When was the last time you took a trip over to Oakland? Well, if it has been awhile, then you need to get yourself over there and enjoy this lovely city that is going through a major transformation! With housing prices so high in San Francisco, many people are now moving over to this sunny and vibrant city across the Bay Bridge. I used to spend alot of time driving all over Oakland when I was in sales, but since relocating to the other side of the bay many years ago, I just don’t find myself going over there as much anymore. I’ve been hearing and reading about all of the changes happening in this lovely city so I decided to take a trip to the other side of the bay to check out the scene! There were signs of progress all over town. New condos and apartments are everywhere, new plants and trees are going in, and new companies are moving in at a very brisk pace.
Here is a great article talking about tech companies moving over to Oakland.
My first stop was Jack London Square, conveniently located off of Highway 880. When I was working in Oakland, this area was my go to for taking people out for lunch or breakfast. The views are beautiful and there is a great selection of restaurants to choose from. If you get a chance, make sure to stop by Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon. It is a little building that dates back to 1883 and looks a little out of place now with all of the new construction in the area, but kind of fun to check out. Jack London himself was a frequent visitor to this bar in his teens. And to make this area even more energetic and interesting, Sunset Magazine is now located in Jack London Square and sits prominently behind the old saloon.
If you are looking for a fun day in Oakland start out your day by renting a kayak and taking it out into the Oakland Estuary for a couple of hours followed by lunch at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Looking for a fun place to hang out after work or on a sunny weekend day after kayaking? Head over to Plank where you can hang out in their beer garden, play bocce ball, or bowl! Sounds like a fun place for adults or a great place to take your kids!
Large bar area and restaurant at Plank.
Haven, another great choice if you are in Jack London Square around dinner time. This restaurant has been getting pretty good reviews and the interior looks beautiful- and it’s so earthy and bright.
Interior space of Haven
Another fun choice, Forge Pizza, for a casual outdoor lunch or dinner.
After Jack London Square, I headed over to lovely Lake Merritt. Going back to this spot brought back many memories of my time spent here in my early 20’s.
An approximately 3.4 mile path around the lake. This is a great place for a walk or run and I especially like it when the lights come on at dusk casting a beautiful glow on the lake and trail.
Over to Grand Avenue to check out a few great restaurants. A short walk over to this area from Lake Merritt or a quick drive. I had been hearing a lot about Boot and Shoe Service so I really wanted to have lunch at this popular spot. It did not disappoint!! The pizza was amazing and I can’t wait to go back for more of their wonderful food, and the service was so warm and friendly!
Great interior space and several communal tables, which is nice if you are feeling chatty!
Back patio space at Boot and Shoe. Love the fun retro blue chairs! Where are all of these fun chairs coming from? I’m seeing them everywhere!
So many places in Oakland have a retro feel. I’m just loving the energy in this city and I’ve always found Oakland to be a lovely spot and so happy to see that it is finally getting its day in the sun!
Having an amazing team like the Golden State Warriors in town doesn’t hurt things at all!
My husband and I have attempted to meet East Bay friends at, Camino, for a while now and I can’t wait to check it out!! It has been getting great reviews and has made SF food critic, Michael Bauer’s, list for the last few years!
No trip to Oakland would be complete without a trip to Fenton’s Creamery. I felt no guilt at all about indulging here. None. If you are in Oakland with the kiddos visiting the Oakland Zoo, Children’s Fairyland, or the Chabot Space and Science Center, make sure this is your last stop before heading home. It is located on cute Piedmont Avenue where there are several places to have lunch and shop.
I had to check out the hip and happening area called Uptown. This restaurant, Hopscotch, has been getting alot of press so I had to stop by. Completely adorable and so retro with a delicious menu and great reviews. This whole area is being revitalized and I didn’t even recognize it when I hit San Pablo Avenue. There are alot of new bars and restaurants to check out in this area, and Hopscotch is just one of many places to dine at. A nice night out in Oakland should include attending a concert at the Fox Oakland or the Paramount Theater, both beautiful venues! Start your night with dinner or drinks in Uptown.
This place looks like a diner, but it is so much more than that with a very creative menu and great cocktails.
One of my long time favorite areas in Oakland is Rockridge, on and around College Avenue. I love walking around this cute area and looking in all of the fun shops, and I always try to plan a lunch at long time favorite, Oliveto. If you have more time, continue strolling farther down College Avenue and head into Berkeley. Maybe catch a football game at Memorial Stadium or a basketball game! Go Bears!
Found this fun little book about all things Oakland! I learned a few new things about this great east bay city!
The New York Times put Oakland-East Bay on their hot list for 2016. Hopefully that is enough incentive for you to check out this very hip and happening city!
When was the last time you made a visit to Oakland? What are your favorites?
There are so many beautiful neighborhoods to discover in this unique town and the views of San Francisco are incredibly beautiful from the hills if you happen to find yourself in the Oakland Hills at night.
I’ll be back soon with a fashion post about another spring fashion favorite and a post about one of my favorite cities to visit in southern California!