No, you don’t have to go full communist and you don’t have to inhale the first puff of weed smoke that gets blown into your face to get a sense of what being a student is like (although that second one might be inevitable, depending on how long you can hold your breath). You should, however, check out these places to make sure you’re not missing anything special!
1. BERKELEY BOTANICAL GARDENS
Feel like a kid again—if you don’t already embrace your inner child—as you explore these botanical gardens, which often feel like a jungle. With several greenhouses, and roughly 12,000 species of plants, you won’t run out of things to see—just energy.
2. THE BUTCHER’S SON
A vegan’s paradise, this plant-based deli makes a mean sandwich, which even a meat-lover will devour with great joy. Try the meatball and mozzarella stick sandwich, which is served on garlic bread and has neither meat, nor mozzarella. You’ll wish meat and mozzarella could taste that good.
3. BERKELEY ART CENTER
Off the beaten path, especially given the much larger, downtown BAMPFA, this art gallery and center hosts fantastic exhibits, as well as community events and lectures. It provides a rare intimacy, seldom found in large, crowded art museums. Here, with travelling exhibits that generally last a month, you can feel the curator’s touch everywhere.
4. BERKELEY ROSE GARDEN
With every hue of rose you could ever want, plus views of the Bay, this public park is the perfect place to rejuvenate for a little while. It’s shaped in a giant amphitheater-like semicircle, making a labyrinth of sorts for you to stroll through as you collect your thoughts or cast them away.
4. CORNERSTONE CRAFT BEER & LIVE MUSIC
Grab a beer—if you can make up your mind among the 50 options they have—at this modern beer hall and live music venue. It’s a feel-good spot, as its high ceilings and open air plan make you feel free. It’s communal if you want it to be—live your life. Whether you want to talk to ten people or zero, it’s a great place to round off your day.