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Walnut Creek Magazine

Summer Fun Guide

Jul 12, 2016 03:10PM ● By Cale Finta


AT HEATHER FARM PARK This outdoor skate park is well-designed—obstacles, good rails, ledges and bowls—all the stuff that makes a difference. Perfect for both newbies and experienced skaters, the park is conveniently located for drop in action at the corner of Heather and Marchbanks across from the Clarke Swim Center.  Free admission, helmets and pads required.
EXPLORE ANGEL ISLAND The San Francisco Bay’s most famous island—the one that isn’t a prison—is a treat for all ages. The ferry ride alone is worth the trip, but the island itself is full of history, beauty and wonderful treks. Panoramic views of the Bay Area, pretty camping spots and remarkable sunsets have been greeting everyone from Miwok Indians to immigrants and military troops through the years.

CHILL IN A ROWBOAT Pack a backpack for a picnic on Stow Lake in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The boathouse lets you choose from their fleet of rentals: rowboats, pedal boats, and electric boats. Whether on a date or a family outing, gliding around the calm waters is a lot of fun. You’ll float under a couple of bridges, past the waterfall on Strawberry Hill, and along the way see turtles and other wildlife.
 HIKE AT SHELL RIDGE This Walnut Creek hike is a hybrid of straight a ways, inspiring views and poetic oaks on golden slopes. Pick up the Sugarloaf-Shell Ridge Trail where it crosses Rudgear Road at the end of Stewart. Head east through the cattle gate and power up the path. Turn right at the summit, crest another hill and make a deep descent to the creek and Bullfrog Pond. Follow the path over the bridge and climb left, where the Twin Ponds Loop Trail aims for the Whitecliff gate. Walk out here.
FRIDAY NIGHTS @ OMCA This evening series happens every Friday at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) where the East Bay parties with live music, dancing, family activities, special gallery programming and Off the Grid. Parking is $5 and gallery admission is half-off for adults, free for ages 18 and under.
SAND AND SEA You have to love a beach with an annual sand castle building contest. Crowne Memorial State Beach is also one of the best destinations in the East Bay for kite boarding. If it’s not your thing to stand up or do yoga on a giant surfboard, watch the action from the sandy shores at Eighth Street and Otis Drive in Alameda.

STEP RIGHT UP! Chevron Family Theatre Festival celebrates its’ 10th Birthday with an entertainment extravaganza. While drummers and ethnic dancers perform outdoors, Disney characters mingle with the crowds. This year’s lineup includes: Artrageous, an amazing team of artists who paint at electric speed to music; Alex Ramon Magic with his impressive illusions and modern day magic; Fantasy Forum’s interactive version of The Wizard of Oz; and Pushcart Players who bring Peter and the Wolf to stage. Plus kid puppet shows, Star Wars Build-a-Droid Stations, and a birthday party with cake! DETAILS: July 16, Lesher Center for the Arts, WC,
EXPLORE A MAGIC FOREST 100-foot-tall redwoods hover over Jurassic ferns and protected native trout in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park where miles of trails wind through the foggy forest. The crowd level ranges from sparse to deserted, so there’s plenty of peace and quiet as you walk through the tranquil landscape of this 1,830-acre park.  It’s 20 degrees cooler here than Walnut Creek, so remember to dress in layers.
THURSDAYS IN JULY Groove to the Summer Sounds outdoors on the plaza at the Lesher Center for the Arts. Performers include Chris Cain, Anderson & Roe, and Blue Jupiter A Cappella. Beverages, including wine and beer, available for purchase.

TAKE A STAYCATION If you can manage the swarms of tourists from around the globe, a weekend at Fisherman’s Wharf is a nice escape from the summer heat. One of San Francisco’s newest boutique hotels, the Hotel Zephyr (formerly a Radisson) underwent a $32 million renovation emerging with a hip retro-nautical vibe and a substantial art collection. Its waterfront location makes it easy to explore the waterfront, eat local seafood and take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Relax at night around fire pits in the hotel courtyard.
WALK ON PIER 39 Sunsets are glorious here while eating a chowder bread bowl, or dining at Bubba Gump’s or Pier Market Restaurant. Other popular attractions include Aquarium by the Bay, Rocket boat rides, and the San Francisco Carousel. But the real attraction are the hordes of sea lions barking on the docks below. With a plentiful supply of food from the Bay, since 1989, the Pier 39 Marina has been home to thousands of sea lions.
EAT LIKE A LOCAL Sample artisan foods, farm fresh cheeses, produce and oysters at the marketplace inside the historic Ferry Building; head to North Beach where Columbus Street is brimming with bistros and fresh pasta and pizza; taste the incredibly fresh fish from the mongers at the Wharf who serve cracked crab, creamy clam chowder and fried calamari; fill a pink box with dim sum in Chinatown ranging from steamed buns, dumplings and sweets; or grab a burger with your Irish coffee at Buena Vista Café. The options are endless.
HOP ON A TROLLEY It only takes $7 to ride up and down the hills in one of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars. When you’re done, stop by the San Francisco Cable Car Museum to learn more about their inner workings. In the historic Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse, the site where the cable system has operated since 1907, you can see the actual cable winding machinery and antique cable cars dating from 1873. Museum admission is free.

