Oakland

Known for it’s diversity, rich culture, and wide array of architectural styles and neighborhoods, Oakland has risen from the shadow of nearby San Francisco to become a destination in it’s own right. With renowned chefs opening restaurants and trendy shops popping up along commercial streets, Oakland seems to offer new delightful surprises every day. One of the more well known weekly cultural events in Oakland is the First Friday, hosted by Oakland Art Murmur, which has blossomed into a vibrant street fair with food trucks, seemingly spontaneous musical and other performances in the street, and of course, open art galleries. Oakland is now a growing tech center, logical given its proximity to Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

Oakland residents enjoy mild, sunny weather most of the year, and as a result many residents take advantage of many outdoor activities. From joyous social gatherings and barbecues, to tai chi and yoga classes, to running and walking groups, the green space around Lake Merritt is a wonderful mix of cultures and activities in and of itself. In the hills, many miles of hiking trails are peppered with runners, walkers with and without dogs, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.