While San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area tend of get their due respect on the national events circuit, the East Bay contains a plethora of hidden gems often overlooked by festival goers. Boasting sparkling city skylines framed by towering redwoods and hip city locals, those attending Porter Robinson‘s highly anticipated Second Sky festival should consider exploring the East Bay if time permits.
With Berkeley and Oakland sitting right next to each other, the East Bay has plenty of city exploration of its own. However, nestled at the foot of a spanning redwood forest with more than 200 miles of hiking trails, the two cities manage to make visitors and locals feel as though they are in the heart of the quiet wilderness, all while being only 20 minutes away from San Francisco.
Dancing Astronaut has compiled a list of East Bay locations that Second Sky attendees should consider checking out as Bay-bound travelers head to this year’s event.
1. Grizzly Peak
Perhaps the best view in the entire Bay Area sits on top of the Berkeley hills. Grizzly Peak overlooks the entire East Bay, with the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, and San Francisco stretching out behind. Framed by the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, the clearest days find the view stretching all the way out to the Pacific. Tourists drive from San Francisco simply to sit at the view, while locals might sit up there to enjoy their lunch or go for a jog during sunset. Consider a quiet breath of fresh air here before Wavedash‘s set of sternum-rattling low-end.
2. Tilden Park
Between the festival’s two days, consider stretching one’s legs at Tilden Park. Located adjacent to Grizzly Peak, Tilden Park boasts redwood forests and numerous hiking trails. While the old train ride continues to be closed due to COVID, Tilden Park includes a long stretch of trails that climb up to a point where visitors can spot Mt. Tamalpais in front of them, and Mt. Diablo in back.
3. Telegraph Ave.
Telegraph Ave. stretches through Oakland and Berkeley, stopping right at the gates of UC Berkeley. Boasting three distinct sections, Telegraph Ave is the perfect place to bar hop, grab an unbelievable (and affordable) dinner cooked by a Michelin Star chef, or peruse through record stores and thrift shops. The first section, located in Downtown Oakland near 18th Street, is jam-packed with bars that specialize in their own brews of beer and whisky. The second section, closer toward 51st Street, finds a plethora of mouth-watering restaurants, including Indian, Cuban, Mexican, and fried chicken, satisfying anyone’s cravings. The third section, in Berkeley at the entrance of Cal, is joined by Amoeba Records‘ founding location, Rasputin Records, a number of thrift stores, the first headshop in the US, and a four-story used bookstore.
4. Lake Merritt
Weekends in the East Bay are spent gathered at Lake Merritt. Three miles around with a smoothly paved trail perfect for jogging and lined with vendors that offer food, jewelry, clothing, and booze, the man-made lake sits at the heart of Oakland. Fairyland is only open to those with children, but the park is only steps from downtown. Throw some headphones on, queue up Good Faith, and prepare for a highlight performance of the weekend from Madeon.
5. UC Berkeley Botanical Garden
UC Berkeley boasts a stunning botanical garden filled with tall cacti and a view of the San Francisco bay. With 34 acres that visitors can walk through, what better way to get in the mood for Jai Wolf than to explore the garden and spend a tranquil morning or afternoon in greenhouses and Japanese greeneries? The garden also makes a beautiful spot to bring lunch and is located right near the edge of Telegraph Ave and the foot of Tilden Park for those who want to explore more parts of the city.
6. Jack London Square
Jack London Square sits on the waterfront before Alameda, a scattering of boats bouncing along with the waves in the background. With parks, restaurants, bars, a bowling alley, a movie theater, and areas for skateboarding and rollerskating, the peaceful location leaves visitors with much to do. The square even hosts the small wooden cabin that American author Jack London used to live in and the Heinold’s First And Last Chance Saloon that the Gone With The Wild author used to frequent.
7. 4th Avenue
Berkeley’s 4th Avenue sits nearby the train line, with a variety of artisan stores and delicious restaurants. Located near Second Sky’s original venue, the street becomes crowded on weekends as families walk past. Ceramic and stained-glass studios often teach weekend classes, with visitors able to make their own creations to take home. The street also includes an old-fashioned toy store, with a Zoltar standing at the entrance.
8. Grand Lake Theater
Oakland’s historic Grand Lake Theater travels visitors back in time to the golden era of film. Showcasing today’s biggest blockbusters, the art deco theater creates a breathtaking movie experience. Restaurants and bars line the streets around the theater, and it’s located only three blocks away from the edge of Lake Merritt.
9. Mt. Diablo
On clear days, those climbing Mt. Diablo can see all the way out to the Sierra mountains. While it’s possible to climb the whole way, those wanting to see the view without the effort are also able to drive up to right near the peak. Those planning to go to Mt. Diablo just need to drive through the Caldecott tunnel cutting through the hills, with the mountain nestled just a few miles east behind Walnut Creek. The sprawling greens should be the perfect way to set the tone for Porter Robinson’s highly anticipated Nurture performance.
Featured Image: Jay Huang
The post Second Sky Guide: Nine East Bay locations you should visit near Porter Robinson’s summer festival appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.