While many of us escape the Berkeley bubble by heading to San Francisco for the day, a trip to Oakland serves as just as much of an escape and is just as awesome. Oakland has everything you could want in a city: convenience via public transit, excellent cuisine and countless attractions. We at the Clog are potentially saving you hours of research by laying out for you anyone’s perfect day in our neighboring city of Oakland.
It’s going to be a long day filled with lots of walking and adventure, so coffee is obviously first on the to-do list. While we have one right here in Berkeley, the Blue Bottle Coffee on 9th Street in Oakland is one of Blue Bottle’s cutest locations — and 9th Street in general is definitely a must-see while you’re there. Make sure you get a little pastry to hold you over for a few hours, but definitely don’t get too full because brunch is in the foreseeable future.
Second: Oakland Museum of California
This is one of the coolest attractions in the entire Bay Area. With one floor dedicated to art, one to California’s history and another to the natural sciences, it really has something for everyone. Perhaps the best part is how interactive everything is — and we can’t forget about the cutest gift shop in the history of the world. PSA: The first Sunday of every month is completely free, so would recommend cruising then.
Those hours at the museum sure wiped us out so we’re headed to some food, and we’re going to walk along Lake Merritt to get there. Lake Merritt is amongst the most beautiful sights that Oakland has to offer. The cute apartments, shops and restaurants that surround it just add to the overall positive vibe and, on a sunny day, walking alongside it is a pleasure. What’s really important here is our final brunch destination: Portal. While there can often be long lines, Portal is without a doubt worth it. With lake views and good eats, you’re merely continuing this dream of a day. If you’re feeling guilty about all the food you just ate, you can always rent paddle boats on Lake Merritt afterward and paddle all of those pancake carbs away.
After: Jack London Square
Right on the ocean waterfront, Jack London Square’s ocean breeze, outdoor seating and exquisite views are enough to entertain many of us for hours. However, for those that get a little more distracted, there are also dozens of shops and pubs, as well as a bowling alley and beer garden combination to please those of every age.
Finally: Dinner and dessert
What better way to end the day than with more good food? Right around 12th Street and the city center (also a BART station), there’s a lot of really fantastic food. One of our personal favorite combos is Sobo Ramen, followed by treating ourselves at Cookiebar Creamery. With full stomachs, tired bodies and happy souls, we can then quite conveniently take public transit back over to Berk.
What more could you ask for in a day? Always remember to explore all areas that the wonderful Bay has to offer us. What a perfect way to spend a day of the upcoming, looming dead week! Happy exploring!