A gondola on Lake Merritt. Courtesy of Visit Oakland, Barry Muniz

Oakland may be a little rough around the edges, but like a Tootsie Roll pop, perseverance will get you to the gooey center of all types of green activities. Here are just a few of the city’s urban spaces to explore.


Farmer’s Markets

Tour the many Farmer’s Markets in and around Oakland serving fresh local fruits and veggies as well as hot dishes in some locales. The Oakland Fruitvale Farmer’s Market even has crafts for sale by local artists.

Wood Tavern

True to its name, this wooden, rustic restaurant is a cozy place serving up plates of food made using local, sustainable ingredients. Try some of the seasonal salads or dive into one of the many main dishes for lunch, a mid-afternoon meal or dinner.

Actual Café

A neighborhood eatery with affordable options, this place serves up corn and pepper empanadas, veggie sandwiches and salads to its laidback clientele.  A no-laptop-on-the-weekends-rule encourages an interactive environment without modern distractions.


Old Oakland

What’s old is new again in this former downtown area where quaint shops and boutiques are housed within old Victorian structures. Eat, sleep, shop and play while exploring the older side of Oakland.

 Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Take a self-guided volcanic tour on Volcanic Trail or follow Pond Trail to view the ponds to the North of the preserve. Hiking and cycling trails are also available.

Lake Merritt

Channel your inner Venetian with a gondola ride on Lake Merritt, or paddle in a canoe or paddle boat around the city’s lake.  More of a landlubber? Take a walk or jog around the three mile path.


Oakland Zoo

This famous zoo attracts people from all over California with its exotic animals and exhibits. Tour the African Savannah with its gazelles and Egyptian geese or take a trek through the Rainforest exhibit and view tigers and a yellow anaconda.

Museum of Children’s Art

Unleash the mini Picasso in your child at the Museum of Children’s Art, where creativity is both hands on and colorful.  Kids can unleash their imagination through paint, crayons, paper and pencil and even Play-Doh.

Children’s Fairyland

There’s nothing like an outdoor fantasy land full of giant shoes, dragons and colorful miniature buildings to get your kids in a playful mood. This outdoor fairytale/live storybook play land invites kids to see hear and touch what’s around them while also enjoying daily puppet shows, train rides, a carousel and a mini Ferris wheel.

Information gathered from www.visitoakland.org