What to Do at the Zoo in Oakland, California

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If you’re hanging out in Oakland with nothing to do, why not consider coming on down to the Oakland Zoo? They’re reopening on February 3rd and the price for admission is as follows. Children under 2 are completely free. From the ages of 2-14, the price is $20. From the ages of 15-64, the price is $24. For Seniors between the ages of 65-75, the fee is $20. All people aged 76 and older are free! Parking for cars is $10 while bus parking is $15. With a paid admission, the gondola right is absolutely free. Hours of operation are 10am-5pm with the final admission at 4pm.

You might also wish to become a member. Membership fees for an Individual begin at $99. For a Couple’s membership, the fee is $139. For Family membership, 2 adults and 4 children, the fee is $174. For Family Plus, 3 adults and 4 children, the price is $209. All tickets and memberships must be purchased online.

Even though the Oakland Zoo is reopening, the Adventure Landing Rides and the Petting Yard remain temporarily closed until further notice. Public feeding times will also be discontinued until further notice to prevent crowding in certain exhibits. Reservations at zoo venues are also on hold at this time.

Something you’ll be excited for at the Oakland Zoo is Glowfari! This event begins again on February 5th and features several hundred lanterns of larger-than-life animals all over the zoo. This event is beautiful and breathtaking; you do not want to miss it! It runs throughout the entire month of February and the first two weeks of March. Make sure you get your tickets reserved sooner rather than later, as this is a first come first served event. Come and be wowed by the size and the glow of these spectacular lanterns.

If you’re hungry while at the zoo, the Landing Café and the Tuskers Grill are offering orders online. Simply choose your pickup time and take your food to go. All seating is outdoors so please make sure you practice social distancing and wear your mask at all times unless eating. Both restaurants are open 11am to 3pm every day. Alternatively, you may choose to pack a lunch from home and eat it at the zoo.

If you’d like to enjoy the zoo from the comfort of your own home, go online and check out the Oakland Zoo’s webcams. They have webcams available for the Grizzly bears, the elephants, the sun bears, the black bears, and the condors. You can also subscribe to the Oakland Zoo’s YouTube channel and watch videos about the zoo and its keepers from the comfort of your couch.

The Oakland Zoo is proud to reopen their doors and welcome back children of all ages. If you’re looking for something new and fresh to do while in the Oakland area, be sure you don’t miss out on a day of adventure with friends and family!

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Five Best Airbnb’s in Oakland, CA

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Whether you are looking for some time away from work, a romantic weekend with your significant other, or just some quality downtime with the family, you can’t go wrong with an Airbnb.

Through the booking and use of an Airbnb, you can choose the environment of your choice, along with the city and location as well.  Choosing an Airbnb can prove to be an economical choice when looking to spend some getaway time. 

With this in mind, we have gathered five of the top-rated Airbnb’s in the Oakland, CA area.

Romantic Getaway – Two Story Loft With Trees

Welcome to the San Francisco Bay Area! My listing is on the Oakland/Emeryville Border—10 miles from SF. Features a large private two-story loft– that sleeps up to 3 with 1.5 bathrooms. The Loft has high ceilings, towering windows, a full kitchen, and a spacious deck and outside lounge on the 2nd floor. The bedroom sits on the 3rd floor of a three-story building

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Family Private Home with Views

Lovely, Private Shingled Home in the woods. If you’re searching for a home between homes, a pleasant getaway with the family, or a sabbatical rental for a semester or two at CAL Berkeley, consider Hampshire at Sibley Park. Our three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is 10 minutes from Berkeley and Oakland centers and 30 minutes to San Francisco. Located between Rockridge & Orinda BART station for access to the whole Bay Area. Seated on a 1/2 acre lot with mature, fruiting trees.

No parties or smoking permitted.

Near a famous landmark Redwood Sanctuary

Redwood Sanctuary is located in the idyllic Oakland Hills with beautiful vistas, hikes, and parks within a short drive. The home is situated on half an acre of land in the middle of redwood, eucalyptus, and oak trees secluded from other houses. Montclair Village is an 8-minute drive, providing lots of great food and shops.   

Pets. Parties and smoking are not permitted.

