Known as the “sunny” side of the bay, Oakland is where a lot of people of diverse people get their culture fix along with food, great music and historic sites. Find out how you can maximize your next trip there.
Kick off the day appreciating the East Bay from above. Visit The area around the Church of Latter-day Saints for a spectacular view of Oakland and the rest of the bay area.
Head over to downtown Oakland for a very Californian brunch at the Grand Lake Kitchen. Soak up the views of Lake Merritt and people watch. Afterwards, take a walk around the lake; there’s bound to be entertaining people, events, bbqs and more going on.
If it’s a weekend, we recommend a visit to the nearby Farmer’s Market as well.
Go east towards 19th Street Station; walking down Broadway or Telegraph, you’ll run into many historic buildings such as:
- The Cathedral of Christ the Light
- The Paramount Theater
- The Fox Theater
- The “Cathedral” building
- The Rotunda & Frank Ogawa Plaza
Walk all the way down to the waterfront & treat yourself to the view of the Oakland at Jack London Square.
Then reward yourself for all that walking with some fun bowling & lunch at Plank, an indoor/outdoor restaurant with views of the water, bowling, bocce and more.
Now that you’re charged back up, head to the Oakland Museum of California. There’s always a great exhibit up & plenty of history about the city and state. There are also always interactive galleries for kids.
You can also cross over to the Lake Merritt Amphitheater for more views of the lake from a different angle. Sometimes there are protests or other social gatherings taking place there as well.
Travel uptown and put your name down at Marafuku Ramen, some of the best food in the Bay. Meanwhile, you can explore the neighborhood of Temescal.
Some notable points:
- Alley 49 & the Curbside Vegan Creamery that’s in there, as well as other neat shops
- Esqueleto boutique store
- Temescal Brewing
- Omni Commons building
- Eli’s Mile High Club
Just walk up & down Telegraph; you’re bound to see something interesting!
Wrap up the day by immersing yourself in the local social scene. Some recommendations:
Chill: Drake’s Dealership | some people argue it’s gentrification; I say it’s just a cool spot with hipster decor. See for yourself!
Lounge-y: AU Lounge| go here for afro/latino beats, great music in general and a mellow, dancing crowd.
A good alternative, if you don’t want to pay the cover, is Era Art Bar & Lounge.
Rowdy: Bissap Baobop | West African food during the day; afrobeats at night. Make sure you check their website for when they’re open.
Level 13 | Really great vibe & a variety of music. More like a “club” atmosphere.
Oakland may be a small city within the Bay area, but there’s no shortage of things to do if you know where to find it & how to get there. Are there any other fun venues you like to frequent in Oakland? Let us know in the comments below!