City Orientation Walk, Berkeley (Self Guided)

Berkeley is renowned for a number of listed historic sights; among them churches, private homes, public buildings and other historically important edifices reflecting the town's architectural beauty. Primarily, though, the town is famous for being home to the University of California, Berkeley Campus. As a student place, it also abounds in restaurants, bookstores and clothing shops, not to mention numerous street vendors occupying the sidewalks of Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley's major thoroughfare.
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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: USA » Berkeley (See other walking tours in Berkeley)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 15
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km
Author: Caroline
Old City Hall

1) Old City Hall (must see)

Completed in 1909, the Old City Hall has a long history. Designed by Bakewell and Brown in a French Renaissance style, it is one of Berkeley's eight official city landmarks and is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Berkeley Community Theater

2) Berkeley Community Theater

Berkeley Community Theater is a theater located in Berkeley, California, on the campus of Berkeley High School. The theater is used by Berkeley High School and the Berkeley Unified School District. The theater building also holds the Florence Schwimley Little Theater, a smaller theater that is often used for Berkeley High School music and theater performances. The Art Deco-style theater has 3,491 seats, including a balcony section. A large stage is extended by an orchestra pit that can be raised or lowered.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Tupper and Reed Building

3) Tupper and Reed Building

The Tupper and Reed Building was erected in 1906 to house John Tupper and Lawrence Reed's music store. Located on Shattuck Ave, this building was designed by William Raymond Yelland in his storybook house style. Built from brick and wood, it features balconies, a fireplace, impressive adornments and an iron cutout of this landmark building’s name.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church

4) St. Mark's Episcopal Church

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, designed by the founder of Burton Architecture David Burton, was established in 1877. A significant part of the Berkeley community, its design and warm colors make it a pleasant place to visit and an outstanding landmark.
Telegraph Avenue

5) Telegraph Avenue (must see)

Telegraph Avenue is a street that begins, at its southernmost point, in the midst of the historic downtown district of Oakland, California, United States, and ends, at its northernmost point, at the southern edge of the University of California campus in Berkeley, California. It is approximately 4.5 miles (7 km) in length. Among some Berkeley residents, especially University of California students, Telegraph refers mainly to a four-block section just south of the university, from Bancroft Way (which borders the campus) to Dwight Way. As a center of campus and community life, this section of Telegraph Avenue is home to many restaurants, bookstores, and clothing shops, along with street vendors occupying its wide sidewalks. Here Telegraph Avenue attracts a diverse audience of visitors, including college students, tourists, artists, street punks, eccentrics, and the homeless.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sather Gate

6) Sather Gate (must see)

Sather Gate is a prominent landmark separating Sproul Plaza from the bridge over Strawberry Creek, leading to the center of the University of California, Berkeley campus.

The gate was donated by Jane K. Sather, a benefactor of the university, in memory of her late husband Peder Sather, a trustee of the College of California, which later became the University of California. It is California Historical Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally, the gate served as the terminus of Telegraph Avenue, and marked the University's south entrance. (The circle in front of the gate served as a turning point for the trolleys coming from Oakland.) The University later expanded further south of Strawberry Creek, and the gate is now well separated from Berkeley's city streets by Sproul Plaza.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Wheeler Hall

7) Wheeler Hall (must see)

Wheeler Hall is a building on the campus of the University of California. Home to the English department, it was named for the philologist and university president Benjamin Ide Wheeler.

The building was opened in 1917. It houses the largest lecture hall on the Berkeley campus.

The building was the site of many of the Free Speech Movement protests in the 1960s and is a focal point of the Berkeley campus. In recent history, it has been the place for many university protests and the subject of several building takeovers.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
South Hall

8) South Hall

South Hall, built in 1873, is the oldest building on the University of California, Berkeley campus and the only remaining building of the original campus. South Hall was originally the counterpart of North Hall, which no longer exists, but was located where the Bancroft Library currently stands.

The first physics laboratory in the United States was hosted in South Hall in 1879. It also has been home to the College of Agriculture, a business school, and a temporary museum for the state geological survey. The University Herbarium was housed in South Hall from 1890 till 1897. It currently houses the UC Berkeley School of Information. When Wheeler Hall was planned, the entrance of South Hall was removed from the west side and added on the east side entrance.

According to legend, the rooftop scene of Mary Poppins was filmed at South Hall, although this has been shown to be false.

Campus tour guides often point out a small stone bear in the architecture of South Hall, above the entrance, in the third circle from the left, claiming it is the smallest bear statue on campus.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Sather Tower

9) Sather Tower (must see)

Sather Tower is a campanile (bell and clock tower) on the University of California, Berkeley campus. It is more commonly known as The Campanile due to its resemblance to the Campanile di San Marco in Venice, and serves as UC Berkeley's most recognizable symbol.

