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If Brooklyn is the arts hub of the East Coast, Oakland is the arts mecca of the West. More than 10,000 people congregate at Oakland Art Murmur on the first Friday of the month to visit Oakland’s grassroots gallery district. Industrial artists are creating larger-than-life pieces for international festivals (a la Burning Man). Whatever the medium may be, creators have chosen Oakland as their home, making the destination the cultural arts metropolis that it is today.

On any given night of the week, Oakland’s music venues are filled to the brim. National and international acts at The New Parish, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, and the Fox and Paramount theaters draw thousands of visitors.

You don’t need to be a history buff to appreciate Oakland’s architectural gems. Some of the best examples of Art Deco, Victorian, Arts & Crafts and Millennial Modern are peppered throughout the city. Architectural greats such as Julia Morgan and Frederick Law Olmsted are just some of the notable names who’ve made their mark on Oakland. Take a free walking tour of Oakland’s Five Historic Ladies, see a show at an Art Deco theater, or visit the lakeside Cathedral of Christ the Light.