Introduction to Berkeley, California

Berkeley, located in northern California's San Francisco Bay Area just north of Oakland and 10 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the country's hippest cities and one of the best places for educational pursuits. Berkeley claims arguably the best public university in the nation, the University of California at Berkeley, which has existed since 1872. Both the city and the university are famous for a tradition of free thinking, cultural diversity and activist politics. In the 1960s, Berkeley was the site of Vietnam War protests and was the backdrop for the film The Graduate. In the 1970s, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) linked Berkeley to San Francisco and Oakland. Today, Berkeley remains a socially conscious, politically active city, with a young, diverse population. Sharing the Cal Berkeley campus is the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which conducts scientific research within 15 divisions and 76 buildings. Over the years, several researchers there have won the Nobel Prize.

Berkeley Culture

Although San Francisco is a nearby cultural hub that rivals any on the planet, Berkeley has a distinct cultural presence of its own. It has gourmet and specialty foods shops (Scharffen Berger chocolates, anyone?) that rival San Francisco's, it's closer to the Napa and Sonoma wine regions than San Francisco, and it has bragging rights to one of the finest restaurants in the country, Chez Panisse, a leader in what is known as California cuisine. It is home to the Berkeley Art Museum, with eleven galleries and an emphasis on historic and contemporary films. Other cultural attractions include Aurora Theatre Company, the Berkeley Opera Company, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Berkeley Sports and Leisure

Some of the country's best college athletics can be seen right in the city. The Cal Berkeley Golden Bears play football at Memorial Stadium and basketball at Haas Pavilion. For big league action, there are six pro sports teams just a short ride away within the Bay Area: major league baseball's San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, the NFL's San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, the NBA's Golden State Warriors and the NHL's San Jose Sharks.

Berkeley Outdoors

A comfortable climate, a superb park system and access to ocean and mountains make Berkeley a great city for outdoor recreation. Aquatic Park offers boating, bird watching and biking/hiking trails around the lake. Caesar Chavez Park has 90 acres of land, paved trails and wildlife. Berkeley Rose Garden has over 3 acres of roses, plus tennis courts and hiking trails. For rock climbing, there's Contra Costa Rock Park, Cragmont Rock Park, Great Stoneface Rock Park, Grotto Rock Park and Mortar Rock Park. Briones Regional Park, a few miles northwest of the city, has more than 5,000 acres of wilderness, wildlife and trails for hikers, runners, and horseback riders. For a winter getaway, skiing and snow sports are available within a 2-hour drive at a Lake Tahoe and other Sierra Nevada Mountain resorts.

Berkeley at Night

With thousand of students in the city and a young population, Berkeley has a very upbeat nightlife. Plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs are available within Cal Berkeley area, along Shattuck Avenue and along San Pablo Avenue heading south toward Oakland. And there's always San Francisco just across the Bay.

Berkeley Almanac

Nearest Large City4 miles N of Oakland, California
Phone Area Codes
Time Zone
Daylight SavingsThe city observes Daylight Saving Time.

Berkeley Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance0.4 miles
Jan Temp44 to 56 F
Apr Temp49 to 64 F
Jul Temp55 to 70 F
Oct Temp54 to 70 F
Annual Precip25.4 inches
Distance5 miles
Jan Temp45 to 57 F
Apr Temp51 to 66 F
Jul Temp57 to 73 F
Oct Temp55 to 72 F
Annual Precip22.9 inches
Distance9.3 miles
Jan Temp42 to 58 F
Apr Temp46 to 67 F
Jul Temp54 to 75 F
Oct Temp52 to 73 F
Annual Precip26.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

Sources :
Additional Details
Berkeley Colleges
Berkeley colleges and trade schools.
Berkeley Graduate Schools
Berkeley Graduate and Business Schools
Study Online in Berkeley
Additional Resources
Info for Berkeley Government Officials

Are you an official in the Berkeley government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

Back to Top
We have made updates to our Privacy PolicyPrivacy Policy to reflect the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation.