There’s no question about it - the Bay Area is a fantastic place to take a trip to. The Bay Area offers plenty of fun and excitement. There is so much to see and do, and all of it within a short distance of the ocean. Then there’s the gorgeous weather to consider too. Getting from place to place is one of the logistics that everyone needs to work out when taking a trip for any reason. Fortunately, the Bay Area has a ton of options for you to choose from.
Rideshare or Taxi
Hailing a taxi has been a popular way to get around in big cities for decades. There’s a certain level of convenience that comes with door to door service provided by someone who is intimately familiar with the area. Taxis are pretty easy to come by in densely populated areas. They can cost you a pretty penny though, which is where the debate between taking a taxi vs Uber or Lyft comes in.
Ridesharing provides essentially the same service as taxis while generally being more affordable. It’s usually pretty easy to order an Uber or Lyft, giving you a bit more peace of mind when it comes to making sure you have a way to get from point A to point B. You can split the fare with fellow passengers too, making it even more affordable.
Buses in the Bay Area are a part of the area’s Muni, which is what people call the main public transit system. The whole name is the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, but no one has time for that mouthful of a name, so Muni it is (or AC Transit in Oakland). As with any other form of public transportation, the buses run on specific routes at specific times. You’ll need to get familiar with the routes and schedule if you want to use it effectively.
Trains are far from a thing of the past as the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, proves. The BART is a major San Francisco Bay Area train line. It connects the city of San Francisco to both the San Francisco International Airport and the Oakland Airport, making it a convenient option for those needing to get to or from the airport. Once you’re in the city, you’ll probably need to utilize a different form of transportation since this particular line doesn’t have too many stops within the city itself. Still, if you’re traveling solo or with just one or two other people, you may find that it’s the most cost effective option for getting between the airports and the city.
Likely to be the fan favorite method of transportation to get around the Bay Area. If you were to take it from Oakland to San Francisco, it's a scenic and relaxing 45 minute boat ride. In Oakland, the Ferry departs from Jack London Square - that is part of the Brooklyn Basin water inlet - and arrives at a dock at the Embarcadero area in San Francisco. We suggest going upstairs so you can see everything the boat ride has to offer. Our favorite part is when the boat goes under the Bay Bridge! So if you have time to spare, and are looking for a beautiful boat ride, then the Ferry is the way to go.
Rent a Car
If the ongoing pandemic has you feeling a little apprehensive about sharing transportation with strangers for longer than is strictly necessary, not to worry. The Bay Area does have a pretty solid public transit system, but you can get around on your own too. Renting a car is always an option, though you’ll have to deal with finding and paying for parking during your trip if you choose to go this route. Your selection of vehicles will vary somewhat depending on who you choose to rent your car from, but most major companies offer everything from your basic four door sedan to luxury vehicles.
If you want a way to see the San Francisco area in a leisurely, relaxing manner, taking a cable car is definitely an option worth considering. Think of this as being an experience first and as a way to get around second, though it will definitely get you from one place to another. These attractions tend to be pretty popular, and that’s reflected in their pricing and the rate at which the cars fill up. If you have little ones on your trip, be sure to spend some time at the intersection of Powell Street and Market Street. It’s by Union Square and offers the unique experience of watching the cable cars get turned around.
If you want the absolute most economical way to get from one place to another, nothing beats hitting the streets with your own two feet. Walking is a great form of exercise, and doing it to get around the Bay Area will definitely have you getting your steps in every day. This is best if you don’t have too far to go. Keep in mind, however, that the Bay Area tends to be a pretty hilly place, especially San Francisco. What may appear like a short distance, and therefore an easy walk, may actually be more strenuous than you thought because it’s up a steep hill.
If the hills aren’t enough to scare you off, using a bike to get around the Bay Area is another excellent option. You can get around much faster than walking and cover more distance too. A lot of streets have added bike lanes as it’s become a more popular way to get around. There’s even a version of ridesharing for bikes. Bike sharing services have made it an even more accessible way to get around, which is perfect if you didn’t bring your own with you. Electric scooters are also available to rent all over the city - saves time and effort. They are also tons of fun!
