There was a time when Oakland was a place to avoid, but that hasn’t been the reality for quite some time. In fact, in recent years, it’s been on a path to give its more famous sister across the bay a run for its money, although you might want to keep an eye out for the “Oak Ness Monster,” the city’s own version of the Loch Ness Monster that’s said to live in Lake Merritt with sightings dating back to the 1940s. The best spot to catch a glimpse of the beast is from the Lake Chalet restaurant docks.
If a lake monster isn’t intriguing enough to make you want to visit, there are plenty of other reasons – so many that it may be worth checking out the Oakland houses for sale and making a move. These are just a few of them.
The Food Scene
You’ll need to bring your appetite when you come to Oakland because no matter what your tastes, there’s something on offer here, from steamed dumplings and fish tacos to chicken & waffles, spongy injera bread, and deep-dish pizza. The flavors are like the culture, totally diverse and different from what you’ll find in San Francisco.
For casual eats, if you like tacos, you’ll want to head to the city’s favorite taco truck, Tacos Sinaloa, in the Fruitvale neighborhood on International Blvd. Freshly prepared with just a few simple but perfect ingredients, its street tacos might just be some of the best you’ve ever had. For romantic fine dining on the waterfront, head to Scott’s Seafood in Jack London Square.
There’s a museum for everyone here – fair warning, it will take a while for you to get through them all. You might start at the Oakland Museum, which focuses on art, history, and science for a three-in-one. There’s an eclectic range of art, photographs on artifacts here. It includes the Gallery of California Art, which is centered around California People, California Land, and California Creativity with works in various media from different eras side by side, revealing the state’s evolving role in visual expression. Highlights included artists like Dorothea Lange, Hung Liu, and Albert Bierstadt. There are some outstanding interactive exhibits, including drawing your own self-portrait and adding sound effects to a move.
Fascinated with video games? Visit the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment, the city’s video game museum, which even includes playable exhibitions. Head into the Oakland Hills for the best view of Oakland and stargazing at the Chabot Space and Science Center. Nestled in the Redwoods, it includes a scenic observatory overlooking the bay and three historic telescopes along with a planetarium that puts on a laser-animation sound show. Exhibits focus on the exploration of space through hands-on activities. At the Sky Portal, you can even reconstruct the constellation pattern in the sky the day you were born. Just a few others include the African American Museum and Library, the Oakland Aviation Museum, and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center.
The Outdoors, Sports, Entertainment, and Nightlife
Oakland enjoys plenty of sunshine (260+ days a year), miles of waterfront, and more than 100,000 acres of parks and trails, not to mention multiple lakes like Lake Merritt with Oak Ness Monster. If you like the outdoors, you’ll be very happy here. And, if baseball is your thing, you can always cheer on the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum. The city has a buzzing nightlife scene that includes many music venues like the Paramount Theater, Fox Theater, The Back Room, The Sound Room… the list is nearly endless. You’ll also find a wealth of bars, clubs, and lounges in just about every style imaginable.