Oakland is an amazing place to soak up great summer vibes. With a variety of events and activities happening throughout The Town  – there is something for everyone to enjoy. By day or by night, whether you’re looking to plan the perfect date, get together with friends or enjoy lots of family fun - Oakland is the place to be!

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Just the facts

Main strip: 9th and Washington
Who dwells here: Anyone lucky enough to snag one of the rare pieces of residential real estate
Population: Downtown as a whole is home to 23,000
Founded: 1877
Main architecture: 1880s into early 20th century
Neighborhood giant: The mini-food hall, Swan’s Market
Best sandwich: The Italian combo at Ratto’s International Market and Deli, which opened in 1897
Where to mingle with locals: Swan's Market, Friday Farmers Market

The vibe

Though there are Victorians sprinkled throughout Oakland, this slice of preserved late century architecture is brochure-perfect. Many of the buildings within this six-block stretch look fresh off an 1870s remodel. Back in the day, this was the place to be seen in Oakland, the center of high society, having the best restaurants, shops and hotels on cobble-stoned streets. And it still is—although it took a serious amount of restoring to bring it back from neglect after the 1906 earthquake. Today, indie retail shops are opening. Chefs at informal eateries are cooking up delicious recipes from their old countries, whether that be Mexico, Japan, or China. At the old Swan’s Market, Las Guerrera's Kitchen is cooking up recipes from Guerrero, Mexico specializing in tamales, pozole, and barbacoa. While Michelin-rated, Dela Curo Curry, specializes in Japanese curry, sometimes prepared with fried chicken, tonkatsu or even with a tender omelet in the case of omu. Or head to Huangcheng Noodle House, who are serving authentic Chinese cuisine and handmade noodles made with fresh and natural ingredients.

Meanwhile, Super Juiced is a 100-percent organic, fresh-pressed juice bar serving refreshing juices and smoothies. Looking for dessert? Cupcakin' Bakeshop, a cute little bake shop, serving artisan baked goods made from high quality, sustainable ingredients. The Friday’s Farmers Market is one of The Town’s best, with all the local characters buying their delicious provisions.

The inside inside scoop

Located inside Swan's Market, The Cook and Her Farmer is a café, oyster and wine bar serving coastal inspired cuisine with a touch of southern influence. This restaurant proudly works with local organic farms to source produce, dairy, and meat/fish. They also have a small wine list with a focus on biodynamic and natural wines from both Europe and California. Come by and enjoy garden seating or enjoy your lunch inside the marketplace.

Make sure to also check out some of Swan's Market oldest tenants. An Oakland institution, Taylor’s Sausage is the oldest tenant at Swan’s Market and offers freshly made, preservative-free sausages. Sincere Seafood has also called Swan's Market home for many years and it.is a full-service, reasonably-priced fish counter that includes a live seafood tank and assorted seasoning blends.

If you only have three hours

We highly recommend walking around and exploring everything that Old Oakland has to offer. Visit E14 Gallery, an art gallery that showcases master and upcoming visual artists with deep ties and strong love for Oakland. The gallery also hosts many community and cultural events in the neighborhood. As mentioned above, make sure to stop at Swan's Market and visit one of the many restaurants or shops. Visit Lana's, an ice cream parlor & cookie bakery dishing up many flavors in a spare, modern space. At night, check out District which offers a menu of shareable plates, pizza and house-made charcuterie with an extensive, well-curated wine and whiskey list. Or head to Binny's, a neighborhood cocktail bar featuring an old-school coolness and Art-Deco interiors.

How to get here

Freeway exit: From San Francisco, take 1-80 E to 1-880 S, continuing onto West Grand Ave. and turning onto Broadway; from the South Bay, take 1-880 N (exit toward Broadway/Downtown); from Berkeley, take 1-80 W to 1-580 E, taking 1-980 W (exit at 18thStreet)

BART Stop: 12th Street/City Center

Bus lines: 12, 14, 20, 31, 40, 58L, 1R, 72R, Broadway Shuttle