Tilden Park is a large park, one segment of an even larger East Bay Regional Parks network stretching along the East Bay Hills behind Berkeley, Oakland and other cities. Features include: excellent hiking (with maps and marked trails); the Little Farm (kids get close to farm animals); a vintage merry-go-round (with other animals not just horses); scenic views of San Francisco Bay; a marvelous miniature train ride (2+ miles through the wooded hillside, and a scale reproduction of interest to adult train fans not just kids); small lake for swimming; pony ride; a botanical garden; and a public golf course. For bus access check AC Transit. Adjoining Tilden Park is the Lawrence Hall of Science (part of UC Berkeley, with interactive science exhibits and programs, mostly designed for kids) and the UC Botanical Garden. Halfway up the hill going to the Park is Berkeley's well known Rose Garden (Euclid Ave. and on bus route 65, which also goes to Tilden and the Lawrence Hall of Science).
Watch out for: poison oak, and the weather. It almost never rains from April through October, but especially in the summer there can be serious low cloud cover and cool winds off the nearby Bay. This pattern is associated with various fog patterns - low clouds hanging right over Berkeley and (not quite so often) over Tilden Park (east of Berkeley and over the hills). Spring and fall bring more consistent sunshine to this micro-climate.
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