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An Angeleno’s Guide to Fun Things to do in Oakland

An Angeleno's Guide to Fun Things to do in Oakland

Oakland is a simple weekend getaway for an angeleno, with flights lasting however an hour and a half. The Bay Space metropolis recognized for its strong arts scene was just lately chosen as one among Nationwide Geographic‘s prime places to go in 2019. It’s also the former residence of The Name of the Wild writer Jack London, the namesake of Oakland’s Jack London Sq., the place tourists will find loads of walkable nightlife choices. And, it has one of the coolest museums for learning about all issues California.

Tempted to e-book a visit to Oakland? Under you’ll find a large listing of concepts to refill your itinerary.



The Waterfront Lodge Photograph: Fb

Waterfront Lodge

This nautical lodge is situated in Jack London Square, which means it’s both extremely walkable and overlooks the San Fransisco Bay, which is great for having fun with espresso on your balcony with a robust breeze. Amenities embrace a fitness middle, heated pool, a comfortable lobby with a hearth, and a complimentary wine and cheese joyful hour on weekdays. There’s one on-site Italian restaurant, Lungomare, as well as several bars, eating places, and cafes inside a short walk.

Superb for: A singular lodge in a well-liked, walkable a part of town. 

Greatest Western Bayside Lodge Photograph: Greatest Western

The Greatest Western Bayside Lodge

The Greatest Western Bayside Lodge is reasonably priced and highly-rated by vacationers. It has all the standard conveniences one would anticipate of a contemporary lodge, together with a 24-hour fitness middle, complimentary breakfast, an on-site bar, and wifi. Although not as walkable as staying in Jack London Sq., you will get round by way of the free, local shuttle and lots of rooms include an ocean view. Splendid for: A trusted, handy brand near the water.

The Claremont Lodge & Spa

The Claremont Lodge & Spa is a historic property built over a century in the past as a personal residence before turning into lodge in 1915, presently owned by the Fairmount Lodge chain. Whereas the so-called”White Citadel on the Hill” is taken into account an Oakland City Historic Landmark, chances are you’ll technically be in Berkeley relying on where you’re standing on the sprawling property. Facilities embrace a really giant spa with a number of remedies, complimentary champagne day by day at 5:30 p.m., multiple on-site dining and cocktail choices, multiple pools and tennis courts, a health club and fitness courses, and 22 acres of manicured grounds to wander. Best for: A pampered luxurious expertise in a historic lodge.


Michael McMillen’s ‘Aristotle’s Cage,’ an set up at OCMA Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Oakland Museum of California

The sprawling Oakland Museum of California has been divided into three sections: artwork, history, and pure sciences. Every accommodates relevant artifacts, shows, and interactive reveals spanning many years of California history, plus the views from the gardens are nice for decompressing between wings.

A great time to visit is for Friday Nights at OMCA. From 5 to 9 p.m. guests take pleasure in after-hours access, food vans, a cash bar, artists, household activities, stay leisure, local distributors, and more.

The Oakland Museum of California is situated at 1000 Oak Road. Basic admission begins at $15.95, with discounted rates for members, students, seniors, and youngsters. 

The Museum of Art and Digital Leisure

This museum is an unimaginable paradise for players, especially if tastes run old-school. They have a playable library of over 5,300 new and basic games on platforms including PC, Atari, Playstation 3, and others. A membership may be advisable for locals players, but guests can drop by for just $10 per day and play to their coronary heart’s content material.

The M.A.D.E. is situated at 3400 Broadway. Open for gaming Friday, midday to midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, midday to six p.m.

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon that gives outside recreation right in the midst of the town. Friends can jog, bike, or stroll the lakeside path, or participate birdwatching, boating, garden games, or yoga activities. You may even encounter one of many space’s many gardens, including the peaceable Bonsai backyard.

Jack London’s cabin Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Jack London’s Cabin

Jack London lived in a small cabin within the Klondike in the late 1800s, proper earlier than the Gold Rush. Many years later, the abandoned cabin was taken apart and two separate replicas have been made with its wooden. While one is situated in Dawson Metropolis in Canada, the other might be found in Oakland’s Jack London Sq..

