San Francisco’s East Bay has got its share of hidden outdoor gems:
One spot, nestled in the small overlooked city of Livermore, is Lake Del Valle. About 10 miles south of downtown in Arroyo Del Valle, the lake sparkles on a sunny day, and you can enjoy both its day-use facilities (swim, rent a kayak, or hike along the lake) and its overnight campsites. (The Del Valle Family Campground has 150 sites.) Who knew this refreshing body of water existed?
The Morcom Municipal Rose Garden is another urban respite in the East Bay. Located off of Grand Avenue, near Lake Merritt in Oakland, this tree-ringed, terraced park features an Italian-style pavilion, reflective pool, 6,000 plants, and 300 varieties of rose bushes. A popular spot for weddings and other events, it’s also a charming outdoor spot to bring children.
On the grittier tip, the Albany Bulb is an estuary and home to Bay Area wildlife, but also a landfill owned by the City of Albany and the site of outdoor mural, graffiti, and sculpture art created from construction debris. A makeshift museum along the water, it’s an offbeat area to explore the East Bay from a unique angle.
Finally, further south in Fremont, frolic with farm animals at Ardenwood Historic Farm. A working farm, Ardenwood exhibits agricultural practices from the 1870s and maintains a 19th-century county estate with a Victorian garden that looks much like it did at the turn of the 20th century. The horse-drawn train and lots of sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats, and cows make it an ideal weekend spot to visit with kids.
Anyone know of other hidden spots in the East Bay? Please share!