10 Free Things to do Around Berkeley

One of the hardest things to do personally is spending money. Especially if you’re a broke college student. Fortunately, Berkeley has tons of free things for you to do in the area! Here are 10 free things to do around Berkeley that I have done and loved doing.

1. The Famous Big C Hike

Hike up to the Big C for a breathtaking view of Berkeley, San Fran, and the Golden Gate Bridge. The hike takes less than 30 minutes and even has a swing three fourths of the way up! The hike is easy, but it is all uphill. However, multiple stops might help you appreciate the gorgeous scenery around you even more. The start of the trail is located in the parking lot behind UC Berkeley’s Unit 4, Foothill, on Hearst Ave. There’s always people doing the hike so don’t worry about getting lost! I highly recommend doing the hike at sunset.

2. Chilling on Memorial Glade

Another UC Berkeley tradition is relaxing on Memorial Glade on campus. The glade is perfect for afternoon naps, picnics and people-watching, or a game of Frisbee! If you have a hammock there are plenty of trees on the north side of the glade to hang around on. A plus is that if you are there at the hour, you can hear the beautiful chimes of the Campanile, also known as Sather Tower.

3. Nature Excursion at UC Botanical Gardens

Love plants? Need to feel more flower power after the California Drought? Come up to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens to see the thousands of flowers, plants and trees from hundreds of different parts of the world. For non- UC Berkeley students the garden is free the first Wednesday of each month! My favorite part of the gardens is the Redwood forests. Fun fact: people have their weddings there!

4. Stroll Down Telegraph Ave.

Berkeley is also famous for Telegraph Ave which has wall murals, fun coffee shops, and my favorite record store, Ameoba Records. A lot of locals set up street shops to sell handmade jewelry, art, or tie-dye shirts that are really cool to look at. Telegraph Ave stretches all the way to Oakland, so it’s a nice historic journey to take if you’re down for a 4.5 mile walk.

5. Volunteer for the Berkeley Humane Society

Free can also mean philanthropic! Here’s a great way to give back to the Berkeley community whether you’re from here or not, volunteering for the Berkeley Human Society is a great way to spend your time. The Berkeley Humane Society is a shelter for rescue and abandoned dogs who need lots of love! As a volunteer you can walk the dogs to the Marina or around Ceasar Chavez Park.

6. Visit the Berkeley Marina

If you’re looking for less nature-y activities, I recommend the Berkeley Marina! The Marina is a great place to get a breath of fresh air and listen to the sound of the waves. You’ll be right along the bay and have a perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Marina is also a picture perfect spot for the sunset. Since it’s by the water, I recommend bringing some light layers as it can get pretty chilly.

7. Sit on Sproul Plaza

Although many students try to avoid Sproul at all costs, there are a lot of cool events that happen on the plaza! In front of Sproul Hall you can watch dance teams practice their choreographs. By Sather Gate you can listen and groove with Acapella teams singing their hearts out. At night, there are drum circles keeping the long Berkeley nights lively. Sproul Plaza is a great place to people-watch while the world goes by.

8. Sunbathe on Alameda Beach

A bit farther out is Alameda Beach. NorCal beaches are nothing like SoCal, but this beach is somewhat close. The water is a bit colder compared to Southern California, but the sand and the sounds are exactly the same. It’s a great little place to go to get away from Berkeley and into some nice beach vibes.

9. Climb in Indian Rock Park

Indian Rock is located in North Berkeley within a quiet neighborhood. It’s definitely not a hike and the rock is more like a boulder. Indian Rock is quiet, peaceful, and a great place to take a date for free! The neighborhood surrounding is absolutely gorgeous as well.

10.Museum of Vertebrae Zoology

For academia oriented people, the Museum of Vertebrae Zoology is a fun place to check out dinosaur bones! Right at the entrance is a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex with a Pterodactyl above it. The Museum is located inside the Valley of Life Sciences Building on UC Berkeley’s campus so you even have the opportunity to sit into a 500 person lecture! Within the museum is also the Biological and Natural Sciences Library.

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