10+ unique things to do in hidden Moraga, the San Francisco East Bay town that you’ve never heard of

...and it's closer than you think

I love exploring, roaming aimlessly around random European cities is one of my favorite past times. From Cinque Terra in Italy to Grünau im Almtal in Austria, it’s the hidden back streets off the beaten track where the gems lie. Imagine my delight to come across Moraga in East Bay California, just off highway 24 near the Caldecott Tunnel. It's definitely worth the detour!

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Moraga is home to the St Marys Gaels - currently #11 in the NCAA basketball league, this private college with Spanish Renaissance, California Mission style architecture (and Observatory!) is a sight to see in itself. Game tickets are available and it beats Oakland traffic in rush hour!

Eclectic collection of wall and wearable art from local artisans at Moraga Art Gallery. Snatched a gorgeous print for my office

More unique jewelry and bath and body products from local artisans made from recycled metals and ethically mined stones in Natasha Grasso. Yes, I went shopping because hey, I’m worth it!

Explore Hollywood history in the art deco Rheem movie theater with Herbie the Love Bug. This Hollywood in the Bay museum has also seen the Dolorian from Back to the Future, costumes and props from Star Wars, robot from Lost in Space, Kung Fu Panda, Superman’s phone booth, Will Ferrell’s costume from Blades of Glory, Austin Powers Goldmember, and more, srsly, IRL! It’s no wonder it won SF City voter Best Indie Theater 2017

Ultimate Frisbee course

For those more action oriented, you can play ultimate Frisbee with a Frisbee course at Moraga Commons

Watch your (bocce) boules

Not into such an intense action sport? No problem! Bocce boules courts are also available at Moraga Commons

We found vineyards with tasting rooms! Captains Vineyards offers delicious locally grown snacks with tasting and has an awesome view over the valley. If your group is large enough, Sal will pour his award winning wines straight from the barrel

Dude ranch

We’re not really sure what this is used for now, but Moraga Ranch looks pretty awesome!

Nice to meet you

Other than Tilden Park Little Farm, I don’t know of anywhere this close to San Francisco where you can see cows up close

Or go horse riding along EBMUD trails

BONUS #1: A final stop to the Historical Society revealed a plethora of interesting facts. Local historians say that Moraga was considered a forerunner as the site for the United Nations headquarters – on the West Coast. WTH?!!  

Bonus #2: The Mystery House

No, not Winchester. The locals tell me of the historic Joaquin Moraga Abode in the area (OK, technically bumped over the border in what’s now Orinda) that many have heard of, but none have visited. Ghost Adventurers anyone?

Bonus #3: Lost cities

In order to bring water into the town, a neighboring city was flooded so somewhere beneath the San Leandro waterway lies an abandoned city!

Rumor has it that a micro brewery with a European style beer garden is opening in 2018. Count me in! Much cheaper than a flight to Bavaria!!