Oakland is pretty much non-existent as travel destination as it's overshadowed by San Francisco (which is way more tourist-friendly) and the politically famous Berkeley. Plus those who lived here usually don't have a good opinion about the place. However this should not stop you from exploring this cultural diverse city.
What to do
The main tourist attraction is , without a doubt, Jack London Square. Named after the famed writer, the area has been under recent renovations and now is home to several shops and restaurants. Joaquin Miller Park has been named after the poet and is a lovely place where you can hike and bike.
If you brought the little ones on vacation here, make sure to take them to Children's Fairyland. It's a lovely playground for children but please note that only adults with children may enter.
College Avenue is a well known place for eating and shopping. A short walk will open up an entire world, with everything from Asian food to pubs.
For those traveling to Oakland or to the San Francisco Bay Area, Oakland International Airport (OAK)is emerging as a very popular airport, easier to navigate than the bigger San Francisco one. Since Oakland airport is popular among low-cost airlines as well, it's very easy to find a flight to Oakland.
If you need to drive to the airport you can save both time and money by booking the Oakland airport parking in advance and paying for it online. Or you can choose the Oakland airport shuttle service for a fast and cheap ride to the airport and back.
Where to stay
There are enough hotels and budget accommodation to choose from when visiting Oakland. There aren't any real hostels though.