Best Place for Families to Swim on a Not-So-Hot Day

Cull Canyon

If it's a foggy summer day in Berkeley and Oakland, get thee to Cull Canyon. It's a popular spot for residents of Castro Valley and the surrounding area, but it's not on the radar of many North Alameda County residents. It should be. Just a fifteen-minute drive from Oakland's Fruitvale district off I-580, Cull Canyon is often sunny when other parts of the East Bay aren't. Plus, it's a beautiful and clean park, complete with covered picnic area and a sandy beach lagoon. Parking is always free. And lifeguards are extra-vigilant. They make everyone take a swim test before allowing anyone to swim to the floating dock. Still, everyone, even babies, can splash in the shallow waters and enjoy the 1.5-acre lake, which won a landscape design award in 1996 from the governor's office. One thing is true: You're probably not going to bump into many Rockridge soccer moms here. Instead, it's more of a working-class crowd from Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Leandro.

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