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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

1. Carmel-by-the-sea, California

Travel time: 2 hours 

Carmel-by-the-sea is the cutest little beach town on the Monterey Peninsula in California. Though on the pricey side for the average college student, this town sits next to Carmel beach, where you’ll see white sands and many cute dogs. If you need any eatery recommendations, here’s a small list of all the places I would recommend!

  • Coffee: The Carmel Coffee House and Roasting Company
  • Convenience: Bruno’s Market and Deli
  • Dinner: Little Napoli 

2. Ferndale, California

Travel time: 4 hours and 45 minutes

Ferndale is a small town in Humboldt County with around 1,000 people. The city gives off a rustic vibe, with most of its landscape matching old-time America. Despite the small-town atmosphere, a lot of Bay Area natives actually reside in the area! It also rests on the Northern California coast, with redwood forests on the other side. If you love the best of both worlds (aka oceans and forests), this little town is your perfect getaway. Check out some of the recommendations below!

  • AirBnB: Ferndale Barndominium
    • Instagram: @ferndaleairbnb
  • Coffee: Mind’s Eye Manufactory & Coffee Lounge
  • Pizza: Ferndale Pizza Co. 
  • Beaches: College Cove

3. Davis, CA

Travel Time: 1 hour and 6 minutes

Looking for some cute cows to pet? Well, look no further. Davis, California, is a somewhat rural city about an hour northeast of Berkeley. Suppose you have best friends at UC Davis or even considered attending UC Davis when looking at colleges. In that case, you know that the city is on the quieter side with weekly farmers’ markets and craft fairs. It’s definitely a fun break from the chaotic city life in Berkeley. Here are a few food recommendations whenever you’re in Davis!

  • Mexican food: El Patio Fresh Mexican Grill
  • Indian food: Kathmandu Kitchen 
  • Sweet treat: Insomnia Cookies
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Kiana Lee

UC Berkeley '23

Kiana is a senior at UC Berkeley, where she is currently studying cognitive science and health and wellness. Originally from San Jose, Kiana spends most of her free time in the pool, listening to music, or tending to her plant babies.