Welcome to Oakland
Named for the grand oak trees that once lined its streets, Oakland is to San Francisco what Brooklyn is to Manhattan. To some degree a less expensive alternative to 'the city' across the Bay, this is often where people have moved to escape skyrocketing San Francisco housing costs. An ethnically diverse city, Oakland has a strong African American community and a long labor-union history. Urban farmers raise chickens in their backyard or occupy abandoned lots to start community gardens; families find more room to stretch out; and self-satisfied residents thumb their noses at San Francisco’s fog while basking in sunny weather. For visitors, the city offers a handful of diverting museums and historical sites, a vibrant arts scene, innovative restaurants and bars, vintage and boutique shops, and outdoor recreation galore – down by the waterfront, around Lake Merritt and up in the forested hills.