Outdoor activities near Oakland CA

Getting outside feels great, in fact, being outside, especially when the weather is good, is one of the quickest ways to lift your mood. And if you happen to be doing a fun outdoor activity at the same time, well, then your mood is going to be even better. If you live in Oakland CA, you’ve just moved into the area, or you’re having a flying visit and want to take part in some of the area’s outdoor activities then you’re in the right place. Below, we have compiled a small list of some great outdoor activities near Oakland CA, so you can take advantage of what this place has in store for you.


Hit the high seas in the best way possible in a sailing boat! This academy which is extremely reasonably priced gives sailing lessons for all ages and regardless of your level. Not only does this activity enable you to learn a new skill, but you get to spend time on the open water taking in the breathtaking views that appear along the shoreline. You’re in great hands at this academy and is easily one of the best activities in the area.


I’m sure most of us wish that we were able to travel to some of the world’s most far-flung places in order to see the weird and wonderful wildlife that is all around the globe. However, because most of us aren’t able to do that, the next best thing is the zoo, and the Oakland Zoo makes it a day to remember. This zoo places particular importance on conservation which means each visit you make helps a great deal to protect the animals. There are more than 700 varieties of animals here, and you can spend the day watching shows, feeding times, and learning about all your favorite species.


This name refers to multiple park areas that are found in the aa and a couple of surrounding counties. At these parks you can go hiking, biking, have a picnic, walk your dog, play sports, and generally take some time to be in the outdoors. There are countless miles of park area, so you can also have a lot of peace and quiet as you enjoy your time outside.


Bike tours are an incredibly fun way to see the city without feeling too worn out. Walking is great, but let’s be honest, it’s not easy to explore a whole city on foot. Take a spectacular guided tour around the best parts of the area, learn about the history and make new friends along the way. You can also indulge in some of the cities most delicious food as part of the tour!


The Bay Bridge trail is for walkers or cyclists and gives you fantastic angles of the Bay area. There are lots of vantage points and opportunities for photos along the way – this trail is perfect in all weather and a great way to spend time outdoors.

Oakland is stunning and there is no better way to truly appreciate the area than to get outside and take part in some of the area’s outdoor activities.

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What is open in Oakland CA during the coronavirus?

Don’t worry if you are struggling to keep up with what’s open and what’s not during the coronavirus; with so many different restrictions and rules that are varying by state as well as even city in some cases, you are not alone. In order to give you little insight into this further, below we have put together a guide of a few options of what is open in Oakland, CA, during the coronavirus.


One of the most visited attractions in Oakland is the zoo; this is an incredible place to see the most exotic and spectacular animals such as tigers, lions, camels, and hyenas just to name a few. Here you can also explore exhibits, learn about the animal conservation work that Oakland Zoo is involved in, and attend one of their interactive programs. The whole family is welcome, but you do need to book your tickets in advance to get a time slot, anyone over the age of 3 must wear a face mask, and groups can only consist of members of the same household.


What is a day out in Oakland without exploring one of the area’s wineries at least once? Tours are back open at the wineries in the city, book a tour and taste some of the state’s most well-known wines at one of the three options in the area; find them at Brooklyn West Winery, Rosenblum Cellars, or Dashe Cellars, and have a fabulous day out in the sunshine.


The vast majority of gyms are closed all over the country, and the gyms in Oakland are no exception to this. However, Urban Fitness Gym is back open, albeit slightly differently to normal. This gym has set up its equipment outside and is currently holding fitness classes and allowing members to work out as normal, just outside the gym instead of inside. Exercising outside means that a safe distance can be kept and the gym can keep all of its members safe.


Undoubtedly, restaurants were one of the hardest-hit at the start of the new rules and guidelines, however, in better news, a lot of restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Granted, in most cases, it is only for takeout or delivery, but this is still good enough to give you a night away from your own kitchen. Below we have listed a selection of the best restaurants in the Oakland area that are currently open; be sure to call them in order to check if they are allowing dine-in with a limited capacity.

  • Commis
  • Shakewell
  • Belotti Ristorante E Bottega
  • Homeroom
  • À Côté Restaurant
  • Marica Restaurant
  • Cholita Linda
  • Shan Dong
  • Mockingbird
  • Shinmai

It is certainly frustrating making so many adjustments in our daily lives, and even more frustrating to not know when things will be back to normal again, but one thing’s for sure, keeping yourself and others safe at all times is the priority, so be sure to keep this in mind whenever you venture out.