When it comes to deciding how you want to get around during a trip to the Bay Area, options abound. There are multiple public transit options that you can choose from. There’s also the option of more personal transportation, such as is the case with renting a car, biking, or walking. Take some time before you leave on your trip to explore the options available to you in the Bay Area. Consider the things you’ll be seeing and doing and how that impacts what the best options are. Whatever you choose, you’re sure to find a way to get around that you can make work for you during your trip.
Read this next: Nightlife Hotspots to Visit in Oakland
Exploring a new city (or an old one) is usually quite the adventure. When it comes to finding the best spots at night, it can take a little sleuthing but that is typically a fun process. Knowing some of the cool features of Oakland’s nightlife can help you get started in the right direction towards finding your favorite bar or club.
Oakland has a variety of cool places where you can go dancing. Consider going to one of the city's many salsa spots for a little Latin flavor. Or try out some of the more standard dancing locations like The Layover Music Bar & Lounge for a fun vibe. This particular venue tends to play a lot of hip hop, funk, and reggae.
Oakland has some of the greatest and most varied bars around. A favorite local spot called Bissap Baobab Oakland is a great place to start. This bar is actually a bar, a restaurant, and a dancing venue all in one, making it a great place to get your feet wet. The bar is known for its delicious Senegalese dishes and rocking live music. As you look for more bars to visit, concentrate your search around Lake Merritt, which is one of the main hubs for bars.
When it comes to nightlife, seeing live comedy can be a fun variation from the clubbing scene. Of all the different comedy clubs that Oakland has to offer, Alameda Comedy Club should be top on your list.
This particular venue brings in some of the top talent that is up and rising or touring across the country. It has also mastered the conundrum of having quality COVID-19 precautions so if you are in a vulnerable situation and are particularly concerned about the virus, this may be a great place for you where you will feel comfortable.
As you get back into the swing of going out with friends and meeting new people at new fun venues, be sure to take things slowly. After a whole year of quarantining and having limited social contact, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to go to a bar a night. Finding a few good spots to try out at the beginning will help you adjust.
Read this next: Tips for Wine Tasting in Oakland
Oakland is one of the best places to visit for a wine tasting vacation that will give you the comfort and excitement you are craving. Wine tasting is a great chance to try a variety of wines and learn to taste the difference between varieties you enjoy. There is something special about trying wines where they were made and among the people who have been a part of their creation from start to finish
Check Out the Wine Festival
One of the best things you can do to really experience wine tasting in Oakland is to take part in the annual Wine Festival. The Wine Festival gives you a unique opportunity to try wines from all over California in one spot while also sampling international wines and participating in delicious meals and classes that you can’t experience anywhere else.
Whether you’re traveling solo or taking a girls’ trip or a romantic vacation, the wine festival is a great way to unwind and try wines that are hard to find anywhere else. The festival way is the perfect way to top off your wine tasting trip.
Wine tasting is a great experience, but it does come with a few responsibilities. If you are spending your day tasting wine, it’s a good idea to make sure you have appropriate transportation to get you back to your hotel. This is important not only for your safety, but also it will save you money on fines for while your blood alcohol is above the limit. There are hefty penalties for DUIs in California, and you could still get in trouble for driving even if your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit.
Having a designated driver or using a rideshare or taxi service is an important part of any wine tasting trip. It can keep you safe and let you have fun for even longer since you won’t have to worry about how you will get home. Having your transportation in advance will save you the hassle of getting things scheduled at the last minute when you’re just ready to be back at the hotel.
Take Advantage of the Beautiful Scenery
While you’re in the Oakland area for wine tasting, you have an awesome opportunity to check out the local scenery. Oakland finds itself nestled between beautiful coastal views and forested areas that are all worth checking out and can be a great part of your trip to see the wineries the Oakland area has to offer.
There are scenic walks all around, that can be a great way to wind down after a long day tracking down some of the best wine in the country. Check out the Joaquin Miller Park or the Bay Trail for a beautiful walk to spend the evening cooling down from your adventurous wine tasting around Oakland.
Visiting Oakland for wine tastings has everything you need for an awesome vacation with delicious highlights. Make the most of your wine tasting trip and enjoy the experience of an Oakland vacation that will make your year!
