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BERKELEY, OAKLAND AND THE EAST BAY

Berkeley and East Bay Because its famous neighbor to the west often overshadows it, the gems of the East Bay go unappreciated by most visitors. If you have several days to spend in San Francisco, consider riding BART across the bay to visit the East Bay's varied offerings. Driving is recommended if you really want to explore.

Oakland's Jack London Square has evolved into a fabulous spot for entertainment, shopping, and dining. Though named after author Jack London, who spent some time writing in the area, little remains to commemorate him. Hear jazz and eat sushi at Yoshi's, shop along the waterfront, and enjoy some great meals at any of the restaurants scattered throughout the area.

Check out the Farmer's Market on Sunday mornings and the monthly antique fair. Within walking distance inland from Jack London Square is the Paramount Theater, a renovated concert hall where both live performances and films are presented. Even if you don't attend an event, visit the theater to see how well its original features and character have been maintained and preserved.

If you're a sports fan, BART's Coliseum stop will take you to the Oakland Coliseum, where the Oakland A's and Raiders play.

Because Oakland is so accessible to San Francisco, some visitors take advantage of Oakland's lower hotel rates and then just BART in to the higher-priced world of the City by the Bay. Oakland has its own airport, and ferries from the Port of Oakland go to downtown San Francisco, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf and, during the summer, Angel Island.

Further east of Oakland lies Berkeley, home of the University of California at Berkeley. The school has long imbued the city with its unique personality, making this part of the East Bay unlike any other. Roam the Berkeley campus, shop Telegraph Avenue (yes, you'll find plenty of tie-dyed items!), enjoy an eclectic variety of bookstores, and maybe catch a concert at the Greek Theater, an outdoor amphitheater near the campus.

If you're driving, take the Powell Street exit off I-80 and explore the Emeryville Public Market, a huge assortment of outdoor and indoor food vendors offering all manner of ethnic taste treats.

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