Short day-trips from Oakland
August 16, 2019 2:50 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I (couple in our early 40s, no kids) are in Oakland and we're looking to do a day-trip tomorrow (Saturday). We have a car but we'd prefer something pretty close (say, 60-90 min drive max) and that will give us a chance to enjoy the outdoors but probably is not a straight-up hike. Thanks!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Travel & Transportation around Oakland, CA (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe a picnic in the Marin headlands?
posted by pinochiette at 3:32 PM on August 16


Japanese Botanical gardens in Hayward?
posted by CoffeeHikeNapWine at 3:32 PM on August 16


the john Muir or jack London sites
posted by brujita at 3:42 PM on August 16


The UC Botanical gardens are pretty close, but really really nice- and you could drive skyline to make it a longer event.
posted by rockindata at 3:43 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


If you don't mind the drive, check out Big Basin Redwood park, they have small walk abouts that aren't huge hikes. Or, in San Jose, the Rosacurian museum and the small labyrinth they have is lovely plus there's some really nice restaurants nearby. Not the Oakland area, but not very far.
posted by kellyblah at 4:27 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Redwood Regional Park is very close and if you stick to the valley floor it’s paved, flat, and beautiful.
posted by migurski at 4:54 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Everything from Cliff House to Land's end in San Francisco.
Lake Chabot Regional Park
Coyote Hills Regional Park
posted by the Real Dan at 4:55 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Point Reyes.
posted by socialjusticeworrier at 5:22 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Head up to the wine country in Napa or Sonoma.
posted by 4rtemis at 6:42 PM on August 16


You could do worse than walking in the Mountain View Cemetery (Olmstead-designed) and around the Chapel of the Chimes (Julia Morgan-designed), right here in Oakland.

Leaving Oakland, Stinson Beach is wonderful. The Steep Ravine trail is the excellent if you can make that happen.

Tiburon and Sausalito are both nice for walking around town. A visit to the Heath Factory is great when heading to Sausalito. Tennessee Valley is a nice short walk to the beach too. Marin County in general is sort of ur-Bay Area, there are so many options.

The traffic can be a little crappy on nice weekends, so you may not want to venture as far as Sonoma.
posted by vunder at 7:35 PM on August 16


Seconding Big Basin. The road there is fun although a little tiresome, and yet it's all worthwhile once you get to the really big trees. If you're at all considering checking out the giant redwoods don't bother with the much-too-crowded Muir Woods, instead pack a picnic lunch (or buy something to go in Saratoga) and get to Big Basin.
posted by Rash at 7:43 PM on August 16


Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a little less windy to get to than Big Basin, but it has a lovely shady 1-ish mile loop with some beautiful big redwood trees. Also better and less crowded than Muir Woods. Next door (i.e. you can walk from the park parking lot) is the Roaring Camp Railroad that has a 75-minute train ride through the woods at 11, 12:30, and 2pm.
posted by that girl at 8:55 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Mount Diablo? Walking available but not required. Bare of trees, though, if it does turn out to be hot.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 10:30 PM on August 16


I'd also recommend Mount Diablo, gorgeous views all round.
posted by freya_lamb at 6:24 AM on August 17


Previously. Some answers will be relevant, I hope.
posted by blob at 9:41 AM on August 18


Welp. We decided to head out to Muir Woods, only to learn, after a long and winding drive to the entrance, that you have to make a parking reservation in advance in order to visit. There is no signage anywhere along the way warning you of this; you will only find this out once you arrive and are told you may not park. The only option at that point is to drive a long ways (again, on very winding roads) to a place where you can take a shuttle back into the woods. We opted not to do so.

Instead, we went into Sausalito and walked along the main drag there beside the waterfront. We very fortunately discovered Daniel Merriam's Bubble Tree Gallery and bought several prints. We also had lunch at Scoma's—tasty but pricey (probably not worth the cost).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:08 PM on August 18


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