Looking for a midday getaway or a weekend adventure? This list of East Bay spots has got you covered.
1. Lake Merritt
In the center of Oakland, this great spot offers everything from dog-walking to running, rowing and paddle boats. Not to mention an adorable bird sanctuary, bonsai gardens, neighborhood bars and restaurants. Don’t forget the portable grill on the weekends! Lake Merritt draws hundreds for a lakeside brunch.
2. Crown Memorial State Beach
Crown Memorial is a tiny beach that’s mighty on personality. Easy parking, restaurants and beautiful views are just a few facets of this small gem. The neighborhood is quiet and inviting for an evening stroll.
3. Tilden Park / Wildcat Canyon
Hands-down, this is one of the best parks in the Bay Area. For kids, there are mini-steam-engine rides, an antique carousel, botanical gardens and the Little Farm. For adults, the park offers swimming, fishing, camping, horseback riding trails, and golf. It’s a great place for a kick-back barbecue.
4. Mount Diablo
Walnut Creek, CA
Boasting 500 miles of trails, Mount Diablo is easily a cyclist’s and nature enthusiast’s paradise. This wilderness area is easy to access from the suburbs of Walnut Creek. From Castle Rock Park, any direction will lead you to an area filled with trees, grassland, squirrels, shrubbery, hawks, and a direct route into Mt. Diablo State Park. Mountain bikers can take many fire roads and spend hours riding through this 165-million-year-old volcano.