Awesome Things to Do in Oakland, California

Places to visit in Oakland, CA.

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there are plenty of things to do in Oakland, California. In Oakland, California, getting out and seeing what’s around is essential to experiencing the city.

From great food and drinks to famous landmarks and beautiful parks, Oakland has plenty of things to do—and no shortage of things to see and experience.

So whether you are planning a trip or want to know what’s in your backyard, this list is a great place to start.

What to do in Oakland, California

Oakland Zoo

Oakland is home to several fun things to do. Among them is visiting the Oakland Zoo. It is a great day out for the entire family. In addition to the many exciting animal exhibits, there are also a variety of rides, games, and educational displays.

The Oakland Zoo is one of the most exciting places in the Bay Area, with more than 700 animals and thousands of square feet of exhibit space.

Aside from the zoo, the city hosts the Valley Children’s Zoo, a hands-on educational facility with pot-bellied pigs, ring-tailed lemurs, and an Aldabra tortoise.

Best places to visit in Oakland Zoo
Best places to visit in Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo hosts several fun events, including the Glowfari, a massive illumination show every November. In addition, visitors can ride the gondola for free with paid admission.

San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge

The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge is an eight-and-a-half-mile-long bridge linking the two cities. There are two spans and a double-deck tunnel, making it the longest suspension bridge in the world.

It only carries about three percent of the state’s traffic despite its length. However, it is a landmark that attracts tourists from around the world. It also boasts an array of features.

Best tourist attractions in Oakland: San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge
Best tourist attractions in Oakland: San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge

For example, it features a tunnel with the most oversized diameter bore in the world. Additionally, 25,000 LED lights sparkle at night. This makes the Bay Bridge a top-rated tourist attraction.

It also features a skyway structure that floats over shallow waters. Another example is the Bay Bridge Trail, which connects the cities of Oakland and Yerba Buena Island. Dedicated pedestrian and bike paths make it ideal for exploring on foot or by bicycle.

USS Hornet – Sea, Air and Space Museum

If you’re looking for an indoor activity in the Bay Area, you can’t go wrong with the USS Hornet – Sea, Air and Space Museum. This museum on an actual naval vessel makes it an excellent option for families or mixed-age groups.

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Besides its permanent exhibits, the ship offers tours that give visitors an up-close look at the aircraft.

Places to go in Oakland - Former USS Hornet
Places to go in Oakland – Former USS Hornet

The USS Hornet is a National Historic Landmark, and it is located in Alameda, California. During World War II, the carrier was critical in Pacific amphibious landings. It was awarded nine Battle Stars for its service in that war. In addition, it was involved in the Space Race to the Moon.

Visitors can tour the ship alone or with a group. In addition, various self-guided tours are available, and volunteers are stationed to answer questions. These tours allow visitors to see the ship’s interior and look at the ship’s engines, boiler rooms, and torpedo rooms.

Joaquin Miller Park

Joaquin Miller Park is a large park that is a popular destination for both families and outdoor enthusiasts. It is located in the Oakland Hills. This park is known for its unique hiking and biking trails.

The park’s main path is Sunset Trail. You will find that this trail has a three-way junction. If you go left, you will walk into a meadow with a picnic area. The field has redwood trees that shade it. There are two ponds where you can fish. Dogs are allowed on leashes throughout the park.

Things to do in Oakland - Joaquin Miller Park
Things to do in Oakland – Joaquin Miller Park

The park is open Monday through Sunday. In addition to the hikes and biking trails, Joaquin Miller Park has a 2,000-seat outdoor amphitheater. The amphitheater is often used for music events.

If you visit this park in the summer, you will be treated to various cultural events. In addition, a writer-in-residence, Kristen Caven, will be at the park to host literary presentations.

Lake Merritt

Lake Merritt is a saltwater tidal lagoon. It forms part of the most extensive estuarine system on the Pacific Coast. Urban neighborhoods and parkland surround the lake.

Salmon and sturgeon, and jellyfish have been seen in recent years. There is also a reclusive monster called Messie. For centuries, an artificial, underground box culvert has carried water to and from the lake.

Places to visit in Oakland - Rainbow over Lake Merritt
Places to visit in Oakland – Rainbow over Lake Merritt

While the lake has been teeming with wildlife, it has faced problems with poor water quality. Pollution from sewage and storm drains contributed to low dissolved oxygen levels. This has led to algal bloom and fish die-off.

The Lake Merritt Boating Center rents pedal boats and rowboats. Gondola rides are also available. One of the best ways to explore Lake Merritt is to take a gondola ride. You can also visit the Gardens at Lake Merritt, which has eleven themed gardens on a seven-acre site.

Best Things to Do in Oakland, California

Places to visit in Oakland, CA:

  1. Oakland Zoo
  2. San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge
  3. USS Hornet – Sea, Air and Space Museum
  4. Joaquin Miller Park
  5. Lake Merritt

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