Just the facts
Main strip: Hegenberger Rd. >> Who you’ll find walking around: Athletes, pilots, in-transit >> Population: 14,389 >> Founded: 1920s >> Main architecture: Office parks >> Neighborhood giant: Oakland International Airport (OAK) and the Oracle Arena & O.co Coliseum complex >> Best airport meal: A mini version of Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Terminal 1 at OAK.
Oakland’s Airport neighborhood isn’t just a place for arrivals and departures—although it may be famous for one departure in particular, Amelia Earhart’s in 1937. On a knob of land, almost island-like and just south of Alameda Island, the Airport is sandwiched by the central artery of I-880 on one side, but on the other it’s marshland. As such, wildlife can be explored at the near-the-runway regional parks of Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline and Oyster Bay. The bigger draws here are the two stadiums: Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, made famous in the 2011 movie Moneyball. Just like a small town, the two arenas combined can hold 41,000 people and are spread over 132 acres, home to baseball (Oakland A’s), football (Oakland Raiders), and basketball (Golden State Warriors) teams—as well as special events like Bruno Mars and Disney on Ice.
The inside inside scoop
Golfing in Oakland? You heard right. Just south of the Airport, you’ll find Oakland’s Metropolitan Golf Links, with 18 holes of picturesque putting.
If you only have three hours
It may seem reasonable to assume that an aviation museum would be mostly for aerobuffs. But the Oakland Aviation Museum, in a 1939 hangar, outdoes itself with open cockpit tours, flight simulators, and Solent flying boat experiences, a 1946 plane featured in Indiana Jones. Take an after-dark exploration with the flashlight tours, including a special paranormal edition.
Birders, happy days ahead. Between Martin Luther King and Oyster Bay regional parks, you’re bound to leave with a new iPhone photo of something you haven’t seen, like the chicken-sized California Clapper Rail, red-tail hawks, osprey, and northern harriers.
All of Oakland’s national sports teams are housed in one giant complex, meaning it’s always sports season in this neighborhood. Root for one of Oakland’s home teams while you’re in town, or see an arena-worthy music performance.
How to get here
Freeway exit: From 1-880, exit at Hegenberger Rd/Coliseum or 66th Ave.
BART stop: Coliseum/Oakland Airport
Bus lines: 45, 46, 73, 98
Where to stay
Oakland’s Airport area hotels are extremely affordable and convenient for travelers on the go. Many offer free airport shuttles to and from OAK, as well as downtown. Find accommodations to suit your needs here.