This space, on a natural peninsula in the San Francisco Bay, was used as a landfill since 1957. But in 1991, the city of Berkeley transformed the area into waterfront recreation, with a wildlife sanctuary and a 17-acre dog park. In 1996, the park was renamed after Cesar Chavez, the farm labor activist and founder of United Farmer Workers of America.
There are many birdhouses hosting local species, including large brown pelicans. The park advises against feeding the squirrels in the park, but apparently few visitors follow these rules, as the squirrels are very friendly and approach visitors on the path.
Uniquely situated in the Bay, the park also affords beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz, and Mount Tamalpais to the north. The 1.25 mile path around the park is completely handicap-accessible.
Because of its spot on the water, the park is ideal for kite flying. The Berkeley Kite Festival is held on the last weekend of July every year, and the professional kiters come out in mass!
Visit California with Atlas Obscura Trips
Hip-Hop, Hippies, and Robots: Invention and Reinvention in San Francisco
We'll set out together, September 19-21, to explore unusual galleries, test our cocktail-making skills, and visit the city's best unofficial museum.