Magazine article Sunset

Linger in Lafayette: Come for the Festival, Stay for a Lakeside Stroll. (Travel: Northern California Day Trip)

Magazine article Sunset

Linger in Lafayette: Come for the Festival, Stay for a Lakeside Stroll. (Travel: Northern California Day Trip)

Article excerpt

In the East Bay town of Lafayette, it's a straight shot down Mt. Diablo Boulevard from the "Res" to Margaret and Elam Brown Plaza, but savvy travelers can devote the day to getting there.

Start at the boulevard's west end. The "Res," as the Lafayette Reservoir is affectionately known, is one of the East Bay's best multiuse recreational sites. There you're bound to find locals strolling around a duck-filled lake along the paved 2.7-mile Lakeside Trail. If you're feeling ambitious, tackle the 4.7-mile Rim Trail; your reward will be stunning views of Mt. Diablo and the surrounding foothills.

Next, head east for a walking tour of downtown. Indulge in a piece of warm coffee cake from Millie's Kitchen (1018 Oak Hill Rd.; 925/283-2397). For a good cup of coffee, those in the know head to Papillon Quality Gourmet Coffees (67 Lafayette Circle; 925/283-0466). Once you're wired, catch a flick at the vintage-1941 Park Theater (3519 Golden Gate Way; 925/283-7997).

Time your visit for the weekend of September 14-15, during the 7th annual Lafayette Art & Wine Festival, featuring 200-plus stalls offering arts and crafts, food, wines, and microbrews.

Or just visit on a weekday, when the town feels more like the humble hamlet it's always been. …

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