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: 7th Street
Who dwells here: Working-class families, urban homesteaders, activists, artists
Population: Approx. 32,000
Founded: Early 1800s
Main architecture: Victorians, brick and corrugated warehouses
Neighborhood giant: Port of Oakland
Where to mingle with locals: The CrucibleLa Perla Taco TruckBlk Girls Green House and the West Oakland Farmers Market

The vibe
 

West Oakland has long been the neighborhood of Oakland with strong African American roots that earned a nickname Harlem of the West. Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Big Mama Thornton among others had gigs along the 7th Street strip. Later, the Black Panther Party set up HQ. Despite this Bluesy activist history, the neighborhood hit hard times. But today it’s undergoing a growth spurt driven by grassroots organizations. Newcomers co-mingle with the old guard to create unique fusions like the po’-mi sandwich at 10th and Wood restaurant (bah-mi + po-boy). Dilapidated Victorian mansions, once the home of sea captains, are being spit shined. Colorful street art decorates businesses. Civic pride runs high. 

The inside inside scoop
 

Completed in 2021, by muralist Rachel Wolfe-Goldsmith, the Women of the Black Panther Party Mural celebrates the women who dedicated their lives to serving poor and oppressed people in Oakland and across the world. This mural is a must-see when visiting West Oakland and it is dedicated to the Women of the Black Panther Party, who made up nearly 70% of its members. Located around the block from the first official Black Panther Party Headquarters on Peralta Street and one block from the Huey P. Newton bust and plaque, the mural has quickly become a powerful centerpiece of the community.

After gazing and photographing the mural, venture inside to discover the first-floor museum highlighting the Black Panther Party's unique legacy, the women who made up the majority of its members, and the over 60 Community Survival Programs they created and ran. This museum is the only one in the world dedicated to the history of The Black Panther Party. Please text and schedule your visit in advance, the homeowner and curator will get right back to you.

If you only have three hours
 

One of the best ways to explore West Oakland is by joining the Black Liberation Walking Tour. In this tour, you'll discover how West Oakland residents are working on a vision to preserve the history, culture, and arts of historically Black spaces. The tour is guided by local native, David Peters, founder of the West Oakland Cultural Action Network, and Gene Anderson, author of Legendary Locals of Oakland , an Oakland historian whose family has historical roots in West Oakland. Both Peters and Anderson are passionate about telling the history of this area as a way to share historical stories, and proclaim its Black heritage.

Getting thirsty? Old Kan & Beer Brewing Co. is a brewery/restaurant by Michelin star chef James Syhabout. Or you may also visit Ghost Town Brewing, a West Oakland brewery in operation since 2012 serving house-crafted pints & growlers in low-key, spacious surrounds. Hungry for more? Arrive early to Horn Barbecue and indulge in delicious trays of brisket, pulled pork, and sausages by James Beard-nominated, Matt Horn. Or check out Matt Horn's second restaurant, Kowbird, a family-owned chicken joint with a community-minded ethos and exceptional attention to flavor and detail. Looking for more options, check out other restaurants in West Oakland.

By the way, YES, there’s a beach in Oakland and it’s at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park, built on the site of the Oakland Naval Supply Depot. See the cranes that supposedly inspired the AT-AT Walkers in the Star Wars trilogy.

At night, plan to visit the historic Continental Club. Opened in 1945, and once called “the coliseum of Oakland blues,” the Continental Club has hosted music artists including Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, among others. Today, the club has a new life, keeping the original elegance and intimate feeling, and features comedy, live music, dancing, craft cocktails and food. Or visit 7th West, an indoor and outdoor dining spot offering a place for residents to connect, socialize, and unwind.

How to get here


Freeway exit: 7th Street
Bart Stop: West Oakland
Bus lines: 26, 31, 62, 314, 800