Welcome to Oakland
Up-and-coming urban city with many hip neighborhoods.
Oakland is an up-and-coming urban community on the eastern shores of San Francisco Bay. This bustling city is the eighth largest in California and also has the fifth busiest port in the United States. Oakland is a vibrant hub of art, business, culture, dining, entertainment, and nightlife.
Oakland has more than 50 distinct neighborhoods divided between areas of the city known as the flatlands and the hills. The hills are typically quieter and more affluent, with the sophisticated village-like setting of Montclair and Oakland Hills offering some of the Bay Area’s most sought-after real estate. In the flatlands, Downtown Oakland is the heart of everything, with housing options ranging from Art Deco high-rises to Old Oakland’s elegant Victorians. Other in-demand neighborhoods include the hipster cool of Uptown and Temescal, the suburban feel of walkable Rockridge, and the picturesque waterfront settings of Lake Merritt, Grand Lake, and the Bayfront Jack London District.
What to Love
- Diverse urban city
- Many distinctive neighborhoods
- Hip restaurants and bars
- Oakland First Fridays
People & Lifestyle
Oakland is one of the nation’s most diverse cities. Its thriving economy offers employment opportunities in a variety of major corporations, tech start-ups, and businesses connected to the tens of billions of dollars in international trade conducted through the port. Oakland is also a major tourist destination. The city’s many cultural attractions include the greatest concentration of theater companies, museums, and movie theaters per square mile in the entire country. All age groups and ethnicities are represented among Oakland’s population. This dynamic city has much to offer everyone.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
Downtown Oakland has experienced a renaissance in recent years. The commercial district centered on Broadway between 8th and 17th Streets features an incredibly eclectic grouping of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. One dining highlight includes Zagat-rated Umami Burger
, a creative spot for mouthwatering gourmet burgers, truffle fries, draft beer, and craft cocktails. Local fashion brand Oaklandish
’s flagship downtown store is the place to pick up stylish clothing emblazoned with the city’s name.
Oaklandish has a second location in the artistic Dimond District as well. The Dimond District’s commercial district is decorated with street art murals and features much-loved local businesses such as the French-style La Farine
bakery. La Farine’s delicious fresh-baked bread and pastries are also available at locations in Rockridge and on Piedmont Avenue.
Rockridge offers specialty stores such as Pegasus
for new and used books and Atomic Garden
for a diverse selection of eco-conscious recycled home goods. The neighborhood’s dining scene includes favorites such as Wood Tavern
, a Michelin Bib Gourmand spot serving rustic American cuisine with Italian influences. For drinks, head to the lively Lost & Found Beer Garden
On Piedmont Avenue, classic businesses such as the 1894 Fentons Creamery
and 1917 Piedmont Theater
can be found alongside a range of boutiques and contemporary hotspots including Cato’s Ale House
. Oakland’s only two-Michelin-star restaurant, Commis
on Piedmont Avenue, provides an exceptional multi-course dining experience.
Uptown is arguably Oakland’s hippest district with live music at the gorgeous 1920s Art Deco Fox Theater
, handcrafted cocktails and charcuterie at Dogwood
, and stylish contemporary Spanish dining at Duende
is one of Uptown’s most popular drink and dinner spots, serving a wide range of cocktails and small plates in an industrial warehouse space with live DJs.
Oakland’s 16-block Chinatown is one of the oldest and largest in the United States. Here you’ll find pan-Asian cuisine with restaurants offering the best of authentic Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese cooking.
Things to Do
The creative KONO district encapsulates Oakland’s unique appeal with its melting pot of arts and culture, nightlife, and strong ties to the city’s Korean community. On the first Friday of each month, thousands from across the Bay Area descend on KONO for the Oakland First Fridays
celebration. During this event, KONO’s streets come to life with art, food, and music.
Other big events include September’s Eat Real Festival
at Jack London Square. More than 50 artisanal food vendors and over 40 wine and craft beer producers participate in this event. You can also enjoy live DJs, cooking demonstrations, and a kid zone with fun games and face painting.
Lake Merritt is a picturesque location for walking, jogging, biking, and boating. The 122-acre Lakeside Park
surrounding Lake Merritt is the United States’ oldest wildlife refuge. Other nearby attractions include Children’s Fairyland
, an enchanting amusement park that many say inspired the creation of Disneyland. Every Saturday, dozens of vendors set up near Lake Merritt for the Grand Lake Farmers Market
. A short distance from Downtown Oakland, the 1,830-acre Redwood Regional Park
is home to scores of soaring redwoods and many rare species of animals and plants.
Public schools within Oakland belong to the Oakland Unified School District. Highlights include:
- Hillcrest Elementary School, Public, K-8
- Chabot Elementary School, Public, K-5
- Claremont Middle School, Public, 6-8
- Edna Brewer Middle School, Public, 6-8
- Oakland Technical High School, Public, 9-12