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100 Things To Do

You may have heard of our incredible food scene or visited the stunning Lake Merritt, but that’s just the beginning of what’s happening in Oakland these days.

Top 20 to Explore at a Physical Distance

Complete 100 Things to Do List

Check out the full list of activities (many that you will be able to do once we are past the curve) to do in Oakland so you can start planning your visit! Please note, some event dates are subject to change. 

Arts & Culture 

1. Celebrate the soul of Oakland’s diverse art scene all year long

2. Pop in to Hello Vintage for a blast from the past, and a new look to rock

3. Stroll down Temescal Alley for a sampling of Oakland’s hip creative shops

4. Find a unique treasure at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale (Lake Merritt) 

5. Honor, and educate yourself on Black history at the African American Museum and Library (Downtown) 

6. See the best dragon murals by Dragon School 99 on a walking tour in Chinatown 

7. View the Uptown art galleries during Saturday Stroll each week 

8. Honor the history of our local ancestors at  Peralta Hacienda Historical Park (Fruitvale) 

9. Grab some swag to rep the Town from OaklandishDope Era & Beast Mode (Downtown) 

10. Witness the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ before a Saturday evening film at the Grand Lake Theater 

11. Enjoy the sounds of music and theater with sweeping views of the bay at  Woodminster Amphitheatre (Oakland Hills) 

12. Celebrate Oaktoberfest and learn about the Dimond District’s rich German history 

13. Learn the art of fruit and vegetable carving or a variety of cultural dance at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center (Chinatown) 

14. Ring in the New Year at the Lunar New Year Bazaar in Chinatown 

15. Tour the Hodo Soy Beanery and witness the tofu masters at work (West Oakland) 

16. Play with fire at The Crucible, Oakland’s own industrial arts school (West Oakland) 

17. Honor the champions of humanity at the Remember Them bronze statues (Uptown) 

18. Become an actor for the day with Oakland’s  Pan Theater improv group (Uptown) 

19. Fly through the sky at the Trapeze Arts circus school (West Oakland) 

20. Catch a show at the iconic Paramount Theatre of the Arts (Uptown) 

21. Sing along to live piano and guitar music at The Alley (Grand Lake) 

22. Learn about Oakland’s history during a free 90-minute walking tour guided by a City of Oakland official 

23. See your favorite music performances live at the Oracle Arena (East Oakland) 

24. Take in architectural greats like the Oakland Mormon Temple and Cathedral of Christ the Light  

25. Relax in the age-old meditative tradition of Japanese wooden spoon carving 

26. Visit Oakland’s architectural past at  Preservation Park (Old Oakland) 

27. Visit the permanent home of the oldest bonsai tree in the U.S. at the Bonsai Garden near Lake Merritt 

28. Groove to live reggae, roots, and world music at The New Parish

Family-friendly 

29. Bask in the sun, and even take a little dip at Lake Temescal 

30. Be delighted by an inspiration for Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Children’s Fairyland (Lake Merritt) 

31. Mingle with the monkeys, and sit back for a gondola ride with a view at the expansive Oakland Zoo 

32. Do the Bernie Lean at an Oakland A’s game at  O.co Coliseum (East Oakland) 

33. Relive the sweet sweet ending from the movie Up! with a cone at Fenton’s Creamery (Piedmont Ave) 

34. Test your balance with a stand-up paddleboard lesson at California Canoe and Kayak (Jack London) 

35. Spend the night under the stars at  Chabot Space and Science Center 

36. Spend a few hours putting to get a hole-in-one at Metropolitan Golf Links, Lake Chabot Golf Course, or Montclair Golf Course

37. Retrace Amelia Earhart’s flight route at the  Oakland Aviation Museum (Airport) 

38. Write your own future with custom fortunes at a  cookie factory tour in Chinatown 

39. Discover the history of video games at The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (Piedmont) 

40. Learn to juggle at the Kinetic Arts Center (West Oakland) 

41. Venture into the Black Hole at an Oakland Raiders game at O.co Coliseum (East Oakland) 

42. Stand with giants, and find some peace in the Redwood Regional Park 

43. Walk the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the Oakland Hills 

44. Bird watch at Lake Merritt’s  Rotary Nature Center, the country’s oldest wildlife refuge 

45. Travel presidential style with a cruise on the USS Potomac, FDR’s “Floating White House” (Jack London) 

46. Pose in front of Visit Oakland’s Selfie Mural at the Oakland Marriott City Center to commemorate your time in the Town! 

