I have no idea why it’s taken me a year and a half to experience this creepy, yet ABSOLUTELY wonderful, man-made island, strangely called Treasure Island. Is there really treasure there? Really?
None the less, this little island has come up in random conversations and various google searches as I discover more about the Bay Area. Yet, I’ve found very little desire to venture out and see what this place is really about. That was, until one of our weekend adventures led us to Oakland and a surprise discovery of a pretty cool wine bar.
It was there that our conversations with one of the owners, Sarah Trubnick, included wineries around the area. She highly recommended making the journey into Treasure Island and experiencing the new wave of winemakers working hard to revitalize the island, while remaining true to it’s character.
I’m forever grateful to Sarah for this great recommendation and now that I’ve experienced it for myself, here’s 5 reasons why you need to as well!
The best view of San Francisco
It’s no wonder this place is up for a massive overhaul of high rises, tourist-takeovers and a slew of trendy restaurants. Let’s be honest, this view is ridiculous and the fact that this old Navy base is still in disarray is very odd to me. But at the same time, I really don’t want to see anything happen to this island. All of the strange history and abandoned buildings adds a sense of charm to the place. It’s rather peaceful if you ask me.
Despite the view, the rest of the place is rather washed up , I’m guessing haunted, and absolutely perfect! It holds so much history and mystery (yep, sorry that’s a horrible combination or rhyming words. I apologize!) But I can’t stop wondering what would have been like to have been stationed here all of those years ago as a navy officer? When and why did so much of it change? And will someone please tell me when the Zombies are coming? Because this place is straight out of a movie! I will get to that soon.
The Treasure Island Flea Market
I’m rather embarrassed to admit this, but I yet to experience a real flea market in the Bay Area, even though it’s been one of my dreams since I was a teen. Since I have nothing to compare this with, I have to say that, despite the smaller size there is a lot to be seen at the Treasure Island Flea Market! I highly, highly recommend checking it out!
First things first, before heading out into the crowd, arm yourself with a delicious craft-cocktail waiting for you at the mixology tent near the entrance of the market. It may or may not help you with your buying decisions.
Make sure to stop by Crystal Visions Jewelry and see the exquisite designs Jamie has been creating. I’m swooning over every single piece she sells, and the prices are amazing! Make sure to stock up! I scored a lovely amethyst necklace for $14. This girl has some serious talent!
I’ve become obsessed with air plants lately! Adam and I have been waiting to pick up a few of our own, so when we walked by Urban Geometry’s booth, it was game on! I’m now the proud owner of 4 little air plants. And can we also talk about these gorgeous geometric gold hangers? If my ceilings weren’t so unreachably high, I would hang these everywhere!
Sadly, I’ve killed every succulent I own, so Adam insisted I wait to pick up any more. But how can a person resist a whole booth of SUCCULENTS!!??
Can you tell I have a plant addiction? I could very easily hoard plants, but luckily a 1 bedroom apartment won’t allow for that, so I’m left only to hope and dream for more plants.
Urban, garage-style wineries
Our first stop was to Treasure Island Wines. They were one of the first operational urban wineries to come to the old Navy Base. They set up shop in the old commissary, which consists of a unique collaborative co-op between a handful of other wineries.
We had the privilege to taste with one of the owners, Jim Mirowski, who gave us a look into the operations. He also let us taste some incredibly wines, including a delicious 2008 Cabernet he found hidden in the back room. Glad he did, because we all bought a few bottles! On top of that we chatted about their upcoming Hard Cider bottling and a few new things in the works. I’m pretty excited to see how they turn out!
Our next stop was Sottomarino Winery, which tastes it’s wines out of the old Damage Control Wet Trainer Submarine. Hence the name Sottomarino, which is Italian for Submarine. How often do you get to hang out in a submarine and drink wine?
Though we only made it to a few wineries that day, there are a handful I have on my list to visit. I will be back and hopefully very soon!
A charming cafe on an almost-deserted island
When you’re one of a few restaurants on this island, it’s safe to say you probably don’t have to try to hard, right? Luckily, Aracely doesn’t see it this way and has proven both times we’ve dined there, that they can make some dang good, farm-to-table food.
Our go-to dishes so far, have been the Croissant French Toast with Vanilla Cream Cheese and Fresh Strawberries (pictured below) and the Smoked Salmon Toast with Meyer Lemon Sauce (not pictured).
They also boast a nice drink menu that includes some local wines around the Bay Area. You have to try the 2013 Donkey + Goat Grenache Blanc, El Dorado, CA. The perfect white wine for dining on their patio this summer. Very refreshing!
I’m pretty sure zombies are hiding in the shadows
I am not one of those people that go out of their way to watch zombie movies, let alone participate in any zombie-centric events. However, the moment we started driving through this town we all looked at each other and immediately locked the doors. How can a place, so close to a very vibrant and bustling city be so utterly abandoned?
This place is the perfect representation of a scene from a movie where the earth is hit by a wide spread virus and everything is killed off. The only exception is a few of you that managed to escape the devastation. After emerging years later from a deep underground shelter you discover that everything around you is a waste land. Desolate and destroyed. That is where my mind goes when I see this place.
And that is why I’m absolutely in love with this mysterious Treasure Island. Amidst the rubble and abandonment has emerged this great population of artists, visionaries and proprietors. People who really love this town and all of it’s history. Despite the threat of zombies emerging from the shadows.
The Shout Out List
The Barrel Room (Wine Bar) – 5330 College Avenue Oakland, CA 94618 (510) 655-1700
Aracely (Cafe) – 401 13th Street at E Street San Francisco, CA 94130 (415) 985-7117
Treasure Island Flea Market – Ave. of the Palms, Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA. – Last Weekend Every Month. $3 Entry – Free Parking – Kids 12 & Under Free – Pet Friendly – 10am to 4pm
Crystal Visions Jewelry (Jewelry)
Urban Geometry (air plants)
Treasure Island Wines (winery) – 995 Ninth Street Bldg 201 San Francisco, California 94130 (415) 394-9463
Sottomarino Winery (winery) – 400 California Ave., Building 2 Annex, Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA 94130 (415) 967-4200