San Francisco travel guide




San Francisco Travel Guide


Oakland is located in Northern California in the San Francisco Bay Area; the city is one of the largest industrial ports on the West Coast; the climate of the city is often sunny and mild.

With over 150 languages and dialects spoken, Oakland is also one of the largest and most ethnically diverse cities in the United States, the city has a revitalized downtown, alternative arts scene, hipster cafes and boutiques.

Oakland hosts numerous outdoors festivals thorough the year, the first week in September is the date of the Art & Soul Weekend. The Cinco de Mayo Fruitvale Festival Parade, celebrated early May, salutes the Spanish heritage.

The Oakland's birthday is celebrated each May 4th with live music, food and art. June's Festival at the Lake is another multicultural festival. The Chinatown Streetfest held late August celebrates the city's Asian community. Other occurrences are the Black Cowboy Parade downtown and the Oakland Holiday Parade, held in December.

The Oakland Museum of California has impressive exhibits on ecology, history and art of the Golden State; one of its highlights is the exhibition of California history, including the Beat Generation. The Ebony Museum of Art at Jack London Village features memorabilia and works of African Culture. The Oakland Museum of California is famous for its displays of California art, history and natural science. At the Oakland International Airport is the Western Aerospace Museum, a full-scale aeronautical museum which houses an important aircraft library.

Lake Merritt is the jewel of Oakland, it is a good place to rent a sailboat and go sailing; it is also great for a picnic. Near the lake there are many amenities and parks to enjoy such as Lakeside Park, one of the prettiest urban parks in the United States. In 1870, the lake was designated an official wildlife refuge, being the first in the United States.

Jack London Village boasts many boutiques and specialty shops; other shopping areas include the City Center downtown, Rockridge, Piedmont Avenue, Lakeshore, Jack London Square, Old Oakland Farmer's Market and Grand Avenues.

Art Galleries in Oakland include the Craft & Cultural Arts Gallery, the Oakland Art Gallery and Samuel's Gallery. Oakland's Paramount Theatre is an Art Deco movie palace, home to the Oakland Symphony Orchestra. The Symphony also provides accompaniment to performances by the Oakland Ballet. The home of the Oakland Ballet is the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts (the former Alice Arts Center) which houses also the Citicentre Dance Theater, the Dimensions Dance Theater, and the Oakland Ensemble Theater,

Jack London Square is a colorful waterfront area that has been refurbished and now houses many quaint shops, a variety of restaurants and venues including Yoshi's, one of the nation's premiere jazz clubs and Heinold's First and Last Chance, a tiny bar working since 1883; Jack London was a habitual customer there. Restaurants offer delightful food from Mexico, Indonesian, Italy, Greece, Japan and United States.

Preservation Park, located in downtown Oakland, contains dozens of restored Victorian houses that now houses businesses and non-profit organizations; it is also a popular wedding site. Another interesting sight is the Presidential Yacht Potomac, which served as former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's floating White House, the yacht was later owned by Elvis Presley, now houses dockside tours and history cruises from its port at Jack London Square.

Oakland is also well known for its sports teams. Oakland is home to the NBA's Golden State Warriors, the MLB's Oakland Athletics and the NFL's Oakland Raiders, the Athletics and the Raiders plays at the McAfee Coliseum.

Other attractions in Oakland are its historic buildings, for example, the Camron-Stanford House is a beautiful Victorian house located near Lake Merritt; the Pardee Home Museum is another historic building; the Dunsmuir House and Gardens, which features 40 acres of hills and gardens, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Greek Orthodox Church of the Ascension has a distinctive collection of Orthodox iconography.

The next is a short list of some attractions in Oakland:

Heinold's First and Last Chance 48 Webster Street in Jack London Square, Oakland CA 94607 (510) 839-6761
Yoshi's 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 238-9200
Dimensions Dance Theater Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, 1428 Alice Street, Suite 308, Oakland, California 94612-4004 (510) 465-3363
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts 1428 Alice St, Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 238-7219
Preservation Park 1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland, CA 94612 (510) 874-7580
Presidential Yacht Potomac 540 Water Street Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 627-1215
Camron-Stanford House Preservation Association 1418 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA 94612-4307 (510) 874-7802
Pardee Home Museum 672 Eleventh Street Oakland, California 94607 (510) 444-2187
Dunsmuir House 2960 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, California 94605 (510) 615-5555

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