Secret staircases, telephone gnomes, and off-the-beaten path eateries make this East Bay city a worthy getaway
Move over San Francisco, you’ve got some competition on the other side of the bay—where locals say the view is better anyway. Sunnier, more down-to-earth Oakland may not have the prestige of the big SF, but what it lacks in fame it makes up for in local flair. People from many cultures have left the Big City for its cheaper sibling, so Oakland has its own colorful characters and local pride that’s just as fierce.
If you’re wondering what to do in Oakland, just follow your feet. Will they take you beneath ancient, towering redwoods, or to the teeny, tiny trees in Lake Merritt’s Bonsai Garden? Unfortunately, the giant oak trees of the city’s namesake aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as they used to be, but by alternatively growing and shrinking relative to other local flora, you’ll experience what locals already know: it’s all about perspective.
Want to know what’s going on in Oakland today? Go on an urban hike through Rockridge, Temescal, and Dimond districts, where local art, street fairs, and farmers markets give travelers such as yourself a crash course in what the city has to offer: local art in the form of cute gnomes attached to telephone poles and indulgent culinary creations like homemade mac and cheese and gourmet doughnuts. But first, fuel up with ridiculous amounts of free coffee samples on the Blue Bottle Factory Tour.
Looking for quirky things to do in Oakland? They’re not hard to find. There’s something mystical here in O-Town. The Mazzariello Labyrinth up in the hills and the shiny steel statue of the Bay Bridge gremlin are proof of that.
Visit them both—and a whole host of other well-kept secrets—with our Oakland vacation packages. The Bright Side of the Bay has never looked so lovely, and neither has your piggy bank.