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Where to Buy Souvenirs Near Oakland CA

Souvenirs serve as a reminder of a fun-filled family holiday, a busy adventure weekend, or even a successful business trip. We all love to pick up some souvenirs before we head back home, and we want to make this as easy as possible for you. Therefore, if you need to know where to buy souvenirs near Oakland, CA before you leave, then read on for all the information you need.

Oakland Supply Co

This store is right in the center of Jack London Square, it is open every day, and sells products such as quality American-made goods, the finest local wares, and other things you will love. For the last six years, this place has been selling gifts and souvenirs to tourists and locals, all for reasonable prices with friendly customer service. Check them out at the address below and get everything you need to take back home from your trip.

Address: 427 Water St

Oakland, CA 94607

Jack London Square

Tibet Souvenirs

Tibet Souvenirs is a family-run independent shop that stocks souvenirs that are more unique than the usual carry on. There is a wonderful range of scarfs, jewelry, and other accessories, all of which are great reminders of your vacations. This store is a little gem, and by buying your items here, you are helping the local community so pop in and say hi at the address below.

Address: 2168 Center St

Berkeley, CA 94704

Cal Student Store

Cal Student Store isn’t just the place for students to buy books, university clothes and other gear they might need for their studies. No, this store sells a variety of other items and souvenirs including hats, magnets, key chains, hoodies, and even little teddy bears. There are some lovely items to be had here, of great quality, and are all a wonderful way to commemorate your trip to the area.

Address: 2495 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, CA 94704

b/t Telegraph Ave & Dana St

UC Area

Little Tibet Gift Shop

To continue the theme of Tibetan culture in and around Oakland, the Little Tibet Gift Shop is another wonderful little boutique for you to pick up some authentic Tibetan and Himalayan articles of clothing, home decor products and various souvenirs representing the culture. Sometimes it is nice to be able to buy items on your vacation that you wouldn’t normally, and this store has something for everyone to do just that.

Address: 2037 University Ave

Berkeley, CA 94704

b/t Milvia St & Shattuck Ave

Downtown Berkeley

Bear Basics

This store has been open for more than thirty years and is consistently the number one spot in the area for people to buy sports gear, gifts, and souvenirs. Head to Bear Basics at the address below and see what all the fuss is about.

Address: 2350 Telegraph Ave

Berkeley, CA 94704

b/t Channing Way & Durant Ave

Oakland, CA, is a vibrant and wonderful place, and you will no doubt leave this area with a ton of new and happy memories. So, make sure you pick up some souvenirs before you go, and keep those memories lasting forever.

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Best Coffee Shops in Oakland CA

There are few greater feelings in the world than sitting in a coffee shop catching up with friends, on the day’s events or just letting your mind wander. It can be the most relaxing part of the day, and for some, depending on how your day has been, the best part of the day. Therefore, for those of you in Oakland, we have put together a list of the best coffee shops in Oakland so the next time you want a coffee of your dreams, you can get one without being disappointed.

Wilde Brothers

This isn’t the biggest cafe in the world, so for some, it is better as a place to get an order to go, and while a huge part of visiting a cafe is sitting inside and soaking up the atmosphere, the quality of the food and drink here is just too good to overlook. Wilde Brothers are quaint and friendly and serve only great-tasting products.

Address: 3206 Grand Avenue

Oakland, CA 94610

Snow White Coffee

Both the pastries and the coffee served here are locally sourced, meaning they are always fresh and full of flavor. Snow White Coffee has a real friendly neighborhood vibe and is the ideal place to stop and take a break. The owner takes a lot of pride in only serving the best, and the best is always what you receive.

Address: 3824 Piedmont Avenue

Oakland, CA 94611

Haddon Hill Cafe

Haddon Hill Cafe is an excellent local business and a great reminder of why it is always better to order from a local coffee shop than a generic brand. The service is very personal, and the drinks served are full of flavor, the food is always fresh, and there is plenty of room for people to come and hang out. Haddon Hill is everything you could want in a local coffee house.

Address: 504 Wesley Avenue

Oakland, CA 94606

Website: haddonhillcafe.com

1888 Coffee Station

1888 has a totally personal touch inside their cafe, the ambiance is warm and friendly, and the family business is well known in the area. As well as the tasty food and beverages, 1888 really excels when it comes to the coffee. The beans are handpicked and roasted in small batches ensuring as much flavor and freshness as possible once it is served. The coffee served is all fair trade and part of the Rainforest Alliance, so you get the bonus of having a guilt-free coffee each time. It is definitely worth the visit so be sure to swing by the next time you are in the area.

