Oakland is a city with many separate neighbourhoods located across the bridge from San Francisco Bay. The East Bay, as it is locals, is a diversified area with interesting attractions, festivals, and eateries. The East Bay city has grown into an attractive, growing destination since our initial visit many years ago. There are many attractions, like the expanded Oakland Zoo and waterfront activities. Foodies will be thrilled by the expanding food and beverage scene. Those who enjoy the nightlife will also find unique beverages and live music.

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  1. Jack London Square

Jack London Square, located along the Oakland/Alameda estuary, is a historic working waterfront named for the great writer. With so much to see, it’s no surprise that this place is popular with people of all ages and is one of the top things to do in Oakland. Plan to spend a few hours there taking in the scenery, riding the ferry, and having a bite to eat. Visit the distinctive floating White House (the USS Potomac, which served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s yacht) while you’re there. Other activities include boating, kayaking, and biking.

  1. Oakland Chinatown

This is one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States, dating back to the 1850s. Oakland Chinatown, which is home to different ethnicities from all around Asia, contains over 45 eateries and nine tea shops. Enjoy a variety of Asian flavours such as Japanese Ramen, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, and Taiwanese boba tea. Explore the farmer’s market for fresh produce and spices. Also, the Oakland Asian Cultural Centre hosts performances, festivals, and workshops.

  1. Oakland Zoo 

The Oakland Zoo (established in 1924) recently increased in size and now houses over 750 native and exotic animals. This is because of the new California Trail display. The zoo’s exhibits resemble the ecosystems of the animals’ native habitats and are in Know land Park in the Oakland Hills. While you’re there, take a gondola ride for some of the greatest views of the Bay Area.

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  1. Oakland Museum of California

The Oakland Institution of California (OMCA), a premier Bay Area museum, celebrates California’s art, history, and natural science. The tales of California and the people who shaped it are told through interactive exhibitions. Friday nights from 5-10 p.m. showcase local art, after-hours gallery access, music, dancing workshops, and food trucks. From 5-8 p.m., there will be free hands-on art classes for families.

  1. Lake Merritt 

Lake Merritt, which is home to the United States’ oldest wildlife refuge (founded in 1870), is enjoyable to explore at any time of day or night. This place is ideal for a relaxed family visit with picnic areas and walking routes. Lake activities for outdoorsy kids include pedal boats, kayaks, and canoes. Around the beach at night, there is an outdoor installation with 126 lampposts and almost 4,000 light bulbs.

  1. Diverse Neighborhoods

Oakland’s various neighbourhoods each have something special to offer. Waterfront activities are available at Jack London Square, Grand Lake, and Lake Merritt. The art deco Fox and Paramount theatres can be in Uptown Oakland. Old Oakland’s restored Victorian architecture and boutiques will inspire young aspiring architects. Are you travelling with teenagers?  Introduce them to the trendy Rockridge neighbourhood, which is home to many Berkeley graduates. Explore the neighbourhood with a Rockridge Heritage Food Tour and a one-hour Rockridge Ice Cream Tour.

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