Tour Berkeley 101

BY September 14, 2017

Here for a college tour? Group experience? Let us be your guide.

Berkeley is, at its heart, a college town. Founded in 1868, the University of California, Berkeley is central to the city’s identity and geography. Free Speech and flower power are forever in the city’s “DNA,” but Berkeley has evolved into a culinary and cultural hub that is perfect for groups.   

The West's Central Park

Most groups doing their homework will find the UC Berkeley (“Cal”) campus tour first, and for good reason. 
Berkeley Visitor Services run fun and informative public, group and private tours to explore the beautiful campus.  Some think of Cal as Berkeley’s version of Central Park, and even New Yorkers agree with the comparison. 

But if you’re the “extra credit” type, there are additional tours for the taking right off campus.  Call them extracurricular opportunities.  From gardens to growlers, Berkeley has interesting options.

Gardens to Growlers

The 34-acre University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species.  Organized geographically, the Garden features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Italy to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants.

Also naturally tour-worthy in Berkeley is Tilden Regional Park’s Botanic Garden. Situated in beautiful Wildcat Canyon high in the Berkeley hills, the garden is devoted to the native plants of California. The state is a vast region of many floral areas, such as seacoast bluffs and coastal mountains, interior valleys, arid foothills, alpine zones, and two kinds of desert. California embraces nearly 160,000 square miles – here, you can tour it all in an afternoon, from redwood forest to cactus gardens.

All that oxygen you’ll breathe when walking Berkeley’s heralded gardens is bound to build a powerful thirst.  Fortunately, Berkeley’s craft drinks scene keeps groups well-hydrated, with brewery tours and tastings all across town. Trumer Brauerei Berkeley offers daily tours, Monday through Friday, with complimentary tastings of its award-winning pilsner at the close of each tour.  Don't stop there; tour the museum and try a flight at Takara Sake, America’s largest producer of Japan’s go-to spirit, and grab a growler at Triple Rock Brewery, America’s oldest brewpub. 


Culinary tours are a great “elective” here.  Berkeley’s Chez Panisse restaurant kicked off California cuisine, and the foodie scene has been raging ever since. Culinary walking tours in Gourmet Ghetto are led twice-weekly by an “epicurean concierge” from Edible Excursions.

And the best thing about touring Berkeley? No all-nighters!  Check in to one of Berkeley’s perfect retreats for rest and relaxation before embarking on the rest of the itinerary. Group-ready Berkeley hotels include the Bancroft Hotel, the Berkeley City Club, DoubleTree by Hilton Berkeley Marina, Graduate Berkeley (former Hotel Durant), Hotel Shattuck Plaza, La Quinta Inn & Suites, and Rose Garden Inn.  

Visit Berkeley can craft the perfect group experience.  For more information, call toll-free (800) 847-4823!