get outside

The Bay Area is a beautiful place. Did you know how much getting outside and enjoying a bit of nature - whether it's the tree out by the curb, your neighbor's garden or a local open space - can improve your sense of well-being? Spending time in the natural environment is good for your physical and mental health so we've gathered a few suggestions for ways to get outside. 

Looking for a seat or table to enjoy a quiet moment, share a meal with friends or colleagues, or host a team meeting outdoors at the Lab's main site? Now there's an online map that can help you locate the perfect spot to breathe fresh air and admire the natural environment.

Located a short walk from Strawberry Gate, the UC Botanical Garden is free to Lab employees with your Lab ID card. The 34-acre UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, with over 10,000 types of plants including many rare and endangered species.  Organized geographically, the Garden features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Australasia to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants.  The Garden was established in 1890 and its living collections are invaluable resources for international research and conservation. 

Did you know that Oakland has over 125 parks? Check out the list and find a park near you. 

The city of Berkeley has an extensive network of 136 pedestrian pathways that wind their way through neighborhoods and between streets. Originally built to provide shortcuts to public transit they're now a great way to get your steps in and take in the views. 

The East Bay Regional Park District maintains and operates a system of regional parks and is the largest urban regional park district in the United States. As of 2020, it spans 124,909 acres (50,549 ha) with 73 parks and over 1,330 miles (2,140 km) of trails.

Connecting San Francisco from the southeast to the northwest, the Crosstown Trail runs through hidden trails, public parks, shopping corridors, tiled stairways, and community gardens along the way. 

Get out and explore the beautiful Bay Area with this curated collection, from the outdoor experts at Cal Adventures, of local outdoor hikes, walks, and activities. Pair these activities with recommended local Black-owned restaurants and cafes to make a day of it. Packages vary in difficulty and distance from campus and there’s something for everyone. 

The Bay Area Ridge Trail is a multi-use trail along the hill and mountain ridgelines ringing the Bay Area. Currently over 380 miles (610 km) have been established. The trail is designed to provide access for hikers, runners, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians.

With over 350 miles in place, the Bay Trail connects communities to parks, open spaces, schools, transit and to each other, and also provides a great alternative commute corridor. The ultimate goal of the Bay Trail is to build a continuous shoreline bicycle and pedestrian path for all to enjoy. 

Take the ferry! It runs from the north bay, the east bay and San Francisco.