Ignite your sense of wonder with a trip to Chabot Space and Science Center. Learn about the stars and planets through a variety of hands-on exhibits, or view through them through museum’s three telescopes, named Nellie, Rachel, and Leah. Nellie is a research-quality telescope that offers 180-degree views, and Rachel is the biggest telescope of its kind in the western United States. But if telescopes aren’t your style, you can watch the planets glide across a 70-foot planetarium screen. If you end up falling in love, you can rent out the entire space for private weddings, birthday parties, and more!
Although most of us think of cemeteries as places we’d rather avoid, Mountain View Cemetery is one you won’t want to miss. On its 223 acres you’ll spot some famous graves, such as those of architect Julia Morgan and rapper Mac Dre. But what makes Mountain View really worth a trip are the beautifully designed grounds that make it seem much more like a park than a cemetery. On sunny days you’ll see locals lounging in the grass with a book, tossing a Frisbee, or walking up to the top of the hill for some breathtaking views of the Bay.
If you’re looking for a unique treat, head to Tara’s Organic Ice Cream. At Tara’s, you’ll find a large assortment of ice creams and sorbets, and you’ll want to taste them all. If you’re feeling traditional, you might want to go for a scoop of the cinnamon ice cream or the chocolate peanut butter swirl. But if you’re willing to take a bit of a risk, you’ll have a chance to try flavors like basil, beet balsamic, and chipotle!
Don’t let the name deceive you – both children and their parents will be entertained at Children’s Fairyland. The historic park, which became the nation’s first themed amusement park in 1950, offers whimsical fun at every turn. Children can explore the Old West Junction, which includes a stable, bank, and jail, climb aboard the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship, or navigate a maze with an Alice and Wonderland motif. Parents and kids alike can delight in puppet shows, train rides, and a menagerie of live animals, which includes ponies, goats, and even an alpaca.
Oakland is home to many open-air beer gardens, but none are quite like Portal. Although people of legal drinking age can indulge in craft beer and bottomless mimosas, people under 21 will not be disappointed, because at Portal, food takes center stage. Standout weekday brunch offerings include a challah bread French toast, each slice stuffed to the bursting point with ricotta cheese, and a spicy garlic meatball sub sandwich. On the weekends, the wait for brunch is at least thirty minutes, but it’s worth it to get the Portal Benedict with grilled polenta, roasted tomatoes, and crispy potatoes.
Get a history lesson with a visit to the Oakland Museum of California. With a variety of temporary exhibits alongside permanent exhibits on California history, art, and natural science, a trip to the museum is sure to change the way you look at the city that Oakland has become. Wander the museum on your own, or join a free tour to get the insider scoop. Later, head to the museum’s gardens to relax among modern sculptures and flowering trees. What’s more, you can visit the museum on a budget – admission is free on the first Sunday of every month!