- Where to Stay
- Things to Do
- Food & Drinks
- Maps & Neighborhoods
- Meetings & Weddings
- Plan Your Trip
Coming to Berkeley for a campus or sports event? Here's where to stay.
Less than 10 minutes from the University of California, Berkeley and 20 minutes from Oakland International Airport, the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina is a convenient place to stay if you’ve come for a meeting or event, or have business to attend to on campus. Just head west on University Drive until you arrive at the Berkeley Marina. From the busy streets of downtown Berkeley, the landscape expands to the San Francisco cityscape, wisps of dreamy clouds, and cormorants soaring by.
When you arrive at the Doubletree Berkeley Marina, valet park the car (it’s only $2 more than self-park) and ask for a room in Building One, where the lobby, gift shop, and Berkeley Boathouse restaurant is located. That way if you need to heat up leftovers, you won’t need to exit your building. Just stroll over to the gift shop where there’s a microwave, paper plates, and plastic utensils. Be sure to ask for their complimentary bottles of water and freshly baked cookies, which are served warm with chocolate chips ready to melt in your mouth.
All first-floor waterfront rooms have glass sliding doors that exit onto stretches of lawn, boats, palm trees, and gravel beaches where you can rent kayaks, SUPs, and windsurf gear. You can also stroll north into Cesar Chavez Park, for views of three bridges (the Golden Gate, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay, and Richmond), two islands (Alcatraz and Angel) and seabirds feeding on restored wetland habitats. Or stroll south to Shorebird Park Nature Center, the first municipal building in America constructed with bales of straw. To power their 200-gallon saltwater aquarium and 200-gallon freshwater ecosystem as well as all their computers and lighting, they use a solar photovoltaic electrical system. Every April, the Berkeley Bay Festival is held at Shorebird Park to celebrate Earth Day with live music, food, free boat rides, exhibits, and educational activities.
Because it was cloudy and rainy the day we stayed at the Doubletree, we appreciated their indoor pool where my 10-year-old and 7-year-old worked on their freestyle. There is no deep end as this pool is 5.15 feet all throughout. If you stand at the bottom of the steps entering the pool, you’ll see an anomaly. One metal handlebar might look like it’s higher than the other or one might be submerged and the other isn’t. If you’re facing north or the hot tub, the water level is slanted towards the northwest end. Something to keep in mind if you are teaching your kid how to swim and expecting to walk from one end of the pool to the other. At about three quarters across, I couldn’t reach the floor of the pool.
We used Berkeley Bucks to grab dinner at Gaumenkitzel, owned and operated by Anja and Kai Voth, a Hamburg couple who cook German slow food, meaning “handcrafting dishes with traditional cooking methods without microwave or deep fryer, fresh organic and sustainable ingredients, and cruelty free animal products.” The name of the restaurant is something the chef’s grandfather always said about her grandmother’s cooking, meaning “tickle your taste buds.”
As the mother of a child who is allergic to dairy, shellfish, nuts, and eggs, I was thrilled to discover that my daughter could enjoy their beef goulash with rice. The rest of us devoured their schnitzel with braised red cabbage and spätzle. If you like mushrooms, definitely go for the Pork Jägerschnitzel.
Guest blog post by award-winning author Leslie Hsu Oh. Born in North Carolina to parents of Chinese descent and adopted by Tlingit (Łingit) of the Raven moiety, Copper River Clan, House of the Owl and Navajo of the Red Running into Water People Clan, Leslie's Navajo name means Journey with Caring, Journey to Bring Out Gifts and that’s the crux of her artistic intention, a storyteller that serves a place or people. Leslie has degrees in biology, ethnobotany, a masters in creative writing and masters in public health from Harvard. Her work (photographs and words) appears in Alaska Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Parenting Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, Sierra Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Vogue, and more. Her website is https://www.lesliehsuoh.com/.