Here are the best Bay Area places to spend Pokemon Go Fest 2022

Pokemon Go Fest 2022 is a few hours away, and trainers should be making plans for the weekend. Keep in mind, it looks like this celebration will be similar to last year with Day 1 focused on catching Pokemon through four rotating habitats. Day 2 involves a new five-star Pokemon, a special research story and Team Go Rocket.

The way Pokemon Go Fest 2022 is positioned in the Season Go, the event appears to be the catalyst for a story that will run through the summer. It will be different from the in-person celebrations happening in Berlin, Seattle and Sapporo, Japan. With Niantic’s focus on these location-based events, there will be no activations or anything special going on this weekend.

“This summer, Pokémon GO Fest is a five-part experience, including two globally-focused events and three live events taking place around the world,” said Mark Van Lommel, global games PR and communications for Niantic. “Our global events give players the opportunity to engage with their local communities and explore their areas without needing to be in a specific city.

“Pokémon GO Fest kicks off with a global event this weekend with two full days of gameplay. We look forward to seeing Trainers engage with their local communities and invite them to share their experiences online using #PokemonGOFest2022 As we’re focused on planning the exciting in-person experiences for the live Pokémon GO Fest events later this summer, there won’t be any Niantic-hosted in-person activations taking place this weekend.”

That means players should approach Go Fest 2022 the same way they did last year. Look for popular spots that have a high density of spawns and go there. Here are a few places to spend the weekend based on recommendations from local Bay Area Discord groups.

San Francisco
There are two popular places to play in the city. The first is along the Embarcadero from the Ferry Building to Cupid’s Arrow. That area has plenty of spawns. It’s nowhere near as good as it once was before the pandemic. In addition, Niantic has reduced the number of gyms in the area, most notably in the FiDi.

Despite that, the gym density is still high in downtown San Francisco and players will have no problem finding raids. Again, it’s nowhere near as good as it once was, but I would still recommend this area for Day 2.

The other popular San Francisco spot is Golden Gate Park. It has been the site of activations before and the area around the Concourse and Stow Lake area is a place where most people go, according to the SF PoGO Raid Meetup Discord. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of gyms in the park, so it looks it to be a better place to spend Day 1 rather than Day 2.

Berkeley
This is where I play and the city features two great spots for “Pokemon Go.” If you’re looking for a place with a high-spawn density, no place is better than the southern portion of the Berkeley Marina. The area is chockful of Pokemon and if players are hunting for shiny variants, this is the place to be.

If you’re looking for a good mix of gyms and spawns, the UC Berkeley and downtown area are fantastic. Players will find clusters of spawns throughout campus mostly around the campanile and radiating outward. There’s also a fair amount of gyms though they’re spread out. What’s great about UC Berkeley is that it spills over to Telegraph Avenue and downtown which both have a decent amount of gyms. It’s nowhere near the number of San Francisco but it’s good enough. If you happen to be in downtown, Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park has a decent number of spawns.

El Cerrito
El Cerrito Plaza is a good place to hunt Pokemon on Day 1. Players can make a route around the shopping center and catch plenty of good pocket monsters. The gym situation is decent with at least five in the area.

If trainers need refreshments, they’ll have a Starbucks and Jamba Juice nearby. It’s a good place to play if you don’t want to make the trek over to Berkeley. A big bonus is that there’s plenty of parking.

Oakland
Although Jack London Square has been popular because of activations, I wouldn’t recommend going there for Go Fest. It’s not good without the boost from Niantic. Instead, a better alternative would be Lake Merrit. Specifically, I’d focus on The Gardens. It’s actually a place that has a long history with Niantic and was a test bed for their games.

It’s full of spawns though the gym situation there isn’t as good. It would be a better Day 1 place rather than Day 2.

San Jose
The best place to play that’s mentioned consistently on the Pokemon Go: San Jose Discord server is San Jose State. According to one of the mods there, “SJSU offers a good mix of spawns and Pokestops across the campus; there are two nice clusters of Pokestops near Tower Hall and the student union building, but parking near the campus can be problematic.”

Oakridge Mall is another popular place for those in south San Jose. If you don’t want to spend time outdoors, the mall is a good option. The San Jose Discord server says the Target and post office area have a nice density of spawns.

Cupertino
De Anza College is a great spot according to the San Jose Discord server. It has a large number of spawns and players can find parking for a small fee or look for street parking near Cupertino Memorial Park. It sounds like a good place to spend Day 1.

Fremont
The area around Lake Elizabeth has been a popular area for years. It’s a place that reportedly has a good mix of spawns and gyms. With more than 11 gyms at the park, it sounds like a good place to check out with a group on Day 2.

If you have any other suggestions for places to spend Pokemon Go Fest 2020 or have any updated information, let me know at gcacho@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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