Estimated Travel Time: 30–40 minutes
Oakland is a quick BART ride from San Francisco and boasts numerous activities for Bay Area visitors. Lively Jack London Square offers shopping and dining options, a Sunday farmer’s market, access to a portion of the 500-mile Bay Trail, and kayak rentals in the Oakland/Alameda estuary for $40/hour.
If you prefer a low-key afternoon trip, we recommend digging into a plate of house-made noodles and dumplings at Shan Dong Restaurant before a stroll around Lake Merritt. For an evening option, visit Friday Nights at Oakland Museum of California. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., museum entry is half-price for adults (free for those 18 and under). You’ll find live music and lots of dancing, hands-on art workshops, local brewers, food trucks, and local makers selling their creations.
Getting There: Hop on the Dublin/Pleasanton or Fremont lines at any downtown BART station and get off at the Lake Merritt station. From there, it’s three blocks northeast along Oak Street to the Oakland Museum—two blocks farther and you’ll reach Lake Merritt—or a mile walk northwest to Jack London Square.