Bowling is still a great sport, and can be played all year long. It is not that expensive to keep up with or play, and can be played with even one person. Although many bowling alleys from the 50’s have closed in recent years to be replaced with condominiums, the San Francisco Bay Area has plenty of alleys left. Below are some of these unique bowling alleys.
Let’s start in San Francisco. Above the Moscome center at 750 Folsom Sreet is the fairly new Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center. This is not a huge bowling alley, but has everything you need to have a great time bowling. The bowling center features modern equipment along with a variety of leagues. The bowling center has party rooms available with catering from the restaurant at the center. And when you are tired of bowling, you can go and watch the ice skaters.
Another bowling alley in San Francisco is at the Presidio on the corner of Moraga and Montgomery. The Presidio doesn’t have exact street addresses. This is a small 12 lane bowling alley built in the old time alley tradition. This is the former alley at the Presidio Army Base. This alley is very family friendly and can easily handle group parties. With only 12 lanes, it is not too expensive to rent out the whole alley for your big event. Here you can almost always find lanes open to bowl on, unless a party is in session. This alley has a full snack bar with beer and wine, and great views of the San Francisco Bay.
Now, if you want the latest and greatest in technology and bowling, the Sea Bowl in Pacifica is where you need to go. This alley has 32 lanes, but is loaded with large screen televisions and a laser light system. The speaker system is excellent here, and bowling here is akin to attending a bowling rock concert. On Friday nights, their Astro bowling is conducted with strobe lights, fog and laser light. This might not help you improve your score, but it is an event that should be taken in at least once. Then again, maybe it will improve your score.
If you want to club and bowl, the 300 at 5420 Thornwood Avenue in San Jose is your place. This alley truly is turned out to match an high establishment night club and restaurant. It is not for the super price conscious, but the bar, restaurant and floor areas make you want to wear your club best here. There is plenty to keep nonbowlers busy here. They also have new alleys with modern scoring equipment and ball handling. Best, if you love this concept, 300 is becoming a national chain so you can visit your club in other cities while traveling.
For an all around bowling alley that serves all areas of bowling including kids, adults, family and senior citizens with modern technology, the Cloverleaf Bowl in Fremont at 40645 in Fremont, California continues to do it all as it has since 1963. They feature great youth training bowling, inhouse rewards and are active in local fund raising. They have 44 lanes and have specials for the price conscious bowler. Day and night leagues are available.
For the more serious bowler, I like some of the AMF bowling centers in the Bay Area. All AMF bowling centers are not created equal. Located in the cities of Alameda and Pinole, both of these centers do an excellent job of serving a young, single clientele and the more serious bowler. The two alleys have lots of lanes and leagues available at convenient times, and tend to treat bowling as the focus of all events. The Alameda center can be found at 300 Park Street. The Pinole bowling center can be found at 1580 Pinole Valley Road.
One of my favorite suburban bowls is Earl Anthony’s Dublin Bowl located at 6750 Regional Street behind Micheal’s Art Store. If you know bowling, you know that Earl Anthony was a national bowling champion who was from the Bay Area. This is a center with 40 lanes, a sports bar and an arcade. This bowl is decorated in a western motiff which I find quite different. It has been the home of many PBA tournaments and is quite popular. It is not always easy to access lanes here without being in a league, but if you can visit during the day, you will find yourself presently pleased. They also have some of the most helpful staff I have encountered in my bowling journeys.
So as you can see, there are still a wide variety of options available if you want to bowl in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bowling is good exercise, affordable and fun. Get out there and bowl!