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Oakland is in the middle of a renaissance and, in the past five years, has quickly become a melting pot for hipsters, techies and aspiring artists escaping the San Francisco fog. But at its heart are the families that have called this city home for decades, giving it a rare sense of community that’s dying in other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.


This can be experienced first-hand every month at Oakland First Fridays, where local bands and artists converge to put on the ultimate block party. Or the Grand Lake Farmers Market every Saturday provides another canvas for cultural and ethnic diversity. It only takes about 10 minutes at one of these city-wide events to see how Oakland, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party and other social justice organizations, is the definition of civic pride, welcoming any and all who visit to feel at home.


After moving all around the Bay Area for six years, I too found that sense of home when I finally decided to plant my roots in downtown Oakland. Watching Oakland grow from a distance and from the center of it all has been something I’ve truly enjoyed. Narrowing my favorite things to do in this continually evolving city to just 100 was tough, but I chose these “things” based on the personal memories I’ve cherished and continue to have at each one. I hope you’ll share in the fun of exploring this soulful city by visiting these 100 places and the many more that Oakland has to offer.


East Bay Express: "New Guidebook Spotlights '100 Things to Do in Oakland Before You Die'"

Matthew Felix on Air: "Episode 7 | Visiting Oakland & Biking in San Francisco"

Far & Wide: "Oakland the Local Way"

KTVU: "Mornings on 2"

Bay Area Parent Summer Survival Guide 2019: "City Summer Bucket List"

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