Need a vacation? Here’s how to have a break in Berkeley!

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Berkeley Farmers' Market Berkeley, CA

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Didn’t get to take a vacation from classes during the PG&E power outage? Don’t worry, the Clog has got you covered!

Now that the fall semester is already halfway over, we could all use a much-needed break from school. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving break is still just out of our reach. Here are a few ways to satiate your vacation cravings right here in Berkeley. Hopefully, these activities give you a taste of the local flavors of Berkeley and will tide you over until Thanksgiving break.

Visit a local spice shop

Regardless of whether you’re big on cooking or not, you’ll love the magical feel of a local spice shop. There are a few locations around town that you can visit, such as Lhasa Karnak Herb Company on Shattuck Avenue and Oaktown Spice Shop locations in Oakland and Albany. You can purchase fresh herbs and spices to prepare rich, flavorful recipes or sample unique tea blends or even just chat with the staff to learn more about the shops! At either location, the staff members possess an impressive amount of knowledge about spices and the different effects and benefits of the spices.

Try a local market

All right, we’ll admit it — a trip to the grocery store might not sound all that exciting at first. Berkeley Bowl, however, is loved by locals for its open-air market style with tons of fresh fruits and vegetable stands. It’s a fun little trip to take when you may only have an hour or two to spare, and you and your friends can check off your grocery list while you’re at it! Also, they have a café that you can hang out at or utilize as a workspace while enjoying delicious baked goods and a cup of coffee!

Visit the farmers market on Center Street

Just a block away from Trader Joe’s in Downtown Berkeley, catch a taste of the local farmers market every Saturday morning! Vendors include Algorithm Coffee, a Thai tea stand, fresh poultry, egg, and fish vendors, bakers, freshly made hummus and flatbreads, a wide variety of fresh produce stands, flower stands and more! It opens at 10 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m., so swing by for breakfast or lunch!

Roam around Fourth Street (and try some soufflé pancakes!)

In the hustle-and-bustle of Downtown Berkeley and Southside, many of us seldom branch out to College Avenue or Fourth Street (unless you live by there). Fourth Street is home to a variety of name-brand shops, restaurants, coffee houses and clothing stores! Our favorite places are the new and ultra-trendy Café Reveille (which feels like stepping into downtown Los Angeles for a minute) and Bette’s Oceanview Diner, which doesn’t actually have an ocean view, but was featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” (we love the banana rum pancakes!).

Bookstore-hop around Berkeley

If you want to try something a little different, lose yourself in a world of books for a little while! Take a look at some of our past articles on great bookstores around town. Try out a few new novels, pick up some posters or simply enjoy the world of material at your fingertips for an hour or two.

Hopefully, these activities give you a sense of vacation to last you until Thanksgiving break rolls around. We hope these ideas give you and your friends some inspiration and help you check off your Berkeley bucket lists! Have fun, be safe and as always, go Bears! Congratulations on making it halfway through the semester.

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].