The East Bay is one of the best-kept secrets along North America’s Pacific coast. This is the region renowned for the majestic Golden Gate Bridge and lush vineyards that host exciting wine tasting tours. In addition to this, you can look forward to visiting a selection of historical sites or simply unwinding on scenic beaches.

Among the Bay cities popular with tourists are Oakland, Berkeley, and Mountain View. But there is more to East Bay than the usual tourist haunts. There are many hidden touristic gems off the beaten path. Here is a glimpse of what you can expect when you embark on your Bay sojourn.

1. San Francisco

There is more to this city than the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco offers you the chance to bond with nature in the beautiful Golden Gate Park. Here you can stroll through 1,000 acres of lush, verdant gardens. There are several spots in which you can set up a picnic amid the greenery.

The beauty of this park lies in the diversity of its landscapes. Besides hosting diverse gardens and captivating flower conservatories, it has a collection of windswept dunes. Cultural experiences are plentiful in San Francisco. You will find the California Academy of Sciences in the park, where concerts are held all year long. At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, you can bask in the bountiful works of Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, and other globally revered artists.

A trip to San Francisco also brings the opportunity to visit Alcatraz and its infamous prison.

2. Oakland

Oakland offers an equally rich selection of distractions for the fun-seeking vacationer. When it comes to bonding with nature, the Bright Side of the Bay has no shortage of options. You can start at the serene Lake Merritt, one of America’s oldest wildlife refuges. Here bird watchers will be delighted with the diversity of birdlife, and outdoor enthusiasts will find exciting hiking trails.

The recently renovated Fox Theater should be top of the list of iconic landmarks you visit during your Ease Bay tour. You can no longer watch films there, but you can catch the Oakland School for the Arts in action on an evening. If you plan your trip in good time, you could catch legends like Bob Dylan on stage.

And what is a tour of Oakland without a couple of hours at the vibrant Jack London Square? Where you will enjoy the true taste of the Bay, sampling from the offerings of a range of waterfront restaurants.

3. San Jose

San Jose has something special for your tiny tots if you’re looking for kid-friendly attractions. Head down to downtown San Jose to find the Children’s Discovery Museum. Besides browsing through arresting exhibits, you and your kids will learn a lot from what is one of the most respected science centers in the world.

Your youngsters will also appreciate an excursion to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Here they will be able to get up close and personal with various animals and revel in exciting rides.

San Jose is also home to iconic landmarks, including the Winchester Mystery House’s architectural wonder. This uniquely designed Victorian mansion hails from the 19th century and was once home to Sarah Winchester. There are many tours you can take of this California historical landmark.

4. Emeryville

An East Bay excursion without a stroll down Bay Street would be incomplete, especially if you fancy a spot of shopping. You can update your Apple gear at the Apple store and get some unique clothing items at the specialty stores.

After hours of hard shopping, you can grab a bite at one of the great restaurants there, then head to Christie Avenue Park for some moments of peaceful respite. When the sun sets down, you can catch a movie at the AMC Theatres as you wait to sample the Bay’s nightlife.

You can start your night out with a cocktail at Prizefighter before heading off to see what the city’s other bars and pubs have to offer.

5. Albany

This city is home to several interesting markets where you can get fresh foodstuff on the cheap. Kensington Farmers’ Market offers visitors plenty of organic produce and a chance to rub shoulders with friendly locals. Monterey Market also has some interesting offerings.

Among Albany’s more peculiar attractions is The Bone Room, a store that sells all kinds of bones, among other curiosities. When night falls, you can go on a bar crawl to discover what joints like Ivy Room and Solano Cellars have to offer.

Much More in Store

There are many more locations and attractions worth visiting on this part of the West Coast. All you need to do to get the most from your East Bay trip is to research and plan early. Scheduling ahead of time and organizing an itinerary is the best way to guarantee a full experience from each destination. 

Although it may seem unnecessary to dedicate more or less time depending on the specific city, as they’re all grouped in the same region. It will make a difference in the long run in terms of proper timing to take advantage of unique events and offerings that you’d miss out on otherwise.    

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