The East Bay is not only one of California’s gems, but one of America’s most beautiful regions. Embarc Martinez is happy to call the heart of the East Bay Area “home”, and we would love to share with you the best of what it has to offer. Dive in with us as our guide to the East Bay will reveal some of the top sights, great grub, and gorgeous nature the area has to offer.
East Bay Cities & Counties
The East Bay is a highly populated subregion of the greater Bay Area, connected by the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge and houses 33 cities throughout the Alameda and Contra Costa counties, including Berkeley, Concord, Fremont, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasant Hill, and of course, one of our homebases, Martinez.
Contra Costa County is the ninth most populous county in the state, sitting just east of the Oakland Hills. Being primarily residential, the 19 cities making up Contra Costa County have much to offer for leisure activities, including a myriad of food, shopping, and lodging options for locals and visitors alike.
Alameda loosely translates to “a grove of poplars”, and is a county hosting 14 incorporated cities with a total population estimate of 1.5 million. Seated between the East side of the San Francisco Bay and the San Joaquin Valley, Alameda is rich in diversity across ethnic groups and languages, and is home to the prominent California cultural icons Oakland and Berkeley.
Arguably some of the East Bay area’s biggest attractions are the numerous state parks and nature reserves open to the public and for good reason! Between the gorgeous year-round climate, incredible views, and unique topography, you’d have to try to not be swept off your feet.
The gargantuan beauty that is Mount Diablo is smack-dab in the middle of the East Bay at 3,849 feet tall and offers breathtaking summit views stretching over 100mi in every direction. This state park boasts 20,000 acres of trail opportunities for equestrians, dog owners, and hikers to appreciate.
The mountain lies on two tectonic plate faults and is being constantly pushed higher by about 3-5mm every year! Visitors to Mount Diablo are pleased to see a variety of flora and fauna, such as black-tailed deer, grey foxes, badgers, salamanders, and burrowing owls.
Stonewall Panoramic Trail
Accessible through Berkeley and a moderate trail for hikers of all experience levels, the Stonewall Panoramic Trail is great for soaking up the sun and enjoying the panoramic views at 700 feet altitude.
If you’ve seen any far-out picture capturing the brunt of the popular college town, it was likely taken on the Stonewall Trail. After enjoying some Gelato pre-rolls, take yourself on an evening hike to catch the warmth of the sunset covering the area.
Northern California’s reputation as a “foodie” area is practically an understatement, as the region is ideal for high-quality fresh ingredients, such as seafood, grapes, livestock, almonds, and stone fruits. Kitchens can reap the benefits of the fertile lands and teeming waters to concoct delicious creations for the public to enjoy.
You just can’t beat fresh fish from the Pacific, so we aren’t going to try! East Bay sushi is top-tier, to say the least, and if you’re hankering for a unique, hardy roll without all the frills, Nori Roll in El Cerrito is right up your alley.
Family-owned and pick-up-only, you’ll receive a generous portion of exquisite sashimi, nigiri, and maki at budget-friendly prices. Locals love the no-nonsense good food, and being able to take it right home and wash it down with some medicated beverages makes for a perfect night in.
A common denominator among most people is the love for pizza, and Benchmark in Kensington does it best. Hidden in the hills and crafting small wood-fired pizzas, this restaurant understands the perfect marriage between mozzarella, garlic, oregano, and red sauce. All produce is from local and sustainable vendors, and all pastas, pies, cheese, and sausages are made in-house.
Welcome to the East Bay
While you are exploring all of the perks the East Bay has to offer, stop by Embarc Martinez at 3503 Alhambra Ave to tell us all about your adventures, grab some grade-A flower, and enjoy the best dispensary in the area. We hope to see you soon and that you stay a while!