We’ve all heard of the San Francisco Bay Trail – but what about some of the lesser-known shoreline parks along it? One of the absolute best is Marina Bay Park, on Richmond’s waterfront. Not only is it squeaky-clean and perfectly maintained, it’s the greatest place from which to watch Richmond’s Fourth of July (held July 3) fireworks!
When to go: Head there in the summertime/early fall if you’re planning to picnic.
Travel time: Richmond is a 17 mile drive from downtown San Francisco.
What to do/see: With its little yacht harbor, gorgeous views across the bay, lush green lawns for a game of Frisbee or tag, picnic areas and paved paths to walk/bike/trike/scoot along, there’s plenty to do and see (oh, and it’s a bird-lovers favorite, too).
Where to have lunch: Pack your own eats and enjoy them al fresco. Amble along the Bay Trail a bit to Barbara and Jay Vincent Park, which has a fun play structure. Or, you can bike up the Bay Trail to the Boilerhouse restaurant, housed in a reclaimed industrial building. The Sunday brunch is usually a hit with kids.
How to dress: Take along an extra layer for that sea breeze.
Bonus: On Sunday July 3, Oakland’s East Bay Symphony will give a concert and there’ll be spectacular fireworks over the Bay – all for FREE.
Cost of trip: Inexpensive.