As October ended, the autumn weather officially began. The air is now crisp, the leaves are changing colors and sweater weather is here. Maybe you’re glad to say goodbye to the warm months. Or you’re from the East Coast and think “cold” by California standards is silly. Or maybe you’re not a fan of the new weather and are trying to avoid it all together. Whatever it is, we’ve come up with a list of places on campus that are either cozy indoor getaways or perfect for basking in the autumn weather outside.
1. Haas School of Business Courtyard
The Haas School of Business might have beautiful buildings, but one of the best parts about the area during this time of the year is the courtyard located in the middle. The leaves in the yard have already started changing color, throwing the autumn vibes into full blast. Grab a hot cup of coffee at Fifo Cafe, and enjoy it seated with friends in the courtyard.
2. North Gate Hall Courtyard
Unless you’ve had a class in or around North Gate Hall, you might not even know this courtyard exists. The wooden building wraps around the picnic tables in the yard with twinkly lights and red-leaved trees hanging just overhead, giving the area a picturesque feel. Qualcomm is just a few paces away if you want to grab a cup of tea to keep you company.
3. East Asian Library
The natural aesthetic of the East Asian Library is warm and inviting, and the top floor is especially comfortable. Go upstairs to the top level and walk towards the windows. A line of soft arm chairs is set up facing the scenery. It’s the perfect spot to admire nature, especially since the leaves are starting to change colors. Bonus: if you go all the way to the back right corner of the top floor, there’s a bench built into the side of the building set up against a big window.
4. Morrison Reading Room
You might have heard people refer to it as the Harry Potter room because the warm wood and red couches remind us of the Gryffindor Commons. The lighting is slightly dimmer than most libraries, the couches are comfy and there’s an abundance of footrests. All this combines to make one of the coziest rooms on campus. But be careful of being so comfy that you’ll fall asleep, the library student worker might have to wake you up, and that’s just embarrassing.
5. Campanile Esplanade
The Campanile is beautiful all year round, but during the fall, the esplanade’s trees start to get a golden glow. The wooden benches are a perfect place to take a seat and breathe in the crisp autumn air. Bring a reading, plug into your headphones and forget about your stresses as the most beautiful monument on campus hangs over your head, reminding you that you’re happy to be here.
6. Yali’s Cafe
Another on-campus cafe makes the list, because there’s nothing better than a warm drink on a cold (by California standards) day. Yali’s is located at Stanley Hall, which makes it a perfect getaway if you’re desperate for coffee on Northside, but Qualcomm is too crowded. You have the option of grabbing a table inside to stay toasty or sitting on the patio outside if you want some fresh air.
7. Ishi Court
It’s almost impossible to find the entrance to Ishi Court from the inside of Dwinelle, so try entering from the outside on the side of the building closest to the Valley Life Sciences Building. Ishi is one of the best places to enjoy the weather, because the red walls and healthy trees create a warm, natural atmosphere. The courtyard lets you enjoy the fall weather without having to deal with all the wind, since the walls block it off.
8. Common Grounds
Whether you’re a first year or you’re just confused, we’ve all gotten lost in Dwinelle before. If you don’t know where Common Ground Cafe is already, you probably won’t believe us as we try to explain that there’s a cafe on the top floor of Dwinelle. The cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves Peet’s coffee and plenty of snacks that are perfect for grabbing in between class. The area is surrounded by large windows, which lets in just enough sun for study lighting and toasty temperatures.
9. Student Learning Center Writing Corner
Since the SLC has been remodeled, the writing corner is no longer an actual corner. Still, the small area is distinct from the rest of the SLC because it trades the hard seats with inadequate backrests for black leather couches that are so comfortable you won’t want to get up. The huge window walls that surround the SLC let you peak out into nature, and you can feel like you’re not suffocating indoors without having to actually go outside and deal with the weather.
10. Eshleman Hall
We’ve waited long enough for the Lower Sproul Project to be finished, and both the MLK Student Union and Eshleman are finally open. Camp out in the many study spaces or outdoor seating areas in either building. There are power outlets, bathrooms and even a few food vendors. There’s really no reason you’d have to leave. And if you get all your studying done, you can head over to Bear’s Lair for a celebratory drink.