Bay Area Weekend Trips, California

Our favorite places in Oakland

In 2016, we moved to Oakland and got to live life as momentary locals there for a little over 3 years. In that time, we discovered some favorite spots and things to do, here are a few:

  1. Checking out Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) on a Friday night. They are open late (until 9 pm), with reduced entrance fees, with delicious food from Off the Grid food trucks lining the streets, a beer/wine garden area, and live music in the amphitheater. This was an experience that helped me fall in love with Oakland. People of all ages, races, cultures, lifestyles blend together seamlessly dancing the night away. Every time I go, it renews my faith in humanity. [And they have a fantastic exhibit on California history, plus super interesting and diverse rotating exhibits].
  2. Coffee! Coffee! And more coffee! There are so many delicious coffee choices around Oakland. I have not yet tried them all (working on it) but here are ones I have come back to again and again: Bicycle Coffee, Peerless Coffee, Tierra Mia Coffee (they make one strong Cuban coffee!), Red Bay Coffee, and Firebrand (they also happen to make the best bread in Oakland, hands down!). [Carina’s expertise here]
  3. Redwood Regional Park – I still am in awe every time I go of how incredibly close we live to these grand beauties! When I need to forest bathe, this is where I go.
  4. Ferry rides from San Francisco back to Oakland at sunset
  5. Stand up paddle boarding in the bay or just enjoying watching the sailboats from a bench along the San Francisco Bay Trail
  6. Enjoying one of the many events happening at Jack London Square
  7. Walk around Lake Merritt. Any time of day is great but we particularly love an early morning run or a sunset walk when the string lights come on all around the lake. I’ve heard you can even take a romantic gondola ride around the lake.
  8. Beer! Beer! And more beer! As with coffee spots, we have not checked it all the breweries Oakland and surrounds have to offer, but Chris is for sure working on it. Here are some of his current favorites: Ale Industries, Faction Brewing, etc. And while not a brewery, a great tap room in Oakland is Tiger’s Tap Room, which usually also has a great food truck located outside to enjoy with your beer or cider. [Chris’ expertise here]
  9. Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park (or any Redwood park nearby). We preferred to begin our hikes at the Canyon Meadow Staging Area (and even had a birthday picnic there once). It was partly paved so we were able to share it with our older family members too.

For more ideas check out: 100 Things to Do in Oakland – we used this guide when we first moved here to get to know the Town better.

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