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Berkeley, California- Education, Science and Sea-Faring
by Howard Giske

Berkeley, Ca, a city of 102,743 people is on the eastern shore of San Francisco bay, and is a suburb of San Francisco. It has obtained a lot of notoriety for its University of California-Berkeley campus, both for its scientific achievements and its cultural and countercultural activities. Berkeley is a multi-ethnic city that is often thought of as the center of various arts and sciences. Within its 18 square miles, a surprising variety of Berkeley homes and real estate can be found. Berkeley is divided into four neighborhoods: West Berkeley, North Berkeley and Berkeley Hills, Central and South Berkeley, and Campus and Elmwood. In addition, a key attraction in the downtown is a series of ten independent gourmet food markets. There is fairly good transportation in the city of Berkeley, including the Capitol corridor of Amtrak, and the Bart system of rapid transit. There is also a heavy trend for using bicycles for local commutes, and there are extensive bicycle lanes and other facilities for this. Berkeley has a system of bicycle boulevards.

Around the UC-Berkeley campus is, to the west, Downtown Berkeley, while south of the campus is the Southside neighborhood, which mainly houses students. Downtown Berkeley has its own civic center. North of the campus is the Graduate Theological Union. The University also has a botanical garden, set on 34 acres at Strawberry Canyon, above the main campus. Plant collections include the Rhododendron Dell, and plants brought back from remote areas of China. There is also a substantial Cacti and arid plants collection, much of this being kept in indoor areas.

Another attraction is the Lawrence Science Center. UC Berkeley's public science center is dedicated to hands-on science and mathematics. Recent exhibits include "Forces That Shape the Bay". Berkeley is the place where Mr. Lawrence and his colleagues discovered the cyclotron, also known as the atom smasher, so there is definitely a lot of scientific history to learn about here. A museum you may find unique in Berkeley is the Sake Tasting and Museum. It offers a complete selection of sake and plum wine products. The Museum includes a display illustrating the sake-making process and features a rare collection of old tools and artifacts.

Berkeley also has its facilities dedicated to its proximity to the waters of San Francisco bay. This includes the Berkeley Marina, and nearby Aquatic Park. At the marina, there is also the Shorebird Nature Center, which is the home to a 100 gallon aquarium that displays the marine life of San Francisco Bay. A touch table for children and other wildlife exhibits are on display. The Marina has an impressive 975 berths to dock over 52 acres of water. The harbor is protected by an entrance breakwater. There are even live-aboard facilities, but you have to go out to sea at least once every 180 days. An extensive selection of restaurants is available at the Marina. On May 20th a Berkeley Bay festival and Green Home Expo is planned. Other interesting neighborhoods in the northern part of Berkeley are Northbrae, a planned community and various neighborhoods in the Berkeley Hills, known for their winding streets and stunning views.

About the Author

Howard Giske writes about Berkeley homes and nationwide real estate at