By Roxy Schneider
With COVID going on, it may be hard to get out and feel safe with distancing and people following rules with masks. With winter in season, it can also get very cold. This past week, I went to places around the Bay Area to see where the prettiest views were, and which places were the most Covid-safe. These spots also offer the ability to stay in your car, walk a short distance, bike around, or hike.
Grizzly Peak is a popular destination point for teenagers. It is located in the Oakland and Berkeley Hills. Grizzly Peak offers gorgeous views of the city. Views range from the UC Berkeley campus to the San Francisco Bay. However, Grizzly Peak is a bit scary to drive to. If you decide to drive up, I suggest being a confident driver that can handle the turns. The sharp turns and blind spots can be very intimidating, especially at night. If you decide to get out of your car to get a better view, please watch the road before crossing. People love to speed around the corners and won’t have enough time to stop if you are in their way. The best time to be at Grizzly Peak is at sunset or sunrise. I drove up during the night and it was pretty crowded. Everyone stays in their car for the most part though, due to the city putting logs around the usual sitting areas. It may take a little while to find parking so I suggest you go during sunrise. Grizzly Peak is great because of its close proximity to downtown Berkeley. Going to one of the local restaurants for take out and going up to the top of the hills is a must. With such stunning views, Grizzly Peak is a prime location to enjoy some food. I went to Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana and then drove up for the sunset. It’s also a perfect place to bring your significant other because watching the sunset can be very romantic and relaxing.
The second place I visited was my personal favorite: Mt. Diablo, which is a great spot to exercise and enjoy some views. I did one of the hiking trails, and it was relatively easy and the view was gorgeous. You can choose between an easy hike and a harder hike, depending on how you’re feeling. If hiking is not your thing, Mt. Diablo has a similar drive to Grizzly Peak, in the sense that it has sharp turns and blind corners. It is also a lot longer of a drive to the summit compared to Grizzly Peak. While Grizzly is a 15-20 minute time to the peak, Mt. Diablo is about a 45-60 minute drive. I have to warn you, if you decide to go to Mt. Diablo, you have to pay a $10 fee per car to get in. However, Mt. Diablo’s views are impeccable. You may not get a view of the bay, but the views you get of rolling hills and green grass are still amazing, and even better if you catch the view with little to no clouds. I did not get a chance to see the views during a sunset or sunrise, but I’m sure it is just as gorgeous. The only con to Mt. Diablo is that if you decide to go to the summit, you have to get out of your car to enjoy the view. Also, some people do not wear masks, but most do. If you decide to go up, there are tons of tables for a nice picnic with family or friends.