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Learn more about Oakland's top attractions and discover accessibility tips that make your trip easy!
- Oakland Museum of California
- Chabot Space and Science Center
- Lake Merritt
- Jack London Square
- Redwood Regional Park (Stream Trail)
- Oakland Zoo
- Jack London Ferry to San Francisco
- First Friday Street Festival
- Temescal Regional Recreation Area
Oakland Museum of California
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) brings together collections of art, history, and natural science under one roof to tell the extraordinary stories of California and its people. Visitors are invited to actively participate in the Museum as they learn about the natural, artistic, and social forces that affect the state and investigate their own role in both its history and its future.
Parking- Accessible parking in the museum garage on the upper level and metered street parking.
Restrooms- All restrooms are accessible. Family restroom with an adult size changing table is available on Level 2.
Pathways- Accessible paths of travel throughout the museum.
Access Services- Special tour accommodations may be arranged with advance notice through the Docent office by calling 510-318-8470. Three-weeks advance notice advised for sign language interpreters and tours for visitors with vision disabilities.
Good to Know- Wheelchairs for loan on a first-come, first-served basis and noise cancelling headphones are available at the Ticketing Desk. At the festive, Friday Nights @ OMCA, adults can enjoy Off the Grid food trucks, music, and family-friendly drop-in workshops.
Chabot Space and Science Center
Situated on 13-acres in the redwood studded hills of Oakland, the Chabot Space and Science Center is a hands-on experience featuring exhibits, telescopes, planetariums and a large screen theater.
Parking- Accessible parking near the main entrance across from the parking structure and in the Staff Parking Lot below the observatory complex.
Restrooms- Restrooms throughout the museum are accessible
Pathways- Any inaccessible areas
Access Services- Wheelchairs are available for loan at the Front Desk on a first come, first served basis. Wheelchair seating is available in the planetarium. With the addition of a special eyepiece the 36″ reflector telescope becomes wheelchair accessible; call ahead to arrange, (510) 336-7373. With advance notice written scripts are available for Cosmos 360 shows, Lunaverse, and Surfing the Planet Zone. Call Visitor Services to arrange, (510) 336-7373
Good to Know- AC Transit bus route #339 stops at the museum.
Lake Merritt with its surrounding 3.4 miles of trail and 75-acre Lakeside Park is an oasis in the heart of the city and considered the jewel of Oakland--it’s even crowned by lights. Wander through the Garden Center, picnic on lawns shaded by oaks, visit a Nature Center, rent a boat, or you can even ride an adapted bike around the lake. Families with young children won’t want to miss Fairyland, a 10-acre park featuring storybook sets, gentle rides (not wheelchair accessible), live entertainment, and animals.
Parking- Most of the accessible parking is at the entrance to Lakeside Park on Bellevue Avenue; elsewhere there is only on-street parking.
Restrooms-Accessible restroom are at Snow Park, Fairyland, the Boating Center, and at the Municipal Boathouse.
Pathway’s-The 3.4-mile trail around the lake is a combination of pavement and hard-packed dirt. It is mostly level but there are a few short sections where the grade is greater than 1:12 (measurement for an ADA compliant ramp) and some sections are bumpy.
Good to Know- Loan an adapted cycle from Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program at Snow Park; Saturdays 10 am - 4 pm & Wednesdays 11 am - 5 pm. Bikes are available on a first-come-first-serve basis but riders can make reservations in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a bike.
Jack London Square
Jack London Square isn’t really a square—it’s a six-block area defined by shops, restaurants, a hotel, marinas, and open space along the Oakland Estuary. At its center at the foot of Broadway is a plaza where crowds gather for evening concerts, the twice-weekly farmers market, and other events. The accessible Bay Trail follows the shoreline for about a mile east to Estuary Park.
Parking- Accessible spaces are in the underground lot with entrances at the foot of Broadway and at the foot of Franklin Street. Valet parking is available at the Broadway entrance. One accessible space is in the 15-minute zone at the foot of Webster Street.
Restrooms- Accessible restrooms at both ends of the parking garage and at the marina public restroom.
Pathways- Level grade with paver stones throughout Jack London Square; the Bay Trail is mostly paved except for a few hundred feet of decomposed granite just past the marina.
Access Services- Benches are plentiful throughout.
Good to Know- Farmer’s market, Sundays, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Tours on the USS Potomac, President Franklin Roosevelt’s, “floating white house.” cannot accommodate wheelchairs wider than 25-inches. There’s no accessible restroom onboard and thresholds limit movement throughout the yacht.
The Port of Oakland offers free 90-minute harbor tours May thru October, twice monthly. Boats are wheelchair accessible including the on-board restroom. Print scripts of the narration are available at the registration table. Ticket information here.
The free wheelchair accessible Broadway shuttle (B line) offers easy connections to Jack London Square from 12th &19th street BART stations.
Redwood Regional Park (Stream Trail)
Located a few miles over the ridge from downtown Oakland this lovely park offers a peaceful and remote escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are several entrances but to reach the accessible, Stream Trail, enter at the Redwood Gate. Second and third growth redwoods grow interspersed with madrone, oak, eucalyptus and bay trees in this fragrant, mixed woods park. The Stream Trail stretches several miles to the parks other entrance at Skyline Gate, yet only the first mile is accessible.
Parking- Accessible spaces at the Canyon Meadows Staging Area.
