Welcome to Berkeley
A cultured paradise where art and community thrive.
Due east from the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and sheltered to the west by the scenic Berkeley Hills, the city of Berkeley is internationally known for its status as a culturally vibrant, intellectual city of free-thinkers. Berkeley is just 20 minutes from San Francisco, borders the urban bustle of Oakland, and is surrounded by natural beauty.
Incorporated in 1878, Berkeley owes much of its modern splendor to the establishment of the University of California Berkeley campus, which was named after the philosopher George Berkeley and founded in 1873. Since then, the town has stood as a center for change and growth during times of unrest, and its modern culture of progressivism is a testament to its early roots in education.
The residential architecture in Berkeley includes anywhere from lavish and historic Italianate and Tudor homes, contemporary and modern luxury houses, expansive Spanish Colonial Revivals, and so much more, all with the gorgeous views surrounding the city.
What to Love
- Ambitious and innovative theatre at the world-renowned Berkeley Reparatory Theatre
- International atmosphere and highly diverse population
- Proximity to San Francisco
People & Lifestyle
Berkeley is one of the most liberally progressive and well-educated cities in the country, and its population is replete with eclectic individuals, artists, and innovators. The culture is dominated by the atmosphere of UC Berkeley, and the area remains mostly educational and residential. The citizens here trend towards younger ages, and Berkeley is ideally suited to young professionals and families looking to engage in the community.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Shop at unique and sophisticated local stores on 4th Street in Berkeley
, a mecca for retail and restaurants for those who love to find distinct experiences and products. The stores here include brand names like Apple
in addition to the many one-of-a-kind shops lining the vibrant streets. For the best imported wine around, make sure to visit Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
, where exceptional bottles from France and Spain are chosen with the utmost care and brought right to the Golden Coast.
But retail isn’t all there is to Berkeley, and you’d be remiss if you didn’t stop in any one of the many incredible restaurants the city has to offer. Connoisseurs of locally-sourced fare will love the dishes at Chez Panisse
, where lunch, dinner, and dessert all have a taste of excellence. Another paragon of sustainability, Gather
has a reputation for its support of local farmers and producers and goes as far as locally sourcing everything from grains to wines. Their menu features savory burgers and fries, and plenty of nutritionally inclusive options.
Things to Do
Head to Codornices Park
to check out one of the first parks built in the city, with a history that dates back to 1915. The area offers recreational and play options for the kids, such as baseball fields and playgrounds, in addition to trails, a vista overlook, and picnic areas. The jewel of the regional park system, Tilden Regional Park
, lies adjacent to the city and has over 2,000 acres to explore. Tilden is also home to the Regional Parks Botanical Gardens
, where the beauty of California’s native plant life is on full display.
Berkeley is home to many excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Berkeley Rose Waldorf School, PK-3, well-rated private school
- Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, PK-8, well-rated private school
- The Crowden School, 3-8, well-rated private school
- Julia Morgan School for Girls, 6-8, well-rated private school
- East Bay School for Boys, 6-8, well-rated private school
- Maybeck High School, 9-12, highly-rated private high school
- Bentley School, K-12, highly-rated private school
- University of California Berkeley, highly-ranked public university excelling in law programs