Archive for the ‘parks’ Category

Occupying the Port


Peralta Hacienda

Peralta Hacienda was once the center of an enormous colonial rancho lorded over by one the first Spanish explorers in California and worked by indigenous and Mexican laborers. The site is now a place to learn about Oakland’s many histories and still includes an 1870 Victorian, the foundations of some earlier adobe buildings, not to mention a cool little playground, native plants tagged with informational placards explaining their utility to Ohlone people, a vegetable garden, and down the hill, a bit of creek and picnic tables.

(photo from park website)

They’re having a fundraiser Dec. 2nd to pay for their many educational and youth programs. Get your tickets today!

Arroyo Viejo Park

Isn’t Arroyo Viejo Park pretty? Smack in the middle of East Oakland, a big chunk of green space, an amphitheater, basketball courts, and a rec center. It’s one of those rare spots where one of Oakland’s many creeks has been daylighted, and recently replanted with native plants. (You can catch more of the creek up at the zoo or where it comes out down at Damon Slough.

Lincoln Square Rec Center

The Lincoln Square Recreation Center is the place to go for basketball, ping pong, after school and summer classes for kids, and one of the awesomest playground structures in the East Bay.

(photo pengrin™ via flickr creative commons license)

Mountain View Cemetery

Mountain View Cemetery is quiet and peaceful at the top of Piedmont Avenue. They have twice monthly tours of the graves of some of the more famous Oaklanders buried there.

(photo from

Julia Morgan designed Chapel of the Chimes next door is also not to be missed.

Martin Luther King Jr Regional Shoreline

This is a recently-restored tidal wetland that embodies an exciting combination of post-industrial and semi-suburban vibe. A good place for a flat bike ride with a kid and apparently, a great place for bird watching. They’ve also got a nice little playground, some pretty good outdoor sculpture and a cool observation deck thingy. Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline.

Lots more cool photos and info here.

Lake Merritt Boating Center

The Lake Merritt Boating Center:

(Photo courtesy

Sailboats, pedal boats, row boats, all at fairly reasonable prices. They’ll tell you not to, but it is physically possible to pedal over to the Lake Chalet, tie up to their dock, and order a lemonade at the bar.