Northern California is equated with blissful temperatures, scenic landscapes, waterfronts and urban appeal. Over the years Oakland has endured its fair share of insults and not without reason, but the city is now marked by visible progress and excellence especially in its more scenic and touristy parts. The attraction is twofold, first, exploring renovated venues like restaurants, museums, and public areas and second getting in on trending culture at much friendlier costs than in its California sister cities. 2015 promises more and better as the city rises in popularity.
The city is well connected to the world via the combination of Oakland Airport and the nearby Bay area Airport of San Francisco. In fact Oakland makes a great addition to any San Francisco trip or even a wine country travel excursion, since many small shops in Oakland produce small batch, artesian blended wines. Oakland airport is adding destinations in 2014 to Hawaii, Stockholm and Oslo, the first Bay area non stop trips to the Scandinavian capitals. BART trains departing Coliseum are expected to be linked up with the airport in late 2014. This transit system is the most affordable and well linked way to navigate the whole area.
The epicenter of dining, panoramic waterside views, specialty shops and everything that is exciting takes place in Jack London Square. If you only have a limited time to see the city or want to start at the top, head down here. The Oakland area is one of California’s top ten cities in population and so it has a wealth of local talent and constant in influx of artists, innovators, experimenters and fortune seekers. Oakland offers creative forces that might not otherwise gain a footing in larger cities like L.A. or neighboring San Francisco. The newly opened Bay Bridge Trail will be a thrill for cyclists who want to explore the area at the most scenic points.
Restaurants reflect the diverse population with Italian, Mexican, Asian and almost every possible kind of fusion. Oakland Restaurant Week in late January is one of the best times to sample many places at discount offerings for fixed menus. Artistic food presentations abound as well as places that pride themselves on using ingredients found from all over California’s diverse landscapes. The restaurant scene continues to blossom with highlighted food festivals like Eat Real Food and the Grand Lake Farmer’s market which is a weekly tribute to the area’s rich produce.
Nightclubs and Bars are becoming major social spots, opening new ones that reflect the creative renaissance and holding fast to some classic favorites. New clubs tend to be in the Jack London Square vicinity while old favorites like The Fox theater and American Steel Studios are further afield. Most of all the Jazz scene here is considered superlative. Pan Theater and Pro arts gallery are some characteristically essential spots too.
Oakland is an interesting find, its showing with actions more than words that it is a place to visit and enjoy and that’s the best kind of self promotion in travel and tourism, it’s the kind visitors remember.