Oakland is one of the largest cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and the 8th largest in California with a population of more than 415,000. Oakland is a major trade and port center in the region with the busiest port in Northern California and the 5th busiest port in the country. It’s also become known for its focus on sustainability, history of political activism, and professional sports teams.
Oakland has three professional sports franchises: the Oakland Athletics (MLB), the Oakland Raiders (NFL), and the Golden State Warriors (NBA). The city boasts several sports venues such as the 19,596-seat Oracle Arena and home of the Golden State Warriors and the multipurpose O.co Coliseum, or Oakland Coliseum, which is home to the Raiders and Athletics.
The city is known for its many parks. The Joseph Knowland State Arboretum and Park is home to the 100-acre Oakland Zoo. While small for a city as large as Oakland, the zoo is known throughout the country for its elephant exhibit that allows the animals to roam. The Morcom Amphitheater of Roses is another popular attraction. Constructed in 1932, the garden boasts thousands of roses with winding paths, a cascading fountains, and a reflecting pool. Oakland’s Lake Merritt is one of the most interesting urban spaces in the country. This large tidal lagoon in the center of the city is surrounded by neighborhoods and parks. The lake has grassy shores with artificial islands as well as a boating center and Children’s Fairyland, a fairy-themed amusement park for children. Children’s Fairyland was the country’s first themed amusement park and the first created specifically for families with small children.
Oakland also boasts several cultural attractions. The Paramount Theatre is home to the Oakland East Bay Symphony, which presents musical programs throughout the year. The city is also home to the USS Potomac, which was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidential yacht. Now preserved as a National Historic Landmark, the USS Potomac is open to the public and may be chartered for cruises.