Because the cities and towns on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay all butt up against each other and function as one large metro area, it's likely that you will also visit Albany's neighboring East Bay towns, such as Berkeley, Emeryville, El Cerrito, and Richmond, so much of the information about getting to those places also applies to getting to Albany.
Albany Bulb. Now part of the Eastshore State Park system, this reclaimed landfill is home to trails with views of The City and the bay, sea birds, as well as tons of crazy urban junk art. Try not to disturb the illegal residents in their tent camps hidden off the smaller trails. Might not be safe after dark. Park at or ride bikes to west end of Buchanan St. Free.
Albany Hill Park. Albany Hill is a nice place to walk. If you go to the top there are many trees, and a nice sitting area with benches. A rope swing provides fun for kids of all ages!
Tilden Regional Park. Technically this is in Berkeley, but it's a short drive from anywhere in Albany. Tilden has many hiking trails, a lake, pony rides and a merry-go-round for children, and spectacular views of the bay.
Albany Twin Theater, 1115 Solano Ave., ☎ +1 510 464-5980. This classic movie theater features first-run independent films.
Solano Avenue, (between The Alameda and San Pablo Avenue), . Interesting shops, restaurants and cafes on a pedestrian-friendly street. The blocks near San Pablo feature many kid-focused shops.
The Albany Farmers market on Solano at San Pablo takes place every Wednesday from 3:00 - 7:00 pm between May and October. It's a small market, but features coveted vendors from the other year-round farmers markets in the East Bay.
Barney's, 1591 Solano Ave (at Ordway), ☎ +1 510 526-8185, . A small California sit-down burger chain that makes good burgers, curly fries, and milkshakes. Try the Oreo shake.
China Village, 1335 Solano Ave (at Ramona), ☎ +1 510 525-2285. M-W 11AM-9:30PM, Th-F 11AM-10:30PM, Sa-Su 10AM-10:30PM. Szechuan cuisine unmatched in the area, and at reasonable prices. Famous for the West Style (1000 Chile) fish.
Walker's Restaurant & Pie Shop, 1491 Solano Ave. (at Curtis), ☎ +1 510 525-4647. A country-style cafe featuring formica tables, "home-style" cuisine and 40+ flavors of delectable pie.
Nizza La Bella, 827 San Pablo Avenue (near Washington), ☎ +1 510 526-2552, . Su-Th 5:30-9:30pm F-Sa 5:30-10:30pm. Sophisticated French bistro. Interesting salads, perfect steak frites (request their sublime home-made aioli for your fries), and interesting, stiff cocktails.
House of Curries, 1497 Solano Ave., ☎ 510-559-8477, . Delicious, affordable Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
Zarri's Delicatessen, 1244 Solano Avenue, ☎ (510) 525-5405. Classic deli with all kinds of sandwiches.
Fonda, 1501 Solano Ave., ☎ (510) 559-9006, . Great tapas and a full bar.
Sophia Cafe, 1247 Solano Ave., ☎ (510) 526-8663. Authentic Mediterranean cuisine. The falafel is amazing!
Club Mallard, 752 San Pablo Ave. (at Washington), ☎ +1 510 524-8450. This popular bar has an eclectic ambiance and a mixed clientele. There are pool tables upstairs and down, along with a tiki patio.
Hotsy Totsy Club, 601 San Pablo Avenue, . 6AM-2AM. Classic american dive bar, active since 1939.cheap.