• Aerial view of Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, California

    Aerial view of Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, California

  • Aerial View Above the Golden Gate Bridge

    Aerial View Above the Golden Gate Bridge

  • Lake Merritt

    Lake Merritt

Sick of travelling the well-trodden tourist track? Want to visit some offbeat travel destinations instead? We’ve got some ideal road-tripping pointers on how to spend the perfect 48 hours in the sunny city of Oakland, California. With San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as its backdrop, this is the perfect city for a two-day stopover. Full of new and authentic experiences, you’ll have an amazing time here. London Gatwick is launching weekly direct flights to Oakland as of March 28th 2017, so it’s time to get packing and start making your dreams of a Californian road-trip a reality.

Where to Eat

Swan’s Market

Find everything from fresh seafood to energy-boosting smoothies in downtown Oakland. Swan’s Market has over half a dozen food choices, and menu options are all great value. With dishes ranging from tasty Mexican to freshly made Japanese, the market is situated in a historic city complex, recently transformed into a chic and casual dining option for the whole community. It’s worth noting that each food outlet is open at different times of the week, so check before you visit!

Best dish:

Everyone needs to try the delectable tacos from Cosecha! Remember that their signature ‘Green Chile Mole’ is only available on Mondays.

Things to Do

Lake Merritt

Protected under the California Wildlife Act (1870) and home to the oldest designated wildlife refuge in the United States, Lake Merritt Is the perfect place to take a break and admire the sights of your extraordinary surroundings. Opt for a romantic gondola ride with a loved one, or have a splash renting a pedal boat. All the while, looking out for Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets and American White Pelicans! Take a trip to Lake Merritt Gardens, with seven acres of themed gardens and free admission, it’s the perfect opportunity to soak up some nature.

Look! Keep your eyes peeled for the infamous Hank the pelican; a Lake Merritt resident from around 2004!

Alcatraz Island

Every trip to California should include a trip to the infamous Alcatraz Island. Though you can get there via taxi or ferry, driving is the cheapest option. With the journey only taking half an hour and costing no more than around £2 in fuel, you’ll be glad you did. Once home to some of the most notorious criminals in history (including Al ‘Scarface’ Capone), the Alcatraz Penitentiary was open from 1934 to 1963 and is rich in interesting facts. Did you know that in 1962, inmate John Paul Scott covered himself in lard and squeezed through a window, escaping by swimming to shore?

Look! The island is also home to an abundance of stunning flora and fauna, so we’d recommend bringing your camera.

Where to Stay

The Imperial Inn

If you’re looking for an authentic American Motel that’s good value and close to useful amenities, The Imperial Inn is ideal. Offering a comfortable bed, and a well-equipped room with a fridge and microwave, this is the perfect destination if you’re living that authentic road-tripping lifestyle.

Inn at Temescal

Find the modern Inn at Temescal in an incredibly convenient location, just across the Bay Bridge. It’s easily accessible by car, and offers clean, comfortable rooms as well as complimentary bike rentals. The hotel staff are well clued up with what’s going on in Oakland, so it’s great for those who need a little bit of help with organising their time.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of things to do and see in Oakland! Visit the official Visit Oakland website and start planning
your trip.

For the nearest pickup point to Oakland, find Alamo Rent a Car at Oakland airport or the California Bay Area.