Address: 246 Grand Avenue

Oakland, CA 94610

Website: 1888coffeestations.com

Modern Coffee

The business is built on the premise that a good cup of coffee shouldn’t be complicated nor should it be expensive, so luckily for the customer you get to have a beautiful cup of coffee at a great price. Of course, there are plenty of other options for drinks, and Modern Coffee ticks both boxes and high-quality and low price.

Address: 411 13th Street

Tribune Tower, Oakland, CA 94612

Website: moderncoffeeoakland.com

Even when there are hundreds of coffee shops in one city, it isn’t always easy to find the ones worth visiting regularly, but with the ones listed above, you can have a good experience every time.

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Best Michelin Star Restaurants Near Oakland, California

Back in 2007, the San Francisco Bay Area was only the second North American city chosen to have its own Michelin Guide, an honor wanted by many; the guide includes all the major cities in the Bay Area, and it was until 2019 that the guide went under expansion to include the whole of California. However, the Bay Area was a great place for them to start, with plenty of Michelin worthy restaurants around, and below we have taken a look at a few of the top ones for your pleasure.

Commis, Oakland

A 2 Michelin star restaurant, Commis is part of the colorful Piedmont Avenue, serving modern American cuisine which is exquisitely prepared by head chef, James Syhabout, and his team; the constant flow of customers is a testament to the quality of the food and consistent hard work from Syhabout. The eight-course tasting menu packs in a lot of thrilling and rich flavors from locally sourced produce. There is also a set drinks menu to match the food, so you can have the perfect combinations throughout your evening. The soft music and modern setting create a wonderful atmosphere, and the restaurant manages to find the balance between relaxed but not too casual. Commis is a genuine fine-dining experience, but an experience that must be booked in advance, you can do this on their website. https://commisrestaurant.com/

Atelier Crenn, Cow Hollow

French head chef and owner, Dominique Crenn, opened Atelier Crenn in 2011 and was the first female chef in the United States to earn a 2 Michelin star award for her restaurant in 2013, and continued her almighty success when a 3 Michelin star award was given in 2018, which she has kept hold of. As expected, the food is French cuisine, in the style of a tasting menu, with each dish being presented as a work of art, even the menu is written as poetry. The offerings such as black truffles, grassy oysters, and seabass are all divine in looks and flavor, and to finish the evening you have a delicious choice of desserts from the resident pastry chef. Atelier Crenn plan for bookings a couple of months in advance, so you have to plan ahead if you want to take part in this French feast, booking numbers and available dates can be found on their website – https://www.ateliercrenn.com/

Lazy Bear, Mission

Lazy Bear describes itself as a modern American dinner party, and once you are inside and are a part of the eating event, you can see why. This 2 Michelin star restaurant, has created a structure in their dining that is rather extraordinary; one tasting menu is served to guests, in two seatings, you have the option to be there and start at 6pm, or take part in the second offering at 8:30pm. This happens each night, Tuesday through Saturday, with the courses being served on a long communal table where the guests are served each one at the same time. This really is fine-dining with a twist, you have the fantastic variety of flavors that is prepared so well, at the quality and refinement you would expect from a Michelin restaurant, but you also have the layout to be just like a dinner party with friends; but don’t worry, it works. It is actually a great twist and keeps the night intimate and interesting, rather than awkward. The modern American menu means you get plenty of familiar flavors, that are just simply better. Tickets must be purchased around a month in advance which can be done here – https://www.lazybearsf.com/

Back in 2007 when the Bay Area was included to have their own guide, it may have upset some major neighboring cities, however, given that the majority of restaurants who were award Michelin stars back then, still have them today is proof that the area is fully deserving of it.

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Where To Eat And Drink At Oakland International Airport

If you happen to be at an airport a few hours before your scheduled flight, you may want to find a nice place to relax. You may also need to get some food or drinks from one of the restaurants in that airport. That’s why it’s always good to have an idea of where you should go when any of those needs arise.

Here are a few places you can eat and drink at Oakland International Airport:

1. Andale

From their breakfast burrito to the tacos, to the Pozole soup, this is definitely the restaurant to go to for lovers of homemade Mexican food. Located on Terminal 2, Andale is the one spot that will make you forget that you are actually at an airport. Not many places will offer you a free refill on your glass of agua fresca. Well, they do at Andale. There is also a Salsa bar at this restaurant which means you will be thoroughly entertained as you await your flight.

