Oakland Travel Guide

  • Oakland
    by skullcrusher
  • Things to Do
    by MJL
  • Oakland
    by viajeras2

Oakland Highlights

  • Pro
    vierka profile photo

    vierka says…

     Pedestrian friendly neighborhoods, good eats, great art deco & victorian architecture, sense of community 

  • Con
    davequ profile photo

    davequ says…

     watch yourself if alone at night in some downtn parts 

  • In a nutshell
    bluefelt profile photo

    bluefelt says…

     It's definitely worth the risks. 

Oakland Things to Do

  • Chinatown

    Oakland's Chinatown is very different from the one in San Francisco. It's an authentic, working-class Chinese-American neighborhood, NOT a tourist trap. In fact, very few tourists go there at all. Nearly everyone there is Asian. And it's near downtown, Jack London Square, and other attractions.

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  • Lake Merritt

    This is a great place to watch the beautiful people who workout. They walk or run at all times of the day. There is a staircase on Lakeshore that people run up and down. On Saturdays they have a nice Framers Market under the nearby freeway. At 18th st & Lakeshore they have the historic Lake Merritt Bakery. Known for their fried chicken and late...

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  • Architecture

    The Paramount Theatre, built in 1931 by architect Timothy L. Phlueger in an Art Deco style which was notable for the depression era in which it was bulit. The façade features large motif’s recalling Mesoamerican artwork. The structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 after an extensive restoration effort. The Art Deco...

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  • Parks / Squares

    This is a great, small zoo that can be enjoyed in it's entirety in about half a day. There have been constant improvements made over the past several years (perhaps longer), most recently the excellent expansion of the Children's Zoo, where you'll find climbing structures, sheep and goats in the petting area that you can brush, as well as lemurs,...

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  • Sports / Coliseum Complex

    If you're in Oakland between April and September, go catch an Oakland A's home game at the Oakland Coliseum. They are only scheduled to be in Oakland for a few more years, as the plan is to move the A's to a new stadium 20 minutes south in Fremont (my hometown). You can get seats pretty cheap (about $10 for bleacher seats). For more expensive...

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  • Oakland Museum of California

    This is one of the best museums of its kind. It has two sections: One dealing with California's natural history, the other with its social/cultural history. It's an excellent introduction to the state's diverse and unique heritage. Allow several hours for this.

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Oakland Hotels

See all 37 Hotels in Oakland

Oakland Restaurants

  • LJ Quinn's Lighthouse Restaurant & Pub

    Right on the water of the Oakland side of "San Francisco Bay" in a relatively out of the way area is a fantastic culinary find. The local is not central to much of anything but a boat sales yard, a somewhat rundown motel, and the docks for people that are looking for reasonable fees to park their boats. The salads are huge, the dressing to taste...

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  • Yoshi's

    Even if you don't want to catch the show, Yoshi's has excellent food, specializing in what they are calling "modern Japanese" by Chef Shotaro Kamio and of course excellent sushi you can eat at the sushi bar, your table, or in the jazz club. My faves were: Edamame, miso soup, maguro, sake, unagi, spicy tuna roll, a kirin ichiban and either a warm...

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  • Lois The Pie Queen

    LOIS THE PIE QUEEN This all-American diner is packed out on the weekends - it is open for breakfast and lunch. It is worth the wait. Apart from the cheery atmosphere, the food and service is excellent. The only thing I regret is not tasting any of the pies which are meant to be yummy. Everything I had was delicious - scrambled eggs with capsicum...

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Oakland Nightlife

  • THE PIMP AND HOE PLAYER'S BALL

    Anybody that is going to Oakland needs to read this..........Look, out of all the people on here or this site that knows the criminal world how Oakland is, its me, I been to jail in Oakland a number of time, Santa Rita Jail, San Bruno, matter of fact the Oakland Police is looking for me right now over something!! Anyway, IS OAKLAND DANGEROUS? HELL...

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  • Unique, strange little place

    Really a strange little bar.I think it is worth checking out just for the vibe / ambience. Some say it was a local "pickup joint.They serve good quality food - lunch and dinner.Decor is described as "turn of the century." A ton of bizarre knickknacks & "tiffany clutter" all over the inside, but it has something.... (je ne sais quoi?)Tons of stories...

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  • Some of the best Bay Area Jazz

    If you like jazz, Yoshi's (along with my favorite Dimitriou's Jazz Alley in Seattle ) is one of the better jazz clubs in the United States.Decent sound and lights, top jazz artists in the world, and to top it off, tasty sushi you can eat either in the restaurant section, OR brought to you in the club while you watch the artists perform.If you go to...

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Oakland Transportation

  • Transportation from OAK airport to Marin...

