101 things to love about Oakland - 35 minutes read

Because loving where you live is just the beginning—it’s about making it better, too.

In her 1937 book Everybody’s Autobiography,Gertrude Stein wrote: “What was the use of my having come from Oakland it was not natural to have come from there yes write about if I like or anything if I like but not there, there is no there there.” While some read this as a diss to The Town, it was anything but: Rather, it was a reflection on the changes Oakland had undergone in the years since she had last visited.

Some 82 years later, Stein’s sentiment prevails in the minds of many Oaklanders. (Author Tommy Orange even used it for the title of his acclaimed novel about Native Americans growing up in the area, There There.) While some memories of Oakland have vanished, other experiences remain. Here are 101 things to love about Oakland, all of which are still most definitely there.

1. Right-field bleachers crew at the Oakland Coliseum. Nothing says The Town like the “Let’s go Oakland” chants, iconic drumming, and zealous flag waving from the two crews of devoted fans in sections 148 and 149. The green-and-gold rule: Oaklanders know to leave these general admission seats for devotees.

2. Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. What’s left of the 44,800-acre plot, which once belonged to the Peralta family, some of the first settlers to arrive in what was then known as Alta California, in 1776, is now a six-acre community park featuring an Italianate Victorian farmhouse turned museum (restored in 2001), park space, Peralta Creek nature area, and a community garden—all of it smack in the center of the Fruitvale neighborhood.

3. Oakland California Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Colloquially known as Oakland’s Disneyland due to its likeness to Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the unabashedly ornate Mormon temple is also a classic wedding and quinceañera photoshoot backdrop.

4. Salsa by the Lake. Husband-and-wife dancers Isaac Kos-Read and Mary Massella started this fun-in-the-sun dancing in 2007. It has become a staple at the Lake Merritt Pergola, where professional and casual dancers alike groove to Latinx tunes.

5. Spanish architecture on Cordova and Castello Streets. Originally developed in the 1930s by J.C. Scammell, this cluster of Spanish architecture on this crescent of streets, featuring red-tile roofs, rounded arches, and asymmetrical facades, are a delight to see—and own. The latest listing to hit the market sold in 2018 for $780,000.

6. Chinatown. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood at New Sang Chong Market or pork buns at Sun Sing Pastry, Oakland’s Chinatown remains an area that’s both affordable and delicious.

7. Woodminster Cascades. The reflecting pools and waterway next to the steep stone staircases in Joaquin Miller Park are now dry thanks to the drought, but getting to the top still gives you the same stellar bay views.

8. The dormant volcano in the Oakland Hills. Way before gentrification, integration, and the founding of this nation, there was a volcano in the Oakland Hills, formed over 10 million years ago. Today it’s defunct, but you can still visit to check out the labyrinths at the bottom of the quarry canyons.

9. Friday nights at Oakland Museum of California. This weekly gathering of food trucks offers grub and picnicking at one of the Bay Area’s best museums (psst: The lobster rolls from the Lobsta Truck are glorious). Or, you can bring your own food and drinks. But either way, nothing beats a night on the lawn looking up at the OMCA’s terraced gardens

10. Colonial Donuts. Open 24 hours, this sweet institution has been serving Oakland for three decades, offering up maple bars, Old Fashioneds, and even bacon-studded donuts. Pro tip for night owls and insomniacs: The fresh ones come out at 3 a.m.

11. Golf ball graveyard up Sausal Creek. The golf balls that fly over the fence from the Montclair Driving Range and land in Sausal Creek make for a sight to see—and offer anyone willing to hike up the nearby trail a slew of free ones.

12. Oakland’s many pools. Summers are made for splashing around in Oakland’s five public pools.

13. People-watching at Fruitvale Village. Grab a mangonada from Nieves Cinco de Mayo—which also serves corn, cactus, and rose petal ice cream—sit down at the village, and watch the hustling and bustling around the Fruitvale BART station.