Jack London’s Cabin is situated at 1-199 Webster Road Tube, Jack London Square.

Marcus Books Oakland

Marcus Books options literature by black authors and is, in truth, the oldest black bookstore within the country; the unique location in San Fransisco dates back to 1960. Books span quite a lot of topics, ranging from youngsters’s books to autobiographies, history, cooking, art, and fiction. If you wish to help writers of colour and regionally owned bookstores as an alternative of web giants, give Marcus Books a visit.

Marcus Books is situated at 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Approach

Youngsters’s Fairyland

It was Oakland entrepreneur Arthur Navlet who advised the building of a fairytale-themed youngsters’s park after seeing a smaller, however comparable park in Detroit. The outcome was Youngsters’s Fairyland, which opened in 1950 and featured costumed characters, rides, and kooky units taken from basic youngsters’s tales. The popular attraction drew numerous guests, including an inspiration-seeking Walt Disney who would open Disneyland in Anaheim in 1955.

Right now, the 10-acre park operates as a nonprofit year-round (hours differ depending on the season). Adult visitors are sometimes not permitted without youngsters, but the park does supply an annual adults-only occasion.

Youngsters’s Fairyland is situated at 699 Bellevue Avenue. Tickets are $12.


Chapel of the Chimes Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Chapel of the Chimes

One won’t put a columbarium at the prime of their trip record, however the Chapel of the Chimes is actually breathtaking. It owes its magnificence to famed architect Julia Morgan, notable for designing the Hearst Fort, who redesigned the Chapel in 1928. One can meander via among quite a few sunny courtyards and cloisters, some opening to gardens and fountains. You may even discover a pair of rescued birds, chirping of their fern-flanked cages. Urns formed like books are displayed in instances, the names of these whose ashes they maintain written on the spines. Chapel of the Chimes hosts the occasional musical efficiency, and historic, guided tours are available. It is situated next to the Mountain View Cemetery, notable for its many monuments and bucolic paths. Morgan herself is buried right here, in addition to quite a few California and Oakland politicians. The cemetery can also be the final resting place of Elizabeth Brief, higher generally known as the Black Dahlia.

The Chapel of the Chimes is situated at 4499 Piedmont Avenue.

Morcom Rose Garden Photograph: Associates of the Morcom Rose Backyard

Morcom Rose Garden

Should you’ve been suggested to stop and odor the roses, the Morcom Rose Garden has hundreds of them. This seven-acre backyard dates again to the 1930s and as part a WPA undertaking and is maintained immediately by volunteers. Wander alongside winding walkways to view the crops and water options. You may even cross paths with the resident family of turkeys.

The Morcom Rose Garden is situated at 700 Jean Road. Admission is free, however be happy to donate to the backyard’s maintenance.

The Oakland Asian Cultural Middle

The Oakland Cultural Middle (OACC) is situated in Chinatown and presents quite a lot of cultural occasions, including performances, art exhibits, film screenings, workshops, lectures, and courses including calligraphy, Chinese people dance, and Kung Fu. Whereas within the neighborhood, you’ll be able to grab a chew at Child Cafe or Shandong Restaurant.

The Oakland Asian Cultural Middle is situated at 388 9th Road, #290.

Sibley Volcanic Regional Protect

The volcano in query at this 928-acre park is a long-extinct one generally known as Round Prime. A number of trails can be found, and people in the know might hunt down the park’s stone labyrinths. Based on Pals of the Labyrinth, one in every of them was created by Montclair artists Helena Mazzariello who thought-about her work “a present to the world.”

Pardee House Museum Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Pardee House Museum

The Pardee House was constructed by Enoch Pardee within the 1860s. Pardee originally moved to California for the Gold Rush, however later turned an eye fixed doctor and politician, serving as Oakland’s mayor from 1876 to 1878. His son, George, would serve as mayor from 1893 to 1895, and became California’s 21st governor in 1902. The historic residence is filled with artifacts, lots of them collected by George’s wife, Helen. Docent-led tours of the villa, from its gardens all the best way to the cupola, are available year-round. Visitors also can reserve high tea or a dessert tea within the Pardee residence’s elegant eating room.

