Best Bay Area Places To Buy Graduation Gifts

May 13, 2016 5:00 AM

77735747 Best Bay Area Places To Buy Graduation Gifts(credit: Thinkstock)

Beyond the cap and gown rental, family members may be thinking about what to get the grad. Several good ideas are found in a previous CBS article, Best Places To Buy Gifts For Grads In The East Bay, and we’ve got a few more ideas that don’t include textbooks, for a welcome change.

hoovertower3 Best Bay Area Places To Buy Graduation Gifts

Hoover Tower, Stanford University (credit: Randy Yagi)


Stanford University Bookstore
519 Lasuen Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 329-1217
www.bkstr.com/stanfordstore

The large, airy three-story location stocks way more than textbooks and hoodies. Stanford Bookstore is a large one-stop shop for everything from Apple and Dell technology to school branded apparel, jewelry and merchandise, plus an upstairs café. Some say it’s too big to be efficient, and it certainly cannot be described as cozy. Crowded craziness sets in leading up to graduation, when caps and gowns are being ordered, and in the opening of fall term, when 2,000-plus freshmen and their parents descend. Check out special items to mark Stanford’s 125th anniversary in 2016. The bookstore’s location on campus is central, so visitors can easily find it, and it’s open seven days a week.

The Student Store
2480 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 845-1226
www.bkstr.com/studentstoreberkeley

Bear gear and Cal branded items for men and women make good gifts for game day, commencement day and every day. On the technology front, note that the store’s partners are Dell and Lenovo, not Apple, and there are plenty of digital cameras and accessories available (some only sold online). The traditional grad might be pleased with a frame to hang that diploma on the wall, or alternatively, a customized uploma can take a place of pride on the desk. If a class ring is on the wish list, this is the place to shop. Something fun to display the alma mater might catch your eye, like a Cal Bears branded yoga mat, a blue and gold nail polish set or an alumni polished chrome license plate frame.

The Commonwealth Club | Inforum
555 Post St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 597-6700
www.commonwealthclub.org

Since learning (and networking) is a lifelong process, gift the grad with a membership to The Commonwealth Club, founded in 1903. According to the website, “The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, bringing more than 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy to more than 20,000 members.” A brand new headquarters near the Ferry Building on Embarcadero will open in late 2016. Inforum is the internal brand focused on presenting celebrities in entertainment, tech, food, design, pop culture and politics for an audience of inquisitive, connected young professionals. Reduced membership rates are available for under 35’s, and your gift is tax deductible.

Golden Poppy Annual Pass
California State Park System
1416 9th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 445-7373
store.parks.ca.gov

Hurray, school’s out and wanderlust kicks in. Pent-up demand to hit the road is understandable in any freshly-minted grad. To facilitate the outdoor appreciation, check out the popular annual Golden Poppy pass for access throughout the California State Park System, the nation’s largest. For the lucky recipient, giant redwoods, hot springs, Big Sur, the Monterey coast and clambakes on the beach await. There’s hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing, skiing and so much to do now that weekends don’t require hitting the books.

Goorin Bros. 
1612 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 402-0454
www.goorin.com

Replace that graduation cap and tassel with something equally smart, yet more stylish and longer-lasting. Goorin Bros. is a San Francisco-based, fourth generation family-owned quality hat company that’s been making classic looks for men and women since 1895. In North Beach, the flagship shop is the original one, where a vintage vibe, mahogany library shelves and antique cabinets display the collection of fedoras, cloches, Panamas and more. Check out the Made in America hats. After all, made in the USA matters to grads who are entering the job market.

This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr via Examiner.com for CBS Local Media