14. The Ladybug Hotel. From September to March, countless little red-and-black winged creatures take residence alongside the trails around Redwood Regional Park and Joaquin Miller Park, an area unofficially christened “the Ladybug Hotel.”

15. Preservation Park. Located in the shadows of Oakland’s twin federal buildings (which are named after former mayor-slash-congressperson Ron V. Dellums), Preservation Park is home to some of Oakland’s oldest Victorians, historic properties that have been renovated and are now used primarily for weddings and parties. They also provide a nice contrast to the aforementioned twin behemoths looming above.

16. Musical theater at Woodminster Amphitheater. Performed under the fog-laced sky and surrounded by the redwoods of Joaquin Miller Park, the musicals at this amphitheater have been a staple of Oakland summers for the past 53 years. Recent productions include Les Misérables, Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago, andIn the Heights.

17. Lobby interior of Fox Theater. After being closed for 40 years, this 1928 concert venue reopened in 2009 following a renovation that restored the interior’s gold accents, terra-cotta tiles, and detailed paintings, all inspired by Indian architecture. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

18. The Dunsmuir Hellman Estate. The U.S. Department of the Interior put this 50-acre estate on the National Historic Site because of its neoclassical revival architecture, the work of San Francisco architect J. Eugene Freeman. The mansion alone has 37 rooms and 16,000 square feet of living space, all of which we suggest exploring at Christmastime when it’s decked out in lights and Victorian-era ornaments.

19. The gnomes that live on utility poles around town. There are over 2,000 of these little rapscallions painted on wooden squares a few inches tall and placed at the bottom of utility poles. The artist behind these little creatures remains anonymous. Be on the lookout for the rare gnome paired with a mushroom.

20. Stomper statues. True to the A’s motto of #RootedInOakland, you can find a handful of the team’s mascot in different neighborhoods. The majority of the 50 six-foot Stomper elephant statues, put in place to commemorate the team’s 50th anniversary, were auctioned off but you can still find some of them around town.

21. The bathroom walls at Beer Revolution. The stalls and walls in the loos are covered in graffiti and studded with indie rock, political, and artsy stickers. Be sure to add yours after downing a few beers. Take a selfie or it didn’t happen.

22. Jack London Square. Jack London Square, named after the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, has gone through several changes over the decades, but remains one of the best-known Oakland landmarks due to its waterfront locale, proximity to the ferry, farmers market, and special events. It’s also the site of one of the biggest changes possibly happening to Oakland today: a new A’s stadium designed by Bjarke Ingels Group.

23. Heinold’s Last Chance Saloon. The salon’s called “Last Chance” because it was the final opportunity for servicemen to grab a drink before heading back to base in Alameda, which was once a dry island. Soldiers used to hide crinkled-up dollars in the walls of this joint, so that when they came back from serving, they could find cash for a drink. Jack London was also a fan of the place. The wooden table where he jotted down notes for some of his books is still there.

24. Chabot Space Center. For a kid, visiting this out-of-this-world place on a field trip is an astronomical dream come true. As an adult, it remains as enchanting as ever, with live music, science exhibits, a 241-seat full-dome planetarium, and gigantic telescopes.

25. The Pyramid to Moses. Joaquin Miller, “poet of the Sierras,” created stone-and-concrete monuments in his namesake park—e.g., the Joaquin Miller Abby (where he lived), the funeral pyre (where his ashes were scattered), and the pyramid to Moses, which stands roughly 10 feet tall and pays homage to Miller’s belief in the Ten Commandments.

26. Wildlife in Montclair Park’s pond. Nestled in the heart of Montclair Village, parallel to Highway 13, sits Montclair Park, with staples found at most parks (baseball diamond, recreation center, tennis courts), but also a pond full of ducks, geese, koi fish, turtles, and bluegill fish.

27. The Seventh Street pier in San Leandro Bay harbor. Middle Harbor Shoreline Park was a semi-secret space until it started hosting music festivals. For a quieter experience, watch the boats and ferries roll out and the fog roll in at the nearby Seventh Street Pier, which was built in the 1970s.

