Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in the northwest extremity of Contra Costa County feels quite remote—not a coincidence, since it was home to an explosives manufacturing plant until late in the 20th century. Now that it's part of the East Bay Regional Parks District, you'll want to go, and not just for its narrow but rompable shoreline. Besides scenic strolls through windswept meadows and eucalyptus groves (originally planted to buffer potential explosions), Point Pinole offers so many incredible vistas of Marin County, San Pablo Bay and passing ships you'll kick yourself if you don't bring a good camera to catch those scenic doggy photo ops.
You'll need to keep Dottie on leash in the developed areas and paved paths, and she doesn't get to ride the shuttle bus. Some areas of the park are restored marshland with restricted access. Expect to meet everyone from bicyclists, birdwatchers, fishermen and equestrians to hikers and herb gatherers, not to mention brush-clearing goats. A big plus: you have to look really hard to find a stand of foxtails. Another big plus: It's practically flat, so you donít have to be a mountain goat to enjoy it.