Fringed with freeways and light-industry along the bayshore, capped with the East Bay Regional Parks’ network of nature trails, with a world-famous university in-between – that’s a quick sketch of the region due east of the city. The Berkeley campus of the University of California offers a warren of shops, pubs and fast-food, along with superb bookstores and music stores. Slow food holds sway in Berkeley’s gourmet ghetto, served with a mantra of “local, seasonal and sustainable.’’ Oakland boasts baseball’s Athletics, basketball’s Warriors and football’s Raiders, plus an entertaining mix of live music, pubs and boating marinas at Jack London Square. Over the tawny hills in Contra Costa County, cattle still outnumber cars in places and Mount Diablo dominates the skyline. The Tri-Valley area boasts small towns, an automotive museum and the historic Livermore wine region.
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