28. The 73rd Avenue “rollercoaster.” Technically not a rollercoaster, it’s an abrupt drop of elevation as you drive down a hill that will cause your passengers to feel like they’re on a theme park ride. Drive from I-580 toward the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, go past Outlook Avenue at a reasonable speed as you go over the hill, and head down toward MacArthur Boulevard, now slightly over the speed limit. Then, brace yourself.

29. The Camron-Stanford House. The last of the 19th-century Victorian mansions that once surrounded Lake Merritt, this structure was also the site of Oakland’s first museum. Today the restored home is open for public tours, with refurbished interiors that show what life looked like in the 1880s.

30. Llamas at Redwood Regional Park. When the weather is right, the Llamas of Circle Home organization brings out 33 of these furry, friendly creatures for all to see—and feed.

31. The sign at the Grand Lake Theatre. Beyond first-run movies and community events, the circa-1926 Grand Lake Theatre is known for its Art Deco design and its revolving political statements: The owner of the theatre, Allen Michaan, one of the most outspoken people in Oakland, regularly changes up his marquee with statements like “Every vote should be counted,” which went up following the 2000 election, and “Dear Gov. Brown, fracking poisons our air and water and causes earthquakes—ban fracking in California now.”

32. Funktown’s Buddhist shrines. Just east of the Lake Merritt, in the neighborhood residents call Funktown (but realtors call Ivy Hill or Clinton), there are multiple small Buddhist shrines open to the public. The one on the corner of 11th Avenue and East 19th Street also provides a space for spiritual practice.

33. Mural of Andre “Mac Dre” Hicks. The Bay Area rap icon, who’s known for helping create the hyphy movement, died in 2004. In his honor, a black-and-white mural graces the side of a pupuseria on Foothill and 45th Avenue in East Oakland, not too far from Fremont High School, which is used as a backdrop for many music videos today.

34. Solano Alleyway. Continuously evolving, this open-air art gallery, featuring some of the flyest art you’ll see in the city, stretches from 17th Avenue to 19th Avenue in the Solano Alley in East Oakland. The angels and the pyramids here are especially noteworthy. (So noteworthy, they were covered in a 2014 National Geographic story.)

35. Graffiti at The 23rd Yards. There’s an area of train track behind East 12th Street and 23rd Avenue where the late Mike “Dream” Francisco cemented his name in the graffiti game by using colorful, clean lettering in his tags. Beyond his unique writing form, the artist added messages to his artwork about the government’s treatment of the poor and the marginalized. Note: While checking out his work, be advised that the train tracks are active.

36. Cypress Freeway Memorial Park. The series of twisted metal columns on Mandela Parkway near 14th Street is a way to remember and reflect on the Cypress Freeway, which collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (a 6.9 on the Richter scale) and the 42 motorists killed when it did.

37. The large, fake watermelon slice on the banks of the San Leandro Bay. At the southwestern end of the MLK Shoreline, this rock painted to look like watermelon always stays fresh. Kudos to the anonymous folks who maintain this artwork.

38. Black Panther Party plaque on the corner of 55th Street and Market Street. This piece commemorates the Black Panther Party getting a traffic light installed at this busy intersection, where a number of children from nearby Santa Fe Elementary School had been hit by reckless drivers.

39. Laney College Flea Market. One dollar gains you admittance to a bazaar where you can buy discounted deodorant or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. Better yet, buy a few 25-cent bags of bang-snap poppers and toss them on the ground while enjoying fresh fruit and an order of pupusas.

40. Day of the Dead Festival in Fruitvale. For 23 years, Oaklanders have been getting together for this family-friendly outdoor festival along International Boulevard. It’s the best time to get to know the Day of the Dead tradition, which features ofrendas (little alters) that honor the deceased, and mingle with those who keep Fruitvale thriving.

