Travel Tuesday: getting intimate with the Berkeley Bay

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It’s a sunny, cloudless Saturday in Berkeley and you’re in no mood to start the morning with a pile of homework. You’ve hiked to the Big C a thousand times, and surrendering yourself to the dogs and Frisbee-lovers of Memorial Glade won’t satisfy that craving for sunshine.

Our solution? Check out the Berkeley Marina! You’ve probably seen the Golden Gate Bridge from campus or the Fire Trails, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about standing within inches of the bay. As you stroll down a lengthy wooden pier, San Francisco is illuminated before your eyes. Rhythmic teal waves splash under your feet. A colony of polished sailboats waits patiently for invisible sailors. The moist, salty air collects on your skin and hair. For a moment, if you’re lucky, you might even forget about that midterm next week.

The Reward:

Spending time at arm’s length from the sea is a treat in itself, but for those of you who need more convincing, we’ll mention a few cool things to do down there. Apart from diving into the water, the Berkeley Pier is arguably the most immersive way to view our part of the bay. On this half-mile-long wooden walkway, only water lies between you and San Francisco’s skyscrapers, Angel Island and the hills of Marin.

If you want a more extensive and active tour of the shoreline, jogging or biking the Bay Trail is an alluring option. This thin asphalt trail branches from the Marina’s entrance and skirts the water for miles. Flat, safe and incredibly scenic, the Bay Trail is perfect for a casual walk with friends or a relaxing bike ride (compared to your hike to class, this path is cake!).

The Trek:

While running three miles to the Marina from campus can be an invigorating workout, there are a handful of easier ways to get here. The 51B runs all the way down University Avenue, so with a little planning, this option requires the least amount of physical exertion. Biking is also a feasible option, especially for those of you planning to conquer the Bay Trail. Any street parallel to University Avenue will lead you towards the Marina and following the pedestrian bridge near the end of Addison Street is your safest passage across the I-80.

You can reach the Berkeley Pier during your bike ride or walk by continuing on University Avenue past the sailboats, playgrounds and Shorebird Park.

Our favorite section of the Bay Trail connects with the pedestrian bridge, so crossing University Avenue immediately after the I-80 will point you in the right direction. Be sure to study our map before embarking on the Bay Trail; some of the street crossings can be confusing without guidance.

Enjoy your adventures, and we hope you love this perspective of the bay!

Contact Katherine Velicki at [email protected] 

Image Source: Katherine Velicki, The Daily Californian