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Tours are great ways to get introduced to a new area in a short time. Even when you already know an area, an in-depth tour of an attraction can be interesting and enlightening.
Consider these stimulating tours of top Berkeley places. For details, please visit the appropriate website.
Led by student guides, this 90-minute walking tour gives an overview of the campus and highlights history and architecture. All tours cover housing and dining, academic structure, applying to Berkeley, undergraduate colleges and graduate schools, and safety and health. Some additional specialized tours are also available, including an admissions tour and residence hall tours.
Located in lush Strawberry Canyon, this 34-acre garden is home to more than 13,000 different types of plants organized by continent of origin. Noteworthy sights include a rhododendron dell, a redwood grove, and the world’s largest collection of California native plants.
This tour visits the Molecular Foundry, Advanced Light Source, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Scientists lap it up. For the rest of us, information is presented in a form we can understand, and, also, the ride up and back on the Lab Shuttle Bus is fun.
Established in 1940, this 10-acre garden located in rambling Tilden Regional Park collects, grows, displays, and preserves native California plants. Tours usually last about an hour and are appropriate for both adults and children.
Designed by architect Julia Morgan--who graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1894 with a B.S. honors degree in civil engineering, and who famously designed Hearst Castle--the magnificent landmark Berkeley City Club features Moorish and Italian Gothic elements and is decorated with oriental rugs and vintage furniture. It is a visual delight. A guest room can be seen by request if one is available. Tours last 45 minutes.
North Berkeley Food Tour and Downtown Berkeley Brunch Tour
Edible Excursions' walking tours focus on cuisine. One covers the justly famous foodie mecca known in North Shattuck, which is home to Alice Waters’ world-renowned Chez Panisse restaurant. Tours visit the historic Cheese Board Collective to sample pizza and gourmet cheese, the original Peet’s Coffee, and more. The second tour stops in at several downtown restaurants during Sunday brunch to sample specialties and enjoy behind-the-scenes access to local chefs.
Historical points of interest are highlighted, and many historical images are included for each location on this app. Many people who were here back in the day tell stories, and several thematic tours are also an option.
Award-winning travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers is the author of 18 books, the editor of five books, and the mother of two children--with whom she has been through the road wars and in the travel trenches first-hand. Ms. Meyers is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and resides in Berkeley, California. Her website is https://berkeleyandbeyond2.com/ and she blogs at Weekend Adventures Update.