Things to do & places to visit in Oakland, California, United States

Oakland cover image
Oakland, in the hub of the Bay Area, is both historic and modern. Visitors will find a little bit of everything in this diverse metropolis, from the picturesque waterfront to expansive hills. Explore Oakland's growing arts, entertainment and food scene or enjoy recreational opportunities like hiking, sailing and biking. Root for one of the three professional sports teams or take a tour of a historic landmark. The city is easily accessible through Oakland International Airport, train, automobile, BART, bus and ferry.

Oakland city in California, United States. Timezone: America/Los_Angeles, current date and time: Sunday, March 03, 2024, 1:23.

Top things to do (31)

Top places to visit (30 attractions) view more »

  1. 5.0 Oakland California Temple (854 reviews)
    - The Oakland California Temple is beautiful with stunning views
    Sunday: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM Spent < 1 hour Religious Sites • Churches & Cathedrals
    Oakland California Temple image
    Open to the public, the Oakland California Temple & Visitors' Center is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. Visitors can walk through the colorful gardens lined with towering palm trees, sit by the fountains and cascading waterfall, enjoy the beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay Area, and feel the peace of the grounds. While you're there, you can take a guided tour at the Visitors' Center, learn more about you're family's history at the Family Search Library, and attend events at the Temple Hill Auditorium. Only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can enter the temple itself. A coveted location for photographers, the Oakland Temple is one of the best locations to enjoy a sunset over the Bay. At night, the Oakland Temple is brightly lit and can be seen throughout the Bay Area. Devotionals, concerts, and performances are hosted throughout the month in the Temple Hill auditorium and most events are free. See more..
  2. 5.0 East Bay Regional Park District (109 reviews)
    - Go East
    Bodies of Water • Parks • Scenic Drives
    East Bay Regional Park District image
    The official designation given to the numerous parks found in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. See more..
  3. 5.0 Oakland History Room (9 reviews)
    - Great Photos
    Sunday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM Libraries • History Museums
    There are some wonderful photos of the old city around this large room in the main library, and it's full of resources about the city. A real gem. See more..
  4. 4.5 Lake Merritt (922 reviews)
    - I Live Here and I'm Still Blown Away
    Bodies of Water
    Lake Merritt image
    Saltwater lake in the middle of the city. See more..
  5. 4.5 Oakland Museum of California (756 reviews)
    - You could spend a day here. Don't miss the garden.
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Speciality Museums
    Oakland Museum of California image
    The Oakland Museum of California provides unique collections, exhibitions and educational opportunities designed to generate a broader and deeper understanding of and interest in California's environment, history, art and people. Museum programs are responsive, accessible and meaningful to the public, including school children, teachers, scholars, the immediate Oakland community, and an increasingly diverse California population. See more..
  6. 4.5 Oakland Zoo (709 reviews)
    - First time going, very nice zoo
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Zoos
    Oakland Zoo image
    Oakland Zoo was established in 1922 and is managed by the Conservation Society of California, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife both locally and globally. The Zoo is home to over 850 native and exotic animals. We're recognized for our outstanding animal care, particularly our elephant care program, and for our Leed-certified, 17,000 square foot, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital—the largest wild animal veterinary facility in Northern California. June 2018 introduced Oakland Zoo guests to an entirely new experience, California Trail, a monumental expansion furthering our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife—both past and present. See more..
  7. 4.5 Oracle Arena (609 reviews)
    - Awesome tour!
    Arenas & Stadiums
    Oracle Arena image
    The Oracle Arena tour was one of our favorites on this trip. Ken was a great guide - very lively, cheerful and knowledgeable. This should not be missed especially for a Warriors fan! See more..
  8. 4.5 Redwood Regional Park (417 reviews)
    - Lots of Ladybugs & Mushrooms
    Sunday: 5:00 AM - 10:00 PM Parks
    Redwood Regional Park image
    Beautiful hike. We parked at the Skyline Gate Staging lot (the lot gets full - there is some street parking). We took the trail to the left near the restrooms and crossed over after a while to get on the Stream Trail. This allowed us to see all the mushrooms. If going for the ladybugs, you would take the trail on the right from the parking lot - the Stream Trail. Walk down until you get to the Prince Trail. There was a large sign where the lady bugs were located. SO MANY LADYBUGS!!! Hike is pretty flat minus the hill that leads to the parking lot on your way back. Lots of dogs & children - highly recommend! See more..
  9. 4.5 San Francisco Bay Ferry (312 reviews)
    - Easy way to get to Alameda
    Spent < 1 hour Ferries
    San Francisco Bay Ferry image