The Pardee Residence Museum is situated at 672 11th Road. Excursions are a instructed donation of $10. Excessive Tea is $35 and Desert Tea is $25 (tour included). Advance reservation required.

Oaktown Spice Store

For many weekend travelers, purchasing could be considerably blasé. In any case, each metropolis has its indie and boutique outlets. (Oakland, btw, has a number of in Temescal Alley for those who do love purchasing.) The Oaktown Spice Store is something particular, though, in that it has pretty much every spice in your record after which some you’ve never even heard of. They’ve received blends, rubs, salts, herbs, aromatics, tonic water kits, and more. Friends are free to select up a basket, then fill it with bottles and baggies of spices. It goes with out saying, the store smells delicious.

Oaktown Spice Shop is situated at 546 Grand Avenue.

The Chabot Area and Science Middle

For many who are fascinated by area exploration, a visit to the Chabot Area & Science Middle is a should. Here, you possibly can catch a present within the planetarium and look at a rotating assortment of interactive reveals on science and outer area. The Middle also has three telescopes—named Leah, Rachel, and Nellie—on the observatory deck, which are free to use on Friday and Saturday evenings or with common admission. A restaurant and present shop are situated on website.

The Chabot Area & Science Middle is situated at 10000 Skyline Boulevard. Basic admission is $18.


Heinold’s First and Last Probability Saloon Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Heinhold’s First and Final Probability Saloon

Simply steps away from Jack London’s cabin is a tiny, darkish, lop-sided dive where the writer was stated to be a daily. Opened in 1883, Heinold’s First and Last Probability was built out of a whaling vessel. Its identify comes from unique owner John Heinold and its proximity to the port; it was each the first and final place a departing or incoming sailor might get a drink. When Heinold’s was first built, it had a degree flooring. Because the earthquake of 1906, it hasn’t. Yes, that’s right: every thing on this bar is on a slant. Those curious to study more concerning the bar’s history can decide up a printed handout with their drink.

Heinold’s First and Last Probability is situated at 48 Webster Road.

Ratto’s Market & Deli

In accordance with Berkeleyside, Ratto’s is one among Oakland’s oldest restaurants (probably the oldest, when you’ll think about a delicatessen a restaurant). The specialty market and deli was based by Italian immigrant Giovanni Battista Ratto in 1897, and the shop’s been operated by the Ratto household ever since. Stop by for sandwiches, soups, salads, and all manner of pantry staples.

Ratto’s is situated at 821 Washington Road.

White Horse Inn


White Horse Inn has been open since at the very least 1933, probably earlier, though there have been no data stored by way of Prohibition. This makes the White Ho’, as it is sometimes referred to as, one of many oldest homosexual bars in the nation. The bar’s personal strong historical past page, full with interviews from long-time regulars, is value a read.

Immediately, the White Horse continues to be a neighborhood LGBTQ bar. They host karaoke, drag exhibits, and dance nights, along with different special fundraisers and events.

6551 Telegraph Avenue

Fenton’s Creamery and Restaurant

Fenton’s Creamery dates back to 1894 and claims to have invented in style ice cream flavor rocky street. It’s an often-bustling diner with American fare, but many come just for the ice cream, which is available in many year-round and seasonal flavors. You can get a simple scoop or shake, but additionally they make large ice cream sundaes and banana splits.

Fenton’s Creamery is situated at 4226 Piedmont Avenue.

The Avenue

You understand how CVS all the time has a bunch of plastic and foam skulls on clearance the day after Halloween? The Avenue might have bought them all for the last decade. This dark dive is simply coated in skulls, and the ceilings are hung with foam stalactites. And should you assume they’ve simply left their Halloween decorations up year-round, then just wait until it’s truly Halloween. Skulls aside, The Avenue is a pleasant enough spot for reasonably priced drinks and making new pals. They’ve also acquired a pool table and a photograph sales space.

The Avenue is situated at 4822 Telegraph Avenue.

Cosecha Kitchen Photograph: Fb

Swans Market

Swan’s Market is a meals hall filled with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch (although they’re closed on Sundays). It dates again to 1917, operating as a market until its closure within the 1980s. It’s since been restored and re-opened, providing about 10 totally different places to attempt. They embrace Mexican restaurant Cosecha Café, The Prepare dinner and Her Farmer for oysters and wine, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Miss Ollie’s Carribean soul food, and izakaya at AS B-Dama.