Luxury Modern and Safe

This garden apartment has a landscape view with a separate entrance from the main house. One bedroom, one bath newly renovated it includes a fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer, large TV, apple tv and Netflix in the living room and a small tv on the bedroom. It is located 20 min from downtown and 10 min walking from 24th St, the heart of Noe Valley. Closely accessible to public transportation with a bus stop just a few steps away. You also can take a Uber, and there is ample street parking.

Pets, parties, and smoking are not permitted.

Budget Beautiful Private Master

The entire second floor is for guests with a private entrance. Beautiful modern home close to Oakland Airport (10 min) & freeway access is close by. Newly remodeled and clean modern home. Furniture is modern and simple, with some artwork that usually changes frequently throughout the house. The place is vast, and you will feel at home as soon as you walk in.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

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Five Awesome Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s 2021 in Oakland

Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, but roses, chocolate, and Hallmark cards aren’t for everyone. If you’d rather round up your best gal pals and celebrate the joys of female friendship on Galentine’s Day, read on, because we’ve rounded up five fun ways to celebrate with your girls this year in Oakland!

Millennium Restaurant

If you and your gals want to be fancy, a classic way to spend the evening is dinner and drinks at a renowned restaurant. For one of the most accoladed restaurants in Oakland, you’ll want to head to Millennium Restaurant. This upscale vegan eatery showcases globally inspired and locally sourced cuisine. It won the 2016 Michelin Bib Gourmand award and has been featured on “best of” lists by Huffington Post, Food & Wine Magazine, and The Daily Meal.

Lois the Pie Queen

If you’re looking for a more mom-and-pop type restaurant, Lois the Pie Queen is the place to go. This Black-owned business has been serving up homestyle cooking for 50 years, and the building has been considered for Historic Landmark designation. While it’s now run by namesake Lois’s son Chris, the restaurant still serves “Food that Warms the Soul.” You should come for brunch or lunch and order a selection of their Southern favorites like grits, short ribs, cornbread muffins, and candied yams -but don’t leave without trying the pie!

Lake Merritt

If you’re trying to be safe due to COVID-19, an outdoor celebration is the way to go. And even in February, a picnic is a fun way to connect with your gals. Just bring a waterproof tarp for under your picnic blanket, some cozy blankets to snuggle in, and a thermos of hot cocoa! For the best location, have your gal pals meet you at Lake Merritt. This unique urban space is right next to downtown and boasts a 3.4-mile-long shoreline along the East Bay. After you eat, you can take a stroll through the park and look for birds, after all, it’s in the United States’ oldest designated wildlife refuge.

AxeVentures Throwing

If your friends aren’t content to just sit around and chat, you’re going to want an activity to get everyone moving. Head right next door to Berkeley to AxeVentures Throwing for a fun activity that will have your friends talking about it the rest of the year! In this stress-relieving activity, you can hurl tomahawk axes at targets! And don’t worry, you’ll get trained on how to throw the axes safely before you start. There are other activities available as well, like cornhole, giant Jenga, and giant connect four. You can reserve a lane (or several) by booking a private party.

Wine & Design

If you want something unique to do, Wine & Design is a perfect place for a girls’ night. You can book an affordable party to sip while you and your friends paint. They’ll provide the instruction and all of the creative materials; you just bring the wine and get ready to have fun!

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Best resources in Oakland, CA, to throw a fabulous virtual New Years’ Eve Party!

With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, many party-goers are trying to plan out how they will ring in the new year and still keep the party safe and festive. 

With the ongoing pandemic, and many cities and states mandating that party-goers forego the usual gathering in groups to celebrate the festivities, an alternate method of celebrating the ball drop appears to be in order this year—virtual celebrations.

With this mindset, we have sought out some of the best sources in Oakland, CA, for drinks and food that will make ringing in the New Year less of a chore, and more of a blast!

Hopscotch

Located at 1915 San Pablo Avenue

510.788.6217

Upscale, retro diner serving craft cocktails & inventive American fare with a Japanese touch with both curbside pickup and delivery available.

Chop Bar

Located at 190 4th Street

510.834.2467

Rustic-chic gastropub offering all-day American comfort fare & cocktails, plus beer & wine on tap and offering the choice of curbside pickup or delivery.

The Backyard

Located at 104 Oak Street

510.500.9757

Upbeat, colorful patio hangout offering modern Mexican bites, margaritas, beer & agave as well as a choice of either curbside pickup or delivery to your doorstep.