GET CULTURED The stunning new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) boasts 170,000-square-feet of galleries—edgy, contemporary pieces by artists Jeff Koons and Cindy Sherman, new spaces dedicated to media art, and the Fisher Collection comprised of post-war German masterpieces like Kiefer and Richter. Free admission for visitors 18 and younger.

TRAVEL ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE Considered one of the “seven wonders of the modern world,” the 1.7 mile span was built in one of the most unforgiving stretches of water in the world…the strait that connects the Pacific Ocean with the San Francisco Bay. But be prepared for traffic, more than 10 million visitors travel here annually for the views and walks across the span.
EXPERIENCE THE LIFE OF STANLEY KUBRICK San Francisco’s Contemporary Jewish Museum hosts an exhibition from the legendary film director’s private estate including little dresses of the sisters from The Shining, the survival kit from Dr. Strangelove, and the ‘Born to kill’ helmet of Private Joker from Full Metal Jacket.
FESTIVAL OF THE BAY Launched to support local artists and entrepreneurs, Treasure Island Flea has become Northern California’s largest monthly (last weekend of month) gathering of artists, collectors, designers, crafters and food trucks. The event also features local musicians and
WC FIRST WEDNESDAYS Party with the community at this monthly street fest featuring outdoor eats, live entertainment, art, shopping and more. Upcoming event dates include: August 3 Summer Jam Fest with The 925 Band; September 7 Rockin Reggae Night with Headshine; October 5 Sunset on Cypress with Beaufunk.
SUMMER PARTY Picnic on the gorgeous grounds of Marin French Cheese Company and enjoy a delicious day of local cheese, beer and wine. Live music, cheese making and beekeeping demos, plus artisan vendors and local food celebrities. August 21,
GO FISHING at the Lafayette Reservoir EBMUD stocks our local watershed with fish, so grab your pole and stake your spot on a scenic dock. Fill your bucket with catfish, bluegill and trout. A daily fishing permit is required.
CONCERTS AT BROADWAY PLAZA August heats up with a hot lineup of performances in the shopping center’s new Event Plaza: August 4 - Petty Theft, August 11 – Foreverland, August 18 - Mustache Harbor, August 25 - Tainted Love. September 1 marks the season finale with Mark McGrath and Party in the Plaza, an exciting street festival, celebrating Broadway Plaza’s official grand opening.
GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL One of the world's largest summer food festivals is dedicated to garlic. It’s mixed into pretty much everything from the ice cream to the pasta. Plus there’s recipe competitions, chef demos, food tastings, and lots of live music. July 29–31,
MOVIES UNDER THE STARS Bring your chairs and blankets to Walnut Creek’s downtown Civic Park for family fun, live music and outdoor movies: August 19 – Aladdin with live music by The Last Minute Band and September 10 - Toy Story with live music by The Last Minute Band.

OUTSIDE LANDS The Bay Area’s premier three-day music festival returns to San Francisco’s majestic Golden Gate Park August 5-7 with its fusion of music, food, beer, wine and art. Headliners this year include Radiohead, Lionel Richie, Lana Del Ray, Duran Duran and Zedd. While the music is the main attraction, interactive art installations, hand-crafted brews, artisan wines and gourmet food enhance the experience.
EAT DRINK SF Revel in the flavors of the ultimate foodie city, as San Francisco’s premier chefs, winemakers, spirits distillers, artisan food purveyors, and other leaders in the restaurant, food, and beverage world converge to share their innovations and ideas. The events includes chef’s demos, special dinners, and of course lots of samples and sips. August 26-28,


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