Oakland is a major port city on the west coast of California and the third largest in the San Francisco Bay area. This beautiful and intriguing city is home to a range of cultural attractions and has a thriving arts and music scene. One of the city’s most notable landmarks is Lake Merritt, located in downtown Oakland, which flows into the San Francisco Bay. Outdoorsy types will enjoy exploring the natural landscapes here, as the city is home to range of impressive parks and nature reserves. There’s plenty on offer for culture vultures too. The city’s thriving art scene celebrates a range of festivals throughout the year including the Art & Soul Fest and International Film Festival. The city is also home to a range of interesting museums.
A spacious car for all the family to travel in comfort and ideal for motorway and long-distance driving, a family saloon is the best car for the job here.
Driving in Oakland
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Important things to note
There are many areas and neighbourhoods in Oakland with high crime rates. It’s advisable to stay in the downtown and touristy areas and avoid driving at night in unfamiliar areas.
It’s recommended to observe local parking regulations to avoid getting a fine or having your vehicle towed. Metered parking has a strict time limit of around two hours.
Many fuel stations in and around the city are ‘pay first’ stations and will usually have a sign above the pumps. At ‘pay first’ stations you must park next to the pump and pay before filling up.
Highlights & Hotspots
Families or those travelling with young children should pay a visit to the Chabot Space and Science Centre. This excellent educational centre is a great afternoon out for all the family with a range of hands-on exhibits that kids will love.
Take a trip to the stunning Lake Merritt and enjoy an afternoon in the great outdoors. This gorgeous lake is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic on a sunny day or enjoy one of the many hiking trails around the lake and surrounding area.
The visually stunning Paramount Theatre hosts regular concerts and live performances throughout the year. This gorgeous art deco theatre has recently been fully restored and is worth a visit for the fantastic sculpture and paintings alone.
Oakland Zoo is also an excellent place to spend an afternoon with the family. Home to a range of different animals, the zoo also offers an educational experience for visitors keen to learn more about wildlife and the natural world.
Oakland International Airport is located approximately seven miles south of Oakland city centre. The airport serves destinations throughout North America, although some flights to other continents are available.
The airport can be accessed via the 880 highway, which goes south from the city centre. It is connected to the highway via Airport Drive and 98th Avenue.