Bocce originated in ancient Roman culture and has grown in popularity in the United States. A low-key sport requiring little to no athletic skill, the game of bocce is enjoyable and fun for people of all ages and abilities. Bocce ball sites abound in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and sometimes they come with a generous helping of great food and drink! Explore bocce courts in your own town, or take a day trip and scout out some courts in destination towns like Sausalito or Healdsburg. Either way, you can center your group activity on a game that’s laid back, yet exciting. All you’ll need is a bocce ball set and a court.
Bocce is a great activity for group gatherings like family parties, corporate events, and weekend outings with friends. The San Francisco Bay Area boasts parks, restaurants, bars and more that have bocce courts installed for guests. We’ve compiled a couple ideas here to get you started. This list is in no way exhaustive—check out your town’s local courts today!
Bocce Courts in Outdoor Parks: For a casual family get-together that’s kid-friendly and free, nothing beats outdoor bocce courts in local parks.
Aquatic Park: Rated the Best Bocce Ball Court in 2013 for the SF Weekly Best Of Award. Aquatic Park Bocce Ball Court boasts spectacular views of the Municipal Pier and San Francisco Bay. Home court of legendary bocce ball player, Benjamin Tossi (who has represented the US in two world championship games), the park features a delightful clubhouse and surrounding comfortable benches where you can relax while waiting your turn. Located on Hyde at Beach, San Francisco.
Joe DiMaggio Playground: Boasting two bocce courts open to the public, the former North Beach Park was revitalized to the tune of $7.5 million and renamed after Baseball Hall of Famer, Joe DiMaggio who was a San Francisco resident. The park is perfect for a family outing. The park’s state-of-the-art and spacious Clubhouse can even be reserved for parties and special events! Located at 651 Lombard Street, San Francisco.
Golden Gate Park: Nothing could be more enjoyable than a visit to this famous park, that is about 200 acres larger than NYC Central Park. Pick up a bocce ball game with some friends on the community courts, or spend your time strolling along the breezy pathways that border the bay. For the family there are also museums, animal exhibits, a carousel, tea gardens, and more. Located at 501 Stanyan Street, San Francisco.
Bocce Restaurants and Bars: You’ll find restaurants and bars offering delicious food and drinks along with bocce courts sprinkled around the Bay Area and in San Francisco.
Make Westing: Named after a Jack London story, this bar is a longtime favorite of locals. Voted Friendliest Bar in Oakland Magazine's Best of 2014, think house cocktails, inventive cuisine, a daily Happy Hour and indoor bocce courts open 7 days a week. The cool vibe of this Uptown Oakland spot makes it perfect for enjoying a few drinks while you play a round. Located at 1741 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.
Bar Bocce: Located on the gorgeous Sausalito waterfront, Bar Bocce’s got it all: homestyle food, from pizza and coconut sorbet to beers and cask wines, a covered bayfront patio and bocce courts. While reservations aren’t accepted, you can buy out the restaurant on weekdays, making it great for company events or rehearsal dinners. Located at 1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito.
Campo Di Bocce: With convenient locations in Livermore and Los Gatos, this Italian restaurant-cum-bocce court site is great for family gatherings, birthdays, office parties and more. Enjoy delicious Italian fare with a few rounds of bocce on the side. Located at 175 East Vineyard Avenue, Livermore; 565 University Avenue, Los Gatos; and the new location at 4020 Technology Pl., Fremont.
Bocce Wineries: There are nearly thirty wineries with bocce courts between Sonoma and Napa alone! The California coast has thousands of amazing wineries, and in our opinion, the best of the wineries have bocce courts. You can find an extensive list of bocce wineries here.
As you scout around for great local bocce courts, keep in mind the type of surface you will be playing on. At Heavenly Greens, we know all about the pros and cons that come with traditional clay, crushed oyster shell or asphalt courts. For an optimal family-friendly experience, Heavenly Greens recommends artificial grass bocce courts. Not only are they soft, lush and more attractive than drab brown courts; they are faster draining and cleaner too. You, your friends and your kids won’t get dusty or dirty with artificial grass bocce courts, and you don’t need to worry about a rough ground for little ones.
If you find yourself getting a little addicted to bocce (Trust us, it’s easy!) Heavenly Greens offers commercial and residential installations of artificial grass bocce courts. Visit our San Jose showroom today to find out about the many options we have for your artificial turf installations at Heavenly Greens.