Just across the Bay from San Francisco, Oakland, California is an urban cultural mecca that stretches from the coast to redwood-covered rolling hills. Did you know that Oakland is home to TWO huge redwood parks, a lake in the middle of downtown, 3 historic Art Deco theatres, a food and coffee scene that rivals San Francisco, a system of hidden staircases, and over 600 street art murals? We’ve lived here for 8 years and we’re STILL discovering new things to love about our home city every day! Here are 29 things nobody tells you about Oakland, California.
Although Oakland and San Francisco are neighbors, located just minutes apart across the Bay, the two cities could not be more different. Oakland has its own distinct history, sounds, tastes, its own social movements. And so while visiting San Francisco is its own kind of rad, visiting Oakland is completely, totally different – and just as awe-inspiring. I’ve lived in Oakland for almost 7 years, and I’m still discovering new things to fall in love with daily. In this post you’ll learn about what makes Oakland tick, and discover all of my favorite things to do in Oakland!
When people think of the Bay Area’s amazing food scene, they typically think of San Francisco. In our extremely biased opinions (as Oakland residents for 4 years) the food in Oakland is hella underrated: chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, spongy Ethiopian injera bread, sizzling Korean bulgogi, bubbling mac & cheese… these are Oakland’s flavors. If you haven’t explored Oakland as a foodie (I see you, people who only come to Oakland for Warrior’s games), here’s a complete list of our favorite restaurants in Oakland to get you started on your next trip to the Bay Area!