Posted November 6, 2009 by Kate Hamman
Berkeley is an innovator in making the world a better place, and it's easy to experience how it does so first-hand. Take in a bit of culture at a theater that runs on solar power, dine at a restaurant opened by one of the pioneers of the local food movement, and then learn how to make your life more eco-friendly at a home improvement store. Best of all, there are ways to cut costs if you're on a budget.
Shotgun Players: As the first completely solar-powered theater in the country, the Shotgun Players brings a little sunshine and culture to Berkeley. Watch the talented actors light up the stage during one of the theater's many performances, including acts like Beowulf or Macbeth. Ticket prices vary, but if you can swing by during a show's first week, you can pay whatever you can afford.
Chez Panisse: Alice Waters helped jumpstart the local-foods movement by opening Chez Panisse in 1971. Rooted in the idea that all food should be organically and locally grown, the restaurant's prix-fixe menu changes nightly to highlight the best of the season. The main restaurant offers two seatings per night, priced accordingly for each day of the week, starting at $60 on Mondays. The upstairs cafe, where you can watch your dishes being prepared in the open kitchen, offers a more affordable a la carte menu that also changes daily, starting at about $18.
Ecohome Improvement: Carrying a range of recycled, renewable, and regionally-made goods, Ecohome Improvement can turn any home into a greenhouse. Even if you're not looking to paint or redecorate your abode, you can still learn a thing or two about making your surroundings a bit more eco-friendly. Prices depend on the items, but the knowledge of how to make an earth-loving home is priceless.
To search for flights and compare prices to San Francisco, which is home to Berkeley’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.(iStockphoto.com/ Rafael Ramirez Lee)
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