If you are looking more for options that offer delivery to those friends that are close and local, who you want to be able to join in on the festivities as well, we have two suggestions.

BevMo!

Located at 525 Embarcadero West

510.208.5126

Liquor store offering a big selection of wine, beer & spirits, plus barware, mixers & snacks with the convenience of both curbside and delivery.

Two Star Market

Located at 2020 MacArthur Boulevard

510.654.2737

Neighborhood stop for grocery staples, snacks & candy plus 150 craft beers, wine & spirits and offering delivery to your doorstep.

And, lest we forget those friends and family that are out of town.  For them, why not have a little libation delivered conveniently to their doorstep, whether they live across town or across the country.

Drizly

When you want a variety and you want it quickly, Drizly has up a large, alcohol marketplace to shop for beer, wine, and spirits. Drizly collaborates with retail stores in cities across North America to offer a huge selection and competitive pricing, delivered to your door in as little as an hour.

Most of us will find ourselves celebrating New Year’s at home this year.  However, that doesn’t mean that the party has to be put on hold.  With the age of the internet, why not take your party to the next level and have a virtual get-together. 

With a little creativity and the use of the internet, you can have your food and drinks delivered right to you, or those party guests from out of town.

The extra added advantage is that everyone can join in the fun as no designated drivers are needed, and once the party is over, hey, your already home.

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Noteworthy Places to View Christmas Lights in Oakland

2020 was memorable – or should we say infamous for the disasters it brought. Before the notoriously terrible year comes to a close, the holidays are here along with hopes for holiday cheer. Although many holiday traditions are being altered or skipped this holiday season, there is still cheer to be found! In many places, including Oakland, a festive activity that is still socially-distant is viewing Christmas lights around the town.

Whatever you’re looking for this year, there are multiple options for a festive outing either walking outdoors or driving past in your car. Check out the list below for the top spots to get lost in the twinkle of Christmas lights!

Fourth Street in Berkeley

The Fourth Street lights in Berkeley are a Bay Area staple. The holiday lights on Fourth Street are entertaining and are inspiring – on every night at dusk for the season. They’re on display every night through the new year, three blocks worth of sparkling color! 

For more details, you can check out their website: HERE

Six Flags’ Holiday In The Park Drive-Through Experience (Vallejo)

From December 14 to January 4, guests will drive through Six Flags which is lit up with millions of lights, and characters waving from six feet apart. Approximately $20 per person in the vehicle. Reservations are required.

For more details and a reservation, visit their website and click: HERE

Picardy Drive in Oakland

In the Mills College neighborhood on Picardy Drive between Seminary and 55th Ave., you can visit storybook-style houses all decked out in twinkling lights, and the whole neighborhood gets in on the holiday decorating tradition. Like Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda, you commit to participating when you buy a home on this street. 

This blog post is brought to you by On Air Parking, a parking service offering affordable and convenient parking by major airports. On Air Parking is currently offering parking rates as low as $4.99/day for Oakland Airport. For more details visit OnAirParking’s website.

The San Francisco-based startup first launched its popular parking deals in 2016, with pilot locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. They now have locations across the country.

To purchase parking at your local airport, visit https://www.onairparking.com/

About On Air Parking

On Air Parking is an airport parking reservation company that aims to disrupt the airport parking vertical. Present in 35 markets, the San Francisco-based startup guarantees the cheapest rates at five-star parking facilities, with free cancellations and free shuttle services to get to and back from the airport. To purchase guaranteed off-airport parking near your local airport, visit onairparking.com.

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Noteworthy Places to View Christmas Lights in Oakland

2020 was memorable – or should we say infamous for the disasters it brought. Before the notoriously terrible year comes to a close, the holidays are here along with hopes for holiday cheer. Although many holiday traditions are being altered or skipped this holiday season, there is still cheer to be found! In many places, including Oakland, a festive activity that is still socially-distant is viewing Christmas lights around the town.

Whatever you’re looking for this year, there are multiple options for a festive outing either walking outdoors or driving past in your car. Check out the list below for the top spots to get lost in the twinkle of Christmas lights!

  1. Fourth Street in Berkeley

The Fourth Street lights in Berkeley are a Bay Area staple. The holiday lights on Fourth Street are entertaining and are inspiring – on every night at dusk for the season. They’re on display every night through the new year, three blocks worth of sparkling color! 

