#WakandaForever: Friends Trip to Oakland
I was invited to a Wakandan themed birthday party in Oakland, Ca by my former classmate from Howard University. I accepted the invitation because I loved the Black Panther Movie which was filmed in certain areas of Oakland and I’ve always wanted to travel to Wakanda. We took a 3-hour sunset cruise around Jack London Square. The gorgeous views of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge could be seen on the horizon.
Above Photo Credits: De’andre Harris
Travel to Oakland
When traveling to Northern California, people often think about San Francisco forgetting about its next door neighbor Oakland, CA. If you have never thought about going to Oakland, I hope that I can change your mind after reading about all the things that the city offers.
I flew into Oakland Airport (OAK) from Los Angeles Airport (LAX) on Southwest Airlines. The flight was only 55 min and it was a smooth ride. Southwest usually has great deals for travel during the weekdays. Thanks to rapid reward points and a gift card, I only spent $35 out of pocket.
To save money, I used the BART station located at the airport to arrive at the Berkely Marina Hotel. The Bart was really easy to use but I recommend asking directions to ensure you are taking the correct train (I accidentally rode the train going towards Sanfranciso instead of Berkely where my hotel was located). Don’t be afraid to ask questions, both passengers and attendants were super helpful.
I used Lyft (Referal Code-20% for first time users: SWEETTIFFY03) and UBER to transport me to various locations in Oakland.
Where to Eat in Oakland
Don’t forget to check out my previous blog post on Soul Food in Oakland. Below are other restaurants I visited during my mini weekend vacation.
The food was great and the servers were attentive considering it was a large party. I had the sampler party which included Garlic Noodles, fried catfish, famous rub wings, and shrimp.
I decided to stop here for lunch while in Jack London Square. They have been in business for over 40 years and have several locations. I loved that I could see them BBQing on the grill as I walked into the restaurant. I ate ribs, mac and cheese, baked beans, cornbread and potato salad. Everything was great and the prices were very reasonable.
Has been around since 1894, they are known for there famous ice cream sundaes but they serve food as well. I ordered the bacon chili burger w/fries. The chili was really good. I let my food digest and promptly ordered dessert. I had the chocolate chip cookie, topped with cookies and cream ice cream, whip cream, caramel and cherry on top.
My friends and I went here for Brunch on Sundays for the Mimosas. I ordered chicken and waffles and tasted my friends lemon curd pancakes which were pretty good.
I went to a Mexican restaurant inside the airport. I ordered the chicken tortilla soup inside it had chicken, tortilla strips, avocado, white cheese. The entree included chicken, steak and shrimp fajitas with beans and rice. The food had great flavors and although I didn’t see abulita cooking the meal, I know she prepared it just for my hungry belly.
Fun things to do in Oakland
Oakland is rough around the edges but the charming city is known for its rich culture, history, scrumptious eateries, and beautiful landscape. If you have never been to this city, I highly suggest taking a couple days to sightsee.
Check out the Oakland Waterfront for great restaurants, hotels, and restaurants. I highly recommend Plank which has a bowling alley, games, and food. Or if you enjoy live music, purchase tickets at Yoshi’s for a night on the town.
First thing I did after entering the zoo, was took a scenic Gondola Ride to the California Trail and Landing Cafe. I also took a train ride (additional $3 fee to see) some of the Australian animals. I enjoyed the amphibian animals, I saw, turtles, blue frogs, lizards and more. The Tigers were super fun to watch because they were frolicking in the water and enjoying the summer heat. Don’t forget to check out the baboons, they are human-like and I love to see the adults raking of there own. Although this portion of the trip was #sponsored by Visit Oakland, all opinions are my own.
Check out the Oakland website to see what current exhibits they have open. They currently have a new hip-hop exhibit, which I, unfortunately, did not have the opportunity to explore.
During a previous visit, to the museum, I saw the Bridge to Black Males exhibit which explored issues that face the black male community. Another exhibit explored affirmations to keep moving in life. It posed a question: What would you communicate to your past self? I would tell myself not to conform to the pressure of others.
Don’t forget to check out First Fridays at the Museum. People come to eat from a variety of food trucks, dance and check out the exhibits
As I explored Event Brite for things to do in Oakland, I came across an event being held by Cafe Creatives.
Cafe creatives held a blogger/entrepreneur meetup for women of color. We need more spaces like this and can’t wait for the meetup that will be held in Los Angeles. They had great giveaways and sponsorships for the guest with complimentary coffee, champagne, and donuts.
This coffee shop located a block away from the Fruitvale station. As I got off the BART train, I couldn’t help but remember the movie Fruitvale station and Oscar Grant who was fatally murdered on New Years Day. May he RIP.
On April 29, 2018, there were reports that a Caucasian woman called the police on an African American man for grilling at Lake Merrit without a proper permit. As a result of this incident, African Americans have organized a weekly event called BBQing while Black on Sunday’s.
I felt like I was at a family reunion visiting my long lost cousins. I enjoyed seeing all the various activities: vendors selling crafts, food, music blaring from the speakers and people simply having a wonderful time. They also had a pop museum which supports the local artist. Even if you don’t go for this particular event, visit Lake Merrit to exercise, chill or people watch.
Describes itself as a Shop, Sip, Swag & Cultural experience. The highlight of the day was seeing the Ankara Fashion show and African dancing. They have experiences in Oakland, LA, ATL, NYC, DC, Philly, Ohio, and Houston.
Fun Facts about Oakland
- The word “Hella” originated in Oakland
- In 1929 Rocky Road Ice cream was invented in Oakland
- More than 125 dialects and languages are spoken in Oakland
- Black Panther Party originated in Oakland and you can still visit some of the famous landmarks.
- The only city with 3 professional sports teams: Golden State Warriors (Basket Ball), Oakland Athletics (Baseball ) and Oakland Raiders (Football)
Check out more interesting facts at Visit Oakland
After reading the above would you take a trip to Oakland, Ca? If so where would you head first?