Fun-loving 'Frisco is just across the Bay: a ferry trip or a short ride on the BART train will have you there in no time. Shop till you drop in Union Square; explore the attractions on family friendly Pier 39; take the cable car to the top of Nob Hill; walk the Golden Gate Bridge; and just soak up the friendly 'Frisco vibe.
Follow in the footsteps of Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild and White Fang, who lived in Oakland's waterfront area for a time. Stop for a drink in Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon, where London did some of his writing and a lot of his drinking; next door is the Klondike cabin (relocated from Alaska) where he panned for gold in the 1890s.
Oakland centrepiece Lake Merritt is a lovely place to while away some time, strolling round its three-and-a-half-mile perimeter, renting a boat, or letting a gondolier skim you across its surface. There's also a 122-acre park to explore, ducks to feed, a wildlife refuge to visit, and the delightfully old-fashioned Children’s Fairyland theme park.
Just five miles from Oakland is free-spirited Berkeley, birthplace of the Free Speech Movement and home of the University of California. Stroll through the beautiful campus, visit one of the museums, or just hang out at a café or in a park and listen to the highbrow banter.
Listen to the Music
There's great music on Oakland holidays. Check in advance to see who's topping the bill at the Fox and Paramount theatres, and drop by Yoshi's Jazz Club & Japanese restaurant for world-class jazz by big name performers. If you're here over Labor week-end you can join in the annual three-day Blues Festival.