Monthly flea mar­ket with 40 plus food trucks, 8 winer­ies in mid­dle of SF Bay, & stun­ning vis­tas

The Oakdale Leader - - 209 LIVING - By DENNIS WY­ATT

North­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s big­gest – and ar­guably the most stun­ning flea mar­ket when it comes to am­biance – is found on one of the new­est pieces of real estate in Cal­i­for­nia.

Trea­sureMart is of­fered the last full week­end of each month and takes place on the 400-acre Treasure Island cre­ated from mud dredged from the bot­tom of the San Francisco Bay and com­pacted on the north­ern edge of Yerba Buena Island that serves as the mid bay an­chor for the 4.46mile San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The flea mar­ket has many of the trap­pings you’d ex­pect at a street fair. Be­sides 400 plus ven­dors, there are more than 40 food trucks that are ro­tated month-tomonth mak­ing it ar­guably the best place to en­joy a smor­gas­bord of food and cook­ing styles. Trea­sureMart also has live mu­sic and kids’ games.

The next Trea­sureMart is Satur­day and Sun­day, Aug. 25 and 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. En­try is $5 for teens and adults while those un­der 12 are ad­mit­ted free.

You’re prob­a­bly think­ing why should I drive a cou­ple hours, pay a $5 bridge toll, then fork over $5 a pop for every­one in the car 12 and older when I can drive up High­way 99 to the Galt Flea Mar­ket and get in free?

For starters this isn’t used junk ven­dors, with 10 places sell­ing toi­letries, and ev­ery fifth booth sell­ing the same stuff. It’s more street fair grade with an­tiques, art work and more.

Galt also doesn’t have winer­ies and tast­ing rooms in easy walk­ing dis­tance, a per­fect cove for bay fish­ing, unique pic­nic ar­eas or a world-class view of the San Francisco water­front.

There are eight winer­ies on Treasure Island that cre­ate their of­fer­ings from grapes grown north of the Bay in Napa and Sonoma coun­ties.

The eight winer­ies of­fer seven tast­ing rooms all within a square mile. The most un­usual is the Sot­tomarino Win­ery. Its wine tast­ing room was once a World War II sub­ma­rine train­ing ves­sel that was com­mis­sioned as the USS But­ter­cup. It still has many of its sub­ma­rine fea­tures de­spite now be­ing on land.

Treasure Island Wines is a col­lec­tive that fea­tures wines from five lo­cal (as in San Francisco) wine­mak­ers.

Fat Grape Win­ery on Satur­days of­fers lo­cal mu­sic as well as a free flight of wines.

The other winer­ies in­clude Brav­ium Win­ery, Ken­dric Win­ery, Sol Rouge Win­ery, The Win­ery, and Vic Win­ery.

Sev­eral of­fer tours of their wine mak­ing

op­er­a­tions as well.

In ad­di­tion to the food trucks dur­ing Trea­sureMart there are reg­u­lar din­ing spots such as the Aracely Cafe, Mersea Restau­rant, and Tammy’s Chicken ‘n Waf­fles and oth­ers.

At Clip­per Cove you can rent pad­dle boards for $25 an hour. Thanks to the cove be­ing shel­tered, fairly shal­low, and rel­a­tively pro­tected from the winds along with weak cur­rents it is pos­si­ble to pad­dle board com­fort­ably with­out a wet­suit.

If you want a bit of land­based ex­er­cise you can rent a clunky beach cruiser at Tran’s Bay Bike Shop and make your way around the flat 400 acres that is Treasure Island.

There’s fish­ing of course and plenty of in­ter­est­ing photo op­por­tu­ni­ties. The best place to get stun­ning pho­tos is tak­ing the short hike up to Blue Park that’s ac­tu­ally part of Yerba Buena Island. Here on a bluff the Bay Bridge is on your left, the Golden Gate Bridge on the dis­tant right and the San Francisco sky­line dead ahead.

Those are ac­tu­ally the three rea­sons why Treasure Island was cre­ated. The island was built on shoals that were a hazard to ship­ping be­ing less than 27 feet down. The Army Corps of Engi­neers cre­ated the island in the mid-1930s just as the two bridges were be­ing com­pleted. The 1939 World’s Fair or Pa­cific Ex­po­si­tion took place on the island to cel­e­brate com­ple­tion of the two bridges as well as the emer­gence of Cal­i­for­nia and San Francisco as ma­jor eco­nomic pow­ers in the Pa­cific.

Two hangars built on the is­lands as part of the fair were to be used by Pan Amer­i­can World Air­ways along with a build­ing for use a ter­mi­nal af­ter the fair for the Pan Am fly­ing boats known as the China Clip­per.

Plans to turn Treasure Island into San Francisco’s sec­ond air­port were de­railed by World War II as it was pressed into ser­vice by the mil­i­tary. Treasure Island at one point pro­cessed over 12,000 men a day as they were shipped out to the Pa­cific Theatre.

The Navy still op­er­ates a base on Yerba Buena Island.

The fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory of Treasure Island that is now a San Francisco neigh­bor­hood with more than 2,000 res­i­dents can be ex­plored at the Treasure Island Mu­seum.

Be­sides static ex­hibits there are in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays as well. You can learn how the island was cre­ated – think of form­ing a strong pie shell from rock with dredg­ing as the fill – as well as dis­cov­er­ing such tid­bits about how it in­volved plant­ing 4,000 trees, 70,000 shrubs, and 700,000 flow­er­ing plants.

It also tells the story of the 1939 World’s Fair that had an at­ten­dance of more than 17 mil­lion as well as the mil­i­tary uses and op­er­a­tions at Treasure Island.

If you want to for­sake the crowds drop by on other week­ends or bet­ter yet mid-week to en­joy a lowkey stroll and pic­nic.

Treasure Island is the epi­cen­ter for or­ga­nized youth and am­a­teur sports in San Francisco in­clud­ing Lit­tle League base­ball and soft­ball, rugby, sail­ing and other pur­suits.

You can drive to Treasure Island via In­ter­state 80 and the Bay Bridge or take BART to down­town San Francisco and catch the Muni bus that serves Treasure Island.

PHOTO ACROSS TOP: Treasure Island is a fa­vorite with those seek­ing pho­tos of the San Francisco sky­line. TOP LEFT PHOTO: The once a month Trea­sureMart. TOP RIGHT PHOTO: A 1939 three cent stamp com­mem­o­rat­ing the World’s Fair held on Treasure Island. MID­DLE PHOTO: The beach at Clip­per Cove. BOT­TOM LEFT PHOTO: One of the eight winer­ies that are lo­cated on Treasure Island. BOT­TOM RIGHT PHOTO: The ma­rina at Clip­per Cove.

An aerial view of Treasure Island look­ing to the south­west.

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