Earth Day is quickly approaching, and maybe it’s all the “Berkeley hippie” nonsense finally taking a toll on you, but you feel like you should celebrate … but how? Well, fear not, dear reader, the Clog has you covered with a list of the best Bay Area sites to spend your day appreciating Mother Nature.
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is considered a top-10 aquarium on the planet for good reason. With almost 200 exhibits ranging from adorable sea otters to graceful jellyfish, this sea life wonderland has enough “nature” to fulfill all of your wildest Earth Day dreams. Not to mention, it’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to ocean conservation and the education of marine lovers young and old. What’s not to love?
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
If you are a lover of all nature and feel like you can’t limit yourself to just one habitat on this sacred day, hit up the California Academy of Sciences. The Academy has a planetarium, aquarium and a four-story living rainforest contained within its walls. Mic drop.
Botanical gardens, Berkeley
Just up the hill from the Berkeley campus, the botanical gardens are a walkable destination where you can truly embrace the Earth Day spirit by avoiding contributing any car emissions or air pollution altogether. The UC garden is regarded as one of the most diverse gardens in the world with more than different 100,000 plants on its premises.
BONUS** it’s free for us humble, broke student folk.
Berkeley Marina, Berkeley
The Berkeley Marina is another local yet ideal place to celebrate Earth Day festivities. The Cal Adventure club offers rental services for paddle boards, sailboats and other aquatic equipment at a student discount. Besides water sports, there are also plenty of walking trails through gentle sloping hills and benches to stop, sit and enjoy the view of the bay.
Oakland Zoo, Oakland
If you are all for appreciating the natural wonders but prefer to have a safety fence between you and the animals you are observing, the Oakland Zoo is definitely the move. Pack a picnic and get in touch with your wild side when you visit the 490-acre zoo, where you can see more than 600 animals all in one day.
Twin Peaks, San Francisco
For the less athletically inclined, the Twin Peaks “hike” is a good Earth Day option for you. With a parking lot conveniently located at the top of the hill, all that is required to reach the view is a short climb up the final steps to the actual peak. Both peaks boast a 365-degree panoramic view of the surrounding city, the bay below and of course the Golden Gate Bridge.
Marin Headlands, Marin
Hiker alert!! The Marin Headlands is yet another bay gem that offers a different viewpoint than our familiar Berkeley streets. The Headlands boasts a multitude of trails for different hiker preferences to accommodate everyone from the “just here for the Instagram” hikers to the switchback enthusiasts.
Dolores Park, San Francisco
Some may say basic; we prefer the term iconic. What better place to spend your Earth Day than out on the green and among the trees — in more way than one. Blazin’ or not, Dolores Park is the spot to celebrate Mother Nature and get in some pre-finals summer vibes while enjoying the sunshine.
Happy Earth Day, Bears! Stay au naturale!