Swans Market is situated at 510 ninth Road.

The Fat Woman

The Fats Woman is definitely arresting, with sheet music pasted to the ceiling, stained glass lamps, an historic money register behind the bar, and comfy, red-draped booths. They’re open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, serving steakhouse fare and seafood.

It’s unclear how the restaurant, open since 1970, acquired its identify. One story states that unique owner Louis Shaterian named the establishment after a painting, which hangs near the bar. The opposite story claims the building was as soon as a brothel and the eponymous lady was its madam. Select your personal origin story as you’ll.

The Fat Woman is situated at 201 Washington Road.


Arabic restaurant Dyafa is helmed by Chef Reem Assil, Thrillst’s 2018 chef of the yr. The menu is split into cold and hot mezze (share plates), breads for scooping up dips, and a handful of huge plates. One standout among those is the maklouba, a flavorful, layered dish of rice, greens and crispy, skinny potatoes that translates to “upside-down.” The cocktail menu can also be pretty, especially the Dark-Skinned Nightingale made with Coruba rum, Medjool dates, almond, coconut, and egg white.

Dyafa is situated at 44 Webster Road

The Trappist

The Trappist is cut up right into a front and back bar, both inspired by the beer bars of Belgium and the Netherlands. They offer some 25 Belgium and specialty beers on tap and four occasions as many in bottles, resulting in several distinctive finds together with fascinating stouts, porters, fruit beers, and seasonal choices. Additionally they have a very small wine menu in the event you happen to be with somebody who doesn’t do beer, plus snacks, sandwiches, cheese, and charcuterie.


The Trappist is situated at 460 eighth Road.

Kona Club

Oakland has a number of tiki bars, including The Kon-Tiki on 14th Road and Forbidden Island on Alameda. Kona Club is situated on Piedmont, in between (and not far from) Fenton’s Creamery and Chapel of the Chimes. The decor is as expected, with a lot of palm thatching, mild up puffer fish, and even an animatronic hula dancer. The drinks are appropriately tropical and embrace their signature blended macadamia chi chi. The music, nevertheless, strays from island tunes by way of a jukebox that stocks loads of rock, hip-hop, and punk. Open day by day from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., it’s straightforward to fit Kona Membership right into a busy weekend.

Kona Membership is situated at 4401 Piedmont Avenue

Magnificence’s Bagels, the basic to-go Photograph: Juliet Bennett Rylah

Beauty’s Bagel Shop

Magnificence’s Bagel Store was advised to me by a former New Yorker, whose bagel opinions I are likely to trust, though these wood-fired bagels are Montreal-style: chewy, slightly sweet, and charred on the surface. There are two outlets—one in Temescal and a more moderen one downtown—the place you will get bagel sandwiches, bagels and spreads, and some different breakfast gadgets. Bagel sandwiches embrace the basic with smoked salmon, cream cheese, purple onion, and capers, and a fried hen sandwich with beet slaw. Magnificence’s could be packed, so either order forward or be prepared to wait in line.

Magnificence’s Bagels is situated at 3838 Telegraph Avenue and one at 1700 Franklin Road.

Cafe Van Kleef

Cafe Van Kleef is covered in a seemingly countless assortment of random artwork and collectibles, in the best way that a few of the greatest neighborhood watering holes are. The bar features stay music most nights and their signature drink is a greyhound, a grapefruit freshly squeezed into every one, an enormous wedge then plunked on the glass.

Cafe Van Kleef is situated at 1621 Telegraph Avenue.

Lois the Pie Queen

Lois the Pie Queen is a cash-only diner based by Lois Davis over 50 years in the past and now run by her son, Chris. They’re open for breakfast and lunch, throughout which they serve Southern and American diner fare and, in fact, pie. Flavors can rotate seasonally however may embrace lemon icebox, key lime, pecan, candy potato, or banana cream. Very similar to Dale Cooper, you’d be completely happy to order a slice with a cup of scorching coffee.

Lois the Pie Queen is situated at 851 60th Road.


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