The New York Times ranked Oakland as the #5 top destination to visit in the world in 2012. ArtPlace America named Oakland as one of the top art destinations in the country for 2013. Forbes Magazine listed Oakland as the #16 coolest city in the country. SmarterTravel.com recognized Oakland as one of “America’s Best Cities on the Rise.” Bloomberg Businessweek listed Oakland as one of “America’s 50 Best Cities.” Meetings Focus West included Oakland as one of five emerging destinations.
Oakland is centrally located and easily accessible by surrounding cities and locations. Located 15 minutes east of San Francisco, Oakland is accessible by the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, ferry service, buses, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), and Amtrak.
Oakland has been deemed as the “sunny side of the Bay,” home to some of the best weather in the country. Visitors to the city will enjoy an average of 260 sunny days per year.
Oakland is the eighth largest city in California, with a population of approximately 400,000. The area covers about 56 square miles. Oakland boasts 19 miles of coastline and more than 100,00 acres of parks and trails.
Oakland is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States, with more than 125 different languages and dialects spoken. This diversity is reflected in the city’s dining, cultural, and art scene.
Oakland’s attractions range from historic museums to scientific exhibits. Attractions within the city limits include Chabot Space & Science Center, Children’s Fairyland, Jack London Square, Oakland Aviation Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland Zoo, and the USS Potomac. Lake Merritt, the “Jewel of Oakland,” is also a popular destination within the city.
Oakland is the only California city with three professional sports franchises: The Oakland Raiders (football), Oakland Athletics (baseball), and the Golden State Warriors (basketball). In 2014, America’s Cup comes to the Bay.
The city is home to three renovated Art Deco theaters. The Fox Theater and Paramount Theater, both in Uptown Oakland, host indie and rock concerts, world-renowned entertainers, comedians, and classic movies. The Grand Lake Theater near Lake Merritt still screens hit movies, even featuring a Mighty Wurlitzer organ before the show. The O.co Coliseum and adjoining Oracle Arena house Oakland’s sports teams, as well as concerts and events. In Jack London Square Yoshi’s Jazz Club features the hottest jazz acts in the country.
Lake Merritt is the only natural fresh and salt-water lake located in the heart of a city. Inspired by Children’s Fairyland, Walt Disney went on to construct Disneyland. “The Wave” originated at the O.co during an Oakland A’s game on October 15, 1981. Rocky Road ice cream was created at Oakland’s Dreyers Ice Cream. Oakland’s Fenton’s Creamery was so beloved by Pixar animators it was animated and included in the final scene of Pixar’s UP.