Top things to do

Top Choice Californian in Berkeley

Chez Panisse

Foodies come to worship here at the church of Alice Waters, the inventor of California cuisine. It’s in a lovely Arts and Crafts house in the Gourmet Ghetto, and you can choose to pull out all the stops with a prix-…
University in Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

'Cal' is one of the country's top universities, California's oldest university (1866), and home to 35,000 diverse, politically conscious students. The Visitor Services Center has info and leads free campus tours (re…
Basketball in Oakland

Golden State Warriors

If it’s hoops you must have, then it’s the Warriors for you. This team has a long history, starting in Philadelphia in 1947. In 1962 it moved to San Francisco and played in the Cow Palace as the San Francisco Warrio…
Top Choice Bar in Oakland

Café Van Kleef

Order a greyhound (with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice) and take a gander at the profusion of antique musical instruments, fake taxidermy heads, sprawling formal chandeliers and bizarro ephemera clinging to every s…
Cafe in Oakland

Blue Bottle Coffee Company

The java gourmands queue up here for single-origin espressos and what some consider the best coffee in the country, and the very origin-specific beans are roasted on site. Its newer cafe in the historic WC Morse Bui…
Top Choice Japanese in Berkeley

Ippuku

Specializing in shōchū, a distilled alcohol often made from rice or barley, Japanese expats gush that Ippuku reminds them of izakaya (Japanese pubs serving food) back in Tokyo. Choose from a menu of skewered meats a…
Top Choice Museum in Oakland

Oakland Museum of California

Near the southern end of the lake and one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, this museum has rotating exhibitions on artistic and scientific themes, and excellent permanent galleries dedicated to the state’s …
Top Choice Landmark in Berkeley

Campanile

Officially called Sather Tower, the Campanile was modeled on St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. The 328ft spire offers fine views of the Bay Area, and at the top you can stare up into the carillon of 61 bells, ranging fr…
Museum in Oakland

Chabot Space & Science Center

Stargazers will go gaga over this science and technology center in the Oakland Hills with loads of exhibits on subjects such as space travel and eclipses, as well as cool planetarium shows. When the weather’s good, …
Theater in Oakland

Fox Theater

A phoenix arisen from the urban ashes, this restored 1928 art deco stunner adds dazzle to downtown and is a cornerstone of the happening Uptown theater district. It’s a popular concert venue for national and interna…