Coming to Oakland soon? Book a room with us!
Variety is the Spice of Life – Even During Quarantine - Here Are 11 Restaurants We Recommend (Take-Out/Delivery)
By Chennel Wilson
While ‘quarantine’ may soon – if not already- become synonymous with “new way of life” for many of us stuck at home, what’s on your plate can help maintain some sort of normalcy during the chaos.
As quoted by the Eater: “The Bay Area’s Most Dynamic Dining Scene isn’t in San Francisco”. Oakland’s distinct culture isn’t only visible in our street art and diverse population but also in our exciting food scene.
I am Chennel Wilson, Sales Manager at Executive Inn & Suites, and I am so excited to offer my insight into local restaurants. It seems I’ve become to go-to person on food apps, so it’s natural I am the choice to make these recommendations.
Below I have listed some of my favorite local #RootedInOakland restaurants that are currently open for takeout or delivery.
1. Tacos Sinaloa
Authentic Mexican culinary creations magically served via taco truck – for sure a local favorite. From burritos to tacos and tortas to tostadas, there is no delivery option but with it being a truck you can absolutely maintain your social distancing while ordering for take-out 😊 *veg*
Many of us are stuck at home. Sure we’re working – but you can’t work all day. The commute also is non-existent. Some of us have tried to clean out drawers and closets and soon realized that it’s not that we couldn’t find the time, but we just don’t have the interest.
As our hotels’ Director of Sales, my job is to try to find and maintain business; New business, old business and returning business. However travel is the last thing on people’s minds right now - even mine.
So I have a secondary career, more a passion, and that is the arts. I love live shows, concerts and movies! During this time we can’t do any of those. But we can pretend and enjoy them from home!
I’ve been video blogging for the past several weeks on YouTube using my hashtag #AtHomeFilmFestival. While my target audience is different than many of our hotel customers, I am curating an eclectic mix of movies to share with our hotel friends. This broad mix of film highlights the diversity that Oakland embraces and that same diverse spirit that has kept us atop of the ‘Oakland best lists.
With all that being said – listed below are movies you can watch from home – and mostly for free! Even those that cost will only put you out a few dollars, making it still less than going to a movie and buying the obligatory treats. I hope you enjoy the variety – and the categories that are lumped in. Your feedback is always welcome – so hit the REPLY button below with comments and let us know if you like this and what movies you recommend.
Oakland is an exciting city – I started the hashtag #YouDontKnowOakland when I left working in San Francisco to shed a spotlight on our city on the sunny side of the Bay. But did you know Oakland has a had a lot of wonderful movies made here? This list won’t include “Black Panther” (filmed in Oakland) as you don’t need our suggestion to see such a blockbuster. But here’s a couple smaller movies you might try or ones you haven’t seen in awhile.
Oakland is a great city with many things to offer. When taking a night out on the town to hang with friends, everyone is going to want great food. These four downtown bars offer food and libation ranging from classic to unique.
Café Van Kleef
Known for the "Greyhound," Café Van Kleef was an art gallery that gently morphed into a watering hole. It was opened in 2004 by Peter Van Kleef, and it is home to overflowing charm. The signature drink is a simple potable of vodka or gin with fresh grapefruit juice. The food to order is classic, American bar food. The Angus Beef Burger is simply a hearty burger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion. It goes perfectly with a tangy Greyhound.
Located in the downtown area, The Hatch could be considered a truly American dive bar. It's small and intimate, so you should be prepared to cozy up to your seat mate if you sit at the bar. The cuisine is new American, and the beer on tap is a rotating selection, but standard cocktail options are always available. Upbeat music flows through the bar to create a unique vibe.
Mad Oak Bar
The Mad Oak Bar ‘n’ Yard takes its name from its location between Madison and Oak in downtown Oakland. There are 40 beers on tap, including local and national names, and traditional cocktails are available as well. The food is unique as it features changing but delicious pop-up style offerings. You might want to call ahead to see what is on offer this week. Mad Oak features a backyard patio with a living wall. The fun and flavors are outstanding, but be sure to order a ride to go if you've been drinking. If you're taking an Uber or Lyft home, it's recommended that you should still buckle your seat belt when using a ride-share service.
