Oakland Travel Guide - Where to stay & things to do

January 06, 2018

Oakland was somewhere I never thought I would ever go for vacation but after attending the event held by Visit California and speaking to Frances Wong from @visitoakland...she totally convinced me that this City was worth seeing (despite the bad perception).

Also, how could I pass on watching my favourite Curry?

Travel Tips:

  • Recommend hotels > airbnb for safety (if you're unfamiliar with the area)
  • Save time by taking Uber/Lyft (IT'S SOO CHEAP!) if you are 2+ people
  • Remember to bring water if you are doing lots of walking
Welcome to my Oakland Travel Guide!


Where I stayed

I did a lot of research before booking my accommodation. Because Oakland does have a bad rep for being sketchy (which it really isn't at all...), I wanted to be sure that I lived in a safe area. I also did some extensive research, price comparisons and price matching to find the best deals. 

I rarely book a hotel and usually just go with an airbnb, but felt that living in a hotel would be safer and much more convenient. Surprisingly, hotels and airbnb similar prices so it was an obvious to stay at an hotel.

I chose Waterfront Hotel at Jack London Square right by the water. Great area! Safe, amazing views and quite lively at night too! Lots of restaurant choices. I would say it's similar to Vancouver's Gastown vibe.

I also came across this new startup hotel booking site called SnapTravel. All you have to do is connect your FB messenger or text to search/book a hotel. They are a 24/7 hotel booking service and offer rates that are much lower than Expedia, Hotels.com, Tripadvisor and even Booking.com. I was so surprised at their competitive pricing, which was mainly the reason why I booked with them.

Best of all, you can get 10% off your first booking with my code CHRISTINAY56

Front Entrance of Waterfront Hotel

Lobby - complimentary coffee and tea in the mornings

Back of building - right by the water!

Restaurant Lungomare at Waterfront Hotel

Heated Pool (10am-10pm) - not really heated though...

I forgot to take photos of the room since we always made it messy before I remembered take it haha...but you can view them on tripadvisor here.

Transit Guide:
  • 12th St. Bart - 15 minutes walk
  • Ferry terminal - 1 min walk
  • Free Shuttle - 1 min walk (Mon-Fri only)
  • Good, lively and safe location
  • Good value for the price
  • Wine and Cheese Happy Hour Weekdays in the evening
  • Convenient location
  • Great views of the water
  • Spacious rooms
  • Bad coordination between staff 
    • We requested late check out at 1pm, but they still knocked on our door and told us to leave at 12pm
  • Limited amenities at the hotel
  • Staff weren't that friendly and knew limited information about Oakland
  • Heated pool was not heated 
    • Went to the pool around 9pm...cold water...
  • Thin walls
  • 10 Washington Street, Oakland, California

Things to do

The amazing thing about the West Coast is all the mountains, hikes and trails that are available. The scenery is totally different from what you would see in Vancouver and I loved it!

1) Visit Berkeley

Beautiful Berkeley. Their campus is so beautiful with all the historical buildings and greenery around. Something about it just seems different from the Canadian universities.

2) Take a Hike at the Big C (at Berkeley)

Make sure you stop by the swing on the way up!

  1. Get off at BART Downtown Berkeley station
  2. Walk across the campus to Foothill Parking Lot
  3. Hike up to the Big C! (Remember to stop to take pictures of the swing on the way up!)
  • Bring water
  • Wear running shoes - the hike is steep to start then levels off, sandy paths

3) Watch the Warriors Game

4) Walk around Jack London Square

5) Visit Downtown Oakland and the Jack London Oak

That's a wrap for the things I did in Oakland (besides eating of course).

My next post will be Places to eat in Oakland! So...stay tuned!

Have you been to Oakland? Do you want to go?



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