    We were in SF for a few days and wanted to see the USS Hornet. We decided to take the ferry. It worked out great. We purchased our tickets off the HOPTHRU app and caught the ferry at Gate 9 off Embarcardeo. Once we got to Alameda, we took Lyft to the ship. The ferry was clean and there were plenty of seats. I highly suggest using the ferry to cross the bay to other locations. See more..
  10. 4.5 Children's Fairyland (242 reviews)
    - Fun for short people of all ages
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Amusement & Theme Parks • Rides & Activities
    Children's Fairyland image
    Children's Fairyland is a magical mid-century park where young children can create, imagine, play, and learn all day long, located on the shores of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. We cater to the eight and under crowd (and their families)! See more..
  11. 4.5 Mountain View Cemetery (198 reviews)
    - Great Place for Hikes
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Cemeteries
    Mountain View Cemetery image
    We provide funeral, cremation and cemetery services all at the historic Mountain View Cemetery located in Oakland, California. See more..
  12. 4.5 The Cathedral of Christ the Light (193 reviews)
    - Just Stunning
    Sunday: 6:30 AM - 6:00 PM Architectural Buildings
    The Cathedral of Christ the Light image
    Anchored by the world's newest Catholic cathedral - The Cathedral of Christ the Light - the entire Cathedral Center is a beautiful and welcoming gathering place to experience liturgy, arts and cultural events reflecting the diversity of Oakland and the Bay Area. See more..
  13. 4.5 Chabot Space & Science Center (166 reviews)
    - Amazing!
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Science Museums • Observatories & Planetariums
    Chabot Space & Science Center image
    Chabot Space & Science Center inspires and educates students of all ages about our Planet Earth and the Universe. Its historic telescopes and observatory, planetarium, hands-on interactive exhibits, and natural park setting are a place where students, teachers, and the public can imagine, understand, and learn to shape their future through science. Chabot's three large telescopes are open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings. See more..
  14. 4.5 USS Potomac (100 reviews)
    - Great Cruise on the Bay
    Sunday: 12:00 PM - 3:30 AM Speciality Museums • Ships
    USS Potomac image
    Fabulous cruise on Oakland Harbor and the San Francisco Bay. Fully narrated with interesting facts about the ship, President Roosevelt and local history. A perfect morning- we’ll be back for more! See more..
  15. 4.5 Grand Lake Theater (100 reviews)
    - A Hidden Gem
    Grand Lake Theater image
    My husband and I walked past this theatre many times during our week in Oakland, but we did not go in until close to the end of our trip, as we were too busy doing other things. How silly of us ... this was one of the treasures we found on our vacation. The theatre is absolutely beautiful with gorgeous marble (I think) floors, a grand crystal chandelier, stunningly tall columns ... and inside the theatres is a beautiful piece of history that should only be preserved and cherished ... tapestries on the walls, decorative walls and ceilings, beautiful wall sconces ... just breathtaking. So take a moment, take some time, go on in and enjoy this hidden gem. See more..
  16. 4.5 Fox Theater (79 reviews)
    - "FOX Theatre"
    Spent 2-3 hours Theaters
    Fox Theater image
    I had never been to the "Fox Theatre" before. We made the trip down to see "Billy Idol", and what a Theater. The Theater seats 2800, and it has a "Grand" layout. The sound quality was very good. I will not hesitate to see another show at this location. There is some limited "On Street" parking, or there is a "Parking Garage" a couple of blocks away. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has a station one block away from the Theater. A Great Venue... See more..
  17. 4.5 GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt (60 reviews)
    - Awesome trees in a peaceful setting right in the heart of Oakland
    Sunday: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Spent 1-2 hours Gardens
    GSBF Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt image
    The Bonsai Garden and Museum at Lake Merritt is one of the largest and finest collections of bonsai in the US. Approximately 90 bonsai and viewing stones (Suiseki) are on display at any given time. Displays are rotated on a seasonal, peak performance of the bonsai. Bonsai lovers come from all over the world to the garden to view our world-class collection. Free admission. Public parking available. Open six days per week. Closed Mondays. 11-3 Tuesday -Friday. 10-4 Saturday. Noon - 4 Sunday. See more..
  18. 4.5 Bay Bridge Trail (45 reviews)
    - Take a Long Walk
    Biking Trails • Bridges • Jogging Paths & Tracks
    Bay Bridge Trail image
    The trail is excellent. Still under development, but eventually it will complete almost a full circle around the Bay. I love the area along the estuary near Jack London. Lots of open space and not too many people. See more..
  19. 4.5 Tilden Nature Area (44 reviews)
    - TILDEN a local park FOR ALL AGES!
    Sunday: 5:00 AM - 10:00 PM Nature & Wildlife Areas • Educational sites
    Tilden Nature Area image
    For young elderly the walk around Jewel Lake and visit to the Little Farm is ideal. Level walking Paths great for strollers. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the green lawns near the parking lot. Nature Center is the icing on the cake...good bathrooms, fine exhibits and souvenirs. For dog lovers the Inspiration Pt walk is a good workout. You will meet many other friendly hikers and dog owners. Enjoy the unique Merry Go Round: a joy for all ages. The music and delightful laughter of those Riding will last a lifetime. Bring a blanket and picnic on the lawn. Botanical Gardens give plant lovers a welcome weekend stroll. All ages find relaxation in Tilden Park! Take advantage of Our Local Parks!!! See more..
