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Best Bay Area Parks

10. Hayward japanese tea gardens

22373 n 3rd st, hayward, ca 94546

If you’re looking for a quick, FREE escape, swing by the Hayward Japanese Tea Gardens! The beautiful trails are meticulously lined with trees and flowers, and in the center of the park, you’ll find a pond full of the classic Japanese tea garden fish – Koi. Enjoy the peaceful, serene environment and leave feeling refreshed.


9. Township commons

288 9th ave, oakland, ca 94606

Also known as the Brooklyn Basin, Township Commons is a new place that has Bay Area residents excited! This area is known for its great vibe, views, and music. It’s also an exceptional place for roller skating and bike riding as a lot of the area is flat and smooth. If you’re looking for a place to just relax and enjoy the environment, this place is for you!

8. redwood regional park

7867 redwood rd, oakland, ca 94619

This redwood forest park encapsulates a sprawling 1,833 acres of adventure. Just a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland, Redwood Regional Park was once the scene of extensive logging to supply building materials for the Bay Area. The trees that were cut down were replaced 150-foot Coast Redwoods, which are the main spectacular attraction in the park. Note that while fishing is not allowed in the park, one cool spot to stop and see is Historical Landmark #970, which is located a short distance inside the park’s Redwood Gate entrance off Redwood Road. Here, you’ll find a fish-way that was constructed to help rainbow trout reach their upstream spawning grounds. You can also enjoy the picnic sites here or reservation a camping area.

7. jean sweeney open space park

1925 sherman st, alameda, ca 94501

This park is fairly new to the Bay Area scene as it was opened in late 2018 and construction is still going on in stages. This park is a wonderful playground for children as it features fun for all ages. There’s also a paved biking/walking path around the exterior of the park that’s great for a relaxing ride or stroll.

6. joaquin miller park

3450 joaquin miller rd, oakland, ca 94602

This 500-acre park is in the Oakland Hills by Skyline Boulevard. The park is not lacking in greenery or shade and is full of Coast Redwoods, Coast Live Oaks, Pine Trees, lush greenery, calming creeks, and lush meadows. There is quite a wide range of skill level trails all the way from beginner to expert. Dogs are welcome in the park and there is a fenced-in area where you can let them off-leash. There’s also a ranger station, restrooms, picnic tables, biking trails, a horse arena, a playground, amphitheater, and historical markers. One thing that several park visitors like to partake in while visiting is watching the sunset from Lookout Point. This area provides spectacular unobstructed views of Oakland, Alameda, and the other side of the bay.

5. strawberry hill

50 stow lake dr, golden gate park, san francisco, ca 94159

Located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Strawberry Hill is a picturesque spot in The City that will lead you to believe that you’ve traveled far out of the city limits. Wrapping around this hill is Stow Lake. You can rent 2-person paddle boats and float around the little island that is Strawberry Hill. To get to the top of the hill, you must cross over Stow Lake Bridge and take a short hike to the top. The Japanese Tea Garden is located nearby, so be sure to make a stop there as well!

4. bridgeview trail

This trail runs along Diamond Canyon and Sausal Creek right next to Montclair Golf Course

This trail is wonderful for small children because the trail includes a small treasure hunt – to find all the wooden trolls! The Bridgeview Trolls are a collection of 18+ quirky art installations hidden in plain view along the hiking path that started appearing in the autumn of 2020. The Bridgeview Trail Troll Facebook page tells the story behind each one. There’s also a map that you can take with you during your adventure so that you can make sure you find every little wooden friend.

3. piedmont park

711 Highland Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611

This park is known for its greenspaces and trees and is known to be a great park for dog owners. Dogs can be off-leash at the park, but you need to go to the Piedmont Police Department first to get a Piedmont off-leash dog tag. Outside of the off-leash area is a beautiful Japanese Tea Room and garden, playgrounds, a community room, and tennis courts.

2. leona heights park

4444 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA

Leona Heights Park is a beautiful park that is maintained by the City of Oakland. It’s main trail, the York Trail, runs along Horseshoe Creek and through some gorgeous Redwood Trees. As the trail makes its way up the canyon, the scenery changes to include bay trees, thimble berries, wildflowers, and the tree that Oakland got its name from – the Coast Live Oak.

1. pacifica’s secret waterfall

Located in Daly City, just 10 minutes from San Francisco

This secret waterfall was created by an underground creek that runs along the border of Pacifica and Daly City before spilling out over some cliffs by the ocean. Finding the correct trail to get to the waterfall is an adventure within itself, so be sure to get maps and information before heading out that way.