Oakland is one of the lesser known cities of the San Francisco Bay area. Although not so famous as its neighbours San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose, Oakland has in fact benefited somewhat from its relative anonymity by allowing it to develop a richly independent arts scene. The artistic community of Oakland is one of the most vibrant and creative of America and one of the central hubs of that artistic movement.TravelupTourists travelling around America will generally clatter from one mainstream tourist hotspot to another; the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, Golden Gate Bridge and so on and so forth. Stopping off to visit Oakland however will provide a traveller with a taste of a more vibrant America.

Due to hefty house prices around the rest of California, Oakland’s cheaper house prices attracted a large number of poorer artists just starting out on their careers. That new community of artists clubbed together and found a new sense of artistic freedom in the lesser known city of Oakland. Subsequently the city saw a number of art cafes and independent galleries open up that began to display some of the most cutting edge art of America today.

The Fox Oakland Theatre is one of the main venues of the Oakland arts scene. Built originally as a cinema in 1928, the magnificent Middle Eastern styled building began to fall into disrepair during the 80s and 90s when out-of-town multi-screen cinema complexes drove smaller theatres out of business. The Fox Oakland Theatre was bought by the local Oakland authority in 1996 but took until 2009 to be fully renovated for the community.

Today the Fox Oakland Theatre still plays a selection of films, but is also a central performance venue, community centre and home to the Oakland School of the Arts. The Fox Oakland Theatre now hosts a busy schedule of theatre, music gigs and constant installations of innovative new Oakland art. The venue’s new restaurant ‘The Den’ is one of the most vibrant and thrillingly artistic places to eat in the US.

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Oakland, CaliforniaOakland, which can be found on the Eastern side of the San Francisco Bay is often referred to as “The Other City by the Bay.” It’s a mild corner of California that is more famous for its cultural offerings than its weather. It’s a destination that can give you the opportunity to see a slightly different aspect of American life due to a diverse population that hasn’t completely risen past the stigma of lawlessness that dogged the city for many years.

 

Oakland California Aerial ViewThere are now some very affluent and safe neighbourhoods within Oakland and it’s on the top of the travel list for many people who want get a flavour of the cultural underbelly of the United States.

 

Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in America, both ethnically and linguistically. More than 100 different languages and dialects are spoken in Oakland and the restaurants in the area reflect this variety. The entertainment venues and the shops also provide options to suit almost any visitor. Some of the more well-known attractions include the Chabot Space and Science Center, X Lake Merrit, China Town as well as Jack London Waterfront which is the focal point for outdoor markets, restaurants, hotels and clubs. There is also the Oakland Zoo, the Oakland Museum of California and the Western Aerospace Museum which are all worth a visit.

 

Another reason to visit Oakland is to watch and take part in some of their international cultural events. There is an international film showcase as well annual Greek, Chinese and Mexican festivals.

 

Along with these fashionable attractions, Oakland is also a hotspot for sports fans. It has famous teams in all of the big American sports. You could book yourself tickets for the Oakland Athletics baseball team, made famous by the book and movie ‘Moneyball’, The Oakland Raiders American football team or the Golden State Warriors and Orlando Slammers basketball sides. Their home games attract big crowds, so you may want to try and get tickets before you travel.

 

Oakland ColusseumFor an alternative to the standard American travel hotspots, why not take a closer look at Oakland.

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