With the opening of its marvelous new downtown Berkeley building in January 2016, the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) positioned itself - and the city - as a centerpiece of the eccentric and diverse artistic culture that thrives in the Bay Area. Two years later, the museum is featuring an exhibit to match that promise in “Way Bay,” a sweeping new showcase that weaves together a complex web of artistic themes and mediums in an exploration of how the Bay Area’s artists have been influenced by the region and its people - and by each other.
Starting with the “Human Be-In” in Golden Gate Park, the Summer of Love 1967 brought legions of activists, hippies and dreamers to Berkeley and the SF Bay Area. With its proximity to the University of California and the recent rise of the Free Speech Movement, Berkeley’s atmosphere was politically charged and highly magnetic to spirited youth across the U.S. and internationally.
Free Speech and flower power may be in Berkeley’s DNA, but now we’re talking about actual plants! Exploring the San Francisco Bay Area is best done outside, and we’ve put together three great itineraries that are just the starting points of what to do in Berkeley in the great outdoors. And don’t forget to wander in to local Berkeley restaurants to refuel as you explore — in Berkeley, food is always in season.
Just like living here, travel to the San Francisco Bay Area can come with a dash of sticker-shock, but Berkeley has many things to do that won’t ask you to drop a dime. Try any of these for a budget-friendly intro to Berkeley, a cultural center with a counter-culture soul.
Berkeley is a city of neighborhoods, each with independent mantra, mood and food. There’s something fun to see and do in every district of the city, and just as important, something delicious to nosh on practically every corner. Try pairing sightseeing with a local culinary adventure to explore each of Berkeley’s “boroughs.”
Events Explore Stay
Whether you’re new in town, starting your first semester at the top public university in the U.S., or are simply passing through Berkeley, we know that the array of activities, cultural events, food options, and our robust public transit system is a lot to wrangle for a newcomer.