University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 1, Berkeley

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.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 1 Map

Guide Name: University of California Tour in Berkeley, Part 1
Guide Location: USA » Berkeley (See other walking tours in Berkeley)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Author: AudreyB
1
Phoebe Apperson Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women

1) Phoebe Apperson Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women

The Phoebe Apperson Hearst Memorial Gymnasium for Women was built in 1927 in honor of famous philanthropist and feminist, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. Designed by Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan, it consists of three studios, two gyms and three swimming pools. Its interior designers are Hansen, Murakami and Eshima, and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
2
First Unitarian Church

2) First Unitarian Church

The First Unitarian Church, founded in 1891, was designed by A.C. Schweinfurth and Bernanrd Maybeck. A fine example of the Bay Area Shingle style, the building and its basement occupy about 40 feet square. In 1960 the University of California acquired the building and it was converted into the Dramatic Arts Department.
3
Sather Gate

3) 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
4
Wheeler Hall

4) 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
5
South Hall

5) 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
6
Sather Tower

6) 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
7
Hearst Memorial Mining Building

7) Hearst Memorial Mining Building

The Hearst Memorial Mining Building at the University of California is currently home to the university's materials science department. The Classical Revival style building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated as part of California Historical Landmark.

Construction began in 1902, as part of Phoebe Hearst's master campus development plan and in memory of George Hearst, who had been a successful miner.

From 1998 to 2003, the building underwent a massive renovation, expansion, and seismic retrofit, in which a platform was built underneath the building, and a suspension system capable of up to 1 meter lateral travel was installed. To keep the expansion distinct from the historic building, shot peened aluminium (rather than stone) and a more modern design were used in the new construction.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Gilman Hall

8) Gilman Hall

Gilman Hall is a building on the campus of the University of California. Room 307 was where Glenn T. Seaborg and his coworkers identified plutonium as a new element on February 23, 1941 and as such, is designated a National Historic Landmark. The building itself is designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark, recognizing the two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry that have resulted from research done in the building.

Gilman Hall has been used continuously by the College of Chemistry for 80 years; today it is occupied by the Department of Chemical Engineering. However, its laboratory equipment is no longer suitable for modern chemical research and as such, the University has renovated and converted some of the rooms into offices, classrooms, and small research laboratories.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Haas School of Business

9) Haas School of Business

The Walter A. Haas School of Business, also known as the Haas School of Business or simply Haas, is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California.

The school is situated in three connected buildings surrounding a central courtyard on the southeastern corner of the Berkeley campus. The final design of architect Charles Moore, the mini-campus was completed in 1995. The school is planning to expand its facilities with a new commons building shared with the Berkeley School of Law. It constantly ranks as one of the top ten business schools in worldwide rankings published by The Economist, US News & World Report, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Bowles Hall

10) Bowles Hall

Bowles Hall is an all-male residence dormitory at the University of California, world renowned for its unique traditions, legendary parties and camaraderie.

The dormitory was the first residence hall on campus, dedicated in 1929, and was California's first state-owned dormitory. It was built in 1928 on a $350,000 grant by Mary McNear Bowles in memory of her husband, Cal alumnus and UC Regent Phillip E. Bowles. Mr. Bowles was said to have three loves, Horses, Horticulture and the University of California.

The Hall displays the unique and formidable appearance of a medieval castle, with a stone exterior and a lush wood entryway. Although a University-operated residence hall, its male-only tradition, classic facade, partitioned four-man rooms, and community facilities give it a feeling much closer to that of a social fraternity. Bowlesmen have traditionally been a tight-knit group of students who regularly practice various traditions and rituals that are exclusive to the Hall. In the 1980s, it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, a prime example of the style of architecture called 'Collegiate Gothic'. The building is still being used as an all-men's residence up to this day, although some traditions have not survived.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
Hearst Greek Theatre

11) Hearst Greek Theatre (must see)

The William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre, known locally as simply the Greek Theatre, is an 8,500-seat amphitheater owned and operated by the University of California.

The Greek Theatre hosts The Berkeley Jazz Festival, pop, rock, and world music concerts, UC Berkeley graduation ceremonies, occasional addresses by noted speakers, and other events. Past speakers include President Theodore Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst, and the Dalai Lama.

The Greek Theater was built in 1903 on the site of a rough outdoor bowl already in use as an amphitheater since 1894 known as "Ben Weed's Amphitheater". The project was championed by University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler and was the first University building designed by John Galen Howard. Its construction was financed by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, after whom it was named. The design of the theater is based directly on the ancient Greek theater of Epidaurus.

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

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.
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

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.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 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
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
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
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
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.