Renowned for its thriving arts scene, Oakland is a major port city in San Francisco’s East Bay. It has long been the centre of the West Coast blues and jazz scene, with innovative restaurants and eclectic bars found in its diverse neighbourhoods.
Things to do in Oakland
Spend an afternoon relaxing in the green oasis surrounding Lake Merritt, which lies at the heart of Oakland. Join a guided tour of the Victorian-era Camron-Stanford House, be entertained at the Fairyland amusement park’s Storybook Puppet Theater or step aboard a gondola for a Venetian-inspired cruise.
Witness the replica log cabin of Jack London in the Port of Oakland’s Jack London Square, as this much-loved American author once worked at the Oakland docks. Visit the historic USS Potomac that’s docked along the Oakland Estuary or dine at one of the many waterfront restaurants that line the European-inspired boardwalk.
Discover the rich heritage and culture of California at the Oakland Museum, with special exhibits relating to Oakland’s social justice and political activist movements. The museum famously houses a wicker chair belonging to Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton and hosts live music and food truck events every Friday evening.
If you want to escape the bustle of Oakland, make the short drive outside the downtown area to Redwood Regional Park. Follow one of the scenic walking trails beneath the soaring sequoias while keeping an eye out for squirrels, golden eagles and Alameda striped racers.
Getting around Oakland
Oakland International Airport is around 15 minutes’ drive from the downtown area and there are regional trains from the Jack London Square and Oakland Coliseum stations. Oakland is served by regular buses and ferries to San Francisco and has an extensive network of cycling lanes and pathways.