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OaklandUnited States of America

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

Lake Merritt featuring a pond

Downtown Oakland

3.5/5Good!(342 area reviews)

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

Downtown Oakland
Berkeley showing a river or creek, a sunset and general coastal views

Downtown Berkeley

4/5Very Good!(147 area reviews)

Take time in Downtown Berkeley to visit attractions like Berkeley Repertory Theater and UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall. You might also appreciate the abundant dining options, and you can hop on the metro at Downtown Berkeley Station to see more of the city.

Downtown Berkeley
Oakland Museum of California featuring art and a statue or sculpture

Chinatown

3.5/5Good!(204 area reviews)

If you're in Chinatown, take some time to enjoy the ample dining options. Consider a stop by Oakland Museum of California, and you can hop on the metro at Lake Merritt Station to see more of the area.

Chinatown
Barney's Steak-cut fries...just amazing!

Rockridge

Be sure to check out the restaurants and shopping while you're strolling through Rockridge, and hop on the metro at Rockridge Station to see more of the surrounding area.

Rockridge
Sunset at Alameda's Crown Memorial #Beach looking across at San Francisco. Fabulous place to stroll in the sand, build sandcastles and enjoy the company of thousands of birds. It's also a popular destination for kite boarders, thanks to Alameda's clear, shallow and warm waters. #GoldenHour

West Alameda

4/5Very Good!(23 area reviews)

While visiting West Alameda, you might make a stop by sights like Pacific Pinball Museum and Frank Bette Center for the Arts.

West Alameda
Cool rainbow over the Bay Bridge

West Oakland

2.5/5(2 area reviews)

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

West Oakland

Top Hotels in Oakland

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
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

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 Oracle Arena. Oakland ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,578 reviews)

"We had a room over looking the San Francisco Bay which was nice. The staff is very friendly and the place is clean. It’s not fancy, but we would stay there again."…"

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2020

The Marina Inn on San Francisco Bay
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 $101 per night

Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cesar Chavez Park and Berkeley Marina. Eastshore State Park and Adventure Playground are ...

3.9/5Good! (1,281 reviews)

"Everyone I encountered was friendly and professional. They had a great well though table for deliveries to help with social distancing. The food offerings were limited with the restaurant being closed but it’s understandable during this pandemic."…"

Reviewed on Jul 21, 2020

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
Hyatt Place Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area
Hyatt Place Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area
3 out of 5
5700 Bay Street, Emeryville, CA
The price is $152 per night

Located in the heart of Emeryville, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Telegraph Avenue, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, and Berkeley Marina. Fox ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (980 reviews)

"Very clean, courteous staff but because of Covid no real meal selection or drinks after hours. 10AM is early to take away complimentary tea & coffee."…"

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2020

Hyatt Place Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area

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.

Popular places to visit in Oakland

University of California, Berkeley
Image for University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

4.5/5(1,403 reviews)

Explore the campus of University of California, Berkeley, a top college in Berkeley. Attend a sporting event or discover the beautiful sunsets in this vibrant area.

Jack London Square
Image for Jack London Square

Jack London Square

4.5/5(393 reviews)

Shop, dine and stroll to your heart’s content in this waterside square, named after the novelist who spent his childhood here. 

Oracle Arena
Image for Oracle Arena

Oracle Arena

4/5(1,232 reviews)

Catch an event at Oracle Arena during your trip to Oakland. Experience the acclaimed art scene and entertainment choices in this walkable area.

RingCentral Coliseum
Image for RingCentral Coliseum

RingCentral Coliseum

4/5(210 reviews)

Catch an event at RingCentral Coliseum during your trip to Oakland. Experience the acclaimed art scene and entertainment choices in this walkable area.

Oakland City Center
Image for Oakland City Center

Oakland City Center

5/5(1 review)

With a visit to Oakland City Center, a popular shopping spot in Oakland, you can enjoy some retail therapy. Experience the renowned opera or attend a sporting event in this vibrant area.

Fox Theater
Image for Fox Theater

Fox Theater

4.5/5(6 reviews)

Enjoy a performance or just snap a photo at Fox Theater, one of the favorite theaters in Oakland. Experience the acclaimed art scene or attend a sporting event in this vibrant area.

Top things to do in Oakland

Private Napa Wine Tour from San Francisco & Custom Half Case
Image for Private Napa Wine Tour from San Francisco & Custom Half Case

Private Napa Wine Tour from San Francisco & Custom Half Case

$160
Per adult
Yosemite One Day - Half Dome and El Capitan 4 Hours in Park
Image for Yosemite One Day - Half Dome and El Capitan 4 Hours in Park

Yosemite One Day - Half Dome and El Capitan 4 Hours in Park

$139
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
San Francisco Bay Tour
Image for San Francisco Bay Tour

San Francisco Bay Tour

$189
Per adult
City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of California

$10
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Small-Group Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour
Image for Small-Group Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

Small-Group Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour

$20
Per adult
Night Views of San Francisco
Image for Night Views of San Francisco

Night Views of San Francisco

$203
Per adult

Reviews of Oakland

3.6

Guest rating

5 - Excellent
261
5 - Excellent 16.62420382165605%
4 - Good
623
4 - Good 39.681528662420384%
3 - Okay
501
3 - Okay 31.910828025477706%
2 - Disappointing
110
2 - Disappointing 7.006369426751593%
1 - Terrible
75
1 - Terrible 4.777070063694268%

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

I hated this hotel

3/5 - Okay

BayAreaTraveler

May 16, 2020

Crime rate and overall city’s cleanliness needs to be addressed.

5/5 - Excellent

Dominique

Mar 23, 2020

This is my hometown I love Oakland

5/5 - Excellent

Johanna

Mar 18, 2020

I loved the food and the Golden State Bridge and the museum.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 10, 2020

Food’s always a highlight and the Fox theater

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Mar 9, 2020

Oakland is a very interesting place. The city itself needs to be cleaned up quite a bit but overall it's somewhere interesting to visit.

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