Heinhold’s First and Last Chance
For a complete night out in Oakland, include the historic Heinhold’s. Built from a whaling ship in 1883, the floor of the bar is a little crooked due to the 1906 earthquake. The name refers to the fact that it was often the first and last place for arriving and departing sailors to grab a drink. The most famous patron would probably have to be a youthful Jack London who visited regularly when he was an oyster worker in the area. The mouthwatering food includes tapas-style bites. While the drink selection is limited due to the small space of the bar, the ambiance is enormous
The bar scene is truly great in downtown Oakland! Wherever you head for your date night or pub crawl, part of drinking responsibly is eating something tasty along the way. Enjoy your outing and be safe going home or back to your hotel room.
The Lounge @ Executive Inn & Suites
The Lounge may not be in Downtown Oakland, but if you're staying with us or just stopping by, you can't get anymore convenient than this. Our fully stocked bar and our delicious dinner options make us a great choice anytime. See you there!
Jack London Square
Jack London Square is the center of the action in Oakland. Named for the famous American author who grew up here, the waterfront neighborhood is home to some of the city's most popular restaurants and bars, making it a great place to spend an evening. The marina is a beautiful place to launch a kayak out onto the water. Visitors can also choose to take a food tour or visit the Sunday Farmer's Market. When planning your trip to Oakland, make sure you understand your travel insurance policy so you can take advantage of everything Jack London Square and the rest of the city has to offer, without worry.
Lake Merritt is located in Oakland, California, and is one of the most unique spaces in all of the country. The heart-shaped shoreline is located in the center of the city and is several miles long. The lake offers the perfect place for humans to commune with nature, and visitors to the lake will have no shortage of activities to enjoy.
Many people move to a new city or state for a better quality of life. When surveyed, the top reasons given for migration were traffic, living expenses, economic opportunity, arts, culture and a sense of community. Check out these four reasons that everyone is coming to Oakland.
1. Exploding Job Opportunities
Oakland has enjoyed robust job growth in recent years. The city enjoys an unemployment rate that’s a full percentage point below the national average of 4%. As of 2017, Oakland's median hourly pay rate of $33.50 was nearly $10 more than the average median hourly pay for the country.
Historically, Oakland’s largest employment sectors have been in the city, state and county government, and at UCSF Children's Hospital in Oakland, BART and Kaiser. Oakland is also home to a healthy startup community and high-profile employers like Pixar.
2. Everyone Hates SoCal Traffic
Southern California has spent several years as the United States worst location for traffic congestion and delays. While experts agree that the worst time to drive through LA County, Orange County, and San Diego County is during the holidays, drivers from Los Angeles to Long Beach spend more than 100 hours per year idling in rush hour traffic. People who visit Oakland from places like Los Angeles and New York are impressed by the relative ease of driving in Oakland.
Oakland and The Bay Area experience traffic congestion like other urban areas in the world, but they have one of the most predictable traffic patterns. An excellent and constantly improving public transit system and a large network of toll highways both help keep commutes running relatively smoothly
3. Plenty to Do
There are so many things to do in Oakland—whether it be doing something in nature or experiencing its diverse culture. Beauty surrounds Oakland, with its proximity to the San Francisco Bay. The stunning scenery attracts both visitors and people looking to move. Lake Merritt is a tidal lagoon that’s centrally located in the city. Oakland boasts urban park areas and miles of jogging trails along the shore.
Culture also abounds in Oakland. The Oakland Zoo features historic native species, and Oakland Museum of California chronicles state art and history. Oakland continues to come into its own artistically. Joyce Gordon Gallery and the Johansson Projects barely scratch the surface of what Oakland has to offer its art community.
4. Close to San Francisco and Berkeley With Lower Rent
Oakland has more affordable living costs than San Francisco. Oakland residents pay a median $1,800 monthly rent, while their neighbors across the Bay can pay $3,300 for the same type of apartment. Berkeley renters pay a whopping $3,770. Oakland is about 5 miles from Berkeley and 13 miles from San Francisco, and both places are easy to reach by public transit from Oakland.
