3 Day Oakland California Itinerary

bay bridge

Oakland lies right across the bridge from San Francisco on the inner part of the bay area. Arrival at the city is easy, whether you plan to come by air, sea, train or land. If you are planning to visit Oakland, three days is good enough to get a solid introduction to the place. 

So without further ado this Oakland itinerary will explain how best to spend your time in one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States.

Day One Oakland Itinerary – Morning 

oakland itinerary

Begin your day with breakfast at Hive the Place to Bee on McArthur Blvd. You will instantly know that every ingredient is of top quality. The breakfast sandwiches here are healthy and worth checking out.

10 am to 1130 am: University of California

One of the most prestigious institution in the world, the University of California, Berkley is an unmissable attraction on any Oakland itinerary. Here visitors get an opportunity to stroll on the campus grounds and experience this major centre of research and learning. For better information, opt for a walking tour with a student ambassador.

12 am to 1230 pm: Redwood Regional Park

To be among the last standing giant coastal Redwoods in the East Bay area is indeed an awe-inspiring and humbling experience. This magnificent hidden forest lies just minutes away from downtown Oakland and provides plenty of peace among the 1830 acres of tranquil landscape.

Enjoy lunch at El Garage, a pioneer of East Bay’s burgeoning quessabirra movement. The seafront location and the juiciest and flavoured birras are an absolute delight. Some non-birra specials, like the spicy red pozole, in particular, are a must try.

Day One Oakland Itinerary – Afternoon

3 pm to 530 pm: Oakland California Temple

Nestled in the hills of Oakland, the Oakland Temple is considered by many as the Beacon of the Bay whose beauty can be seen from miles away. The temple is the venue for many devotional performances and other activities that are uplifting and of high quality.

6 pm to 830 pm: Oakland Temescal Tour

Taste your way through the hip neighbourhood of Temescal in Oakland known for its artsy and young inhabitants. This place is also known for its innovative food offerings created by food producers and is a leading eating destination of the city. On this two and half hour tour sample treats like Korean Rice and Baja style tacos.

Day One Oakland Itinerary – Night

Explore Oakland’s Nightlife

After sunset Oakland becomes crazy. The music scene in Oakland is very active with a large number of musicians and a variety of venues to play at. Spend the evening at the Fox Theatre, which has been in operation since 1928. Host to a number of concerts, the theatre is now a great concert venue.

You might wanna check out the Root’d Lounge opening soon if you are into smoking pot (Which by the way is totally legal here). 

Day Two Oakland Itinerary – Morning 

For your early morning, and very early morning if you want to avoid the long queues, head to Aunt Mary’s Cafe on Telegraph Ave. The service is exceptional in this trendy brunch spot in the heart of the city. 

1100 am to 5 pm: Wine Tours & Tastings

A tour of the famous Napa wine-producing region of California has to be experienced on any Oakland itinerary. Take a private six hour chauffeured tour which includes complimentary champagne and wine tasting at five different wine rooms. You can choose the wineries you want to visit and sit back and enjoy vineyard views.

6 pm to 7 pm: Sunset Flight Tour

sunset oakland

Enjoy how it is to feel flying over San Francisco Bay and enjoying the view during sunset. As the sun’s orange and red hues reflect on the skyscrapers it gives the Bay area a completely different colour as the nearby towns light up slowly one by one.

Day Two Oakland Itinerary – Night

Spend your second night getting intimate with performers at the New Parish which features bands in different genres from hip hop to bluegrass. Shows here are often free but some days you may have to shell out $10 which is a reasonable amount. The place has separate bar rooms and seating areas upstairs. 

Day Three Oakland Itinerary – Morning 

Your last morning in Oakland deserves a special treat. The portions are phenomenal but so also is the price at Oakland Grill on Franklin St. If you are craving for a hearty American breakfast, everything here tastes so good. 

bay bridge

10 am to 1230 pm: Lake Merritt

On any trip to Oakland, the chances of the name Lake Merritt cropping up are very high. This is indeed one of the most popular attractions in the area. Visitors have the choice to either go boating at the Boating Centre or opt for authentic Venetian gondola rides. Beyond the lake perimeter, spend time outdoors at the Waterfowl Refuge, home to a variety of birds and animals.

Try out some American fare at the Grand Lake Kitchen, a favourite eatery of the locals. They have both indoor and outdoor seating and some of their dishes such as Fish Roe Toast were mind blowing.

Day Three Oakland Itinerary – Afternoon

2 pm to 330 pm: Jack London Square

The best selling point of Jack London Square is its prime location.From the constant calls of seagulls to great views of the Bay area, one can spend an eternity on this peaceful waterfront.The bar and restaurant scene here is booming and this famed spot is known for its food and jazz scene with Nido and Forge some well known names. You can take the free Broadway Shuttle from uptown to Jack London Square.

4 pm to 6 pm: Street Murals Tour

If you wander through the streets, you will find that Oakland has some of the finest murals all over town. These murals depict a lot of history, and taking a guided tour is the best way to learn about the city’s backstories. Some of my favourites were Solidarity Forever, Welcome 2 Afrikatown and We are the Ones you’ve been Waiting For.

Day Three Oakland Itinerary – Night

After three long days it is time to enjoy some of the best crafted beers and cocktails Oakland is famous for. Head to Make Westing to enjoy the best snacks in the city and some infamous cocktails. 

So have you tried any of these experiences from my Oakland itinerary? If not, add these to your bucketlist now.

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