Aside from the massive California oak that's the city's living mascot, signs of life seem scant downtown. The main thoroughfare, Broadway, is lined with splendid but often empty Art Deco facades, including now-shuttered Oaksterdam, California's pioneering medical marijuana dispensary. But scattered along Broadway are major points of Oakland pride, including James Beard Award-winning chef Daniel Patterson's Plum restaurant. At the gloriously restored 1931 Paramount Theatre, the mosaic marquee hosts major comedians (Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld) and R&B acts (Prince, Alicia Keys). Further uptown, Fox Theater is a smaller converted Deco cinema hosting big names from Green Day to President Obama. Oakland's uptown, off-Broadway gallery hub is anchored by Johansson Projects and Creative Growth Art Center—don't miss local first Friday openings and weekly Saturday afternoon strolls coordinated by Oakland Art Murmur.
Getting Around Oakland
The best way to get around downtown Oakland and Berkeley is by walking and using the BART (subway/metro). Fares are calculated based on distance and generally range from $3-$6. Driving will allow better access to some residential areas.
Nearby Airports
  • San Francisco International Airport-SFO
  • Oakland International Airport-OAK
Airport Taxis
  • $68 from SFO to Downtown Oakland
  • $30 from OAK to Downtown Oakland
  • $85 from SFO to Downtown Berkeley
  • $45 from OAK to Downtown Berkeley
Things to Do and See Near Downtown