Biking by the waterfront soccer fields at Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex (aka the Gilman Fields) in Berkeley, you might be tempted to hop off for a quick pick-up game. The two grass and two artificial fields here are nestled between San Francisco Bay and the bike-friendly Bay Trail in Eastshore State Park
. They’re scenic spots for a pick-up game, league play, or just kicking back to watch the action. Bay views abound in these parts. Combine it with a mellow 5-mile (round-trip) bike ride starting from Point Emery. This stretch of the paved shore-hugging Bay Trail
is stacked with migratory shorebirds, windsurfers skating across the bay, and San Francisco vistas that always score high points. No substitutions needed.
THE KICKER: Head into downtown Berkeley for lunch at the Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe, known about town as Brazil Cafe. This colorful outdoor samba shack just west of campus serves spicy tri-tip and grilled chicken sandwiches and rice plates, acai, guarana Brazilian soda, and their house special, mango smoothies. It’s gostoso!
Find free parking for the Gilman Fields at 400 Gilman St. in Berkeley, just west of the frontage road. If biking, free parking is available at Emery Point in Emeryville at roughly 5891 W. Frontage Road. Brazil Fresh Squeeze Cafe is located at 2161 University Ave. in Berkeley. Brazil Cafe is dog-friendly. The Bay Trail is dog-friendly! No dogs at Gilman Fields.