Prime picnic and barbecue spots speckle Summit Road on Mount Diablo; The Pines, Sunset, and Blue Oak are three favorites. But the sweetest spot of all has just one bench and one grill, under one live oak, with one gorgeous view of Livermore Valley and the distant Oakland Hills. This is Toyon's Round Top picnic spot, and the view from 2,600 feet adds some extra seasoning to the mix. (Most motorists blow right on by this delicious destination on their way to the summit.) Need a little more room? Lookout Point has two barbecue spots, one of which has big southern views. Wherever you light your fire on Diablo, at this time of year, grillers are rare and the temperatures are usually just right. Hot dog!
Look for the mentioned picnic spots on Summit Rd. just after its junction with North Gate Rd. To reach Round Top, look for the Toyon picnic sign (after The Pines); make an immediate left after entering. There is a $10 entrance fee. Dog-friendly!