Oakland California is a major west coast port city with a proud shipbuilding heritage. The great American novelistwith a proud shipbuilding heritage. The great American novelist Jack London spent his childhood here and one of the city’s most scenic waterfront districts is named after him. Oakland was also home to an early chapter of the notorious Hells Angels biker gang - have no fear they’ve calmed down a lot in recent years. The downtown area where many of the city’s best restaurants shops and entertainment venues are found is very walkable while upscale neighbourhoods are located in the surrounding hills. Lake Merritt an urban estuary and the country’s oldest wildlife sanctuary is a scenic spot unspoilt by the glittering skyscrapers that surround it.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Oakland
Chinatown - Oakland’s Chinatown is thronged with superb restaurants and shops the large Chinese community here having first arrived with the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century. Rich in culture and entertainment weekends throughout the year see popular festivals and street fairs springing up.
Jack London Square - Running along the East Bay waterfront the square is a lively spot for weekend and evening entertainment. There’s a great selection of restaurants and if you fancy dipping into literary history then why not get a drink in the very saloon where London prepared his novels. A recreation of the writer’s Yukon cabin is also on show.
Uptown - Oakland’s hippest district is the place to be for foodies culture vultures and any anyone who wants to be in the centre of the action. Browse the urban art galleries take a cocktail tour or just people watch from a streetside bodega.
Piedmont Avenue - A must for any visitor is a leisurely stroll along Piedmont Avenue where you’ll discover an eclectic range of independent boutique stores craft beer joints and more than a few unique eateries.
Things to See in Oakland
The sunsets over the bay are truly something to behold and you can also enjoy a great view from Skyline Boulevard or from the water with a cruise on the USS Potomac Roosevelt’s presidential yacht. But if you want to try something special then why not plump for an evening airplane tour of Oakland - ideal for couples and honeymooners.
Things to Do in Oakland
Take a boat tour under the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge to see the renowned landmarks of both cities from a different perspective. Even on a cloudy day it’s a sublime way to travel. The Oakland Aviation Museum close to the airport bears witness to an American legend Amelia Earhart whose final ill-fated expedition departed from Oakland. Get a close look at classic aircraft try your skills on a simulator - you can even take a flying lesson. If you want to bask in some superb bay views from above you can spend a day horse riding up in the Oakland Hills where the labyrinths of the Sibley Volcanic Preserve are ripe for exploration.