Guide to the Bay Area: Must-Sees and Must-NOT-Sees
If you’re not a Berkeley native, and even if you are, you probably think to yourself, “there must be more than sweaty, monotonous frat parties to fill my weekends in the Bay Area!” Well, fear not, because I have compiled some of the more unique activities to keep your days fun and affordable, but also frat-free.
Pop-up museums in San Francisco – An all-time favorite for those who pride themselves on their Instagram aesthetic, temporary museums like the Color Factory and Museum of Ice Cream provide the perfect photo-ops. Not to mention that the exhibits are often sophisticated and interactive. Stay on the lookout by following social media to get tickets to these colorful events before they’re snatched up!
Food-festivals – many of us at Berkeley are foodies at heart, always looking for cute new coffee shops or late night bites. Shockingly enough, there are places to eat in the bay area besides Chipotle and Poke Bar (however, if you do love Poke, Poke Con on October 21st is a festival dedicated solely to poke vendors and other Hawaiian treats). The SoMa StrEat Food Park hosts various festivals year-round highlighting some of San Francisco’s most delicious eats: http://www.somastreatfoodpark.com.
Color Runs and other races – The Color Run, a 5k neon paint race, is coming to Alameda point on Saturday, October 28th. Featuring a foam zone and tunnel, the day is sure to be a colorful blast, literally. Other themed races like the San Francisco Lantern Run in November and Elf on the Run 5k in mid-December provide the opportunity to have fun and take cute photos while getting fit. Learn more at https://www.active.com/san-francisco-ca/running/5k.
Haight-Ashbury District - NO, this is definitely not overrated, and although it may reek of weed and hippies, there are some of the trendiest shopping spots you’ll find in SF on Haight Street. From alternative to vintage to the basics, this is an affordable and coveted shopping destination for those looking for an adventure. There are also endless colorful walls for Insta photo-shoots.
Concerts – In addition to Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, many other concert venues in SF and Oakland host popular names like Bruno Mars, Zedd, and Odesza. Although they can be slightly pricier than other events in the bay area, attending a show could make one of the best nights in your time at Berkeley if you’re into music! For those with a tighter budget, ASUC SUPERB, the Student Union Program, Entertainment, and Recreation Board at UC Berkeley, hosts weekly events like concerts that are often free—they even brought singer Vic Mensa to campus in late September!
On-Campus Events – ASUC SUPERB has held events so far this year like roller skating and silent disco for some wholesome sober fun. Facebook is the place to go to learn about these events and others, such as gardening in the campus botanical garden or film/art exhibits on campus. Clubs also take field trips to various events around the bay area, so don’t hesitate to join one you’re interested in!
There are also places in the bay area where you should NOT spend your time, for various reasons…
Overcrowded tourist destinations – especially Fisherman’s Wharf. It sounds authentic and interesting in theory, but only proves to be a whirlwind of tourists, souvenir shops, and probably-not-fresh crab being sold on the street.
Long lines for cable cars – if you want the authentic cable car experience in San Francisco, come prepared. Skip the long lines waiting for the wrong car by planning out ahead where you’re going to visit and how to get there.
Driving down Lombard Street – another iconic sight in San Francisco, Lombard street is a residential block known for its steepness and eight hairpin turns. Although I encourage you to visit, walking might be a better idea unless you like bumper-to-bumper traffic.