Image Source: Evante Garza-Licudine

Not many people think of museums when they think of Berkeley, and yet there’s such a wide variety both on and near campus that it’d be a shame not to at least consider going to every one you can. In that case, let us present to you a few of our favorite Berkeley museums.

Essig Museum of Entomology—3003 VLSB
Open to the public only twice a year—Darwin Day and Cal Day—this museum may be more research-oriented (OK, a lot more research-oriented) but it still has a surprising amount in it despite the space that makes it difficult for tours. If you’ve ever wanted to see butterflies as big as your face or giant scorpions preserved in jars of fluid, this is your stop. Free to the public.

Lawrence Hall of Science—Way into the hills on Centennial Drive

Image Source: J.G. in S.F.

It’s true, the LHS isn’t often geared towards the college-aged-or-older crowd. But every now and then they’ll have something for us grown-ups adults. And when that happens, it’s really neat. One of their current exhibits is RACE: Are We So Different? through May 2, but the LHS does some special stuff on Cal Day, like the chance to build your own (we’re guessing) miniature bridges for (again, just guessing) leprechauns. Definitely worth checking out. Free admission with Cal ID.

UC Botanical Garden—200 Centennial Drive

Image Source: Evan Hamilton under Creative Commons

Going to the UC Botanical Garden is something everyone should do before they graduate. Hands down, it’s the most beautiful part belonging to the UC Berkeley campus and has an almost overwhelming diversity of plant-life; everything from a “Garden of Old Roses” to a building filled with carnivorous plants. If you’re not a student, we suggest going on Free Thursdays, which occur the first Thursday of every month. Free with Cal ID.

Berkeley Art Museum—2626 Bancroft Way

Image Source: mrgarin under Creative Commons

The BAM is another one of those places most students probably haven’t been to in all their years at Cal. The museum holds a somewhat surprising depth in the variety of art, everything from BAMscape to a “Realm of Enlightenment” on Buddhist art. And remember to check out the [email protected] Nights at BAM. Always free with Cal ID.

What are your favorite Berkeley museums? Share yours in the comments!

Earlier: Bibliomania!


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