Embarcadero, Oakland: the area between 880 & Embarcadero Cove (aka Brooklyn Basin) along Embarcadero Road. The section of waterfront runs South from Jack London Square towards Alameda. It's a mixed use area of warehouses, industrial buildings, artists lofts, marinas, shops, restaurants and hotels.
The Bay Trail runs along the water with many opportunities to stop and enjoy the views. Kids can romp around a playground in a tucked-away park
(Union Point Park - http://www.waterfrontaction.org/learn/parks/up.htm)
or gaze at sailboats harbored in Embarcadero Cove from the deck of a quirky pub and restaurant (Quinn's Lighthouse (http://www.quinnslighthouse.com/).
Shop for bargains at a discount bakery store, sip tea or visit an urban winery. Stay at one of three water-front hotels including the Bayside Hotel (Best Western Plus) - http://baysidehoteloakland.com/
Historic Markers along the Bay Trail give insight into the area's history - http://www.waterfrontaction.org/history/history_signs/brooklyn_basin.htm
With the 65-acre Brooklyn Basin project in the works, this sleepy area is expecting to see big changes, starting in 2017. http://brooklynbasin.com/background/
Fields, warehouses....between the highway and the estuary. Add more here!