Now that you’ve exhausted yourself, your kids, and your kid’s friends, guess what? That’s right: Time to exhaust your pup! For any dog owner who’s contemplated their pet’s final journey across the “Rainbow Bridge,” and envisioned a sunny afterlife of green grass and gopher holes, Point Isabel is surely its terra firma equivalent. Situated along the Richmond shoreline, this is an official off-leash East Bay Regional Park, and — minus hot-dog trees — is just about everything a little canine heart could desire. Two entrances lead up to an expansive 21 acres of open fields, where literally hundreds of dogs can sometimes be found joyously galloping, fetching, sniffing, or wrestling. There’s even a water-park-like trio of nautical options, including diving off cliffs into the bay, wading through waves on a sandy beach, or chasing balls into a “lazy river.” And if your pooch is picky about aesthetics, this Shangri-la is framed by a stunning backdrop of the San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate Bridge across the water. To experience Point Isabel at its most crowded, doggiest best, go there on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Readers’ Pick for Best Dog Walk (Legal): Point Isabel