Previously I had only flown into Oakland. This trip I stayed in town the night before my flight in order to explore. I was very pleasantly surprised! I recommend the:
Waterfront Hotel, 10 Washington St.: I love Joie de Vivre Hotels, and enjoyed their recently remodeled boutique hotel with a nautical decor along with waterfront views in Oakland. They also have a restaurant Lungomare and separate Lungomare Cafe that is open early for breakfast.
Jack London Square: Located in downtown Oakland along the waterfront, this is a popular square with several hotels, restaurants, a wine tasting room and stores. On Sundays there is a weekly farmer’s market. Jack London, the famous American author who wrote The Call of the Wild and other popular books, spent most of his childhood in the area that is now jack London Square. Make sure to visit Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, built in 1883 from the timbers of a whaling ship, where London made notes for his books. Yoshi’s Jazz Club & Japanese Restaurant was recommended by several locals.
Rosenblum Cellars: This is a well-known producer of zinfandels and Rhone style wines. It recently moved its East Bay Tasting Room to a contemporary space near Jack London Square along the water in Oakland. This is a wonderful spot to sit outside and enjoy a great wine. 10 Clay St.
Pacific Coast Brewing: This is a local craft brewery featuring, IPAs, stouts and ales. You can taste their beers while enjoying food in this historic building from 1876. Many of the finishes came from the historic Cox Saloon located nearby. It is located in Old Oakland, the historic district just south of downtown. 906 Washington St.
Temescal Alleys: This is a great find in Oakland. Located in North Oakland, east of Telegraph Ave. at 49th St. There are approximately 18 shops located in former stables from the early 20th century used for the horse-drawn trolleys.
Stop in at Doughnut Dolly, in the next alley west, for one of their great doughnuts and then head for to enjoy it with a great latte from The Cro Cafe. Then explore some of the great shops including Homestead Apothecary, Standard & Strange for men’s clothing and shoes, Esqueleto for jewelry, ceramics and art and the traditional Temescal Barber Shop.
Chinatown: Located near 8th and Broadway is a small Chinatown, featuring traditional Chinese markets, restaurants and shops. Many Chinese started moving to the area beginning in the 1870’s. I enjoyed traditional dim sum on Sunday at Peony Seafood Restaurant. You know it’s good when there were large groups of Chinese with lines out the door. 388 9th St. #288.