Unique places to explore and rekindle your love of Berkeley

Ciecie Chen/File

As we all know, being a student at UC Berkeley is quite time-consuming, and sometimes we forget how awesome Berkeley actually is. We all know the best froyo shop and where to grab an epic burrito, but what else? With its location and culture, there are so many cool — and free!— things to do around the city that you simply can’t do around the average college campus. To help bump up your appreciation of our eclectic town, here are a few places you should stop by.

Berkeley Playhouse

This place definitely isn’t new and is clearly worn around the edges. But rather than being beaten down by neglect, it’s been worn down by talent and engaged audiences. Berkeley Playhouse has five productions per season, with each show running for at least six consecutive weekends. Here, audience members can see a show with multi-cultural, multi-generational and nontraditional cast members that aren’t usually seen in classic plays. The average ticket price runs around $22, making this a great place to plan a fun, cozy and comfortable night out at the theater with your friends!

UC Botanical Garden

This is a “hidden” 34-acre treasure for any gardener and plant enthusiast. From succulents and cacti to other exotic species of plants, you can spend at least two hours here, seeing a fabulous array of every plant imaginable. The Botanical Garden is well worth the trek up to the Berkeley hills. Plus, cool plants and cardio will release all your stress!

Berkeley Marina

The Berkeley Marina is a magical place for everyone, whether you’re looking for a great place to run or scenic route along the water where you can casually stroll. You can also come here during the day and have a picnic. If that’s not good enough for you, watch the sun set with your friends or go at night and enjoy the city lights. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge also makes for a very romantic atmosphere. Do we hear Cupid calling?

The Musical Offering Café

While this may not be the best place to study, the Musical Offering Café is a great place to socialize with your fellow music lovers. You can grab some food, spend time looking for your favorite classical CDs and even enjoy live jazz music every Thursday afternoon. Plus, the beautiful art on the walls is for sale and affordable.

SockPop Berkeley

You’re probably wondering why we listed a sock store as a fun Berkeley activity, but hear us out. SockPop sells only one thing: fun socks. These socks are decorated in animals, presidents, corgis, hot sauces, avocados and any other kind of weird, interesting print. The temporary shop on Elmwood opened on Oct. 1 and will be open for three months. Whether you want to go pick out matching socks with your friends or just want to see socks with wiener dogs wrapped in Christmas lights, SockPop is a fun place to check out. Just remember, it won’t be there for long!

So go forth, Bears, and grab your crazy socks, see a play and explore our city!

Contact Dorsa Moslehi at [email protected].