41. Rooftop garden at the Kaiser Building. Take an elevator up to the “RG” level. It’s filled with 42 specimens of trees, including olive trees and Japanese maples, as well as colorful camellias and roses. From this top view, you’ll see all the cranes changing downtown Oakland. And on Fridays, you can listen to a live concert series.

42. Marijuana farmers market. We’re not confirming that there’s an Underground Marijuana Farmers Market that happens sporadically in Oakland, but if that did happen, you should totally ask someone about it.

43. Seventh Street in West Oakland. During World War II, this street was one of the major hubs of the West Coast jazz and blues scene. To commemorate this, there’s a Walk of Fame on the eastern side of the West Oakland BART station adorned with plaques honoring people who left their mark in the smoke-filled clubs and sweaty dance floors.

44. Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. Its limited hours (from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., only on weekdays) mean fewer crowds in this oasis in the middle of Lake Merritt that features some of the best bonsais in the Bay Area. Plus, volunteer docent-led tours offer insight while you’re there.

45. “Leaving Piedmont” sign. At 777 Oakland Avenue, there’s a sign that says “Leaving Piedmont.” It’s become a popular photo backdrop for some Oaklanders who dislike the tony East Bay enclave.

46. Morcom Rose Garden. In addition to the blooming roses, highlights here include tiered water fountains, winding paths, stone stairways, and, if you come during the right time of year, a family of wild turkeys roaming the grounds.

47. The Ghostbusters Building. Since the mid-’80s, the circa-1929 Bellevue-Staten Building (designed by architect Herman Carl Baumann) has been informally called the Ghostbusters building—it resembles the tower where the final battle took place in the Bill Murray sci-fi hit. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historical Places and was honored with a preservation award in 1999 by the Art Deco Society of California.

48. Merritt College classroom dedicated to Huey P. Newton. Merritt College has a room named after the founder of the Black Panther Party, who was also once a student here.

49. Ceramic blue-and-red subway tiles at BART. Found on the platform levels at 19th Street and 12th Street, respectively, these gorgeous wall-to-wall tiles help passengers clock which station they’re at without having to search for signage.

50. The oldest LGBTQ bar in the United States. Since 1933, the LGBTQ community has had a home in North Oakland at the White Horse Inn, noted as the oldest continuously operating queer bar in the country. It’s come a long way since its first days as a gay-friendly bar with a no-touching policy, and all kinds of events, from protests (like one against Proposition 8 in California) to television shoots (HBO’s Looking shot a scene here during its brief run) have happened here.

51. The Fortune Cookie Factory in downtown Oakland. At this fortune cookie wonderland, you can get X-rated fortunes or misfortune cookies (i.e., the cracked or misshapen ones). But the best part is simply the smell of the place.

52. Tupac Shakur mural. You can find a big mural of Tupac on Harrison Street between Fifth and Sixth streets in Chinatown, not too far from Bruce Lee’s portrait. Shakur used to live in Oakland—and he loved the place. There’s a videoof him rolling a blunt in North Oakland. There’s the story of him suing Oakland Police Department for harassing him for jaywalking. And there’s even an official day honoring the late artist, June 16, which is also his birthday.

53. Elbo Room in Jack London Square. It’s only been open about a year, but Oaklanders have embraced this music venue that features live bands and DJs playing punk, rock, hip-hop, and soul. Those who visited the temporarily shuttered Elbo in San Francisco remember how iconic the photo booth was, and, thankfully, one has been installed here, too.

54. Mountain View Cemetery. It’s hard to deny the beauty of this sprawling cemetery, with headstones ranging from perfunctory to intricate. It’s also the resting place for well-known names, including the father of modern shipbuilding, Henry J. Kaiser; Superman actor George Reeves; and murder victim Elizabeth Short (aka Black Dahlia).

55. 510 Day. The annual celebration to honor The Town features a parade and a rally that draws attention to issues like gentrification and mass incarceration, as well as a party with live performances. The name is derived from the city’s area code.

