What are Some Outdoor Activities in Oakland, California?

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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2019
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Oakland is ideally located in an area that combines incredible shores, green hills, and large green fields. Outdoor activities in Oakland vary from spectator games to hiking, bicycling, and climbing. The temperate climate and frequent sunny days make Oakland a favored destination for those looking to enjoy nature, not matter their age or budget.

Because of the large number of parks within city limits, one of the most popular outdoor activities in Oakland is hiking. Joaquin Miller Park is a prime example. The 500-acre park features thousands of miles of trails that can be used for hiking or horseback riding. Summer concerts and picnic areas make the park popular with locals and visitors alike. Many historical landmarks are also located within the park, including a miniature castle, a funeral pyre, and a fieldstone fortress. Other local parks that are worth visiting include the Anthony Chabot Regional Park, the Roberts Regional Recreation Area, and the William Joseph McInnes Botanic Garden and Campus Arboretum. Milder outdoor activities in Oakland include golfing, bird-watching, and strolling along the waterfront.


For visitors looking for a twist in their outdoor activities in Oakland, the Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is a well-worth stop. The preserve is famous for its extinct volcano and the impressive views of Mount Diablo. Redwood Regional Park is another great area, featuring unique specimens that cannot be found anywhere else in the East Coast. Both parks are especially beautiful in the fall. For animal lovers, the Lake Merritt Park and Wildlife Refuge is a must-see. Not only is this one of the best bird sanctuaries in California, it is also a great place to try water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and sailing.

Because of the city's ideal location, many of the outdoor activities in Oakland center around water. Visitors with small children can take a gondola ride at Lakeside Park or enjoy a harbor tour. Those that are more adventurous can attempt sailing workshops or rent a kayak and take to the waters on their own. Rafting may also be possible in the area, depending on the time pf the year and water conditions.

Outdoor activities in Oakland are not limited to the conventional, and visitors should stop by the visitor's center to get an activity guide to the many group-based activities that can be enjoyed year-round.


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Sailing! San Francisco Bay is a world-class sailing venue.

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