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Oakland, CA
Travel Guide

Berkeley featuring a city, a river or creek and a high rise building

Farmers markets, a multicultural culinary scene, stunning art deco architecture and an exciting zoo make Oakland a must-visit location for Bay area visitors. 

Visit Oakland to discover one of America’s most beautiful theaters or explore the country’s first wildlife refuge. Enjoy waterfront dining and shopping in Jack London Square or relax in one of the city’s many live music bars.

Oakland is the third-largest city in the San Francisco Bay area. Once infamous as home to the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, the city has reinvented itself and now combines historical treasures such as City Hall with modern wonders like the Chabot Space & Science Center.

Learn about the city’s past in the Oakland Museum, which features historical exhibits, a display on California’s ecology and a rooftop sculpture garden. Discover the stories of Oakland’s black population in the African American Museum & Library.

Take a walk or a jog around Lake Merritt, a saltwater lagoon in the middle of the city. This was also the first nature reserve in the United States. The city has about 260 sunny days a year, making it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts.

Families will enjoy the Oakland Zoo, while couples and friends can attend a live performance in the splendid Paramount Theatre. Go to Jack London Square and stop in at the saloon where the novelist used to drink. This waterside square has a Sunday farmers market in addition to its fine dining and shopping.

Oakland’s creative side is highlighted at the annual August Art + Soul, a festival featuring musical performances, arts and crafts, food and more. Take advantage of the monthly event known as the First Friday Arts Festival, when galleries stay open late, performers line the streets and pop-up food stalls offer a variety of delicious treats.

Get around on the Bay Area Rapid Transportation (BART) rail system or use the good network of buses. Some BART stations, most notably the one on 16th Street, are attractions in themselves, showcasing interesting architecture and ornate facades.

Oakland’s warm weather, arts and multiculturalism give you the best ingredients of the modern California city.

Where to stay in Oakland

Oakland Airport Executive Hotel
Oakland Airport Executive Hotel
3 out of 5
150 Hegenberger Rd, Oakland, CA
The price is $89 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Oracle Arena and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from RingCentral Coliseum. Oakland Zoo and Jack London Square ...
3.7/5Good! (1,240 reviews)
"Was just in for a few hours. However didn’t have any food places close. Had to order out."

Reviewed on Jun 18, 2021

Oakland Airport Executive Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
3.5 out of 5
200 Marina Blvd, Berkeley, CA
The price is $166 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and Cesar Chavez Park. Berkeley Marina and Adventure Playground ...
3.9/5Good! (1,203 reviews)
"Close to water"

Reviewed on Jun 21, 2021

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
The Marina Inn on San Francisco Bay
The Marina Inn on San Francisco Bay
2.5 out of 5
68 Monarch Bay Dr, San Leandro, CA
The price is $109 per night from Jun 27 to Jun 27
Situated in San Leandro, this golf hotel is 0.2 mi (0.4 km) from Monarch Bay Golf Club and within 6 mi (10 km) of RingCentral Coliseum and Oakland Aviation Museum. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,484 reviews)
"Nice"

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2021

The Marina Inn on San Francisco Bay
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Coral Reef Inn & Suites
Coral Reef Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
400 Park St, Alameda, CA
The price is $119 per night from Jun 23 to Jun 23
Located in East End, this aparthotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of USS Hornet Museum, RingCentral Coliseum, and Jack London Square. Oracle Arena and Oakland Museum ...
3.4/5 (2,247 reviews)
"The Hotel is in a great location. I would say that they just need to update the appliances of the kitchen. Not the best but not the worst hotel just Good. Needs to improve."

Reviewed on May 4, 2021

Coral Reef Inn & Suites
Sailing Cruiser 36" Footer Great for a Couple, Located at Pristine Marina
Sailing Cruiser 36" Footer Great for a Couple, Located at Pristine Marina
Alameda, CA
Located in West Alameda, this houseboat is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from USS Hornet Museum and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Jack London Square. Oakland Convention Center and Oakland ...
5/5Exceptional! (3 reviews)
Peaceful
"Boat has all amenities. The marina is quiet and there was barely any movement at all. Between this and the drone and warmth of the provided heater I slept extremely well. There is a local seafood restaurant (Pier 29) and a small market a short walk away, and very clean bathrooms for the morning shower. ..."

Reviewed on May 18, 2021

Sailing Cruiser 36" Footer Great for a Couple, Located at Pristine Marina
Traditional Japanese Tea House- Garden Cottage
Traditional Japanese Tea House- Garden Cottage
Berkeley, CA
The price is $185 per night from Jun 28 to Jun 28
Located in North Berkeley, this cottage is within 3 mi (5 km) of University of California, Berkeley, Greek Theater, and Berkeley Marina. Telegraph Avenue and ...
3.9/5Very Good! (18 reviews)
"The property is in a lovely, quiet setting not too far from the main avenue in Berkeley. However, communication was poor around how to access property to check in. We arrived on foot and had to sit out on the curb for a while until the owner happened to come home. The sheets were dirty, there was ..."

Reviewed on Apr 1, 2019

Traditional Japanese Tea House- Garden Cottage
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Oakland

If you’ve ever visited the Bay Area you’ll be familiar with BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit, a train system which connects Oakland, San Francisco and beyond, out as far as Pittsburg. If you’re staying in downtown Oakland, renting a bike is a great way to go. This is one of the country’s most cycle-friendly cities, and numerous companies offer bike pick-up and drop-off rentals across town. Visit the Bay Area Rapid Transit website.Browse Oakland rental cars.

Best time to visit

While Oakland does not have the perennial sunshine which you may associate with other parts of California, it still enjoys pleasant and mild weather for most of the year. If you visit in winter, you’ll find cheaper hotel rates but you’ll want to pack an umbrella, as it often rains. The busiest and most expensive times are spring and summer, with temperatures averaging in the mid 60s F (18 C) in August.

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