1. Hang out with dogs at the Humane Society
The Berkeley Humane Society is always looking for people to walk and play with the cats and dogs residing at the shelter. All it takes is filling out a simple form and you’re on your way! It’s a great way to relieve stress while doing something good for the community. Plus, who doesn’t like spending time with animals?
2. Hike the Big C
Also called Charter Hill, this short hike is located right near the Cal campus. With views of Berkeley and the Bay, this is not something you should skip out on. Added bonus: there’s a swing at the top of the hill that makes for some pretty sweet pictures.
3. Take a class at the RSF
If you’re a student at Cal, then you get free entry to the on campus gym! Take advantage of the center and experience one of the many fitness classes that they offer. While some do cost extra money, many of them are free of charge and are still just as fun. Just check the schedule, throw on your workout clothes, and sweat it out! https://recsports.berkeley.edu/group-exercise/
4. Watch the sunset/sunrise
I know, it’s cheesy, but the views of the Bay from the main hill on campus make the movements of the sun seem even more extraordinary. Bring a picnic and a couple good friends and enjoy the unmatched views that we are lucky enough to have in the Bay Area.
5. Go see some flowers
There are two places that you can go to seem some incredible botanical beauty. Both the UC Botanical Garden and the Berkeley Rose Garden are easily accessible on foot and offer some unmatched chances to see some amazing flower displays.
6. Hike Grizzly Peak
Located right behind the UC Berkeley campus is the Grizzly Peak park. This area is another great reason to get outside and experience the beauty of Berkeley and the surrounding areas. I suggest going in the morning, as the trails get pretty busy as the day gets later.
7. Ecology Center Farmers’ Market
There are 3 opportunities to hit the Farmers’ Market every week, year round. Each offer a variety of locally grown foods and plants. Before you think this isn’t free, just remember that free samples are plentiful at these kinds of events! Go at the very start of the Market so you can see the best selection of what the vendors have. http://ecologycenter.org/fm/
8. Stroll Telegraph Ave.
This interesting street most definitely deserves your attention. It even is featured in Childish Gambino’s songs, so you know it must be good. Check out Peoples’ Park and walk into the various record shops and bookstores. (Amoeba Records and Shakespeare and Company are two great ones to check out).
9. Explore the Festivals
Though Berkeley itself is a really amazing town, San Francisco really takes the cake when it comes to activities and excitement. Take a bus or subway downtown to experience one of the many free festivals that happen throughout the year. From good food to new music and so much more, the culture of the city shines through these events. https://www.eventbrite.com/d/ca–san-francisco/free–events/
10. Walk Golden Gate Bridge
Once again popping over to San Fran will do you well; the Golden Gate Bridge and park are great places to hang out and walk around. Grab a friend and some running shoes and you’ll find some unmatched running trails for you to try out. Added bonus: if you have a bike, you can ride it down across the bridge to the small waterfront town that holds amazing views of the Bay.