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Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Quebec City, Canada
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Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Hey!!

I'm plannig a trip to SF with a good friend of mine (we're 2 girls mid twenties), and we want to pass 1 day in Oakland ... what are the safe districts and what are not?!

Also, anyone ahave a suggestion of things to ABSOLUTLY do in Oakland ?

Thx so much!! :)

Berkeley, Ca.
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1. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

I Assume that your plan is not about touring distressed neighborhoods. In that case, yes, Oakland is safe for tourists.

The Oakland Museum of California http://museumca.org/ is a must see. It's been recently renovated and has galleries focusing on California art, history, and natural history/ecology. It has nicely landscaped outdoor spaces as well. It's at 10th & Oak Streets, close to the Lake Merritt BART station, a few blocks east of the core of Downtown Oakland.

If you're up for it, the classic Oakland walk is the walk around Lake Merritt, which is roughly 3 miles long. There's an urban bird refuge partway along. You can start a few blocks up Oak St. from the museum, at 14th & Oak St., behind the historic Cameron Stanford House (usually not open, alas). It's easier if you walk in the direction you would already have started, just follow the crowd. You can always turn around, and in most places catch a bus back.

If you just want to kick back, you can go to Lake Chalet restaurant, which is along Oak a little further north, between 14th & 17th St. It's a beautifully restored old boathouse, you can eat indoors or out overlooking the lake, there's a full bar.

It's quickest to come from San Francisco to Oakland on BART, but it's fun to come on the ferry. The ferry lands in Jack London Square, which is an area of shops, restaurants, and a nice walk along the waterfront. Here's the schedule http://www.eastbayferry.com/index1.php Jack London Square is about 10 blocks south of the Downtown Oakland core, the Embarcadero is the equivalent of 0 street. http://www.jacklondonsquare.com/

Some good restaurants in the Jack London square area are the House of (fried) Chicken and Waffles at 444 Embarcadero West at Broadway, Everett & Jones barbecue--a sitdown place at 126 Broadway (between Embarcadero and 2nd St.), and Bocanova, which calls itself a Pan-American Grill, at 55 Webster St. at the Embarcadero. You can also pick up a coffee at the trendy but good Oakland branch of Blue Bottle Coffee at 300 Webster St., at 3rd & Webster. They have some bar type seating.

I would also take a walk along Broadway in Downtown Oakland, especially from 7th St. to Grand Ave. There are numerous historic buildings from the early 1900's along that stretch, including the Old Oakland district along Broadway from 8th to 10th, the Tribune Tower (the "tower of power") just east of Broadway at 13th, wedding cake like City Hall at 14th, just west of Broadway, the Cathedral Building at 16th, the Paramount Theatre at 21st, and the Breuner Building at 22nd.

There's a free shuttle that runs along Broadway from Grand Ave. to Jack London Square from 7 am to 7 pm weekdays. Look for the lime green buses and the bus stops with a B sign.

You might also check out whether there are any shows at the Fox Theatre (at 16th & Telegraph) or the Paramount, they're both lovingly restored venues.

Welcome to Oakland.

Quebec City, Canada
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2. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Wow! Thx SOOO much!! :) I really appreciate!!!

Edited: 22 February 2011, 16:11
Quebec City, Canada
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3. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

And ... by the way ... do "Oaksterdam" is safe ?!? hehehe

Berkeley, California
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4. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Here is information on the free "B" shuttle: http://www.meetdowntownoak.com/shuttle.php

Wanderer provides many good tips, although the list only includes some neighborhood attractions. I suggest you review the Travel Guide for more information. Specifically, read this page: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32810-s204/Oakland:C…

Many visitors who come to the East Bay choose to see both Oakland and Berkeley. You can make a fun full day (or a half day or two days, etc.) trip out of visiting both cities, which are nearly as old and established as San Francisco. Here is some information on Berkeley neighborhoods: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g32066-s204/Berkeley:…

After reading those two articles, please feel free to ask us more questions!

Quebec City, Canada
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5. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Thx again ... your answers really help me!! :) I wasn't sure I wanted to go from what I read ... but you reassured me a lot!

I'm planning to go to Rudy's Can't fail cafe in Emeryville for breakfeat ... is it far from downtown Oakland ?

