Attractions in Oakland, California

Attractions in Oakland, California
Oakland, California is a major port city on the West Coast. While it might not receive nearly the attention of nearby San Francisco, Oakland has plenty to offer, including a range of outdoor activities. From hiking and walking to outdoor recreation and water sports, Oakland's parks offer pristine wilderness within easy reach of the downtown area.

Hiking and Walking in Oakland

There are eight walking tours from which to choose from May to October in downtown Oakland. A walk through Preservation Park shows off its restored mansions. On a tour of Lake Merritt, you can walk or jog up and down the Cleveland Cascades, play tennis at the Athol Tennis Courts, rent a kayak at the Lake Merritt Boating Center or just walk around the 3.4-mile circumference of the lake.

The Dunsmuir Historic Estate has more than 50 acres of lush grounds and a swimming pool, plus a magnificent Victorian mansion to tour if you have time and interest.

The Peralta Hacienda Historical Park contains remains of the original adobe structures from the 1820s and the landmark Peralta House, built in 1870. There also is a nature area, Peralta Creek, for you to walk through to see the original landscape and indigenous plant life.

East Bay Parks District near Oakland

The East Bay Parks District maintains more than 65 different parks divided into four different regions, which cater to a variety of interests. Whether you enjoy hiking, bicycling, mountain biking, swimming, boating or just relaxing in beautiful natural surroundings, there is a park for you.

Redwood Regional Park is named after the trees but is also home to other evergreens and grasslands. Wildlife within the park includes rare species such as the golden eagle and Alameda striped racer snake. Deer, raccoons, rabbits and squirrels are commonly seen.

Redwood Creek, which runs through the park, is where the world-famous rainbow trout were first identified as a distinct species, and a fishway has been constructed near the park's Redwood Road entrance to help the trout reach their spawning grounds in the park above.

Lake Chabot is another park that helps capture the local flavor of the region and offers a great deal of amenities for visitors to the area.

Mountain Biking

With hundreds of trails from which to choose, the East Bay Parks provide ideal spots for mountain biking. The best mountain biking trails for beginners and intermediate riders are at the Lake Chabot Paved Path with Trail Option in Castro Valley. This trail is excellent for any level and age of biker, including older children. Don't confuse it with the Lake Chabot bike loop, which is extremely challenging.

In Redwood Regional Park, there is an eight-mile intermediate level bike loop that takes you around the park. Those in the know favor the counterclockwise direction, an easy trip once you get past the initial steep section.

Water-Based Attractions

In the city of Oakland, the Jack London Aquatic Center (JLAC) offers rowing and kayaking, as well as first-class dining, shopping, picturesque piers and sunny walking paths. The East Bay Parks offer boating, sailing and water sports. You can rent boats, kayaks and sculls at Del Valle Regional Park and Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area. In addition to these types of vessels, motor boats and pontoon craft are available at Lake Chabot (a valid driver's license is required). There are also tours of the lake and nearby dam (make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen and a long-sleeved shirt or top.)

Article Written By Evelyn Trimborn

Since graduating from New York University with her Bachelor of Arts in 1996, Evelyn Trimborn has written both fiction and nonfiction for many websites and blogs on health, diet, nutrition, self-help, and business and finance. Her work has appeared on Amazon and at,, and

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