Oakland is a sunny spot in California that is home to nearly half a million people. What are some of the best things about Oakland? Besides being in close proximity to the “golden city” of San Francisco, residents in Oakland enjoy some of the best food, music, and outdoor activities in the region. If you’re planning on moving to Oakland or going there for a visit, keep in mind that there are some downsides to being there, too. So let’s talk about 7 things the city of Oakland is known for: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

What is the weather like in Oakland?

Oakland is usually sunny, except during the winter months of December thru February.

Here Are 7 Things Oakland Is Known for: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

1 .


Oakland is known as “The Bright Side of Bay”. Many local insiders, like our reader, Carol Campbell, call it "The Town." Oakland is home to some of the most gorgeous bay views in America.

Oakland CA at Night
Cedric Letsch on Unsplash

2 .


Famous musicians from Oakland include mostly R&B entertainers like The Pointer Sisters and famous rappers including M.C. Hammer, Too Short, Dr. Dre, Digital Underground, and actor Tom Hanks, who is not a musician but he did the “piano” in the movie BIG. Ha!

MC Hammer and Joan Rivers at The 47th Annual Grammy Awards - Red Carpet
Getty Images

3 .


Fans are still reeling from the loss of the Oakland Raiders who just moved to Las Vegas.

Oakland Raiders Moved to Las Vegas
Anelale Najera on Unsplash

Hey, at least they still have the Oakland Athletics. Well, oops, they are moving to Vegas, too.

Oakland Athletics Stadium
Rick Rodriguez on Unsplash

4 .


The national city poverty average is close to 13% of Americans. Oakland’s poverty rate hovers near 18% so there is a considerable amount of poverty in the city.

5 .


Since the cost of living in California is already higher than the national average, to live in Oakland is no small feat. Affordable housing is hard to come by in the city and the homeless rate was estimated to be 24% last year. Roughly 10,000 people are currently homeless in the county.

Oakland Homelessness
Wesley Johnson on Unsplash

6 .



The violent crime rate in Oakland seems to be going down, which is some good news. There's still tons of local graffiti and non-violent crime prevalent in Oakland, though.

Oakland Graffiti
Freddie Collins on Unsplash

7 .


Oakland has one of the oldest Chinatowns in America. The Gold Rush of the 1850s led to the founding of Chinatown, as immigrant workers arrived to the Bay. They took on dangerous and low-paying jobs in order to escape oppression in their homeland.

The Chinese Lunar New Year Parade is one of the most entertaining in the country.

@lifewithvnasty Lunar New Year Festival in Oakland Chinatown!⚡️ #lifewithvnasty #fyp #foryou #asian #asianfood #chinese #chinesenewyear #lunarnewyear #cny2023 #lny2023 #lunar #newyear #happynewyear #oakland #chinatown #bayarea #oaktown #yearoftherabbit #yearoftherabbit2023 #community #asiancommunity ♬ Chinese New Year - TonsTone


When is the best time to visit Oakland?

Tourists say that the best time to visit Oakland is whenever it is sunny but not too hot. Perhaps planning your Oakland trip during off-peak times of the year is your best bet (during the spring or fall). No matter when you visit, you're sure to enjoy the Oakland's vibrant culture, food, music, and weather!

Oakland city mural featuring homage to Breona Taylor
Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

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