Watching the sun set over San Francisco Bay from this hilltop is an unforgettable (and truly local) experience.
Maybe going to graves is a little creepy, but the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland is more beautiful and historic than most places you’ll find in the area. Dating back to the 1800’s, quite old for California, the graves are arranged over an area of rolling hills, which makes for some captivating walks and spectacular views. You won’t only run into mourners here either. There are constantly people running with their dogs, bicycling and picnicking, that make it a pleasant and actually quite lively place to be.
We have a tradition of picking up an ice cream cone just down the street at the famous Fenton’s Creamery. Then we take a drive to the top of the tallest hill and visit Captain Peter R. Holiday on our way out (his headstone is a huge anchor so see if you can find him and say hi).
If you have time, stop by the Moslem designed by Julia Morgan. It looks almost like a medieval library and you can wind your way through corridors lined with ‘books’ then into alcoves lit by colored skylights.
During the solstice a host of musicians fill the usually silent Moslem passages with music. And one year for Halloween they hired actors to give monologues at the graves of famous people buried there! Check their schedule online for special events.