Off the Beaten Path Fun

Bay Area residents pride ourselves on traveling the road not taken because that’s where innovation happens. It also happens to be where the fun is. Bring the kiddos, a special someone or your BFF to one of these lesser-known East Bay hidden treasures this summer.

Gondola Rides on Lake Merritt
1520 Lakeside Drive in Downtown Oakland
For more information, call (510) 663–6603

You don’t have to fly across the Atlantic to experience Italian romance. Authentic Venetian gondola rides have glided along Lake Merritt since 1999. The cruises come complete with traditional melodies, skilled gondoliers and beautiful views of the cityscape. Glassware is provided if you decide to bring a bottle of wine.

Gondola Servizio offers year-round tours by day or night, and reservations are available seven days a week

The Codornices Park Concrete Slide
Codornices Park 1201 Euclid Ave. Berkeley

A local favorite that receives 4-1/2 stars and 128 reviews on Yelp, the Codornices Slide is curvy and super fast, due to occasional waxing. We’re told that it’s perfect for kids, big kids and adult kids alike. The park is located in the Berkeley Hills and also receives high marks for its lush greenery, short hiking trail and architectural elements. The slide is located directly across the street from the Rose Garden (walk through the under-road tunnel to get there). Skinned elbows likely.

Pacific Pinball Museum
1510 Webster St. Alameda

With a lofty mission “To teach science, art and history through pinball, and to preserve and promote this important part of American culture,” this interactive museum/arcade offers over 90 playable pinball machines that span decades.

The machines are all on “Free Play,” accessible with one admission ticket. The Museum’s walls are covered in period art and juke boxes in each room complete the experience.

The Rooster Mural at Public Market Emeryville
5959 Shellmound St. Emeryville

It is hard to capture the beauty of an animal through the brush stroke, especially on a large scale. But Amberlee Rosolowich managed to do just that with her larger-than-life Rooster. The whimsical mural has become a favorite spot for selfies. Next time you’re dining in the Food Hall, stop by The Rooster. Don’t forget to tag @PublicMarketEmeryville #DeliciouslyReinvented.