Oakland’s Best Experiences:
The top rated Experiences in Oakland, CA are:
- Oakland Zoo – is home to over 850 native and exotic animals
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park – is a part of the East Bay Regional Parks District
- Chabot Space & Science Center – is a non-profit institution and community resource
- Children’s Fairyland – one of the oldest themed amusement parks in the U.S
- Pardee Home Museum – a non-profit museum showing over 100 years of the life of a prominent California family
Oakland Zoo is a zoo in Oakland, in the Grass Valley area. It is operated by the Protection Society of California, a non-profit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation both locally and globally, and was founded in 1922. Over 850 native and exotic animals can be seen at the zoo. It’s known for its exceptional animal care, particularly its elephant program, as well as its state-of-the-art, Leed-certified veterinary hospital, which is the largest wild animal medical facility in Northern California. The California Trail, which focuses on the state’s extraordinary natural wildlife—both past and present—was opened to the public on July 12, 2018.
“A must visit if you are in the bay area. Incredible views of the bay area with the gondola. A good variety of animals and it’s easy to go around and enjoy it. For families, it’s best to get the membership and visit a couple of times a year. Unfortunately due to rain, didn’t get a chance to take the train ride, but it was still well worth it.” – Hesham H.
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park is part of the East Bay Regional Parks District. The park is home to the East Bay’s biggest natural stand of coast redwood trees. As you head south from Moraga to Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve, you’ll find the park in the middle of a historic coast redwood forest that runs from Moraga to Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve. The redwood forest in Redwood Regional Park is unique in its geographical location, which creates coastal conditions.
Winds that pass via the Golden Gate Bridge blow directly across the bay and into Oakland’s Montclair District’s linear valley. This valley is also well-watered throughout the year, and it is well-protected from severe winds and excessive temperatures.
“I was visiting from out of state and was looking for a good yet easy to access redwoods hiking site. I had already done Muir Woods but it’s a little out of the way and required reservations, parking fees, entrance fees, etc. I’m very happy I came across Reinhardt. I was able to do a really nice 4-mile hike in the morning and make it to a Giants game at noon. I started from the upper parking lot and wasn’t impressed at the beginning of the hike, but the middle section of the park with all the redwoods was beautiful.” – Scott P.
Chabot Space & Science Center
Chabot Space & Science Center is a community resource and non-profit organization located in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park, which is surrounded by the East Bay’s biggest stand of coastal redwoods. A 241-seat full-dome planetarium, interactive and hands-on exhibits, space artifacts, a giant screen theater, a Challenger Learning Center, and the only research-level telescopes in the Western United States that are regularly open to the public for live viewing on a weekly basis are all available at Chabot. The goal of Chabot’s work is to inspire and educate students of all ages about the universe and the planet.
Space and Science Center
“Great place for taking kids on break day to get them excited about space and science. The place is located in a park setting and driving up to the place you will get nice views of the bay because of the location being on a hill. Planetarium shows are nice but would like more variety and different levels to cover beginner audiences or very young kids. Project creation is nice where kids can get hands-on. Telescopes are great and we got to see Venus planet today. They have kitchen and snack bars. Elevators are available. Parking is plenty. Overall great place.” – Tejo P.
Children’s Fairyland is an amusement park in Oakland. In Fairyland, there are 10 acres of playsets, tiny rides, and animals. The Open Storybook Puppet Theater, the oldest continually functioning puppet theater in the United States, is also located in the park. The Oakland Lake Merritt Breakfast Group, a local service club, erected Fairyland in 1950. The park’s unique value was instantly recognized across the country, and it encouraged a slew of municipalities to establish their own parks in the 1950s.
In 1950, Walt Disney visited a number of amusement parks, including Children’s Fairyland, in search of inspiration for what would become Disneyland. Dorothy Manes, the original director of Fairyland, was hired by him to work as a youth director at Disneyland from the park’s inauguration until 1972. The park has received exhibits, murals, puppetry, and sculptures from a variety of artists.
“Great spot for a family picnic and adventure for the little kids. Especially nice if you have toddlers who want to visit grandparents/great grandparents up the street at St Paul’s Towers. Good parking. Great place to let toddlers run, ride the train, pet a sheep, listen to fairy tales, etc. Excellent soy lattes at the little pumpkin.” – Steph B.
Pardee Home Museum
Pardee Home Museum is located in Oakland, California, and is home to the Pardee Home Museum. Three generations of the Pardee family lived there. Over 100 years of the life of a notable California family are now shown in a non-profit museum. In addition to being a city landmark and a California Historical Landmark, the home is also included on the National Register of Historic Places as a well-preserved example of Italianate architecture. Enoch H. Pardee, a state senator from California, built the mansion in 1868.
Upon his father’s death, he left the house to his son, George Pardee, a Governor of California. This house was passed down to his two daughters, Madeline and Helen, who remained there until they died in 1980 and 1981, respectively, after George’s death in 1941.
“Absolutely a must-see. The best historic tour I have been to. Going on this tour was like walking in time. The house is beautifully furnished and all the furniture and belongings are kept in the exact same place as where the owners left it. I had a great time and learned a lot about the people who lived here. This is a Bay Area hidden gem that everyone should know.” – Victoria L.
Mark has lived in Detroit, MI his whole life. He has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and True Dakotan. As a journalist for Kev’s Best, Mark covers national and local businesses.