Why hike when I could merely stroll, you say? You're on, then. Suppose you want to be by the water, and you need a little exercise. You've only got a few hours between a late breakfast and your afternoon chores. You like people and dogs, but not enough to walk around Lake Merritt. And finally, you want to see plants, animals, and breathtaking city views. Is that too much to ask? No, it isn't. A walk around Alameda's Bay Farm Island on the Shoreline Trail will give you all this, and even satisfy your baser tom-peeping instincts. This six-mile-or-so loop affords visitors excellent views of San Francisco, hot windsurfers, and pricey condo interiors. A fun game to play with your pedestrian cohorts is to guess the airline of the jet you hear taking off from nearby Oakland International, and then be the first to spot the always-disappointing FedEx logo. If you feel like picking up the pace to a jog and then deciding it was a bad idea, there are lots of nice grassy mini-parks and benches where you can lay your weary body.
Readers' Pick for Best Walk by the Bay: Berkeley Marina