Don’t confuse Piedmont Ave., which lies within Oakland, with the chichi city of Piedmont, an exclusive residential enclave nearby. Family-friendly Piedmont Ave. welcomes everyone to its eclectic shops, restaurants and cafes like Fentons Creamery, and even an arthouse cinema. Weekdays and weekends alike, everywhere stays busy on the main drag, which heads north from MacArthur Blvd. to Pleasant Valley Rd.
You could spend a couple of hours browsing the boutique shops and grabbing lunch, dinner, or just coffee and dessert. Locals especially love the hot tub hideaways at Piedmont Springs spa. For panoramas looking out over San Francisco Bay, continue north past Pleasant Valley Rd. to Mountain View Cemetery, the final resting place of such famous local historical figures as Julia Morgan and Samuel Merritt.
Directions: From the MacArthur BART station, it’s an unappealing 15-minute walk east to Piedmont Ave. From downtown Oakland, catch AC Transit bus 51A northbound along Broadway and get off at 40th St., then walk three blocks east to Piedmont Ave. For more Transportation details see Oakland and Around (in the yellow bar).