47. Captain a kayak on the Oakland Estuary, and paddle over to Oakland’s Local German beer garden, Brotzeit Lokal 

48. Stroll through the beautiful maze of roses at  Morcom Garden of Roses (Grand Lake) 

49. Relish in a moment of peace on the  Kaiser Rooftop Garden (Downtown) 

50. Cruise the Bay as you travel to and from Oakland and San Francisco via the ferry 

51. Savor some souvlaki at the annual  Oakland Greek Festival (Oakland Hills) 

52. Munch on food truck treats and see the latest exhibits at Oakland Museum of California’s Off the Grid event every Friday (Lake Merritt) 

Food & Drink 

53. Get buzzing with a private tasting tour of Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee factory (Jack London) 

54. Eat your way through Oakland’s foodie neighborhoods with  Local Food Adventures tours 

55. Groove to live Jazz music while enjoying modern Japanese cuisine at  Yoshi’s Jazz Club Oakland (Jack London) 

56. Drink local brews at  Drake’s Dealership taproom at The Hive Oakland 

57. Indulge in a variety of Dim Sum at  Shan Dong or Peony Seafood in Chinatown 

58. Sip on the island drink with Oakland roots! Kick off your sandals, and grab a Mai Tai from The Kona Club 

59. Celebrate Cambodia's Golden Era while enjoying Phnom Penh street food at Bib Gourmand restaurant, Nyum Bai 

60. Peruse fresh produce and local goods at the Grand Lake and Temescal Farmers Markets 

61. Start your Uptown bar-hopping adventure with a delicious fresh-squeezed greyhound from Cafe Van Kleef 

62. Tap into your inner coffee and tea aficionado at the Peerless Coffee Museum (Jack London) 

63. Grab a cocktail and draft beer in the funky Old West at  Heinold’s First & Last Chance Saloon, where Jack London did some writing (Jack London) 

64. Imbibe on a specialty cocktail (or two) from one of Oakland’s LGBTQ+ hotspots, The Port Bar (Downtown) 

65. Take a big bite out of the hefty famous fried chicken sandwich at  Bakesale Betty (Temescal) 

66. Stuff your face with tacos any day of the week fromFruitvale taco trucks like Taqueria Sinaloa or Aguachiles el Tamarindo 

67. Grab good food and good drinks with great people at the Eat Real Festival 

68. Delight in cocktails al fresco along the dock at  Lake Chalet on Lake Merritt 

69. Stuff your face, and sip bottomless mimosas on the weekends at Home of Chicken and Waffles  (Jack London) 

70. Wine and dine with your sweetie at  Pizzaiolo  in Temescal for a romantic dinner outing 

71. Enjoy a Belgium Ale from The Trappist  while noshing on Taco Tuesday from Cosecha (Old Oakland) 

72. Fill your belly with mouth-watering soul food from Brown Sugar Kitchen, Everett & Jones, and Souley Vegan 

73. Indulge in the cheesy goodness of Oakland’s own Mac n Cheese restaurant, Homeroom (Temescal) 

74. Get lost in the extensive beer offering at Lost & Found on Telegraph (Uptown) 

75. Trek the Oakland Urban Wine Trail, and enjoy sips of the finest East Bay wines 

76. Bring a couple friends to Calavera on a Wednesday evening for a special menu celebrating the states of Mexico, and tequila tasting! (Uptown) 

77. Pair the spices of East African cuisine with Ethiopian honey wine during a Five Course East African Flavor Tasting  

78. Relish in some R&B, and pair wine selections with a spread of charcuterie and fruit during a Private Wine Tasting for R&B Lovers 

Urban Lifestyle

79. Let your truest self shine at the Oakland Pride Festival  

80. Be creative, be open, be present, be free, and celebrate the Black experience and community at Black Joy Parade (Downtown) 

81. Marvel at the Space Bears, murals honoring California’s extinct icon, the grizzly bear (Laurel) 

82. Giddy up to the Black Cowboy Parade in October, and learn about the contributions of POCs in the settling of the West 

83. Celebrate Happy Hour at Plank in Jack London Square for their spacious beer garden, bocce courts, and bowling/arcade 

84. Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the Fruitvale’s Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival 

85. Warm up with a round of bocce ball and cocktails at  Make Westing 

86. Get a classic straight razor shave at the Temescal Alley Barbershop 

87. Cozy up on a couch with your favorite movie snacks and drinks at New Parkway Theater (Uptown) 

88. Catch the iconic cranes in action at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park (West Oakland) 

89. Cruise down Lake Merritt on an authentic Venetian gondola cruise with Gondola Servizio 

90. Try your hand at rock climbing at the Great Western Power Company climbing gym (Uptown) 

91. L O L at the Monday night FREE comedy shows at Starline Social Club, with nationally recognized comedians and Oakland locals 

92. Know every character from Rugrats? Can you sing along to the All That theme song? Throw it back to your favorite decade at the 90s Experience with colorful, Instagram-worthy interactive exhibits 

93. Pick up wine, cheese, and other gourmet goodies from Market Hall, and then take a stroll through the Rockridge neighborhood 

94. Every King and Queen needs a crown! Design your own flower crown at The Headdress Workshop 

95. Hit the streets of Oakland in search of local eateries, bookshops, and hangouts with postcards as your guide on the Postcard Scavenger Hunt 

96. Take an evening drive along Skyline Boulevard for an amazing view of the sun setting over the Bay 

97. Explore the Secret Stairs of the East Bay as you wander through the city 

98. Soak in incredible Bay Area views from the top of Mountain View Cemetery (Piedmont) 

99. Lace up your running shoes for the annual  Oakland Marathon & Running Festival 

100. Catch a movie, or view a mesmerizing performance by BANDALOOP outdoors on the Great Wall of Oakland