Restrooms- The most accessible restroom for the Stream Trail is at the start of the trail; all others either have partial or no access.
Pathways- The first half-mile is generally level with some gentle inclines. There’s one steep section where manual wheelchair rider’s may need assistance. Shortly before Trail’s End the trail becomes firm packed dirt and continues to gently climb for another quarter-mile before it becomes quite steep just past the junction with Fern Trail.
Good to Know- Go mid-week to avoid crowds.
Nestled in the 525-acre Knowland Park in the Oakland Hills, the zoo houses more than 700 native and exotic animals. The exhibits are organized geographically and reflect the ecosystems of the animals' native habitats. A gondola ride with unparalleled views of the Bay Area will take you to The California Trail where you can learn about and see native species such as Grizzly Bears, Grey Wolves, Bison and more.
Parking- Accessible parking located at the main entrance.
Restrooms- Accessible restrooms are throughout the zoo. Family restrooms are available at the bug and reptile, and amphibian houses in the Children’s Zoo and at the California trail by the grizzly bear pool.
Pathways- Paths throughout the zoo are paved. Some sections in the lower, older portion have steep grades but can be managed by some in motorized wheelchairs/scooters. At the newer California Trail the pathways throughout meet ADA standards. Download the accessibility map here.
Access Services- The gondola at California Trail has a level entry onto the car and each car can accommodate one wheelchair/scooter. Docent led tours in an accessible motorized cart can be arranged with four-weeks advance notice. Carts can only accommodate manual wheelchair riders and the rider can remain in their wheelchair. To arrange the cart tour and a sign language interpreted tour call several weeks in advance, (510) 632-9525 ext. 220.
Good to Know- Service animals are allowed but restricted from certain areas. Download the service animal guide here. AC Transit Bus line 46 departs from the Oakland Coliseum BART station to the zoo. Bus schedule
Jack London Ferry to San Francisco
Enjoy a scenic, relaxed ferry ride across the bay on the San Francisco Bay Ferry. Year-round, weekday and weekend service leaves from the Jack London Square terminal to the San Francisco Ferry Building or Pier 41terminals. Light snacks and drinks available onboard.
Parking- The parking structure at 101 Washington St has accessible spaces and offers. 12 hours free validated parking.
Restrooms- Accessible restroom on board.
Pathways- To reach the ferry terminal from the parking structure requires crossing railroad tracks which can be managed in a wheelchair.
Access Services- All ferries are wheelchair accessible however the ramps grade will vary with the tide.
Good to Know- There is no access to the ferry’s upper deck.
Spanning several blocks (between 8th to 10th Street, Franklin and Webster Street) that are bordered by 3 small parks, Oakland’s Chinatown is the center of Asian cultures, arts and gourmet cuisine; there are more than 45 restaurants and 9 tea shops. You can tour a fortune cookie factory; eat Japanese Ramen and Vietnamese banh mi sandwich; drink Taiwanese Boba tea, and learn Balinese dance at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, a facility that offers a rich array of programming that represents the diverse Asian & Pacific Islander communities.
Parking- Difficult street meter parking. Public garages at Franklin and Webster Streets (both between 9th & 11th Streets), on 12th St. between Harrison and Alice, and on 13th St. near Broadway have accessible parking. The 12th St. and Lake Merritt BART stations are within easy walking/rolling distance.
Restrooms- The public library at Pacific Renaissance Plaza (9th between Webster & Franklin Streets) has an accessible restroom.
Pathways- Level sidewalks with curb ramps throughout Chinatown.
Good to Know- Every Friday there is a farmer’s market on 9th St. at Broadway. Tours are offered at the Fortune Cookie Factory, 261 12th Street.
First Fridays Street Festival
Every first Friday of the month, along Telegraph Avenue from West Grand to 27th Street, the street is closed to traffic and comes alive with music, street performers, artist booths, interactive art pop-ups, vendors, and food trucks. This popular street festival, where you can leisurely stroll in the street from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., is in the heart of Koreantown.
Parking- Parking garages at 2102 Telegraph Ave. and 400 29th St. have accessible spaces otherwise it is difficult metered street parking. Pick up and drop off area located at Valley and 23rd Street.
Restrooms- Accessible Porta-Potty’s are at 25th St. and 26th St.
Pathways- The streets are closed to traffic but can be difficult to navigate because of the crowds. Curb ramps on every corner.
Good to Know- There are many food trucks but no places to eat at tables.
Temescal Regional Recreation Area
Tucked between the intersection of Highways 24 and 13 you'll find Temescal Regional Recreation Area. Its proximity to these freeways offers a convenient way to swim at a beach, fish from an accessible pier and enjoy a lakeside picnic. There's a lovely half-mile paved trail that runs along the east shore with places to stop and view the waterfowl.
Parking- Accessible spaces at both the North Entrance off Broadway and the South Entrance off Broadway Terrace.
Restrooms- All restrooms are accessible as is the Beach House where there is an accessible changing area.
Pathways- A paved trail travels the perimeter of the eastern shore from the north entrance to the south entrance.
Access Services- A beach wheelchair is available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve 24 hours in advance, (510) 652-1155.
Good to Know- A grassy area immediately adjacent to the beach, is firm enough to roll over in a wheelchair, and gives one the sense that you're on the beach without the hassle of going across the sand.