    Following our recent arrival to OAK airport, we had a horrible experience getting transportation from OAK airport to Marin with a service called "Town Car Dave's Car Service." His price was exorbitant, and he would not provide us with a receipt for our payment, even when we followed up several times with him. We have recommended to the OAK airport...

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  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

    Bay Area Rapid Transit is fast and easy. It runs between the cities of Richmond, Pittsburg/Bay point, Oakland, San Francisco, Millbrae, Fremont, and Dublin/Pleasanton. Trains run on appx 20 minute intervals but you can use alternate trains to get to destinations and transfer from there for free. The fares are substantially lower than taking a taxi...

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  • Alameda/Oakland Ferry system

    I love the bay area for having many choices for public transportation. One of the nicest ways to travel between San Francisco and Oakland is on the Alamedo/Oakland Ferry to Jack London Square. The Ferry's leave from the Ferry Building/Pier41 in San Francisco and take you to Alameda and Oakland (Jack London Square). The Ferry's are large, can hold a...

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Oakland Shopping

  • Retail Therapy on Piedmont Avenue

    As vierka described in her tip on Piedmont Avenue boutique shopping, this street is a great place to stroll and find wonderfully charming shops and restaurants. My favorite boutique there is Abigail, a bright, cozy shop filled with beautifully tailored designer clothes, gorgeous imported lingerie, and some lovely accessories. The styles are always...

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  • Social Justice Marketplace in West...

    Did you know that up until 2002 (when People's Market opened) there were no grocery stores in West Oakland? There were 53 liquor stores. This project challenges lots of the "market assumptions" that I hate to admit have moved jobs and money out of "undesirable/unmarketable" communities. We need to support mom & pop markets in these communities.I...

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  • deli and grocery

    This is the cutest little upscale deli with great grocery items that you don't see everyday. The cheese section is tiny but packed. The staff is knows their stuff. There is a wine store, an olive oil section, pastries, coffee, good chocolates, produce, meats, seafood and of course the DELI counter. Always lots of people in line for the deli.I love...

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Oakland Local Customs

  • Step out and about

    The Rockridge neighborhood in northern Oakland has become - amazingly - chock full of million dollar homes and some fine foodie options.Every year, they have this thing. It's like an overgrown block party or a mini City fair. Good opportunity for people watching, but bring a sweater for when the fog rolls in.

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  • Since 1965, Oakland Ballet has...

    Since 1965, Oakland Ballet has been internationally noted for its meticulous recreation of significant ballets from the era of Serge Diaghilev's legendary Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo, including such masterpieces as La Boutique Fantasque, Gaïté Parisienne, Le Spectre de la Rose, Les Sylphides, Schéhérazade, Pétrouchka, and L'après-midi d'un Faune....

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  • Oakland Hotels

    37 Hotels in Oakland

    306 Reviews and Opinions

Oakland Warnings and Dangers

  • not worth the bother

    oakland is ridden with very low economy areas, very large low economy areas. this leads to uncomfortable energy due to angry, institutionalized population that has beenliving there for a very long time, I mean generation upon generation. Many people whoeither live there seem to oversee many gun battled deaths and many deaths that have been...

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  • West Oakland

    I lived on 12th at Peralta for about a year. Everyone in the neighborhood seemed pretty nice. A lot of hello's and how's it going from guys over 30, but the kids seemed a little out of control. The first day I moved in our neighbor gave me a heads up on the neighborhood. The breakdown was pretty much "Keep an eye out. There will be a shooting...

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  • growing up in oakland

    if ur like me growing up in east oakland the hood im frm is brookfield and thoes are the only people i talk to and never had problems in any other hood cuz i dont go there...so yall should just stick to yall hood cuz when u go to someone else hood they feel disrespected cuz u aint frm there..so stick to yall hood

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Oakland Tourist Traps

  • Jack London Square at the foot...

    Jack London Square at the foot of Broadway is an enjoyable tourist trap with shopping, excellent seafood restaurants, and Jack London's actual cabin that he lived in during the Klondike Gold Rush when he wrote 'Call of the Wild.'

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  • Jack London Square: sterile,...

    Jack London Square: sterile, boring, and nothing but the same chain stores you can find in any other tourist-oriented urban redevelopment project or suburban strip mall. Please note that this applies only to the square itself (everything south of the Embarcadero), not the surrounding neighborhood, which is a somewhat interesting...

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  • The Oakland Zoo is home to...

    The Oakland Zoo is home to over 375 animals from 125 different species living in lush, naturalistic settings. It collection is organized in biomes, geographic regions that represent the ecosystem of that area. From Africa, to Asia, to Australia, to it's future California 1820 Region -- come experience our animals. You can take a multimedia tour or...

