10 Things To Do In Oakland, California

10 Things To Do In Oakland, California

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Oakland has a variety of things to do, from science, and space centres, to nightlife and museums, it’s even full of several camping destinations if you want to get back to nature. There are so many things to do in Oakland, California that it is worthy of consideration for day trips, weekend getaways, or a week of camping.

Things to do in Oakland

Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California. A major West Coast port, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third-largest city overall in the Bay Area and the eighth-most populated city in California. With a population of 440,646 as of 2020, it serves as a trade center: the Port of Oakland is the busiest port in Northern California and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854. Oakland is a charter city.

10 Things To Do In Oakland, California
Aerial view of Oakland, CA from the bay

Oakland Hills

One of the best urban campsites of California is located at the Anthony Chabot Regional Area in the Oakland Hills. This campground is open year-round and has accommodations for walk-ins, tents, or trailers. It is easily accessible via driving or public transportation.

Chabot Family Campground

The Chabot Family Campground is an absolute gem for a weekend or longer camping trip. Nestled above a wonderful lake, water activities include wading, swimming, boating, sunning, and fishing. Nearby are the 18-hole Willow Park Golf Course, and the Cabot Equestrian Center with guided trail rides along some of the most scenic ridges in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Camping Areas

There are also organized campfires with stories and marshmallows, short and long trails, and several naturalist programs throughout a 24-hour period. The weather in Oakland is lovely spring through fall and mild even in the winter months.

10 Things To Do In Oakland, California
Oakland, USA – May 19, 2022: The morning sun rises on the iconic Fox Oakland Theatre, a concert hall and former movie theater in Downtown Oakland.

The Streets

Because of its urban location, you can choose to wipe off the fish scales, wash up in the hot showers and go out for a night on the town. The streets are easily drivable and the public transportation is excellent. Oakland has a wide range of exotic restaurants and nightclubs. Jazz is prevalent and the dining is exceptional. You can enjoy a sophisticated evening of dining, dancing or concert-going, and return to sleep under the stars. This is all available within 20 minutes from your campsite.

Anthony Chabot Space and Science Center

You can reach for the stars, regardless of the length of your stay, at the Anthony Chabot Space and Science Center. Located in beautiful Joaquin Miller Park, the Space Center includes a Planetarium that is sure to please any age. The Observatories are open to the public on weekends for awesome star and planet gazing.

Science Center

The Science Center has changing programs every three months that are fun, interactive and literally “out of this world”. This is a definite all-day to evening event, especially if you decide to do some earth exploration of the redwood groves outside. Day camping, hiking, picnicking and more wait to ground you after some hours in the stars.

Jack London Square

Jack London Square is a great day or weekend spot. You can choose to rent a houseboat in the Oakland Estuary or stay at one of the fine hotels along the square. A fun day at the Estuary can include Kayaking, refreshments at the First and Last Chance Saloon, a bit of high-end shopping, some free entertainment throughout the square, a farmer’s market, a crafts faire, some hot jazz performances or a trip aboard FDR’s Presidential Yacht. There is enough to do and see at Jack London Square to provide endless enjoyment, year-round, for many trips to come.

10 Things To Do In Oakland, California - Oakland Museum

Rockridge District

If your pleasures are aroused with books and espresso, the Rockridge District will be a great away day for you. Easily accessible by BART, this is a charming neighbourhood shopping area full of personality. There are wonderful speciality shops, the best new and used bookstores in the Bay Area and at least two coffee houses per block. College Avenue is a riot of eclectic yard sales with bargains of the rare and funky.

Rockridge Bart Station

You can view, free of charge, one of the most moving works of art at the Rockridge BART station. The Firestorm Community Mural Project is an awesome memorial to the spirit of the community during the devastating Oakland Hills Firestorm and recovery of 1991. You must stop and look at the individual tiles of expression by the survivors of this disaster. A full exploration of Rockridge will cover an entire day with plans for return trips.

Oakland Museum

The Oakland Museum is another complete day trip. This Museum houses some great early to current California Art as well as an entire floor of collectables reflecting the history of the area in the form of trinkets. The Cowell Hall of California History provides hours of entertainment for the history buff or collectable hound.

Image Credit: Depositphotos

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