For more details you can check out their website: LINK

  1. Six Flags’ Holiday In The Park Drive-Through Experience (Vallejo)

From December 14 to January 4, guests will drive through Six Flags which is lit up with millions of lights, and characters waving from six feet apart. Approximately $20 per person in vehicle. Reservations are required.

For more details and a reservation, visit their website and click: HERE

  1. Picardy Drive in Oakland

In the Mills College neighborhood on Picardy Drive between Seminary and 55th Ave., you can visit storybook-style houses all decked out in twinkling lights, and the whole neighborhood gets in on the holiday decorating tradition. Like Christmas Tree Lane in Alameda, you commit to participating when you buy a home on this street. 

This blog post is brought to you by On Air Parking, a parking service offering affordable and convenient parking by major airports. On Air Parking is currently offering parking rates as low as $4.99/day for Oakland Airport. For more details visit OnAirParking’s website.

The San Francisco-based startup first launched its popular parking deals in 2016, with pilot locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Chicago. They now have locations across the country.

To purchase parking at your local airport, visit https://www.onairparking.com/

About On Air Parking

On Air Parking is an airport parking reservation company that aims to disrupt the airport parking vertical. Present in 35 markets, the San Francisco-based startup guarantees the cheapest rates at five-star parking facilities, with free cancellations and free shuttle services to get to and back from the airport. To purchase guaranteed off airport parking near your local airport, visit onairparking.com.

Looking for parking near the Oakland airport?

Best Local Virtual Workouts in Oakland to Get the New Year Started Right

Does recent holiday overindulgence have you starting to think about kick-starting your workout routine for the new year? Whether you’re regretting how all those extra slices of pie have your pants fitting a little more snugly or just want to get healthier, making a commitment to working out is always a great New Year’s Resolution. 

It can be especially hard to stay motivated to getting fit during a pandemic when many gyms are either closed or don’t feel as safe as they used to. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Oakland-based gyms and trainers that are offering virtual workouts. Check them out so that you can be the best version of you in 2021! 

Best Free Virtual Workout

Radically Fit

Times are hard right now, with the pandemic taking a major toll on the economy. If you’re being budget-conscious, the good news is there are great free virtual workouts in Oakland! Get started at Radically Fit, a “body positive community gym for all queer, trans, POC, big-bodied and fat identified folx and their allies, regardless of experience or ability.” This welcoming space has put out free workout videos on their Youtube page.

Best Paid Virtual Workout

Urban Fitness Oakland

Of course, if you can afford to pay for workouts, you’ll be helping to stimulate the economy and supporting the livelihoods of fitness instructors and gym owners. With a virtual membership to Urban Fitness Oakland, you get daily livestreamed classes (which you can watch later at any time) and access to a community with cooking tips and trivia. 

Best Live Virtual Workout

The Queer Gym

One of the things many people miss about in-person exercise classes is the feeling of community and accountability that they foster! One local organization offering live virtual classes is The Queer Gym, a fun, LGBTQA+ friendly workout space. Not only does your membership get you the live classes (which are capped at 8 participants so you get more instructor attention), but it also gets you a full community, with events like Netflix movie nights and zoom happy hours.

Best Recorded Virtual Workout

Left Coast Power Yoga

One consistent throughout this pandemic has been that nothing is consistent. So, if you’re not sure you can commit to working out at specific days and times, you’ll want pre-recorded classes that you can do at any time. Get your fix at woman-owned Left Coast Power Yoga, an inclusive yoga studio in Oakland. They have a large on-demand library that’s included with all memberships, or you can purchase access to just the library for $29.99/month.

Best Unique Virtual Workout

Hipline

If you’re getting sick of crunches, push-ups, and jumping jacks, it’s probably time to switch up your workout routine. Mixing up your workout is really important to keep things fun and interesting, help you avoid burnout, and challenge your body in new ways. To try something fun and new, dance it out at Hipline, a WOC-owned Oakland dance studio. They have dance classes every day, as well as an on-demand library. You can sign up here

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Great Places to Buy Gifts Traveling to Oakland

The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!

If you’re traveling to Oakland this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!

