Squeeze in the bay area, close San Francisco, Oakland is sometimes bypassed instead of its popular neighbors. Although, don’t let that sway you, there are a bunch of best things to do in Oakland that are worth a good look. What’s more, it’s a great city to include in the wider area California travel.
Whether you spend a day, a weekend or even longer in the city, Oakland is a place that is perfect for a little fun and worth stopping by for a little visit.
So to help you make the most of your time in the city, I wanted to open up a few gems we love.
Check out the best things to do in Oakland, California below. Have an epic trip around the country.
1.) Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt, the oldest wildlife sanctuary in the United States, is a great place to stop in Oakland. Not only is it a quiet area for walking, but there is also a bunch of work around its shores.
The park has a lot of garden areas where you can take a quiet walk and explore at home. In addition, there is a Japanese garden, a lush garden, a bonsai garden, an edible common garden that is great for curiosity.
Do you like a little bird watching? The surroundings of Lake Merritt have become a haven for over 100 different species of birds.
After the walk, head towards Children’s fairy which is on the very shore. It is said to have inspired Walt Disney, the Children’s Fairy has existed since the 1950s. This classic amusement park features a bunch of rides, parks and sets of story books that are great for the whole family.
And not only that, there are different themed places in the park itself. Be sure to experience the Alice in Wonderland rabbit tunnel, the pirate ship Jolly Roger and the Storybook Puppet Theater.
Then head to a nearby one Skull for some of the best Mexican dishes. They make some of the best tacos in town.
2.) Oakland Museum of California
With a rich collection of rotating exhibits and permanent settings, Oakland Museum California displays a completely rich culture and heritage of the region.
There are areas dedicated to a variety of topics, such as history, science, and the arts that are too good to miss.
Not only that, but the history of the Oakland community is presented here, with exhibitions ranging from political activism to the social justice movement. It’s easily one of the best things about Oakland if you want to base history here.
Do you like coffee? Head to Blue bottle of coffee (Which is also the case in other cities).
3.) Chabot Space and Science Center
Do you want to fix science? You must head to the Chabot Space and Science Center.
With a focus on space exploration, the solar system and the universe as a whole, this top museum is an exciting place to visit, especially if you are something of an astronomy beast.
Now for me the main feature is the planetarium. It’s a completely epic way to watch the stars from the comfort of the theater.
In addition to the planetarium, there are a number of observatories where you can also lead tours. It’s so much fun and you can easily spend a good few hours exploring.
Stop by later Heinold’s: Salon of the first and last chance, which, thanks to author Jack London, became a cult part of Oakland. Built during the 1800s, it has become a kind of landmark in Oakland and cannot be missed.
Otherwise, they conjure up a delicious French cocktail 75!
4.) Redwood Regional Park
Right behind the Chabot Space and Science Center, Redwood Regional Park is a world unto itself. It’s one of the best things in Oakland if you want to get away from it all.
Situated on a huge section of the ridge that separates Oakland from the rest of the East Bay suburbs, Redwood Regional Park features well-preserved redwood trees as tall as 150 meters.
Feel like a walk? Can you explore that area if you go the 150-mile Interpark regional trail if you like?
The hike is in the middle of the city, and you’ll realize you can still feel closer to nature, even though the streets of Oakland are on your doorstep.
5.) Cemetery overlooking the mountain
The cemetery itself is not necessarily somewhere where I would suggest a visit, but listen to me.
looking more like a park than a cemetery, such a place is quite beautiful for a walk. In addition, from here you will get a beautiful view of the city from the top of the hill.
Oh, and be sure to find resting places for famous lanterns in the region. You may notice; rapper Mac Dre, architect Julia Morgan and mogul Charles Rocker.
That being said, if you find the cemetery a little creepy, you’ll probably want to miss it.
6.) African American Museum
The African American Museum is amazing to visit one of the best things in Oakland, especially if you love museums.
Dedicated to the history, culture and life of African Americans who have settled in the region, he describes the piles of history that are so important to see.
More than 160 families of African-American descent have their own permanent records here, which are included in the extensive archive kept in the library. There are also over 12,000 volumes of texts, documents, and books that speak to the rich heritage and culture of African Americans.
Then head towards Jump for their cocktails and pork shoulder ragout.
7.) Old Paramount Theater
Built nearly 100 years ago, seeing the Old Paramount Theater is one of the best things in Oakland. It was once the largest theater on the West Coast and was known throughout California. Today, its blooms are long overdue, but it is still worth seeing it and it is completely beautiful.
If that’s not your thing, head to the historic Dunsmuir Hellman estate. Built in 1878, Dunsmuir Castle belonged to the prominent coal baron Alexander Dunsmuir.
The Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate now listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it features 37 rooms, 10 fireplaces, a Tiffany-style dome, and a great location in Oakland Hills. This makes it the perfect place to explore for a small afternoon outing and is worth a visit.
Afterwards, take a walk through the Anthony Chabot Regional Park and follow the trails around Lake Chabot.
8.) Oakland California Temple
Another temple built in California, the Oakland California Temple is beautiful to see. Even if you don’t go inside, you’ll see some epic views of the San Francisco Temple and Bay from the area around the Chabot Space and Science Center.
If that’s not your thing, head to Grand Lake Farmer’s Market. There are now several farm markets across Oakland, but this is one of the best.
Located just steps from Lake Merritt, it hosts more than 40 farmers selling local produce and fresh goods. There are also crafters and food trucks where you can try the best of local products.
Want a bigger bite? Go close A star on the Grand. They make some of the tastiest (and biggest) pizzas in all of Oakland.
9.) Oakland Center
Downtown Oakland is amazing to visit, especially if you like a more hectic city experience. Once here visit the town hall and visit the Italian castle Pardee Home (museum). Oh, and for a refreshing beer, head to Trappist (in 8th Street) it’s great for a tip.
Do you want to take a walk? Head towards the Morcom Rose Garden.
Best visited during the spring and summer seasons, Morcom Rose Garden is a city garden hidden in sight.
When you get tired of the hustle and bustle of city life and strenuous sightseeing, just head to Morcom Rose Garden for a quiet little creep.
Depending on when you visit, there will be thousands of roses, which bloom in different colors! you can find it here. It’s so calm.