Often shunned as a crime-ridden, "gangster" hood, Oakland is probably one of the most underrated cities in the US. Let's start with the weather, there are actual summers unlike San Francisco and winters aren't as cold. The people here come across as rough but are more genuinely friendly than those in SF. The streets are cleaner, I have yet to come across crack-head homeless guys(unlike SF), it's quieter(you'll actually sleep at night) and overall cheaper than SF. Had I known it was this cool, I would have moved here the first time rather than SF
I wish I could write a nice review. I moved here a few years ago when Silicon Valley got expensive and before tech moved into the east bay. I wish I could say Oakland was the opposite of what people think about it. So far my house has been broken into, my car four times, and I have been verbally assaulted several times with threats of violence that I luckily got away from. I was at a party in a "nice neighborhood" and shots were fired. I wanted to leave but my tire was stolen off of my car. Finally I was held up at gun point at the lake. I will say I do love that lake though. Its cute all lit up at night. But not safe. I was just walking home from the bar. Besides that there is a charm to Oakland and its not bad for foodies either. The bars can be seedy. Best to go out during the day. Crime has increased in the foothills and Tildon Park. Be careful not to go alone. I am moving to Walnut Creek. A bit more slow but safer. Peace out Oaktown
I have lived just outside of Oakland, CA for my entire life. Considering my close proximity, and how much this city has to offer, it's only natural that I have traveled to Oakland on numerous occasions for day trips.
Many Oakland residents pride themselves on being part of a progressive community - full of arts and culture, and a wide population of citizens that care about, and are active in issues that affect their city and their country.
This multi-cultured, lively city is often perceived as merely a crime-ridden community. However, Oakland has a wealth of things to offer both locals and visitors alike that will deepen their appreciation for a place that is unlike any other. That is not to say that Oakland is without crime - certainly there are seedy parts that are best avoided, but this shouldn't stop anyone from taking advantage of enjoying of the good parts.
Among the excellent places I recommend visiting are the Chabot Space and Science Center, the Oakland Zoo and Oracle Arena for an A's game during baseball season. Jack London Square is my favorite place to go though. It is so named for the famous author that spent a great deal of his life living in Oakland. At Jack London Square you can see a reconstruction of the cabin he lived, and wrote many books in. Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon is a charming little bar adjacent to the cabin that London supposedly spent time in, writing and drinking. There are also tons of shops, different kinds of delicious cuisine, and a movie theater at Jack London Square. It is located along the Port of Oakland - which provides remarkable views of the Bay at night.
I lived in Oakland, CA for about ten years. If you have money and can afford to live in the Oakland Hills then life is not so bad. Lake Temescal in the hills is a great place to swim and picnic. There are hiking trails that are scattered throughout the hills. I remember my parents taking me for a walk through the woods every weekend for our exercise of the week. BART runs through the city and Oakland does have a decent public transportation system. Downtown Oakland does provide some good eats at various restaurants as well as some interesting attractions like Heinold's First & Last Chance Saloon. The Oakland Coliseum still has some pretty good concerts with plenty of parking. It is also home to the Oakland A's for baseball, Warriors for basketball and of course the Oakland Raiders football team.
There are definitely some challenging areas in Oakland. I would stay away from East Oakland as the street numbers go up. West Oakland is where all the docks are located but close to Berkeley. Lake Merritt is in the middle of Oakland near downtown--a fun place during the day. It is also place to stay away from after the sun goes down.