  20. 4.5 Lakeside Park and Garden Center (44 reviews)
    - relaxing and serene
    Parks • Gardens
    Lakeside Park and Garden Center image
    One of the best public gardens in the state offers Japanese, Polynesian, and many other types of gardens. See more..
  21. 4.5 Joaquin Miller Park (42 reviews)
    - Joaquin Miller (Poet of the Sierras) Park: Nice Park in Oakland Hills, California
    Spent 2-3 hours Nature & Wildlife Areas • Parks • Forests
    Joaquin Miller Park image
    We went to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland, California. Joaquin Miller was an American Poet and Frontier Man. He was nicknamed the "Poet of the Sierras" (after the Sierra Nevada. At the park one can see his cabin. This area was a haven for artists. There is a section of the park one can walk to see various statues such as the Status of Joaquin Miller on his horse. There are several trails to hike such as the Geologic Discovery Trail. There are picnic tables. Its a very nice park in the Oakland Hills. In the Summer time there is summer theater at the Woodminster Outdoor Theater. See more..
  22. 4.5 Preservation Park (38 reviews)
    - One of the City's Gems
    Historic Walking Areas
    Preservation Park image
    Location of 16 restored early Oakland Victorian homes. See more..
  23. 4.5 Temescal Regional Recreation Area (36 reviews)
    - Fav everyday spot to walk
    Sunday: 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM Nature & Wildlife Areas
    Temescal Regional Recreation Area image
    We are frequent here and for a reason) 2 playgrounds, a walking/running path, manicured lawns, ample picnic spots, birdwatching (and you need no spyglass to see them), the beautiful lake with swimming area, fishing, clean restrooms with warm water, and the list is not full yet) The park is not large and rarely crowded. The West side parking lot can be packed sometimes, let's say on sunny weekends, but East side parking is huge and never gets full, even on the busiest BBQ Sundays) Enjoy! See more..
  24. 4.0 Jack London Square (858 reviews)
    - Lots of fun choices
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    Jack London Square image
    Shopping, restaurants, and Jack London's cabin. See more..
  25. 4.0 Chinatown (199 reviews)
    - Authentic
    Chinatown image
    This is not a touristy Chinatown at all. It is completely authentic. It is also misnamed as there are as many Vietnamese shops as Chinese. See more..
  26. 4.0 Escape Lounges - The Centurion® Studio Partner OAK (103 reviews)
    - A Nice Lounge and Angel is an Angel!
    Sunday: 5:00 AM - 8:00 PM Spent 2-3 hours Airport Lounges
    Escape Lounges - The Centurion® Studio Partner OAK image
    Property is temporarily closed. Escape Lounges - The Centurion® Studio Partner is an extension of the American Express Centurion Network. Discover an airport lounge that's fresh, modern, comfortable & inviting. Put your feet up, catch up on last minute business, or simply enjoy some peace and quiet. Enjoy complimentary food & drink from Oakland chef, Chris Pastena, with additional upgraded menu items at extra charge. USD$45 plus taxes walk up, $40 plus taxes when pre booked online in advance. See more..
  27. 4.0 Old Oakland (64 reviews)
    - Happening places that remembers its roots
    Old Oakland image
    Very pro Oakland person here and it is great to see Old Oakland thriving. It is every changing, but there are great places to eat and shops to go in. The musicans that frequent the area always bring out the best in Oakland. See more..
  28. 4.0 Oakland Aviation Museum (56 reviews)
    - A lovely place for aviation enthusiasts
    Sunday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Speciality Museums
    Oakland Aviation Museum image
    It’s crown Juwel is without a doubt the Short Solent III Flying boat in BOAC (British Overseas Air Corporation). Bill our guide is lovely man - retired TWA / American Airlines - an a very knowledgable man. He has a lovely way to communicate and does involve kids in exploring this venerable aircraft. The lady at the till is a treasure and shares the same passion for flying. A must when you are in the area. See more..
  29. 4.0 Dunsmuir House (29 reviews)
    - Quick visit
    Sunday: Historic Sites
    Dunsmuir House image
    A prime example of Victorian taste and wealth. See more..
  30. 3.5 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (644 reviews)
    - Great fun. Lousy venue
    Sunday: Spent More than 3 hours Arenas & Stadiums
    Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum image
    First I had a great time... the crowd was energetic. The A's were playing the Giants so it was one of the largest crowds the stadium has had all year. That said, the stadium, much like Ebbits Field in NY (remember why the Dodgers left NY? ) is a dump, but it's their dump. The lines were very long for everything because the staff was unprepared for 3 to 4 times the average attendance. Even the mobile order system was woefully slow because they aren't accustomed to that much volume. the bathroom lines were long and by the end of the game the floors were disgusting. Don't wear nice shoes! Parking was $30 -- we were staying on the BART line, but after noting that the trains were very infrequent we bit the bullet, drove, and payed for parking. See more..
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