Oakland. Also known as Oaktown or The Town.
Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is among the largest and most populous cities in California as well as the United States. The city’s rich history, diverse culture, mouth-watering cuisine, innovative museums, and beautiful parks and lakes attract millions of visitors every year.
If you plan to visit the city or are already there and thinking about exploring it, here are some of the best places to visit in Oakland.
USS Hornet Museum
USS Hornet is an Essex-class aircraft carrier that served the US Navy for about twenty years before being decommissioned in 1970.
Since 1998, it has been a museum ship (berthed at Pier 3 on the former naval air station in Alameda, less than four miles from Oakland) with plenty to see and enjoy for its visitors.
Among the numerous aircraft on display are propeller aircraft, jet aircraft, and rotorcraft, dating as far back as the 1940s.
The museum also has exhibits focusing on the Apollo Program (USS Hornet was the Prime Recovery Ship (PRS) for the Apollo 11 and recovered the Apollo 12 crew).
Although the self-guided audio tours are good enough, you might want to try guided tours offered by the museum that take visitors into the ship’s compartments and flight deck as well as below deck into its engineering space, containing two of the ship’s four propulsion turbines.
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
A part of the East Bay Regional Parks District (which contains a total of 73 parks) in the San Francisco Bay area, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is spread over 1830 acres and is home to the largest remaining natural stand of coast redwood found in the East Bay.
The park is beautiful and a great place for anyone looking to get away from the noise of city life and find peace and calmness. But that’s not all.
The park is popular among those in love with outdoor activities as they can go jogging, hiking, biking, or horseback riding along the 40 miles of park trails. Redwood Regional Park also has open picnic areas, a campground, and an archery range.
The presence of certain rare species like the golden eagle and the Alameda striped racer only adds to the place's charm.
So yeah, overall a great place to visit if you are in Oakland.
Oakland Museum of California
A great place for those interested in learning more about California.
Oakland Museum of California houses nearly two million objects — seminal artworks, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens, photographs, and more — focusing on the art, history, and natural science of California.
You will also learn a lot about Oakland’s history, particularly the city’s links to political activism and social justice movements such as the Black Panthers.
The gardens surrounding the museum are filled with beautiful modern sculptures and shady trees where people can relax in the open air.
Every Friday night, the museum hosts Friday Nights at OMCA, where visitors can enjoy food, drinks, music, and even outdoor performances.
Located in Oakland’s Grass Valley neighborhood, Oakland Zoo is home to around 900 animals, both native and exotic.
The animals at the zoo include the African elephant, American black bear, North American river otter, grizzly bear, African lion, hamadryas baboon, cotton-top tamarin, American alligator, and black-throated monitor.
One section especially popular with the kids is The Wayne and Gladys Valley Children’s Zoo, with its many interactive play structures for children and spacious animal exhibits.
Visitors can also feed several animals, including elephants, lemurs, camels, and meerkats.
The zoo also has an area, Adventure Landing, with several exciting rides, a carousel, a jeep safari, and an adventure train.
So these were some of the places you must visit if you’re in Oakland. I must add that due to the pandemic, some sections might not be open, or there could be certain restrictions. So make sure you do the necessary research before visiting.
Also, please follow the guideline. Have fun but stay safe.