Over at the Grotto

Leprechauns, pots of gold: good things can come in small packages. Add Grotto Rock Park to the mix.…

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Leprechauns, pots of gold: good things can come in small packages. Add Grotto Rock Park to the mix. This 0.3-acre rock park in the Berkeley Hills seems designed for sunset viewings with its spectacular vista of San Francisco Bay and Berkeley’s good greenery. It’s also relatively quiet because well-known Indian Rock sits a few streets below. Scale the natural stone steps carved into the west-facing boulder, then wind down crag-style and cozy into a stone nook or cave cranny. The boulder may be modest in size, but the views are goliath, stretching from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge. The San Francisco skyline silhouettes against the sunset, and Berkeley sits below. Rock star treatment.

BEER BONUS: Head down the hill for a pint at the Albany landmark known as The Pub (aka Schmidt’s Pub), a total charmer of an English-style locals’ bar since 1983. Sit back on the comfy front patio and enjoy on-tap ales (and board games galore).

Grotto Rock Park is located in Berkeley at 879 Santa Barbara Rd. Park open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Schmidt’s Pub, (510) 525-1900, is open daily and located at 1492 Solano Ave. in Albany. Both Grotto Rock Park and Schmidt’s Pub are dog-friendly!

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