Oakland, CA

Travel Guide
Lake Merritt featuring a pond
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 inJack 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 theChabot 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 aroundLake 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 theOakland Zoo, while couples and friends can attend a live performance in the splendidParamount 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

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, 94577
The price is $149 per night from Aug 5 to Aug 6
Stay at this golf hotel in San Leandro. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and a free airport shuttle. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,459 reviews)
"what I appreciate about this property is that is centrally located. Also close to various dining options and shopping."

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2022

The Marina Inn on San Francisco Bay
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
4 out of 5
200 Marina Blvd, Berkeley, CA, 94710
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $165 per night from Jul 17 to Jul 18
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Berkeley. Enjoy free WiFi, a marina, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,403 reviews)
"Freshly baked cookies are delicious. Gentlemen at front desk is very nice and helpful."

Reviewed on Jul 3, 2022

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Berkeley Marina
Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
3 out of 5
1800 Powell Street, Emeryville, CA, 94608
The price is $161 per night from Jul 14 to Jul 15
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Emeryville. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (949 reviews)
"Room has beautiful views if it is in higher floors."

Reviewed on Jul 3, 2022

Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
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.
Alameda Bedroom and Bathroom with Private Entrance
Alameda Bedroom and Bathroom with Private Entrance
Alameda, CA
The price is $75 per night from Jul 18 to Jul 19
Stay at this property in Alameda. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and a garden. Popular attractions Jack London Square and RingCentral Coliseum are located ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (7 reviews)
"all good except sound travels in the house."

Reviewed on Jul 3, 2022

Alameda Bedroom and Bathroom with Private Entrance
Coral Reef Inn & Suites
Coral Reef Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
400 Park St, Alameda, CA, 94501
The price is $112 per night from Jul 24 to Jul 25
Stay at this business-friendly aparthotel in Alameda. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the comfy beds and the overall value ...
3.3/5 (2,363 reviews)
"I come here often most the time it’s good here it was quiet here both nights of my stay only issue the AC was broken it was hot"

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2022

Coral Reef Inn & Suites
Diamond Suites - Quiet Spacious Private Room Oakland/Emeryville
Diamond Suites - Quiet Spacious Private Room Oakland/Emeryville
Emeryville, CA
The price is $80 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Stay at this vacation home in Emeryville. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and fenced yards. Popular attractions Jack London Square and Fox Theater are located ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Nice place to stay in Oakland!
"This suited us just fine for our two night stay close to San Fran. Easy access to the city and super nice inside. Thanks Anissa!"

Reviewed on Jun 22, 2022

Diamond Suites - Quiet Spacious Private Room Oakland/Emeryville
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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