A port city in the Bay Area of California, Oakland is often overshadowed by San Francisco which attracts tourists faster than the sweet smell of honey attracts bees. Anybody looking for a vacation off the beaten tourist track should swerve away from San Francisco, and indeed San Jose, and book themselves one of the beautiful Oakland rentals available. Besides the thrill of breaking from the herd, visitors to the city can also experience a vibrant and hip arts scene, a Mediterranean climate and world-class attractions. This is in addition to restaurants serving mouthwatering dishes, a bustling nightlife and action-packed pro sports. The problem with Oakland is not finding fun and exciting things to do, it is finding the time to plan a return trip so the newly added items to your bucket list can be ticked off!
Holiday rentals to suit everyone are available in the electric city of Oakland. Modern apartments equipped with sleek furniture and full kitchens are a perfect choice for visitors looking for a space nestled amongst beautiful Art Deco buildings. Cosy studios also provide the opportunity to create tasty meals at home. Anybody looking for the charm and hospitality of a bed and breakfast will not need to look far for lunch or dinner options as plenty of eclectic eateries line the streets of Oakland. A magical stay away from the city centre can be enjoyed in either an apartment, guest house or any other type of rental desired overlooking Lake Merritt.
Where to stay
- Oakland is home to the first theme park for kids in the United States, Children's Fairyland!
- Oakland is the world’s leading producer of sourdough bread!
- The author Jack London, who wrote ‘The Call of the Wild’, was once a contender for Mayor of Oakland on the Socialist ticket!
- Fans of the Oakland Raiders are commonly known as ‘Raider Nation’!
Due to its reputation as a top sporting location in the United States, Oakland can sometimes be overlooked for its wonderful culture. This need not be the case on your vacation. A fun few hours are sure to be had at the Chabot Space and Science Center where visitors can partake in interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. History buffs will enjoy the African American Museum and Library at Oakland where the history and experiences of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area are preserved. If your interests are of a varied kind, then head to The Oakland Museum of California which is an interdisciplinary museum dedicated to the art, history, and natural science of California.
Things to see and do in Oakland
Oakland boasts a prime climate making it an absolute shame to spend most of your vacation indoors. Get your hiking boots on and head to Joaquin Miller Park where scenic trails lasting for up to 2.5 hours can be found. Snap more picturesque sights by spending some hours at Anthony Chabot Regional Park. Equally beautiful pictures can be taken from Grizzly Peak. Don’t forget to pencil in Lake Temescal, the Redwood Valley Railway and the University of California Botanical Garden. Visitors travelling with kids can spend the day at the Children’s Fairyland Theme Park which is situated on the shore of Lake Merritt. Or why not take them to Oakland Zoo which is popular for its modern exhibits.
Any night owls visiting Oakland will be happy to know that the city is a vibrant hub both day and night. Perhaps the prime location for entertainment is Jack London Square which is situated along the waterfront. Often described as Oakland’s waterfront jewel, it is home to unique local boutiques, innovative dining opportunities and a plentitude of event venues. Head to the downtown area where numerous restaurants, bars and clubs call their home. Oakland is also a great place to catch a show as it hosts the Paramount Theatre, the Fox Theatre and the Grand Lake Theatre. Those looking for a bit more adventure can just skip across the Bay to San Francisco.
Domestic and international carriers fly into Oakland International Airport which connects to Oakland Coliseum BART Station via a 12-minute train journey. Visitors can also jump on a direct bus shuttle between the Oakland International Airport and the Oakland Coliseum BART Train Station. A BART station is also connected to San Francisco International Airport and can be used to reach holiday accommodation in Oakland. Anyone landing in San Jose International Airport should prepare themselves for heavy traffic and/or an expensive van or taxi ride. Those travelling by land have a number of options. The Amtrak Capitol Corridor line from San Jose to Auburn includes a stop at the Oakland Coliseum/Airport Amtrak station. AC Transit Route 73 and Route 805 provide an inexpensive, 24-hour bus service between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and the Oakland International Airport. Specific AC Transit Transbay bus routes run between San Francisco's Transbay Terminal and various destinations throughout Oakland. Overnight travellers can take a seat on a selection of all-nighter routes available. Greyhound has a terminal in downtown Oakland. Efficient car and ferry routes also lead to Oakland.
When in Oakland, visitors will find that the AC Transit bus service is an efficient way to travel around. Anybody finding themselves in the downtown area can avail of a free shuttle service called the "B on Broadway" which runs 7 days a week along Broadway from Jack London Square up to Grand Ave. Overall, the best way to travel within the city is by using the BART train service which has 8 stops at major areas of visitor interest.