Oaklandish

Oaklandish actually started in 2000 as a public art project! Now, it’s a fully-fledged store with locations Downtown and in the Dimond District. The shop’s mission is to spread “local love” and illuminate Oakland’s unique history and culture. All that means that Oaklandish is the perfect place to go for apparel and accessories that reflect civic pride. The store is currently offering the option of curbside pick-up.

Mischief

You can find something for everyone at Mischief. This family-owned business is located in the Laurel District. The shop is aimed at building community and supporting local artists by hosting an array of events and carrying the work of over 125 local makers. They have unique products in all of the familiar gift categories, like accessories, candles, greeting cards, art prints, and bath and body products. If you’re shopping for kids, they have an assortment of fun DIY craft kits and children’s books. Finally, if you want a gift for someone crafty, Mischief has an assortment of virtual workshops available, like embroidery and wreath design!

Books

Is there a better way to support a local community than by shopping at its independent bookstores? Bookstores also make for great holiday gift shopping, because you’re bound to find a book, game, or gift item that would interest anyone on your shopping list. Here are a couple of shops to get started:

·        Walden Pond Books has been helping the Bay Area keep reading since 1973. The shop is family owned and sells new, used, and rare books. They’re currently offering the option of curbside pick-up.

·        East Bay Booksellers is a cozy shop with a wonderful community feel. They have a large selection of socially conscious books on topics like racial equality, gender issues, and LBGTQA+ issues.

Oakland International Airport

Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through the boutiques in downtown Oakland. Don’t worry, the Oakland International Airport has you covered! While a lot of the shops are currently closed due to COVID-19, you still have a few options for last-minute shopping:

·        SouveNEAR Vending Machines are located in Terminals 1 and 2. If you’ve never bought gifts from a vending machine, you might want to give it a try, because this machine stocks gift items made only by Bay Area artists.

·        World Passage is a duty-free shop in Terminal 1. They have a bunch of items!

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Electric Bike Rentals in Oakland, California

If you’re wondering what might be fun and exciting to do in Oakland, CA, look no further than renting an electric bicycle. Ebikes are bicycles equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider when pedaling. This makes for an easier and more satisfying ride, as hills and rough terrain become no problem. Ebikes are classified in the state of California in the same way as regular bicycles, meaning they are allowed on any street or path a normal bike can go. Children 17 and younger must wear a helmet while operating an electric bike.

Renting an ebike is easy in Oakland. The city has a bikeshare program called Bay Wheels by Lyft, and they are available in kiosks all over town! How does this work? Become a member, and the first year is only $5! After the first year is over, however, the program is $5 per month. These bikes are available 24/7, every day of the year. Membership covers the first hour of your rental, after which an ebike rental is $0.05 per minute with a ceiling of $1. You may pay with cash, your debit card, or a prepaid card. This service is only for adults 18 and older. Once you have completed your ride, simply return your bike to any free kiosk, you do not need to return it where you first rented it!

If you’d like to rent your ebikes from a reputable dealer, head across the Bay to Blazing Saddles in San Francisco. This shop has two different ebikes to choose from, the E-Blazer or the Stromer.

The E-Blazer’s rental fees are as follows:

$48 per 2 hours

$58 per 3 hours

$62.50 per 24 hours

The Stromer’s rental fees are as follows:

$58 per 2 hours

$68 per 3 hours

$70.40 per 24 hours

If you’d like to own an ebike, this shop sells them too!

What trails might you ride in and around Oakland? We have a couple of suggestions. The Port of Oakland is a scenic ride and great for a bike rider of any skill level. This 2.4-mile bike ride takes you on a loop around the port. You’ll see water views, nature, and the city of Oakland all in one bike ride!

Another great ride is on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Shoreline trail. This path is dedicated to bicycle traffic, 17 miles long, and winds around the San Leandro Bay, giving you flat, even pathways free from cars. Beautiful water views abound until you come to look back upon Oakland at the Shoreline. This trail is a wonderful choice for anyone who simply wants an easy and uncomplicated weekend bike ride.

During your stay in Oakland, come and see what all the fuss is about. Rent an electric bike and go on an adventure today!

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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.

  1. AFTERGUARD SAILING ACADEMY

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.

  1. OAKLAND ZOO

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.

  1. EAST BAY REGIONAL PARK DISTRICT

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.

  1. THIS IS OAKLAND BIKE TOURS

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!

  1. BAY BRIDGE TRAIL

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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