As the third-largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is no shortage of wonderful sights and sounds to take in from this port city. As the largest port city in California, Oakland is responsible for a great deal of local infrastructure while also offering locals and tourists a variety of exciting activities along the water. In fact, what makes Oakland so special compared to other California cities is that it allows for the ultimate retreat in an urban setting. Travelers can experience a little bit of everything when they visit this city.
One of the best reasons to spend more time in Oakland is for its diverse culinary scene and neighborhoods. Visitors can explore authentic Mandarin cuisine in Chinatown, Mumbai street food, some of the West Coast’s best tacos (due to its proximity to Mexico), and so much more. Head to Swan’s Market in Old Oakland, now a historic marketplace full of shops local restaurants. There’s no shortage of delicious soul food to taste—oyster po’boys, smothered and fried chicken, greens, grits, you name it! As one of the most culturally and racially diverse cities in the United States, you’ll find that just about any cuisine you crave has a local eatery in Oakland.
Your trip to Oakland wouldn’t be complete without feasting your eyes on some of nature’s most beautiful sights. Make a trip to Redwood Regional Park, just a few miles away from the bustling city, to visit the bouldering giants that have more screen time than many B-list celebs. There, you’ll find hiking trails to walk or hike for you and the whole family. You’ll also want to make time to visit Lake Merritt, a large tidal lagoon in the middle of Oakland and a must-see attraction for any visitor. Visit museums, theaters, and great farmers’ markets throughout the year. You won’t experience a single dull moment!
Get your Oakland adventure started by booking a flight with Southwest®. Southwest Airlines flies to Oakland International Airport, making it even easier to explore this Bay Area city. When you book with Southwest, book with confidence and rest assured that the process will be simple from selecting your flight to checkout. We understand that having a great trip or vacation takes more than finding a great deal on a flight. Learn more about the Southwest® Experience and book your upcoming flight to Oakland.
Other airports in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Got flexible travel plans?
Use our Low Fare Calendar to find the lowest fares on flights to Oakland available inside your travel window.Find flights
Things to do in Oakland.
- Lake Merritt
- Redwood Regional Park
- Oakland Zoo
- Preservation Park
- Victorian Row
- Jack London Square
- Swan’s Market
- Old Oakland Historic District