Summer is almost here! But that doesn’t mean you have to blow your budget on pricey international getaways just to live your best vacation life – especially if you’re looking for something other than an international beach vibe. There are great domestic destinations to be explored right here at home, and the city of Oakland, California is one of them. There’s more to this eclectic city than meets the eye. Oakland is a city on the rise. From art and culture to championship sports and breathtaking nature, Oakland is where you want to be this summer, and we’re breaking down five reasons why.
Go For The Food
When it comes to must-visit foodie destinations the city of Oakland doesn’t usually make the list, but that’s changing! The diverse mashup of cultures has turned Oakland into a thriving culinary destination, with some of the country’s hottest restaurants and bars found inside the city limits. Start your day with a Mexican inspired breakfast at Chop Bar, where locally grown and sourced ingredients go into every meal (they even make their own pepper sauce!). Around lunch time head to Bakesale Betty’s for her famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Coleslaw sandwich or pop across the street to Cholita Linda for the city’s best Baja Fish Tacos. Treat yourself to homemade (and even vegan) guilt free sweets at Curbside Creamery. Grab a few friends, a few drinks and catch a stunning city sunset at Mad Oak Bar ‘n’ Yard or people watch with a pizza pie at Drake’s Dealership. Looking for something with a bit more spice? Kingston 11 is hands down the best Jamaican restaurant in the city and pure vibes.
Go For The Culture
If you thought Oakland couldn’t compete to other California cities in the cultural hotspots department, think again. The city is dripping with cultural activities for visitors and residents to take part in, especially during the summer. The first stop on your list should be to the Oakland Museum where you can you can remember where you first fell in love with hip-hop at the RESPECT: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom exhibit. The exhibit tells a fresh story of the evolution of hip-hop and includes a spotlight on Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area’s influence on the culture. It also features a Hip-Hop Dojo performance space, Hip-Hop Yoga, Sunday Cyphers and more.
If museums aren’t your thing, party with the people at Oakland First Fridays, an immersive art and community experience on the first Friday of each month featuring street artists, local culinary artisans, dancers, DJ’s, and more. In search of fellow creatives? Head over to Betti Ono, a 100% Black women-led and operated, experimentally minded space for art and culture dedicated to amplifying the work and voices of under-represented artists.
Go For The Nature
Escape the city for a few hours and head to Oakland’s redwood hills for a different kind of nature experience. The Segway Off Road Tour takes you through beautiful groves of ancient redwood trees and native forest. After a quick lesson, ride your Segway through the tranquil forest exploring a bit of its history and enjoying the gorgeous skyline and spectacular views of Mt. Diablo, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, and a breathtaking panorama of the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
Go For The Sports
In case you didn’t already know, Oakland is Warriors ground and A’s territory, so it’s only right that you check out a game or two while you’re in town. Head to the Oracle Arena to watch Steph Curry and crew fight their way to another NBA championship or check out the Oakland A’s as they hit homeruns straight out the park. Or hang with die-hard Oakland sports fans in the parking lot for a lively tailgate party.
Go For The Vibes
No matter where you go in the city, Oakland is a pure vibes moment, which makes it perfect for a getaway with the girls or bae. Spend the day at the iconic Claremont Club & Spa indulging in eucalyptus steam rooms and massages or enjoying crafted cocktails and views from the Limewood Bar & Restaurant. Later, make your way over to Rosenblum Cellars in Jack London Square for a wine tasting as you watch the scene along the San Francisco Bay. When you’re done, take a leisurely stroll down to the historic Yoshi’s for a delicious Japanese dinner before settling in for a live music performance. Everyone from the Count Basie Orchestra and El DeBarge to Dru Hill, Brian McKnight, and even Warren G and KRS-One have graced the Yoshi stage, so you’re sure to be entertained.