Oakland is an attractive destination—both for living and for visiting. Southern Californians move there for better infrastructure and more tolerable traffic conditions. Northern Californians seek cheaper housing, and young Midwesterners seek art, culture and better opportunities in a place where they can afford to live out West. No matter what your motivations are for coming to Oakland, you are sure to have a great time experiencing all it has to offer.
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, began Wednesday, October 31 and will end November 3rd. Thousands of Oaklanders observe and honor this ancestral celebration of remembering loved ones who have passed. How? Keep reading on below:
(To be read in Dracula's voice) Dear Oakland visitors, whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, alone, or with family, it’s time to put on you’re scariest costume and enjoy all the Halloween treats and festivities that Oakland has to offer. And there are plenty!
The Bay Area has one of the best shopping scenes in the US. From top brands to mom & pop shops. Some shopping centers like Westfield Mall in San Francisco & Jack London Square are easily accessible by our shuttle and/or BART.
Since the Holiday season is approaching, it's a good idea to get the shopping done before the rush. At the end of this article, we will have a special deal waiting for you.
Jack London Square
2.0 miles from Executive Inn & Suites
Written by Kevin M. Thomas, @ReelKev
There's a lot to discover for Oakland Pride, thanks to the great content provided by Visit Oakland for the Sept. 9 parade (Visit Oakland's Website) and the Pride website itself - www.oaklandpride.org.
Run by Kin Folkz, Spectrum isn't just a source of information but events put together by Kin and isn't just during Pride week but throughout the year.
For Pride week, Kin mixes in musical events, movie screens, drag shows and comedy - all culminating the day of the Sept. 9 parade.
Highlights of the week include:
September 3: Queer Cruise
Hop aboard at Jack London Square and go on a three hour bay cruise that may not include a trip to "Gilligan's Island" but will likely have a few gingers and maybe a Mary Ann.
5. Pier 29 Waterfront Restaurant
Being a city on the Bay, we love piers! While technically in Alameda, this restaurant is worth a mention due to its location, proximity to Oakland, and of course its steak! You will find a more casual dining experience here nestled in the Marina with a view of the Bay Bridge! Definitely order the classic steak, baked potato, and roasted asparagus, but really, you can’t go wrong here! And, if you’re completely stuffed after your steak dinner, take a stroll along the marina to walk it off! Or, sit on a bench and watch the boats bobble up and down in the marina!
Are you a Vegan visiting Oakland? Yes? Great! Oakland has been named by VegNews as the most Vegan friendly city in the Bay Area! Below we will take you through a couple of the best places to fill up your vegan belly for each mealtime of the day!
1) Timeless Coffee Roasters
This is an ALL vegan coffee shop! So get your latte with soy or almond milk, bite down on some delish breakfast pastries, and also treat yourself to some decadent chocolate because you can find all that here! Why not try a mocha at this location?
Visiting the Bay and didn’t rent a car? It’s really no problem. The public transit in Oakland will get you where you need to go! You can pretty much reach any destination in the Bay by taking one or more of the various modes of transport listed below! By bus, by train, by boat, by shuttle, which will be your favorite?!
1) Our Awesome Complimentary Shuttle Service
When it comes to our shuttle service, we can get you where you need to go! Our drivers are incredibly friendly and very familiar with Oakland’s roads! Take the shuttle between the hours of 6:00AM to 11:30PM to the major transport hubs such as the Oakland International Airport (top of the hour), Lake Merritt BART station, and Jack London Square & Ferry (bottom of the hour). Stop by the front desk to learn even more about our shuttle service! Read on below to learn a ton more about Oakland’s public transit options!
If you’ve been outside in Oakland lately, you know things are heating up. Memorial day has come and gone, and so has the chilly spring weather with it. Now it’s time to take a breath and chill in the summer season, aka Ice Cream season. Let’s talk about the best 10 places you can hit up for a summer cool down:
1. Fentons Creamery
We have to start with this Oakland landmark on Piedmont Avenue. It’s a family owned retro soda fountain style restaurant. It genuinely is world famous, as it’s been featured on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and the History Channel! Have you seen the Pixar movie Up? Carl and Russell couldn’t pass up a summer treat at Fentons! Get one of their house made signature sundaes! Try the Black and Tan sundae. Melvin Fenton himself invented the toasted almond flavor in this delightful dish!