56. The interiors of St. Jarlath Catholic Church. You don’t have to be Catholic to visit the church; the beauty of the brick structure lies in its Gothic interiors and stained-glass windows.

57. Boonation Bicycles’ tiny garage concert series. On the third Friday of every month, this bike shop transforms into a venue that gives local musicians the chance to perform—and neighbors to get to know one another.

58. Biking the Bay Bridge. Only the eastern span, that is. (The older western span remains a bike-free zone.) Still, it’s the best way to see the gleaming concrete-and-steel, circa-2013 expansion up close. Note: it’s all uphill until you reach Treasure Island.

59. Gondola ride at the Oakland Zoo. The glass-encased gondola takes you hundreds of feet over the lions, tigers, and bears at the zoo. It’s also an ideal way to see ever-growing Oakland skyline.

60. DeFremery Park (aka Lil’ Bobby Hutton Park). This park is home to one of the oldest buildings in Oakland (built in either 1863 or 1864), where the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast for Children Program started, and, today, it’s a place for skateboarders and basketball players to take their skills to the next level). The park was unofficially renamed after the first recruit and first treasurer of the Black Panther Party, Lil’ Bobby Hutton, whom police killed in 1968.

61. Shooting hoops at Mosswood Park. In addition to the cool swings, the giant grass area that hosts concerts and community events (like the annual Pan African Family Reunion), and the tennis courts, the park is most noteworthy for its hoop courts, where legendary streetballer Demetrius “Hook” Mitchell once made a slam dunk after jumping over a parked car.

62. Painting workshops at Galeria Beso Maya. These Fruitvale workshops are an affordable way to unleash your inner artist, with classes on painting or monotype printmaking. The offerings are constantly changing—cacti and hummingbird painting as well as nude figure drawing are two past classes—but one aspect stays the same: the welcoming face of owner Yadira Cazares greets everyone as they arrive at the gallery.

63. Mansions of Piedmont, Montclair, and Rockridge. Drive around the hills to check out majestic homes one can only dream of. Highlights include midcentury, Tudor, and contemporary stunners.

64. The abandoned windmillin North Oakland. This tagged-up relic from Idora Park, the circa-1904 amusement park that no longer exists, can be seen on Telegraph and 60th Avenue.

65. Drummer Boy Aaron at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and Grand. It’s been surreal to watch Aaron Davis Warren, aka “Drummer Boy Aaron,” grow up from a shy teenager into a young adult. You can catch him busking by the lake, sitting behind an entire drum set and his amplifier, or at First Fridays.

66. Humpty Hump’s giant head stuck in a garage in Jingletown. Okay, not his real head, but a stage prop that looks like a comical version of the rapper, with his square eyeglasses and a substantial prosthetic nose, is being stored in garage in the East Oakland neighborhood of Jingletown.

67. Driveway Follies’ Halloween show. In 2007, Larry Schmidt started his annual Halloween show, where he delighted audiences with marionette puppetry. Schmidt passed away in January, but the show goes on.

68. Curling at the Oakland Ice Center. Cop a squat on the cold metal bench and take in the Winter Olympics’ most leisurely game. For now, the team skates at Oakland Ice Center, but the San Francisco Bay Curling Club hopes to open its own arena in East Oakland by 2020.

69. The Made (Museum of Arts and Digital Entertainment). There are over 11,000 games at the “only all-playable video game museum in the world.” The building that houses this contemporary heaven, however, was designed in the 1920s and is flanked by two stone lions.

70. Boating the perimeter of Lake Merritt. Wildlife seen while cruising around this 140-acre man-made lagoon includes an array of birds and turtles, and, every once in a while, a stingray. Also be on the lookout for people fishing in the manmade lake, which is as curious as it is illegal.

71. DOPE Era by Mistah F.A.B. The clothing brand founded by Mistah F.A.B., an Oakland rapper/singer-songwriter/activist/legend, has a storefront, which recently moved from Market to Broadway, where you can buy fancy fanny packs or shirts featuring a kneeling Colin Kaepernick.

