7 Reasons to Visit Oakland

Not so long ago, Oakland’s rough neighborhoods were best avoided. In fact, it was smart not to visit. But thanks to an influx of creative types drawn by cheaper rents—artists, chefs, and directors and programmers of nearby Pixar, for starters—all that has changed. Oakland is experiencing an exhilarating cultural renaissance, blossoming into a destination unto itself. Eateries headed by some of the food world’s biggest names (Chez Panisse protégés, for example), thriving cultural venues, lovely parks, urban wineries, and an overall joie de vivre have descended on this diamond in the rough. To top it off, Oakland also has better weather than that foggy “other” city on the bay, as locals will quickly tell you, not that there’s any competition between the two. Here are seven exciting things happening here, now.—Barbara Noe Kennedy

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