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-…
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…
Top Choice Japanese in Berkeley


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


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…
Market in Berkeley

North Berkeley Farmers Market

Pick up some organic produce or tasty prepared food at North Berkeley's weekly farmers market, operating year-round.
Historic Site in East Bay

John Muir Residence

The John Muir residence sits in a pastoral patch of farmland in bustling, modern Martinez. Though Muir wrote of sauntering the High Sierra with a sack of tea and bread, it may be a shock for those familiar with the …
Square in Oakland

Jack London Square

The area where writer and adventurer Jack London once raised hell now bears his name, and recent spasms of redevelopment have added a new cinema complex, condo development, excellent restaurants and some eclectic wa…
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…
Street in Berkeley

Telegraph Avenue

Telegraph Ave has traditionally been the throbbing heart of studentville in Berkeley, the sidewalks crowded with undergrads, postdocs and youthful shoppers squeezing their way past throngs of vendors, buskers and ho…