72. Hiking around Lake Temescal. This man-made reservoir in the Oakland Hills is a great place to hike around—or there’s a beach if you’d prefer to lounge on the sand. But, unfortunately, you can’t go swimming: Over the past few years, toxic algae blooms have tainted the water—and it isn’t safe.

73. Children’s Fairyland. This enchanting amusement park, which features characters like Willie the Whale and rides like the Alice in Wonderland Tunnel, helped inspire Walt Disney to create his famous Magic Kingdom in SoCal—aka “the happiest place on earth.”

74. The East Bay Dragons. Check out the home to the first African-American motorcycle club in the nation, founded in 1959. If you haven’t heard about them, listen to this episode of East Bay Yesterday. Also of note: The motorcycle club the Grim Bastards in Sons of Anarchywas reportedly based on the East Bay Dragons.

75. Oakland Aviation Museum. While flying out of Oakland Airport, check out the airport archives and vintage aircrafts—on certain days, you can even climb inside the cockpits.

76. Christmas lights on Picardy Drive. The residents who live in these downright darling storybook-style houses know how to go all out during the holidays, illuminating the circa-1920s homes into detailed winter wonderlands that look like a model-train towns come to life. Roughly 60 of the 70 homes on the street participate in the annual tradition.

77. Circus classes at Kinetic Arts Center. Dangle upside down from ropes or get caught up in colorful swaths of aerial silk at this high-flying training center. If you’d rather watch than fling your body in the air, check out one of the daredevil big-top events.

78. Coding classes at the David E. Glover Center. Glover opened Eastmont Computing Center in 1997 as a space where low-income people could learn basic computer literacy, and the center was rechristened in his memory after he died in 2013.

79. An Oakland public library card. Having a library card gets you a lot—books galore, plus access to cultural centers, free Wi-Fi, and year-round events—and the ones in Oakland offer even more because they’re designed by local artists, with images of Fairyland or fire-breathing dragons. Bonus: All California library cards come with a free subscription to the New York Times.

80. Oakland’s secret stairways. These hidden steps were originally built for commuters looking to quickly traverse up the city’s hillier areas to get to the Key System streetcars, Oakland’s first public transportation system, which started running in 1903 and was replaced by buses by 1948.

81. BART dance performances by Turf Feinz. When they’re not dancing in the streets or at noted venues, like the Fox Theater, this talented turf crew performs impromptu shows aboard the Bay Area’s main transit system.

82. The sealed entrance to the Kennedy Tunnel. The tunnel that connected connected Oakland to Lafayette and Walnut Creek closed in 1947 (and was also known as the Broadway Tunnel), but the median at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Drive still bears the original plaque and flagpole that signaled the entrance to the underground passage.

83. The Black Cowboy Parade. On the first Saturday of October at DeFremery Park, the Oakland Black Cowboy Association puts on its annual parade celebrating the role black cowboys had in building and settling the Old West. The parade, which has been happening since 1974, features equines galore, lassoing demos, and loads of cowboys and cowgirls.

84. The 16th Street Station in West Oakland. Thousands migrated to California by train in pursuit of the happiness they heard existed in the Golden State. At the end of the line was this detailed, circa-1912 Beaux Arts building. (The building was recently restored and can be rented for weddings and parties.) Beyond the 16th Street Station being a portal for the pursuit of the American dream, it’s also where E-40 filmed the video for Tell Me When to Go.

85. The Plan Bee mural on International Boulevard. It’s the longest-standing public mural in Oakland. Painted in 1993 by Mike “Dream” Francisco, the piece is dedicated to the late rapper Plan Bee, a founding member of Hobo Junction. You can find the mural, which features images of the bay and the Oakland skyline, between 102nd and 103rd avenues.