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Oakland Off The Beaten Path

  • Watch Ice Cream Making at Fenton's...

    while eating at this famous creamey and soda fountain landmark of Oakland, you can watch how they make their hand crafted ice cream via the transparent windows in the premises and see how your favorite ice cream is made.Fenton's Creamery was already well known and was the favorite of east bay residents since the late 1900's as it was founded in...

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  • USS Hornet

    The aircaft carrier USS Hornet had a distinguished record during World War II, Korea, and the Vietnam War. She also picked up the returning Apollo 11 and 12 astronauts in 1969. During World War II, her planes downed 1410 Japanese aircraft (more than any other carrier except the Essex), participated in numerous Pacific island-hopping campaigns, and...

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  • The Hiking!

    Oakland is home to a lot of hiking trails, from Sibley Volcanic to Redwood Trail. The East Bay Regional Park District operates more than 50 parks, 20 trails and 75,000 acres spanning from Berkeley to Oakland to Contra Costa County. For a list of parks and trailheads, visit the website listed below.

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Oakland Sports & Outdoors

  • The Coliseum & Sports Arena

    In my quest to visit all the major league baseball stadiums, I arrived at the County Coliseum, or CoCo as it is affectionately known, in Oakland. There are some nasty rumors that the Oakland A's maybe some day be moving across the bay (which would be ridiculous, since the Giants are already there) or somewhere else, like San Jose, so I knew time...

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  • Visiting the CoCo

    In my quest to visit all the major league baseball stadiums, I arrived at the County Coliseum, or CoCo as it is affectionately known, in Oakland.There are some nasty rumors that the Oakland A's maybe some day be moving across the bay (which would be ridiculous, since the Giants are already there) or somewhere else, like San Jose, so I knew time was...

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  • East Bay Sports fans deserve better

    Raider Nation ain't what it used to be, but hope springs eternal with yet another new coach (this one likes to punch out the staff)DOINK!!!!---------------------------> Just my opinion, but if I was a stubborn diehard shamelessly-loyal Raider fan,(not to mention crazy enough to pony up thousands of $s to sit in that ridiculous stadium for 8...

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Oakland Favorites

  • Oakland

    San Francisco's Crosstown Rivals sits across the bay and is connected to the City via the mightly Oakland Bay Bridge and the BART and serves as a major transportation hub (via the Oakland International Airport) and trade center for the entire region and is also the principal city of the Bay Area Region known as the East Bay. Oakland also host a...

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  • Oakland is a Top 10 Green Cities

    SustainLane.com has called Oakland a frontrunner for having good green and sustainable waste and energy policies. Here's what they say:"Residents of the ethnically diverse port city of Oakland enjoy sunny days, clean air (thanks to Pacific breezes), locally-produced food, and public transportation ridership of over 20 percent. Since Mayor Ron...

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  • Surprising natural beauty

    Caught this bird by the water as it was startled from its perch. Likely, it was after the pigeons or rats at the water's edge. These hunters are more normally found in the east bay hills

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Explore Deeper into Oakland
Combined Suggestions
Things to Do
Chabot Planetarium
Things to Do
USS Potomac
Things to Do
Le Cheval
Restaurants
Iconic Creamery and Soda Fountain (2)
Restaurants
Iconic Creamery and Soda Fountain (1)
Restaurants
Piedmont Avenue
Things to Do
You gotta go here!
Restaurants
Good Food / So-So Service!
Restaurants
Churches in the hills
Things to Do
Oakland Segway not a safe choice
Warnings and Dangers
Bakesale Betty's
Restaurants
Areas to GO
Warnings and Dangers
Dim sum in Oakland Chinatown
Restaurants
Good food on the water in Jack London Sq
Restaurants
Even if you're not there for the Jazz
Restaurants
Funky Barbecue
Restaurants
Olde faithful
Restaurants
Old Oakland Historic District
Things to Do
oakland
Warnings and Dangers
Very Good Delivery Pizza
Restaurants
Paramount Theatre
Things to Do
Cathedral of Christ the Light (#1 exterior)
Things to Do
Cathedral of Christ the Light (#3 Mausoleum)
Things to Do
Cathedral of Christ the Light (#2 Interior)
Things to Do
Italian on the Square
Restaurants
Curry and naan
Restaurants
just be careful
Warnings and Dangers
Great Authentic Mexican Food
Restaurants
KNOW THE NEIBORHOODS IN ADVANCE
Warnings and Dangers
Excellent Chinese Food for a good price
Restaurants
good for late night eating
Restaurants
Start monkeying around
Sports & Outdoors
Blues, brews and jazz
Nightlife
Baby frogs???!
Favorites
Oakland A's
Sports & Outdoors
WHAT????
Warnings and Dangers
For the view from Berkeley Marina
Restaurants
Killer BBQ in a great location
Restaurants
Great drinks, steak and seafood!
Restaurants
Map of Oakland

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