Once you're high up in the Oakland Hills, there can be views around every turn. But here are a few to gawk at. Tom Hanks attended Skyline High School, but that's not its only claim to fame. The 45-acre campus has a superb view because it's located on the crest of the Oakland Hills. Just south is Merritt College, where two students founded the Black Panther party in 1966. Views from the parking lot are panoramic. At Chabot Space & Science Center in the hills are observatories for seeing the night (and day) skies, but also some of the better views of the city, 1,500 feet above the Bay, within the redwood forest. The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Ascension is the site of the Greek Festival every May but has nice Med-esque views year round. Right, next door is the Oakland Mormon Temple with equally amazing vantage points.
Spectacular deck views from all angles can be had at the Paragon Restaurant in the Claremont Hotel and Spa. Because the deck is often impossible to reserve on a warm evening, you could opt for the view from the spas and pool. Just book a treatment. Another enviable patio is at Lake Chalet Restaurant over Lake Merritt. Get a birds-eye view of Lake Merritt from Kaiser Centers rooftop garden. There are also benches and a reflecting pond. For an inside-out view, take a tour with Gondola Servizio. While floating in the Lake, the neighborhood surrounds you.
Middle Harbor Shoreline Park is the closest point to San Francisco, with views of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline, all from West Oakland near the Port. Watch the iconic Port cranes in action and sailboats cruising the Bay. Peek through one of the free viewing telescopes for a closer look. The 226-acre Mountain View Cemetery at the end of Piedmont Avenue has some of the more stunning Bay views, but its other selling features are Frederick Law Olmsted grounds and the Julia Morgan-designed Chapel of the Chimes. Get your cameras ready, people!