The 8th largest city in California, Oakland is served by several major highways. Eastbound Bay Bridge traffic entering Oakland splits into three freeways at the MacArthur Maze freeway inter-change: Interstate 580 (MacArthur Freeway) heads southeast toward Hayward. AC Transit provides service to the airport from Oakland neighborhoods and the Coliseum BART Station. AirBART provides more frequent shuttle bus service directly to the airport. Oakland has great public transportation options, with eight BART stations, in addition to AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit. The city has regional and long distance train service provided by Amtrak, with a station located at Jack London Square for the Capitol Corridor, Coast Starlight and San Joaquin train routes. The Alameda / Oakland Ferry operates ferry service from Jack London Square to Alameda, San Francisco, and Angel Island. Oakland is a major West Coast port, and it is the corporate headquarters of Clorox, Cost Plus and Dreyer’s Ice Cream, to name a few.
There is so much to do in Oakland it can be a little overwhelming, so lets just start with a list: Chabot Space and Science Center, Children’s Fairyland, Chinatown, the Paramount and the Fox Oakland Theaters (which draw headline acts), Jack London Square, home to Yoshi’s world-class jazz club, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, home of baseball’s Oakland Athletics, and the Oakland Raiders of the NFL, Lake Merritt, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lake Merritt Garden Center, Bonsai Garden, Oakland Aviation Museum, Oakland Museum of California, Oracle Arena, directly adjacent to the Oakland Coliseum, home to the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, Peralta Hacienda Historical Park, Museum of History and Culture, and the Oakland Zoo, to name a few highlights. Jack London Square also hosts a Sunday morning Farmers Market. KTVU, Channel 2, a Fox affiliate, also broadcasts from Jack London Square. For more up to date information on entertainment and events, check out listings in Oakland’s daily newspaper, the Oakland Tribune.
The Oakland Unified School District includes 59 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 19 high schools, with nine alternative education schools. There are also 25 public charter schools with 5,887 students operate outside the domain of OUSD. One, North Oakland Community Charter School, an elementary and middle school, is one of the few public progressive schools in the country. Lionel Wilson College Prep Academy and Oakland Unity High School have been certified by the California Charter Schools Association. Other charter schools include the Oakland Military Institute, Oakland School for the Arts, Bay Area Technology School, and Oakland Charter Academy schools. As for community colleges, the Peralta Community College District offers Laney College and Merritt College.
Parks and Recreation
The Oakland Office of Parks & Recreation offers a wide range of recreation, cultural, educational and environmental programs and activities. OPR is responsible for 2,500 acres of open space, 100 parks and public grounds, 25 recreation, community and interpretive centers. Enjoy the great outdoors with over 100 parks, grow delicious organic vegetables at several community gardening locations, play tennis at any of 59 outdoor courts, pick up a club and play on the green at three spacious golf courses, play ball (soccer, softball, baseball or football) on any of 53 athletic fields or take a refreshing swim at one of Oakland’s five different community pools. Hikers will enjoy exploring the East Bay Regional Park’s many trails.