Richmond soars as kite-flying haven


By Kathy Chouteau

Want to go fly a kite? If you’re a Richmond resident, you’re in one of the Bay Area’s best spots  to do so.

With 32 miles of beautiful shoreline—and Bay breezes to boot—Richmond is an undiscovered gem when it comes to prime spots for enjoying this outdoor activity.

Don’t believe us? Just take a look at all the kite boarders setting off into the bay from Richmond’s shores. They’re in on the secret.

After a recent visit this summer to Berkeley’s annual Kite Festival, where this reporter’s family had the time of our lives, we were inspired to purchase a few kites and cast them skyward at Barbara and Jay Vincent Park at the Richmond Marina. The exhilarating experience we had stepping away from our screens and spending the day outside commanding our own kites was nothing short of memory-making.

To get the scoop on some top spots for kite flying in Richmond, I turned to one of the experts: Tom McAlister, founder of the Berkeley Kite Festival and owner of the Highline Kites shop at the Berkeley Marina.

Berkeley Kite Festival

It’s fairly intuitive, but when choosing a kite flying destination, McAlister advises to look for spots offering “the widest, most open spaces.” Down by the bay is naturally ideal because of the breezes.

Here are some of McAlister’s personal recommendations for kite flying in Richmond:

  • Barbara and Jay Vincent Park, located on Marina Bay Parkway at the end of the Peninsula at Richmond’s Marina. Follow the kite boarders setting up on the expansive lawn just past the children’s playground.
  • Rosie the Riveter Memorial Park, located in Richmond’s Marina at the intersection of Marina Bay Parkway & Melville Square. Pick your spot on the open lawn, catch a breeze and enjoy the view.
  • Miller Knox Regional Park, situated at 900 Dornan Dr. in Richmond, this East Bay regional park’s prevailing winds offer up excellent kite flying. The park also boasts outstanding views in every direction, including Mount Tamalpais, the San Francisco skyline and Brooks Island.

Other Richmond kite flying spots worthy of checking out include Point Pinole Regional Park (down by the shoreline), 5551 Giant Highway; Point Isabel Regional Shoreline (be mindful of off-leash dogs), 2701 Isabel Street; and Point Molate Beach Park, on Stenmark Drive.

If you’re just getting started on kite flying, a good local place to buy a kite is McAlister’s High Line Kites in Berkeley, the shop’s website also has affordable kite-building kits and free kite-making plans.

For his part, McAlister is interested in starting a Richmond Kite Festival… Anyone game? Call his office at 510-235-KITE (5483) to learn more from the expert.

If you know a great kite flying spot in Richmond that we didn’t mention, tell us about it in the comments!


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