Just Arrived to Oakland Guide
Ryland Hormel · September 15, 2015 ·
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Welcome to Oakland aka "The Town". Think of this guide as your orientation to Oakland, the welcome package you wish you had during past moves.


This guide will cover:

  • Top 5 Tips to Living in Oakland

  • The Oakland Basics (Get you in the know about The Town)

  • The Top 5 Must Do List.


Top 5 Tips to Living in Oakland


1. Understand the cultural/historical/community landscape.

Oakland is a town that has very deep roots. This is one of the most diverse places you will ever be in your life. With all of this in mind you must be educated enough about where you are living to conduct yourself with empathy towards your neighbors and other community members. For example, please do not call Oakland "the old Brooklyn". People really do not like that. To understand this and learn more about how you can be a part of the community then please read Chinaka Hodges article titled "The Gentrifier’s Guide to Getting Along".

2. Shop Locally

(Guide: 10 Socially Conscious Businesses For New Movers)
Oakland is one of the most locally conscious places you will ever live. People are all about their small locally owned businesses and now it is time for you to join them. And guess what? When you do that you are directly making a better community around you. You want the place you live to keep getting better, right?

3. Say hi and smile to people when they acknowledge you.

This is all about bolstering community and enriching the lives of the people in it.  Treat people with kindness and remember that you are NEW and chances are that they have a deep history in Oakland. The simple things go far here.

Buy a bike


4. Buy a bike!

(Guide: Biking Oakland)
Oakland is a perfect city to bike around. Find the local bike stations where you can valet your bike a lot of times for free. Enjoy the beaming sun in your face as you cruise home after work. Just make sure to lock it whenever you leave it out.


5. Embrace the Community

When you are new you are at loss of a support network. It takes work to make new friends and foster relationships. The best way to combat this is to embrace the community. Become a part of the community be turning yourself into a citizen of Oakland. Engage with people, support local, attend events and activities. The community is here and alive. It is ready for you to become a part of it instead of helplessly trying to find one that does not exist.

The Oakland Basics


1. Mayor:

Libby Schaff – Elected: November 4, 2014




2. Weather:

HELLA nice….more precisely 265 days of sun a year!




3. Transportation:

(Guide: Getting Around)
BIKE EVERYWHERE! Oakland is a very bike friendly city. Nice flat roads allowing easy pedaling and nice clear paths providing safety. Oakland even has Bike Stations.
Driving around Oakland is easy, especially if you are comparing it to the can of sardines in San Francisco. The streets are mellow and there is usually parking to be found.
Bart is the easiest way to get from different parts of the Bay Area and back to Oakland. Can even be used to get around Oakland.
AC Transit to get around the city.




4. Outdoors:

Whether you are a rugged mountaineer or a casual jogger there are a ton of hikes and outdoor activities to do in Oakland. To name a few check out:
Joaquin Miller Park
Redwood Regional Park
Lake Merritt
Grizzly Peak

5. Sports Teams:

Golden State Warriors (Basketball) Oakland Raiders (Football) Oakland A’s (Baseball)


Top 5 Must Do List:


First Friday's


This is one of the great community gatherings.

2. Farmers Market’s

There is no shortage of them in Oakland, but they are all rad!!!
Grand Lake
Old Downtown

Lake Merritt


3. Run or just lounge (up to you) around Lake Merritt.

This tidal swamp is a perfect getaway from city life without even leaving the city. The vibes are always good.

The Fox Theatre


4. Go see live music.

There are so many good artists and bands coming through Oakland.
The Fox Theatre
The New Parish

5. Catch a sports game

With the Oakland Raiders on the rise and the world champion Golden State Warriors, it is a perfect time to get rowdy in the crowd and celebrate these teams.

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Proudly Made In Oakland, CA




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