San FranciscoTravel Writings

East Bay Unwrapped: Berkeley Marina

Sign up for the best newsletter EVER!


THREE kites? Show off!

Spring has almost sprung in the Bay Area, and you know what that means: prepare to fight for a plot on the beer-soaked, bohemian-smattered lawn of Dolores Park.  But it doesn’t have to be so.  Why not reconnect with nature in the beautiful and boundless Berkeley Marina?

The Marina, with its awesome views of the bay and endless recreational activities makes for the perfect (and FREE) daytime getaway.  I suggest checking out Cesar Chavez State Park.  Its 90 acres of trails and turf used to serve as a landfill.  Charming.  Anyway, here are some fun things you can do there:

1. Ride your bike: Traveling to the Berkeley Marina is an adventure in itself. You can navigate the many “bike boulevards (streets on which you are less likely to get destroyed by cars)” of West Berkeley using Google Maps. The most grueling part of the ride is the footbridge, which connects to Frontage Rd. (I-80) and University Ave., but as long as your legs aren’t sacks of pudding, you’ll have no problem. And if they ARE literally sacks of pudding, well, just plop yourself at the base of the bridge and grab a spoon.  A word of caution: watch for wayward youngsters on the footbridge. They sometimes wander into the bike lane, and it would be a shame to sully your single speed with baby goo.  Once you’re in the park, choose a trail to follow and see where it takes you.

2.  Have a picnic: A little pot of gold awaits you at the end of the footbridge.  The Sea Breeze Market and Deli is a one-stop shop for cheap snacks and homemade baked goods.  Enjoy one of their tasty deli delicacies and outdoor seating while you watch the cluster of traffic navigate the seventh layer of hell that is University Avenue.  Of course, you could (and should) do it the old-fashioned way and pack your lunch. There are even grills available for public use inside the park.  Don’t forget to bring your red-checkered blanket so others know that you’re definitely having a picnic.

Some kid thought this was a real bird.

3.  Fly a kite: Tell your friends, significant other, or mom, “Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest heights.  Let’s go fly a kite and we’ll send it soar-ing.”  They won’t be able to resist, because the conditions for kite flying at the Marina are perfect.  It’s gusty, sunny, and there’s plenty of air space, so your line won’t get tangled with the jerk who’s flying that giant box-thing. That must be why the Berkeley Marina is home to the annual Kite Festival, which is evidently one of the biggest kite fests in North America.  Shucks.

4.  Walk your pooch: You won’t be able to contain your four-legged friend when he/she realizes that there’s much more to his/her little doggy world than back yards and city sidewalks. There is plenty of room for your dog to run free, meet other single dogs, and fulfill his/her Jack London fantasy.  And if you’re dogless like me, get that oxytocin flowing by ogling or cooing at the dogs of strangers.

For Flyngvaldorden!

5.  LARP – If you don’t know what LARPing is, then your ignorance has undoubtedly protected your reputation. I’m not going to ruin it now.  As for the rest of us, I’ll see you on Sunday at 2pm.  And yes, of course I’m just watching.

Cesar Chavez State Park
11 Spinnaker Way
Berkeley, CA

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

FREE Ryan Lee Crosby Show at Sidewalk Cafe on Saturday

Next post

Whiskey Cheaper Than Beer at Nancy's


Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler

Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler

Mia is a nice Italian girl from an exotic Italian colony called New Jersey.  She studied English Literature and Screenwriting at Drexel University in Philadelphia and has no intention of ever being a teacher.  Instead, she produces low-budget films with her crew/friends, one of which actually won a contest hosted by AMC and judged by Mr. Robert (Rob) Zombie.  She currently lives and loves in beautiful Oakland, California, which, she maintains, is just as great as and even sunnier than San Francisco.

10 Comments

  1. Charmmie
    February 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    yay Mia! Great article! I wanna go see the LARPing!!! I don’t care about my reputation. It’s already down the drain.

    • Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler
      Mia Di Pasquale
      February 18, 2011 at 5:21 am

      Thank you, Charmmie! Maybe one day we’ll muster up the courage to join them. I think my LARP name would be “Chocomoor.”

  2. aa
    February 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    this is awesome and funny

    • Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler
      Mia Dipasquale
      February 18, 2011 at 5:20 am

      Why thank you!

  3. NJRatPack
    February 18, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Too funny!! You paint a great picture. Gotta check it out sometime although my legs are starting to resemble zambaglione rather than pudding. ” I….left….my LARP…..in San francisco…”

    • Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler
      Mia Di Pasquale
      February 18, 2011 at 5:20 am

      Thanks! I’m glad you left your LARP in San Francisco. I don’t think NJ could handle it!

  4. Gdeivnsky
    February 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I have no idea what LARP(ing?) is, but I will add that there is an incredible playground at the Marina, the Adventure Playground. Kids can saw, hammer, paint, etc on lumber & building scraps, build them into forts, bridges, whatever, and pry apart other structures. There’s also a zipline (for age 6+). Right now, it’ only open on weekends – changes to daily in summer, if the city budget allows. Kids over 7 can be signed in and then left for up to 2 (maybe 3) hours by a parent for $10. Otherwise, free. There is also a very nice ordinary playground next to the Adventure Playground with a great view of the Marina & Port of Oakland.

    • Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler
      Mia Di Pasquale
      February 22, 2011 at 2:52 am

      Hey, cool! Thanks for the tip. I’m sure someone with kids will find it useful. I’m a big kid, so maybe I’ll check it out.

      And as for LARPing, well, your kids might be interested in that, too…

  5. Lynneahenry
    February 21, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Good job Mia! I wanna go.

    • Mia Di Pasquale - Scroungy Scribbler
      Mia DiPasquale
      February 22, 2011 at 2:53 am

      Thanks! I’ll take you there if you’re ever in town!