Friends tend to praise my sleuth ways, as I often come up with new locations they have yet to hear of. The reality is, I don’t have any special skills or big secrets. I have two to three blogs I look at weekly, some local calendar of events, and I also scour Yelp for recommendations. The San Leandro Marina is one of these somewhat obscure locations (although even as I type this, I am sure there will be locals who think, “What?! I’ve known about the San Leandro Marina forever.”) I found out about the marina through the Parks and Recreation Hikes for Tykes program, as it is a location they visit during their hikes.
I can’t stress enough just how much I love all of the parks, playgrounds, and natural beauty right along the water throughout Northern California. Being in nature has calming effects for all. My son and I are in such lighter, happier moods after spending our morning outdoors.
The San Leandro Marina has some good things going for it. First, parking is generous and free of charge. We parked directly next to the playground, which was spacious and well built. There is one play structure for all ages (and is safe for toddlers), along with a couple of swings. My son loved climbing and sliding on the sea animal structures below.
There are also paths for walking (and/or scooting) around the marina. The paths around the water are gravel, so scooting was not as easy as I had hoped. Though the boys abandoned their scooters fairly quickly, they were happy to run back and forth along the path, as well as practice their pitching skills while throwing rocks into the bay. Another favorite was using the volleyball pit as a massive sandbox. Beckham discovered a long lost ball, which the boys both vied for.
When the morning passed into afternoon, and we were all ready to relax and refuel, we hopped in the car and drove the short distance to El Torito restaurant. From what I could see on Google Maps, you have two options for food on the water: Horatio’s (which looked delicious, but fancier than I wanted to take two high energy toddlers to) or El Torito (much more casual, Mexican restaurant.) El Torito was a perfect spot, as the food is affordable and appetizing, and we had a perfect view of the water and incoming airplanes headed to the Oakland Airport. I look forward to our next visit!
San Leandro Marina, 40 Mulford Point Dr, San Leandro, CA