Oakland Museum of California // © 2015 Visit Oakland
Feature image (above): Lake Merritt // © 2015 Visit Oakland
Frances Wong, public relations and communications manager for Visit Oakland, has worked in the city for more than nine years and called it home for two. A serious explorer when it comes to Oakland’s burgeoning food scene and beyond, Wong shared a few pro tips for a delicious day in the city.
Hottest new neighborhood:
Uptown has great bars and restaurants to try — consider Duende and Era Art Bar — plus the Fox Theater and Paramount Theatre, so there’s good music playing on any given night. Uptown also has a concentrated amount of art galleries and boutique shops.
A tourist activity that is actually worth the hype:
The interactive Oakland Museum of California is a top choice for its California art, history and culture. It’s a great time for adults or kids. On Friday nights, food trucks, music and dancing onsite make for a real Oakland party.
Favorite place to eat:
Bakesale Betty’s in the Temescal neighborhood has the best fried-chicken sandwich and slaw around. There’s no indoor seating, so diners eat off ironing boards set up on the sidewalk.
Best place to stay:
Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square. As the name suggests, it overlooks the harbor and is close to a plethora of Oakland diversions, from bocce ball at beer garden Plank to kayaking excursions with California Canoe & Kayak.
Favorite hidden gem:
Our outdoor spaces, which include more than 1,000 miles of trails, the beautiful Lake Merritt, Redwood Regional Park and Sibley Volcanic Preserve.
On the city's changing reputation:
The art and music scenes have always been strong, but more people are finding a new appreciation for our culture and authentic way of life. Oakland doesn’t follow trends. We are who are, and the rest of the world is now paying attention.