions in both Berkeley and San Francisco and shopping at local thrift stores (a friend of mine bought a suit for 10 USD!).