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"Berkeley is a great 'basecamp' destination for exploring the San Francisco Bay Area. Whether you are looking to treat your taste buds, stop and smell the roses, catch a play or see a band, or delve into California culture and history; inspiration for exploration starts right here in Berkeley.
The San Francisco Bay Area is California’s cultural travel capital, and Berkeley is front and center. There are several peripheral factors for this: the city is home to UC Berkeley, one of the leading educational institutions in the world; it is infused with the dynamic creative vibe of the San Francisco Bay Area; and the influence (and affluence) of the tech industry supports cultural arts in every form.
The places you'll see! In Berkeley, there is BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive), the Downtown Arts District with stage and sound nightly, Cal Performances on the UC Berkeley campus, and more. Next door, the Oakland Museum of California is a treasure of California culture past, present and future. And just across the bay, San Francisco's Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences, SFMOMA and the Asian Art Museum all deserve a deeper look.
Berkeley is a tasty place to start your exploration of California cuisine. This is where it all started, after all, in the 1970s when a young and ambitious Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse Restaurant. Start your bay area foodie adventure in Berkeley's North Shattuck district, where culinary walking tours bring you behind the counters of food artisans and restaurants. From Berkeley, it's easy to venture out to the west side of the bay to discover foodie hubs like the San Francisco Ferry Building and the Mission District.
From Berkeley it's an easy day trip to wine and rose country in Napa, Sonoma, Livermore and the Central Coast. Of course, West Berkeley is an urban wine destination with a number of award-winning wineries focusing on naturally delicious Cabernets, Shiraz, and sparkling wines. The Berkeley Wine Block is a cluster of wineries in the Gilman District.