It was completed in 1914 and first opened to the public in 1917. The tower stands 307 feet (93.6 m) tall, making it the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. It was designed by John Galen Howard, founder of the College of Environmental Design, and it marks a secondary axis in his original Beaux-Arts campus plan. Since then, it has been a major point of orientation in almost every campus master plan. The tower has seven floors, with an observation deck on the eighth floor. Some floors are used to store fossils.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Memorial Glade

10) Memorial Glade (must see)

Memorial Glade is a green space located at the core of the university campus. It is home to a variety of trees, including a grove of trident maples. Memorial Glade is a popular place for students to relax between classes and offers a great view of many other campus landmarks.
University of California Museum of Paleontology

11) University of California Museum of Paleontology (must see)

The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) is a paleontology museum located on the campus of the University of California.

The museum is within the Valley Life Sciences Building (VLSB), designed by Arthur Brown Jr. Its collections are primarily intended for research and are thus not accessible to the public. A limited number of fossils from the collection is on display in the VLSB. Although located on the Berkeley campus, the museum is the primary locality for storing fossils collected statewide. The original fossils, around which the current collection has grown, were those gathered as part of the California Geological Survey from 1860-1867.

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday; 8 am – 10 pm; Friday; 8 am – 5 pm; Saturday: 1 pm – 5 pm; Sunday: 1 pm – 10 pm;
Sight description based on wikipedia
Eucalyptus Grove

12) Eucalyptus Grove (must see)

Eucalyptus Grove contains the tallest of these hardwood trees in North America. Planted in 1882, in California they actually grow healthier than in Australia, their native location. The grove has been a significant part of the university’s landscape heritage, adding a refreshing fragrance to the air.
Wellman Hall

13) Wellman Hall

Wellman Hall, located between Giannini and Hilgard Halls, was built in a Classical Revival style. This hall is distinguished by its circular entrance, which is like a tower. Its facade is made of granite, which along with all the granite on the campus, was taken from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Serving as an agricultural hall, Wellman Hall was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Hilgard Hall

14) Hilgard Hall

Along with Giannini and Wellman Halls, Hilgard Hall is a former component of the Agriculture Trio. Built in a Classical Revival style, it is decorated with agricultural motifs such as scythes and sheaves of wheat. Its red roof tiles and soft red columnar friezes make Hilgard Hall a beautiful landmark.
Normandy Village

15) Normandy Village

Also known as Thornburg Village, Normandy Village is a Berkeley landmark home to unique apartment buildings designed by Jack Wood Thornburg. Its former architect was William Raymond Yelland, known for his storybook design. Erected in 1927, each building has its own history. Today, Normandy Village is designated a City of Berkeley Landmark.

Walking Tours in Berkeley, California

Create Your Own Walk in Berkeley

Create Your Own Walk in Berkeley

Creating your own self-guided walk in Berkeley is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 1

University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 1

The campus of the University of California is the core of Berkeley's treasures. Its design is the result of a 1898 architectural competition. Every part of its architecture has its own story. Take a look at the southern part of the university in the following tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Downtown Tour in Berkeley

Downtown Tour in Berkeley

Berkeley's downtown is home to several historic buildings and structures, each of them with their own history. The area is famous for the Old City Hall, Civic Center Park and the Veteran's Memorial Building. Visitors can also learn about the city’s history in the Berkeley Public Library's History Room.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Telegraph Avenue Shopping in Berkeley

Telegraph Avenue Shopping in Berkeley

As Berkeley is a colorful and joyful city, it offers a great variety of places to shop. Telegraph Avenue is the best shopping area in the city, featuring Rasputin and Amoeba Music, the originality of Berkeley Hat, Bear Basics and Bancroft Clothing. Great gift shops featuring unique items can also be found in this wonderful city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 km
Famous Museums and Galleries in Berkeley

Famous Museums and Galleries in Berkeley

Berkeley is home to several significant museums, including the University of California Museum of Paleontology, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The city is also home to art galleries, allowing emerging artists to continue the city’s cultural life.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 2

University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 2

As the University of California is considered an architectural beauty, the north side of the campus features some of the university's most historically significant buildings. Founders' Rock, the University House and Wellman Hall, along with the campus’ green spaces, such as Memorial Glade and Eucalyptus Grove, are wonderful city landmarks worth seeing.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Berkeley Landmarks Tour

Berkeley Landmarks Tour

Berkeley is famous for the amount of wonderful structures it has listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Churches, old private houses, buildings of historical importance and other impressive edifices are all representative of Berkley’s architectural beauty.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Berkeley for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Berkeley has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Berkeley, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.