Follow Powell Street west, to the end of the Emeryville peninsula, and you’ll find a lovely cove and fishing pier with a view of San Francisco and Marin County so outstanding, it will feel as if you could reach out and touch Mount Tamalpais. The shoreline of this beckoning finger of land is part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park, which stretches from the Bay Bridge to Point Isabel in Richmond.
A flat, well-maintained paved path makes a 1.5-mile loop from the Emery Go-Round bus shelter at Commodore Drive. On one side are the iconic cranes of the Port of Oakland, looking like a herd of feeding giraffes. On the other, the marina, with its romantic flotilla of sailboats, some of them decorated with holiday lights.
At the tip of the peninsula are benches, picnic tables, small grassy areas being used by toddlers as tumbling mats and a kayak-scale launch ramp with shower facilities, being used this morning by a boxer and its owner, who is hurling a tennis ball into the water for the dog to fetch. (If you do bring a dog, please be aware that some parts of the park are marked as bird sanctuaries.) Next to the ramp is a long fishing pier. Heading out it, I disturb a brown pelican, which takes off ponderously and sails a few feet over my head.
Don’t forget to look down into the water itself — I have spotted the occasional manhole-cover-sized skate flapping its fins lazily beneath the surface in the shallow area near the docks.
Getting there: Powell Street is served by the Emery Go-Round bus. There is timed parking along part of the street, and a public lot at the end of the peninsula.
Cool stuff in the neighborhood: Hong Kong East Ocean, at the end of Powell Street, has an unobstructed bay view and delicious dim sum, served all day. The legendary Trader Vic’s chain still maintains an outpost with a view of the marina if you need a Mai Tai after your walk.
More information: Is available from the East Bay Regional Parks District, which maintains the park for the state.