How to Spend the Perfect Sunny Day in Oakland
Sure it's pretty sunny in SF, but it's nothing compared to the glorious rays that shine down just across the Bay Bridge. Take advantage of the warmth and good feels with this guide to the perfect sun-filled day in Oakland.
Row a Boat
You may not be able to dip your toes in Lake Merritt, but you can do the next best thing – rent a boat! From pedal boats, to canoes, kayaks and rowboats, there are a variety of options for your sunny-day needs available at the Lake Merritt Boating Center, and for as little as $10/ hour for residents, and $12/ hour for non-residents. Sailboats can be rented to experienced sailors for similar rates. So, stretch out your calf muscles, put on your life jacket, and get ready for some sunbathing and people-watching fun as your row around the lake. Boat rentals are available everyday, but look out for special occasions when rentals will be free, like National Safe Boating Week (May 17), Splash into Summer Open House (July 26) and Love Our Lake Day. And if you're not into exerting energy, you can always catch a romantic gondola ride from Lake Chalet restaurant. 568 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland.
Beer + Tacos
Tamarindo and Trappist are two Old Town gems conveniently located right next to each other on 8th Street, and they share a back patio. Trappist has one of the best beer selections in the Bay – there are two bars (one near each entrance) serving over 28 different brews, so make sure to try both before you decide – and then head back to the sunny back patio where Tamarindo will be slinging carnitas and chicarron tacos plus bean and cheese huaraches for $2 a pop. And if you're in the mood for something a little stronger, go inside Tamarindo and order the house margarita – tangy, salty, and strong, it’s one of the best you’ll ever have. 460- 468 8th Street, Oakland
If you'd rather jump into the water than paddle above, you're better suited for a sunny dip in Lake Temescal. One of the East Bay's most popular swimming holes, you can spend a day lounging on the beachy bank for only $3. There's an accessible beach house including changing rooms and showers, plus plenty of room to bring snacks and lawn games. When you're done swimming you can also fish, or hike and bike around the park land. There's no better place to cool off during a sunny day. (Click here for more swimming options throughout the East Bay). 6502 Broadway Terrace, Oakland.
Pack a Picnic
Oakland has so many green areas perfect for a hike, a picnic, or just exploring the natural flora and fauna. For something more leisurely, pack some sandwiches and head to Mountain View Cemetery – No, I'm not kidding – you won't find a better view of the East Bay. For the perfect summer night, head to Woodminster Amphitheatre in Joaquin Miller Park for musicals under the stars. This year they're performing Les Mis, and Catch Me If You Can. (Click here for more picnic-worthy parks in Oakland). 5000 Piedmont Avenue.
Nothing says summer like ice cream, and there's no better ice cream in Oakland than neighborhood favorite, Fenton's Creamery. Make this the day you finally finish their epic Banana Special sundae challenge (you know you want that yellow shirt), or cool off with an Arctic Tour of the tasty production process. 4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Dance Under the Stars
Extend the perfect sunny day into the night at Jack London Square. Beginner and experienced dancers can kick-up their heels this June for free dance lessons each Friday night. There will be a different dance theme every week including the Chacha, Rumba, Salsa and Swing. The instruction is followed by an open dance party where you can show off your moves. Also look out for waterside movie screenings in the Square as well. Broadway and Embarcadero, Oakland