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If San Francisco is known for it’s glamorous google-glass wearing tech scene, then sitting six miles east, Oakland embodies its counterculture of distressed-jean hipsters thriving in an art and entertainment scene. The urban hotspot is made up of creative communities, with one of the highest concentration of artists per capita. Since rent is considerable cheaper here, young and emerging artists and entrepreneurs are responsible for some of the most original event spaces in the country. The following venues in Oakland represent independent businesses, community events, galleries, restaurants, retail shops and other institutions that give visitors and residents alike a taste of one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the U.S.
From the bustling Sunday farmer markets, and outdoor filmings, to kayaking and bicycling along the waterfront, the active energy at Jack London Square (JLS) makes it a travel destination for people all over the Bay Area and beyond. Located within the port of Oakland, along the scenic Oakland/Alameda natural estuary, JLS is home to quirky independent businesses like Plank, a funky restaurant with a patio beer garden of over 50 hand-crafted labels with 18 lanes of state-of-the-art bowling, interactive video games and bocce ball for entertainment. For a quicker bite, the square is usually crowded by a number of food vendors and food trucks to satiate diverse crowds. All in all JLS is a family-friendly outdoor hub of recreation in the heart of Oakland. There is always something to plan and enjoy.
Looking for a venue that will entertain you and make you sweat? With four full length regulation maple hardwood courts, Jamtown is the Bay Area’s premier basketball facility located in a easy-to-access city destination. Whether you’d like to schedule a pickup game with friends or head on down for an open shoot, three hours of ball time will only cost you eight dollars. The state-of-the-art facility is run by a dedicated staff, however, tournaments are often scheduled in advance, so go online or call to reserve your court ahead of time. Pick-up games and open shoot hours are limited to the slotted times at 12PM and 8PM Monday through Friday, and 9AM on Saturday and Sunday.