Thanks to its unique urban atmosphere, growing arts scene, and famous food culture, Oakland has become a rising star in California. It also offers some of the more beautiful parks and recreation areas in the region, including Mount Diablo State Park. Many people love to visit Oakland, CA, because it offers the atmosphere and charm of the San Francisco Bay Area, but boasts sunnier weather. Summer and fall are the best times of year to visit Oakland, when the weather is warm and dry.
Oakland is as large as San Francisco, and today's visitors will enjoy many of the cosmopolitan pleasures you'd expect to find in a top destination. Of particular note, locally grown food and fine dining has become one of Oakland's signatures. To get a sense of the local culture, check out the lovely shops, bakeries, and restaurants in Oakland's College Avenue or Rockridge areas, or drop in on a local farmer's market.
Here are a few additional suggestions of things to do in Oakland:
-Mount Diablo: The tallest peak in the Bay Area, Mount Diablo is a great place for a day hike. On a clear day, it affords sweeping vistas across the central valley.
-Jack London Square: You can take a ferry ride or see a jazz show at this waterfront pier.
-Paramount Theater: One of the region's oldest performing arts venues, this theater was built in 1921.
-Lake Merritt: Oakland's large urban park is a great place to walk, bike, or simply relax on a bench overlooking the lake.
-San Francisco: When visiting Oakland, don't miss the world-class city of San Francisco, just a quick ride across the bay.
-Berkeley: This famous college town is a great place to grab a bite to eat and soak up the hippie vibe of Northern California youth culture.
For a trip to the Bay Area, Oakland can be an affordable choice, especially if you find a condo or apartment rental in one of Oakland's residential neighborhoods. A vacation rental in the Claremont neighborhood is an experience you won't forget, while a rental home near Lake Merritt will give you a bit of nature in this urban city.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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