What to do




Visit Oakland

Places to see, things to do, hotels, restaurants, photos, maps … Visit Oakland is your one-stop shop for Oakland attractions! Request a copy of the FREE Official Oakland Visitors Guide (or download the pdf).

African American Museum and Library of Oakland

A museum and non-circulating library dedicated to preserving the history and experiences of African Americans in Northern California and the Bay Area. Address: 659 14th Street.

Camron-Stanford House

The Camron-Stanford House is the last of the beautiful 19th century mansions that once surrounded Lake Merritt. In its long life, the house was the private residence of five families instrumental in the development of the City of Oakland and the State of California. In the early 20th century it became the first museum in the City of Oakland. Tours on Sundays at 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Address: 1418 Lakeside Drive.

Chabot Space and Science Center

Features two planetariums, exhibits for younger children, and historic space related artifacts. Nighttime telescope viewing is free on Friday and Saturday nights. Address: 10000 Skyline Blvd.

Children’s Fairyland

Since 1950, Children’s Fairyland has delighted children and their parents with whimsical storybook sets, gentle rides, friendly animals, and inspired live entertainment. Note: Adults are not admitted without a child. Address: 699 Bellevue Avenue.

Jack London Square

Situated along the scenic Oakland/Alameda estuary, Jack London Square is a vibrant destination in Oakland bringing together dining, retail, recreation and exciting events year-round. Don’t miss Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, a favorite watering hole of such literary luminaries as Jack London, Joaquin Miller, Robert Louis Stevenson, Erskine Caldwell, Ambrose Bierce and others.

Joaquin Miller Park

Joaquin Miller Park is a large open space park in the Oakland Hills owned and operated by the City of Oakland. It is named after early California writer and poet Joaquin Miller, who bought the land in the 1880s, naming it “The Hights” [sic], and lived in the house preserved as the Joaquin Miller House.

Lake Merritt

Enjoy the walking/jogging path, explore gardens, take an authentic Italian gondola ride or choose to rent your own watercraft. Lake Merritt’s Rotary Nature Center is the country’s oldest wildlife refuge and features an interpretive center and a year-round bird population.

Mills College

The Mills College Center for the Book was established in 1989 to promote the cultural, literary, and aesthetic heritage of the book. Programs and projects encompass contemporary and historical concerns, and include the book arts, literacy, and local history. The Center for the Book involves both Mills College and local communities, acknowledging the extraordinarily rich resources of the Bay Area. Projects sponsored or co-sponsored by the Center for the Book include publications, lectures and workshops by visiting or local book artists, historians, and others as well as exhibitions, conferences, and other special events. All the Center’s events are free and open to the public.

Special Collections is located in the Elinor Raas Heller Rare Book Room in the F.W. Olin Library. The collection of 12,000 volumes and 10,000 manuscripts housed in the Heller Rare Book Room includes printed books from the 15th century to the present, and the Mills College Archive. The collection includes a first folio of William Shakespeare (1623), a manuscript score in the hand of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a 15th century illuminated books of hours, and a superb collection of fine press and artists’ books. For more information contact Janice Braun at 510.430.2047 or jbraun@mills.edu Address: F.W. Olin Library, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613

Morcom Rose Garden

Opened in the late 1920s, this eight-acre municipal rose garden features more than 6,000 rose bushes of all varieties. Bloom season is late April through October. Address: 700 Jean Street.

Mountain View Cemetery

Includes gorgeous views in addition to the graves of Warren A. Bechtel, industrialist, founder of the Bechtel company; Charles Crocker, railroad magnate, banker; J. A. Folger, founder of Folgers Coffee; Domingo Ghirardelli, namesake of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Henry J. Kaiser, father of modern American shipbuilding; Ina Coolbrith, California’s first poet laureate; Julia Morgan, architect; Frank Norris, author; Fred Korematsu, challenged Executive Order 9066 in the landmark Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States; Elizabeth Short, unsolved Hollywood murder victim known as the Black Dahlia. The cemetery was designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Address: 5000 Piedmont Avenue.

Oakland Art Murmur

Oakland Art Murmur promotes art galleries in and around Oakland and holds events every Saturday. There is a large concentration of art galleries off Telegraph Avenue between 23rd and 26th streets many of which are open for visitors throughout the week.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland A’s will be playing away games June 23-25, but will have home games against the Kansas City Royals Friday, June 26, at 7:05 p.m., Saturday, June 27, at 1:05 p.m., and Sunday, June 28, at 1:05 p.m.

Oakland Aviation Museum

Retrace Amelia Earhart’s flight route. Address: 8252 Earhart Road.

Oakland Ice Center

Drop in for a couple of hours of ice skating at Oakland Ice Center. Public sessions run between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; evening sessions on Tuesday and Friday. Address: 518 18th Street.

Oakland Museum of California

When the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) first opened its doors more than forty years ago, it brought together three historically independent disciplines—art, history, and natural sciences—under one roof. This progressive multidisciplinary approach was to celebrate the many facets of California. The museum’s  collections—comprising more than 1.9 million objects including seminal art works, historical artifacts, ethnographic objects, natural specimens, and photographs—and programs explore and reveal the factors that shape California character and identity, from its extraordinary natural landscapes, to successive waves of migration, to its unique culture of creativity and innovation. Address: 1000 Oak Street.

