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I have NO CLUE where to start.

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I have NO CLUE where to start.

So after all these years of hearing about Oakland and wishin' and a hopin' I'm finally going.

I'm not sure what area to situate myself in.

I've heard a lot about Jack London Square.

I'm not sure if there is a lively daytime and or nightime downtown in Oakland.

I see that there is a Chinatown.

Where is a good central area where I can do a lot of window shopping, people watching, take in a museum/festival and close to Bart?

I don't mind walking or taking public transport although I could rent a car (though I really don't want to - I hate the traffic of the Bay area).

Santa Clara...
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1. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

Uptown Oakland is the area to be, or so I have been told. We have heard on the Bay Area forum that folks have liked staying at the Marriott City Center. It is close to Uptown and the First Friday stuff http://www.oaklandfirstfridays.org/ Also close to BART as well if you want to go to SF and to/from the airport/

Jack London Square is good for some stuff and I think there is a hotel/motel there. BART is further away (by bus or cab) but you can take the ferry to SF.

Are you only visiting Oakland and not San Francisco?

Edited: 8:23 pm, November 06, 2013
Fremont, California
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2. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

Good advice above...

For the museum you might be looking for in Oakland, the one closest to downtown is

Oakland Museum of California


and with taking a bus and if you are there W, Th, Friday since you are taking a bus, there is also a good museum in the hills with an observatory is Chabot Space and Museum Center


In terms of public transportation however its limited

Public Transportation

AC Transit offers limited weekday (Wednesday-Friday) service to Chabot Space & Science Center from the Fruitvale BART Station

Jack London Square is about a 10 minute walk from Marriott - ok in day; but at night I would take a taxi back if you stay at the Marriott. We just had dinner at Kincaids - a good restaurant and bar with views of the boats going by. there are many resturants in this area so for more refer you to


With a car - in case you end up with one,

best ice cream in Oakland (where many students from UC Berkeley hang out as well) is

on the Piedmont Street of Oakland and it is called Fentons

Its a tradition and has been there for decades


This is also a great place to people watch.....

and there are restaurants nearby - but if you go save yourself a lot of room for ice ceram

as they are huge!

Dublin, California
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3. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

Sorry to be flippen but this is the first time I've heard someone pinning for Oakland.

Monterey Bay...
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4. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

Oakland is not on my wish list. What have you heard that I haven't?

San Francisco
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5. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

From your profile, it appears you've been to many different places around the world--or at least you're interested in many different places. So that leads to the obvious question: Why Oakland?

Have you ever been to San Francisco or California? If this is your first time here, Oakland would be best included as part of a trip to San Francisco. There's lots to see and do over there. Parts of it are very lively. And some parts are, ummmm, very, very lively. But honestly, I don't think most of us understand making Oakland your main purpose for coming all the way across the country.

If you clarify for us that you've already been to San Francisco and exhausted all of its offerings and definitely want to make Oakland your destination, we'll d our best to help you make it the vacation of a lifetime.

San Francisco
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6. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

+1 TSS and CocoMaKai

I read this a couple of hours ago and scratched my head in wonder. Went out to dinner, came back and am glad I'm not the only one.

There are parts of Oaktown that are getting hip because SF is so expensive. Then there are parts of Oakland that are not at all nice. Then there is the fact that Oakland city government is a "failed state" (I have no other term for it) that the police department is spread so woefully thin that even the good areas in the hills are having troubles.

Whether there is a "there there" or not is yet to be seen IMO.

Santa Clara...
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7. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

I don't deny parts of Oakland is no man's land. I have shared before how many in my own family have moved or are in the process of moving. But there are areas that are safe and interesting, even before Uptown became hip. I lived near Rockridge in college and still go there if I am in the area.

spagirl - I hope you come back to let the curious know why you chose Oakland. I am guessing you have been here before as you mentioned not liking the Bay Area traffic.

Monterey Bay...
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8. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

It can happen anywhere, but you're chances get a little higher in Oakland. A young relative of mine lived in the safer part of Oakland, because it was more affordable than SF. He was walking to Bart to get to school at the Academy of Art in SF. He was followed for a block and then shot and killed at NOON in the middle of a busy intersection by a gang thug due to "mistaken identity." He was the 12th murder of the year and the year was still young.

I use the airport sometimes and attend concerts at Oracle. That's the extent of my Oakland vacationing.

Temecula, CA
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9. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

I agree with the others - my graduate school was based in downtown Oakland - granted that was quite a few years ago, but I don't think much has changed there.

Never felt safe in the city as a single female - but that's just me.

Really interested in knowing the OP's goals here - may explain a lot.

Lewiston, California
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10. Re: I have NO CLUE where to start.

Yeah but think of the advantages. Work collecting the bodies every day!

Seriously I lived there for 7 years Never having a problem. No robberies, no violence nothing but good times.

Excellent restaurants at prices far less then Frisco. Lake Merritt is lovely, safe & visited by literally 1,000 each & every day. The Oakland Museum is not only filled with fabulous hands on exhibits but is architecturally gorgeous.

Piedmont Ave, College Street Grand/Lake areas are all worth visiting.

The Oakland Zoo is vastly superior to ANY other in Northern California.

Its hills are filled with hiking trails, redwoods, lakes & parks. Chabot Space & Science with observatory is second to none. (Try looking at the stars in SF's sky)

Uptown with according to AMC the Paramount, finest art deco theater in the United States & the Lovely restored Fox are magnificent! Also a great dinning/nightlife area.

Just a few of the Pluses of Oakland.

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