Top things to do

Top Choice Bar in Oakland

Café Van Kleef

Order a greyhound (with fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice) and take a gander at the profusion of antique musical instruments, fake taxidermy heads, sprawling formal chandeliers and bizarro ephemera clinging to every s…
Top Choice Museum in Oakland

Oakland Museum of California

Near the southern end of the lake and one block from the Lake Merritt BART station, this museum has rotating exhibitions on artistic and scientific themes, and excellent permanent galleries dedicated to the state’s …
Deli in Oakland


If you want to eat outside on a sunny day, grab a sandwich from Ratto’s, a vintage Oakland grocery (since 1897) with a deli counter (and a few sidewalk tables) that attracts a devoted lunch crowd.
Bar in Oakland


The Alley draws a wacky mix of hams and crooners, who come to sing by the piano (Tuesday to Saturday evenings). No beer on tap, but cocktails are strooooong.
Bar in Oakland

Heinold's First & Last Chance

An 1883 bar constructed from wood scavenged from an old whaling ship, you really have to hold on to your beer here. Keeled to a severe slant during the 1906 earthquake, the building’s 20% grade might make you feel s…
Bar in Oakland

Stork Club

It seems every budding Bay Area indie-rock band plays the Stork at least once. The crowd skews young and loves loud bands.
Science Center in Oakland

Chabot Space & Science Center

Stargazers will go gaga over this science and technology center in the Oakland Hills with loads of exhibits on subjects such as space travel and eclipses, as well as cool planetarium shows. When the weather’s good, …
Amusement Park in Oakland

Children's Fairyland

Lakeside Park, at the northern end of the saltwater lake, includes this 10-acre attraction, which dates from 1950 and has charming fairy-tale-themed train, carousel and mini Ferris-wheel rides.
Market in Oakland

Farmers Market

The waterfront where writer and adventurer Jack London once raised hell now bears his name. It's hardly a roughshod district anymore, but a tourist-oriented shopping mall dotted with chain restaurants, chain stores …
Cemetery in Oakland

Mountain View Cemetery

At the end of Piedmont Ave, this is perhaps the most serene and lovely artificial landscape in all the East Bay. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the architect of New York City’s Central Park, it’s great for walk…