2. Firewood Café

If you happen to be at Oakland International Airport very early in the morning, this is not a bad place to go for breakfast. Their breakfast pizza, made with bacon, scrambled eggs and cheese, is absolutely delicious. If you are not a pizza person, you can opt for their breakfast sandwich which never disappoints. You can also order some beer at this restaurant. The service is good and once you place your order, your meal is served quite fast.

3. Silver Dragon Café

Let’s just call this restaurant an Americanized Chinese spot. If you are looking for a restaurant that has quick and convenient service, this is a good option. Compared to most of the other restaurants at the airport, the lines at this one are relatively shorter. Although the main entrée is Chinese food, you can also get your American breakfast from 4:30 am to 11:00 am. The staff is patient and helpful. If you are in a hurry, this is the place to go for a grab-and-go. The sandwiches are yummy.

4. California Pizza Kitchen

For an airport restaurant, the prices at California Pizza Chicken are quite cheap. What’s even better, the pizza is great. They also serve salmon, sandwiches, fruits, and refreshments. The BBC chicken salad is pre-made and tastes good. If you have never tried the Hawaiian Pizza, you can get it here. It is loaded with pineapple, Canadian Bacon, cheese and tomato sauce. 10 minutes is all it takes for your pizza to be ready. All in all, the food and quality of service is pretty good.

5. Heinold’s First and Last Chance

Their fruit cup comes with a wide variety of fruits which include pineapple, strawberries, melon, grapes and blueberries. The servers are very attentive and provide great service. Music lovers will enjoy the playlist at this restaurant. There is also a bar area with at least eight tables. Right outside the spot, there is a charging station where you can charge your phone free of charge.

6. Gordon Biersch

This is another great spot to grab some food and beer. The 5 huge chicken strips (enough for two people) are worth the $10.50 they cost. Their garlic fries are absolutely top-class. There aren’t many seats available which means that it’s not the place you would want to go to watch a game on TV.

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7 Things To Do in Oakland, California

Oakland is no ordinary city. The Haven Zone’s hidden gem with a population of more than 300,000 people, it’s one of the largest cities in California. To the east, you can enjoy the splendid rolling hills while on the west, there are 19 miles of coastline. The city has a great appeal for all visitors because of its diverse culture and star greatness. It also offers plenty of affordable and free things to do. If you are planning to visit and you need ideas what to do, then have a look at these!

1. Go and cheer for the Champions

If you are a game lover, then waste no time wandering in the city. You definitely belong to the Oracle Arena. With a seating capacity of 20,000 people, this is the home of the famous Golden State Warriors. You will get a chance to watch as they play your favorite game. Avoid the arena parking and rather use the open transit line.

2. Reach the uppermost of the city

You personally need to see the city hall which once served as the tallest building in Oakland. This iconic three-tier ancient structure is a real gem. Besides housing offices for government officials, it also served as a jail with a total of 32 cells. It has an outdoor court where you can watch mid-day concerts free of charge!

3.  Treat your loved ones at least once in a lifetime

If you want to create the best memories for your loved ones, then the Lake Temescal is waiting for you. It is located in the north of Oakland, a stone throw’s away from the popular Berkeley Hills. You can even join the locals in fishing in the lake full of catfish and trout. It is the best place to relax and swim after a hot day.

4.  Wander at Joaquin Miller Park for free

Named after a famous poet, the park lies on a 200 acre of land near Oakland hills. It is massively surrounded with a variety of pines, redwoods and oak plants. The best part of it all, the woods were planted by the poet himself. This is the best place for adventurous activities such as picnics, horse riding hiking, trekking among others.

5.  Pay respect at Tribune Tower

The 22-story tower is located in the city center of Oakland. Adding to its iconic feature is a clock-tower aspect. It is the same building which used to house the production of the great Tribune News Magazine. Currently, the tower is still busy with businesses and famous eateries.

6.  Learn to fly at the Aviation Museum

Located in the heart of Oakland Airport, the Aviation Museum is an ideal place for you. It has more than 50 modern and antique planes. It offers visitors with knowledge on the history of aviation without any costs. In addition, you will also get to learn about the role of the Bay area in aviation development.

7.  Discover the Coffee Scene

The state of California is well-known for its fine wine. However, Oakland is also trending for its top-notch coffee brewing skills. What else do you need other than a full cup of coffee inside the Blue Bottle Coffee cafe? If that is not enough, you will also get brewing classes, discussions and cupping all for free!

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