This walk sets you a challenge: Are you primarily interested in walking or gaming?
From the starting point at the Rockridge BART station escalator, you can see 38 Pokestops and five gyms. College Avenue is basically a sea of swirling blue cubes. If you want to get a workout, choose your pause points before you start, then grit your teeth and walk past the rest.
An advantage is the frequency of sidewalk benches that allow you to hunt without blocking foot traffic or looking obviously deranged. I picked a Sunday morning for this walk, which is a relatively quiet time on this busy commercial corridor.
Head north, past the Firestorm Community Mural and Chabot Middle School. You’ll pass the Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream factory and College Avenue Presbyterian Church, designed by Julia Morgan and built in 1917. One of my favorite buildings in this neighborhood is the Claremont Day Nursery, a tiny Spanish Revival dollhouse with a distinctively old-school sign.
At the Claremont Diner, turn left down Claremont Avenue, then take a sharp left to go up Chabot Road. This street offers a menu of idiosyncratic landscaping and different East Bay architectural styles.
After you cross College Avenue, you’ll pass St. Albert’s College, a brick seminary with an extensive garden. If you have time and energy, it’s worth extending your walk farther into this neighborhood.
If you want to keep catching Pokemon, you’ll want to turn right on Presley Way, then back down Miles Avenue. It’s worth stepping into the BART parking lot to appreciate the deep space mural painted by Vista College students. But also note the Mid-Century Modern fire station immediately behind the middle school.
Cross under the BART station and make a quick loop by turning right on Forest Street and right on Shafter Avenue. You’ll pass several possibilities for coffee or breakfast as you head back to your starting point.