What to do if bored, lonely in Berkeley

Oakland Museum of California
W. Tipton/Creative Commons

Whether you’re in Berkeley taking classes or working at the perfect internship, chances are that most of your friends are back home and you’re close to falling into a cycle of boredom and Netflix. In order to conquer that boredom and subsequent loneliness, we suggest getting to better know the city in which you live for the majority of the year. During the school year, we have little time to enjoy many of the interesting and exciting places in Berkeley. Summer offers the unique opportunity to have the time to explore the city. We at the Clog are here to help you plan your explorative Berkeley summer, whether you’re alone or have a friend or two who can tag along.

painted pottery

1. Take a class for fun (a novel idea).

The summer is one of the only times when you can take a class that isn’t offered at UC Berkeley and completely “intellectual.” Across Berkeley are places that offer cheap cooking, rock-climbing or pottery-making classes. Oftentimes, there are student discounts, or you can check Groupon for really great deals. Don’t be afraid to go alone: You’re sure to meet plenty of interesting people during these classes.

We recommend checking out Brushstrokes Studio — which offers a variety of painting and pottery classes as well as a pretty great pottery-painting deal — off Fourth Street. All you have to do is pay the price for the unpainted pottery (Brushstrokes has everything from mugs to picture frames) — then you can use all of the store’s painting supplies.

Katherine Velicki/Staff

2. Visit Tilden Regional Park.

Despite its close location and the easy access, many of us  haven’t yet checked out Tilden Regional Park. The park spans more than 2,000 acres, which includes Lake Anza, a botanical garden, a carousel, a steam train and enough hiking trails to last you the summer. Tilden Park is just a bus ride away, but during the busy school year, students rarely have time to make the trek.

Lake Anza is open only from May 30 to Sept. 13 and has a $3.50 entrance fee. Only those of us still around can enjoy the lake atmosphere, which cannot be found anywhere else in Berkeley, especially not during the school year.

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens

3. UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley

The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley is free for students, so now is the time to go. As things always tend to pop up during our busy semesters, we never seem to make it to the gardens. Now we have no excuse. It’s the summer — probably the best to visit a garden — so we really urge you to go.

The garden offers a free docent-led tour Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Take the UC Berkeley H-line shuttle Monday through Friday.

Oakland Museum of California

4. Visit the Oakland Museum of California.

(OK, so obviously, the Oakland Museum of California, or OMCA, isn’t in Berkeley — it’s in Oakland. But Oakland is right next to Berkeley and full of fascinating places to visit; OMCA is just one of them.)

OMCA celebrates the art, history and natural science that make California unique. Whether you’re a California native or plan to be in California only for the duration of your UC Berkeley education, OMCA offers events and exhibits that are incredibly informative.

Check out the “Who is Oakland?” exhibit, which closes July 12. The exhibit includes the art of a variety of local artists and explores the complex history and culture of Oakland.

Admission is free the first Sunday of every month.

Cal Sailing Club

5. Take advantage of free sailboat rides offered by the Cal Sailing Club.

Have you ever wanted to sail but didn’t have any idea where to start? The Cal Sailing Club has got exactly what you seek. The club offers free rides every month, and the best time to take advantage of this opportunity is during the summer, when the weather is not cold or rainy — a rarity in the Bay Area. We are already planning our summer sailing adventure; maybe we’ll see you there.

On June 14, July 19 and Aug. 16, head down to the Berkeley Marina. From 1 to 4 p.m. on these days, experienced sailors will take you around the bay.

Image source: Linda HooverW. Tipton and tiarescott under Creative Commons

Contact Sophia Zepeda at [email protected].