Oakland Zoo

Oakland Zoo is relatively small, but has a variety of areas to explore including African Savannah, Rainforest, a children’s zoo, wildlife theater, and rides. The elephant exhibit is nationally known and there are often volunteers on hand to explain various aspects of their care. Address: 9777 Golf Links Road.

Peralta Hacienda Historical Park

A local and state landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 1870 Peralta farmhouse represents Spanish-speaking California on the cusp of a new era after the Gold Rush and annexation of California by the United States. This six-acre facility is the last vestige of the Peraltas’ 45,000-acre Rancho San Antonio, estimated to be the most valuable Spanish land grant ever made in California. It stands in the middle of the diverse Fruitvale District, which is the geographic center of the City of Oakland. In a multicultural sense, it represents the founding settlement of Oakland. Address: 2465 34th Avenue.

Preservation Park

Visit this restored neighborhood’s stately Victorians and landscaped gardens, and the Pardee mansion. Free 90 minute docent led walking tours. Address: 1233 Preservation Park Way.

Redwood Regional Park

The park contains the largest remaining natural stand of coast redwood found in the East Bay. Address: 7867 Redwood Road.

St. George’s Spirits and Hangar 1

In Alameda; take the tour get tastes of amazing liquors! Address: 2601 Monarch Street, Alameda.

USS Potomoc

Affectionately dubbed the Floating White House by the press, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht is one of the few floating museums in the country. The restored 165-foot vessel, a national historic landmark, is a memorial to FDR and his accomplishments. Address: 540 Water Street.



Moe’s Books

Moe’s Books was founded in 1959 and has been a destination for book lovers ever since. Located just four blocks from the UC Berkeley campus on Telegraph Avenue, Moe’s features four floors of new, used, antiquarian, and rare books. Check your tote bag for a discount card (10% off used books) and invitation to a wine and cheese reception to be held in the More Moe’s art and antiquarian shop on Thursday evening after the day’s programming in Berkeley.

Takara Sake

Sake tasting flights. Tasting room open: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Monday through Saturday), 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Sunday). Museum exhibit of the historical sake-making process, sake artifacts and implements collected by Takara Sake USA, and a history of sake-making in America. The collection is the only one of its kind in the U.S.A.

UC Berkeley Campanile

Sather Tower, known to most as the Campanile, is perhaps UC Berkeley’s most famous symbol. Visible for miles, it stands 307 feet tall and is the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. The observation platform, located 200 feet up, provides visitors with a spectacular view of the entire Bay Area and of the campus. It is reachable via the combination of an elevator and stairs. The Campanile was completed in 1914. Cost: $3.00 general admission.

UC Berkeley Self-Guided Tours

Want to explore the iconic Berkeley campus on your own? UC Berkeley Visitor Services offers several ways for you to show yourself around. You can use your mobile device, take a Podcast tour by downloading a video podcast to your iPhone, iPod, or MP3 player, tour by cell phone, or download and print pdf maps. And, don’t forget to take the Walking Tour of the Berkeley Bears, prepared by The Bancroft Library.

Berkeley Repertory Theater

UC Botanical Gardens

San Francisco


San Francisco Center for the Book

American Bookbinders Museum

Sutro Library

The Sutro Library is located on the 5th Floor of the newly renovated J. Paul Leonard and Sutro Library on the San Francisco State University campus. Sutro features the most extensive genealogy collection west of Salt Lake City, a comprehensive United States local history collection, and Adolf Sutro’s rare book and manuscript collections. Open Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Museum of Performance + Design

Formerly the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum, MP+D is located in the SoMa District and collects and makes accessible materials about the performing arts, with a special emphasis on documenting and preserving the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich and diverse performing arts heritage from the Gold Rush to the present. Open Wednesday-Saturday, 12:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (Thursday until 7:30 p.m.). Address: 893B Folsom Street.

Contemporary Jewish Museum

The mission of the CJM is to make the diversity of the Jewish experience relevant for a twenty-first century audience through exhibitions and educational programs. Open 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Thursday until 8:00 p.m.; closed Wednesday) Address: 736 Mission Street.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Note: SFMOMA is closed for expansion until early 2016.

Further afield


Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

Stanford University

Stanford’s many libraries include the Hoover Library, the Art Library, and the Department of Special Collections, located in Green Library. Special Collection materials are stored off-site, so advance notice is required to view specific items. The exhibit space outside Special Collections will be featuring “Beasts in Books” during the RBMS conference.

Stanford’s picturesque campus is worth a visit, with its distinctive architecture and pleasant landscaping. The Cantor Arts Center has an extensive collection of fine art, including a number of Rodin sculptures. These and other sculptural works can be seen all over campus.

California State Parks

Napa Valley

Half Moon Bay

Don’t miss the tidepools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve!

Muir Woods

California Visitor Information