86. The Paramount Theatre. As more high-rises go up downtown, this 1933 Art Deco venue keeps the old Oakland vibe alive. Look up to admire the exterior’s mosaic facade, which shows a pair of immense figures manipulating puppets on strings. Of special note is the mirrored women’s lounge and bathroom, where you can still wash your hands with powdered Boraxo soap.

87. Julia Morgan’s Chapel of the Chimes crematorium. Famed architect Julia Morgan took on the 1928 expansion of the crematorium (which was originally founded in 1909) armed with a team of local artisans and a load of personally sourced European treasures. Her vision and execution turned this somber place into a hauntingly beautiful structure filled with stonework, statues, gardens, fountains, and mosaics. Although it’s a place for the dead, the graceful walkways and terraced interior gardens, designed with Spanish-Moorish Gothic touches, make for a bittersweet, beautiful moment for the living.

88. Cathedral Building. Noted as the first Gothic Revival skyscraper west of the Mississippi River, this circa-1914 downtown Oakland tower, built in the Flatiron style, is also affectionately called the “wedding cake” due to its ornate top.

89. Oakland’s Second Line Project. The Second Line Project brought the signature New Orleans parade to Oakland, care of MJ’s Brass Boppers Brass Band. The group aims to introduce communities of color to the parade’s African roots and spirit of community building, and usually puts on a second line around Mardi Gras.

90. TJ’s Gingerbread House. On the corner of Fifth Street and Brush, there’s a building that looks like a gingerbread house. The whimsical place, which once housed a soul food restaurant, is now fittingly home to the cupcake store Angel Cakes.

91. White Elephant Sale. One of California’s rarest swap meets, the Bay Area’s biggest rummage sale only happens once a year, and shoppers line up at 3 a.m. to get inside. It’s a noted spot for antique aficionados and bargain hunters.

92. Football games at McClymonds High. NFL pros Kirk Morrison, Marcus Peters, and Vince Albritton once played football here, and it’s still a rousing team to watch—it won state championships three years in a row, starting in 2016.

93. The Rockridge-Temescal Greenbelt. Check out the spot behind the DMV in North Oakland to find small bronze sculptures of animals and artifacts that used to be here when the Ohlone people called this area home, like a mortar and pestle, which natives used to prepare food and medicine.

94. The fruit trees. They still grow plenty of plums and oranges for kids who get hungry before dinner.

95. Watching the fog roll in. The best time of year to watch the blanket of fog creep over the San Francisco skyline, into the bay, and atop Oakland is summer at around 3:45 p.m. Look to the west. There will be a bank of fog rolling over the SF foothills, slowly engulfing the East Bay.

96. Tree swinging near the creek at Oak Glen Park. In the shadow of Kaiser hospital, where Glen Echo Creek surfaces for a few hundred feet, there’s a patch of grass with a bench and an old swing tied to a tree branch. The best time to go is in autumn during early evening. Beware of falling acorns.

97. Watch the scraper bikes roll by. Scraper bikes, which have wheels adorned with colored foil, have been popular since the early 2000s. They usually travel in packs, all over town (and you can see them roll by most afternoons outside the Martin Luther King Jr. branch of the library). The bikes gained notoriety after being featured in Trunk Boiz’s 2007 music video “Scraper Bikes.”

98. Sideshows. Not endorsing these automotive-stunt fests, but if you happen to end up at one: Swang it.

99. Foothill Walk of Fame. The taco stand Taqueria Campos turned into La Casita, a family-owned Mexican restaurant with murals by local artists and a walk of fame honoring Mexican-American artists. Its most famous star? Comedian George Lopez.

100. It’s where the wave made its television debut. Organized and led by superfan Krazy George Henderson, the wave first appeared at an A’s playoff game against the New York Yankees on October 15, 1981. (Henderson perfected it a year earlier at National Hockey League games.) Oaklanders also take pride in the fact that San Francisco Giants fans loathe the crowd-participation pastime, so much so that it’s taboo at Oracle Park.

101. Those metal creatures at the Port of Oakland: Rumor has it they’re hella loved.

Source: Curbed.com

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