Oakland’s landscape is a picturesque mix of lovely hillside neighborhoods; exciting and diverse architecture; a bustling waterfront; two shimmering lakes; 19 miles of shoreline along the San Francisco Bay; unparalleled Bay views; and more parks and open space per capita than any other city in the Bay Area. Everyone loves the year round vacation weather with temperatures in the gentle 50’s and 60’s in the winter and spring, and 70’s throughout summer and fall.
A city on the move, Oakland has emerged as a major economic force in the region. Long a center for international trade, the Port of Oakland is one of the nation’s busiest container ports in the Bay Area. The Oakland International Airport is served by many major domestic and international airlines.
The arts are alive in Oakland as well. The city has one of the largest visual and performing arts communities on the West Coast, and the arts are celebrated on every level; from acclaimed symphony and ballet to museums, galleries, and small arts organizations. The Old Oakland district includes many of the finest examples of Victorian commercial architecture on the West Coast. Oakland’s population boomed after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the Broadway Historic District showcases a range of architectural treasures constructed between 1900-1949. Bold new buildings now shine in Oakland’s modern skyline.
There is definitely no shortage of things to see and do, and there is weather to match. Visitors can explore the universe at The Chabot Space and Science Center. The Center houses one of the largest public telescopes in the United States, a 230-seat planetarium, and the large-screen Tien MegaDome Theater. Every child’s fantasy comes true at Children’s Fairyland. Here young children can enjoy the enchanting, three-dimensional fantasy world where popular nursery rhymes come to life, set in picturesque Lakeside Park.
Speaking of Lakeside Park, this large saltwater lake, one of the largest in the country, and the adjoining 122-acre park is home to wildlife, formal gardens, and a children’s amusement park. All of these draw scores of walkers, joggers, bikers, rowers, sailors, and windsurfers, year round. For a little romance, visitors can experience Gondola Servizio where they glide across Lake Merritt in a beautiful Venetian craft accompanied by a serenading gondolier.
Of course, everyone needs a chance to relax, shop and enjoy a good meal. A wonderful place for this is in Oakland is at Jack London Square. This busy site at the water’s edge has dining, entertainment, shopping, and more than a few spots for daydreaming. Take a ferry ride, stroll the scenic boardwalk, catch a movie, or just rest and refresh at a sunny sidewalk café. For a little history in a nostalgic setting, the historic Grand Lake Theatre is a must see. A mainstay of the community since its construction in 1926, this first-run movie theater is graced with a colorful, lighted marquee and a sweeping staircase in the main hall. Look for the ornately decorated walls, brass chandeliers, and faux opera boxes. Prior to curtain on Friday and Saturday nights, an organist serenades the audience on a Wurlitzer. Rent a sailboat on Lake Merritt, stroll along the waterfront, explore the fantastic Oakland Museum: These are all great reasons to spend fog-free days exploring one of California’s largest and most ethnically diverse cities.
Oakland has near perfect weather to enjoy all of the spectacular offerings of the city. “Sunny California” applies to Oakland’s climate. With the sun shining an average of 95% of the time in the summer, it’s the time to experience the numerous outdoor activities available. The fall offers a chance to view Nature in transition. With the temperature dropping only slightly from the summer, visitors can enjoy the out of doors day or night. Winters are mild with the average temperature around 55 F. Snow is almost never seen, except in the higher elevations and then only briefly. Spring brings an abundance of sunshine, warmer temperatures and very low humidity. It’s an ideal time for a relaxing stroll in one of the areas many excellent parks.
History, events, great entertainment, sports, scenery and an ideal climate in which to experience it all, Oakland, the City by the Bay, has it.