From the historic theaters in vibrant Uptown to the gondola rides and whimsical paradise of Children’s Fairyland on serene Lake Merritt, Oakland’s unparalleled mix of cultural, outdoor, and family-friendly activities is guaranteed to delight any type of traveler. And with more sunny days than most American cities, it’s a beautiful and bustling setting for families, solo travelers, and groups seeking a diversity of exceptional experiences.

Standouts include the thriving art scene, anchored by the world-class collection and contemporary exhibitions at the Oakland Museum of California; the sprawling, sparkling Oakland Zoo, which provides sanctuary to rescued and rehabilitated wildlife and works closely with PETA and the Humane Society to ensure exceptional animal welfare; and the Chabot Science Center, with its state-of-the-art planetarium and the only research-grade telescopes accessible to the public in the U.S., all in the largest stand of coastal redwoods in the East Bay. These are just a few of dozens of options you’ll find in this robust guide to what to do in Oakland, a city that over-delivers for travelers looking for culture, nature, and more. 

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