48 Hours in Oakland: A Weekend Travel Guide
A few weeks ago, we went to Oakland, CA for the Young Survival Coalition Summit. The summit was a whole weekend event which gave us an opportunity to explore Oakland. For those who don’t know Oakland, it is a city 12 miles outside of San Francisco across the Bay Bridge. Although we were occupied all day due to the summit, we noticed that during our free time we were able to explore a lot in Oakland. So here is our travel/weekend guide to Oakland, CA.
Most of Oakland can be explored in 48 hours. I know what you are thinking, 48 hours isn’t a lot of time to experience much but trust me, we saw a lot! Oakland is smaller than San Francisco such that you can easily explore the city. Plus, everything is walkable which I think is a bonus! So if you are looking for a quick getaway or a place to explore for a long weekend, Oakland is your city. This is my travel guide for Oakland. I do apologize in advance that the photos are not ‘high quality’. We pretty much explored Oakland whenever we had time to stroll away from the summit. So grabbing our SLR wasn’t convenient.
Where to Stay:
Oakland Mariott City Center
The Oakland International Airport was only 20 minutes away from our hotel. We arrived really late Thursday night, so there wasn’t much to see. We stayed at the Oakland Mariott City Center. Not a unique hotel, but that was where the summit was held and it was in the center of Oakland. It was just steps away from the Old Oakland neighborhood.
Where to Eat:
This is a fresh food hall that contains multiple destination-worthy restaurants. You can find a variety of genres of food that range from Mexican to Japanese to seafood. You name it, you’ll find it. They’re open Monday – Saturday from 9am – 9pm. So any time during the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), you can stop by for a meal!
This was the first place we had our first meal in Oakland. It is a tiny cafe in the heart of Old Oakland, and it is adorable! The coffee is delicious and the brunch is scrumptious. Their brunch menu is comfort food meets farmer’s market. They utilize produce that is currently in season and create a comfort-worthy meal. I had the baked eggs in polenta with chorizo-tomato sauce and it was amazing!
We went to District for Sunday brunch. They are actually known for their Sunday brunch. They have an amazing brunch buffet spread of Cajun style food with bottomless mimosas. Omg, I kept going for seconds, thirds, etc haha. Too good!
We explored at Swan’s Market since there were so many different restaurants to try and it was a block away from the Mariott. We had raw oysters at The Cook and Her Farmer (which satisfied my Oyster cravings haha) and pizza from Deep Roots Oakland – had the spicy pepperoni and it was one of the best pepperoni pizzas I’ve ever had.
They have an amazing selection of coffee drinks, lattes, etc. I also love how it is a full-line game-store. So cute and unique.
It is also just steps away from Oakland Marriott with delicious coffee!
Things to Do:
Old Oakland’s Farmer’s Market (Fridays only)
This Farmer’s Market is amazing. It stretches all over Old Oakland and the produce and florals are affordable! We indulged in delicious treats and food. We grabbed tacos from Cholita Linda. Wow, amazing. I had the tofu taco and it is for sure out of this world. Then we walked around and treated ourselves to pastries from every vendor haha!
Jack London Square
Jack London Square is one of the most scenic areas of Oakland. It is located along the waterfront. There are tons of shops, restaurants, and cafes along the pier. You bet I stopped at a coffee shop for some iced coffee! The view of the water is beautiful! This area is also very vibrant and lively. Everyone there seems to be enjoying themselves.
Explore Old Oakland
Old Oakland has so much charm. The streets are filled with historic buildings with cute boutique shops and restaurants. Most of our explorations were done in Old Oakland because it pretty much has everything we were looking to do during our stay. Plus, I love how there are wall arts and spots of pastels!
This is an ice cream shop with amazing and unique flavors. A lot of the flavors are derived from the Filipino ice creams. I know this because I am Filipino. If any of you are Filipino, Cookiebar has Macapuno and Ube ice cream and Calamansi Sorbet. Of course, they have more common flavors like Cookies ‘n Cream and Rocky Road. They also play with flavors such as Oatmeal Cookie and Peanut Butter Pretzel. This is definitely a place you MUST go.
I hope this travel guide is helpful! Have you all explored Oakland? Any favorite spots?
Wow, Oakland looks so beautiful, and its a great post…kisses, Neha
I don't think I've ever been to Oakland, although I have been to several areas in California. It looks like fun though so I'll have to check it out on my next trip 🙂
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Definitely! If you are ever in SF, it is only half hour away!
I've been to Oakland many times, but I've never been to these places (except Jack London Square). Next time you come, you must get dinner at MUA. It's amazing and one of the coolest looking restaurants/bars in the Bay.
Thanks for the suggestion! Def will check it out!
Never been to Oakland but this looks fun. Next destination I believe.
I've never been to Oakland before, but it looked like you had fun! Lots to eat, which is always important!
Something About That
I've visited Oakland recently and had a nice lunch on the manmade lake (at least I think it's man made lol).
These places looks great. Thanks for sharing Rach.
Thank you for sharing, Rach. I hope I will get the opportunity to visit Oakland one day!
I never really thought about visiting Oakland on my trips to SF, but it seems like I need to head across the bridge! Thanks for sharing these suggestions!
Nicole to the Nines
What a cool trip! I want to go and visit those amazing places, specially the swan's market. ♥
Great shots!! Looks like a lot of fun!
Thank you for this awesome guide. Cookiebar Creamery looks amazing.
Nice post thanks for sharing
This is a great guide! I haven't been to Oakland since I was a little girl and had family there but it looks like you had a great time exploring. So happy you were able to make it to the summit and that it was such a great experience!
Heidi || Wishes & Reality
Fun food and coffee are always essentials on any trip for me, so this is my kind of guide (especially with the ice cream). Glad you all enjoyed it!
Straight A Style
Looks like such a fun weekend!
Looks like you had a great 48 hours there! Thanks for sharing!
This looks like a very nice place to go to and looks like you had an amazing time!
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The article you have shared here very awesome. I really like and appreciated your work. I read deeply your article, the points you have mentioned in this article are useful
I have never been to Oakland, but the food alone makes it worth going it seems.
Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
I have never been there but it looks really good 🙂 xx