A quick Google search for “things to do in Berkeley CA” will leave you with literally hundreds of options. Between exciting events, spree-worthy shopping, and endless eateries, the list of attractions in this city in Northern California seems to pile higher than the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
That’s why we’ve curated a list of the most fascinating places in Berkeley just for you.
In Berkeley, things to do range from the whimsical, such as a record store named after Rasputin, to the sophisticated (sake sampling, anyone?). In the community surrounding one of the country’s most notable universities, Berkeley neighborhoods are teeming with life.
Here are four unmissable sights to see while in town.
#1 Discover The Music Scene on Telegraph Avenue
The hip, student hang-out, Telegraph Avenue, has long been home to a vibrant, colorful music scene. It’s famous for its record shops, where big- and small-name musicians alike drop in on the regular. Sir Paul McCartney even played a free show at Amoeba Records in 2007.1
While Telegraph Avenue is full of hidden gems and tiny spots to explore, you’ll definitely want to visit Amoeba Music and Rasputin’s:
- The Original Amoeba Music – The iconic Amoeba Records has three locations in California, and the original sits right on Telegraph. It’s a one-stop shop for all your vinyl needs—and it also offers free live shows and signings.
- Rasputin Music – Rasputin’s is a real taste of the San Francisco Bay area, and it’s the largest chain of record stores in the city.2 Three floors of music, games, movies, and merch make getting lost for an afternoon practically effortless.
An armful of vintage records can be heavy—luckily, you don’t have to lug them all over town. Common Bosco, a fully-furnished coliving home by Common, is only a quarter of a mile from UC Berkeley, where the northern end of Telegraph Avenue begins.
#2 Go On a Culinary Adventure
Another perk about Common Bosco is that it’s a mere stroll from Shattuck Avenue, where the very heart of Berkeley’s food scene beats. There, you can find artisanal bakeries, flower stands, and fine dining, with an emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine.
If you’re near the Shattuck Avenue, don’t miss out on:
- The Cheese Board Collective – A worker-owned cooperative, the Cheese Board consists of a cheese shop (which sells over 400 kinds of cheese), an espresso bar, and a bakery. The co-op also runs a pizzeria, serving up their own “pizza of the day,” five days a week.
- Edible Excursions Food Tour – With so many appetizing Berkeley restaurants at your fingertips, it can be challenging to choose just one. So, why not try them all? On one of the twice-weekly Edible Excursions Tours, a local guide will walk you through the best of Berkeley’s culinary offerings.
#3 Explore the Berkeley Rose Garden
There are countless fun things to do in Berkeley CA, but perhaps after a late night on Shattuck Avenue, you’re looking for a calmer, more meditative experience. The Berkeley Municipal Rose Garden, located next to Codornices Park (twenty minutes from the UC Berkeley campus), provides the perfect place to unwind from city living.
There, you’ll find:3
- 1500 rose bushes
- 250 varieties of roses
- 4 tennis courts
- 3 acres to explore
The Berkeley Rose garden is open year-round, but the roses typically come into full bloom in May. Nevertheless, there’s plenty more to catch your eye while you wait for the roses to make their debut. The Berkeley Rose Garden is famous for its view of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge—and it houses hiking trails and picnic areas galore.
Plus, it’s cyclist-friendly, too. So, feel free to ride on down, and once you’ve pedaled to your heart’s content, drop your bike back at Common Bosco’s free bike storage.
#4 Take a Taste of History at the Sake Museum
You might have already explored Downtown Berkeley and the Berkeley Art Museum, but have you been to the Sake Museum? Now, this you can’t find anywhere else. That’s because the Takara Sake Brewery is the only sake museum in North America. Located just a few minutes away from the University Avenue, the Takara Sake Company has been in business since 1842, and its current locale offers an in-depth look at how the beverage is made, featuring sake-making instruments and tools that date back to the early twentieth century.4
Beyond learning the ins and outs of sake production, you’ll also have the opportunity to sample Takara’s offerings in the museum’s tasting room. If you’re so inclined, you can even bring a bottle home with you—or if you’re feeling generous, share with your apartment’s community!
Venture Out with Common
With its whirl of culinary and cultural influences, the potential for adventure in Berkeley is endless. Anyone looking for a truly unique community can find it here, and Common Bosco is a charming home base from which you can taste everything Berkeley has to offer.
What’s more, Common offers curated events nights for its community, introducing you to notable businesses and new friends in the area. With its central location and modern amenities (like its rooftop deck overlooking the bay), Common Bosco is a cozy last stop after a day of excitement in the city.
- Amoeba.com. Our Stores: Berkeley.https://www.amoeba.com/our-stores/
- BYC Microguides. Berkeley Telegraph District. .https://www.bravoyourcity.com/microguide/telegraph-avenue
- City of Berkeley. Berkeley Rose Garden. https://berkeleyca.gov/community-recreation/parks-recreation/parks/berkeley-rose-garden
- Atlas Obscura. Takara Sake Museum. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/takara-sake-museum