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Husband attending conference in Berkley

Level Contributor
7 posts
12 reviews
Husband attending conference in Berkley

Hi folks,

My husband is attending a conference in Berkley University in August, and we as a family are going to take the opportunity to visit the area too. We will travel from Europe via NY with our two children (16 and 12), and are hoping to introduce our kids to San Francisco and the surrounding area. We fly in Monday evening so will be playing tourist there Tuesday to Friday (inclusive) to the 21st. I want to ensure we have an enjoyable and memorable trip with the children in particular, so need your advice....

Accomodation : where would you advise us to stay - near/accessible to the college and also with good public transport facilities into SF.? Ideally somewhere with a pool, in case we decide to take a break on one day? Budget for family room c.$ 200-250 sound ok for something comfortable?

How best to spend the days available? I would like to do some of the 'touristy' stuff - see Alcatraz, fishermans wharf, travel on cable car see Golden Gate, plus a little shopping. What else would you suggest for the kids? Also would like to get a sense of the Berkley area while we are there. I am not planning to hire a car (or should I?), and as I will be on my own with the kids for 2-3 days, I could do with some suggestions on how to break up the trip. My husband will likely meet us in the evenings after his conference, and join us on one full day.

Also, what should we expect weather wise at that time - I know from previous visits that the Bay Area can be somewhat cooler /wetter than expected?

Many thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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Destination Expert
for Berkeley
Level Contributor
6,061 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

Apologies for not getting to this message very quickly. Hopefully you haven't been sitting sleeplessly in the keyboard waiting for this response... :)

Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area in general tend to be quite cool during the summer. SF is often overcast for a whole day and then clear for a whole day and so on. Berkeley sees more sun, but like SF, it typically does not warm up until closer to September. Better to visit in August than June, but don't get your hopes up for shorts weather!

Would you prefer to stay in SF or Berkeley? There is BART (subway) service between the two, as well as regularly scheduled bus service (AC Transit Routes F and FS), but that comes at a cost that can add up quickly over a few days of traveling back and forth. If you stay in Berkeley, you may have better luck with something from AirBNB than with a traditional hotel room. The first half of August is still summer vacation for students, so there is an abundance of places to stay. Do yourself a favor and avoid the time when UC Berkeley students move in for the school year, though. It will be quite hectic around town, and your chances of finding a place will come with a lofty price tag.

There is no need to rent a car while visiting SF city proper. Most people prefer to get around on public transit (BART, as mentioned above, and Muni buses and streetcars). Taxis, Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar fill in the gaps where public transit is inconvenient, and in the case of three people, can often be cost competitive with Muni.

A rental car is not essential in Berkeley, but it will make it slightly easier to get around. Berkeley is very walkable and has good bus service (AC Transit) in addition to BART. Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also very widespread; Sidecar is a little more hit or miss. If you prefer active transportation, Berkeley is very bicycle friendly and you could get around that way. There are only a handful of truly dedicated trails, though, so I recommend helmets just in case.

SF city proper is very compact, so it is easy to see several sights in a day due to their proximity. Be sure to book Alcatraz tickets well in advance! Consider a visit to the California Academy of Sciences or Exploratorium while in SF; the former is popular with a wide range of ages while the latter tends to appeal to younger kids (but not exclusively). Also, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland may be worth a visit if you are interested. You can also check out the Oakland Museum of California to learn more about the state through a good set of exhibits.

That's all I can think of for now. Good luck!

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4,020 posts
172 reviews
2. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

For Alcatraz, make sure you book tickets early from the official operator http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/

If you want to be close to the conference, try staying near a BART station.

San Francisco Bay
Level Contributor
3,162 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

Re Alcatraz, early means 60 to 90 days in advance. If you can't get there, a nice boat ride in the bay is pretty good, too. Either the Red and White fleet, or the Blue and Gold fleet does cruises. If I were visiting the University of California at Berkeley, it better be Blue and Gold!

Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
672 posts
18 reviews
4. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

I suppose by now you probably have your accommodations booked, but just in case (or if you decide to revise them) - The weekend of August 22-23 is "move-in" weekend for Berkeley students. As Davdaven mentioned, that weekend (and the days leading up to them) will be a very bad time to try to get around the campus area. Students living off-campus will also be moving in that week/weekend as classes begin the following week. If you expect to do most of your tourist thing in SF, you might consider stay there and letting your husband take BART to SF on his conference days.

If you decide to do any biking, be aware that helmets are required for kids under 18 if biking on public roads. (not enforced, but a very good idea).

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
24,130 posts
49 reviews
5. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

Sorry no one responded to your post. I have the opposite thinking from R K. I think move in day is an exciting time to be in Berkeley (or any college campus). There is an energy with all those young people starting a new chapter in their lives. I would just sit there and absorb those energy. I'd stay in Berkeley close to campus, if you have not booked already.

6. Re: Husband attending conference in Berkley

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