One of the great things about Berkeley is its plethora of urban parks. Perhaps the best-known Berkeley park is Tilden Regional Park, but – as its name suggests – this is one of the large regional parks in the area rather than a relatively small city park.
Whether you’re looking for a place for a stroll, to enjoy a picnic, to play Frisbee, or to walk your dog, read on! Know of any parks in Berkeley that deserve to make the list? Shoot me an email or leave a message in the forum.
Located in the heart of Berkeley, Martin Luther King Junior Civic Center Park is close to everything. City Hall and Berkeley High School are both right across the street (Addison and MLK, respectively). The beginning of the Downtown Berkeley commercial area is less than a block from the park’s eastern end, and a weekly farmers’ market
takes place on Center Street adjacent to the park. You can also often find other events happening here, and the Occupy movement spent quite a bit of time in the park. Thanks to its proximity to Berkeley High School, the park is often full of teenagers during lunch time and right after school. The rest of the time, though – except during special events and concerts – it’s a relatively relaxed place to sit and people-watch.
Be aware that there are no specific amenities (such as playgrounds, dog parks, or designated sports areas) at this park. Instead, it’s simply some grassy green space with a few trees where you can take a break from the bustle of the surrounding city.
, located just off Telegraph Avenue, was one of the major points of contention in the tumultuous 1960s in Berkeley. While protesters managed to preserve the park as open space, the People’s Park of today is likely not the idealistic dream the ‘60s protesters had for it. Instead, unfortunately, it is often filled with homeless people and drug addicts. It can be a bit unwelcoming, and spending time there after dark is not recommended. However, if you are interested in Berkeley’s history, it’s well worth a daytime visit to see the site of the iconic struggle.
Ohlone Park is a rectangular park that runs for four blocks through Berkeley. It begins at Sacramento Street to the west and continues to Martin Luther King Junior Way to the east, about a block wide the entire way. It is bordered by Delaware Street to the north and Hearst Avenue to the south. Much of the park is simply open grass where you can play Frisbee or have a picnic. In addition, though, you will find activity-designated areas including a playground, a baseball diamond, and a dog park. This park is easily accessible from both the North Berkeley BART Station and the Downtown Berkeley BART Station.
Strawberry Creek Park is one of Berkeley’s underrated and lesser-known gems. It is basically divided into two sections, with a small bridge across Strawberry Creek connecting the two. The northern section is mainly a large open patch of grass, with a few businesses (including an excellent bakery) to the west side. The southern section of the park is more developed, with a playground occupying a significant portion.