Oakland Museum of California

Top choice in Oakland

Every museum has an educational mission, and this one is dedicated to California. You'll find rotating exhibitions on artistic and scientific themes, and permanent galleries dedicated to the state’s diverse ecology and history, as well as California art, from traditional landscapes to re-imagined cartography. Start your weekend here on a Friday night (after 5pm), when DJs, food trucks and free art workshops for kids make it a fun hangout.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oakland attractions

1. Oakland Public Library, Asian Branch

0.45 MILES

This library is packed with books in Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese, plus locals playing Xiangqi (Chinese chess) and Mahjong. It's a nice spot…

2. Lake Merritt

0.53 MILES

An urban respite, Lake Merritt is a popular place to stroll or go running (a 3.5-mile paved path circles the lake), with bonsai and botanical gardens, a…

3. Clinton Square

0.66 MILES

This small park doesn't have much draw on its own, but it forms the geographic heart of Oakland's Little Saigon neighborhood, and is an interesting spot…

4. Oakland City Hall

0.68 MILES

This beautifully refurbished 1914 beaux-arts building is a downtown landmark. This was the first high-rise government building in the country, and when it…

5. Children's Fairyland

0.69 MILES

This 10-acre kiddie attraction dates from 1950, and we're not sure if it's been overhauled since. We mean that as a compliment! Children's Fairyland, with…

6. Jack London's Cabin

0.69 MILES

Reconstructed in part using the logs from London's original cabin in the Yukon Territory of Canada, this historic wooden cabin allows visitors a peek…

7. Jack London Square

0.75 MILES

The area where writer and adventurer Jack London once raised hell now bears his name. The pretty waterfront location is worth a stroll, especially when…