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Best Unlikely Vista San Francisco 2001 - Miniature Train Ride, Oakland Zoo

9777 Golf Links Road, Oakland, (510) 632-9525,

The underappreciated Oakland Zoo has an even less appreciated feature -- the C.P. Huntington, a miniature replica of a Civil War-era train, which circumnavigates the grounds of the zoo. The idea of a mini-choo-choo is fun enough for the young at heart, and it's cheap too: Tickets are a mere $1.50 for a 15-minute jaunt. What doesn't get mentioned, though, is what a great view the trip offers of the Bay Area. From the edge of the zoo, you can see the sprawl of the Oakland hills all around you, and the gleaming view of the San Francisco skyline in the distance is remarkable. If you can afford a fancy home in the Oakland hills, this is all a moot point, of course. But for the rest of us, the kiddie train is the way to go. (The ride is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

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