Top things to do near Oakland Airport
Oakland Museum of California
Just a nine-mile (14-kilometer) drive from OAK International Airport, the Oakland Museum of California display exhibits on the history, nature and art of California in a modernist building surrounded by roof gardens, lawns, sculpture and a koi pond.
The collection includes art and design from the 1800s to present day, including the photography archives of Dorothea Lange, historical items relating to events like the California Gold Rush and natural sciences exhibits celebrating the incredible biodiversity of the California area.
There's plenty of interactivity to keep kids happy and regular special exhibits that are always fresh and innovative.
Redwood Regional Park
California's coastal redwoods are the tallest living trees on the planet, reaching over 379 feet (115 meters) in height and living for up to 2,000 years. Just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Oakland Airport, you can find the largest remaining natural stand of them in the East Bay area at Redwood Regional Park.
Most of the trees there are only around 100 years old, but still inspire awe. It's a beautiful park full of great walking trails for all abilities and ages. As loved by locals as it is by visitors, there are some gorgeous views of the city and you get to enjoy the feeling of being a million miles away from the hustle and bustle as you walk amongst the gigantic trees.
The Cathedral of Christ the Light
The first cathedral to be built entirely in the 21st century, the Cathedral of Christ the Light is a stunning piece of contemporary architecture – and it’s only a 10-mile (16-kilometer) drive from Oakland International Airport.
Embraced in steel and glass, the cathedral space inside manages to inspire serenity and awe in minimal and contemporary fashion. It features a vast wooden interior framework that gently filters light into the space and reverberates the sounds of the choir, if you’re lucky enough to catch a performance.
Whatever your beliefs, this remarkably designed building is well worth experiencing (the natural light is particularly impressive late in the day).
Chabot Space and Science Center
A combination of planetarium, movie theater, observatory and science museum, the Chabot Space and Science Center is an engrossing visit just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from OAK Airport.
With exhibits like old space vehicles, telescopes trained on fascinating sights in the sky and an IMAX-style screen for planetarium viewings, there's plenty for all ages to do. Beautifully set amongst the redwoods of the surrounding national park, it's well worth looking out for special events such as film screenings and night sessions observing interesting events likes comets passing the Earth.
A gradually developing neighborhood since the 1850s, Oakland's Chinatown area is just nine miles (14 kilometers) down the I-880 from OAK Airport.
As you walk around it, you'll find food, culture and languages from China, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and many other places, such is the diversity of the area.
It’s smaller than many Chinatown districts, but it carries a huge amount of history and authenticity and is packed full of Asian food shops, markets, restaurants and fascinating stores.
San Francisco Bay Ferry
Seeing a city from the water so often gives you stunning skyline views and the San Francisco Bay Ferry is a classic example.
Caught from Jack London Square Terminal, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Oakland International Airport, there are three routes across the Bay to San Francisco from which to choose. They all offer beautiful vistas of the city; the route to Pier 41 is the longest and shows the most of San Francisco, but the route to the San Francisco Ferry Building has the benefit of a wonderful marketplace and plenty of places to get some great food in the old ferry terminal itself.
Jack London Square
A bustling hub close to Chinatown and Oakland's city center, Jack London Square is a waterfront neighborhood full of stores, restaurants, markets, theaters and other entertainments.
The district developed naturally, but is now the focus of considerable development to expand on the public spaces, shopping and special events.
A great place to hang out, get lunch or spend an evening exploring, the Square is also home to the legendary Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon and half of Jack London's Klondike cabin.
Home of the NBA's Golden State Warriors, Oracle Arena is just over four miles (six kilometers) from OAK Airport, close to the Coliseum station that links the airport to the BART rail network.
The oldest arena in the NBA, opening in 1966, it has been continually renovated and packs out for games with a huge atmosphere. It’s a place that will live long in the memory of Warriors fans in the area.
Regularly hosting music concerts and other sports including ice hockey, the Oracle is part of the history of basketball and offers detailed tours of the arena outside of game-times.