Suburban Safari: Berkeley

There are few things like a truly warm weekend in San Francisco. It’s the ultimate treat in this typically cool and oft foggy town. One of the best things about great weather here is varying degrees of warmth depending on where you go. Cross any bridge, basically, and you’ve earned about 10 extra degrees.

I hadn’t been back to Berkeley’s 4th Street since just after college, and, my, has this shopping and culinary mecca evolved! It was always hip and chic, but it was HOPPIN’ early Saturday afternoon. Shopping options span both the more mainstream Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie and Benefit Cosmetics as well as more rare local treats like Mulholland Leather, Ruti and, my new fave, The Gardener.

The Gardener’s abundant floral arrangements and unique succulent displays drew me in. Nothing says spring/Easter like lilac!

I was pleased to see the green thumb’s dream shop doubled as an apothecary with makers of deliciousness like Dyptique and this fun, fragrant collection of candles from R. Nichols.

I’m a sucker for a pet accessories boutique, and George leaves little to be desired. It’s stocked with organic tasty treats and chic collars, jackets and pup “furniture” (aka beds).

I grew up visiting the Books Inc. in Laurel Heights as a childhood treat, and it was refreshing to see another old school bookstore going strong.

If I didn’t have a trip to Peter Nappi’s flagship Nashville store around the corner, this would’ve been dangerous. Mulholland leather accessories are classic and smart.