Only 80 miles away from Sacramento is one of the Bay Area’s hippest spots. Oakland was ranked as the 5th most desirable destination to visit this year in The New York Times piece on The 45 Places to Go in 2012.
While Oakland may get a bad rap, there are many hidden gems to the city by the bay. Get there early to take in all the sights, sounds, and eats that Oakland has to offer.
Start your day off by grabbing a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee. Founded by James Freeman in 2003, Blue Bottle serves one of the best cups of organic, pesticide free, shade-grown bean coffee.
While you are downtown, venture into Jack London Square. London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. His Yukon cabin (from the gold rush) sits right in the square.
If you are interested in California history, then you should check out the Oakland Museum of California. Established in 1969 as a museum for the people, OMCA tells the extraordinary story of California. It recently went through a huge renovation and has new galleries, exhibitions, and displays.
Make sure to stop for lunch at Bakesale Betty. You will know you are in the right place by the long line that spans around the block. Every day Betty, a Chez Panisse trained chef, and her crew put together the best buttermilk fried chicken sandwich in town. Betty sells over 1,100 fried chicken sandwiches each day! That’s a lot of fried chicken. Wash down your sandwich with one of Betty’s homemade frozen lemonade drinks.
Your afternoon will get wild with a trip to the Oakland Zoo. Nestled in 525-acres of the Oakland Hills, the zoo houses more than 400 native and exotic animals. The exhibits are organized geographically and reflect the ecosystems of the animals’ native habitats.
When you are done seeing the animals, hop over to the Rockridge district and grab dinner at Zachary’s pizza. Zachary’s serves award winning deep dish Chicago style pizza. You will want to get there early since tables can get packed on the weekend. Allow around 20 minutes for your deep dish pizza to cook the wait is worth it.
Your evening is not complete without a trip to Oakland’s historic Fox Theatre. The Fox Theatre opened its doors in October 1928. The theatre was popular but went dark in 1966 and sat empty for over 40 years. However, after a huge renovation, it has opened its doors once again and is now one of the Bay Area’s premier concert venues.
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Each month we will feature a new day trip for you to try.