Discover all the fun things to do in Oakland, CA
California cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose tend to get most of the attention from tourists and West Coast residents. However, there’s one northern California city that shouldn’t be left out when discussing great cities in this state that offer plenty of fun things to do, and that city is Oakland.
When looking for apartments in Oakland, one thing to consider are the activities you can do in the city. From the beauty of Oakland’s waterfront to its options for live music and entertainment at places like the Paramount Theater downtown, you’ll never be bored in this city. The best restaurants in Oakland and bars in this area also have a lot to offer to diners looking for their next great meal or a night out.
To help you plan a fun day in this city, we’ve created this handy guide that lists all the fun things to do in Oakland. Read on to learn more about this great city and all the things that locals and tourists love to do here
Where is Oakland, California, and what is the city like?
Before we start exploring all the fun things to do in Oakland, CA, let’s talk a little bit about the city itself. You’ll find this metro area, which is the third-largest city in Northern California’s Bay area, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. This means that you can enjoy beautiful waterfront views.
The city has several different areas, and each one has its own unique feel and personality. For example, you’ll find restored Victorian buildings and upscale boutiques in Old Oakland. Uptown is full of art deco theaters as well as plenty of restaurants, bars, and art galleries, making it one of the best neighborhoods in Oakland. As for Oakland’s Chinatown, it’s one of the oldest Chinatowns in the United States. Today, it features restaurants and businesses run by not only Chinese entrepreneurs, but also those of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese descent.
As for the weather in Oakland, you can expect to experience long, comfortable summers and winters that are short, chilly, and wet. As a result, most people travel to this area to enjoy outdoor activities between late June and early October. However, throughout the year, the temperatures typically range from 44 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
1. Watch one of the sports teams in the Oakland area
Sports play an important role in most major cities, and Oakland is no exception. While the Oakland Raiders may now be the Las Vegas Raiders, there are still teams in and around the Oakland area. Going to one of their games is one of the fun things to do in Oakland, CA.
Baseball is called America’s pastime for a reason, and it’s one of the best activities to do in Oakland, CA. This city is home to the iconic Oakland Athletics, or Oakland A’s, and there’s nothing quite like attending one of their games. While the team might not be poised to win the World Series this year, it’s still fun for people of all ages to come out to the ball game and cheer them on. Best of all, you can easily get to the Oakland Coliseum where they play by taking the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system.
One fun thing to do is watch the Golden State Warriors. This team is technically in San Francisco now, after spending nearly 50 years in Oakland. While many Oakland residents were less than pleased to see the team move in 2019, it doesn’t stop people from wanting to attend games for this basketball dynasty.
2. Visiting museums is one of the fun things to do in Oakland
After taking in the sports scene in Oakland, you might be looking for a change of pace, and there are plenty of great museums to provide it. From institutions that celebrate African American history and heritage to museums that bring visitors the best of art, history, and science, this city has plenty to offer to residents and visitors.
You can think of the Oakland Museum of California as being your one-stop shop for art, history, and natural science. This massive building is home to nearly two million objects, a garden, and three stories of galleries. This museum is designed to celebrate all things related to the great state of California. On Friday nights, you can find food trucks, live music, dance lessons, and free workshops for both kids and adults.
If you love space, you’ll want to make your way to the Chabot Space and Science Center. Located among the Redwoods in Oakland Hills, this destination features three telescopes and an impressive observatory that overlooks the iconic San Francisco Bay. You can also take in a laser-animation show in the planetarium. During Chabot Friday and Saturday nights, you can enjoy free admission to the observatory viewing area until 10:30 pm.
One final museum that you won’t want to miss is the African American Museum and Library. This vibrant space features exhibits that highlight the accomplishments and culture of African Americans in California and the western United States. History buffs can also explore the reference library that contains 12,000 volumes by or about African Americans.
3. Enjoy some of the great cuisine and beverages in this California city
Foodies can rejoice because Oakland has quite an amazing food scene. From tapas to sushi to Chinese food in Oakland’s Chinatown, your tastebuds and tummy will always be delighted in this city. If you’re looking for a drink, Oakland is also famous for offering tons of great bars and even an urban wine trail.
One of the best ways to enjoy a taste of the city is to visit one of the many farmer’s markets. From the Old Oakland Farmers Market on Friday afternoons to the one on Sunday in Jack London Square, you can find amazing fresh produce and local foods. You can even order culinary delights like dim sum.
Another great place to grab a bite to eat is Temescal Alley, which is the East Bay’s trendiest street. As you walk through and check out all the unique local shops, you’ll find delightful gems for foodies like Pizzaiolo, which serves up wood-fired pizzas and seasonal Italian eats. Cholita Linda is also a great place to visit if you’re looking for incredible Latin American street food that ranges from fish tacos to Cuban sandwiches.
If you have a sweet tooth that you need to satisfy, Fentons Creamery is the place for you. This retro ice cream parlor is famous for two things: serving large sundaes and cones and offering a huge selection of flavors. If you’re looking to grab a meal, you can also find burgers, grilled sandwiches, and even salads.
As we mentioned, one of the other fun things to do in Oakland is to check out the Urban Wine Trail. You’ll find Oakland’s urban wineries in revamped warehouses, but their wine quality will make you think that it came straight from Napa Valley. Speaking of California wine country, all the grapes come straight from vineyards all around the state.
4. Spending time in the great outdoors is one of the fun things to do in Oakland
Even though Oakland is a major metropolitan area, it offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy time outside. There are parks with picnic areas and even a beautiful zoo that has been delighting guests for nearly one hundred years.
One of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors is to visit the Lake Temescal Recreation Area. Since 1936, people have been coming to the park to enjoy swimming, fishing, sunbathing, and picnicking. You can also hike the park to see the different flora and fauna that call this park home. Alternatively, the Grand Lake area is also close to Lake Merritt.
If you want to see animals from all around the world, you’ll want to purchase a ticket to the Oakland Zoo. Located in the Grass Valley neighborhood, this zoo was founded in 1922. Today, it is home to more than 850 animals from around the United States and the world. Be sure to check out the website before your visit so that you can schedule it for one of the feeding times at the Oakland Zoo.
You can enjoy all the fun things to do in Oakland when you move here
If this list of fun things to do in Oakland has convinced you that this is the city that you’d like to call home, we can help you get settled. We offer coliving spaces in Oakland and Downtown Oakland. At Common Jefferson (coming soon!) and Common Webster, you can rent a private bedroom in a fully-furnished shared suite that allows you to enjoy city living for an attainable price. Alongside an all-inclusive suite, your rent includes pots, pans, cutlery, household essentials, and regular cleanings of shared spaces. It’s the easiest way to experience Oakland living. Explore our homes today and get more for your rent in the Bay Area!