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  • Oakland
  • Oakland
  • Oakland
  • Oakland
  • Oakland

Oakland Holidays

In the heart of the Bay Area, Oakland, California is a city with a patchwork of interesting neighbourhoods plus its own version of 'Frisco's buzzing Fisherman's Wharf, and a thriving arts and restaurant scene. It's also mighty handy for the Bay Area rapid transport system, meaning you can be in Oakland one minute and walking the streets of central San Francisco just over a quarter of an hour later.

Thanks to the wide open spaces of Lake Merritt, there's plenty of room for you to kick back on Oakland holidays. But there's also lots of bustling districts to discover. Old Oakland has restored Victorian buildings; Chinatown does what it says on the tin; upscale Rockridge has boutiques, restaurants and pubs; and for top people watching head to Telegraph Avenue in Temescal, where you can hang with the hipsters in the cafés and bars.

The waterfront is the place to catch a ferry over to Angel Island State Park for great Bay views and hiking trails, or to take a cruise aboard Franklin D Roosevelt's presidential yacht USS Potomac - the 'floating White House'. It's also where you'll also find the entertainment hub of Jack London Square with plenty of enticing outdoor restaurants, bars, shops and a Sunday farmers' market.

Performing arts are big news on Oakland holidays, and the Fox Theatre and Paramount Theatre play host to a whole variety of classical and big name concerts, as well as ballet and comedy. Both also have stunning Art Deco architecture, which is worth a look in itself.

And if the arts aren't your thing, then there's plenty of sports on offer, depending on the season. Grab a ticket to a Golden State Warriors basketball tip-off, an Oakland Raiders football fixture, or an Oakland A's baseball game and cheer along with the locals.

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San Francisco

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.

Jack London

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.

Lake Merritt

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.



Our Top Hotels in Oakland


Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel


Oakland suites are designed with your comfort in mind, conveniently located close to all top attractions. Oakland hotels ensure that you get fantastic value as well as a great location.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Waterfront Hotel

Waterfront Hotel


Waterfront Hotel is an ideal launching pad to explore the East Bays hidden treasures. The hotel blends the unique atmosphere of the Oakland waterfront with a vibrant nautical decor.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland Waterfront

Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland Waterfront


The Homewood Suites by Hilton hotel is located on the Estuary and Marina in Oakland. This lovely three-story design hotel has 60 of the suites and studios overlooking the marina.

Find out more about this hotel >>

Fly Drive Holiday: Oakland and the Bay Area

Oakland - San Mateo

There’s more to see in the Bay Area than just the City on the Bay. This suggested fly drive itinerary takes you to Oakland, home to the University of California, Tom Hanks and some of America’s finest tacos. With your hire car, you can use this exciting city as a base to explore the bay area, taking in the famous wine growing areas to the north, the coastal region of San Mateo to the west and San Francisco, just across the Oakland Bay Bridge. This is just a suggested itinerary to whet your appetite. You can tailor-make any aspect of your trip to make your dream holiday a reality.
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Time Difference:
GMT- 8hours

Closest Airport:
San Francisco International Airport (approx. 11 hours)

Getting around:
Hire a car and explore the surrounding areas. Check out the great selection of dining options, attractions and local excursions available. Care hire is available from £19 per day.

Insider Tip:
You don’t have to head out to the Napa Valley to try award-winning Californian wines. Oakland’s vintners bring in varietal grapes from regions all over Northern California. There are plenty of winery tours to choose from if you want to try a few.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.

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