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Top things to do in Oakland

See all 468 things to do in Oakland

Oakland Attractions

Oakland California is a major west coast port city with a proud shipbuilding heritage. The great American novelist

with 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.

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Discover neighborhoods in Oakland

Downtown Oakland

Theatres, art galleries and live music highlight some notable features of Downtown Oakland. Make a stop by Oakland Museum of California or Jack London Square while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Lake Merritt Station or 12th St - Oakland City Center Station to get around town.

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Downtown Berkeley

Downtown Berkeley is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Historic Berkeley and Berkeley Repertory Theater while you're in town.

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Jack London District

While you're in Jack London District, take in top sights like Jack London Square and jump on the metro at West Oakland Station to see more of the city.

Lake Merritt

While you're in Lake Merritt, take in top sights like Oakland Museum of California or Lake Merritt, and hop on the metro to see more of the city at 19th St Station or Lake Merritt Station.

West Berkeley

While you're in West Berkeley, take in top sights like Golden Gate Fields and jump on the metro at North Berkeley Station to see more of the city.

West Alameda

If you're spending some time in West Alameda, Pacific Pinball Museum and Frank Bette Center for the Arts are top sights worth seeing.

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