Mini-trip ideas to get away from Berkeley

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Maggie Bell/Staff

It’s that point in the semester. We all feel it. With the weariness of midterms dragging on and the grunge of Berkeley seeping into your soul, you start to question if you can really carry on like this for another two months. But no worries, there’s a cure. We at the Clog have provided some fun-filled weekend (or day) getaways all less than two hours away from our beloved campus.

Lake Anza — 15 minutes away

The closest of the list, Lake Anza is located in Tilden Regional Park and is only a 15-minute drive away. Perfect for a sunny day, Lake Anza offers the classic lake day vibes that us landlocked folks knew only too well growing up. Dust off your spikeball sets and prepare for an afternoon of country music and sunburns.

Tip: This lake is totally scootable if you drive a scooter (or borrow a friend’s!)

Muir Woods — 45 minutes away

For all you nature junkies craving an outdoorsy escape, Muir Woods is a must-visit. Packed full of different hiking trails, this national park offers scenery ranging from breathtaking coastal views to the world’s tallest Redwoods that California is famous for.

Tip: Pack a lunch for a noontime picnic or some trail mix to fully embrace your inner hiker.

San Francisco — 25 minutes away

Though perhaps painfully obvious, it was too good to leave the city leave off this list. From Baker Beach to Union Street to the Embarcadero, there’s an endless array of possibilities just a short BART ride away.

Tip: Pay a visit to Tartine Bakery just off the 16th St. Mission BART station to taste some of the best pastries in the country. 

Santa Cruz — 1.5 hours away

Maybe not ideal if you’re looking to escape the “grunge” factor of Berkeley, but an excellent option if you want to increase your “fun” factor. Learn to surf at Cowell’s Beach or play tourist for a day at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and get yourself a chocolate-dipped cone. You can thank us later.

Tip: Hit Chill Out Cafe on 41st St. for a dank breakfast burrito anytime before 3 p.m.

Half Moon Bay — 1.5 hours away

Another coastal escape, Half Moon Bay offers a slightly different take on the NorCal Bach scene than Santa Cruz. A windswept coastline lined with picturesque cliffs, this beach town is something out of a Coastal Living Magazine. Besides the natural beauty of it all, Half Moon Bay also offers unique activities from kayaking and horseback riding to glass-blowing classes.

Tip: Stop by Sam’s Chowder House and order a bowl of top-notch clam chowder because #NorCal.

Napa — 50 minutes away

The world renowned heart of Wine Country, Napa is the place to pretend that you’re a sophisticated adult who doesn’t usually live off of packaged ramen and candy. Gather a crew and spend an afternoon wine tasting your way through the valley.

Tip: Recommended for the 21+ crowd unless you enjoy sipping vineyard water.

Walnut Creek — 20 minutes away

A quick trip up the freeway, Walnut Creek is a good day trip option for an afternoon of shopping and munching. Cruise the streets and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere to remind yourself that there’s a world outside of hungover college kids in sweats.

Tip: Get a cup of the traditional Thai dessert, pan-rolled ice cream, from CHALOGY Tea Bar while you’re there because cool-shaped ice cream is obviously more fun to eat than regular-shaped ice cream.

We know we’re all hitting that halfway point in the semester, so hopefully these weekend getaways can help us push through to finals!

Contact Maggie Bell at [email protected].

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