Oakland has a rich history that spans thousands of years into the past! And whether you are an advanced historian or prefer a more “just browsing” approach to history, Oakland’s museums are for you. You can really get to know Oakland through and through by stopping by one or more of it’s many museums! This post will introduce you to three of the top rated museums Oakland has to offer.
1. Oakland Museum of California #TheMuseumofUs
It’s here where you will find Oakland situated in the context of California. Oakland museum is not only where you go to learn about the fascinating past, art, and science around Oakland and California, but it is where it is celebrated! Come peruse galleries of art, history, and natural science. Become acquainted with the Indigenous peoples of the Bay Area, past and current artists, and learn about California’s diverse ecosystems!
This museum also serves as a place for the community of Oakland to play and learn together. The museum hosts Friday Nights @ OMCA every week. This is a fantastic Friday night experience for locals and visitors alike: Off the Grid, a gathering of some of the Bay Areas finest food trucks, sets up right outside the museum’s doors. Get discounts on the above-mentioned galleries, and best yet, view them after hours! Shop at the OMCA marketplace featuring local art and handcrafts. And this is all set to the music of local musicians and DJs! Take yourself, bring your family, and have a blast any day of the week, but especially Friday nights! Check out their website for even more information!
Learn more here: museumca.org
A's are here to stay!
Looking over the landscape of professional sports teams in Oakland, you’ll see the backs of the Golden State Warriors and the Raiders far off in the distance, scurrying away to half as worthy cities (sorry San Francisco and Las Vegas ;p)! But you will also see the A’s standing large and proud of representing Oakland. Look closer and you will see the A’s robust, deep, deep roots in this city! Even though they are in need of a shiny new stadium fit for them, it will unquestionably be built here in Oakland territory!
The A’s have been in Oakland since 1968. If you do the math, that’s 50 beautiful years to grow strong roots. The A’s have had their ups (World Series wins 1972 and 1989!) and downs (1979!) in Oakland, and the fans have always come out and cheered their team on. The fans have always been there for the A’s and you bet that the A’s will be there for their fans!
And right now, the A’s are sending out love notes to their fans and the city of Oakland, to assure us all of their deep commitment. Have you gotten one?
Summer in Oakland is right around the corner, 34 days to be exact, but who is counting? One thing about summer in Oakland is that the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. It’s warm, but not too hot. And what’s a better outdoor activity than visiting one of Oakland’s many Farmers' Markets, or perhaps all of them? Today, we will talk about three great places to get your fresh produce, and some lunch of course, during the weekend!
Jack London Square is a dynamic and special historical place on the Oakland estuary within the Port of Oakland. How to explain it? Well, it’s here that you can get an up close experience with the maritime, agricultural, fine dining, transit, commercial, and literary side of Oak Town. It’s a place of industry and leisure. It’s named after Oakland’s very own author, you guessed it, Jack London, who spent much of his boyhood at this water front. There’s always something going on, so no matter what time of year you visit, there’s something in Jack London Square for you!
Whether you’re an Oakland native or a guest here to explore the city, there are just some things you might not know about Oakland. Today, we are going to talk about 10 fun facts about the beautiful, diverse, and buzzing city by the Bay.
If you take a walk around the large sprawling city, we are talking about 54 square miles, you will notice that Oakland is diverse and we are proud of it. Did you know that it is the most diverse city in the US when measured by social, ethno-racial, economic, and household factors? This is pretty amazing right?
Oakland's first annual Art Month, sponsored by Visit Oakland, will encourage locals and visitors alike to explore all sorts of Art created by Oakland Artists. Many artists and art organizations will be featured by Visit Oakland in their marketing efforts.
Hello, and Welcome to our Blog!
My name is Cameron, and I am the Digital Marketing Manager at Executive Inn & Suites in Oakland, California.
The 143-room Executive Inn & Suites was first established in Oakland circa 1991, ideal for groups,corporations, families and vacationers alike. Our complimentary amenities including breakfast and parking help us stand out from other hotels, as well as, our overall philosophy; which is to take care of our guests first
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