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Fun Things to do in Oakland


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city guide

Is Oakland a nice place to live?
Oakland is a nice city in many ways it enjoys a good location, proximity to San Francisco and all the rest of the Bay Area, and it's continuously ranked as one of the top cities in the United States for sustainability practices so if you want to live green this is a good place to do it!


Best time to go

The best season to visit Oakland is Fall, that is September to November when the temperatures are most warm and perfect if you are travelling with your family. If you want to beat the crowd, this is the time for you. Another good time to visit is Spring, from March to May.


Fun city facts and activities

    No trip to the Bay Area is complete without time spent in San Franciscos sister-city to the east, Oakland. From the vital art scene to the globally-inspired food, theres a reason all your SF-based friends are suddenly relocating to the East Bay. Storied redwoods, city-wide block parties, waterfront wineries, and mindblowing Oakland restaurants featuring all regions and ethnicities (special shout out to all the great Ethoiopian restaurants in Oakland) are just some of the best things to do in Oakland, California.

City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Crocker Highland
    Upper Rockridge
    Trestle Glen
    Piedmont Pines
    Shepherd Canyon

Food Specialties

    Oakland is a hotbed of diverse cuisines and cultures, so much so that its become one of the most exciting places to eat in the country. That means the best restaurants in Oakland reflect the diversity of its people, running the gamut from authentic Filipino and Ethiopian fare to mouthwatering Southern food and BBQ.

    Here, you can travel the world from the dinner table, street by streettry nationally lauded Cambodian cuisine and taco trucks on Fruitvale Avenue, and fine dining Italian and tapas on Piedmont Avenue. Youll even find a Michelin-starred restaurant (which is on par with the fine dining restaurants in San Francisco proper, if you ask us), not to mention mom-and-shop joints that have a long history in town.

Oakland Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a tour of the Oakland Museum of California.
2. Visit the USS Potomac, the former presidential yacht of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
3. Tour the Cathedral of Christ the Light, a beautiful landmark in Oakland.
4. Take a kayak tour of the Oakland Estuary.
5. Visit the Chabot Space and Science Center to explore the universe.
6. Get a different view of Oakland from the observation deck of the Skyline Gate Bridge.
7. Take a walk along the Oakland Estuary and Lake Merritt.
8. Take a self-guided tour of the murals in the city.
9. Visit the Oakland Cemetery to explore the citys history.
10. Visit the Oakland Zoo and get up close and personal with some friendly animals.

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1- Experience amusement park history at the classic theme park, Childrens Fairyland notable for inspiring Disneyland.

2- Hike among the peaceful redwoods at Redwood Regional Park.

3- Come face-to-face with elephants, giraffes, flamingos, and more at the Oakland Zoo. (Plus ride the brand new gondola into the Oakland hills with views of the entire bay!)

4- Blast into outer space or experience a planetarium show at Chabot Space and Science Center.

5- Explore the nooks and crannies of Oaklands Chinatown, stopping for a kid-friendly dim sum treat.

6- Watch a movie at the historic Grand Lake Theater.

7- Split an ice cream sundae as big as your head at Fentons Creamery, forever immortalized in the Pixar movie Up.

8- Discover the natural and human history of the state of California, all without ever leaving downtown Oakland, at the Oakland Museum of California.

9- Ride a Venetian-style gondola along the banks of Lake Merritt.

10- Take the kids out to the ballgame with the eternally wacky and family-friendly Oakland As.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

What is Oakland known for?

Besides restaurants, I personally go to Oakland regularly for two reasons. The first is industrial art classes, specifically blacksmithing. I also do glassblowing, but theres a place in San Jose for that.
Shane Ryoo Lives in Sant Francisco Bay Area

The Oakland museum and zoo. Also it is the birthplace of Gertrude Stein and Jack London.
Janet Llacqua Lives in Lodi (2018 Present)

I work in the hills above Oakland. When I think of Oakland, I think of the Black Panthers, good restaurants, the Oakland Museum and its great Dias de los Muertos celebration. Jack London Square with restaurants and shops. Lake Merritt, nice to walk around. Arizmendi Bakery.
Kathryn Leverson - Lives in El Cerrito, CA

Is Oakland worth visiting?

It has a Working Class vibe and reminds me of Long Beach (in Southern California). I worked in a nice Long Beach High Rise and had an office with an Ocean View. Still I found little charm there.
If in the Bay Area I would select towns across the Golden Gate Bridge with views of San Francisco. There are even Ferry Boats to take. It all reminds me of my childhood. So, I am biased.
Further South are two towns people seem to always love. One is Monterey and the other is Carmel. If you visit likely you will take up writing and become a well known Author. Both towns are going to give you great sensations and experiences found lacking in Oakland.
Remy Martin - M.A. in Political Science & Sociology, California State University

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