I'm sorry for all my question! :) + i CAN'T WAIT!! I'm gonna be there from 10 to 17th of march!! This is soooo far !!

(And ... sorry for my english ... it is not perfect I know!! :P)

Berkeley, Ca.
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6. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Davdaven's suggestion of combining Berkeley and Oakland is good. I focused on Oakland because that was the question, but there's a lot to see and do in Berkeley as well.

Rudy's is a short bus ride from Downtown Oakland. You'd take the 72R from 14th or 20th & Broadway to 40th & San Pablo (72 local on a weekend), then it's about a 10 minute walk. Rudy's is cute, but I don't think the food is that good. I would recommend instead Mama's Royal Cafe, for breakfast, on Broadway between 40th and 41st, famous for napkin art, or Aunt Mary's quasi-Southern on Telegraph between 42nd & 43rd (each an easy bus ride from Downtown Oakland).

Berkeley, California
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7. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe is one of my favorite spots here in the East Bay, and I've always had good food there, but apparently not everybody agrees with me since it only has 3.5 stars on Yelp.

Rudy's is easy to reach; Emeryville is right next to Oakland. Rudy's is kitty corner to Pixar, but Pixar is a fortress unfortunately and you won't be able to see anything.

The easiest/quickest way to reach Rudy's from Oakland is to take BART to MacArthur Station. From there, hop on the free Emery Go Round (http://www.emerygoround.com) shuttle. Both the Powell and the Hollis lines stop close to Rudy's, which is at the corner of Park & Hollis. The Powell route stops at 40th & Hollis, and the Hollis route stops on Park near the Pixar gate.

If you are starting your trip in SF and going directly to Rudy's, you may want to consider AC Transit Routes C or F instead of BART + Emery Go Round. Routes C and F stops at 40th & Hollis. More info here: http://www.actransit.org

P.S. AC Transit Routes 72, 72M, and 72R do run from downtown Oakland to Emeryville, but the stops aren't particularly close to Rudy's. Also, the stretch of San Pablo Avenue south of 40th Street is marginal at best.

Edited: 22 February 2011, 23:14
san francisco
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8. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Allow me to put in another good word for Berkeley -- easily accessible by BART or bus. You will certainly enjoy a stroll down Telegrpah Avenue and around the UC Berkeley campus.

Have a great trip -- and good for you for carving out some time for the often forgotten but totally awesome East Bay!

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

I currently live in Berkeley, but grew up in the San Francisco bay area.

I definitely recommend visitors to check out the East Bay, or as we call it, the warmer side of the bay. Honestly, there are parts of Oakland that can be a little troublesome, but as long as you steer clear of the areas, you should be fine. In fact, there are many parts of Oakland/Berkeley that are very very nice (and the price tag for your meals will reflect it).

Whether you agree or not with regentrification, Oakland is going through it. Lake Merritt and the Fox theater are great places to check out during the evening.

Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe is my personal favorite diner. In fact, I'm about to go there for breakfast. Those coming from SF, look into taking a transbay bus. It's a bus that leaves from Embarcadero SF and drops off at multiple locations in the E. Bay. There are two Rudy's one in downtown Oakland and one in Emeryville. If you're a fan of PIXAR (makers of Toy Story, Cars, and The Incredibles), check out the Emeryville location as Pixar is just across the street.

If you are interested in dining, there are a lot of amazing restaurants in the area:

Oakland, Downtown

* Old farmer's market on Wednesdays

Oakland, Piedmont Area

* Commis - 1 Michelin star restaurant. Prix fixe menu. Make reservations at least 2-3 weeks in advance

Oakland, Rockridge

* Zachary's Pizza: Chicago style pizza

* Oliveto - Italian

* Tara's Icecream

Berkeley, Elmwood

* Trattoria Siciliano - Sicilian

* Ici icecream: the line starts very early in the evening. Open till 9PM

Berkeley, Downtown

* Gather - Californian

Berkeley, North

* Chez Panisse: Alice Waters started the local food movement

* Off the Grid: Wednesday nights meeting of food trucks (very popular in the bay area right now)

* Cheeseboard: Organic, locally sourced pizza

* Gregoire's: French Take-out

* Philz Coffee: It's a chain, but it's still really really good coffee/tea made to order

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10. Re: Is Oakland safe for tourists ?

Love it when people say they live in San Francisco but don't.