Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay’s east shore in California, is a beautiful place to visit in your motorhome at any time of the year. However, once football season begins, it’s even more so! As soon as you hear the traditional football “fight songs” of Hail to California, Big C, or Palms of Victory, you know the city is gearing up for a competitive football season.
Berkeley is home to the University of California, Berkeley campus, a place where thousands of students learn to support and enrich their community. It’s also home to the California Golden Bears, an NCAA football team led by Oski the mascot, a bear that’s all too eager with shenanigans during games on home turf at California Memorial Stadium.
Football games with the California University team are not ones you are going to want to miss. From the competitive nature of players and fans to the ample tailgating opportunities for those who bring their tow vehicle into Tailgate Town, there is plenty of action underway here!
A significant part of the University of California football games is the tailgating experience. The constellation lots and Maxwell Family Field are where you will find all the traditional tailgaters congregating in an area aptly known as Tailgate Town. Admission has been free in the past.
While there is likely to be no space for your motorhome, you can turn up without it, relax in the beer garden, indulge in snacks from the concession stand, and even partake in activities with prizes up for grabs.
This tailgating lot is family-friendly and welcomes kids for surprises like face painting and bounce houses before the game kicks off.
While you’re in the area for a University of California game, you may as well explore your surroundings. View the Golden Bears football game from Charter Hill, also known as Tightwad Hill. This part of the city allows you to watch the game for free.
You can also visit the Bear Territory Legacy Wall to see who has donated to Cal Athletics, or make your way to Charter Hill to see the big “C” that overlooks Memorial Stadium.
So, whether the Golden Bears are facing off against Arizona State, UC Davis, or another one of their greatest rivals, make sure you don’t miss it. An RV road trip with a tailgating twist awaits!
California Memorial Stadium fills up fast for any football game on home soil, so you’re going to want to avoid delays in purchasing your UC Berkeley Bears tickets. There are various options for sale, including season and group passes, and you can buy these online. Some passes may also be available on the day at the onsite ticket office, but your preferred seating option is not guaranteed. Set aside between $20 and $110 for your game day ticket of choice.
The Alameda County city of Berkeley, which borders Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, and Kensington, is situated on a rolling plain from the base of Berkeley Hills to the San Francisco Bay. It’s serviced by I-80 and I-580 and boasts a dramatically modified roading system that can be confusing for some visitors.
Instead of navigating the neighborhoods to get to your destination, a series of barriers and diverters move you onto arterial streets. These may not show up on maps, so allow time for any delays this might cause.
On your travels, monitor the traffic site 511 for the San Francisco area. This website will ensure you are aware of all road closures in the area surrounding California Memorial Stadium, for there will be many. Some roads and avenues in the vicinity of the stadium close up to four hours before the game, so allow time for delays.
Most campus parking at UC Berkeley is pre-sold to football season ticket holders. Any remaining parking spaces are sold on a first-in, first-served basis to the general public for game use only. In the past, parking in university lots has cost $40, payable on the day by credit card.
Non-UC parking lots are also available near the campus and in Downtown Berkeley, with costs varying for each. Many parking lots may not be accessible with a large RV, so allow extra time to find a suitable parking space then make use of California Memorial Stadium’s premium shuttle service. These parking spaces are not ideal for overnight stays.
Rideshare services and taxis can save much hassle if you have a large motorhome and limited parking options. However, you can also make use of the football shuttle that operates before kick-off, during, and after.
Traditionally, this service has had pick-up and drop-off points throughout Berkeley around two and a half hours before kick-off. Locations may change yearly, so always check before you wait in the same area you did the previous year.
While you may tailgate in your tow vehicle, or without any vehicle at all, there will be no opportunities for motorhome camping at the University of California, Berkeley, campus overnight. Fortunately, given the convenience of shuttle services to and from the campus, you will be able to park your motorhome at or near your chosen accommodation and enjoy a quick and easy journey to the football game.
There is no shortage of RV campgrounds near the University of California, Berkeley. Whether you want to be as close as ten miles away, or you don’t mind traveling up to 30, there are options galore. Many of the RV campgrounds and parks boast service hookups such as sewer, water, and electricity, but some promote primitive RV camping. It’s worth being aware that some RV parks along the main routes to California Memorial Stadium can be tricky to enter and exit due to game traffic congestion.
If you don't mind a bit of an extra hike if it means you get premium RV accommodation, then consider San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA, under 60 miles from the home of the Golden Bears.
Once you arrive at California Memorial Stadium, either by shuttle or your own transportation method, you’ll enjoy an effortless navigation process. The football stadium is nestled between Maxwell Family Field, where University of California Berkeley tailgating takes place, and Witter Rugby Field. Stadium Rim Way and Piedmont Avenue encompass the venue to provide a secure pathway system. The best way to get around is on foot, but golf carts are available for those who may need physical assistance.
It might be best to learn what not to wear while in UC Bears country. California football fans will not hold back if you show up in your most elegant red attire. Instead, make sure you’ve packed plenty of beautiful Berkley blue clothing with a hint of gold that will allow you to blend in with the masses. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast to see whether it’s sweater or t-shirt weather.
Expect the grandstands to be packed full of eager football fans; adopt a “less is best” approach to entering the venue. Bring the bare basics for your comfort, and leave everything else, such as your RV camping and cooking supplies, locked and secure in your motorhome. Bring cash for vendor purchasers, and your best cheering voice for the home team.
Football season is during the warmest and coldest portions of the year, so always consider the weather when factoring your health and safety into the equation. Sunscreen can prevent windburn and sunburn, while lip balm can keep your lips hydrated for cheering. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the game, and carry enough supplies aboard your RV for the entirety of your vacation, such as a first aid kit and toiletries.
There’s no better way to begin your Californian holiday than with an old-fashioned grilling experience. Haul out your cooker for the University of California, Berkeley tailgating at Maxwell Family Field, and treat yourself to hot dogs, grilled meat, and more. You can also make use of your onboard kitchen appliances once you are back at your campsite.
Berkeley has a cluster of well-established eateries within a short walking or driving distance of California Memorial Stadium. From cocktail bars and gourmet pizzerias, to draft houses, university pubs, and sports bars (if you haven’t already had your fill), you’re spoiled for choice. Don’t let the fun stop once the final touchdown has been scored. There is plenty left to explore in Berkeley. After dinner, why not end the day on a high by hiking at Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve?
Whether you’re hanging out in Tailgate Town, or you’re piling into California Memorial Stadium for the home game, you’re not going to go hungry. Cal Bears fans will find plenty of concession stands at both locations to make sure no fan arrives or leaves with an empty stomach. Don’t forget to bring cash, for ATMs may not be available.
Enter California Memorial Stadium through the gate listed on your ticket. By doing so, you can help speed up the screening process while also providing easy access to your seating area. Refrain from bringing anything distracting or dangerous, and have any bags open and ready for security officials to check before entry.
California boasts mild temperatures throughout the year, but don’t travel to the area blind. Whether you’re coming from the direction of Las Trampas Regional Wilderness Park and Briones Regional Park, San Francisco, or San Jose, you’ll likely notice a change in weather as you travel closer. Download a weather app so that you can be prepared for all conditions.
Carrying a first-aid kit aboard your RV can make you reasonably self-sufficient for minor injuries. However, there is onsite help at the University of California, Berkeley, for anything you can’t manage yourself. If you require outside assistance, there is a medical center within seven miles of the stadium. Stock up your first-aid kit within a two-mile driving distance if needed. In an emergency, phone 911.