By Elizabeth Magno | Chief Copy Editor

The Ferry Building in San Francisco is a great spot to have a bite to eat and to wander around their Farmer’s Market. (Courtesy of Travel Spirit)

Weekend of Welcome (WoW) is a time when students get the chance to settle into their new home: Saint Mary’s College. It’s all about moving in, making new friends, and getting a sneak peek of the college’s curriculum and campus life. While the on-campus activities are an integral aspect of WoW, it’s also a good idea to take a break from the fast-paced events and leave Moraga for a couple of hours. If you’re from the Bay Area, you may already know some great places and be looking for more. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, good luck finding where to start.

For a culinary experience, check out the Ferry Building. Head over to one of the BART stations in the area (Orinda, Lafayette, or Walnut Creek) and take a ride all the way into San Francisco. The Embarcadero sits right on the eastern waterfront of San Francisco and is home to select city gems. To satisfy your hunger, walk right over to the Ferry Building where you’ll receive an array of options. If the merchants don’t suffice for your taste, try the Ferry Building Farmers’ Markets, which happens every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from early morning to early afternoon.

Once you’ve filled your stomach, you might be in the mood for some San Francisco art. Head over to the Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) by disembarking at the nearby Montgomery station. With its reopening in 2016, SFMOMA is now one of the largest museums in the United States and one of the world’s largest for modern and contemporary art. Visitors have seven floors of art exhibits to take in. SFMOMA just opened a new wave of exhibits, so taking a break here would be a great idea. 

If you’re not in the mood to go all the way to San Francisco, make the short jaunt to Berkeley. Just like SFMOMA, the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives (BAM/PFA) reopened in 2016. Located on Center Street, BAM offers both hands-on and observational experiences for visitors. Head over to BAM’s Fisher Family Art Lab to test your art skills. Here, visitors get the hands-on experience of creating their own masterpieces. Finally, if you happen to be in the mood for a film, move over to the PFA. The current film series boasts eight categories, with each featuring a wide selection of films.

If nature is your thing, the Bay Area is home to many hiking areas, one of them being the Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. Situated on the outskirts of Oakland, Sibley offers multiple hiking trails, ranging from brief three-miles hikes to strenuous 13-mile-or-more hikes. It’s a great place to go with friends to hike and picnic. Start your hike in the morning to enjoy cooler weather.

During Weekend of Welcome, you will be able to sign up for one of the various Bay Area trips. The specific trips will be announced once WoW begins, so be on the lookout for your chance to venture into San Francisco, Berkley, or some of the other great spots in the Bay.

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