Located in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences is one of the greenest buildings in the city and has a platinum certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The museum features the newly renovated and expanded Steinhart Aquarium, complete with a hands-on tide pool and the well-known alligator swamp. Other exciting features are the Morrison Planetarium, the four-story rain-forest dome, and the Hall of African Mammals. In addition to these educational gems, the museum features other natural history exhibits as well as exhibits about global warming. The Academy Cafe offers international cuisine, while the elegant Moss Room restaurant is the only dining option available in the park past museum closing time.
The Oakland Zoo is home to more than 440 exotic and domestic birds, mammals, marsupials, and reptiles. Some of its attractions include a park with picnic facilities, an educational wildlife theater, a children's petting zoo, a carousel, a chair lift ride, and a miniature train. The zoo also offers group tours and a lecture series for adults in the spring.
University of California Botanical Garden is located within the campus of University of California Berkeley. Open to the public since 1890, this is no less than an outdoor living museum that boasts over 12,000 species of flora and fauna. The garden can be rented for private events, wedding receptions, twilight tours, summer walks and concerts.
This park in the Berkeley Hills features nearly every plant and flower species native to California in one skillfully landscaped, 10-acre masterpiece. The garden is divided into sections and subsections with labels that represent each region in California, from Southern California deserts to the Pacific Rainforest. Come in March to see the California poppy and wallflowers, or in September to see California fuchsias, hibiscus and sunflowers. The Visitor Center offers lectures and slide shows on Saturdays from November through February and hosts a plant sale in the spring.
Perennially ranked among the top universities in the world, this 1,232-acre (499-hectare) campus is embellished with iconic museums, historic libraries, architectural marvels and immaculate lawns. In addition to being educated and enlightened by Nobel laureates, the university also encourages its bright young minds to excel at sports NCAA sports, molding them into well-rounded individuals. Founded in 1868, UC Berkeley is the oldest educational institution in the University of California system. Campus life centers on Sproul Plaza and Sather Gate where you can find a reminder of Berkeley's place in American social history. The site also includes the plaque marking the spot where Mario Savio launched the Free Speech movement in 1964. Steve Wozniak, Chris Pine, Eric Schmidt and Gordon Moore are some of the university's most notable alumni.
This national park is the preserved home of one of the United States' most famous naturalists and conservationists, John Muir. Muir, who passed away in 1914, founded the Sierra Club and is considered the father of the National Parks system. The site consists of Muir's 17-room Victorian mansion and surrounding fruit ranch, his gravesite, the Martinez Adobe, and the recently added Mount Wanda area that features the John Muir Nature Trail. Take the self-guided tour of the grounds. There are special events around Christmas and on John Muir's birthday, April 21.
At one time this beautiful area in Hayes Valley was scarred by the lanes of the Central Highway. The highway has since been demolished and in its place is Patricia's Green. Renamed for the local community activist Patricia Walkup (it was previously known as Hayes Green), this urban oasis represents many of the ideas that she fought for. With a play area for kids and unique installations of local art put forth by the Hayes Valley Art Coalition, this park delivers a rest from the bustle of the city. Nearby cafes make this neighborhood commons area a fun retreat for the day.
The New Main Library was opened on 18th April 1996 after extensive renovation on the Main library building amounting to a staggering 109 million dollars. The New Main Library is fully equipped with 300 computer terminals, a room equipped with 1100 laptops and a special children's wing. The management has acted upon the feedback they have received from the general public and improved facilities like adding more computers for public access, meeting and study rooms for students and local groups, comfortable and roomy seating areas and also better wheelchair access. Take a peek at the sleek top floor terrace.
Founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1779, Mission San Francisco de Asis, also known as Mission Dolores, is the oldest structure in San Francisco. The mission and the city that surrounds it was named after St. Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order. The Mission Dolores has gone through several repairs and renovations since its founding and the mission's original adobe structure still stands on-site, as well as a section of the original cemetery. The mission was the first location to be designated by the City of San Francisco as a protected historical landmark in 1968.
PLAySPACE is the graduate gallery for the California College of the Arts that provides students with an experimental art space. Home to student exhibitions and more, PLAySPACE engages the community by presenting emerging talents. Exhibits have included "GlamMore" and "Subject to Oneself." For information on events , exhibitions and more, visit their website.
The California Historical Society strives to preserve the history of California. Discover printing and lithography in the West, as well as antique posters and maps. Exhibits offer fascinating insight into the daily life in California, including a horseless carriage (or so reads the license plate). You'll also find extensive collections of fine art, photographs and manuscripts, including Gold Rush era diaries and letters. The museum has a bookstore with titles on almost anything you would like to know about California from its earliest days to the present.