“The Weed Capital of America”, California is well known for the historic gold rush. However, that is not the single reason, celebrities, wine, beautiful beaches, Hollywood, Disney Land, San Francisco Zoo and other attractions make it one of the most visited state of America. Some of the most famous cities of California are Berkeley,San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno, Sacramento, Oakland, Santa Ana, Anaheim and others. In this article, Berkeley will be the center of attention. Berkeley is a beautiful city located on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in California. It is one of the less populated cities of California yet one of the most visited. There are around 1 million people residing here. Berkeley is mostly famous among tourists for University of California, parks, museums and gardens. The history of Berkeley gives the glimpse of 17th century when the site of Berkeley was a territory of Ohlone people. European people arrived with the De Anza Expedition in 1776 and established the Presidio of San Francisco at the entrance of San Francisco Bay. A part of Contra Costa County became the Berkeley city later. 19th century was the boom period for the city when private schools, colleges, hospitals, industries, railroad and farms were established here. After that, Berkeley fought the Great Depression of 1930 and some earthquakes. Today, Berkeley has grown to a great economy, a cultural place and a famous tourist attraction of California. Berkeley is the first city in US to proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals on September 23 and first city to mail education pamphlets on AIDS to every household of the city. Berkeley is named amongst the greenest and most sustainable cities in United States. Berkeley also won the Healthy Communities 2013 Achievement Award last year.
Berkeley has a cool summer Mediterranean climate with quite dry summers. The temperature varies from -4 degrees to 30 degrees throughout the year. January is the coldest month and September is the hottest month. The weather gets cooler during July and August because of the breezes coming from sea. Most rain is experienced in January and precipitation is also high during that period. The city does not see snowfall easily but higher area like the Berkeley Hills experiences snowfall very often. The best time to visit Berkeley is between March to July.
How to get here?
Berkeley does not have its own international airport but it is well served by some nearby airports. The nearest airport is Oakland International Airport, located just 15 miles from the city center, which receives international and domestic flights from all major airline carriers. Other airports are San Francisco International Airport, located just 25 miles from Berkeley and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport which is located just 48 miles from downtown. You can easily reach Berkeley downtown from any of these airports by taxi, cabs, rental cars or airport shuttle service.
Accommodation and Food
There is a long range of lodging options in Berkeley with affordable prices for every style, occasion and budget. From B&B and apartments to Hotel and resorts, everything is withing reach in the city. One of the best luxurious choices is Double Tree by Hilton Berkeley Marina at Marina Boulevard featuring a 5000 sq. ft. ballroom, Executive Meeting Center, two pools, two whirlpools, sauna, free internet, health club and more. Other high budget options include Downtown Berkeley YMCA hotel, Hotel Durant, Hotel Shattuck Plaza and Berkeley City Club. Some budget options include Blue Sky Hotel, Rose Garden Inn, The Brown Shingle B&B, La Quinta Inn & Suites The French Hotel, Barkeley inn, Berkeley Travelodge, Downtown Berkeley Inn, Easton Hall, Golden Bear Inn, Knights Inn Berkeley, Marinna Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn and Super 8 at University Avenue.
Berkeley is simply a culinary wonderland and very famous for its tasty food. From epicurean and organic omnivore to authentic ethnic and vegetarian, every taste is easily available here. There are more than 400 restaurants around the city and some of the best choice include Au Coquelet at University Avenue featuring American food, Fatslice at Telegraph Avenue featuring nice lunch for vegetarians, HS Lordships Restaurant at Seawall Drive featuring great English cuisine and stupendous weekend brunch, Pyramid Alehouse at Gilman Street featuring fantastic beer and cocktails, Silver Pizzeria at Center Street with nice ethnic food and Top Dog at Durant Avenue featuring quality tube steaks.
The Shattuck Avenue is a large city street from north south through Berkeley and Oakland. This is one of the most visited shopping hubs in the whole country and features shops, restaurants and saloons from some international names. There are two centers of the Avenue, one near Bart and other at the upper area of city. The major attractions of Shattuck Avenue are Chez Panisse, Cheese Board Collectives, Stonemountain, ACCI Cooperative Gallery, Gourmet Cheese Shop, two cinema theatres, bookshops and splendid Berkeley Public Library.
University of California
The University of California is world famous public research University occupying 1232 acres of area. The University has some famous and historical landmarks situated on its campus. Some of the major attractions are the Lisa & Douglas Goldman Plaza, Haas School of Business innovation Lab, the Simpson Center, Water & Culture exhibits, Earth & Physical Sciences Building, the Hearst Memorial Mining Building, St. Mark’s Campanile, Sather Tower, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and California Institute for Quantitative Bioscience.